Skip To Content
Breaking News

Top Rabbi Arrested on Rape Charge as He Tries To Flee

Israeli police officers arrested at Ben Gurion Airport a prominent rabbi who sought to leave the country amid accusations that he committed rape and other sex crimes.

The rabbi, whose name was not published in Israeli media but was identified as a yeshiva head from the Safed area who belongs to Modern-Orthodox Zionist circles, was arrested Thursday night based on a complaint to police by a woman who claimed he raped her several years ago, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

The woman came forward after another woman told local rabbis the suspect committed an indecent act of a sexual nature against her person 13 years ago. The man’s layer and his wife told Walla he denies the accusations against him. According to the news site, the rabbi was on his way to Brazil.

Following the surfacing of complaints over his conducts with women, the suspect was subject to an internal review of other rabbis from the Safed area, including Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu. For the duration of the internal probe, the suspect was forbidden to contact members of his congregation and agreed to leave Safed. He also closed his Facebook account.

Earlier this week, a Dutch supreme court ruled in favor of extraditing another rabbi, Eliezer Berland, who is accused of having sexual relations with minors before 2012, the year he fled Israel. He, too, has denied the allegations against him.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.