From The Awareness Center:
54-year-old, Bruria Keren, was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse and physical abuse of her twelve children. She has also been accused of cult like practices. Police suspect that the children were violently abused over the course of many years, including whippings with belts and electric cables. According to the Jerusalem Post, Keren is "the leader of a fringe sect of Jewish women with a Taliban-like dress code. . . The women who adhere to a dress code more stringent than that of the most extreme Muslim sects and a rigorous health food diet.
The followers of this sect/cult number as many as 50 in Beit Shemesh and are also scattered around Safed and Jerusalem. According to reports the women do not speak with men, even by telephone. The vast majority of the women who belong to the sect have secular backgrounds.
According to a Jerusalem Post article "Even in Beit Shemesh, made up of some of the most religiously extreme sects in Orthodoxy, such as Satmar, Toldot Aharon and Shomrei Hachomot, this group of women was considered ridiculously – even psychotically – zealous. .. The women who belong to the sect lack any recognized rabbinic backing. They rarely leave their homes. When they do, their female children, dressed in long robes, accompany them. The women’s extensive face coverings make it dangerous for them to cross the street unattended."
Haaretz Article (Hebrew) – (03/20/2008)
Mother of 12 suspected of abusing kids – (03/25/2008)
Police probe father of 12 in child abuse case – (03/26/2008)
‘Haredi code of silence must be broken in abuse cases‘ – (03/27/2008)
Beit Shemesh ‘Burka’ cult unveiled – (03/27/2008)
Arrested for `child abuse’, the veiled queen of modesty – (03/28/2008)
To tell or not to tell, that is the question – (03/30/2008)
Behind the veil – (04/03/2008)
Rise in child abuse or a media creating ‘moral panic’? – (04/03/2008)