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Sep 3, 2008

the (alleged) molester is teaching again!

At the beginning of August, I wrote about a frum "therapist" (in quotes because he is not certified as a therapist but took a course with a frum organization) who was caught for sexual molestation. At the time I got some of the details wrong, and was waiting for developments before posting on it again. Since then I have heard some developments, and wanted to point out something.

The police were not brought in on that case. They ran a private investigation, very similar to the way the molestation case in a school in RBS was handled.

The difference is the follow-up. The case of the molestation in RBS was handled by bringing in the private investigator (which in hindsight many are saying was a bad move), yet when the investigator hit a brick wall and could no longer continue, the rabbonim gave those involved the ok to contact the police.
In the case of the "therapist", the police were never brought in - the rabbonim said we cannot hurt his parnassah (a direct quote someone, with firsthand knowledge of the case, quoted to me) and therefore they allowed him to continue working in the field, although they required certain changes to his practice to ensure it not happen again.

But on to some developments in the molestation case of RBS.

As mentioned, the case has been passed on to the proper authorities; the police and the city welfare department. An investigation was opened, and that allowed the children and families the opportunity to get the help and therapy they required.

What is shocking is a development that just occurred this week. As we all know, school finally started this week. This fellow, the teacher who allegedly molested 1st grade children under his tutelage, was not meant to be teaching in a school. The police however cannot, at this point, stop him from being given a job in another school. They can only do so once he has been formally charged (i.e. they feel they have enough evidence to indict). This teacher has been given a teaching job in another school in the neighborhood!

The school knows about the investigation and accusations against him. Why they would hire him, I have no idea. What can they possibly gain by having him as a teacher, no matter how good of a teacher he might be, that would offset the risk of him being found guilty and ruining their name? What could possibly offset the risk of him molesting children in their school? I cannot understand why they would be willing to take the risk of hiring him, despite the threat he brings to the school.

While he might be keeping a low profile now, and will be sure not to do anything that will raise any suspicion, eventually something will happen and he will hurt more children. He is an alleged sexual offender under investigation and he should not be teaching children (or anybody perhaps) until the investigation is completed and he is cleared. The safety of the children should come first, especially considering the strength of the allegations.

A separate, but connected, note:
A program called "Safe Kids" was recently launched and is backed by Lemaan Achai. This program is a general resource for any concerned parents or children in the Ramat Bet Shemesh neighborhood.

The objective is to bridge the current gap that exists in the community, between concerned parents & kids doing nothing - and their reporting their concerns to the police (which many are reluctant to do). This will enable those who need professional help to obtain it, and abuse incidents can be avoided.

Concerned parents and kids are advised that they may call Safe Kids without revealing their identity. They will be given expert professional advice, along with general advice about what to look out for in their child, and what to do about it. The handlers at Safe Kids will not give out specific information to callers concerning the details of this or other cases.

Safe Kids can be reached by calling 9991553, ask for "Safe Kids", between 9-13.00 Sunday through Thursday.
Any parent who suspects their child might have been affected by an incident of abuse and wants to know what the signs are, or any parent who might have information but are uncertain what they should do about it, is urged to contact Safe Kids. The sooner this happens, the greater the chance that incidents harming our children will be prevented.


  1. This is outrageous!!
    How could a school knowingly put someone accused of such crimes in a position of responsibility over other chidren??!!
    Which is the school that's doing this?
    Who is the teacher??
    Kol Hakavod to Lema'an Achai for setting up this service - a much better way of dealing with these probems than the tznius patrol!!

  2. Part of the answer to your question might, perhpas, be found within your own posting.

    The school knows about the investigation and accusations against him. Why they would hire him, I have no idea. What can they possibly gain by having him as a teacher, no matter how good of a teacher he might be, that would offset the risk of him being found guilty and ruining their name?

    To wit:
    "The school knows about the investigation and accusations against him. . . . What can they possibly gain by having him as a teacher . . . that would offset the risk of him being found guilty and ruining their name? What could possibly offset the risk of him molesting children in their school?"

    Note that the first concern was the risk that the school's reputation would be compromised. The second was what would happen to the molested kids.

    Unfortunately, concern for the welfare of children does not always receive first priority, even in schools.

    Perhaps the administrators were thinking the same way: They identified more with the plight of the teacher than they did with the the plight of the children who would possibly be harmed by him.

  3. D - I wrote it in that order intentionally. Because it is possible that they do not believe the allegations, or perhaps they have some other reason (maybe he is related to the principal or cousins with some big rabbi who pressured them to hire him), but even in that case, they would be foolish to not consider the threat of losing their own good name.

