Lakewood: Senior Posek & Pediatrician Partner To Warn Parents About Sexual Abuse In Camp


In what appears to be a first, the senior Posek and senior Pediatrician of Lakewood have partnered together to warn parents about the dangers of sexual abuse for children in  summer camp.

Signs have been hung in Shuls around Lakewood with the phone number of a hotline, urging parents to call and listen to an important Shiur about summer camps, and protecting children.

HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Forscheimer, senior Posek at Lakewood’s Beis Medrash Govoah, addresses the obligation that a parent has to speak with their children before camp.

Rabbi Pesach Krohn addresses the importance of having open communication with your children.

Dr. Reuven Shanik, the leading Pediatrician in Lakewood, is one of the speakers as well as Dr. Hylton Lightman, the leading Pediatrician for the Five Towns and Far Rockaway, and Mrs. Debbie Fox, an LCSW and founder of Magen Yeladim International.

To listen to these important messages, call 641-715-3800 and enter code 424536#.

This is the second time that the Lakewood community has publicly addressed the dangers of sexual abuse and protecting children.

The first event was organized two years ago by Amudim, and was attended by well over 1000 people, including noted askanim, roshei kehillah, the poskim of Beis Medrash Govoha and with the hishtatfus and brocha of the roshei yeshiva, and ‎roshei mosdos.

It is clear that thanks to the Amudim event, this topic is now being dealt with head on, as opposed to the way it was addressed for decades. The awareness that the Amudim event generated went a long way in providing the necessary information and resources to prevent these problems from occurring, and if Chas V’shalom they do, how to properly deal with it al pi Da’as Torah.

(Yossi Taub – YWN)


  1. It should be noted that not all Gedolim current and past agree with this approach which is essentially a form of S– ED. There is a very real question as to whether it is a good idea to expose young children to these things. One might argue that the agenda of introducing this material to young children is in itself a creation of the very forces in our society that are attempting to promote anti Torah lifestyles. One might also argue that the onus of prevention should be placed squarely on the management of the camps and not on the children.

  2. YWN should delete one word from the Headline ,and it still will convey the same message
    There are pre-teens reading this site

  3. It is really a shame when the frum world has to worry about things like this.

    I remember back fifty years ago when there were very few frum people and they were messiras nefesh to keep shabbos and yom tov (since not working on shabbos was cause to be fired) and to buy the expensive kosher food.

    But with today’s affluence and seeing too much of how the goyim live, it seems that there are now many low lifes in the frum world and that unfortunately includes not just baal habatim, but sadly, rabbonim.

  4. It is Time for Truth, you’re right.

    East12th, children can be taught to protect themselves from unwanted touch without anything that can be imagined to be “S- ED”.
    Of course, the camp’s foremost responsibility is to protect the children in their care, but we don’t want to get in to the blame game. The objective here is to prevent the catastrophe from happening. As a parent and as a Rebbe, I want my children and Talmidim to know what they can do to keep themselves safe.

    I don’t know of any Rabonim, let alone Gedolim, who have taken a stand against this kind of presentation. I do know that mine is one of many schools that hold “Safety Classes” for our students every year.
    Presumably, Rav Forscheimer and the many Menahalim and Nesi’ei HaYeshivos [which include many leading Rabonim, and even some Gedolim] who authorize these classes are aware of what is על פי דרך התורה.

  5. @East12th – Most major gedolim today are in favor of education. Education is not S– Ed, and positioning it as such is both sheker and dangerous. Education is teaching kids that some places are private – such as where a bathing suit covers. The only people who are allowed to see or touch that area are your doctor and your parents. Some people have sicknesses and are embarrassed about it, so they try to do bad things and then ask kids to keep secrets. If anyone ever tries something like this, you tell them you will tell your parents and the head counselor. This should be given over the in context of overall safety, not as an educational course of molestation.

    Statistically, a child who protests will almost always be left alone. A child who doesn’t know to protest, can be scarred for life.

    I have a friend and a family member who went through incredible pain because nobody taught them. Don’t make this mistake.

    If you want more guidance, call Amudim or buy Rabbi Horowitz’s book. It’s a great way to train kids without scaring or scarring them.

