April 16, 2019
By Joey Garrison
Eight families say a teacher at a Jewish preschool in Washington, D.C., repeatedly sexually abused their children over the past two years – and they contend the school’s top leader and a prominent synagogue did nothing about it despite warnings.
Disturbing claims of sexual abuse against children, between the ages of two and four at the time of the alleged crimes, are outlined in a new civil lawsuit filed late Monday against the Washington Hebrew Congregation, which operates the Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center, and its head of schools, Deborah “DJ” Schneider Jensen.
The suit, filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, alleges the defendants enabled sexual abuse of children from the same man – Jordan Silverman, an assistant teacher who arrived at the preschool in 2016 after a long career as a photographer in Vermont.
Attorneys for the parents and children say the abuse, which spanned from March 2016 to August 2018 on the preschool’s campus, included the “most grievous, demeaning and damaging forms of sexual abuse,” and was “systemic and regular.” The victims include both girls and boys, they say.
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