FBI Opens Tipline, Ohel Offers Assistance, After Local Therapist Arrested

Jewish Link of New Jersey
November 12, 2015

Elliot Halberstam, 38, of Bergenfield, was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday for allegedly sexually abusing a 16-year-old former patient.

Halberstam had been assistant director with Jewish Family Service and Children’s Center of Passaic-Clifton and operated a practice in Englewood, where he counseled children and teens.

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Diego Rodriquez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI, stated that Halberstam was charged on three counts, stemming from sexual exploitation and enticement of a minor and receipt of child pornography. During a court hearing Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Manhattan, Halberstam was ordered held without bail.

He faces federal charges because the emails were sent from computers in several states and his birthplace, the U.K. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Halberstam was ultimately reported to authorities by the victim, and was arrested and his home searched on Tuesday. The investigation is ongoing.

The FBI reports concerns that additional victims may surface. Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is requested to contact the FBI at 1-212-384-1000 or https://tips.fbi.gov/. Those with particular concerns or those seeking immediate assistance from a local Jewish organization may contact Ohel at 201-692-3972. For those needing a direct way of receiving Ohel’s services, Rabbi Jeremy Donath is Ohel’s Bergen County community coordinator and can be reached at any time by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Jewish Family Service in Passaic-Clifton released a statement saying that it was cooperating with authorities and gathering all relevant information, but that its main concern is maintaining its clients’ welfare and privacy.