  6. “There are pre-teens reading this site”

    That’s part of the abuse we’re talking about. giving pre-teens access to sites like YWN

  7. Kudos, respect and admiration to all those involved in this project and to promoting awareness that can save years of misery. Thank you to the amazing people at YWN for publishing this. The mere suggestion that YWN should not publish this or should edit it is itself an act of promoting abuse.

  8. How about various Jewish leaders warn about the dangers of sexual abuse of Jewish children in Jewish homes.

    Child sexual abuse is a plague that has afflicted various tribes since Noah was a boy.

  9. It is time for truth
    wake up and smell the coffee. taking that one word out of the headline wont change anything. the facts are we living in 2018 and we need to learn how to deal with it, and if i may say we need to learn fast, because we are losing neshomas daily!! stop trying to hide the issue. educate your children to deal with it. the seforim speak about this openly and we need to as well. yes the right exposure at the right age but dont hide anymore, those days (maybe sadly) are gone forever.

  10. Both East12th and It is Time for Truth are just burying their heads in the sand. The abuse in camp is interaction of a nature that is an abomination and always forbidden by the Torah. And as for It is Time for Truth, HaGaon HaRav Forscheimer Shlita says that there is an obligation to discuss these issues with pre-teens, and you are worried about a word on a website no pre-teen should anyway be looking at.

  11. From these two comments alone it worries me that we stil have a long way to go. “Don’t say the words! Don’t talk about it!” All of this makes it a shameful subject that only promotes a society of the abused to keep secrets and the abuser knowing he/she will be safe to commit said abuse. Wake up.

  12. MOST PARENTS do talk to their kids and the daas torah approved message is in short ; the bathing suit area is tzniusdig and private and nobody except a doctor has any business looking …..if yes chas veshalom its touch go tell

  13. I am sure that somewhere in the site rules YWN reserves the right to edit comments as happened with mine above responding to East 12th and It is Time for Truth. I have no problem with the way the comment was changed although even on reflection I think it could have been left as was. However I think in fairness to your contributors and readers, YWN should add a note where comments are edited and not posted exactly as written.

  14. EXTREMELY GOOD JOB. I am an LCSW and see countless clients from all different backgrounds and i can testify from experience that Rav Forchheimer, Dr Shanik, Dr Hylton and Mrs Fox LCSW and Rav Krohn are very very correct. If we speak to our children before camp, there will be no need to speak to them after something happens R”L, because we can prevent it. If we do not educate our chilldren about personal safety, they are clueless and are open vulnerable targets for anyone who wishes to harm them.
    I also have a few clients who unfortunately used drugs and some even overdosed and sadly some even are no longer with us because they were so shattered and broken inside and out from abuse. Our children are crying can we listen to them? Thank you to all the Rabbanim and thanks to YWN for posting this.
    by the way ASAPCare has an online program for camps endorsed by leading Rabbis and professionals, its free and available online – ( I strongly recommend everyone to CALL or Forward this article to YOUR CAMP DIRECTOR NOW and ask what they are doing to promote camp safety.
    Writing with tears and with joy that we can do something to help our precious yiddeshe neshamos

  15. Hi I have seven kids in sleepaway camp and this PROACTIVE approach of speaking to your children before camp is mandatory for ALL CAMPS. I ask everyone to reach out to your camp supervisor or director and just FORWARD this article with the hotline. I hate to say this , but usually the most refined and soft spoken good children are targeted. As a school social worker, I have seen good diamonds literal jewels who have become ‘kids at risk’ because they were abused, not specifically at camp but at school shul at home sometimes by close family members like older brothers or teachers. Magen Yeladim comes to our camp every year and i say to all that you MUST have them or a different professional group educate your counselors and campers. In Lakewood my son is in school and Magen Yeladim came to over 25 schools recently and there material is available in yiddish they also came to Williamsburg and to many US communities. KUDOS to YWN and please listen to this message take it to heart and ACT forward this to your camps and to fellow parents now. DO SOMETHING.



  17. Many camps now are making parents sign that they will not sue them if something bad happens to thier kids ,making it pretty much open season for its more important now then ever to teach and educate your kids before not after the fact.