    Also, I do not know that they hired him knowing about the accusation (though I have my suspicions). I do know that at least since school started a few days ago they have been told.

  4. Do the police know he's back in the classroom?
    Maybe they should come in and arrest him, and the minahel.

  5. What is taking the police so long anyway? If he is innocent, he would basically have to put his life on hold were it not for some irresponsible school that hire him. If he is guilty, let's get him behind bars before he hurts anyone else.

    If the police had enough evidence, based on other cases I have heard about, they should be able to put him under house arrest or restrict him from teaching. Maybe, they don't have enough of a case. Maybe, they're just sleeping on the job.

    There is one more school that we shouldn't send our kids to.

    Kudos to lmaan achai

  6. Al tikra "therapist" ela "the rapist".

    (Sorry for making light of such an important subject, but I couldn't resist...)

  7. Heh!!
    Maybe this guy is 'looking after' my kid??
    Who are we talking about? Which school?
    I think we need to be told.

  8. How can we send our kids to school tomorrow?

    I think its now your responsibility to name the school that hired this person.

    Concerned Parent

  9. To the last anonymous -
    Considering that now that the police are involved, and he hasn't been arrested, indicted or even charged, it would seem a bit hasty to start spreading this guys name around. Perhpas if you are really concerned, you can ask our good blogger (as he is privy to this information) if the school your son is in is the same as the one that hired this "rebbe".

  10. The question here is NOT on the police. They have to take their time in such a case because they are dealing with children, families, etc.

    The question is on the Rabbonim who have been aware of this situation and yet allowed this man to go back into a community school.

    He has left one school (and that school knows why) so what kind of recommendation did they give him?

    Were any questions asked?

    Did the Rabbonim of the first school contact the new one?

    WHERE is our leadership in times like these?

  11. The Rabbonim?!I already lost faith in them. My last hope was the police.

  12. "WHERE is our leadership in times like these?"


    Those who believe leadership qualities are related to length of beard,frock or payos will soon be disappointed.

    It is sad that we attribute leadership to the ability to be more machmir or isolationist than someone else.

    It seems that the more "machmir" we become the more the yetzer hara tries to challenge us.

    I don't suggest discounting halacha but since when is:

    a "ma'ar"
    girl's high schools
    tzedaka organizations
    books by talmedei chochomim
    kosher stores in the merkaz

    the subject of the Shulchan Aruch?

    Some of all of the above in our city have been "blacklisted" by local "rabbonim" without any good cause.

    True rabbinical leadership is to stand up against real violations of the Torah and not some made up nonsense.

    As a member of the Charedi community of RBS I am ashamed to say that there is not one rav among the charedim who has displayed moral strength in recent history.

    HaShem, save us from ourselves!

  13. I, at this point, am not sure I am allowed to say the name in public. There is an investigation and I have been told spotty information because of it. I am waiting for an answer on that and was told in the meantime to not publicize that info. If you are unsure about your child's school, you can email me offline and I will tell you if the school your kid goes to is the one involved or not.

    I do not know why it takes as long as it does to investigate. When the PI was brought in it was supposed to take just a few days. After 2 weeks due to delays people got upset that time was being wasted and police would have done it quicker. It turns out that the police require even more time. they have other cases, they have other obligations, they have processes they must go through. No investigation is fast. They have to contend with people who contradict each other, people who do not want to talk, and a million other things.

    In the meantime, legally they cannot stop him from being hired.

    I am told that the school was told, by parents, about the situation. I think they might have been told only after he was already hired, but I am not sure. I do not know if the Rabbonim had any contact on this. As far as I know, the rabbonim have not been involved since it was passed on to the police a few weeks ago.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. thanks to the previous anonymous blogger for releasing the name of the 'alleged' molester and the school involved.

    Not to make light of this horrendous situation (and our deepest sympathies to all involved), but at least we can now rest easy and send our kids to M.A. tomorrow.

  16. "WHERE is our leadership in times like these?"

    what leadership? you're charedi, remember.

