By Shmarya Rosenberg (Failed Messiah blog)
August 12, 2012
The State of Israel’s official Jerusalem rabbinic court, which is haredi-controlled, reportedly concealed evidence that a haredi elementary school teacher had raped boys.
Police allegedly found out about the rapes 18 months after the rabbinic court was told about them. The teacher, Gil Goren, who is 45-years-old, was indicted last month.
Goren both lived and taught in a small northern West Bank settlement. In 2010, a soldier living there claimed that Goren had raped him several years before, but he at first refused to report the rape to police.
Instead of calling police, settlement leaders allegedly “investigated” the soldier’s claims themselves. Goren moved to the city of Petah Tikva after the conclusion of that investigation.
Several months ago, the soldier decided to report the rape to police and made an official complaint. Police were able to find another teen who also claims that Goren raped him, and Goren was indicted.
But in 2010, Goren's wife petitioned the state’s Jerusalem rabbinic court for a divorce.
While the minutes of the divorce case were ruled confidential by a judicial order, “two people who saw the material confirmed” that “the [rabbinic] court knew [that] Goren’s wife [had] asked for a divorce due to his alleged sexual offenses [against children],” Ha’aretz reported this evening.
Rabbinic judges Rabbis Avraham Sheinfeld, Eliyahu Abarjil and Mordechai Toledano reportedly ordered that Goren go through “psychological testing.” He was also ordered by them to see a probation officer who could evaluate whether it was safe to allow Goren’s own children to visit him.
But the rabbis failed to notify police of Goren’s alleged rapes and they took no known steps to protect other children from him other than ordering Goren to be evaluated by a therapist.
Further, a spokesman for the rabbinic courts administration admitted to Ha’aretz that the divorce, which became final in January 2012, gave Goren unsupervised visitation with his children, because when Goren's wife was asked by the rabbis if she believed that Goren was a danger to their children, she said she thought that he wasn’t.
Israeli law reportedly mandates that anyone who knows of a crime committed against a minor or anyone legally considered to be a vulnerable adult must report that crime to police or to a social worker.