“Elon was convicted of child sexual abuse, yet the Rabbinate steadfastly refused to remove his Rabbinic authority.”
Rabbi Moti Elon 300
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Convicted sex-offender and former prominent Jerusalem educator Moti Elon relinquished his teudat rabbanut (rabbinate certificate) on Thursday, officially barring himself from any formal Jewish leadership role.
Though he was convicted of indecent assault in 2013, Elon continued to serve the public, going as far as opening a new yeshiva in Jerusalem in 2017.
The High Court of Justice recommended Elon return his certificate after hearing a petition against the Israeli Rabbinate by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, an umbrella organization focused on combating sexual violence; the Jewish Community Watch (JCW), a global organization that focuses on combating sexual abuse specifically in the Jewish Orthodox community; and Voice Against Child Sexual Abuse (VoiCSA), an international child protection organization.
“Elon was convicted of child sexual abuse, yet the Rabbinate steadfastly refused to remove his Rabbinic authority,” VoiCSA stated.
“He has never accepted guilt,” they pointed out, even though credible allegations of sexual assault of underage boys were brought against him. “Shame on the Israeli Rabbinate, which has demonstrated, once again, their immorality and dereliction of duty.”
The Chief Rabbinate sent a letter to Elon in 2019, informing him that his public service privileges were being reviewed, in what was seen as a first step towards disbarring him from the rabbinate.
The Chief Rabbinate had still not revoked Elon’s accreditation as a rabbi by June, content with his promise to not seek a public position in the rabbinate.
Elon was first convicted by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court in 2013 on two counts of indecent assault by force against a minor. New allegations were directed at him in 2018, this time sexual molestation also against a minor.