Anti-abuse Forum in Disarray Over Rabbi Elon Affair

The Takana organization is in turmoil after it decided to give to Yedioth Ahronoth detailed statements by alleged victims of Rabbi Mordechai Elon.

Takana, the organization that made public accusations of sexual abuse by Rabbi Mordechai Elon, is in turmoil after it decided to give detailed statements by alleged victims to Yedioth Ahronoth. The daily published portions of the material yesterday; the statements will appear in their entirety in the Friday edition.

Eilon- Ofer Vaknin- Oct. 20, 2010
Ofer Vaknin

Rabbi Benjamin Lau, a prominent figure in the national-religious movement, criticized Takana in a recent document, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz. "Something went wrong. Someone within this forum forgot his role and his station, and decided to sling mud and filth under the rubric of 'the public's right to know,'" Lau wrote.

Takana was founded to deal with sexual abuse by figures of authority in the national-religious community, and its members include rabbis and public figures in this community. Yesterday members spoke of a loss of control in the organization as a result of the secretariat's decision to give the detailed statements to the press.

Elon himself, speaking yesterday at a memorial ceremony in Bat Yam, expounded at length on the value of silence by way of explaining his own regarding the accusations against him. Taking the biblical matriarch Rachel as an example, he said that she "taught me the secret of silence."

Most of the material delivered by Takana to Yedioth Ahronoth is thought to consist of detailed statements gathered by forum members from former students of Elon who complained that he had abused them sexually. Some of the complainants later went to the police, which recommended prosecuting Elon for two cases in which the alleged victims were minors at the time of the incidents. The prosecution has not yet decided whether to issue an indictment. Some days ago the case was returned to the police for additional work.

The police investigation was initiated after Takana went public with allegations of abuse against Elon on its website.

Many rabbis who belong to the forum expressed surprise yesterday about the decision to give the detailed victims' statements to the press. "The idea was to post an announcement on our website. No one thought it would get to graphic descriptions in the press," said one.