Associates of sex offender rabbi arrested for fraud of terminally ill

The six individuals arrested are “very close to Berland,” a police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.

Eliezer Berland. (photo credit: JTA)
Eliezer Berland.
(photo credit: JTA)
Six senior officials of the Shuvu Banim Breslov community led by convicted sex offender Rabbi Eliezer Berland were arrested in Jerusalem in the early hours of Monday morning on charges of fraud and money laundering.
Their homes were searched and various documents and other evidence was seized by the police, and they were brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday afternoon.
The six individuals arrested are “very close to Berland,” a police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.
The arrests are in connection with an alleged scheme by Berland and his associates in which he offered to bless terminally ill patients in exchange for large sums of money, in a ceremony called “redemption of the soul.”
An investigative report by Channel 13 in October revealed video evidence that Berland and his associates were instructing followers who were severely ill to give thousands and even tens of thousands of shekels in return for a promise that they would be healed by the rabbi.
The mother of a Nurit Ben-Moshe, a follower of Berland who was diagnosed with cancer and who paid NIS 20,000 for his blessing, filed a criminal complaint against him in October.
Berland allegedly instructed Nurit not to get chemotherapy and instead to pay for his blessing which he said would cure her.
Nurit died in September this year, and her mother accuses Berland of responsibility for her daughter’s death.
Berland was convicted in 2016 of two counts of indecent assault against two women, and one count of assault against the husband of one of the women he had beaten up for reporting the issue to the press.
In 2016, audio recordings of Berland were released by Channel 2 News in which he seemingly admits to raping one of his victims. He was not convicted for rape.
Berland was sentenced to 18 months in prison but served five months before being released to house arrest in April 2017, which ended in October that year.