JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli chief rabbi David Lau published an open letter calling on educators to deal seriously with every report of child abuse of any kind.
The rabbi released the letter Sunday evening at a conference of haredi Orthodox rabbis. It was first reported on the haredi Orthodox Kipa news website.
“To my great pain we’ve recently witnessed horrific cases of abuse in our midst; cases in which children were hurt in their houses and their schools. How painful it is to hear that the very places which are supposed to provide a security and strength for our children, have become places of fear,” the letter read.
“At this time, parents, teachers, relatives and all those engaged in the holy work of education must keep their eyes open and assist those who need it in any way possible. Burying our heads in the sand is not the answer to these difficult and painful issues, and everyone must take responsibility, even if these things do not affect him directly,” Lau wrote.
The letter comes amid several new investigations and indictments of child sex abuse in the haredi Orthodox community.
The rabbi also wrote that “under no circumstances should these things be swept under the rug.”
His solution, according to the letter, is to “raise awareness and continue educating our children in the ways of modesty, in the ways of the Torah, and in the deep-rooted values of Jewish tradition.”