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July 5, 2011 – 9:59 pm413 Comments

David Kramer

By Malki Rose

Perhaps the single most distressing thing about the David Kramer case, is not how many Yeshiva College students he preyed upon, or that he was quietly shipped out of Yeshiva and sent packing to the USA to strike again, but the fact that it took a shocking 18 years for issue to truly come to light and Victoria Police attention.

Those not affiliated with Chabad or Yeshiva continue to be mortified at its handling of the situation

Some of us in the Yeshiva/Beth Rivkah community ourselves in secondary school at the time had varying degrees of awareness of David Kramer, but others also an awareness of what was transpiring with our Yeshiva counterparts.

For some reason the early years of secondary school seemed to be plagued with incidents of sexual predators near and around our quaint school community.

The first incident in my memory was in year eight. Our first floor classroom window looked out over Balaclava Road and for some time our Jewish studies class was interrupted by peels of laughter from those who had happened to be staring out the window at the man in the flats across the road who made it a regular hobby of his to stand at his window and expose himself to onlooking students. Our teacher would advise us to stop laughing and “grow up”. When it continued to go on we were advised to “ignore it”.

In the next few years our class, our school, and our community would unfortunately come to be shaken by several other far more serious and terrifying incidents of sexual predatory behaviour, not just involving those of Yeshiva Beth Rivkah but also the Adass and Beth HaTalmud community and the Yavneh Mizrachi community. Some of the incidents involved predatory strangers and some of them involved known individuals in our community, people who prayed in our synagogues, but preyed on our children.

How did we know this? Simply because victims spoke up. Initially.

And those who had been preyed upon by strange ‘park paedophiles’ in Greenmeadows Park or the “guy with the red car who parked on Springfield avenue”…. those kids, they were the lucky ones.

Their reports and their complaints could be handed to their teachers, to their parents, to community leaders, and of course to the police and were publicised and dealt with as soon as was practical and in the strongest possible terms.

These external predators would not be allowed to get away with their preying on Jewish kids.

But these kids were not in the majority.

The majority were kids who were trapped. Trapped because no sooner had they found the courage to mention to a friend, teacher or counsellor, than were they summarily doubted.

They would find the courage to finally explain to someone why they had not been at school, why they were falling asleep in classes, why they had been slitting their wrists or why they just didn’t want to go home. The counsellors would always, to their credit take these matters seriously. But it would take little more than a flippant denial from the alleged predator or a remark from someone high up in the community that the child had an “active imagination” or was just “crying for attention” to put the matter to rest.

These predators are people in positions of responsibility in our community, within the walls we ironically build to keep danger out.

Most of these cases have never been reported to the police. They were briefly “dealt with” internally and then never spoken of again.  Neither the predators nor the victims have ever seen a day of justice, while the pain lingers, forever affecting every day of their lives, their relationships, careers, and functioning. These children have grown into fractured adults and the predators continue to deceive the outside world. Nothing has been learned.

In 2008 when the case of Malka Leifer, the principal of Adass, came to media attention, the shame it brought to the community was not because we had an alleged predator in our midst. (To paraphrase the Lubavitcher Rebbe, ‘the Jewish community is not different’) Rather the abhorrent shame was in the management of the situation. To pack a suspected child predator onto a plane, (not for the first time in our community) laden with community funding and send them off to a place where they can continue to harm others, reeks of a kind of evil that it is hard to imagine even exists.

Those outside of the Adass community shook their heads. Just as with the Kramer case.

It is one kind of evil to be a human being who inflicts harm on a child, but it is an altogether different and possibly worse kind of evil to facilitate and enable the predator. So far our community has demonstrated that it is more than capable of both.

But this is not a problem of the Adass community, nor of the Yeshiva community. It is not even limited to the Orthodox community and certainly not to the Jewish community.

This issue is the significant and burdensome responsibility of the entire community. A responsibility which too many have shirked as that of “the other” for far too long.

For many years the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence (JTAFV), which has sought to involve the community at every level in taking responsibility, has been working hard to develop new programs to protect victims of abuse in all its forms.

