Tzipi Dunner's Indictment

An indictment for rape against the teacher at Educational Campus Sha'alvim

Two years after the investigation that described how Tzipi Dunner sexually assaulted female students of the Educational Campus Sha'alvim, the prosecutor's office filed an indictment for rape under aggravated circumstances and indecent acts

In 2021, an investigation by Chen Artzi Sror was published for the first time in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, with testimonies from female students at the Educational Campus Sha'alvim in Nof Ayalon. The investigation recounts how Tzipi Dunner, a female teacher who was considered to be respected at the Educational Campus Sha'alvim, sexually assaulted female students of the institution during and after school hours. The harm included touching their intimate parts against their will and repeated verbal and SMS harassment.

Today (Thursday) the prosecutor's office decided to file an indictment against her based on the testimony of 2 of the victims. The indictment includes counts of aggravated rape and indecent acts.

Prof. Attorney Dana Pugach, from the Ono Academic College representing the main victim in Case B, said: "Dunner brutally and methodically took advantage of the great trust she received from her students and permanently scarred their lives. The attempt to cover up and silence the cases by the institute and by the rabbi of the town will be remembered forever."

"I am proud of Victim B who courageously chose to break the bond of silence around Dunner and demand justice for her and the other victims. There is no doubt that the difficulty of complaining in such circumstances, against a woman who has power in the school and in the community, is enormous. I hope that the brave step B took will further encourage victims, to file a complaint and bring justice."

Educational Campus Sha'alvim (Photo: YouTube, Educational Campus Sha'alvim, communication major)

"She used to comb girls' hair"

As mentioned, the affair exploded about two years ago when the students of the Educational Campus Sha'alvim claimed that Dunner allegedly committed offenses of a sexual nature against them.

According to the same investigative publication in Yedioth Aharonoth, the claims against Dunner reached the Takana forum 9 years ago. It also appears that the attorney general at the time, Avichai Mandelblit, was also informed by the heads of the forum of what was happening. After examining the claims, the forum ordered Dunner to no longer work with youth and to leave the teaching. The forum even recommended the rabbi of the Yishuv to publish her name.

One of the girls who was interviewed, Miriam Bardugo, said at the time: "In every yearbook, there were a group of girls who were around her. In my yearbooks, we were the closest group to her, and she was indeed a very strange teacher. We thought she was a bit pathetic, in situations that today in retrospect seem and are interpreted as sexual. Girls would sit on her during breaks and she would comb girls' hair."

"She would drop us off at the mall, the kind of teacher who you go to for lunch. Again, everything seems very strange and unconventional in retrospect, but at that time we didn't have Facebook and Instagram. We were very, very innocent. I hardly ever saw women in swimsuits, I hardly ever went to the mall. The mind did not go in the direction of sexual abuse and her behavior is not normal. We saw her as one of us, which was very far from the truth."

"Hard and heartbreaking reality"

With the explosion of the affair, the criticism against the Educational Campus Sha'alvim and Rabbi Binyamin Gideon, who fabricated the affair, led to Dunner continuing to teach at other institutions even after the complaints against her had arrived. Gideon himself published a letter to the residents of Nof Ayalon at the time when the affair exploded. The letter reads, among other things: "Our hearts are with the girls who were hurt, with the pain and suffering they went through. We know that enormous pain is present in the life of every such girl. We also strongly feel the difficulty of children, youth, and adults who were stunned after the articles were published."

"The case came to the attention of several people in the settlement, and we were among them, several years ago, following a request from the Takana Forum. The forum informed us that it had examined a complaint that had come to it, but claimed that publication would harm the complainants and asked not to expand the circle of those informed of the case. After a long time, they added Complaints to the forum, the details of which were not visible to us at any stage."

The residents of Nof Ayalon themselves also published a letter in which they expressed their feelings following the explosion of the affair. "We are men and women, residents and graduates of Nof Ayalon, fathers, and mothers, neighbors and neighbors, we woke up to a difficult and heartbreaking reality. We all share in the shock and shock. We all feel great pain as we are one human tissue. The neighbor's daughter is our daughter, and our experience is that an organ of our organ has been damaged. In a way Naturally, we have a deep identification with all the victims and this does not give us rest."

"I'm sorry that there are factors that chose to inflame the hatred"

Dunner herself responded to Yedioth Aharonoth's investigation. "Many years of my life have been dedicated to investing in education, in helping students. I have helped a lot in dealing with their problems and hardships. Unfortunately, out of dozens of girls who respect and appreciate me for that, there are two who have made it their goal to damage my good name on various occasions. All the claims and incidents that I supposedly damaged are I am sorry that there are parties who chose to fuel the hatred and harm towards me and my family. I apologize to the extent that someone was unintentionally hurt by me."

Dunner's lawyer, Sassy Gez, also clarified at the time that Dunner denies all the allegations against her. "My client denies sexual touching of her students or rude and inappropriate talk. My client dedicated her life to the education of thousands of girls, and extended help to every girl in need who turned to her. I am sorry for my inheritance if there was anyone who felt hurt by her. She never intended to hurt anyone, but only to help."

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