The religious implications of being sexually abused by a rabbi: Qualitative research among Israeli religious men

Yair Krinkin, Guy Enosh, Rachel Dekel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Clergy perpetrated sexual abuse (CPSA) is a widespread phenomenon, with many consequences for the victims. To the best of our knowledge, no research has focused on the religious consequences for Israeli Jewish religious men who were sexually abused by rabbis in their adolescence or emerging adulthood. Objective: To describe the implications of CPSA for the religious faith, practice, and attitude towards rabbis among sexually abused Israeli religious men. Methods: Based on a constructivist-phenomenological paradigm, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with eight formerly and/or currently still religious men who had been abused by rabbis. Results: Three main themes regarding religious consequences, emerged from the findings: the impact of CPSA on the religiosity of the victims; the effect of being sexually abused by a rabbi on victims' attitudes toward other rabbis; and the process of finding a new rabbi after the abuse. Conclusions: This preliminary study opens a window onto the complex nature of this type of sexual abuse and its religious consequences. The unique findings regarding the range of religious implications are not consistent with previous studies about Christian victims. These findings contribute to the understanding of this distinctive form of abuse, for establishing intervention techniques that will assist the victims and for additional research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105901
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Authority
  • Israeli religious men
  • Jewish rabbis
  • Sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The religious implications of being sexually abused by a rabbi: Qualitative research among Israeli religious men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this