(The school did not respond to queries about its curriculum.) Many of these students go home to an apartment with no television, no Internet, no newspapers and no books except religious texts.
Many will not gain the basic knowledge of how to navigate the world until they are married off around age 18, like how to write a check, how to order General Tso’s chicken or even what sex is.
Set on a leafy stretch of Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Oholei Torah is one of the most important institutions in the Chabad movement’s global yeshiva network and one of the largest of the dozens of Chabad schools in Brooklyn, with nearly 2,000 students at any given time.
When you’re a child in this environment, you don’t question the fact that you can’t identify your own state on a map.
And when you are molested, you don’t ask questions about that either.
Most are afraid to go public because they fear ruining the lives of their children.
Reizes, now retired and in his 60s, lives across the street from the school where he used to teach.
While there is no evidence that child abuse is any more likely to occur in ultra-Orthodox schools than in public or secular institutions, stories like Reizes’s—an alleged abuser sheltered and victims unwilling to talk for fear of losing the only way of life they know—are common in the Hasidic school system.
The many former students, advocates, sociologists, social workers and survivors interviewed by place the blame on a confluence of factors: widespread sexual repression, a strong resistance to the secular world, and, most important, a power structure designed to keep people from speaking up about abuse.Keep up with this story and more But when she asked Simon how his first lesson went, she could tell “something was really wrong.” Simon told her the rabbi hadn’t taught him anything; instead, he’d asked the boy to lie down and take a nap. The next school day, Simon’s mother went to Rabbi Avrohom Korf, principal of the boy’s school, and told him what had happened.“I said to him, ‘If Reizes continues to teach here, I’m going to go to the newspaper. “The next thing I know, the guy is gone.” Ozer Simon, now in his 40s, says he was molested by a rabbi working as a teacher in his school in Miami in the 1980s.Postcard-perfect white sand beaches and cocaine-addled nights that throbbed to a mix of brassy disco and tropical Cuban beats.It was 1981, and the 19-square-mile barrier island known as Miami Beach was on the verge of bursting into one of the most hedonistic scenes committed to the history books.No official complaint against him was ever filed in Miami, and Simon’s school never alerted Oholei Torah about the incident that had prompted Reizes’s quick return to Brooklyn.