Rabbi Rabbi Uzi Rivlin, who founded an organization to benefit disadvantaged youths, has been charged with two counts each of aggravated criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child following compaints by two Israeli teens who stayed at his home in Teaneck.
The rabbi is a citizen of both Israel and the United States and works as a teacher at Congregation Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, N.Y.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinell said the arrest resulted from an investigation conducted by his office’s Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit, the Teaneck Police Department, the Israeli Police and with the assistance of the F.B.I.
Molinelli said in a statement that one of the 13-year-old boys reported that his visit was in the summer of 2009 and the other reported that his visit was in summer of 2010.
The DA’s statement said Rivlin, 63, helped found the Scholarship Fund for the Advancement of Children in Israel the 1990s and the boys’ visit was connected with the organization, which places kids with a host family while they attend a U.S. summer camp.
The Bergen Record quoted Rabbi Moshe Yasgur, a past vice president of the fund , defending Rivlin. “I don’t believe that he is a person who would ever engage in such activity,’’ Yasgur told the paper, suggesting that the report to Israeli police could have been “mixed up in translation” or that the teens were blaming an attack by someone else on the rabbi.
The rabbi’s bail was set at $175,000.00 dollars by Judge Donald Venezia, but he must pay the full amount rather than a 10 percent option sometimes allowed. He was remaned to Bergen County Jail, ordered to urrender his U.S. and Israeli Passports and barred from any contact with the victims or any children under the age of eighteen if he is released until the outcome of a trial.