Jewish Community Watch Kosher? ● Op-Ed
When CHW (now JCW) first opened, I, like many others, believed that their true purpose was to protect the innocent. In light of recent events, it is in my opnion that the people who run this site are exploiting the stories of our pure children for their own agenda, namely to attack and destroy. Unrestrained, held accountable to none, they continue to abuse their power ● Op-Ed
By Deborah M.
24 Shvat 5773 (04.02.2013)
By Deborah M.

In the Gemorah (Sotah 10b and Bava Metziah 59a), it is written that it is better for a person to throw himself into a burning furnace than to cause public embarrassment to his friend. Tosfos too, takes the Gemorah very literally and rules that publicly humiliating someone is as severe as shefichas domim - killing a person.

How much more so, an innocent individual regarding whom false allegations have been made?

When CHW first opened, I, like many others, naively believed that their true purpose was to protect the innocent. In light of recent events, I have come to a shocking conclusion. The people who run this site are exploiting the stories of our pure children for their own agenda, namely to attack and destroy. Unrestrained, held accountable to none, they continue to abuse their power.

I will demonstrate with the stories of two young men from our own community. I have lived here for many years, and I know well the individuals, their families, and the actual facts surrounding their cases.

One young man was accused of molesting a small boy. CHW published this story. To further enrich this juicy piece of gossip, they then added a picture of the accused, and of course their own commentary. Following came a whole hoard of nasty, ignorant comments.

The case went to court, and was subsequently dropped. The false claims had been made entirely to spite the accused. On all legal documents, the individual's name had been cleared. Not so, CHW!
CHW did not report this information on their site. Neither did they retract the story, picture or comments they had published. They most certainly did not issue an apology for the utter destruction of an innocent individual and his family. This bochur has gone completely off the derech, and is currently on suicide-watch.

Thank you, CHW!

Here is another story, tragically similar. A young man has been falsely accused of the most horrific atrocities. The parents of the girl claiming to have been attacked, called in the local anti-semitic newspaper, to write up an article. The piece they produced painted a terrible picture of the accused. They embellished the fabricated story by suggesting a plea-bargain the accused might make. This was all of course to further confuse the uninitiated into believing that the accusations were based on fact. The entire purpose of this whole charade was to extort money out of the accused, and eventually, when that didn't work, to destroy him.

Worst of all, is the terrible Chillul Hashem, the desecration of G-d's Holy Name, made by (supposedly) frum yidden.

Predictably, CHW jumped on the band-wagon, immediately put up a link to this story on their web-site, and added a photo of the accused. Many involved, highly-respected individuals, well-aware that these allegations were false, contacted CHW and requested that the story be removed. CHW refused, and in fact did not publish any comments that challenged the many nonsensical details, or that refuted the story.

CHW has now destroyed the lives of another innocent individual and his family.

To those running CHW, I ask:

How will you reverse the damage you have done? You can not. For it is impossible. It is impossible to reach each and every individual who has heard these horrific lies, and retract what you have done. But when you stand before the Beis Din Shel Ma'ala, you will have to answer to Hashem.

And as for us, mere mortals, down here:

Who will be the next victim? What if your student or neighbor decides to spite you? What if the kid next door gets mad at you and goes to CHW with a bogus story that you molested him? What if tomorrow it's YOUR name on their web-site? YOUR face? What measures will you take to prevent this?

Disclaimer: This Op-Ed reflects only the opinion of it's author, and does not nescessarily represent the views of the Chabad.info editorial board. The Crown Heights Beis Din has clearly stipulated that in any case of evident abuse - the abuser must be reported to the authorities, and the laws of Mesirah do not apply.
  tags:  Op-ed




1. it's Kosher they do Shechita, Lubavitch Style
cynic




2. They have to get
therapist

a board of impartial people whol will weight the decision. otherwise they have to close.


3. need a fixer


I wanted to put in a comment by the please answer the phone article but the page is all messed up and doesn't allow me to do that.


4. Didn't the rabbonim approve it?
Yisroel s

CHBD gave a letter about it?


5. AGENDA
sum guy

Their agenda is simple; Destroy meshiachistim. Why??? Because they present a big problem for the krinskys and kotlarskys of the world to R"L take over lubavitch and become undisputed kings.

Moshiachistim are a problem because they DO NOT ACCEPT their rule, and even worse, because they believe the Rebbe MH"M is chai v'kaiyom - this is a huge problem for them!


