THE HAGUE, the Netherlands (JTA) — Dutch police asked Israel for help investigating the actions of a Tel Aviv teacher suspected of molesting pupils at a Jewish school near Amsterdam.
The man, identified only as Ephraim S., immigrated last year to Israel after being fired from his job as a teacher at the Cheider school in Buitenveldert near Amsterdam, De Telegraaf reported Friday. The Orthodox school has 200 pupils aged 2 to 18.
According to De Telegraaf reporter Iris Cohen, the suspect, who is in his 20s, was fired from the school for “inappropriate conduct” but currently gives private lessons in Israel.
The paper reported that a number of families and pupils filed complaints with the police against the teacher, including a 16-year-old who said he had “sexual contact” with the teacher.
The teacher left the Netherlands for Israel after the complaints were filed but before authorities had issued an arrest warrant.
Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, Holland’s chief interprovincial rabbi and a member of the school’s board, said the school, which also sought charges against the teacher, went by the book as soon as the allegations surfaced.
“From the second the first complaint came in, we consulted the law book and did everything in accordance to it, so nothing gets swept under the carpet here,” he told JTA.
The suspect worked for about a year as a teacher for the primary school, he added. Jacobs told De Telegraaf that the case “aroused panic in some teachers, who are now afraid their children have also been molested.”
De Telegraaf contacted the teacher through his attorney, who declined to comment on the allegations. Jacobs said the man had denied the allegations when they first surfaced.
There is no indication yet whether the Netherlands will seek the teacher’s extradition.