Nachlaot Pedophile Crisis: At Least 100 Victims (Updated November, 2012)

'sad - triste' photo (c) 2006, Axel - license:

Update November 29, 2012: This article in Tablet Magazine examines the evidence and concludes that there is little evidence for pedophile activity, much less a ring. Panic in Jerusalem

Update: Yisrael Hayom report

Dear readers,

I was planning to write a light post today, about unusual Israeli baby names, but unfortunately that post will wait. If you are looking for inspiring, humorous posts I ask for your patience–they will come.

Instead I have translated an article that is difficult to read.

The following article by Yossi Haziz appeared yesterday in Hebrew in JerusalemNet, a division of Ynet. It summarizes the discussion of the case in a special session of a Knesset committee. 

The dimensions of the pedophilia ring, in the heart of one of the haredi communities in central Jerusalem, were exposed today in a Knesset committee  in all of its terrible breadth. More than 100 small children underwent severe physical and sexual abuse by about 30 adult suspects, and all in a small and closed neighborhood. About half of the suspects were arrested, but most continue to live and operate in the neighborhood without interference.

In a choked voice and with tears in their eyes, the mothers described their children who were sexually abused and the shock that their small children experienced (and some continue to experience) over more than a year. Almost none of the participants in this special session of the committee on the rights of children remained impassive, including representatives of the police “who have seen and hear everything,” upon hearing the chilling testimonies of what has been described as “the largest pedophile case since the founding of the state.”

The dimensions of the case are not fully realized. More than 100 children were sexually and physically abused by nearly 30 suspects, and all this happened in a “nature reserve” of no more than 500 square meters, in the center of a small haredi neighborhood in the heart of Jerusalem. The terror that continues even today, even after the authorities have entered the picture. Even after some of the suspects have been arrested (one committed suicide, one fled the country), the traumatized parents feel helpless that they can’t protect their children, even within their buildings.

And the testimonies, too difficult to bear: A, a mother of four children—all of whom were attacked, some more than once—tells that until her children learned not to approach the door of a particular resident, another one from a different apartment attacked them. G, mother of seven, tells with tears in her eyes how she twice “missed”‘ the arrival of the school bus—the two times that her children became victims of the suspects, a few meters from her home.

The children have experienced every possible type of abuse and terror, like 7-year-old girl who saw the rape of her younger neighbor. In some cases the suspects even tied the hands and legs of the victims and placed a knife near their necks. In order to ensure that no one would tell, the suspects scared the children with a big dog that will “eat anyone who tells,” or through lighting a bonfire in the yards of the buildings, where they would “throw anyone who tells.”

All of the children are cared for by the welfare authorities. But the authorities don’t have the means to correct the damage. Most of the children don’t go out of the house except to school. Some even refuse to go to the synagogue for fear of meeting the suspects, who walk around freely without interference.

They[the parents] turned to the police—and were disappointed.

The suspects are adults, who are  not considered normative, also within the norms of haredi society. Most live alone, in apartments they received through inheritance, in the neighborhood where they have lived all their lives. This is a closed neighborhood, that is not used to “hanging out” their dirty laundry, but in light of such shocking events all of the social codes have been breached. With great courage, and the backing of the rabbis, the parents turned to the authorities and issued complaints, and despite the difficulty—cooperated fully.

But here they were greatly disappointed, as described by D., a mother whose 5-year-old was repeatedly abused: “The investigators presented the girl with blurred pictures of the suspects, and afterward the children’s investigator claimed that her testimony was “problematic” and “not reliable.” Not long ago, in the neighborhood, she let out a terrible scream and pointed to the man who hurt her, who stood meters from us, and even called his name. So what else do the police want?!! Why are these criminals still wandering around the yard??”

The Knesset session was headed by head of the committee Zevulun Orlev and took place in the presence of MKs (Knesset members) Uri Maklev and Orli Levi-Avekasis, along with representatives of the law, welfare, and justice departments. The testimonies were delivered only after removing video cameras and voice-recording devices from members of the press.

Ravit Zamir, a social worker from the Jerusalem municipality, reports, “We are talking about one of the worse cases I have seen in more than 20 years of work. This case has been known for a year, but only last summer did we begin to understand its terrible dimensions. There are families with 6 and 7 children who have been injured. Again and again we accompany, and provide treatment  for, every child and family who has been injured. We have conducted over 100 interrogations by investigators, with dozens more ahead. We are talking about world-class terror.”