6. #5 whats is wrong with you? Whats the connection?
Conspirator




7. ?
YYH

I don't agree with this OP-ED by not posting your real name your doing exactly what you accuse CHW of doing. Chabad.info great job with the notice at the bottom, that show's your not willing to make the mistakes other media outlets have made....


8. questionable backing
CH Mom

The original idea of the site to expose REAL and CURRENT criminals is great. When there is no accountability, there is no telling what can happen. I myself have tried to contact the website to get information, criteria, etc. but they do not respond. Exposing names of guilty people is utmost importance, but not to spite the past, and satisfy a vendetta


9. agree with 5
yosy

I agree with #5 - if you see the site it's only moshchist they go after.

no anti's no members of 5 families.

if you are gonna dig up shmutz then go after all the shmutz not just those who say yechi.

p.s. saying yechi is not a license to abuse. but neither is a last name like friedman, hecht, raskin, chadakov, rivkin.....


10. verify

make one call nor send ONE email to anyone to verify this oped...


This oped is false and written by a child predator it is on your shoulders (do you even have) to give this predator any type of publicity.








11. Deborah M.'s Op-Ed
Sarah

That web site is totally the opposite of Jewish halacha. Where is their evidence? Where are their witnesses? It is a nasty, vindictive web site and it's a relief to hear someone with the courage to confront it - finally! Thank you, Deborah M.!


12. I also tried to get him to take something off
agrees with op-ed

He put up an article about a man who went to jail for child molestation and would be there for a very long time. I sent him an email that this article might cause shame to his innocent family and would do nothing to prevent future molestation, unless molesters frequent his site and realize that jail is possible. If a person is found to be innocent, they should ask the beis din for permission to sue CHW in court. The question remains though, as to whether CHW is actually instrumental in keeping criminals away from children or if it is simply someone taking it upon himself to punish those criminals with public humiliation, hurting the innocent in the process.


13. Op-Ed on target
Mahtis

Agree. Bravo, Deborah M!

Something is very wrong with that site. If all they wanted to do was to protect children, why all the details (which may not be true) of each case? Why not simply state who is under suspicion? And why the nasty Hall of Shame stuff, etc?



The beis din of crown hts should take another look. We all want to protect children, but destroying lives -- especially innocent ones -- is not the cure.


14. Miserable reporting
JCW Supporter

I understand if the author of this piece doesnt want to publish thier name, but what about the "innocently accused"??? Their names are already on the website, why not reveal who youre talking about?



JCW has a board!!! Made up of professionals who evaluate the evidence.



JCW does NOT reveal victims to you to be revictimized. Every person posted on the website has had thier stories confirmed multiple times.



This is a disgraceful editorial, probably posted by someone who is a predator or a relative of a predator.


15.
I SUPPORT THEM

I BET THIS IS ALL FALSE THE WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE HAS NO PROOF TO BACK IT UP



ANYONE WHO BELIEVES A WORD SHE SAYS IS JUST STUPID.



BUT THEN AGAIN YOU ALL BELIEVE ANYTHING WRITTEN BY SOMEONE ANONYMOUS


16. I know many people who trusted CHW when it first came out


But due to similar signs of their having an 'agenda' (not posting comments differing with their position, posting one sided inflammatory articles, being told by an affiliate of the site "guilty until proven innocent" etc) and not being fair or even handed, quick to assassinate characters, but if theyr found innocent the attitude is 'pity, an abuser walked free'. I and others no longer trust this site. A very great pity as they are damaging the very (useful) cause they avow to espouse, due to their eroding peoples trust. All those pictures of the founder receiving awards didnt help the perception of impartiality...


17. dissapointed
chaya sara

im dissapointed that you, "devora" don't reveal your name and specific facts with backups. as far as i myself have researched, jcw is run by an honest guy who is doing a fabulous job. way better than the police. He does hundreds of hours of research before putting on a name on community watch. i can't imagine a completely innocent person getting put up on his website. i wish to Heaven we didn't have to have a community watch at all. i wish there was no such thing as people/animals who harm children. i wish we had a police to turn to that would actually do something proper instead of the beaurocracy and protocol they abide by. (not to mention allowing the animals out of jail on bail!!!!!) i wish we had Moshiach and a proper judicial system and truth we could trust. in the meantime, predators, watch out, you are in serious trouble.


18.
Righty

Its strange for the site to have only people from the 'Right' and not one from the 'Left'.



