American ultra-orthodox charge sexual abuse at Israeli seminaries

The Jerusalem Post


Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, and figures associated and figures from a number of other institutions are named in the class action suit in a Chicago court. Sexual Abuse

The head of a chain of religious seminaries in Israel, accused of engaging in sexual abuse and fraud, is now the target of a class-action suit by members of the American ultra-Orthodox community in a Chicago court.

Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, the operator of four seminaries for post-high school girls, stands accused of having “engaged in a fraudulent and unlawful scheme to induce Orthodox Jewish parents from across the United States to send their daughters to various seminaries in Israel that he controlled under the guise of educational and spiritual development” for the purposes of “sexually assaulting these vulnerable young girls” since 2004, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by the Failed Messiah blog.

“Once the sexual assaults were complete, upon information and belief, defendant Meisels would intimidate his victims by telling them that no one would believe that a rabbi and author with his reputation would have done such a thing,” the plaintiffs wrote.

American Orthodox teenagers, both male and female, customarily spend a year or more between high school and college in an Israeli seminary catering to English-speaking students.

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