JTAFV director Sheiny New advised “after many intensive development seminars with overseas and local specialists, we have created and now implemented an education programme for schools; something which we are encouraging all the schools integrate into their curriculum which can help equip the children, in an age appropriate, non-alarmist way, with the information and skills they need to protect themselves from sexual predators. So far it has been introduced successfully in several schools and we’ve had a great response.”

It is understood that not all the Jewish schools have been willing to introduce the program.

But the two greatest obstacles to protecting our children appear to be the demonising or doubting of the child, and allowing the reputations of notable community members to precede the rights of the child.

The predators so far have won. They are predominantly individuals of standing, people who are known and who hold positions of responsibility in our community, people who have the respect of our leaders.

This is the single greatest threat to our children’s safety. How can even the bravest young person find the courage to come out and say that one of these individuals are harming them? Who would believe them?

Detective Scott Dwyer of the Victoria Police remarked “People in positions of responsibility or power who abuse are often the most insidious. Their power over people, over children, means they can be even more dangerous and they have the ability to cause a lot more harm”.

If a predator is a rabbi, a therapist, a teacher or a leader, then we trust them. They hold the lives of so many in their hands and can manipulate them to their advantage.

So many victims would not dare speak out, believing that their story or complaint would never be believed over that of someone with a good reputation or strong standing in the Jewish or greater community.

Aside from the issue of reputation, victims also worry that nobody will believe them because the person they are naming “Is so lovely”, or “Such an active member of the community”, or “Someone everyone trusts implicitly”.

Parents and carers need to be aware that predators more often than not are warm, charismatic, and well-liked individuals. Rarely do they have teeth hanging out of their heads and “something dodgy about them”. They are almost always “not someone you would suspect”.

It has been 18 years since Kramer was sent packing and now for the first time in our communities history, the police are finally involved.

His victims can breath a sigh of relief that justice is and will continue to be served.

But what if something had been done many years ago, what if the school authorities had seen fit to confront the problem instead of handballing it to the USA where Kramer could victimise more children?

What have we learnt from the Kramer case? Or indeed from the non-existent Leifer case? That the only reason the Kramer case exists is because someone stepped forward.

Leifer’s name and whereabouts are known, there is no reason she could not be extradited to Australia tomorrow. But there is no complaint. Nobody will step forward because nobody wants to soil their reputation or that of their family.

Instead people would prefer to live comfortably with the knowledge that the person who abused them or their child is somewhere else, abusing someone else’s children and ruining other lives. But not theirs.

Since the story of Kramer broke in the Australian media some two weeks ago, the Victorian Police have announced that they are seeking any and all information from anyone who may have also been a victim of Kramer, so that they may be able to prosecute him in Australia should he be granted parole in April next year. This is fantastic.

But more importantly, the Police are also seeking information regarding other predators or other incidents that have not been dealt with to date.

A notice from the Victoria Police has been distributed throughout the Jewish community, including on websites and blogs, through email lists, letterbox drops and of course via the Yeshiva mailing system.

In writing this article 11 different people were spoken with, who have stated that they have claims or are victims of or witnesses to molestation. Every single one of them insisted on not being named. Only two of them are currently working with the police to bring in the perpetrators. The other nine (three of which are rethinking the prospect of filing a report) feel that nothing will be done and that they will not be believed; some also felt that coming forward poses too many risks to their family.

Maintaining a cone of silence only means providing a thick cloak of protection under which predators can hide, safe in the knowledge that nobody would dare ever step forward and name them.

But luckily this is no longer the case.

Detective Dwyer has advised that people in the Jewish community are at long last coming forward and that every single complaint is being treated with the utmost seriousness, confidentiality, and respect.

“At the moment we have 15 separate cases being investigated. In addition to this,  we also have several other names that have been nominated as potential sexual predators, with limited information and we will be making further enquiries into those individuals as well.”

The Rabbinical Council of Victoria has instructed the community to co-operate wherever possible with the police and Rabbi Telsner has  also reassured members of the Yeshiva community in a recent address that cases such as this do not fall into the category of mesira and that people should come forward to assist police wherever possible.

This is not a unique problem, not a religious problem, and not a problem of the corrupt outside world. It is an all too common universal problem. Not one person can say it is “Not my problem” or “Did you hear what happened in that community?”