Be impartial.


19. Devorah is right


There was a story posted last year about someone who I worked very closely with and knew first hand details about everything. The details JCW put up were wrong.

Myself and others involved tried posting comments on their story and THEY WOULD NOT POST any of it. None of the innocence of the person. not even that the case was being dropped.



To me it is very simple. Whoever made this website is acting like a victim of abuse and using personal anger to get back at those molesters. Though this is definitely needed on some level, it does not have a healthy balance.

The humiliation of the innocent is just wrong.


20. finally someone opens their mouth !!!!


im with u all the way


21. reponse to OP-ED
schneur

The most terrible thing about this article is the harm it does to other victims of abuse out there who are still silent. As a survivor of abuse in crown heights I know that a child will never make up such a thing. It is a pain we have to live with our whole life. No one can understand that feeling and I wish more people would realize this. A child has no motive for opening up. Its something so embarrasing especially something you reveal when you get older. There are so many more abusers out there that I am sure JCW doesnt post because they don't just put up names. I wish JCW put up all "alleged" molestors. Our torah says the sanctify of life supersedes everything and victims of child abuse have to live with the pain through their lives which is hardeest because "you have to live through it" every single day. More support from the community would only help. For the record just because you know somebody (an alleged molestor) doesnt make them innocent. We all have an evil inclination and thats just the reality. It pains me to see the comments quoting halacha about embarrasment when the alleged molestors commited a sin! You shouldnt forget the inncoent children out there still suffering. The biggest kidush hashem is to stand up to this evil and not to cover it up and attack the one originzation that stands up for the principles of life and truth. Isnt that what the torah is all about?


22. to # 14


My gut feeling is that everything you wrote is 100% true. I do not believe that anyone would get involved in such a project if it wasn't saving real lives. I was thinking the same point: Why will she not announce whom she believes is "innocent"?


23. Former JCW fan
FORMER JCW fan

As an impartial community member who happened to hear of one of the names that went on the JCW website, I can tell you that I supported and helped them in their attacks on this person, only to find out slowly but surely that all the proof was nothing more than a smoke screen of rumor, and even worse as the op ed writer conveyed it seems that the organizers of the site are very open about having personal hatred for some of the people they post. How can we trust such hot headed spiteful people with such a position of power in our community to make and break? True predators must in my humble opinion be exposed and prosecuted, but to condemn based on heresay and personal grudges is criminal as well.



I felt terribly embarrased as I possibly contributed to disgracing an innocent person based only on heresay. I am posting this comment since I find it encouraging that the oppinions expressed here could possibly lead to either of two positive outcomes. a) JCW becomes more transparent so the community can trust them as an impartial tool to keep our children safe. b) They are discredited in the communities eyes and thus become irrelevant. One or the other must happen, as the status quo is simply intollerable!


24. They will pay lemaala
CHer

It's irrelevant if all those they name are indeed guilty. That's what justice systems are for. Let's assume every last one of the people they list are indeed guilty.



Don't they have families? Every innocent person needs dignity. When an individual family has a rotten apple, it doesn't mean the entire family is poison and they deserve to maintain their dignity as much as possible. JCW ensures that the entire family should pay the price. They have a link to their list of predators that they call "wall of shame". There is a lot in a name and the fact that they named it wall of shame proves that their agenda is a vindictive one and nothing to do with alerting parents who to be beware of.



They once put up a letter attacking the mother of a person on that list for begging them to spare her family the shame. I wrote a comment on that site slamming the website for having no heart to this mother. After all nobody alleges that his mother is a predator. They didn't even post my comment despite it being 100% diplomatic (strong yet diplomatic). They have no credibility as an impartial organization. They are 100% vindictive and demonstrate no inkling of a team on the quest for truth.


25.
Question for chabad info

Have your editors reviewed this? or you just posted an anonymous email you received?



Do you even know the sender?



You tried to put at the end your footnote stating you don't agree with the Author but at the end of the day people believe what they read and and now will think this is true and there is nothing to back it up.



And you are being part of discrediting the beis dins letter and crown heights watch.



I wonder if you will even bother responding to this question.




26. TO #23
Bewildered

I CAN PROVE FOR A FACT THAT YOU ARE LYING REGARDING YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH JCW. What you just wrote is an absolute lie, no question about it. Every person who has close involvement with JCW is still in the fold and still supporting JCW.



