Sexually assaulted by a doctor at 17, Lorie Wolf slams rabbis for sending her away with just a cheque

Musician Lorie Wolf decided to speak out about her sexual assault years after living in silence. (Supplied photo)

When Lorie Wolf was a student at TanenbaumCHAT high school, her family friend who was also a doctor sexually assaulted her. She was 17; he was in his 50s. She visited his office alone one weekend to inquire about her acne problem, and she left with trauma, pain and a secret she would hold onto for years. Only after her parents read her secret diary, five years after the fact, did the family take action—but instead of going to the police, they went to an Orthodox Jewish rabbinical court. The doctor, Leon Herman, admitted to the crime, but got off with a fine. He kept practising medicine for another 15 years.

Only after years of therapy and the #MeToo movement did Wolf decide to speak out. She launched legal proceedings against Herman, but struggled to navigate the court system during a pandemic—and the case ended up withdrawn.

She has now decided to go fully public with the story, detailing the case and her experience in a deeply personal essay for The CJN. She joins The CJN Daily today to share her story, express frustration over how the Jewish community reacted and explain how she hopes her story can inspire other survivors of sexual assault to speak out.

What we talked about:

Credits

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.