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Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities and Child Sex Scandals (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life) Hardcover – April 30, 2009
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"Tempest is a testament to how we can protect our children and make our Jewish communities the safe and nurturing places we want them to be."--Esther Giller, President and Director of the Sidran Institute, Baltimore
"Neustein's work is a most timely volume that serves educators, parents, clergy, and mental health professionals who face the challenge of protecting children from child sexual abuse."--Debbie Fox, Director of Children and Family Services, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles,
"The veil of secrecy shrouding clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse has been torn asunder in the past decade. Neustein's thoughtful and pragmatic collection provides practical interventions to assist clergy of all religious faiths."--Terence A. Keane, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Boston University, and Robert A. McMackin, Massachusetts Department of Public Health,
Tempest is a testament to how we can protect our children and make our Jewish communities the safe and nurturing places we want them to be. Esther Giller, President and Director of the Sidran Institute, Baltimore"
Neustein s work is a most timely volume that serves educators, parents, clergy, and mental health professionals who face the challenge of protecting children from child sexual abuse. Debbie Fox, Director of Children and Family Services, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles"
The veil of secrecy shrouding clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse has been torn asunder in the past decade. Neustein s thoughtful and pragmatic collection provides practical interventions to assist clergy of all religious faiths. Terence A. Keane, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Boston University, and Robert A. McMackin, Massachusetts Department of Public Health"
"Neustein's fascinating collection includes perspectives from rabbis, lawyers, psychotherapists, social workers, and educators who seek to empower children against predators. One chapter tells the parallel history of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. . . . This book skillfully gathers the voices of those who struggled against official silence to speak truth and demand justice in this case and others . . . [and] helps us begin the discussions we have resisted too long." "Providence Journal""
About the Author
AMY NEUSTEIN, Ph.D., is a sociologist, researcher, lecturer, and author of many scholarly articles on child sexual abuse, sociology of religion, and speech technology. She is the co-author of From Madness to Mutiny (NUP, 2005), and is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Speech Technology. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.
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Top Customer Reviews
The editor has included writings from rabbis, educators, pastoral counselors, sociologists, mental health professionals, and legal advocates for abuse victims. This broad sweep of perspectives allows the reader a glimpse into the complex and highly traditional religious community. The articles are presented in three sections, organized by the context of the authors expertise. Section one explores the impact of active sexual exploitation within the rabinical organization. Section two covers characteristics of the community that contribute to the cover up of scandal. In section three, the authors provide details on how the jewish community is working to better protect their members from abusers, providing prompt and supportive assistance to members who make allegations, and how to better prepare congregations so that scandal does not destroy their sense of solidarity.
This book is an interesting read due to the thoughtful and almost gentle presentation of the subject matter. As a professional researcher, I found the articles well researched and referenced. It was enlightening to read about how a closed religious society operates and deals with controversy while attempting to remain united. Two aspects that are most impressive are how thoroughly explained and logically laid out each course of action was and the efforts behind examining how each step will impact thie jewish community as a whole and the congregation of the victim/perpetrator in particular.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the LibraryThing book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
One of the most intellectually engaging aspects of the book are the attempts to understand why the community would act to hide cases of abuse. One particularly striking reason is the concept of m'sirah; the idea of informing on a Jew to a non-Jewish authority being against Judaic law. In some Orthodox circles there are amazingly strong proscriptions against m'sirah that include enacting a death penalty on the informant. There are also strange concerns of providing fuel for anti-Semitic views and generally an attitude that suggests the shame of revealing that abuse occurs in the community is somehow worse then the actual presence of the issue.
This book provides a number of well written essays that explores the topic of child abuse in an in depth manner. The only concern I would have is that a reader might conclude that the assertions and issues brought up only apply to Jewish communities.After reading this collection it is apparent that many of the reasons for abuse arise out of the power differential of rabbi and congregant and are allowed to occur due to the surrounding bureaucracy - neither of which are unique to Jewish communities. I'd encourage any reader of this book to keep this aspect in mind while reading this collection.
A at times painful read but I'd recommend it to anyone interested in better understanding how abuse occurs within a religious context.