The police representative in the discussion, commander of investigations chief superintendent Shmulik ben Amos notes that ” a special investigative team was formed that deals only with this issue. The police are not trying to conserve in their efforts. But one must understand that this is a complicated and complex investigation. We have brought a community officer into the neighborhood, in order to increase the feeling of security. We are talking about a  number of perpetrators who live in the neighborhood and it’s known that in some cases they worked as a team. A number have been arrested. Others have been arrested and released but the investigation into them continues. A few findings have been gathered from raids by the police into their homes and another round of arrests is expected soon,” said Ben Amos and added: “Both as an officer and as a father, I am shocked and I identify with the pain of the parents. One must understand that there is difficulty in getting to a particular level of testimony against the suspects in order to make it possible to issue an indictment. The difficulty comes from investigating children and determining the “level of reliability” of their testimony. We are and continue to make efforts, with intention to widen the circle of arrests.”

“The worst case of pedophilia in the history of Israel”

These facts do not comfort the parents. Even after the end of the discussion, the mothers approached the MKs with pleas to do everything in their power to ensure the peace of their children in the neighborhood.

“The authorities are not convinced of the breadth of this occurrence,” said attorney Eitan Lehman, who represents the parents.” There is a misconception that pedophiles work alone, and the police are continuing to say this despite the fact that the indictment received by prosecutors had 6-7 people in the same room in the neighborhood, who abused a child. This was an exceptional situation, the most serious of any in all of the history of pedophilia in Israel. They needed to recruit the best experts, including computer experts.” By this Lehman refers to the fact that many of the acts were filmed by the suspects, and shown to the children during further abusive acts.

Head of the committee, Zevulun Orlev, said that ” one can’t make peace with the fact that justice has not been served to the criminals and that the children of the neighborhood are still exposed to the continuation of abuse.”

A.L., a neighborhood resident whose child was a victim of abuse, said as he left the hall in pain: “Because we are talking about a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem, the media has not come to investigate and to protect us. We saw how the media acted in the case of the “Corrido brothers” (a pair of pedophiles living in Haifa). We have no way to protect our children even within our buildings. Most of the families are living hand-to-mouth, yet we still came out to struggle. But we have the feeling that nothing will help us.”

I asked Amanda Elkohen, a Nachlaot resident, to share her comments. She says:

There aren’t enough Charaedi Therapists in the whole country to deal with all the victims here in a timely manner. Most of the kids’ first language is Yiddish, not Hebrew. Also, we as a neighborhood will be setting up a shadowing program to follow the largest threat (Skippy) 24/7 if we get enough volunteers. Anyone interested in participating can contact me (rabbiswife at The idea is not to drive him into another community to make new problems, but to deal with it internally.

Guest post: Were the Nachalaot Parents Negligent?

This article has many more details: Yisrael Hayom report Nachalaot pedophile case.


  1. You have done a great mitzvah in publicizing this heinous tragedy. People have to understand: Serious, sadistic child abuse DOES exist in the Jewish community. A person can be quite observant – and/or prominent in the Jewish community- and still be terribly, terribly sick with pedophilia. Thank you for taking the time and energy to write about this.

  2. This story just doesn’t add up for me. Over a hundred victims in the same tiny area? As soon as there were two or three victims, parents should have realized that their children needed better supervision. Where are all the parents in this story? Even the ones who testified sounded horribly negligent – if your child was RAPED when you didn’t pick her up from schoolbus dropoff, would you dare to not pick her up from schoolbus dropoff a SECOND time? If one of your children was raped and the perpetrator wasn’t caught, would you stick around the neighborhood without taking any measures to protect her and her siblings?

    I have a five year old son, and he is never out of sight of one of his parents or of a few other trusted adults. And that is even without pedophiles on the loose in my neighborhood. Why on earth do the parents in this neighborhood feel they cannot protect their children – do they just have so many children that they are unable to provide responsible care for all of them?

    I’m obviously not saying that these awful criminals shouldn’t be brought to justice. But in the meantime, parents need to do their job.

    • Channa, I am sure there was negligence on part of many of the parents. But let’s not get distracted from the issue at hand, which is getting these pedophiles off the streets immediately.
      I don’t believe in watching my children every minute–it deprives them of opportunities. By the way it’s not clear that the mother knew the child was raped the first time. Children should not have to watched non-stop until age 9. And who’s to say that a 10yo can better protect himself?

    • channa do younot realize that the parents dd not know because the children were terrorized into keeping quiet?????? how dare you blame the parents for negligence!!!!

  3. Channa, most of these children did NOT tell their parents – did you miss the part about how they were threatened with torture and death if they tell?

