Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
News

Hynes Brings Longtime Critics Into Fold

After years criticizing Brooklyn’s district attorney, a group of advocates for victims of childhood sexual abuse has joined a new committee set up by Charles Hynes to collaborate on combating such abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community.

The advocates, who include longtime community activists Asher Lipner, Mark Appel and Joel Engelman, met with Hynes and several of his colleagues for about two hours on July 9.

Rhonnie Jaus, the head of Hynes’s sex crimes division, said the meeting was designed to open up lines of communication between the D.A.’s office and some of his staunchest critics.

“It was very positive,” Jaus said. “Everybody felt we made progress.”

Hynes has been assailed from all sides in recent months for his handling of abuse cases in the ultra-Orthodox community.

He has publicly distanced himself from the ultra-Orthodox umbrella organization Agudath Israel of America in the wake of claims that he tacitly accepted the group’s policy that members of the Orthodox community must first get permission from a rabbi before taking a suspected case of sexual abuse to secular authorities for investigation. In May, Hynes set up a task force to combat witness intimidation, which is said to be widespread in sexual abuse cases within some Brooklyn Orthodox communities.

Nevertheless, many observers still question several of Hynes’s policies, particularly his insistence on maintaining the anonymity of ultra-Orthodox perpetrators of abuse.

Engelman said the July 9 meeting focused not on policy but on working together to better serve victims and their families. “We haven’t had this opportunity before and we hope something can come of it,” he said.

Contact Paul Berger at [email protected] or on Twitter @pdberger

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.