SPECIAL NEWSLETTER: Latest Rav Berland news

  • Rabbi Eliezer Berland HOME2
Followers say it was divine intervention; police say Rabbi Berland was tipped off. One way or another, as reported extensively by Jewish Report, and other major papers, armed police raided the Midrand hotel where 500 members of the Shuvu Banim Breslov sect were staying last Shabbos. The Friday night raid failed to catch Berland, the sect's leader, who had been present but managed to escape the Hawks once again.
by ANT KATZ | Feb 02, 2016

Jewish Report Online sent out a special newsletter on Monday to keep the community informed on what was happening regarding the "Shabbat Raid" by Interpol and SAPS aimed at capturing the Israeli fugitive Rabbi Berland who is wanted for extradition. For those who do not get the Jewish Report weekly newsletter on Thursdays, here is the special newsletter that was issued.

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Today's latest developments include:

Rav Berland issues a recording saying he "loves Rabbi Goldstein."

Shuvu Banim International threaten to sue S/Times and Haaretz


Keeping the community informed on recent developments

Shalom subscribers,

Followers say it was divine intervention; police say Rabbi Berland was tipped off. One way or another, as reported extensively by Jewish Report, and other major papers, armed police raided the Midrand hotel where 500 members of the Shuvu Banim Breslov sect were staying last Shabbos. The Friday night raid failed to catch Berland, the sect's leader, who had been present but managed to escape the Hawks once again.


Berland has been in South Africa since at least September 2015 – having previously spent seven months in the country during 2014, evading an arrest and extradition warrant from Israel. He is wanted by Israeli authorities on charges of molestation.

After a second botched attempt to arrest him in 2014, Rav Berland fled to Holland, from where he eventually jumped a reported R2-million bail. He then returned to SA after losing an appeal against his extradition.

Read all our stories below to hear about the Shuvu Banim's alleged death threat to South Africa's Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein which Berland's followers have subsequently denied.


Follow our five special stories: have all the facts, and only the facts







The latest news from today on this fast-developing story

This morning, Monday, Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told Jewish Report that the police were unable to comment on whether Rav Berland was a South African citizen or not – but that it would make no difference with regard to his arrest and extradition.

“There is a warrant of arrest, he is wanted for sexual offenses in Israel,” said Mulaudzi. “If he changes citizenship, it doesn’t exonerate him.” As there was an extradition treaty between the two countries, said Brig Mulaudzi, any South African citizen guilty of a crime in Israel could be extradited.

On the question of the veracity of the Israeli charges against him, Mulaudzi says that is up to the Israeli courts to decide. If Rav Berland is, in fact, innocent, says the Brigadier, “Why is he running away every time we look for him?”

Regarding the botched Shabbos raid, Brig Mulaudzi says that Berland was definitely at the hotel when police raided, but “we suspect that some information was leaked,” which allowed Berland to escape, he says. “He must go back to Israel and face the courts.”

Asked why the police had used such overwhelming force for the Shabbat raid, the Hawks spokesman said the following: “The first time we tried to arrest (Berland, in 2004), he ran away. The second time (in September 2014) we were shot at by his bodyguards; so this time we requested the assistance of a strategic response team, because of the shooting last time.”

Similarly, in a joint statement on behalf of SA Jewry, the Board, Fed, UOS, Office of the Chief Rabbi and the UCF made the following call: “The South African Jewish community calls on Rabbi Eliezer Berland to return to Israel immediately to face the serious criminal charges laid against him and for which there is an international warrant of arrest against him.”


The Sunday Times Story was pasted across the top of page 5


Follow website for daily developments on this fast-evolving story


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The Jewish Report editorial team


  1. 6 Ben 02 Feb
    SAJR: Instead of sensationalizing and further inflaming the issue, why not?:

        1. Publish Rabbi Berland's full official statement as it appears here: http://en.shuvubanimint.com/2016/02/02/rabbi-berland-speaks-out-listen-to-the-important-message/  and set the record straight very clearly. It is clear from this statement that the original reports of a "Death threat", were nothing but false, cheap, sleazy and sensationalistic journalism intended to polemicise and inflame the issue and to turn an entire SA Jewish Community against this man by means of propoganda.

    2. Apologise to the Rabbi (and all involved) for having slandered them in publishing this second-hand false information and pointing/leading to further libelous conclusions. The Rabbi may have been summoned to appear in court in Israel, but as yet he is not guilty of anything (other than perhaps evading arrest), and even if he were, where do you get the right to libel him (in particular for something which has nothing to do with what is has been charged for)?

    3. In the interest of decent journalism condemn the Sunday Times, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, etc. for publishing such cheap baseless libel and having  absolutely no journalistic standard.
  2. 5 Ant Katz 02 Feb
    Hi Ben. I am not hiding my identity. I am the online and social media editor of the SAJR. my email address is [email protected] and you are welcome to correspond with me. I need to say that you are obviously not able to be objective as you have some agenda (which I have gladly published). I do not. Nor do the management of the SAJR. We do not judge, as you seem to do, what is true and what is not. We are a platform that reports on what the community says and does. And we rely on the intelligence of our readers to make their own choices. Having practiced journalism for forty years, I think I am qualified to anyone who can say that "Sunday Times, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, etc." publish "cheap baseless libel and (have) absolutely no journalistic standard(s)" - is indeed a media nincompoop and has a personal, subjective agenda.
  3. 4 LJ 03 Feb
    I fail to see why you need to go out of your way for this Berland character. Anyone who supports a sex offender and comes with these agendas clearly has a screw loose.

    I find it of no journalistic standard to portray the man as anything other then what he is a thug and a criminal
  4. 3 nat cheiman 08 Feb
    LJ, has Berland been convicted as a thug and criminal? 
    If not, do you have DIRECT evidence supporting the allegations?
    Berland may well be guilty of alleged crimes.
    However, as yet, he has not been convicted.
    You cannot be prosecutor, judge and executioner, against any person, moreso, a JEW.
    Leave it to the authorities, who seem tp be incapable. 
  5. 2 Anthony Lange 03 May
    I also do not hid my identity. What the South African 'Jewish', yes Jewish community need is a statement by the Chief Rabbi detailing what, if anything he has done to help a fellow Jew. Its as simple as that. Did he go to court to stand guarantor for Rabbi Berland over Pesach and Shabbos. Did he contact anyone to see if the elderly Rabbi could be spared TWO or more now, WEEK IN PRISON (can you think of anything WORSE).

    The time is fast approaching when we WANT A REPONSE or will he will live with this injustice for the rest of his life?
  6. 1 Anthony Lange 05 May
    'Followers say it was divine intervention; police say Rabbi Berland was tipped off.'

    Have we slipped SO FAR  as to imagine there is a contradiction in the above statement.

    Shame on US!


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