    It’s really not possible to keep an eye on a school aged child every minute.

    • 1. The social worker said the situation has been known for a year, and attacks continue.
      2. As a mother of an almost school age child, I just don’t understand how it could be impossible to keep an eye on your child. Don’t let him/her leave the house without an adult, end of story. There are plenty of communities in America and other places where the norm is that ages 9 and even older children still don’t walk around the streets alone.

      • Channa, that’s not the norm here and it’s definitely not the norm in the charedi community where this took place. My 7 and 8 year old nieces regularly walk the neighborhood with their 2 and 3 year old siblings in tow. I understand that it’s hard to grasp if you don’t understand the context. But it’s perfectly plausible here, especially in charedi communities where even the mention of sexual abuse is such a taboo, it’s no wonder this has been going on for so long with so many victims.

  4. goyisherebbe says

    You don’t know the neighborhood. The innocence of the kids and the parents is pretty unusual and add to that large famiies where the big ones watch the little ones all the time and the mother is working and the father is learning. It’s changing very slowly. But the general society and the police and the journalists take the attitude that it’s “not us” and therefore they don’t care.

  5. Channa, way to shift the blame! The problem now is that there are children who are too scared to leave their homes even with a parent, that the monsters are still allowed to walk free. The only ones to blame in this situation are the men who abused those beautiful, innocent children. Im sure the parents have learned the lessons you so want them to learn. And Im glad that you can say with full confidence that you are protecting your child from the horrors of the world and I hope that neither you nor your child ever have to suffer the way these people are suffering now. But in the meantime please stop judging and focus on what matters- these men need to be punished for what they did.

  6. the link http://ima2seven/nachlaot on your post is DEAD please fix. Horror story BTW, and the police is VERY EFFICIENT for writing tickets.

  7. Yashar Koach Hannah for publishing this…
    I don’t see the problem as a lack of therapists. There are lots of haredi therapists in Jerusalem. I personally know of about 25 (I’m not exaggerating). Whether these children will ever actually see them is a different story.
    BTW my son walks home from cheder everyday by himself. It’s across the road on a quiet cul de sac.
    I guess that is going to have to change 🙁

  8. I have just receieved this post today and I am shocked. Three years ago I was in Jaffa and happened to visit a certain shop and got talking to the owner. There were just the two of us in the shop so we had time and to speak at great length. I mentioned to her that I was thinking of making aliyah and we got onto the subject of where to live and finally we got to about secular Jews, orthodox Jews etc when then she started talking about the haredi Jews. What she told me left me reeling and when I walked out of the shop I said to myself that the girl must lying because that would never happen in the haredi community. But now 3 years later, what she told me has come true. Whist I was there I asked her, why she never went to the police and her answer was that the police knew all about it but are too scared to interfer??? She told me a whole lot more of what was going on but I have never said a word to anyone because I simply could not believe that what she was telling me, was true. But now it is all coming out so, if there is someone who wants to know more (like a Rabbi or investigator) then I’ll be happy to tell them where the shop is and you can question the person concerned about everything else that she knows.

  9. In the times that we now live, it is our duty to keep a constant watch on our children. All over the world people are abusing the internet by viewing disgusting programmes. It’s only a matter of time before what they viewed will soon be acted out. Child abduction, rape, torture, satanism etc are prolific here in the UK as it is in the rest of the world and there seems to be no stopping what is going on; even certain police are involved in these activities. Nothing is secure anymore but it is our responsiblility above all else to protect our children 24 hours a day, otherwise we, and they, will live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. But how on earth does one go about such a protection plan? We can only do the best we can and never get lax for a moment.

  10. Thank you for sharing all this information. I must say that the news coming from some sections of the hareidi community at the moment is rather horrifying and off-putting.

  11. i am e of the people involved in fighting this evil and its far worse than what is told here. i am on the street of shame, slutty shirizly myself. my home in the centre of pervert paradise. 2 of them are dead thank god. the monster zalman cohen now in jail. and skippy on the loose walking past throwing down my plants in my garden. i destroyed his which i helped him make for 5 years when i discovered it was a front for his perversions. not the plants, gave them away. just threw out all his tuma.
    panic and fear are no good. they block you. be positive. light,energy, strong thoughts of how quickly the rest of them are going to die and leave us alone will do it.
    be courageous, help others to find their power. do something. warn parents. watch out for the kids. scream at the perverts. make them uncomfortable. they use your silence to carry on raping kids.dont be silent. dont be passive. dont be idiots. do something. help the children. save the children. unite. dont pass opinions based on pride and lack of knowledge. listen learn save the kids.