Parents, victims or other witnesses who are afraid to come forward and make a report need to ask themselves this tough question.

If I, or my child, were to be in the presence of this individual and someone knew but did not tell me that they were a known sexual predator… how would this make me feel? Moreover, how would I feel once I found out the hard way? And how do I live with myself knowing that this could have been prevented had I have spoken up?

Let it not take another 18 years to bring to trial current predators living in our midst.

  • For related content, see David Werdiger’s article on stigma.

If you or anyone you know has information regarding a sexual assault, recent or not, we urge those with information to please either contact crimestoppers on 1800 333 00,  or contact Detective Scott Dwyer at the Moorabbin Sexual Offences Unit directly on 9556 6128 or mobile 0414 181 311.

All complaints are completely confidential.

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413 Comments »

  • Michelle says:

    What an amazing article Malki! We must not think that we are protected from these crimes. We all need to take our heads out of the sand, and be more vigilant to protect the children in our community. The important thing to remember us that we also need to find the balance which allows our children some independence so that they don’t grow up fearing others.

  • Malki Rose says:

    That’s right, and was one of the first things I asked Sheiny about when we discussed the program for the schools. The JTAFV are aware that there is a balance to be had when educating or informing anyone on a particular danger, especially when those ‘anyones’ are young impressionable children. Sheiny assured me that they are cautious about making the program not only age appropriate, but also careful that it does not create a culture of crippling fear. Just the same sort of vigilance that permits youngsters to safely cross roads without believing they will be squashed by a terrifying truck.
    Awareness- is probably the best word for it.

  • Eli says:

    To highlight the problem further here is the story of Pinny Taub (from a post I wrote last year) . He is a Chasid from Williamsburg – He told his story at the JBAC sponsored event in Chicago last October on sex abuse.
    http://newjewishmedia.com/2010/12/18/shame-and-blame/
    Please watch the videos. This is a story that every parent , every member of our community should hear.
    I hope this adds to the discussion
    Thanks

  • Malki Rose says:

    Eli, its a fantastic video. Pinny is a brave man and he has explored all the issues well in his talk. To think that he felt so trapped that the only way to protect his children AND expose his Rebbe without getting into trouble was to leave a note and kill himself!!
    Wow.
    As we can see, the issue of being labelled a ‘moser’ is not unique to our community.
    It is a wonderful step forward that the RCV and Rabbi Telsner have removed this issue and are actively encouraging victims to go to the Police. I wonder if similar edicts have have been made in Pinny’s community?

  • Malki,

    Thank you for this sensitive contribution on such a disturbing topic.

    Just a month ago Radio National’s 360 Documentaries broadcast A sense of duty. It was deeply moving and I encourage everyone to listen to it. The audio is currently online on the ABC web site but it will probably be taken offline shortly. I’ve made a backup of the podcast should anyone need it.

    This is the blurb of the story:

    Phillip was abused hundreds of times by an Anglican priest in the 1970s, when he was aged between 14 and 16, yet it took more than 20 years and a chance encounter with his abuser for the experience to begin to take its toll on him and his marriage. In this compelling program Phillip and his wife Amanda tell their story of the secret that he kept all those years and his brave decision to go to the police and follow the court process through until his abuser was jailed.

    The ABC was granted a court order to tell this story because child victims of sexual abuse are not allowed to be identified by the media in Queensland. This program was a finalist in the 2010 Walkley Awards for Journalism.

    A slightly longer description of the story is here:

    Phillip was only 14 when the curate in his parish church began a sexual relationship with him. Phillip’s parents both became aware of the relationship and reported it to church authorities yet nobody went to the police and Bob Sharwood, the abuser, continued to work with children within the Anglican school system. He even officiated at Phillip and Amanda’s wedding in 1982.

    Phillip unwittingly kept the abuse from his wife during their marriage. It wasn’t until Amanda, a journalist with the Courier Mail in Toowoomba, began reporting on a child sex abuse case in an Anglican school that Phillip’s world began to fall apart, as he realised that what he’d experienced was abuse. He became suicidal and refused to report it to the police, his marriage began to disintegrate. After another victim of Sharwood’s came forward and at the urging of Amanda he decided to allow the police to press charges. Sharwood was eventually sentenced to 12 months in prison.

