(photo credit: screenshot)
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that convicted sex offender Rabbi Moti Elon should not have any further contact with students, in an interview with Army Radio on Wednesday.
“As a public leader, I want to say clearly: it’s forbidden for Moti Elon to teach students,” Bennett said, and called on law enforcement to deal with Elon with the legal tools available.
According to reports Tuesday, a month ago a man complained to the head of Yeshivat Or Etzion, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, and the Rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, that he had been sexually abused by Rabbi Moti Elon.
The details of the abuse are currently unknown, but a source familiar with the story claims that the incident occurred recently and was repeated many times.
Yesterday, Channel 2’s Uvda television program revealed that the complainant first turned to the Takana Forum, a group of Torah scholars, educators, law professionals and therapists that works to prevent sexual abuse. The Takana Forum transferred the matter to Rabbis Druckman and Eliyahu, who asked Rabbi Yaakov Ariel to examine the complaint as well and reach a decision about how to respond. The rabbis initially suggested that the complainant contact the police, but he preferred that the matter be addressed internally.
Yesterday, Elon presented himself to the three rabbis and acknowledged that the complaint was true, and made a general apology to “anyone who was hurt.”
According to a source familiar with the affair, Elon accepted the rabbis’ demands to stop giving classes to the public, to discontinue his personal contact with students and even to close his study center. Additionally, Elon agreed to undergo psychological treatment to prevent harming others.
In 2005-2006, a complaint was filed with the Takana Forum against Elon, who was considered an important rabbi in religious Zionist circles at the time, for having sexual relationships with his students. Elon did not adhere to the Forum’s demands, and a complaint was then filed to the police. He was convicted of two incidents of indecent assault on a 17-year-old teenager. He was sentenced to six months of community services, 15 months of a suspended prison sentence, and compensation to the complainant.
This report was translated from Maariv by Sara Rubenstein.
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