Sunday, April 15, 2012
HUNDREDS GATHER TO CELEBRATE A PRE- PASSOVER FREEDOM SEDER FOR ADVOCATES AND SURVIVORS OF SEX ABUSE
BY RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM
Voice Of Justice Model Seder: Event With A Message
On Thursday evening, March 29 a model Seder was held at B’nai Israel of Linden Heights in Boro Park. The special event was conducted by the Voice of Justice, directed by Mark Meyer Appel. The organization gives moral, psychological, financial and safety support to victims of child abuse. Attendees at the event included victims, advocates, and supporters.
The camaraderie and singing reached emotional heights and the participants, swaying with the music, rose from their seats and joined in communal dancing. Young men, some in modern garb and others inchassidishe attire, rhythmically ran back and forth. A feeling of freedom and security permeated, as though massive burdens were lifted off the shoulders of a newly freed people.
Just a few years ago, reports of child abuse were routinely covered up. No one wanted to even think about it, much less discuss or report it. If the authorities investigated or arrested someone from our community for child abuse, the authorities were condemned for, in effect, embarrassing the entire community.
Today, we are light years beyond that Neanderthal way of thinking. Today, there are shouts condemning the authorities for not doing enough to keep molesters off the streets and our children safe. Books are published for children, on their level of understanding, concerning what to watch out for and how to act in threatening circumstances at home or outside. Today, our leading organizations have child safety on their agendas. Meetings on how our institutions must protect children are held behind both closed and open doors and fully reported. Of course, more has to be done. One case of abuse is one case too much.
The Voice of Justice Model Seder was another step in the effort to combat child abuse. It followed last year’s Seder, as well as numerous conferences held throughout the five boroughs of New York City and in cities with observant communities across the United States.
The list of names of those who have given of themselves in this successful battle is too long for this space. The names will be published and honored in future columns. As the battle continues, we must focus on winning the war, something that is within our grasp. That day, we all pray, will be very soon.
FOR INFORMATION AND SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
CALL THE VOICE OF JUSTICE AT 1 800 621 8551