    During preparations for the court case it emerged that both Phillip’s parents knew about the abuse at the time it occurred. They had both reported it to church authorities and assumed it was dealt with. However this was not the case.

    Phillip told his story to 360 to give other victims of sexual abuse the courage to come forward and report the crimes against them, no matter how many years may have passed since the abuse occured.

    .

    Take time to read the comments under the story.

    Thanks again.

  • Vicki Polin says:

    This is one of those cases that will stay with me forever. I’ll never forget the day that someone from Australia contacted The Awareness Center, which was the international Jewish Coalition Against Assault. They found our web page (which is no longer up), which listed information about Kramer sexually abusing children in St. Louis, MO. They wanted to let us know about his predatorily past. Fortunately, we were able to connect them to those involved with the case in the US and the rest is history.

    The question that remains is where was he between Australia and St. Louis? Sexual predators don’t usually stop molesting for 18 years. The odds are every place David Kramer lived or worked is a trail of innocent children being molested. Over the years The Awareness Center has seen this trend over and over again. Unfortunately, we had to close down this past March due to lack of funding. Our sex offender registry is no longer available — needless to say there’s many other David Kramer’s out there — eagerly waiting to find their next victim.

  • xyz says:

    Good and important article.

    As someone who knows a fair bit about the Leifer case, unfortunately there was nothing to be done. None of the victims or their families were prepared to press charges. In such cases the police are simply not interested.

    Additionally, the alleged victims were not young children. Indeed, no one with any real knowledge of the case has accused her of such.
    They were older girls (admittedly under her ‘watch’) aged 16 and over.

    As soon as the the Adass shcool board found out about the scandal they realised that it was best for her victims and families that she be packed up and despatched. Leaving here here would have caused much upset and not have helped in any way.

    At the same time they contacted relevant educational and religious authorities in Israel to ensure that Leifer doesn’t get a job at any school. (The information I have is that she did apply for several jobs – but after potential employers did some checking she was refused.)

    As to teh Kramer case, though it happened a long time ago, those of us who had reason to take an interest were informed that Rabbi G decided to ship him off after the father of a victim warned that he was prepared to “murder him”.

    An impossible situation for any responsible person. Al tadin es chavercha…

  • Impossible? A responsible person would have called the police and not made him someone else’s problem.

  • somebody said says:

    A hard read, but an important one. i am very well aware that sexual abuse occurs within the jewish community but it’s such a taboo topic and not easily broached. The saddest thing of all is that sexual abuse victims carry around a deep sense of shame that was never theirs in the first place, and it is so hard to shake off, even if they intellectually know it wasn’t their fault. It leaves very deep emotional scars. Perhaps the more that the issue of sexual abuse is spoken about in public, the less stigma and shame will be associated wih it so that more victims can speak out.

  • Malki Rose says:

    xyz,
    I am afraid that although you most likely have a good grasp of the events from the Adass board’s perspective and then what followed in the Adass community, you most certainly don’t seem to have a strong grasp on what sexual abuse entails.

    Firstly, the fact that the girls were 16 or 17 is of zero relevance. It was abuse for one very clear reason. These girls were not consenting adults.

    Especially since ultra orthodox girls are not exposed to the “world of sexuality” like most other 16 year olds, there is nothing in their field of knowledge or experience which would have made them even slightly able to process these incidents in any way but how Leifer told them to.

    True it is not Paedophilia in any true pathological sense, they’d need to be a lot younger than 16 for that to be the case, but it is still molestation and, based on the understanding of what transpired, their maturity, Leifer’s responsibilty as an educator, mentor and protector, her actions make her an indisputable predator.

    All of the girls liked her, admired and respected her and were tricked into being in a compromised situation with her, tricked into being taken into a bed with her and tricked and manipulated into partaking in acts of which they had absolutely no understanding.

    This is an illness.

    Secondly,
    There are several families of victims who DID want to see different action taken, and were told by the school board that the action being taken was appropriate and sufficient. These parents were NOT happy with this, but were asked to remain silent on these issues. But even the school, with or without the parents insistence could have chosen to act differently.

