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Protecting a Predator: Chaim Walder & the Haredi Defense

Dr. Nechumi Yaffe, an expert on the ultra-Orthodox, discusses the Haredi community’s distinct reactions to sexual abuse and the ways in which power seeks to maintain power.

'We believe victims' fliers placed in the mailboxes of a building of Haredi residents on December 31, 2021. (Courtesy)
'We believe victims' fliers placed in the mailboxes of a building of Haredi residents on December 31, 2021. (Courtesy)

This episode covers sexual abuse and suicide. Listener discretion advised.

Chaim Walder, an Israeli rabbi, author of literature for children, and one of the most trusted voices on child psychology in the Haredi community, committed suicide in December after widely publicized child abuse and rape allegations came to light. Despite these allegations, leaders of the Haredi community came to his defense to discredit and silence his accusers.

Nechumi Yaffe, an expert on the ultra-Orthodox, joins Yehuda Kurtzer to discuss the impact of the Walder crisis, the Haredi community’s distinct reactions to sexual abuse, and the ways in which power seeks to maintain power.

Identity/Crisis is a weekly podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute about news and ideas.

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