Former Liberal shul rabbi sentenced for possessing indecent images of children

Yuval Keren, the ex-minister of Southgate Progressive, received 20-month suspended jail term


Yuval Keren, the former rabbi of Southgate Progressive Synagogue, has received a 20-month suspended jail sentence for possession of hundreds of indecent images of children.

The term, imposed by Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday, has been suspended for 24 months.

Keren, who was suspended from his rabbinic post after the National Crime Agency launched an investigation in July 2022, was also ordered to do 180 hours of community service and will be subject a sexual harm order restricting his activities for five years.

NCA officers acted after online storage producer Dropbox reported a user uploading suspicious images.

He was arrested at his home in Pinner and several devices were seized.

A total of 1,694 indecent images of children of which 189 fell in the most extreme category A, the NCA said. The images went back to 2010.

Keren pleaded guilty to all charges in October, which included one count of possession of an "extreme pornographic" image.

Prosecuting counsel said that he had shown “what would appear genuine remorse”.

Holly Triggs, operations manager of NCA, said, “Yuval Keren had accessed images showing the horrific abuse of children for over 10 years.

“The NCA is committed to protecting children and ensuring that individuals who collect this material, and create a demand for abuse content, are held to account.”

In a statement following the sentencing, Liberal Judaism said it found Keren’s crimes “ shocking and abhorrent. Our sympathies lie with the victims of his appalling actions, as they do with all victims of child abuse everywhere”.

Within 24 hours of his arrest he had been suspended from his ministerial post. His employment ended at the end of August last year and he was expelled from the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors and disbarred from membership of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors.

Liberal Judaism, the statement said, had “robust safeguarding processes and reporting in place and these are followed with the utmost rigour. We are also taking the necessary steps to ensure that Yuval Keren will never again be able to work anywhere within a Liberal or Reform Jewish community, in the UK or abroad.”

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