Jun 6, 2013
The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America reaffirm
that any individual with firsthand knowledge or reasonable basis to
suspect child abuse or endangerment, or the sale of illegal drugs, has a
religious obligation to promptly share that information with secular
law enforcement. Further, those deemed “mandated reporters” under
secular law must obey their state’s reporting requirements.
Lives can be ruined or ended by unreported child abuse or endangerment,
or drug sales, as we are too often tragically reminded. The Torah’s
statement in Leviticus 19:16, “Do not stand by while your neighbor’s
blood is shed," obligates every member of the community to do all in
one's power to prevent harm to others.
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, President of the RCA, and Rabbi Mark Dratch,
Executive Vice President, received the following letter from Rabbi
Israel Belsky, confirming his position reporting to civil authorities in
matters of child abuse.