  18. Well it looks like my previous response post was censored. So I will try again with different wording. WIth all due respect to those advocating prevention by imposing the burden of protection on the parents.I strongly disagree. I believe this drive of introducing these topics to young children is both psychologically harmful and against the Torah and our Mesorah. The for profit camps as well as the “non profit” camps and schools, should have the burden of having adequate management systems in place to prevent abuse and assure the safety of their charges. If they fail they should be held fully accountable according to the law and this will be the best deterrent to this problem. In my opinion, those frum, well meaning people, in the mental health,and general public health industry that are pushing these education programs and the Hashkafa of parental obligation to engage in “the talk” have fallen for the zeitgeist of the times. In effect what is being said is if a child suffers abuse in camp it is because the parent failed to have the right kind of talk with the child – blame the victim and not the perpetrator or the people responsible for protecting the child in their custody. This Hashkafa of educating young children about topics that were not previously spoken about in this manner in past generations, is a new approach that is being pushed as part of a larger agenda that has existed for many years in the public school system. It has now crept in through the back door of our community under the guise of “prevention”. I specifically heard from a publicly and widely recognized Gadol in America in reference to a certain curriculum advocating education about these matters, that he believed this approach was wrong and that in general introducing such matters to young children was harmful to them. Each parent should have the right to educate their children as they see fit. The problem I have is the that when YWN puts out an article with a one sided view and promotes it as though everyone agrees, by using language such as “countless’ authorities or “THE” leading doctor from such and such a city and so on, it misleads the public and really is a form of propaganda that is designed to push an agenda rather than solve a problem.

  19. @East12th – Let everyone be warned. This is the same rasha who advocates for alternative medicine, and refuses to give children any vaccines. He has commented many times on YWN. This is the same Rodef who endangers the lives of our children in classrooms by not vaccinating children, and now wants to further endanger our children by not talking to them about what it means that some CREEP (such as East12th) can touch them inappropriately. .

    You are a liar and can not mention the name of ONE Gadol who agrees with your demented opinion.
    And even if there is one (but there isn’t), just wait until his grandchild is molested and you will see how fast he changes his opinion.

    Kudos to the REAL Gedolim who put their names to what they say, and not have some “East12th” fakenews troll posting utter lies.

    I need not look past the GEDOLIM who run Torah Umesorah – who have come out in public and encouraged every person to talk to their children, and who have signed off on literature that every single camp is now using to EDUCATE their staff with. These Gedolim are: Harav David Feinstein, HaRav Shmuel Kamintzky, Harav Elya Brudny, HaRav Hillel David, and many many many others.

    You are a very sick man, please seek help.

  20. How Ironic!! I listened to every clip in its entirety. 4 of the 5 speakers on this hotline used words like “inappropriate behavior”, “inappropriate touch”, “uncomfortable touching”, “keeping kids safe”, “personal safety”, etc.
    But after listening to each entire audio clip, only 1 used the words “children should be aware of not being molested”, and that was Rabbi Forcheimer Shlita.
    So for anyone who questions the halachic or hashkafic appropriateness, or validity in speaking about this topic, or what words to use, should see that a leading posek saw it absolutely imperative, and appropriate to say it explicitly. No dancing around the topic.

  21. Lets be clear about who the real “Rodfim” are. They are the molesters. By extension the institutional enablers of the molesters who stand in the way of allowing the full use of the justice system to deal with this problem are helpers of Rodfim which may or may not make them “Rodfim” as well. Putting the blame for children being victimized on the parents is in my opinion the real “Rishus”. It is an attempt at creating a smoke screen to protect the camps and schools and push the responsibility of being a victim onto the victim and their parents. The camps and the schools have to be accountable financially,criminally, and socially, and that will create the ultimate deterrence. Actually the Gadol who I heard this from lost a grandchild to a drug overdose so we could assume that the grandchild was a victim of abuse and still this Gadol maintained that we ought not to be introducing this materiel to young children. Out of deference and respect to the family I am not naming them. If you want to bring vaccines into the picture I would suggest that the same societal forces that are pushing mandatory/compulsory vaccination for adults and children are the same forces pushing the s– education agenda. At the heart of both agendas is the notion that the medical establishment and the government, knows what is best for you and your children and if you dare question them and the fake medical and social science they promote, you will be subjected to the vitriol that the above commenter has heaped on me. I would also suggest that doctors who promote the scientifically falsified policy of expulsion of unvaccinated, healthy, children from school and camp under the false pretense that they are bio hazards, are likely not too far off from being in the category of spiritual Rodfim as well. By the way the insult which you denigrated me with “Tipish” actually tells me a lot about your backround and which yeshiva you likely learned in. Let us just say that certain Gedolim of our generation would never have called anyone else a name like that, as it would have been considered to not be clean language also known as Lishna Nekiah .

