Several pedophiles who were recently arrested were set free in a situation which is nothing short of a travesty of justice.

Nachlaot is probably one of the dearest neighborhoods to me in all of Israel. I call the shuk “my happy place” and spent many years in various apartments throughout the ‘hood. In many ways, Nachloat helped me to form my identity as a spiritually aware and observant Jew who could still keep my hippy street cred.

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There is an enchantment about the place where techlet (light blue) doors welcomed people in and where there have always been especially tight bonds between people. It has been devastating to find out recently how deeply the residents there have been betrayed by a group of pedophiles who preyed on their children and a justice system which has seemed to fail them.

My oldest son was born while I was living in Nachlaot on a corner apartment on Shirizlee street- as it turns out, this is just down the street from the park which was used as a central place to lure children and recently the park was destroyed by angry residents.

It is almost impossible for me to imagine what they are going through. I have been hearing about this from friends but only recently understood the magnitude after reading an article in Haaretz. Apparently, over 100 children have come forward to say that they were victimized- more than 40 were interrogated by the police and the testimonies of only 5 children is being used. The majority of the testimony of these brave children was deemed “inadmissible” because parents questioned their children before the police did. The big mistake seems to be that they were shown pictures to try and identify the assailants in advance.

As if a parent could NOT talk about this with their kids, could NOT try to pry out information, beg them to talk or do whatever they could to get them to be able to identify their attacker.

And now, these predators are back on the streets- WALKING THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Justice needs to be done. I share with all of the parents there a feeling of frustration and anger. I have no idea what actions need to be taken- or if anything can be done. If the testimony of these children can be tossed aside so easily then the laws need to change- this needs to go all the way to the Supreme court but violence and sexual acts against children destroy lives and need to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, pedophiles are a part of our world. They are in every community- religious, secular, American, or Israeli. The current statistics say that 93% of kids who are abused, are actually abused by someone that they know- someone from their inner circle. In America sex offenders are registered and tracked- I have no idea if this happens in Israel. If you know about this please leave a comment as it would be a great service to people.

Since pedophiles insinuate themselves into the lives of children by working in education, volunteering at youth groups or “helping” disadvantaged kids, the only REAL defense (besides making sure that abusers are hit with the full measure of the law against them) we have against them is having open, honest conversations with our kids. Pedophiles promote secret keeping. They also tend to prey on kids who are already emotionally struggling, kids who are lonely and kids who have the least support at home.

Some people thought I was crazy but as soon as my children seemed old enough to understand (around 3 yrs old) I began having conversations with them about their “private parts.” I was frank, clear and straightforward that no one should EVER touch them, that they should never believe a grown up who tells them to keep secrets from their Mommy and Daddy and that there are bad people in the world who hurt kids by making them do things with their private parts.

This is not as hard a conversation as it might seem and it is one that can protect your kids from horrors which are almost to terrible to imagine.

American Academy of Child and Adolecent Psychiatry Facts for families is very helpful and gives a list of warning signs to look out for- as well as numerous other resources 

Sexually abused children may also develop the following:
• unusual interest in or avoidance of all things of a sexual nature
• sleep problems or nightmares
• depression or withdrawal from friends or family
• seductiveness
• statements that their bodies are dirty or damaged, or fear that there is something wrong with them in the genital area
• refusal to go to school
• delinquency/conduct problems
• secretiveness
• aspects of sexual molestation in drawings, games, fantasies
• unusual aggressiveness, or
• suicidal behavior

Here are a few good resources which I have found about talking to your kids. Speak to them today.
What is a pedophile? 

Tell it like it is 

VERY good show interviewing a woman who wrote a book about how to speak with your kids ABC show “My body belongs to me” 



 
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