Saturday, August 09, 2014
Suit Claims Rabbi Sexually Assaulted Students At His Israeli Schools For Girls
Courthouse News Service and JTA report on a class action lawsuit filed last Monday in federal district court in Illinois against Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, his four Orthodox Jewish seminaries in Israel, the U.S. fundraising arm of the schools, and other alleged co-conspirators. The lawsuit, alleging racketeering, fraud, breach of contract, emotional distress, conspiracy and conversion, claims that Meisels induced parents in the U.S. to send their daughters to his high-tuition seminaries where he would sexually assault the girls after developing mentorship relations with them. It is alleged that he kept his victims quiet in part by threatening to ruin their reputations and their chances for an appropriate marriage candidate. A Chicago Jewish religious court that learned of the problems urged parents not to send their children to the schools. The complaint alleges that at that point Meisels engaged in a sham sale of the seminaries to try to retain students.