    • Menachem Kaiser says

      Hi Ruth,

      I’m a writer working on a story about the Nachlaot pedophile allegations — I’d like to schedule an interview with you, if you’re available/amenable.

      You can contact me at


  12. this is such a horrible story. I just called the Jewish Forward in New York to alert them to the news and see if they could help. They have a large Yiddish speaking audience, maybe some can help with therapy etc. Thanks you for writing this, I am sure it was hard to do.

  13. Serious response but I have to use my humor blog account for SEO reasons:

    They have the same problem in the US. A man I knew to be a bit strange, but whom I never would have suspected of molestation, was arrested for a class D abuse felony. The victim was less than 15 years of age. D = disgusting, to put it mildly; I cannot even think of a clean way to explain what a D abuse felony entails in NY State so look it up if it interests you. He is out on a ridiculously low bail, as are another few accused molesters in my old neighborhood.

    My old neighborhood and former community is facing up to this problem quite admirably. However, what is the point if the justice system lets these offenders walk the streets as soon as they are booked? I hate to say it, but the best justice system to call if you are faced with a molester is the local “fixer;” you will never get satisfaction from the police under present laws.

    Alternately, communities themselves have to deal with this, where a verified report of an offense means that an ultimatum is delivered to the offender – stay away from children, get into treatment (including Depo-Provera), report to the rav or beis din, pay a huge knas including forfeiture of any property necessary to pay for the victim’s treatment – or face arrest and ostracism.

  14. I cry every time when I read something like this. As a mother of 3 kids you can imagine how I feel when one of them is not picking up his phone…God help us with these terrible beings…

  15. I don’t have any words. I’m still in shock. I was in Nachlaoth for Shabbath dinner, by didn’t pray their. I heard about it late at night. No one talked about it because it was Shabbath, understandably. I had no idea of how big this was. (sigh)

  16. In response to the latest reports regarding the sexual abuse of children involving a ring of pedophiles in Nachlaot, I need to express my sorrow for the young children and their families who have been victimized. I feel frustrated. We are faced in our community with an avoidable tragedy.
    As a social worker and clinical therapist having dealt with abuse in our community, I am unfortunately not surprised by these events. When there is insufficient commitment to transparency and education, these events can plague our community. Unfortunately, child sexual abuse is an uncomfortable topic in most communities and even more so in the religious community.
    Our duty as professionals, parents, volunteers and leaders in the community is to ensure the safety, healthy development, and growth of our children. It is critical that we are informed and familiar with the inherent risks in the relationships we initiate for our children.
    More information about sexual abuse and useful tools to help build awareness, educate and prevent more children from being abused and hopefully prevent these tragedies from occurring in our communities will be discussed at the upcoming
    8th Annual Conference Promoting Healthy Family Relationships at the Ramada Hotel on January 22,2012
    This conference was planned several months ago and will feature Rav Zev Leff and Dr. David Pelcovitz. A message from a parent whose children are victims of abuse will be included in the program.
    Please visit our website for more information and to register for the conference.

    Moishe Witkes, Mentor for Kav L’Noar together with input from the staff of Kav L’Noar
    If you would like to contact the author you may do so via Email:
    Questions can be sent now for Rabbi Leff and Dr. Pelcovitz to

  17. Clearly the perverts must be stopped immediately and “problematic testimony” sounds like a bs cop out by the police. But as of right now, when parents know what is going on, they are each and every one a party to the abuse every day they continue to live there. Why are there even children still living in that neighborhood? Even without perverts its hardly a nice place to grow up and for those living hand to mouth, you would be hard pressed to find a more expensive ultra religious neighborhood.
    Something in this whole story doesn’t make sense… But thank you Chana for your brave coverage of this. There are many people in Israel who care about children’s welfare so it is important that this be out in the open.

  18. ruth cohen says

    i live in shirizly the centre of the scandal. i am the person who was duped into aiding skippy in his moshe montifore garden near my home. he came over and said you have such a lovely garden come and help me with my new project . nearly 5 years later and i wake up to find this man, who i never liked, he is rude and ugly is a pervert. the thing i hate the most. and i helped him.
    so i declared war on him and destroyed the garden with some help of those who want to remain anonymous and gave away the plants and threw away all his belongings also from the shed near the shul he went to. and am finding out all the info i can to damage him futher. i have destroyed his communication centre, the garden, his office the shed where he stored everything- so he cannot come back and start again as he plans. he is extremely furious with me as he lost a lot of money from me and from the police taking his movies.and videos of the kids.

