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Teaneck rabbi charged with molesting teen boys from Israel

Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR
Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: The FBI and Israeli police helped Bergen County authorities arrest and charge a Teaneck rabbi accused of molesting two 13-year-old boys from Israel who were staying at his home. Uzi Rivlin, 63, is b eing held on $175,000 bail, with a court appearance scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Uzi Rivlin (PHOTO courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR)

Local authorities were contacted by FBI agents summoned by Israeli police after the boys told them of the alleged incidents, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

“One child reported that his visit was in the summer of 2009 and one child reported that his visit was in summer of 2010,” Molinelli said. “Both children had separately reported the sexual abuse to the Israel Police after they had returned home to Israel.”

The Scholarship Fund for the Advancement of Children in Israel, sponsored by Rivlin and others, brought the boys here, the prosecutor said. One already had an abusive background, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Rivlin, of Congregation Beth Aaron, launched The Scholarship Fund for the Advancement of Children in Israel (Keren Milgot) nearly 15 years ago after reading about a poor family in the southern development town of Kiryat Gat whose two babies had to share one pacifier, Rivlin’s wife, Jenny, once told a reporter.

Since then, hundreds of youngsters have come to stay with host American families and attend a session of Camp Moshava, an Orthodox Zionist camp in Pennsylvania. Rivlin’s young boarders have attended the Torah Academy of Bergen County in Teaneck. One, a foster child, made his bar mitzvah at the Jewish Center of Teaneck while staying at what has become known as “Camp Rivlin.”

Rivlin — who also teaches at Temple Beth Abraham, a reform congregation in Tarrytown, N.Y. has been involved in other charities, as well. Two years ago, he told a reporter from the New Jersey edition of The Jewish Standard that he contributed to a fund that expended about $100,000 a year for food, clothing, school supplies, and furnishings to some 500 Israeli 5- to 18-year-olds in need. At the time, he said, those served numbered close to 1,000.


Many of the children who have stayed at “Camp Rivlin” have come from troubled or terribly poor homes; some are orphans.
Two have attended Yeshiva University, while others have gone to local yeshivas in North Jersey and New York.

Detectives arrested Rivlin today and charged hiim with aggravated criminal sexual contact and child endangerment. Molinelli said that authorities from both countries are trying to determine whether any other children may have similar reports.




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