  22. Wow! People have so much to say, I guess I will add my two cents if I may.
    It is so sad that the frum community reached this level, a sad reality that was unheard of when we were growing up.
    Yes it is very helpful, important and much needed to talk to our kids about reality out there and what could happen to them, but I do agree somewhat with “east12th” guy (I don’t know who he is nor the other Tipish who replied to him), I think the focus shouldn’t be on the parents and the kids but the schools and camps and people who are running them, they need to be given the “speech” about “vehaya MACHANECHA kadosh” “uviarta harah mikirbecha”! Parents should strongly inquire about the camps they send their kids to, instead of having to expose their young kids to restricted topics that aren’t for their age. I might be wrong because I don’t really know what’s going out out there, (B”H I don’t send my kids to any camps not sleep away and not even day camps). perhaps this cancerous machla has hit everywhere, and no choice but to talk to our kids, so sad
    I do have an sincere question though about this awareness and I wish if someone can explain it to me, with all due respect to our Gedolim Rabbonim Mechanchim etc etc Shlitas, I don’t begin to understand how they expect from EVERY parent to talk to ALL their kids, different ages and levels boys and girls about this topic of being touched inappropriately. I personally don’t know how to do it or where to begin, it’s something we don’t talk about, it’s not like talking to your child about wearing a helmet when they ride a bike, it’s really complicated and you have to know what to say and how to say it on the level of the child, what you tell a six yrs old is not the same as what you tell a ten yr old. A better guidance about how to talk to the kids would be very helpful and appreciated.

  23. I agree with “Tipish”.

    I will stick with the Geodlim like Harav David Feinstein, HaRav Shmuel Kamintzky, Harav Elya Brudny, HaRav Hillel David that he mentioned.

    Everyone should follow the gedolim and talk to their children. Not this idiot naming some anonymous gadol. Take the named ones who are the biggest gedolim in the united states, and educate your children. If you need to know how to talk to your children, reach out to a professional.

  24. east12th is an anti-vaacer…that says it all.

    they listen to no one, and statistics are all phony in their eyes. just wait until his kids are molested and he has one or two on drugs and another attempted suicide 6 times. watch how fast he will be yelling from the rooftops to warn parents to speak to their kids. only a fool wouldn’t speak to their kids in this perverted disgusting world of a cesspool that we live in.

  25. These episodes should have been dealt with over the years and too many were pushed under the rug.
    This of course then is the definition of a panic and hysteria
    So now unfortunately ,the greatest tragedy of all is, due to all these constantly new strictures the kesher between rebbe talmid ,morah ,counselor camper, has been/is turned soulless robotic relationship
    And that IS even more unhealthy for the future development of our nation
    It is visible on a faces and vibes of the next generation

  26. Do you teach your young children about fire safety? Do you guide & teach children about traffic lights & how to safely cross the street? Do u teach young children to avoid the street & speeding cars? Do u teach young children how to use scissors & keep knives away???

    Our bodies are kodesh & need to be taken care of properly. When bathing & showering our children – we speak to them about tzinus, proper & improper touch etc.

    Camp administrators should do a through inquiry into all staff members including non- Jewish maintenance & bus drivers. Yet Yet camps can not monitored every 24/7 in bunk houses – children should be alerted & taught what is safe, appropriate & to communicate any & all concerns with parents, counsellors, nurse or a responsible adult.

    Our children are precious!!!!

  27. zionflag ,etc.,
    fair indeed. Our children are precious!
    And because of that neo corporate one size fits all s- education or Kibbutz version s- education, which is how things are demanded and presented and Rabbinacally approved is the means to go about this?!

