Ultra-Orthodox Jewish children sit in class at the Shomrei HaHoma Torah School for boys in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 9, 2010.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
A lawsuit alleging that faculty members of Talmud Torah Kaminetz in Jerusalem sexually assaulted a pupil 18 years ago was filed with the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
The victim alleges that when he was nine years old, he was sexually abused repeatedly by an admissions official at the school and physically abused and shamed by the school’s principal.
According to the lawsuit, the admissions official, or tester, pinched the boy’s genitals on multiple occasions.
When the boy failed to appear for testing, the tester would stalk the school hallways until the boy was found and order him to come to a private room, where the tester would repeat the abuse.
The lawsuit was filed by Din Ve’Cheshbon, an organization founded six months ago. The group works to uncover sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community and provides free legal services to victims.
In January, the organization sued the prominent Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak for neglecting to deal with sexual abuse taking place there.
The defendants in the new lawsuit are named as a teacher, the principal and Talmud Torah Kaminetz.
According to court documents, evidence, including recorded admissions, was gathered before filing the case.
The lawsuit notes that both perpetrators of the alleged abuse, the teacher and the principal, are still employed by the institution.
Even though the acts were reported many years ago, no inquiries into the allegations were ever made.
Nachman Rosenberg, who represents the private Haredi donors behind Din V’Cheshbon, told The Jerusalem Post
: “We need to recognize that the ‘institutional silencers’ pose a more broad and vast threat than the predators. They singlehandedly endanger the lives of thousands of families and spill the blood of innocent Jews.”
He added, “Heads of institutions who turn a blind eye will pay a severe price for their reckless and cruel behavior.”
The Chief Rabbinate had no comment.Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.