Scrutinizing Shomrim

Scrutinizing Shomrim

The Jewish Week hit the nail on the head concerning the tragic murder of Leiby Kletzky (“Tragedy In Borough Park Puts Shomrim Under Scrutiny,” July 22). The reality is that many haredi and chasidic Jews operate under a different standard than other Jews when reporting possible crimes, in their neighborhood. Whether its child abuse or other acts of violence, their first response is to report the matter to a rabbi or an Orthodox watch group like the Shomrim before turning to the police. Many of them fear that if they report a fellow Jew to non-Jewish authorities, they will be labeled a moser (informer) by their community and suffer the consequences.

There is no way of knowing whether Leiby would be alive today had the police been immediately notified of his disappearance. But the fact that this possibility exists should compel haredi and chasidic Jews to ask whether new standards for notifying the police should be implemented.

Staten Island

read more: