"Takana" finds against Sylvie Dahari, founder of Megeirot

Makor Rishon reported Friday that Takana, a forum for for handling sexual harassment by authorities in the Orthodox community, publicized its conclusions about the behavior of Sylvie Dahari. Dahara is known as the founder of the Megeirot method.

The forum’s committee of six, including Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Rabbi Avi Gisser, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Dr. Shlomit Lehman, Mrs. Tami Samet and Mrs. Malka Piotorkovski, met five times and listened to long hours of detailed testimony from men and women. The committee determined that Dahari controlled her students and took advantage of their weaknesses, fears, and admiration, by “creating absolute dependence among her students accompanied by verbal and emotional insults, fomenting discord between students, and ostracizing them. Sylvie sometimes said that her words came to her as a revelation from Heaven and a true godly epiphany.”

The forum also determined that she interfered in the intimate family lives of students of the method, leading to possible psychological and physical damage to children and to the family structure. It also criticized her for “taking advantage of her authority over a student in order to build an inappropriate relationship with the student’s husband; developing relationships having sexual overtones with several of her students through taking advantage of the dependent and authoritative relationship; and taking money and belongings for personal use.”

Dahari was contacted several times to appear before the forum, but refused.

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Comments

  1. so sorry to hear – and also not to hear the other side – all stories have two sides, no??
    well I tried to defend all the wonderful things (and I still believe were the best practical tips I had for improvements in my life) last time you brought up this subject. I don’t believe I’ll do that again. Just really makes me very sad to read this.

  2. That sounds like a really strong committee , although I really only recognize R’ Cherlow’s name. His reputation is sterling and I don’t imagine he would ever make accusations like this lightly.
    Klara, if the other side doesn’t want to share her story, that decision pretty much speaks for itself.

  3. mother in israel says:

    Klara, as AR says there’s no doubt that Megeirot had a lot of good in it. Still, a lot of it made me uncomfortable. I don’t think you can completely separate the method from its founder. The article said that Michal Peretz left Sylvie and does not teach Megeirot, she teaches another methods, but still attends Sylvie’s classes. So it seems that Sylvie is still teaching.

  4. Good that we have serious rabbanim taking these problems seriously.
    Does anyone know if Sylvie is still teaching? Or if the publication of Takana’s findings has influenced the other teachers of megirot in anyway?
    It is worth noting that Takana’s “chavat da’at” (published on their website) emphasizes that they did not evaluate the “shita” of megirot but only the complaints brought against Sylvie. I participated in a “megirot” group for a year (led by a different teacher, not Sylvie) and learned very good things there. I hope more worthy teachers will continue to bring the helpful techniques of megirot to any women who are interested in learning them.

  5. MoI: Thanks for posting this!
    (I thought of you when I read the article in Makor Rishon…I just *knew* this would be posted today 😉

  6. Yisrael Medad says:

    Is this a first? A religious female predator?

  7. mother in israel says:

    WAsn’t there that principal of a Beit Yaakov in Australia that was accused of molesting her female students?

  8. Yisrael Medad says:

    You’re right. Malka Leifer. http://www.forward.com/articles/12964/

  9. This is such a sad story, as is any story of abuse.
    In the beginning, megeirot was quite different and did not involve the abusive and demeaning elements. There are women who teach megeirot and who have completely distanced themselves from the founder and her methods.
    Ideas can absolutely be independent of their advocates. Just because the woman who founded the megeirot method became sick, does not mean that there is no merit to the method.
    There are many other examples of abusive personalities who have twisted their causes for their own sick aggrandizement. But that does not mean that all the causes they support are meaningless or worthless.
    Quite the opposite, what enables these charismatic figures to achieve so much is that there is a lot of worth in what they are promoting.
    That is what makes it so sad.

  10. I understand that Malka Leifer now lives in Emmanuel (where she was warmly welcomed)

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