Sorry, bub, but as an insider, I know for a fact that youre lying.


27. can sue?


if CHW puts up stories that are not true, the victims whose names are slandered can sue them. They can go to court and sue. A site like that cannot continue to put up false information if they are challenged legally.


28. Hi Admin!
MK

>>#26



Hi Admin, great to have you with us.


29. Started to read... BS"D
Boruch N. Hoffinger

the article, then stopped.

Who is 'Deborah M.'?

Not interested...this is a 'pashkvil' something 'The Rebbe' MH"M' hated. This is true even if the writer is sincere and the facts are true...I believe.

You can correct me if you want.

bhoffinger@aol.com


30. This article looks like a
Boruch N. Hoffinger

'pashkvil'

"Am I wrong?

Correct me.

bhoffinger@aol.com




31. whether mesirah applies......
important to be totally clear

you state that the C.H. Beis Din stipulates.... it is common sense - if one is harming another the perpetrator must be reported to authorities so that he / she will be stopped. It is also common sense - Halachicly forbidden to embarrass someone. There is absolutely no purpose in going to the media thus causing embarrassment to the "perpetrator's"

family and also to the victim (not to mention the terrible chillu Hashem. Nisht alles daf men dertzeillin di velt. The "rag" site has no concern for the victims because they have made a mockery of the issue. They have their own agenda. They actually believe they made it!?! - Don't they know that standing tall on another's corpse is not the way to become a somebody?? - After a while both the corpse and the gossiper start stinking.

They cashed into the current PC climate - but as history has proven the pendulum will soon swing the other way. There have been too many false accusations and although the families of "these poor victims" suffered immeasurable and irreparable damage - the public will soon see the truth. The pity is that the true perpetrators have become more clever at hiding because everything was made public they have learned what not to do. The true victims are no longer taken seriously because as per these "rag" sites "everyone" is a victim, so what's the big deal?!?!?!



They cheapened the importance of their plight.



In short the Rag Site is a terrible crime.

Those behind it are actually druggies, people with criminal history. One is living with a shikse - etc. etc.

(this is factual information!!)



Remember the gemora teaches - kal haposel b'mumah posel!



To all those who were so quick to believe if you have not yet done tshuva I suggest you do - because tomorrow is another day and you never know when the ball bounces in your back yard.



I have heard several horror tales of "entrappment" by the authors of the "rag site". There is not enough room here to report it all nor do I have the desire to get shlepped into this shmutz.

Anyone can be "trapped" into saying something that can be misconstrued.



Let's hear good news from Klal Yisroel and let's use our time for constructive inyanim so that we can be zoyche to see Moshiach!!!



All this is the klipa distracting us from our true goal!!!!!!




32. to number 30


you are part of the web site - you have aided and abetted -

How dare you call it a pashkvill?

again we are back to the gemora

Kol Haposel bemuma posel!!!


33. the rag site authors
wow

seems to me that several of the posts are coming from them.. Can't take a little criticism?

if you are so emesdik why do you care what is being said.. you should be busy with the emes and ignore the "supposed sheker"

but you know your house is starting to crumble and you are not liking it cause you actually believe you are running the world.





34. the thug
who is writing the web site?

The person who runs that web site has had two people die in his arms. That thug is a menace - be careful not to cross him yourself!


35. they are afraid of "frivolous" lawsuits
Charlie

They print a small disclaimer on their site and their faqs state that the disclaimer is to prevent "frivolous" lawsuits. To a person trying to avoid slander and libel, it is not frivolous. They have a right to clear their name. The site claims that even a reformed abuser who has done teshuva could someday snap and molest again, therefore, it is in the public interest to remind everyone of the person's history of molestation as long as the molester lives. This is even true if the molester was a teenager when he harmed a child. They claim that they have rabbonim on the staff but these rabbonim are afraid of retribution so they prefer to be hidden. This basically means that if a molester is convicted by the court of Jewish Community Watch, there is no one to appeal to and the punishment is life on their website. They want all of us to donate money to keep them in power. I think that there are some sites that have been set up in opposition to them but they are not effective in limiting the ability of this site to ruin the lives of the family of the accused. The logic of this site is that the victims entire family suffers so the entire family of the abuser should as well. While I would not be opposed to such a site if the rabbinic board was visible, and an accused person could get a fair "hearing", this is not the case with JCW. I wonder if JCW has actually prevented any molestation or simply made victims feel like they can now take revenge. I am not putting down the victims and their feelings and as sad and upsetting as their plight is, I would not donate to a site that has these policies. I can't help to hope that a "frivolous" lawsuit comes their way because they have too much control.


