Jerusalem seminaries refund tuitions with ex-leader accused of sexual assault


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Four religious seminaries in Jerusalem whose former leader was accused of sexual assault will refund tuition to 13 families of American students.

The out-of-court settlement was reached last month, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday.

A civil lawsuit was filed in August with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of four parents with daughters who signed up for the haredi Orthodox seminaries for the 2014-15 school year.

The parents withdrew their daughters after allegations that Rabbi Elimelech Meisels sexually assaulted students at the seminaries that he ran — Peninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Chedvas Bais Yaakov and Keser Chaya.

In an August interview with JTA, Meisels called the sexual assault allegations “completely false.” He also was accused of fraud.

Officials from the seminaries told Haaretz that Meisels is no longer involved with the seminaries.

No complaints have been made in the case in Israel, according to Haaretz.

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