Judge due to hold inquiry into Rabbi Halpern allegations steps down from role

Retired senior judge Martyn Zeidman stands down from promised investigation because of wife’s illness


A retired judge who was due to chair an inquiry into the conduct of Rabbi Chaim Halpern has stepped down.

The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) is now understood to be urgently seeking a replacement to conduct its promised investigation into allegations against the 64-year-old Golders Green rabbi.

Retired judge Martyn Zeidman had agreed to preside over the process but has now pulled out for “personal reasons”.

The former senior circuit judge said: “With great regret, I am now unable to conduct this important inquiry. It is for personal reasons, in that my wife has suddenly been taken seriously ill.”He had been due to begin his inquiry imminently into the allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Rabbi Halpern.

He had made it clear that he would not invite witnesses until any police inquiry had concluded.

Last week, the Metropolitan Police announced that its inquiry into allegations against Rabbi Halpern had been closed, because it had been unable to make contact with, or identify, the latest accuser, believed to be a 21-year-old London woman, now living in Israel.

The unnamed woman told an Israeli TV station that Rabbi Halpern had groped her breasts and repeatedly phoned her begging her for sex after she saw him for spiritual guidance sessions in Golders Green, north London.

The JC has contacted the UOHC for comment.

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