CBS New York — In 2009, Brooklyn’s DA Charles Hynes formed a program called “Kol Tzedek,” which is Hebrew for “Voice Of Justice,” to deal with Orthodox Jewish abuse cases. The program included a hotline manned by social workers.
CBS 2′s Chris Wragge examined the program KOL TZEDEK to find out whose needs are being served. CBS 2 called the hotline over a period of several days, at different times of the day. Out of a total of 25 calls, only two were answered. The rest went straight to a recording.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind told CBS 2 that this type of inconsistency could mean that victims are not getting help.
“We might be losing people who finally have the courage to make the phone call, and they’re not gonna call back,” Hikind said.
A spokesman for Hynes said that the hotline is operated “24 hours” and is manned during some of those hours by a licensed social worker. The spokesman could not explain why earlier calls from CBS 2 went unanswered.
Hynes said that the hotline has resulted in 95 cases being brought to his office’s attention, but some of those cases were actually brought by advocates or police.
The DA’s office claims to have helped Mordechai Jungries when his son was molested, but Jungries said that this is not true.
“We were alone, looking for a therapist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, everything on our own. No help from the DA,” he said.
In response to Jungries’ comments, the spokesman for Hynes said that, “It’s really our decision what is part of Kol Tzedek.”
CBS 2 plans to appeal the district attorney’s refusal to release the names of alleged abusers.