  28. So much has been posted above. Some comments are staam silly, others saichel’dik.
    My concern is that if we do choose to educate our children as prescribed by the pediatrician of renown and the Rov, who is to say that the children will not use this knowledge inappropriately. Children do have imaginations, you know. They also can AND HAVE reported things that were not true or 100% accurate only to cause reputable people to lose their hard-earned reputation. Children can make up stories to gain fame, get even or just let out their frustration and/or anger without concern of the repercussion. There is a reason the Torah does not accept “eidus” of children.
    They aren’t ne’eman! And we share “all there is to know and encourage them to report, who says it’s founded? It’s scary to tell children all there is to know yet it’s scary not to!!

  29. @Yaapchik That’s why your name is “yaapchik” and posting stupid comments on a public forum, while they are called gedolei yisroel like Rav Elyashiv Z”L and Rav Kanievsky. I’ll stick with them.

    Take a few minutes and watch these videos. I strongly suggest that you listen to Rav Dovid Cohen lay out the facts and take your wonderful ideas and take them somewhere else.

  30. After urging you all to DO SOMETHING, let me be the first. I spoke to my professional staff and they came up with a letter that everyone can simply copy and paste and email to your camp director. As follows:

    Dear Camp Director,

    Thanks for making such an enjoyable and fun camp atmosphere every summer.
    As you might know, Yeshiva World News just published a major article on camp Safety.
    We as parents wanted to share this with you and implore you to PLEASE reach out to Magen Yeladim at or to ASAP care who have an online course at to educate the camp staff, counselors and all who will be in direct contact with our precious children while we are not around, about camp safety. Additionally please have your parents and staff listen to the messages of the major Rabbanim professionals and family doctors by calling 641 715 3800 code 424536# about the urgency of speaking to our children before during and after camp. And about Rav Krohn’s message of Open Communication
    We as parents really appreciate your cooperation and help in this matter which will protect our children and also protect your camp’s sterling reputation. Thank you in advance


    The Camp Parents

    Everyone! its easy. I just emailed this to my children’s camps. You simple copy and paste and send to your camp. It takes less than two minutes. I am a director of a major camp that many of you send your kids to. If you simply reach out to us then it makes it possible for us to implement simple and easy education that will BS”D protect our children. And if your kids are not in camp, just copy this email and FWD to a few friends. We will all thank you wholeheartedly
    With caring and dedication to our children
    A camp director

  31. I DONT CARE WHAT YOUR SHITTA IS, NAME CALLING IS FORBIDDEN המכנה שם לחברו…… Take a deep breath and argue respectfully.

  32. Hey there POLK, דברי חכמים בנחת נשמעין. Clearly you’re not the חכם you profess to be!
    Can you tell me why my comment needed your venomous derision? You could have posted those two clips without spewing your anger, but if you let it out on me and not your wife, I feel good!
    As for my point, you didn’t really address it!
    Why is there no concern that children make up the stories? Especially now that we’ll arm them with a crash course? Why is that not a concern? Simple and honest question that doesn’t need your punching retort!

  33. it’s beyond me how people here can push this on camps and not step in and educate their chirldren…i pray they have never have to suffer the consequences of these actions….whatt help do the directors need to be educated to stop this? do you think that’s enough to stop a pervert? are you willing to take that chance with your kid? I’m definitely not willing to do that for the sake of mine. …..

  34. DirectorCamp,
    Much appreciated,May it accrue for your merit

    Can we all agree however that Camps and the Chashuvim presume until someone presents something more l’chatchila,,we must of necessity operate with” The worst of all systems, except for all the others that have been tried”?

    That,the greater tragedy of all is, due to all these constantly new strictures the kesher between rebbe talmid ,morah ,counselor camper, has been/is turned soulless robotic relationship
    And that IS even more unhealthy for the future development of our nation?

  35. really clueless in this field, but just wondering, isnt it in every kids DNA that they dont want to be touched improperly,?dont they twitch naturally when such things happen? yet it happens, so why would educating them help them? obviously ,knowledge is not the key here. (ready for some backlash)

  36. Fired Up??

    Let’s take a step back, and listen to each one and see what is best for the protection of the children. Not all children are the same!!!

    To Yapchicka point: 1000% correct, whoever is not 100% certain what the child said is true, and runs to the cops, is a Rosheh and a Rodef!!!

