On Thursday morning, Rabbi Yona Metzger, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, was interviewed on Reshet Bet (Channel Two–a government channel) for the program Inyan Acher (another matter).
As of now it is available on the IBA website. If someone knows how to link directly I would appreciate it.
The reporter asked him why the haredi press did not report about the recent horrific case of child abuse in Jerusalem. Rabbi Metzger replied that this is because the abusers were “not haredim,” and that abuse is not a haredi phenomenon. Those who grow up in haredi communities receive a quality education and don’t beat their children. As an example, he said that haredi children, as opposed to secular Israeli children, are taught not to call their teachers by their first names. He said that the abusive family were baalei teshuva (returnees to observant Judaism). Therefore the haredi press did not consider the story newsworthy.
From what I understand, both Bruria Keren and the woman from Jerusalem whose 3-year-old is in a coma were raised in observant homes and received a religious education (even though Keren later served in the army; the Jerusalem mother was American). But that’s besides the point. Clearly other issues had much more to do with their failure as parents, than the type of education they received in school. After all, millions of Israeli parents grew up in the secular school system yet do not abuse their children.
He also said that the proper way to raise children is through love, and no one should listen to the advice of any rabbi who advocates beating children.