  17. Israel like America, is a democracy, and it is just as hard to convict a child molester here as it is there. I spoke to the investigator at child protection, "Mercaz Haganah" myself and she told me that the police collect evidence and turn it over to the states attorney who decided if thier is enough evidence to prosecute. In these cases usually their is not sufficient evidence to win a case which prevents the case from going to court and lets these people continue to mollest children. The investigator also told me that she believes that the child is credible. She told me that he was very clear about what happened, where, and with who. She was very concerned to hear that he is teaching again. Although we can not believe 100% that this is true about him we have the right to protect out children from potential risk. If schools in our community are hiring him we need to let the parents know who he is and which school, and shul, and nighborhood he lives in. Our children's safety is the number one priority. If the rabbonim are so concerned about protecting him they should personally hire someone to make sure that he is never left alone with a child.

  18. there are of course two more options as to why he is being allowed to teach:
    1. perhaps he is innocent, or the school that hired him feels he is

    2. perhaps the police have not been able to collect enough evidence, even is he looks guilty, and therefore they cannot prevent him from being hired, but also the school cannot assume he did something wrong if the police cannot find evidence.

    The police have to be allowed to do their work, but often times the evidence is hard to find. That leaves these people as full members of society.

    So on the one hand, as long as he is not innocent that indicates a failure of the system, but also whoever pinned their hopes on the police and blamed those involved and the rabbonim for not passing it immediately to the police because they would run the investigation quicker and more professionally and make an immediate arrest (was the assumption I think) are wrong. The police need their time, and even after enough time they often cannot dig up the evidence.

  19. If your child's new rebbe lives in RBS Bet, and used to teach at Ishrei Lev, then you have cause for concern.
    If your child has been taught by this teacher in the past eight years, you have cause for concern.
    If you ARE concerned, you can read some material at:
    Hashkafa: http://www.rabbihorowitz.com/PYes/ArticleDetails.cfm?Book_ID=1041&ThisGroup_ID=262&Type=Article&SID=2
    What IT is, how to spot symptoms, what to do:

    There is a lot of resource information - just use Google, and focus on professional/Government issued material.

    If you still feel uneasy, call 9991553 and ask for "Safe Kids".

  20. Those who read the blog last night
    have the name of the alleged molester. So he should know he
    has been identified. Rafi was correct in removing the posting.
    If the person is innocent he should
    step forward and offer to take
    a lie detector test. He should
    also be willing to post on the
    this blog his statement of innocence. I know if I was not
    guilty of a crime I would publicly defend my innocence. Those who
    allowed him back into school system
    should also have to pay a price
    as he could have been a danger to
    his students. I am sure they would
    not drive a care after being told
    their was a loose wire that could
    cause a fire, or explosion if the
    engine is turned on.

  21. just to note - as part of the initial investigation, he had agreed to take a lie detector test, but when it came time to actually do it he refused.

  22. maybe when the Teacher gets arrested his new schOol could bRing the children to the jAil So hE couLd teach them there. I can't imagine that theY knew About it when they Hired him. does anyone know if the school is doing anything to ensUre that the Kids Are Going to be sAfe.
    are aNy parents protesting?

  23. Rafi, this was a challenge to him,
    I had heard he did not show up
    for an interview or lie detector

    I knew of someone falsely accused
    of molesting his daughter. When he
    was asked to take s lie detector
    test he jumped at the chance because he knew he had nothing to
    hide. The lie detector test showed
    he was not guilty. It was later
    substantiated in court when the
    judge(who was Jewish)found him
    not guilty and realized the wife
    had made up the story to get a
    better alimony payment. The husband
    was awarded sole custody and the
    wife limited supervised visits. The
    mother made one visit and never
    showed up again to see her children.
    That was ten years ago.

    Point in question if you are not
    quilty of something you have nothing to hide and so you do
    everything to prove your innocence
    If you are quilty you run for

  24. anon - I agree with you. but look at it this way - he has not run for cover. he has staye din the neighborhood and is teaching in a local school. He could have run for cover - moved to Jerusalem or Kiryat Sefer or anywhere else where nobody knows anything and gotten a job with quiet.

  25. Rafi,

    Are you saying that he is innocent?

    Perhaps he stays around because he knows that HE CAN.

    The rabbonim and askanim will continue to try and cover for him.

  26. I am not saying he is innocent. I am in no position to make such a judgment. All I know is all the info I heard from one side of the story.

    Don't we say innocent until proven guilty though? While parents have the right and obligation to protect their kids, and should therefore be wary and cautious where there is place to be (such as if their child is attending the school he is teaching in), it is possibly wrong for the rest of us to presume guilt. Especially if the basis is simply the lack of willingness to take a lie detector test.

    I know this is coming out sounding different than what I intend.

