Protect Victims NOT Abusers: Protesting in Williamsburg

The day after I moved into my new apartment in Brooklyn, I attended a demonstration opposing those of the Hasidic community who are supporting an accused child molester by the name of Nechemya Weberman, 53, also a well-known and respected counselor at neighborhood Satmar yeshivas.  All of us met outside of the Continental Catering Dining Hall in Williamsburg where a fundraiser for Weberman was being held to raise money towards his defense fund.  Police arrested Weberman in February 2011 after the 16 year-old girl reported that her therapist had forced her during counseling sessions to perform oral sex acts starting when she was just 12 years-old.  Both Ex-Hasidic and secular supporters protested the efforts by Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic leaders to cover up sex abuse in their communities.  About 100 protestors showed up at the event which was attended by more than 1,000 Hasidic men.  Many who participated in the protest held signs reading “protect victims not abusers,” and traded harsh words with supporters of Weberman’s cause.  Only two people were arrested, both charged with disorderly conduct while the rest of the protest remained entirely non-violent.

Hasidic men of all ages congregate along the sidewalk Wednesday, May 16 outside of the Continental Caterers Dining Hall during the fundraiser for accused child molester Nechemya Weberman, 53, a respected counselor at neighborhood Satmar yeshiva.

Williamsburg resident Joshie Berger, 39, speaks to the media on behalf of those protesting against supporters of the fundraiser for accused child molester Nechemya Weberman, 53, a respected counselor at neighborhood Satmar yeshivas Wednesday, May 16 outside of the Continental Caterers Dining Hall, 75 Rutledge Street in Williamsburg. “The game is over,” Berger said. “Just like the Catholic church this has been swept under the rug for decades.” About 100 protestors showed up at the event which was attended by more than 1,000 Hasidic men.

A cartoonish poster sits against a metal gate barrier on Wednesday, May 16 as people stood outside protesting supporters of the fundraiser for accused child molester Nechemya Weberman, 53, at the Continental Caterers Dining Hall, 75 Rutledge Street in Williamsburg. The poster shows a missile falling onto a crowd of Orthodox Jewish men announcing a danger hitting the neighborhood which reads in both a mix of Hebrew and Yiddish, “A terrible danger is hanging above us.” The ads explain Weberman’s innocence by bashing the victim’s story and questioning why she decided to talk to the police.

Mordechai Jungreis, 38, shares a story with the media about his mentally disabled 16 year-old son who was sexually abused within the Hasidic community by helping aid the police with the arrest of the man accused and was shunned out of his synagogue as a result of his efforts Wednesday, May 16, during the protest on behalf of accused child molester Nechemya Weberman, 53, outside of the Continental Caterers Dining Hall, 75 Rutledge Street in Williamsburg.

A handful of Hasidic men and young Hasidic boys stand off to the side to take a break and observe the protest on behalf of accused child molester Nechemya Weberman, 53, on Wednesday, May 16 outside of the Continental Caterers Dining Hall, 75 Rutledge Street in Williamsburg.

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