AMSTERDAM (JTA) – Following an investigation, the umbrella group of Dutch Jewish communities dismissed accusations that a local rabbi molested children in the United States.
The Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands, or NIK, last week announced the findings of its four-month probe of Rabbi Mendel Levine of Brooklyn, New York, who began serving the community of the eastern city of Nijmegen in 2009.
The probe followed an article in De Telegraaf daily in January reporting on accusations against Levine from 2011.
That year, Meir Seewald, a Crown Heights activist against accused child molesters in religious Jewish communities, published an online account of the alleged abuse he says he suffered in 2000 as a boy attending a summer camp belonging to the Chabad-run Gan Israel Camping Network, where Levine had worked as a counselor.
But a special commission set up by the NIK could not verify the account in dozens of conversations, the organization said.
“The commission came to the conclusion in its probe that there is no basis for the accusation that the person in question had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct,” NIK said.
Seewald responded in a statement. “Because not being believed is really one of the worst feelings in the world,” he wrote.
Separately, a court in Amsterdam is reviewing molestation accusations against a 30-year-old Dutch Jewish man who immigrated in 2012 to Israel after being fired from his job as a teacher at the Orthodox Cheider Jewish school in Buitenveldert, near Amsterdam. He was extradited to the Netherlands in 2016.
Schrijver has denied allegations that he raped or molested several boys there.