The Awareness Center, Inc. is the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCASA). We are dedicated to ending sexual violence in Jewish communities globally. We do our best to operate as "the make a wish foundation" for Jewish survivors of sex crimes, by offering a clearinghouse of information, resources, support and advocacy.
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Hynes launched Project Kol Tzedek - Hebrew for "Voice of Justice" - yesterday, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Jewish social agency heads who support young victims identifying their abusers.
But enthusiasm was thin across the Orthodox Jewish world.
"The secular authority deals with a different value system than ours," said Rabbi Meir Fund of Flatbush, one of the target neighborhoods set to receive heightened attention from the district attorney's office.
"I don't trust the DA to do the right thing. These people are corrupt. If he was sincere he would have done something 20 years ago," Fund said.
Hynes said he has built a strong relationship with Brooklyn's rabbinical courts since he took office in 1990 and created Kol Tzedek to push religious leaders to cooperate with police and prosecutors.
"No victim will be forced to come forward," Hynes said.
Without rabbinical support, victims said few will talk.
"You are taught that rabbis have a higher power," said one Borough Park, Brooklyn, mom who helped cops arrest a neighbor accused of molesting her 13-year-old daughter - although community heads urged her not to.
More liberal religious leaders said Hynes is doing the right thing.