Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.
Please Use Our New Website
still under constructions
to purchase safety books and educational materials

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.

Let's Finally Get It Done!
Supporting New York State's Children and Abuse Survivors
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

  Rated by 1 user   |   Viewed 5856 times since 5/4/16   |   0 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend


Let’s Finally Get It Done

Supporting New York State’s Children and Abuse Survivors

By: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

We are encouraged by current efforts to amend the laws of New York State regarding extending or eliminating the statute of limitations for survivors of child abuse. Currently, victims have until age twenty-three to come forward to the authorities and/or to file a civil suit against their alleged abusers. This is a blatant miscarriage of justice in light of the fact that it often takes decades for abuse survivors to gain the strength and courage to go public.

The immoral nature of statute of limitation laws for the heinous crime of victimizing children was in full view just this past week at the sentencing of Dennis Hastert. Mr. Hastert, the former Speaker of the House, was convicted for violating banking laws in paying hush money to his victims, but was immune to prosecution for the actual abuse due to the statute of limitations. “The defendant is a serial child molester,” said Judge Thomas M. Durkin of Federal District Court, who expressed his frustration that Hastert cannot be prosecuted for the actual crimes he committed against innocent children.

There are two proposed bills that will eliminate statutes of limitation in New York State:

1) Assembly Bill #A08567 will eliminate the statute of limitations for the criminal prosecution of those who have committed sex offenses against children less than eighteen years of age.

Granted, it will only affect crimes committed after the bill is signed into law, but it will be an enormous step forward in efforts to keep our children safe. It will send a clear message that abusers of children will be treated in the same manner as those who commit homicides, which similarly have no statute of limitations. Hopefully, it will put additional serial molesters behind bars and keep them away from our kids.

This bill has my full support and I hope it will be endorsed by all members of our community. In fact, Agudath Israel has already expressed their willingness to support legislation of this nature in their 2009 position paper regarding the original “Markey Bill,” and in a 2013 memo to Assemblywoman Markey.

2) Assembly Bill #A02872A is an amended version of the “Markey Bill” that was introduced previously and not passed. This bill would open a one-year window for abuse survivors to bring civil lawsuits regardless of how long ago they took place.

Many leaders in our community opposed the original bill proposed by Assemblywoman Markey when it was introduced, myself included, believing it to be deeply flawed. At that time, we developed our own recommendations for a bill that I would have been proud to support; one that would have incentivized schools and institutions to limit their exposure to lawsuits by implementing child safety education and protocols, and corrected the imbalance of the initial draft of that bill by applying it to all institutions (the bill inexplicably targeted only private and parochial schools). Regretfully, our offer of assistance to amend the bill to one that would have had broader support was not accepted.

This time around, a concerted effort is being made to improve the legislation as evidenced by the wise and pragmatic decision to draft separate bills for the criminal and civil statutes, and by the fact that the proposed civil bill will apply to individuals from both the public and private sector and the institutions where they were employed.

I accepted an invitation from Manny Waks, founder and CEO of Kol v'Oz, to contribute my perhaps unique perspective as an advocate for children and abuse survivors as well as an educator in the Yeshiva system for thirty-five years, in the hope that we can together offer suggested changes that will make the civil legislation acceptable to the leadership of private and parochial schools across the board.

Manny is a driving force behind recent efforts to amend the NY State statutes of limitation, and over the past two years, I have come to deeply respect and admire his ability to approach this very sensitive and often volatile subject in a collaborative manner with a blend of passion, determination and tact.

An indication of Manny’s openness to feedback is evidenced in his most recent essay, New York's Statute of Limitations Must Be Eliminated where he noted his consultations with others in the field, and included my recommendation,To protect institutions to some degree from possible financial ruin, and to encourage best practice in the running of today’s institutions, those institutions who meet certain standards for child abuse prevention ought to be protected to some extent by a financial cap on each claim.[1]

Among the changes I recommend are: Capping judgements on civil suits beyond the current statute for institutions who meet certain child safety standards (as noted above, that has the full support of Manny Waks) and treating institutions whose board members and staff were not involved when the alleged incident occurred differently than those who are still under the same leadership. There is also a need to recognize that our understanding of child abuse and the need to establish appropriate boundaries has dramatically evolved in the past decades, and that should be factored in when evaluating what actions should fall under the waiver of the statute of limitations.

Manny and I are cautiously optimistic that working together the civil bill can be amended to one that will have much broader support by the public and parochial school movements, and we most certainly share the strong feeling that the current status of NY State’s statute of limitations is archaic and immoral and must be completely overhauled.

Earlier this week, I received an email from an accomplished, educated, articulate friend of mine who made a beautiful and stable life for himself and his family after surviving childhood abuse. This fellow, who is in my age range, was sharing with me that he had just suffered a PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) attack after viewing a news video just recently made public of a child being abused. I immediately called to see how he was doing, and did my best to do what good friends do for each other; realizing once again that great, noble people like him never, ever really get over it – even forty years later. The searing pain abuse victims feel is quite literally a life sentence, trapped forever in the tortured segment of their memory chips that can never be deleted.

In closing, I reiterate my full support for Assembly Bill #A08567, the proposed criminal legislation and my deep commitment to assist in restructing Assembly Bill #A02872A, the proposed civil legislation, so that it will gain the broad-based acceptance that will help it pass in both branches of NY State government this time around.

The current system of slamming shut all doors of justice to abuse survivors at age 23, as they struggle to regain their footing and rebuild their lives, simply cannot be permitted to continue.

[1] For the record, Manny proposed the “cap,” and I added the “best practices” component; an even lower cap for those schools.

To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.

Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:              Rated by 1 user
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.

Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593