Hershy Worch came to Melbourne, Australia with his wife and young family in 1995. He was initially employed by the Hillel Foundation. As rabbi of the Hamakom Synagogue, he was then financially supported by members of his community from the years 1995-1997. During this time both his behaviour and demeanour with his female students were consistently predatory, manipulative and abusive. He proactively sought 'romantic' and sexual relationships wtih many many women, specifically targeting those who were emotionally vulnerable and fostering acute dependency. He consistently used his role as counselor to make sexual advances towards those who came to him in need. He had 'romantic' sexual relationships with married and unmarried women who ranged in age from 20 to 50.
His inappropriate behaviour towards female students included:
Physical sexual interactions
Predatory behavior in the pursuit of women: e.g. late night phone calls and invitations to teach women privately.
Using the teaching of Torah as a tool of seduction.
Using group situations with himself at the centre - that utilized his musical, vocal and narrative 'talents' - to manipulate individuals and create a cultic environment around 'Kabbalah' classes.
Using his relationships with students to influence them to 'rescue' him by financially and publically supporting and defending him.
His abuse of his position as rabbi, chazzan and counselor traumatized this community leaving wounds that took and are still taking many years to heal. Reputations were publicly compromised and personal lives were taken over.
Those who have followed his career since he left Australia and returned to the United States have observed a repetition of these patterns.
We trust that with our testimony and others you will do everything within your power to expose Hershy Worch and warn individuals and communities who may be vulnerable to his 'teachings' and promises of insight and enlightenment.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch = Sexual Predator?
I got this note from a group of men and women in Australia who prefer to remain anonymous regarding rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch: