SURPRISE, SURPRISE–Prominent Zionist rabbi indicted on two counts of sexual assault of minors


by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon, a leader of the religious Zionist movement, indicted for assaulting two 17-year olds, including one of his students; Elon says his actions “misunderstood”.


An indictment was served Wednesday against Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon, one of the most prominent rabbis in the religious Zionist movement, for two counts of indecent and sexual assault against two minors, one of whom was his student.

According to the indictment, served to a Jerusalem court, the incidents took place in 2003 and 2005. Rabbi Elon was head of the Hakotel Yeshiva in Jerusalem’s old city at the time.

In 2003, Rabbi Elon assaulted B., who joined the Yeshiva as a student in December 2002. B. was seventeen years old at the time of the incident, and according to the indictment, he saw Rabbi Elon as someone to look up to. The incident took place following a death in B.’s family.

In 2005, Rabbi Elon assaulted A., also seventeen years old, who was not one of his students. According to the indictment, A. approached the Rabbi for advice after going through an emotional crisis, on the recommendation of a friend.

During hearings at the State Attorney’s office, Rabbi Elon has claimed that he did not break the law, and that his actions were misunderstood. He said his actions stemmed from the love of a teacher for a student, and that they were in no way sexual abuse. The State Attorney’s office did not accept this version of events.

Police recommended that Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon be indicted on charges of sexual crimes in August 2010. Police suspect Elon of forcibly committing indecent acts on two minors.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador closely followed the case while the police were still investigating Elon.

In February 2010, Weinstein instructed the police to examine complaints about Elon that had been made public by Takana, a forum that fights sexual abuse in the Orthodox community.

Suspicions against Elon came to the attention of Takana in 2006. The forum demanded that Elon cease his educational activities, and placed various restrictions on him. With no explanation to his students and followers, Elon, who was popular with students, left his post as head of Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem, and moved with his family to Migdal on the Kinneret.

In 2006, Takana informed then attorney general Menachem Mazuz of the complaints against Elon. Mazuz conveyed the information to the police, but decided not to order an investigation against Elon.

Takana said they decided to go public with the allegations at the time because Elon “did not follow the restrictions imposed on him.”


New harassment claims against Rabbi Elon

Since original case exposed, other young people turn to Takana forum, saying they were also victims of sexual harassment. Forum to hold emergency meeting. Deputy attorney general threatens to launch investigation into complaints

Since the case of Rabbi Mordechai (Motty) Elon was published, Ynet has learned that other young people and parents have turned to the Takana forum claiming that they too were victims of Elon’s sexual harassment.

Sources connected with the case confirmed that there had been further claims, though they have not yet been submitted formally to the Takana forum, the Religious Zionist organization charged with handling cases of sexual harassment among the movement’s leaders.


Show of support in Migdal: We believe in Rabbi Elon / Sharon Roffe-Ofir

Dozens of supporters, students, and rabbis from around country flood into northern town of Migdal to show support for rabbi warned Monday by religious forum for handling sexual harassment. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu: I felt like my flesh was being cut; we must not let him be alone

However, forum staff is already beginning to investigate, and members are due to hold an emergency meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening to discuss developments. 

Attorney Ran Nizri, the attorney general’s senior assistant, sent a letter to the Takana forum saying complaints filed against Rabbi Mordechai Elon for sexual harassment must be turned over to the police. He added that the police may launch an investigation into the complaints.

On Tuesday morning in the northern town of Migdal, Rabbi Elon had spoken to supporters, focusing on disproving and rejecting the allegations.

Following the rabbi’s sweeping denial and his claim that they were blood libels, forum members will also discuss whether to make details of the case public along with various documents.

In the light of the relatively moderate nature of the rabbi’s speech, no dramatic decision is likely to be taken during Tuesday’s meeting.

“We always knew that the real enemy who may cause Haman to win is jealousy and hate,” Rabbi Elon had said. “We won’t get swept up in this. I won’t attack – we’ll build. I refuse to take part in the mudslinging. And I ask everyone to refrain from this.”

The rabbi had also spoken about the “exile” that had been imposed on him in Migdal and that for years he had tried to avoid blasphemy, which led him to do illogical things – against the advice of others.

Lest We Forget–Rabbi–”Sexual abuse within Jewish community should not be reported to police”

Agudath Israel of America, Rabbinical Council of America come under fire after rabbi says abuse should be reported to rabbis, not police.

NEW YORK – Two Orthodox Jewish groups have released statements attempting to clarify their positions on reporting child abuse.

Agudath Israel of America and the Rabbinical Council of America were responding to what the former called “misleading claims about our stance on reporting suspected child abusers to law enforcement agencies.”

The statements come in the wake of criticism over comments by a leading American Orthodox rabbi, Shmuel Kamenetsky, that abuse should be reported to rabbis rather than police. Kamenetsky is the vice president of Agudah’s Supreme Council of Rabbinic Sages.

Agudah in its statement referred to rabbinic arguments that authorities should be notified when a certain threshold of evidence is met, but “where the circumstances of the case do not rise to threshold level … the matter should not be reported to authorities.”

However, in order to distinguish whether the threshold has been met, the statement continued, “the individual shouldn’t rely exclusively on their own judgment … rather, he should present the facts to a Rabbi.”

Kamenetsky said in a speech July 12 in Brooklyn — while a search was being conducted for an 8-year-old Brooklyn boy, Leiby Kletzky — that the sexual abuse of a child should be reported to a rabbi, who then would determine if the police should be called. Leiby’s dismembered body was found the following day in a dumpster and in the apartment of Levi Aron, who has been indicted for murder.

The speech came under criticism after a recording appeared July 17 on the Failed Messiah blog, which reported that Kamenetsky was repeating Agudah’s official policy banning Jews from reporting sexual abuse to police.

In the recording, Kamenetsky corrects a man who begins a question to the rabbi by saying, “As far as I know, your yeshiva is of the opinion that victims should report these crimes to the authorities.”

“Only after speaking to a rav,” Kamenetsky said.

Survivors for Justice, an advocacy, educational and support organization for survivors of sexual abuse and their families from the Orthodox world, described Kamentsky’s comments as “dangerous,” and called on Agudah to issue a retraction.

The RCA in its statement said that “Consistent with Torah obligations, if one becomes aware of an instance of child abuse or endangerment, one is obligated to refer the matter to the secular authorities immediately, as the prohibition of mesirah (i.e., referring an allegation against a fellow Jew to government authority) does not apply in such a case.”

It also says that “As always where the facts are uncertain, one should use common sense and consultations with experts, both lay and rabbinic, to determine how and when to report such matters to the authorities.”

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