36. too funny
annonymous

What I like most about the people who are railing about annyonymous writers is that they themselves don't DARE give their own names. It's laughable!


37. to Schneur #21
Charlie

Schneur, while for the most part I agree that if a child comes forward we should take him seriously 100% there are a few scenarios where a person could be falsely accused. One is when a child is coerced to lie in a custody dispute and the other is when signs of abuse are found on a child who is too young to talk and suspicions are made that could be false.


38.
Blood Libel Hater

Yesher koach, Devorah M. for speaking the truth, as it is.

Regarding all of you here who have disputed this, we shall see what your opinion on the matter will be if you one day C"V get falsely accused of this crime.


39. reform the JCW site
concerned for kids

There are things that the site could do that would help prevent the molestation of children. One is to be a resource for schools so that those rebbeim who have been known to molest children are not sent to unsuspecting schools. This info could be made password sensitive and not released to the general public. Another helpful idea would be to rate schools as to how well they deal with the molestation issue so that parents can see before enrolling their children. There are individuals, such as in the pedophile ring that terrorized the children in an Israeli suburb, that are on the loose and dangerous and the public should be made aware of them. These men are on the lam because the young victims were coerced into testifying and this contaminated the testimony. If there is a Shabbos guest making the rounds that harms children, by all means, inform the public. The committee who decides though, should be people who are known to the public and who keep info password sensitive so that those who need to know can access the info and keep out those who view the site for entertainment and shock value. The site can also serve to educate parents as to how to keep their children safe and resources for family therapy and law enforcement.

We also must remember that although the high profile cases often occur in schools, many cases of molestation, perhaps the majority, occur at home and are never reported. We must also realize that the special needs population are particularly vulnerable and the site would do well to address that issue rather than to compile a hall of shame.


40. In one sentence
Former Supporter

The site needs adult supervision.


41.
SO MANY FORMER SUPPORTERS

So many former supports I love it!!



SUCH A JOKE THIS LOL


42. I am the author
Deborah M.

Dear All,


I am the author of the above article. Thank You Chabad.info for posting my piece. To all those concerned, I did use my real, full name (and email address) but apparently, the editor chose not to use it. Although I am unsure what relevance my name has to the importance of the subject matter. In addition, most commenters don't use their names...a little hypocracy perhaps?


I am an older, frum woman who has lived in this community for many years. There is nothing more important to me than protecting my -and ALL- children. Which is why I applauded the P'sak of our Rabbonim and, initially, the efforts of CHW.


I'd like to bring to light a few details regarding the married man who has been falsely accused the second story that I cite above. MS, who runs CHW recently admitted that he believes the supposed victim's story because he sent one of his own guys, S.A, to interview her. The (young, married) man he 'sent' just so happens to be a good friend of hers. So CHW have simply chosen to believe her (the supposed victim) over him (the accused).


The judge presiding over this case wanted to throw it out of court because strangely, the girl does not have a shred of evidence to support her case. A case that she claims spanned a few years. The girl's father, who has manipulated the entire story has been heard telling members of his community that they "only did this for the money, and did not believe that it would really go as far as court." In addition, the girl has attempted to accuse two different married men of the identical crimes, one in CH, and one in S.A. And yes, she came close to destroying two happy, healthy marriages. B"H she was stopped before her cruel, dirty lies went further. Tragically, in this case, the 'accused' was ill-advised by his well-meaning Rabbi not to go to the authorities over her false accusations supposedly for the sake of Sholom.


This case is still in court. The girl's story is a web of fabricated lies. So obviously, the man has not been found guilty.


How then, does CHW have the right to publicisize this story? All they have accomplished is the destruction of an innocent, fellow Jew. A man who is a Chossid, Yorei Shomaim and Lamdan, a big Ba'al Tzedoka, and the father of a beautiful Chabad, Chassidishe family.



43. EMES!!!
Chaya Levin

The main point all of your commenters appear to have missed:

CHW is putting up names and pictures of people who have not been found guilty! If someone has been PROVEN to be a molester, then yes, we have a P'sak from our Rabbonim that he is a rodef.

But what of those who are falsely accused? It is regarding these innocent individuals that the author writes.


44.
Seewald

I run the Website







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