A rabbi once accused of sexually molesting a student in Brooklyn is now a principal at a New Jersey yeshiva — which touts his “wisdom and experience” on its website, The Post has learned.
Rabbi Joel Falk is named by a former Yeshiva Torah Temimah student in a new lawsuit, one of the first against a rabbi under New York’s Child Victims Act.
Baruch Sandhaus, now 52, claims Falk “would inappropriately touch” his penis in 1980, shortly after he started ninth grade at age 13, according to the lawsuit.
Falk, 74, who still lives in Brooklyn, now serves as the principal of Hebrew studies at Toras Zev, a Lakewood, N.J. yeshiva.
Sandhaus, a Florida businessman, said he is horrified that Falk is working with boys.
“It is devastating for me to hear that Falk is still working at a yeshiva. This man should not be around kids. I don’t want any children to suffer the way I did,” Sandhaus told The Post.
While in the ninth grade, Sandhaus confided in Falk that he had been abused by fellow Rabbi Joel Kolko in elementary school. Falk spent time counseling the troubled teen — and then abused him as well, he alleges.
Sandhaus complained at the time to the Midwood yeshiva, but a dean warned the family to keep quiet about the allegations or he “could not guarantee the safety” of the boy and his siblings, he contends.
The yeshiva kept Falk as a rabbi and principal until 1989. He was never criminally charged.’
But it settled with two other former students who alleged abuse by Kolko, paying them a total $2.1 million in 2016, The Post reported. Sandhaus also names Kolko in his suit.
Reached at the Lakewood yeshiva, Falk refused to discuss the allegations, telling The Post, “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to take this call.”
Sandhaus filed suit in Brooklyn Supreme Court under the Child Victims Act, which opened a one-year window for people of any age to seek damages against their alleged abusers, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.
Survivors for Justice, an NYC-based advocacy group, sent a copy of the lawsuit to the Lakewood yeshiva — and urged it to take precautions.
“It would be unfortunate if Toras Zev joined a long line of ultra-Orthodox yeshivas covering up allegations of child sex abuse and protecting the reputations of child molesters in their employ,” said spokesman Ben Hirsch.
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