Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities

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McFarland, Jul 15, 2014 - Social Science - 296 pages
This book—the first of its kind—analyzes how and why cases of child sexual abuse have been systematically concealed in Orthodox Jewish communities. The book examines many such cover-ups in detail, showing how denial, backlash against victims, and the manipulation of the secular justice system have placed Orthodox Jewish community leaders in the position of defending or even enabling child abusers. The book also examines the generally disappointing treatment of this issue in popular media, while dissecting the institutions that contribute to the cover-ups, including two—rabbinic courts and local Orthodox “patrols”—that are more or less unique to Orthodox Jewish communities. Finally, the book explores the cultural factors that have contributed to this tragedy, and concludes with hopes and proposals for future reform.

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User Review  - kristincedar - LibraryThing

I do love that this book opens up a dialog into what is ignored and shunned away discussion. However, there is a lot of material to digest, and the chapters do flow from one to another, without pause ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fredgold - LibraryThing

This is an interesting and informative book about a troubling subject only now coming to light since the publicity surrounding the problems in the Catholic church have come to light. I dare say that ... Read full review


Foreword by Dane S Claussen
Coverage and CoverUps
Who Guards the Guardians?
The Culture of Denial
Chapter Notes
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2014)

Michael Lesher, a writer and a lawyer, has published a number of articles about child abuse and is co-author of a book on the American family court system’s poor record of protecting children. An Orthodox Jew, he has also published short fiction and poetry and lives in Passaic, New Jersey.

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