Seattle Yeshiva Teacher Arrested on Molesting Charges

According to Q13-Fox (Seattle) ,

A teacher at Torah Day Grade School is accused of molesting at least two grade school girls at a desk while class was in session….

Jordan Murray, 32, teaches first and second grade… in South Seattle. King County Prosecutor Daniel Satterberg charged Murray with four counts of first degree child molestation……

Randy Kessler with Torah Day Grade school confirmed that the school did not do a criminal history check on Murray before he was hired

Murray, an honorary rabbi [huh!] at the private school, teaches first and second grade. Police interviewed two 6-year-old girls after they allegedly told one of the girl’s 12-year-old sister that Murray touched them “under their underwear.” ……

At least five girls came to the office throughout the past year from Murray’s class. The girls would complain of stomach aches and allegedly told the office assistant they didn’t want to go to class. The girls’ parents were called so they could go home sick, and often times the parents would report back to the assistant the girls acted normal once they returned home.

The girls came forward after reading a Let’s Stay Safe book… 

I love the term “honorary rabbi. This is a new special title reserved for people who were listed as rabbi on the school documents but have now been demoted to deter media from using rabbi in their stories. By now, especially in the orthodox world, all sorts of people are titled rabbi for various purposes. My bottom line is that if others accorded them that title until the arrest, it is legitimate for media to call them rabbis in their story. On the other hand , someone with legitimate smichah (ordination), even a real lamdan (scholar in rabbinics), who does not make his living from his learning and title, and long ago stopped using that title, will not be referred to as rabbi in my postings. I despise the trickery of calling someone a rabbi until the day he is arrested and then magically demoting him. Institutions can not have it both ways.

I find it shameful that the office staff and the administration did not pick up on the pattern of alleged abuse on their own.

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6 thoughts on “Seattle Yeshiva Teacher Arrested on Molesting Charges

  1. By “honorary rabbi” they mean that he doesn’t have smicha.

    I understand your point, but maybe we should just stop using the term “rabbi” for every male that teaches in a Jewish school.

  2. a background check wouldn’t have helped in any way- he had no criminal history- like many molesters. they know how to stay off the radar

    • Perhaps a background check would not have helped in this case. But a full school policy aimed at preventing, detecting and reporting abuse would have caught and stopped the abuse earlier. the clues were there, yet in the end it wasn’t the school but a twelve year old girl who picked up on it.

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