Agudath Israel Of America Takes Issue With New “Child Victims’ Act” Law in NY


On Monday, the New York State Legislature passed the Child Victims Act, and Governor Cuomo is expected to sign it into law. The bill expands the time criminal charges may be brought against an accused perpetrator until the victim reaches age 28, and allows civil suits to commence until the accuser’s 55th birthday. It also creates an 18-month window during which no civil claim will be deemed untimely under any statute of limitations.

Agudath Israel has long emphasized the importance of taking steps to protect our precious children and helping prevent sexual abuse. We have, moreover, supported measures expanding the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal actions. However, we opposed aspects of the Child Victims Act, out of concern that the unprecedented ability to revive decades-old claims in civil suits could jeopardize the ongoing viability of schools, houses of worship that sponsor youth programs, summer camps and other institutions that are the very lifeblood of communities like ours. That concern remains.

Above all, though, we are keenly and painfully aware of the terrible toll taken by child sexual abuse. Our hearts go out to each and every victim of such crimes. We hope and pray that the Almighty grant them healing and serenity, just as we must redouble our efforts to help eradicate this terrible scourge.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. @yudel – I agree. We need stricter laws. Like to protect the masses from criminals like your son. You know which son. The moser. It runs in the family. When the father is a moser, so is the son.

    See you at the Netz Minyan tomorrow.

  2. Yes, there are some risk sfor yiddeshe mosdos under the new law resuling from questionable allegations of decades-old incidents. However, Agudah should have considered those risks when it sucessfully opposed considerably less extreme legislation over the years. Now, the pendulum has swung to to the extremes.

  3. So how can a victim prove he was abused as a child?

    My heart goes out to those who were abused but so does my heart go out to innocent people whose lives were ruined due to people lying about being abused.

    We should focus on preventing abuse, installing more cameras buildings and educating the masses on spotting abuse, not on giving potential crazies and liars a larger window of opportunity to sue innocent people.

  4. The problem with the law is obvious (and I’m disappointed that the Agudah didn’t clearly point this out). –

    Parts of the law seek to punish not the criminal himself, but also the institution in which the crime was committed, and after so many years odds are it isn’t the same administrators running it any more, but most importantly – it will surely be a different set of parents paying the bill, for a crime they had nothing to do with!

    – That’s the problem with this typical post-Bloomberg NY law.

  5. Dear Agudah
    Sadly you were always pro covering up and punishing those who spoke up!
    if only you did the right thing years ago. we would never be here today- and Hundreds of kids would not have taken their own lives.
    HA-shem does not give a statute of limitations, one will be punished when one dies at 93 for what he did at 13

  6. I didn’t think we had a child abuse problem like the Catholic church, but now Agudah is convincing me that we do. This is not what innocent people sound like when they talk about stricter child-abuse laws.

  7. The Agudah is disingenuous about their concern for the victims.
    They have a long history of being against common sense bills such as background checks for people working in Yeshivas.
    This is one time that Cuomo gets a hearty YASHA KOACH!

  8. Agudath should support any law which strongly protects victims of child abuse, sexual or otherwise.
    offenders should not be protected by statutes of limitations as it can only allow then to continue to offend.

    There is no religious basis for Agudath to comment on restricting this law.
    I am observant but Agudath does not represent me or the interests of my grandchildren in seeking to restrict the new law.

    Shame on the political advisors of Agudath and the Rabbinical leadership who failed to consider the rights of our children to live a life free of sexual abbuse

  9. I think MD is right. Some mosdos or camps may end up getting a bill for an individuals crime decades ago.
    Surely Agudah who are nothing but seeking the best for Klal Yisroel and have a much better understanding of legal consequences than all posters here, have good reason to be concerned.

  10. “Surely Agudah who are nothing but seeking the best for Klal Yisroel and have a much better understanding of legal consequences than all posters here, have good reason to be concerned.”

    They’re worried about lining their pockets. What more proof do you need? If better laws for the victims means potential for money leaving their realm, they oppose it.

  11. I dont understand what the agudah is trying to say but i think i understood that this is not retroactive to b4 the law was signed so then i really dont understand the problem.. can someone explain?