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Rabbi Loses His Life to Coronavirus

Nov 8, 2020
Rabbi Loses His Life to Coronavirus

A rabbi from Brooklyn who is well-known for being accused of pedophilia every now and then has reportedly died in the country of Israel. A news report recently informed the public that his death was due to novel coronavirus. 

Rabbi Joel Kolko used to teach at Yeshiva Torah Tehmimah, located at Ocean Parkway. He had been accused multiple times, on various occasions, for being a pedophile. It was reported that he used to molest male students. 

Though he lives in Brooklyn, the rabbi had been visiting Israel. He had been in the country for the holidays and had ended up contracting coronavirus. 

A lawyer for Torah Temimah, Avi Moskowitz, revealed that in the days leading to the death of the rabbi, he had heard news of him falling ill. Subsequently, he had also found out that Kolko had been placed on a ventilator. 

Though the date of the death is still unclear, a memorial was scheduled to be held on Zoom. The public was informed of these developments and encouraged to attend.

Kolko was 74 years old when he died. Several people had accused him of molesting children. Later on, charges had been filed against the rabbi as per the Child Victims Act of New York. This Act was responsible for lifting the statute of limitations for lawsuits. 

Back in 2017, the yeshiva had made an unprecedented payment. They had paid off $2.1 million to two students who used to be a part of Torah Temimah. Coincidentally, the two had studied under the rabbi and had accused him of molesting them. At the moment, Moskowitz is handling three other pending lawsuits, the filers of which claim that they too had been molested by the late rabbi. 

However, the lawyer cannot defend the yeshiva with ease now. The death of the accused has caused several complications to arise. Moskowitz told the public that the cases were filed by grown men, who allege that they were molested by the rabbi 40 to 50 years ago. He pointed out that the man accused of this heinous crime is now unavailable. 

On the other hand is Niall MacGiollabhu, the lawyer for one of the plaintiffs. He disagrees that the death of Kolko presents any complications. 

He stated that there is no denying the crimes committed by the rabbi. He went on to say that the accused’s death will not deter his client and testimony will be provided by the plaintiff. 

The representative of the plaintiff also went on to assure people that Kolko has not evaded justice. He stressed on the fact that the rabbi’s death is not going to prevent the victims from receiving the justice they deserve. MacGiollabhu stated that the epitaph of the 74-year-old is yet to be written. In his opinion, it will be written by the men that he victimized.  

The lawyer ended his message by saying that the victims of the rabbi will determine exactly how he is remembered after his death.

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