A top Amsterdam official has called on the entire board of the Netherlands Jewish Cheider to resign following a scathing report released today by the Education Inspectorate.
The report looked at how the Cheider handled the 2012 case of sexual abuse by Ephraim Schrijver, a former teacher in the school, who was convicted in May and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
The report concluded that the board response to reports of abuse was extremely inadequate and that six years later, many security policies are still poorly developed, and unknown to teachers, students and parents.
According to the Inspectorate, the school board’s behavior in the sex offense “led to a permanent breach of trust between the board and some of the parents” and concluded that “administrative reform is urgent.”
The top members of the board were chairman Herman Loonstein, an Amsterdam lawyer, and Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, the most senior Chabad rabbi in the Netherlands and Chief Rabbi of the country. Jacobs stepped down earlier this year under pressure but he is now chairman of the Advisory Board of the Cheider.
Reports by leading Dutch newspapers found that Jacobs personally orchestrated the coverups. They also found that he has been involved in at least two other cases of coverup and mishandling of abuse.
Statement from Jewish Community Watch
We find the revelations in this report very concerning, but it must be said that they follow a clear pattern we’ve seen from Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs and other community leaders over more than six years; a lack of concern about the safety of the children under their care and a refusal to take responsibility for their actions.
This is the same leadership who chose to ignore Meyer Seewald when he reported to them that Mendel Levine, a rabbi under their auspices, had abused him and others. They then denied these conversations and publicly maintained, as recently as one month ago, that the case is “a hoax”.
We once again call on Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch to remove Rabbi Jacobs from his position and we urge the parents of students in the school to demand better for their children.