Edited by: TJVNews.com
As the issue of child sexual abuse continues to dominate the headlines in Orthodox Jewish circles because of the accusations leveled against popular children’s book author, Chaim Walder, it now appears that yet another prominent Orthodox Jewish educator is facing the same charges.
The Times of Israel reported that a New Jersey yeshiva principal has resigned abruptly amidst charges of sexually abusing a boy at a summer camp in 1990.
In September, Rabbi Shlomo Adelman had been placed on paid leave in September of 2021 when it became public that a lawsuit had been filed against him in July of this past year. The lawsuit alleged that Adelman was accused of molesting Joseph Kastner at Camp Rogen Avraham in upstate New York in 1990, as was reported by the JTA. According to the suit, Adelman was a counselor in a bunk near Kastner, a camper at the time.
In October of 2021, returned to his position as principal of the Torah Academy of Bergen County. On Wednesday, the TOI reported that they received an e-mail with the news that Adelman had tendered his resignation as principal.
The e-mail was sent by the board of the TABC and in it also included a fairly long note from Adelman. The TOI report indicated that Adelman did not address the allegations against him.
Prior to him returning to his position as principal of the Modern Orthodox yeshiva, the school had been conducting an investigation into the charges against Adelman, through a law firm that they recruited for this specific reason.
The TOI reported that Adelman wrote in his letter to parents: “Unfortunately, over the past six months, because of issues in my personal life, I have found myself unable to devote my full attention to my duties at TABC. The students and parents of TABC deserve a Head of School who is not distracted by outside issues and, at this time, I cannot make the full-time commitment that the job requires and that the Yeshiva deserves.”
An advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community, Asher Lovy, had shared a screenshot of the e-mail, as was reported by the TOI.
The TOI reported that “Adelman was appointed as head of school at the Torah Academy of Bergen County, known as TABC, in 2020. He previously led a Jewish school on Long Island and worked in day schools in Texas.”
The New York State’s Child Victims Act had reopened the statute of limitations to allow victims of sexual abuse to sue their alleged abusers. This lawsuit was filed under that act. The TOI reported that the window to sue closed in August.
Adelman’s attorney has said that their client has denied the allegation in the lawsuit.
The Jewish Standard reported that in October an e-mail was sent to parents when Adelman returned to his position. Azi Mandel, the president of the school’s board of directors, at the time, wrote to parents that the decision to return Adelman to his position was based on a “conclusion of a thorough and independent investigation” and with “consultation with counsel and a panel comprised of a local, highly respected rabbinic scholar and known experts in the fields of mental health and child welfare.”