Michael Lesher

Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities

McFarland 2014

New Books in CommunicationsNew Books in Jewish StudiesNew Books in LawNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network August 3, 2016 Jasun Horsley

Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities (McFarland, 2014) analyzes how and why cases of child sexual abuse have been systematically concealed...

Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities (McFarland, 2014) analyzes how and why cases of child sexual abuse have been systematically concealed in Orthodox Jewish communities. The book (the first of its kind) thoroughly examines a number of recent cover-ups in detail, showing how denial, backlash against victims, and the manipulation of the secular justice system have placed Orthodox Jewish community leaders in the position of defending, protecting, and enabling child abusers. The book also examines the disappointing treatment of this issue in popular media, while dissecting the institutions that contribute to the cover-ups, including two–rabbinic courts and local Orthodox “patrols”–that are more or less unique to Orthodox Jewish communities. Finally, the book explores the cultural factors that have contributed to this tragedy, and concludes with hopes and proposals for future reform

Michael Lesher, a writer and a lawyer, has published a number of articles about child abuse and is co-author of a book on the American family court system’s poor record of protecting children. An Orthodox Jew, he has also published short fiction and poetry and lives in Passaic, New Jersey.

The second part of this interview can be listened to here.


Jasun Horsley is the author of Seen & Not Seen: Confessions of a Movie Autist and several other books on extra-consensual perceptions. He has a weekly podcast called The Liminalist: The Podcast Between and a blog. For more info, go to http://auticulture.com.

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