    To me he sounds guilty as heck. But I am not the person to judge him. The police are searching for evidence, and have so far not found enough to indict and arrest him (obviously, otherwise they would already have done so). If they never find enough evidence does that mean he is innocent? no, it could just be a lack of good evidence. but if they do nto find the evidence, how can we judge him? Just because he refused a lie detector test?

    There have been plenty of cases documented where someone accused a teacher/therapist/doctor/etc. of molestation/assault/whatever and only later was it found to be not true or misunderstood or not as bad as originally portrayed.

    I am not saying that is the case here, just opening it for discussion.

  27. Rafi: The cases where they out that it was not true involves one childand usually they are older.I was told there are several complaints. I know you have to be even handed, but the fact that he did not run may be that he could not make a move that
    fast and also since it was brought
    to Jerusalem for investigation he
    maybe afraid to go there.

    Knowing that "two community leaders" have already protected him
    he may feel save here.

  28. With all respect, many of you are getting your wires twisted here.

    That's because we have all been brought up to view conflicts as intrinsically complicated - on the one hand this, on the other that..

    But this case isn't.

    A teacher has been accused of serious crimes against children under his care.

    At that point there is only ONE responsible response.

    To PRESUME RISK to the cildren.

    Not to presume guilt of the teacher. But to PRESUME RISK to our kids.

    That means REMOVING the teacher from children.

    Yes, the teacher has rights; he has a right to a good lawyer; he should be helped to find parnassah which keeps him away from children - butcher, baker, candlestick maker.. what the heck, there's millions of jobs out there that don't include having 30 little kids at his mercy.

    But the school and the parents HAVE NO RIGHT to hand over their children to a suspected pedophile.

    If my kids were in that school, I'd make a hell of a stink. And I'd demand the school to investigate the PROBABILITY of other kids, who this teacher has taught over a period of eight years in that school, to have been damaged.

    Because, in all likelihood, there are dozens.


  29. I agree 100% with the last post. We can not put our children at potential risk. We must take allegations of abuse seriously! I have a question to this poster. How would you get the school to cooperate with your demands?? I believe that every parent who has a child in this man's class has a right to know that he is being investigated for child molestation. And I wouldn't hold my breath as far as him being arrested. It is very very difficult to convict a child molester. An adults word against one child's word does not hold up well in court. Even in cases with multiple allegations molesters usually do not serve time. Most never see the inside of a prison. It is our job as a community that cares for its children to demand that anyone with this kind of allegation against them be guided to another line of work!!!!!

  30. "I have a question to this poster. How would you get the school to cooperate with your demands??"

    There are various conventional methods of a campaign to put pressure upon a school:-

    1. the headmaster
    2 the vaad horim
    3. other parents
    4. police/social services
    5. a demonstration
    6. the press - start local, then consider going national

    (In a regular case, I'd add the rabbonim. But unfortunately in this case the rabbonim who were involved have shown themselves to be 'part of the problem').

    Like any effective campaign this needs to be worked on. There needs to be a core group of parents (three or four would be fine) who care enough about their children's safety to put soome time and effort into this, to make it happen.

    Is there anybody out there??

  31. Latest statement from the hanhala of Toras Eliyahu is that:
    1. They employed this teacher fully aware that he is under criminal investigation for molesting children.
    2. However, Toras Eliyahu fully investigated these charges themselves, and found them groundless and the teacher to be a saint.

    I guess they're in a bind.

    If they say they didn't know about the allegations, they are negligent in their screening process.

    But once they admit they knew about it, how do they explain why they've put an alleged pervert back in the classroom??

    And they have the problem of What Happened All Those Seven Years Toras Eliyahu employed this same teacher??!!

    It is not part of a school's mandate to investigate crimes.

    It is their mandate to protect the children under their care.

    Get this man out of the classroom. Help him become a bank clerk or road sweeper!!

    Parents - where ARE you?!!

  32. The parents at TE aren't reading your comments on an old blog post. If you know he is guilty, hang up some pashkevilim around town and at the shuls. Maybe then they will pay attention. Inform any parents that you know who send to the school.
    I find it extremely difficult to believe that TE actually conducted a serious investigation.
    Let's hope that the police get to the bottom of this soon.

    Anybody, know how the other schools handle such situations? Have they in the past? Do they have written policies?

  33. Has "safe kids" been advertised anywhere other than this blog?
    I haven't seen it elsewhere.
    If nobody knows about it, how much can it help?

  34. This story Rafi ran, has now hit the USA.
    Take a look at http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/

    Also make a point of reading the comments section.


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