    since i started to hunt him down in september when i found out, a lot of info has come to me. and its very disturbing. i want to warn readers not to jump to conclusions about anything and not to judge anyone. this is complicated and unless you live here you will not understand. dont judge us by standards that are irrelevant and cruel.

    i am not haradi. l love children.and do not want a child to suffer and will fight on till all the perverts are gone and buried safely away. spielberg did not commit suicide thank god it was a murder, hands and feet tied up is no suicide. he was a real nasty piece of work

    it was a campaign of terror by a number of gangs ruled by mostly americans using israeli half wits to help them. there was one zalman cohen from south africa who is now in jail. i am after him for 9 years since he drugged and raped me, along with many many many other women and children. he had lots of rabbi protection and as i wrote in failed messiah on the net, everyone who aids and abets him is going to be exposed. spielberg was connected to him.

    when the real truth comes out people are going to be blown away this city is going to be upside down. there are some extremely evil people working together with corrupt judges,rabbi’s etc to continue on this rule of terror
    IT IS NOT GOING TO SUCCEED. we are not going to allow wicked men to destroy our city and our children .never we have various people out in front like my neighbour jewish mom on the net,etc and many others behind the scenes like my haradi friend fighting tooth and nail to stop them

    i have the prettiest garden in the city and put up posters humourous with pictures, stickers to make the truth more easy to swallow in hebrew and english. its called angel news or in hebrew from the mouth of the angels and the reporter joker truth tells the news. when i put up the news of yesterday from haretz in hebrew and jpost english about the last 3 suspects, so many people stopped to read them. never has any article got so much attention.

    we have to stop stereo typing and blaming the victim. its disgusting. they are a innocent and easy group of people to terrorize. do not judge them on your experiences as it is not relevant.unless you lived abuse like i did dont critise people are destroyed. smashed.broken to pieces. they need support, a smile, a kind word.they were so happy when i ripped up the garden .

    if we are to achieve anything worthwhile, leave ego outside and think how to save the children. dont waste energy with fear,panic and nit picking. dont blame. you are not blameless. would you have done anything to save the children . it does not matter what you think, it matters what is true.

    i have seen some of the children face to face. they are damaged.they need help and will never truly recover – the parents are bewildered,confused.i am not defending them they should have been more careful with the precious children but this is not the time to be a nit picking idiot and destroy them by nasty cruel comments.
    you dont heal a broken man by breaking him more. you really dont know what is going on.come here and see and then speak. i really hate the comments that cause more pain. stop it. show some kindness instead.

  19. These people MUST be named and shamed! Photos of them must be obtained, by undercover private detectives!! This must not be hidden!!

  20. ruth cohen says

    yah yipee yah the picture i put up on my window on a poster saying angel news presents MONDROWITZ no more protection 2 weeks ago, the very next day the big important politician orleve came with the gang of media to see my pretty plants in the garden, and oh yes to look at the picture. and orlev looked very worried. maybe cos i am stealing his thunder hmmm
    today ha aretz see my facebook ruth cohen harif MONDROWITZ IS IN JAIL AND WILL REMAIN THERE. YIPEE YAH YIPPEEE YIPPPEEE YAH
    i cant put the other freaks pictures up as the law says they are innocent. ugh . i just walked into skippy and screamed death to the pedophiles. he is so full of confidence, but his face shows a man losing his mind – he looks like a junky though he does not do drugs. he looks finished. yipee yah getting the bastards
    mondrowitz the head of the snake, the rat that brought the others this is the happiest day so far in the pedophile war. tell the news. praise hashem his works are great . yipee yah

  21. Bless you dear mother for standing up in courage against this evil. I am currently in the US and have beloved mishpuka in that area. I pray I don’t find out they were victims. I feel that those who do such things will not be forgiven on the day of Judgment. It would be better that those men had never been born. It’s time all Jews said NO to the silence and stand up to these monsters. Kick them out. They are NOT Jews in a true sense. They are evil. Our children should be free to grow in the Light of Ha’Shem without harm. G-d bless you and all the mothers who stand up and fight. This grandfather joins you in that fight. I pray for the healing of the little ones. May Ha’Shem help us drive this evil from our midst.

    The thing I love about my people Israel, is the times I spend at the park seeing the mothers watching over the little ones. I still go to the grave of my son who passed many years ago. I still read his favorite stories to him. My beloved of blessed memory is with him. I weep for the mothers and children who suffer in this world of today. I’m Chasidic but not Charedi.

    Shalom dear mothers,



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