Sexual grooming processes carried out by offending rabbis toward religious men and their families

Yair Krinkin, Rachel Dekel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Research regarding sexual grooming in cases of sexual abuse by religious authorities (SARA) is limited, despite the assumption that many SARA cases go unreported. To the best of our knowledge there is no research regarding sexual grooming committed by rabbis who sexually abused Israeli Jewish religious men. Objective: The present study examined how Israeli religious SARA victims and their family members experienced sexual grooming carried out by offending rabbis. Methods: Based on a constructivist-phenomenological paradigm, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 16 formerly and/or currently still religious men who had been sexually abused by rabbis in their adolescence, and 14 of their family members. Results: In comparison to the Sexual Grooming Model (SGM), findings showcased that unlike other kinds of sex offenders, offending rabbis incorporated religious elements throughout the grooming process. Additionally, offending rabbis used different grooming tactics than did Catholic priests (e.g., offering joint religious studies with victims' family members; using religion to justify sexual discourse and contact). Conclusions: The findings expand the SGM, enable a more complex understanding of the grooming processes in SARA, and emphasize the importance of further research focused on increasing the ability to use the SGM for detecting and preventing grooming behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106491
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Clergy sexual abuse
  • Jewish religious men
  • Rabbis
  • Sexual grooming


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