Elior Chen

A self-proclaimed rabbi entangled in a harrowing child abuse scandal.

Elior Chen, a self-proclaimed rabbi, became the focal point of a grave child abuse case that shocked and appalled both the Israeli public and the international community. His story unfolded as a tragic narrative of manipulation, violence, and the exploitation of religious faith for nefarious purposes.

Background and Conviction

Chen positioned himself as a spiritual authority, gathering around him a group of followers in Jerusalem. It was within this context that he committed and orchestrated a series of severe abuses against children, presenting himself as a figure of religious and moral rectitude. His teachings and instructions led to the brutal and inhumane treatment of eight minors, marking a disturbing chapter in the intersection of faith and violence.

The Crimes

The abuses committed under Chen’s guidance were egregious and included beatings with clubs and hammers, kicks to the head, severe shaking, burning, handcuffing, stuffing in a suitcase, and depriving the victims of food and sleep. These acts of cruelty were not only physical but also psychological, leaving deep and lasting scars on the victims.

Legal Proceedings and Sentencing

After fleeing Israel to evade arrest, Chen was eventually apprehended and extradited back to face justice. In a landmark trial, he was convicted for his crimes against children and sentenced to 24 years in prison. The Jerusalem District Court also mandated Chen to pay significant damages to his victims, acknowledging the profound suffering he caused. This sentence underscored the severity of his actions and the judicial system’s stance on protecting minors from abuse.

Public and Community Reaction

The case elicited widespread condemnation and brought to the forefront the vulnerabilities within communities that can be exploited by charismatic leaders. It also sparked discussions on the need for vigilance and protective measures against such abuses in religious settings. Organizations dedicated to the prevention of child abuse, like Jewish Community Watch, have listed Chen on their “Wall of Shame,” highlighting the importance of community awareness and the protection of children from predators masquerading as spiritual leaders​​​​.

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