Rabbi Yoel Falk, Hebrew Studies Menahel of Cheder Toras Zev in Lakewood, Is Alleged Child Molester According to Torah Temimah Lawsuit

According to the New York Post:

Baruch Sandhaus, now 52, claims Falk “would inappropriately touch” his penis in 1980, shortly after he started ninth grade at age 13, according to the lawsuit.

Falk, 74, who still lives in Brooklyn, now serves as the principal of Hebrew studies at Toras Zev, a Lakewood, N.J. yeshiva.

Sandhaus, a Florida businessman, said he is horrified that Falk is working with boys.

“It is devastating for me to hear that Falk is still working at a yeshiva. This man should not be around kids. I don’t want any children to suffer the way I did.”

While in the ninth grade, Sandhaus confided in Falk that he had been abused by fellow Rabbi Joel Kolko in elementary school. Falk spent time counseling the troubled teen — and then abused him as well, he alleges.

Sandhaus complained at the time to the Midwood yeshiva, but a dean warned the family to keep quiet about the allegations or he “could not guarantee the safety” of the boy and his siblings, he contends.

None of this would have come about but for the recently passed NYS Child Victims Act (CVA) which eliminates the statute of limitations (SOL) for child sex abuse victims during the coming year, ending in mid-August, 2020. In the past, NYS victims had to sue while they were 22 or younger but most victims, especially in the frum world, need much longer to be able to overcome shame and intimidation. The CVA gives victims a chance to expose abusers who would otherwise remain unidentified and able to continue molesting.

Thanks to the CVA, a number of other victims are finally getting a crack at justice. Instead of resisting this din v’cheshbon it is time for frum organizations to finally deal justly with their victims. What better time could there be than Ellul. However, I am sorry to say the more likely response of most frum leaders is to degrade the term teshuvah by using it as an alibi for offenders, recklessly claiming it happened even when there is no admission, no apology, no compensation, no reform, and naturally, then, no mechila by the survivors.

One can only hope that Toras Zev immediately suspends Rabbi Yoel (Joel) Falk from any contact with children and commissions an impartial, outside, professional investigation of this and any other allegations. If I were a parent, and they didn’t immediately do those two things, I would not trust them to protect my children. An alleged molester on premises is a bor bireshus harabim. If you are told about it being one time and a long time ago and he did teshuva, run away with your kids. They are either dishonest or ignorant of both the psychology of molesters and the halacha of teshuva.

 

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