Jewish leaders and rabbis who support Child Victims Act (New York)

 

We, the undersigned rabbis and Jewish leaders, write this letter in support of the Child Victims Act, A2872/S63.

After decades of denial, cover-ups and darkness across New York state, light is finally being shone on the scourge of child sexual abuse. The lasting and far-reaching damage caused by abusers is intolerable, and it is incumbent upon all the citizens of New York State to work to reduce it.

Shockingly, when victims have come forward to seek justice and stop abusers from causing more harm, they have been blocked by current New York State law.

While mental health experts have shown that it can take decades for a victim of child sexual abuse to overcome the fear, shame, and trauma of abuse and be able to come forward to confront their abuser, our current law allows survivors of abuse to pursue criminal or civil justice only until the age of 23, a statute of limitations of, in some cases, only five years. 

We are embarrassed that New York state has been ranked among the very worst in the US, alongside Alabama, Michigan and Mississippi, for how the courts and criminal justice system treat survivors of child sex abuse.

Therefore, we urge you to help New York join states like California, Delaware, Minnesota, Hawaii, Illinois and Florida that have recently passed legislation extending or eliminating the statute of limitations, thus creating windows for survivors to come forward.

This legislation will no doubt bring justice, but, it will also prevent further abuse. When similar legislation was passed in California, over 300 previously unknown abusers were identified.

Many rabbis and Jewish leaders have seen in our communities the wounds caused by sexual predators; wounds whose pain cannot be overstated, wounds that may never be fully healed. We also painfully acknowledge that rather than being a source of healing for victims of child sexual abuse, religious institutions have too often been a part of the problem.

Though we cannot undo the pain that was done, we can stand with victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in their quest for justice. We can and must stand with survivors of child sexual abuse in their quest for justice. We stand with all those children who are still at risk from abusers still at large because of our broken statute of limitations laws. We ask you to do the same: help all survivors of child sexual abuse receive the justice they deserve and help deter future abuse by supporting the Child Victims Act.

