April 16, 2019

The families of eight children between the ages of three and four have accused a Jewish preschool in Washington, D.C., of sexual abuse against the children over a two-year period.

A 74-count lawsuit filed in Superior Court for the District of Columbia on Monday accuses Washington Hebrew Congregation, including the head of the school, of allowing a teacher, Jordan Silverman, to sexually abuse the children in their care. It also claims that despite numerous warning signs over a prolonged period, the congregation’s Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center and its head of schools for early-childhood education, Deborah Jensen, failed to protect the children, who were taken to remote areas on campus and sexually abused.

“Silverman’s alleged behavior is only a part of this story,” said Steven Toll, a managing partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “Sadly, the Early Childhood Center and [Jensen] not only created an environment that enabled this predatory behavior, but failed to act on a myriad of indications that something was wrong.”

“We are prepared to prove in this litigation that multiple adults—teachers and parents—went to the director of the school, Ms. Jensen, and either warned her specifically about behaviors they saw that were troubling or raised the concern about him taking children into rooms alone,” said Michael Dolce of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

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