|(L to R: Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, Rabbi Yanky Horowitz, Mark Meyer Appel, Zvi Gluck, Dr.Asher Lipner)|
The courtrooms of Judge Dimango and Judge Cyrulnik were packed with supporters and advocates in a voice of unity as we watched and heard the charges of the crimes of the defendants being read by the clerk.
The tension in the packed courtroom was evident to all of as we sat in silence and prayed that justice will prevail and for the healing process to begin for the victims and their families. Many in the courtrooms openly wept and cried out loud for justice to prevail.
Looking around the room were advocates and friends who came from various communities and groups with different ideologies but were here as one voice declaring that enough is enough and we as a people will no longer sit in silence a our children are being abused in our own backyards.
The volunteers from Yeshiva University, Dr. Asher Lipner, Mark Meyer Appel, Mrs. Pearl Engelman,Mr. Zvi Gluck, Ms. Beth Kaplan, Mark Weiss, Pinny Taub, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz of Project YES- Agudas Israel, Haim Dweck representing the Syrian Jewish community as well as representatives of various social justice groups from other diverse ethnic groups that sat together with prayers and unity to support the call for justice.
It is our hope and prayer that this united and strong showing in court will mark a a new turning point in our community’s reaction to abuse survivors and provide a new approach in providing comfort to survivors who were abused in their childhood — who lacked the support structure that current and future survivors will hopefully have. Throughout much of our struggle victims were often ignored and looked at with shame and suspicion in a cultural phenomenon that has greatly contributed to the under reporting of child abusers in our community.
It is our hope and prayer, though, that all members of our newly united community will develop the comfort level in this justice system to view the authorities who police and prosecute pedophiles to be our allies in our sacred obligation to keep our children safe and secure.
A special thanks to Sara Porter and Yerachniel Lopin for all the information provided on how to show your support to the victims at www.SupportTheSurvivors.org