Sexual Assault Allegations Rock an Israeli Hasidic Community
For years, S., a member of the Ger Hasidic community, has been trying to forget his memory of events in the room of Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter, the son of the ultra-Orthodox sect’s admor, or leader, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter. Even after S. married and became a father, he didn’t tell anyone.
“They don’t talk about such things in Ger,” he said. “It’s not talked about. Our biggest disgraces are things like that. No one tells. No one talks.”
S. and another Ger member told Haaretz that the younger Alter sexually assaulted them about two decades ago at the Ner Yisrael yeshiva in Jerusalem. A number of sources describe a cover-up of the incidents that allegedly took place over years and were known to at least one senior figure in this influential Hasidic community in Israel.
The admor and his son reject the allegations, and refused to respond further.
The admor only received information years later about the assaults his son has been accused of. The admor, one of the most important leaders in the ultra-Orthodox community, ordered that his son be removed from the yeshiva, but the case was not reported to the authorities and no assistance was offered to the complainants.
Meanwhile, the Hasidic community reportedly paid hundreds of thousands of shekels to ensure that the details would not become public.
The complainants told Haaretz that they feared the price to be paid if their identities were disclosed. “If my name gets out, that would personally endanger me,” one said. The second added: “I can’t endanger myself and my family. I have nightmares just thinking that maybe my name would come out.”