Edited by: TJVNews.com
According to a shocking report that appeared on Friday in the Israeli publication Ha’aretz, an investigation reveals that Orthodox Israeli author Chaim Walder allegedly had sexual contact with underage girls.
Walder, who is an internationally renowned author of over 50 children’s books and literature, is mostly known for his bestselling series of books “Kids Speak” which have been widely distributed in North America and Israel. The books have sold over two million copies in Israel and the diaspora and the first book in the series became one of the top five best-selling books in Israel of all time, as was reported by the JPost.
The scurrilous allegations against Walder were made two women who claim that when they were 12 and 15 years old, Walder allegedly engaged in sex with them. In addition to their testimony, a third testimony alleges that a 20 year old woman, who had sought therapy with Walder was raped on a regular basis, according to the report.
The JPost reported that in the testimony that was shared with Ha’aretz, one of the accusers who went by the name Talia (not her real name) recalled the first time she encountered Walder, more than 20 years ago. The woman claims that Walder said she was very mature and that he admired her appearance.
Speaking to Ha’aretz, Talia said of Walder, “He was very smart and manipulative,” Talia told the newspaper. He did it very slowly, so as not to stress me out.”
As time passed, Talia claimed that Walder’s comments about her body became more explicit. She claimed that he would inquire of her on a frequent basis if her menstrual cycle had begun, as was reported by the JPost. She also alleged that when her cycle began at age 13, it was then that Walder initiated sexual relations with her.
In her testimony, Talia recalled, “I remember the trauma afterwards, I remember crying. I would study for tests in my head, wait for it to end, and go home. I was like a corpse. I remember his smell, his belt, but it was a technical process and the feeling was completely disconnected. The disconnect accompanied me for years.”
The JPost reported that Talia also claimed that the two would meet in bookstore that Walder owned in Bnei Brak. The sexual molestation continued for years, according to Talia and at age 16, she began to create distance between herself and her molester. She also testified that she was instructed by Walder not to tell anyone what had occurred between them and that if she did, no one would find her allegations credible at all,
Talia also stated in her testimony of her experiences with Walder, “He said it was my word against his word, and that if we weighed them both up, it was clear which of us would be believed.”
The other woman who claimed that Walder has sexual relations with her when she was 15, told Ha’aretz that he had raped her on a regular basis and that her molester leveraged the admiration that she had for him in order to gain access to her body for the purposes on intercourse. Also, not using her real name like the other accuser, in her testimony, she goes by the name Moriah, as was reported by the JPost.
The report in Ha’aretz indicated that in addition to playing a major role in revolutionizing literature geared for Orthodox children, Walder also was a certified counselor at the Center for Child and Family in Bnei Brak. The JPost reported that her provided counseling and therapy to children and young adults who were experiencing the deleterious effects of severe trauma and abuse.
A third accuser who went by the name Dina (not her real name) said that more than a decade ago, when she sought therapeutic help from Walder was also when Walder sexually abused her.
The JPost reported that while Dina did not give personal testimony to Walder, her friends did speak to the publication. “The complaint filed by Dina described an event that had happened seven years prior, but the case was closed within a month, with the police citing a lack of evidence as the reason for doing so, “ according to the JPost report.
Dina’s friends said in their testimony that, “One day she (Dina) came to him for treatment and they went down to his bookstore, where he touched her against her will. Her boundaries were not clear, and he took advantage of this.”
Those who testified on Dina’s behalf said that Walder “justified his sexual relations with Dina by telling her that the use of contraception provides a “buffer,” according to Jewish law, and therefore it did not count as cheating on his wife.”
For his part, Walder’s reputation is beyond impeccable and the JPost reported that in 2003, Walder received the Prime Minister’s “Child Protector” award, for his activities promoting the status of children as well as his “sincere concern, dedication, and belief in the ability to improve the situation of children in the community.”
Miki Hova and Guy Shemer, attorneys representing Walder provided a response to the allegations against him in a statement which read: “Mr. Walder is a writer and educational consultant who founded the Child and Family Center in Bnei Brak and has been devoting his life for decades and works to promote, nurture and protect the welfare of children and their rights in general and the ultra-Orthodox sector in particular.
Over the years, Mr. Walder has waged struggles for the benefit of children who have suffered violence and abuse and as a result, certain elements have given themselves the goal of harming him and there is evidence of some foolish attempts to incriminate our client,” they stated.
“Mr. Walder is an ultra-Orthodox man and he has never touched minors or women in this way…Our client is determined that he not be harmed by this in the slightest, and will fight for his good name with all the legal means at his disposal.”
Moreover, it should be noted that the source of this story, Ha’aretz is considered by many in Israel and around the world as a publication that takes delight in disparaging religious Jews.