Amudim, the Orthodox Jewish organization that supports Orthodox youth in crisis, just released a powerful video campaign about sexual abuse, produced by Yeeshai Gross — and it’s required viewing for anyone affiliated with just about any faith community.
A mother, father and teenage daughter sit facing an authority figure — a principal, a rabbi, an educator — having a conversation that happens in every community. In each scene, the family is played by the same actors, but each time dressed differently, shuffling identities that we Jews so love to differentiate ourselves between, as Hasidic, as modern Orthodox, as yeshivish, as Masorti. Headscarf or sheitel or bare head, black hat or velvet yarmulke or knitted kippah — it’s all the same when it comes to abuse:
“This sort of thing doesn’t happen by us. Not in our community.”
“I’ve known him for fifteen years, and he would never do that.”
“If he’s been with us for so many years — why only now did this come up?
“We need one-hundred percent proof!”
“He has a family! Children to marry off!”
“He’s done so much good. This can ruin his life.”
“We don’t air our dirty laundry.”