Jewish Week Misrepresents Agudath Israel View On Preventing Abuse


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agudah1.jpgAn article that appears in the current issue (September 12) of the New York Jewish Week contains the following sentence, referring to bills aimed at preventing child abuse in Jewish schools.

“Agudath Israel, an umbrella group of ultra-traditional Orthodox organizations, is opposed to both the mandated reporting and finger printing, and background check legislation.”

Agudath Israel tells YWN that this sentence is false.

In a memorandum dated June 20, 2006, Agudath Israel representatives expressed “strong support” for legislation allowing nonpublic schools to fingerprint prospective employees for the purpose of conducting mandated background checks.  The memo also states clearly that Agudath Israel does not oppose mandatory reporting.  Agudath Israel took no position on
a more recent bill would have made fingerprinting of prospective nonpublic school employees mandatory.

(Dov Gordon – YWN)


  1. Unsurprising.

    Jewish Week is a rag that has a long and notorious history of twisting the truth and lying outright to defame Torah Judaism.

    If it didn’t have Jewish in its name, there would be no way of knowing its religion. (And it could indeed be identified as anti-semitic.)

  2. I think Shafran is trying to say that they aren’t opposed to Private schools having the right to fingerprint if they wish.

    What he doesn’t say is that they ARE opposed to the Government mandating fingerprinting and background checks.

    This is all spin. Perhaps they didn’t oppose the mandated reporter part of the bill, BUT THEY DID oppose required fingerprinting and background checks

  3. from his own words he is lying
    “The sentence is false” in fact In a memorandum dated June 20, 2006, Agudath Israel representatives expressed “strong support” for legislation allowing nonpublic schools to fingerprint prospective employees for the purpose of conducting mandated background checks. said Rabbi Shafran.

    and the Jewish week said they where opposed to mandatory fingerprinting which it seems they are

    The key word in the memo is allowing in the memo
    not mandatory

  4. Agudah has proven it has been very ” Jonny come lately” to this whole matter. It has been reported that one of the most famous criminals in the area who in fact plead guilty to such crimes was an employee of camp agudah. What on earth would be the rational to be against mandatory screening? ! The rug seems no longer big enough for the dirt to be pushed under it. If an organization won’t be on the front line to protect kids then its need is highly in doubt.


    This would be an “unconstitutional” law, said David Zwiebel, the Agudah’s executive vice president for government and public affairs. The group is working behind the scenes in Albany to defeat it.

    “It is a sensitive issue now especially with some of the attention that’s been focused on allegations within our own community,” he said. “The last thing we want to be seen as is obstructing whatever legitimate inquiries may be made among our own rabbinate.

    “At the same time,” said Zwiebel, ”it would be unfortunate if the stories that have made their way into the papers and TV programs were to cause the kind of overreaction that this represents by perpetuating the notion that clergy, of all people, are more suspect than any other profession or group in society.”

  6. Bottom Line:

    Any normal parent of a day school child would be very relieved to know that ALL employees of any school/yeshiva/cheder be subjected to a mandatory background check and fingerprinting. This would be a giant first step in tackling the growing problem of abuse, which doesn’t seem to bother Agudah. They have gone on record to oppose this legislation.

    Let me please take this opportunity to invite Rabbi’s Shafran, Zwiebel, etc. out on the carpet of this forum to weigh in on what they could possibly be thinking.

    Hello…………..hello…………….hello……………’s ellul, and if you changed your position now – to try to improve the safety and well-being of our precious children, imagine what the Heavenly response would be………

  7. lesstorah,

    No, the fact is the Anti-Jewish Week is two-bit rag that has been caught lying more times than it has said a truthful word (if that ever happened.)

    YWN has not misrepresented this story at all.

  8. The “World of the Yeshiva” is that which seeks daas Torah. If R’ Avi Shafran or R’ Chaim Zwiebel were acting on their own, then we too could argue based on our own opinions, viewpoints, logic, etc. However, since we can be certain they have not so acted, then we certainly cannot do so. Sh’al avicha v’yagaidcha, z’kainecha v’yomru lach.

  9. enough of this lawyers language.Agudah must come out firmly that they are in favor of fingerprinting and background checks. this should include the teaching staff and the mexicans and other illegals working in maintanence and kitchen areas. why is the Agudah against this bill? what are they trying to hide?makes you wonder who they are trying to protect?
    lets be realistic, based on all the hype coming out of Agudah headquarters how many of us really hold the Agudah to be a representative of Klal Yisroel,ansd how much have they really accomplished for the klal as a whole. if not for the fact that parents are forced to become members of Agugath Yisroel in order to get their kids into Camp Agudah, Camp Bnos. Camp Chayil. Take away all those members and they are left with nothing.

  10. to Joseph

    I think you know you are wrong, the people who criticized Agudah and said they were lying showed it with evidence.

    If you want to dispute by all means do, we would love to hear your side. Buy saying ANTI-Jewish Week or whatever does not make Agudah right.

    In simple terms, we have question and give us a Talmudic answer, that would make the tanueim proud

  11. To NoRedHerring

    to people like Shuali and Joseph the answer in NO NO how could you even think that. The rebbi is never wrong. They will twist turn and maybe even give bazzar excuses but the rabbi will never make a mistake or be wrong.

    If they can’t think of any answer they will say He is only doing g-d will

    When I was a teenager I made a comment that maybe so in so made a mistake or changed his mind after so many years and forgot what they said 10 years earlier

    I got kicked out of class.

    Hey in the Torah Moses made an error Shuali And Joseph are the rabbis greater than Moshei rabanu?

  12. To Are You Kidding and No Reh Herring:

    And when Chazal say “kol mi she’amar Dovid chatah, eino eleh to’eh” are they also covering up? Let’s say it like it is. Not only don’t you speak like someone with emunas chachomim, you soind as if you don’t believe in divrei Chazal and the Torah. Fundamentals of emunah such as yeridas haDoros insist that previous generations were greater than ours. This is only possible, logically, when there was a one-time revelation — “Atah har’aisa la’daas . . . ” Without that, obviously one generation builds on the one before it. But we know there was a revelation. If we view the earlier generations as malachim, we are men. If we view them as men, we are donkeys. A true mentch is someone who understands and appreciates the fact that his forefathers were malachim (compared to him). To think and act otherwise is to think and act not in accordance with the Torah.