It’s billed as “a friendly message to camp summer staff.” But the six-minute video, targeting Orthodox summer camps, is far from amicable.
“This is your first and final warning,” Meyer Seewald threatens camp counselors. “If you touch a child even once you have destroyed him for the rest of his life.”
“We will make sure that the tables are turned and your life will be destroyed,” adds Seewald, founder of the anti-abuse group Jewish Community Watch, a Chabad-oriented organization.
The video, which was viewed more than 16,000 times the first three days after it was uploaded to YouTube, is intended to combat sexual abuse during summer camp season, a particularly vulnerable time for children.
Potential molesters are warned by rabbis and anti-abuse advocates that their actions cause “untold levels of misery and pain and suffering” and that if they act on their “intense instinct and craving” they will be caught.
“Prison is no place for a frum child molester,” warns Benny Forer, a deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and an Orthodox Jew.
But missing from the video is a crucial and, in the Orthodox community, controversial point — that those who suspect abuse must report it to police.
Instead, Forer, the only law enforcement official in the video, tells counselors to report suspicious activity to a camp director or to Jewish Community Watch who will ensure “it will be investigated.”
“You touch a child and we will find out about it,” Seewald adds.