Abe George Seeks To Upend Hynes

Little-Known Prosecutor Hits Veteran DA on Orthodox Abuse

Giant Killer? Abe George hopes to unseat veteran Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes next year. He blasts the incumbent for his handling of sex abuse cases in the ultra-Orthodox community.
paul berger
Giant Killer? Abe George hopes to unseat veteran Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes next year. He blasts the incumbent for his handling of sex abuse cases in the ultra-Orthodox community.

By Paul Berger

Published July 25, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 4)

Williamsburg is at the center of the latest sex abuse scandal to rock the ultra-Orthodox community. In May, more than 1,000 men gathered for a fundraiser for Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed therapist accused of abusing a young female patient over several years. The event highlighted critics’ claims that the ultra-Orthodox community rallies around alleged perpetrators while shunning victims.

The following month, Hynes ordered the arrests of four ultra-Orthodox men on charges that they tried to coerce the victim to recant. The most serious charges were leveled against Abraham Rubin, a businessman accused of offering the victim and her boyfriend $500,000 to withdraw her accusation and flee to Israel.

Hynes has long been accused of going soft on Brooklyn’s various ultra-Orthodox communities to secure the support of their bloc-voting constituents.

“In New York, electoral politics is a retail business and candidates have to garner one vote at a time,” said David Pollock, associate executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. “The Orthodox community is one of the few places where candidates can attract votes wholesale because people can rely on endorsement by key leaders [that] can really influence votes.”

But Hynes’s apparent crackdown on ultra-Orthodox abusers, along with tough talk in which he accused the community of being worse than organized crime in its intimidation of victims, has alienated some sections of the community.

A political operative in Williamsburg, who did not wish to be named because it could damage his career, said the arrests, particularly of Rubin, an “admired leader,” severely damaged Hynes’s popularity among Williamsburg Jews. “It certainly seemed as if he was playing politics with the indictment and trying to cover a flank,” the operative said, “that he had not been hard enough on the Hasidim.”

Whether George’s even tougher stance — to name those accused or convicted of abuse — will push ultra-Orthodox voters back into Hynes’s camp remains to be seen. George thinks not. “This is not an Orthodox issue,” he said, “this is a crime issue.”

George grew up on a predominantly Italian-American block in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn. Neighborhood kids used to call him “Gandhi” because of his Indian heritage.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.