Connect with us

New York City News

Principal at NY Jewish Day School Arrested for Production of Child Porn

Published

on

Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick, the associate principal of Judaic studies at the SAR Academy in Riverdale, was reportedly arrested late Friday night for the alleged production of child pornography.

Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick, the associate principal of Judaic studies at the SAR Academy in Riverdale, was reportedly arrested late Friday night for the alleged production of child pornography.

By Pat Savage

An email to the school community on Monday, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said those who run the Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy may have reason to believe that Skolnick could have improperly interfaced with students.

“I know that this is an extremely difficult message to read and process on many levels,” Rabbi Binyamin Krauss wrote in the email. “It is shocking to know that someone who we have trusted with our children has been accused of harming them. Despite the practices in place to protect our children, we are not immune to breaches such as the one that seems to have taken place at SAR.”

SAR fired Skolnick, according to JTA. He had been working at the school for 14 months. “The school is cooperating fully with the FBI. Beyond the claim of “production of pornography” and a mention of “inappropriate photos,” the email did not contain more detail,”

From 2012 to 2018, the story continued, Skolnick worked at the Yeshivah of Flatbush, an Orthodox day school in Brooklyn. “Raymond Harari, the head of school, and Jeffrey Rothman, the school’s executive director, wrote in an email to the school community Monday that they are “not aware of any inappropriate behavior” on Skolnick’s part while he was at the school. They asked that anyone with allegations of misconduct contact the school and the FBI.”

According to a Yeshivah of Flatbush graduate, who spoke to the Jewish Voice on the condition of anonymity, said that Rabbi Skolnick was a teacher of his in both the 9th and 11th grades. “When I had Rabbi Skolnick as a teacher in the 9th grade, he was quite strict and kind of distant from the students. When 11th grade rolled around, he had announced that this would be his last year teaching at YOF. After that, he opened up and became much more friendly with the students and really tried to create connections.”

The YOF graduate added, “It was then that things got really strange. Rabbi Skolnick began texting a number of classmates of mine and started engaging them in personal discussions. The very odd part was that he did his texting to the students from fake accounts and the accounts always had girls’ names attached to them. It became clear that Rabbi Skolnick wanted these male students to believe that the texts they were receiving were from girls in the school.”

A report commissioned by SAR last year focused on a former teacher “who abused at least a dozen students at the school, according to the report,” noted JTA. “Stanley Rosenfeld, now 84, who has admitted to abusing hundreds of boys throughout his lifetime, worked as an assistant principal at SAR in the 1970s and also taught English there a decade later. The school commissioned the investigation in January, soon after learning of the allegations against Rosenfeld.”

Prosecutors told the press that over the last six months “the rabbi allegedly posed as a teen girl online to communicate with a 14-year-old boy. He purportedly convinced the boy to send these “girls” nude and explicit photos of himself,” according to nbcnewyork.com. “The alleged victim cut off communication in June, but in September, prosecutors said, Skolnick began sending “increasingly threatening” messages, which were traced to his Bronx home.”

Skolnick, according to NBC, “faces a laundry list of charges related to the production and possession of child pornography, with potential penalties of up to 30 years in prison.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement --

Trending

Daily Newsletter

Get all the breaking news delivered right to your inbox as it happens

Sign Up Now!

ONE MONTH FREE

At Your Doorstep

No more hassles running to the newsstand, as each week for a month, you can now sit back, relax and enjoy the Jewish Voice in the comfort of your own home!