The Chief Rabbi will hold a compulsory seminar for United Synagogue rabbis to help them respond to incidents of child abuse, following the conviction of a Charedi teacher.
Writing on his website this week in the wake of the trial of Todros Grynhaus, a 50-year-old father of 10 from Manchester who was found guilty on five counts of sexual abuse of girls as young as 14, Ephraim Mirvis stated: “The conviction of a prominent member of the Manchester Jewish community for sexual abuse is of immense significance.
“I would like to commend the victims and others who withstood tremendous pressure and gave evidence. I hope that their courage will inspire others to come forward in the future.
This kind of abuse is a stain on all of society and we are no less vulnerable to the scourge of sexual crimes than any other community.
“Further to previously held training seminars for rabbis, I will be writing this week to rabbis across the country, advising them of a mandatory, dedicated seminar that the United Synagogue is organising on behalf of its communities, in order to better prepare rabbis to identify and respond to incidents of child abuse in their communities and to reinforce the importance of being vigilant at all times. In addition, I am meeting with victims of abuse and campaigners in this area to seek views from them as to what more can be done to better protect vulnerable people in our communities.”
During his two-week trial, Grynhaus claimed the underage girls were conspiring against him in a “plot”. But after hearing how he “forced himself on them,” jurors decided 10-2 that he was lying. One of the young victims testified that he had assaulted her in a jacuzzi.