Alleged Sexual Assaults Investigated At Orthodox Jewish Summer Camp

Alleged sexual assaults are being investigated at Orthodox Jewish summer camp, Camp Shalva, in South Fallsburg, New York. The state police there are looking into whether a kosher food deliveryman entered the seventh- and eighth-grade boys bunks at the Orthodox camp, sexually molesting several of the boys, said The New York Post. According to sources, the attacks took place in the early morning hours last Wednesday.

Details of the molestation were revealed on a Yiddish chat room in which one member discussed a “terrifying incident” that involved a deliveryman dropping off food before dawn and, then, entering the camp, The Post explained. The man, “found the rooms for the just-Bar Mitzvahed, went in, and did what his heart desired” with several boys in their beds, the blog stated.

The boys complained in the morning, prompting a supervisor to check the camp’s security video, which revealed an intruder walking in and out of the sleeping quarters, according to sources, said The Post. Oddly, the boys were told not to tell their parents about the incident; however, camp administrators described as “frantic” by a former Sullivan County prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, contacted the attorney late Thursday afternoon seeking assistance on how to handle the allegations. The sources said that the suspect is a truck driver who is employed by a kosher-food company; he may be a registered sex offender.

Director of Survivors for Justice, Ben Hirsch, said he was contacted just after noon on Thursday. Brooklyn-based Survivors for Justice is sex abuse victim advocacy. Hirsch told The Post he immediately called the state Office of Children and Family Services, which referred the case to State Police, said The Post, which noted that camp representatives could not be reached.

We recently wrote that four members of Brooklyn, New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community were indicted on charges of intimidating and otherwise pressuring witnesses in a high-profile child sexual abuse case. The four men, Abraham Rubin, and three brothers, Jacob, Joseph and Hertzka Berger, have pleaded not guilty to charges including witness tampering, bribing a witness, and coercion. Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jews have long been encouraged by their leaders to take allegations of sexual misconduct to rabbis before making reports to secular authorities. The alleged victim’s family told the Associated Press that victims are rarely believed and abusers aren’t punished.

We also recently wrote that at least 125 suspected child predators were allegedly allowed to continue their abuse of Boy Scouts even though the organization maintained a “blacklist” meant to protect young Scouts from sexual offenders. According to the Los Angeles Times, which conducted a review of some of the Boy Scouts’ now infamous “perversion files,” the suspected child molesters were allowed to move from troop to troop, despite allegations against them, thanks to clerical errors, computer glitches, or the Scouts’ failure to check if an individual was named on the blacklist.

It has been more than a decade since the first major wave of sexual abuse lawsuits were weighed against the Catholic Church in the U.S. Hundreds and possibly thousands of children were victims of sexual abuse committed by priests working for the Church, which rather than risking a tarnished profile, opted to keep these issues to themselves; rather than removing abusive priests, the Church transferred the accused to different churches, allowing them to prey on unknowing parishioners and their children.

Allegations have been made, not only against officials in the Catholic Church, the ultra-Orthodox Jewish population, and the Boy Scouts of America, but against the Jehovah’s Witnesses and, recently, against Penn State and former coach, Jerry Sandusky, to name just some.

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