Those not affiliated with Chabad or Yeshiva continue to be mortified at its handling of the situation.
Some of us in the Yeshiva/Beth Rivkah community ourselves in secondary school at the time had varying degrees of awareness of David Kramer, but others also an awareness of what was transpiring with our Yeshiva counterparts.
For some reason the early years of secondary school seemed to be plagued with incidents of sexual predators near and around our quaint school community.
The first incident in my memory was in year eight. Our first floor classroom window looked out over Balaclava Road and for some time our Jewish studies class was interrupted by peels of laughter from those who had happened to be staring out the window at the man in the flats across the road who made it a regular hobby of his to stand at his window and expose himself to onlooking students. Our teacher would advise us to stop laughing and “grow up”. When it continued to go on we were advised to “ignore it”.
In the next few years our class, our school, and our community would unfortunately come to be shaken by several other far more serious and terrifying incidents of sexual predatory behaviour, not just involving those of Yeshiva Beth Rivkah but also the Adass and Beth HaTalmud community and the Yavneh Mizrachi community. Some of the incidents involved predatory strangers and some of them involved known individuals in our community, people who prayed in our synagogues, but preyed on our children.
How did we know this? Simply because victims spoke up. Initially.
And those who had been preyed upon by strange ‘park paedophiles’ in Greenmeadows Park or the “guy with the red car who parked on Springfield avenue”…. those kids, they were the lucky ones.