Fugitive rabbi suspected of sex offenses arrested upon arrival to Israel

Upon his arrest, police took Rabbi Eliezer Berland for questioning.

July 19, 2016 10:21
1 minute read.
Eliezer Berland.

Eliezer Berland.. (photo credit: JTA)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Fugitive Breslov Rabbi Eliezer Berland, 79, was successfully extradited from South Africa to Israel on Tuesday morning, with the Israel police arresting him upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport on suspicion of various sex offenses.

Berland has been wanted by the authorities since he fled the country in February 2013, and was arrested in South Africa in April this year, leading finally to his extradition back to Israel after a lengthy legal process.

Upon his arrest, police took the rabbi for questioning. Depending on the developments of the interrogation, police will ask for the court’s approval of an extension of Berland’s custody.

Berland, the leader of the Shuvu Banim community of the Breslov Hassidic sect, fled Israel after claims of sexual abuse were made against him by several women, including a 15-year-old girl.

He has since resided in three continents over a period of three years seeking to evade law enforcement authorities and extradition to Israel, including stops in Florida, Switzerland, Morocco, Holland, and Zimbabwe.

He has been accompanied by a band of devoted followers during this time.

Several dozen of these followers were on the plane with him to Israel and were recorded dancing and singing as Berland, wearing his prayer shawl and tefillin, prepared to disembark from the plane.

Several hundred of his followers from the Shuvu Banim community were present at the arrivals area of Ben Gurion Airport, although the rabbi was arrested immediately as he left the plane, and was escorted by numerous police officials.

The rabbi was arrested in Amsterdam last year, but escaped before he could be extradited, and made his way back to South Africa, having previously sought shelter there after being expelled from Zimbabwe in 2014.

“The completion of the extradition process this morning is an additional expression to the determined and professional work of the Israel Police, the State Attorney’s Office, and the law enforcement agencies in Israel and the close cooperation with global law enforcement agencies, which are not limited by time or place,” the Israel Police said in a press statement following Berland’s arrest.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

FROM LEFT: Michael Siegal, Jewish Agency chairman of the board; Owen Egre, 10,000th Onward Israel pa
June 26, 2019
Surge in Diaspora young professionals in Israeli programs


Cookie Settings