    I know a story in a good Lakewood yeshiva, whom came home and said the rebbe molested me… the parents called the principal (as they should) , the principal called the rebbe and he said never happened. Luckily for the rebbe there was a video camera in the class, which SAVED HIS LIFE! The kid was confronted and he confessed he made it up, because the rebbe didn’t let him play with his toy in class!

    BYW: every classroom, washroom hall etc… should have a camera, to protect everyone!

    On the other hand one need to find the right words to be used to explain to their child in words that fit their home, in order to mitigate abuse…

    I see a different issue however, which I will throw out there and perhaps people can debate it respectfully.

    Many teens are so called abused by other teens. In fact, I just spoke to one of the biggest therapists in Lakewood, who specializes in s’x abuse, she said that most abuse happens between peers (relative age)…

    Many of these (abusers) grow up, get married and have a normal life. The bad behavior came about from high sx urges which comes in the teen years… many times, these behaviors after being intraduced are mutual. It’s only later on that one may feel very guilty and become sad and depressed. This is not a problem in the secular world!!! They have partners at a young age, they experiment……

    Why would anyone think to report a teen to the police??? Poor teens ! They need our help!

    Another thing to take into consideration, (speaking to therapists), is the use of Phones by teens, (who as we mentioned before are curious/sxtual tension….) many teens, are sxting each other… again, it starts with the first one sending out the first pic, or requesting a pic……
    police is not the answer!!!!

    What about the “victimization “ mentality that many teens have been talked into or have picked up the vibes from forums like these, consequently they inculcate victim hood and go OTD, which will make a person even more depressed…..

    Reb Chaim and other Gedolim only said to go to police when you know 100% that the person is a abuser AND HE WILL ATTACK AGAIN!!! In order to save others there is a Heter to go to police.

    2. Abuse has to be defined!!!!
    Abuse is NOT in the eye of the beholder!!! Looking at someone, even If it make the person who is being looked at uncomfortable, is NOT abuse.

    3. Every child and every home is different. Different words and hints are used in many homes, to balance exposure with protection.

    I heard from Reb Chaim K. When asked should we talk to children about Kesusheh Inyanim, he said NO! It’s on VIDEO!

    One has to be very careful with hilchos loshon Horaah, and ahavas Yisroel to think 100 before going to the cops and killing a entire family (because let’s face it, the entire family of the abuser will be hurt big time)

    4. There is are usually a great distinction between peer to peer “abuse” and older person to child abuse….

    If people will work together to help all yidden. We wouldn’t have to talk about such terrible things…

    A person doesn’t become an abuser over night!!!

    There is so much

  37. Hi Everyone
    I appreciate all your perspectives.
    I urge you all to speak with the Rabbanim and or professionals and family doctors who have met parents and children who suffer from the mental torture called abuse.
    The more open we are about this topic in a relaxed and healthy way, the more the relationship between parent, rebbe, child and teacher and counselor and camper can thrive. When we have clear and healthy personal boundaries then we can maintain healthy relationships. When our children have no idea what is normal and what is not normal then “anything goes”
    You have never met an abused child before. I hope you never have to. and i have met Rabbanim and family doctors who understand well the scope of what happens when “everything goes and its hefker”. When a child comes to you and tells you that he/she wishes he/she was no longer alive or he/she hates himself/herself then continue to post your ‘opinion’. Until then please gain a drop more experience or speak with those who deal with this on a daily basis.
    By writing the letter I posted above and forwarding to your camp you are conveying the message that we as parents we want our children and staff to be safe.
    You have no idea what pranks go on in camp. i prefer not to post it online. When campers and counselors have no rules, they do many tricky things to abuse vulnerable children in numerous ways which i cannot post.
    Basic education is a must.
    And when everyone is on the same page, things will change in a great way.
    The key is awareness in a relaxed and normal way.

  38. I was sexually abused as a youngster,
    The pain that follows is unbearable.
    The real problem for me was we were taught to keep our mouthes closed.
    How dare we speak Lashon Hara!!!!
    And it pains me till today that few rabbonim and many parents don’t bring an awareness to the children.
    They fear that if we teach them about “Arayot “then…
    So happy to see so many beautiful comments on Yeshiva World about this topic.

  39. Parents may also find these two books that I wrote helpful to read to their precious children: Let’s Stay Safe and Talking About Personal Privacy.