Founded in the summer of 2011 by brothers Meyer and Shneur Seewald, this organization took the community by storm with a first of its kind approach to combating child sexual abuse (CSA) in the Jewish Community. What began as a small grassroots movement to eradicate what was then thought to be a few condemnable characters, quickly turned into an organization with a tremendous task at hand. Hundreds of victims had contacted the small team and dozens of investigations had been opened.
Since then the organization has realized that the lack of attention the issue of CSA had received was not unique to the Brooklyn area, but plagued Orthodox Jewish communities worldwide. Thus, it was decided to expand the focus of the organization towards an even wider spectrum, introduced by a new name – Jewish Community Watch. A board of advisors was assembled, composing of professionals in the fields of Torah, psychotherapy, and law, in order to aid with the ever-expanding number of cases and workload. The establishment of the board also brought about an increase in organization and development along with incorporation of policies and procedures to govern this controversial and daunting responsibility.
Jewish Community Watch has since gained recognition throughout many Orthodox Jewish communities all over the world. The team has championed through the backlash and resistance of a grandfather culture, concerned more for the image of the community than the lives of the victims, to ensure that every Jewish victim of CSA has a place to be heard and to be validated.
- Spearheaded Crown Heights rabbinical court ruling to report abuse directly to the police.
- Prevented hiring of suspected molesters with innovative summer camp program, Project E.M.E.S.
- Held community awareness events in many cities around the U.S., attended by hundreds.
- Produced videos aimed at raising awareness of CSA that amounted 100,000 total views on YouTube, and accumulated 7,000 social media followers.
- Formed strong relationships with hundreds of victims and survivors.
- Prevented incidents of CSA by deterring molesters through fear of arrest and exposure.
- Received an award from the Brooklyn DA for our tireless service and dedication to the community.
- Launched investigations leading to arrests in many cases. Provided invaluable assistance to law enforcement and prosecutors in numerous other cases.
- Effected change in perspectives and methods of handling CSA in communities around the world.