Amsterdam Jewish school only reported teacher suspected of sexually abusing students under pressure from Minister

In 2012 the Jewish Cheider School at Amsterdam waited three weeks to report that instructor Ephraim S. was suspected of sexually assaulting students, and only did so under pressure from Minister Marja van Bijsterveldt of Education, the Telegraaf reports based on internal records from the faculty and discussions with former teachers.

The faculty wanted to handle this case through internal Jewish justice, according to the newspaper. Because of this barrier, the accused instructor was able to escape to Israel until the authorities could arrest him. He was eventually extradited to the Netherlands at 2016. The trail against him begins on Wednesday. Ephraim S. is accused of sexually assaulting or raping five kids.  

The records in the newspaper’s possession show that senior president of the faculty, rabbi Jacobs, stalled in reporting S. to the authorities even months following the Education Inspectorate asked the faculty to collect testimony from kids, teachers and parents. “Rabbi Jacobs indicates that he is not convinced of a fair suspicion and consequently does not wish to file a report”, the Telegraaf quotations from minutes of the faculty. “The confidential inspector states which we refuse to report. Rabbi Jacobs thinks the phrase ‘refuse’ is unlucky. The inspector maintains that this is the proper word.”

The school forced parents to not report the teacher to the authorities. According to the newspaper, a preparatory conversation education says: “One in five accounts is false. Discuss this with parents. If authorities discover that this, parents/children will be prosecuted – courtroom -penalties.” Along with a preparatory note for a dialog with one affected parent that was also a teacher at the school: “invite for a discussion – labour law – point out bills – slander and defamation”. And : “discuss that if it’s not accurate, prosecution would follow.”

According to the Telegraaf, the papers also show that the school leaders watched camera footage of the sexual attack. This footage can be discovered.  

The inspector eventually switched to the Minister of Education to pressure the faculty into reporting Ephraim S. to the authorities. In October 2012, three weeks following the Inspectorate first asked for a report, the school eventually filed a police declaration. “Only because the confidential inspector believes that there is a legal duty to do this”, Rabbi Jacobs composed, ” the Telegraaf reports.