      Title              Name                               Affiliated organization

1.    Rabbi           Ari Hart                             Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
2.    Rabbi           Yosef Blau                        Yeshiva University
3.    Mr                Manny Waks                     Kol v'Oz
4.    Rabbi           Sharon Kleinbaum            Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
5.    Rabbi           David Dunn Bauer            Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
6.    Rabbi           Jill Jacobs                         T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
7.    Mrs              Ruth W. Messinger            Former Manhattan Borough President
8.    Rabbi           Michael Fessler                 Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
9.    Rabbi           Brian Fink                          JCC Manhattan, Director of Engage Jewish Service Corps
​10.  Rabbi           Lina Zerbarini                    Sid Jacobson JCC
11.  Rabbi           Irving Yitz Greenberg         Retired
12.  Rabbi           Joe Potasnik
13.  Rabbi           Pesach Sommer 
14.  Rabbi/Pro f   Benny Forer                     Jewish Community Watch
15.  Rabbi           Micha Berger                    The AishDas Society
​16.  Rabbi           Shmuel Skaist                   Yeshivas Isser v'Yitzchak at IDT
17.  Mr                Chaim Levin                      Kol v'Oz
18.  Rabbi           Jonah Geffen                    Congregation Shaare Zedek
19.  Rabbi           Joshua Hess                    Congregation Anshe Chesed 
20.  Rabbi           Sam Reinstein                  Congregation Kol Israel
21.  Mr                Eli Nash                            Survivor and Victim Advocate
22.  Rabbi           Ysoscher Katz                  Prospect Heights Shul 
23.  Rabbi           Mordechai Harris               Baron Hirsch Congregation
24.  Rabbi           Zelig Mandel
25.  Rabbi           Rachel Esserman
26.  Rabbi           Chuck Davidson                International Rabbinic Fellowship
27.  Rabbi           Kleinberg
28.  Rabbi           Michael Rothbaum            Congregation Beth El Berkeley
29.  Rabbi           Asher Lopatin                    Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
30.  Rabbi           Chaim Steinmetz               Kehilath Jeshurun
31.  Rabbi (stu)   Gabriel Kretzmer Seed     Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
32.  Mr                Ed Landesman
33.  Cantor          Adina Frydman                 
34.  Rabbi           Menachem Creditor          Congregation Netivot Shalom
35.  Rabbi           Joshua Yuter
36.  Rabbi           Paula Marcus
37.  Rabbi           Debbie Israel                     Congregation Emeth
38.  Rabbi Dr      Zev Farber                         Project TABS
39.  Rabbi           Michael Leo Samuel          
40.  Mr                Mordechai Levovitz            JQY
41.  Rabbi          Gil Student
42. Mr                David Zinberg                     Columnist
43.  Rabbi          Yehoshua Looks
44.  Maharat      Ramie Smith                       Yeshivat Maharat
45.  Rabbi          Aaron Potek                        Hillel
46.  Rabbi          David Bauman                    US Navy
47.  Rabbi          Mel Gottlieb                         Academy for Jewish Religion, California
48.  Rabbi          Zachary Truboff                  Cedar Sinai Synagogue
49.  Mr               Mark Meyer Appell              Voice of Justice
50.  Rabbi          Sarah Freidson                   Temple Beth Shalom
51.  Rabbi Dr     Yehudah Mirsky
52.  Rabbi Dr     Michael Chernick                Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
53.  Rabbi          David Kalb                          Jewish Learning Center of New York
54.  Rabbi          Shmuly Yanklowitz              Uri L'Tzedek
55.  Rabbi          Dov Linzer                           Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
56.  Rabba Dr    Anat Sharbat                       Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
57.  The Hon      Dov S. Zakheim                  Former Under Secretary of Defense
58.  Rabbi          Sarit Horwitz                        B'nai Jeshurun
59.  Rabbi          Jason Herman                     International Rabbinic Fellowship
60.  Rabbi          Yonah Berman  
61.  Rabbi          Barry Gelman
62.  MD              Michelle Friedman               Director of Pastoral Counseling, Yrshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
63.  Mrs              Dina Naijman                       The Kehila
64.  Mr                David Cheifetz                     Mi Li
65.  Rabbi (stu)  Daniel Atwood                      Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
66.  Rabbi           Aviad Bodner                       Statnton Street Shul
67.  Ms               Rahel Bayer                         Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
68.  Mr                Jordan Hirsch                       Torah Academy of Bergen County
69.  Rabbi           Ben Greenberg                    
70.  Rabbi Dr      Marc Gopin                           George Mason University
71.  Rabbi           Jeremy D. Sher                     Harvard Divinity School
72.  Rabbi           David Ingbar                         Romemu 
73.  Rabbi           Iris Richman                          
74.  Rabbi           Chaim Seidler-Feller             IRF
75.  Rabbi           Avram Mlotek                        Base Hillel Downtown
76.  Rabbi           Ayelet S. Cohen 
77.  Rabbi           Adam Baldachin                   Rockland Clergy for Social Justice
78.  Rabbi           Jon Kelsen
79.  Rabbi           Raquel S. Kosovske             Beit Ahavah
80.  Rabbi           Howard Stecker                    Temple Israel of Great Neck
81.  Rabbi           Will Keller                              Yeshivah Chovevei Torah
82.  Ms                Anna Shpilkovskaya             United Support Network
83.  Rabbi           Linda Henry Goodman         Union Temple of Brooklyn
84.  Ms                Judy Mitzner                        Survivor and Victim Advocate
85.  Rabbi           Shira Koch Epstein              14th Street Y
86.  Rabbi           Marc Margolius                    West End Synagogue
87.  Rabbi           Ari Kahn
88.  Rabbi           Matti Futterman                    Temple Beth El, Cedarhurst
89.  Rabbi           Yosef Goldman                     Temple Beth Zion
90.  Rabbi           Daniel Brenner
91.  Rabbi           Daniel Geretz                        Maayan of West Orange
92.  Rabbi           Maya Resnikoff                     Nursingatshul.wordpress.com
93.  Rabbi           Robyn Fryer Bodzin              Israel Center of Conservative Judaism
94.  Rabbi           Uri Regev                              Hiddush
95.  Rabbi           Yehuda Kaploun             
96.  Mr                Ariel Weisz
97.  Rabbi           Ariel Russo                           Congregation Sons of Israel
98.  Rabbi           Pinchos Woolstone
99.  Mr                Naftuli Moster                        Yaffed
100. Dr               Sharon Weiss-Greenberg      Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
101. Ms              Tully Harcsztark                     SAR High School
102. Rabbi         Paul Drazen                           United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
103. Ms              Shanie Reichman
104. Ms              Victoria Jacobi                  
105. Mrs             Chaya Schneps                     Young Israel of West Hempstead
106. Rabbi          Rachel Weiss                        Congregation Bit Simchat Torah
107. Ms              Lani Santo                             Footsteps
108. Rabbi         David Gelfand                       Temple Israel of the City of New York
109. Rabbi         Guy Austrian                         Fort Tryon Jewish Center
110. Attorney     Ellliot B. Pasik                       Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
111. Rabbi         Suzanne Singer                     Temple Beth El, Riverside, CA
112. Rabbi Dr    David A. Teutsch                    Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
113. Rabbi         David Lerner                          Rabbinical Assembly
114. Rabbi (stu) Melanie Levav                       The Jewish Theological Seminary   
115. Mr               Larry Marx                            The Children's Agenda
116. Ms              Ava Katz
117. Dr               Karen Abrams Gerber
118. Rabbi         Maurice Appelbaum              Congregation Ahavas Israel - Greenpoint Shul & Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
119. Ms             Cindy Chazan
120. Rabbi         Amy Eilberg
121. Rabbi         Goldie Milgram                      Reclaiming Judaism
122. Rabbi Dr     Leslie Schotz                        Academy for Jewish Religion and Aleph
123. Ms              Rena Blatt
124. Rabbanit    Devorah Zlochower               Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
125. Ms              Dove Kent                             Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
126. Ms              Lea New Minkowitz
127. Rabbi         Moishe Feiglin                       The Aliya Institute
128. Rabbi         Jean Eglinton                         B'nei Sholom Congregation
129. Mr              Joshua Chadajo                     Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
130. Mr              Dorron Katzin                         Mi Li
131. Rabbi         Fred Hyman
132. Rabbi         Aaron Panken                        Hebrew Union College
133. Rabbi         Barry Dolinger                        Congregation Beth Sholom
134. Ms              Rivka Joseph                         Survivor and Advocate
135. Rabbi         Serena Eisenberg                  Hillel at Stanford