    Until this day they never have, and to misrepresent the Police as being “not interested” is just irresponsible and wrong. The Police cannot force admissions from victims. They cannot help if the leaders of a community create obstacles such as labelling victims ‘mosrim’ for going to the authorities.

    I’d like to suggest that the reason that not a single victim or victims family have pressed charges thus far is simply because the school and Rabbi Beck asked them not to.

    All of the statements released in the days following the incident are highly suggestive of this approach.

    Frankly unless someone from the Adass board or Rabbi Beck himself were to release a statement similar to that of the RCV, encouraging victims to come forward to Police, the only possible light in which to view them both is ‘enabler of predators’.

    And aside from yourself, I would like to see anyone else disagree with this position.

    Addtionally, regarding your assertion that people in Israel are aware of her history, my sources tell me different, that she has been happily employed in a school for some time.

    But this is not the point, her illness has not been tackled and shipping her off overseas when she demonstrated this is a gravely irresponsible move, because wherever she goes, school or no school, her illness remains untreated and every degree of separation from known victims makes it harder to keep kids safe.

    Regarding your assertions about David Kramer,
    yes we’ve all heard that the reason Rabbi Groner decided to send him along was because of threats on Kramer’s life.

    Again, I have to agree with Michael on this, it seems to reinforce the need to bring the police into the picture?

    Molesting innocent boys + Murder Threat = Call Police

    I would think that part of being a leader means knowing one’s own limitations.

    But we live and learn, and hopefully if Yeshiva had its time over, G-d forbid, they would act differently.

    Xyz, the girls are living with their abuse every single day in a way you will never be able to grasp. They will get their shidduchim as intended. But they will take into their marriages a pain so deep and palpable that it will affect every single aspect of their lives, their husband’s lives and their children’s lives.

    That is what happens when victims are requested to remain silent “for the good of the community”.

    Watch Pinny Taub’s video that Eli posted. The pain of the abuse is only half the terror, the real pain is how their community and their leaders treat them in its aftermath, this is what can ruin or save a life.

  • Wolf says:

    To Addass Community,

    Be aware, what you were told about the shipping off of the Liefer lady is is simply not true. She is not in a neighbourhood that ‘knows’ her and her behaviour.

    I have heard, quite reliably, I believe, that she now lives on a kibbutz where absolutely nobody knows of her past history. I heard this from someone who has a close friend that visited this kibbutz about a year or so ago. Chances are she’ll strike again, and this time her sins will be on your heads!

    Be moral, act now! Call the police! Or at least tell the Israeli police!

    How will you answer to the parents of children in that kibbutz or wherever Leifer is when they ask you why you didn’t tell the police earlier? How can you have a clean conscience?

    It is not easy to speak up, but I’m sure if Rabbi Beck genuinely understood the gravity of the situation then he would encourage anything and everything to be done to protect Jewish children!

  • der ruv says:

    Sorry I use an alias, but I am wary of the forked tongue of some of the institutions: publicly you pretend to help, privately you cover up as much as possible. Just a few points and comments on your generally excellent article.

    As mentioned above, some of our institutions have not changed their basic attitude. For example, as quoted in the recent Age article in the name of a major player, the problem then was that there was “no mandatory reporting”, implying that even today there would be no moral or halochic impediment to shipping a perpetrator off overseas to continue his or her abhorrent activities, seriously affecting hundreds of other innocent lives. The community has to demand a real change of attitude: the wellbeing of actual “people”, including victims, comes before an abstract concept of “institution”.

    Whatever good work it may do, one has to wonder why the JTAFV has not put out a public statement, widely publicised on Emanuel’s and Yeshiva’s mailouts, strongly encouraging people to come forward and cooperate with the police. Ditto with the RCV.

    Even worse, the “notice from the Victoria Police” asking for help has NOT been distributed “via the Yeshiva mailing system” and not via their email system or web-site. This brings into question their bona-fides of Yeshiva Centre itself in this matter.

    Finally, people should remember what is at stake here. The police are finally involved. I am sickened hearing some saying “let sleeping dogs lie”, “these are old cases”: to prevent future victims, which in many of our cases means locking the perps up for a very long time, to help bring closure to past victims, and for simple justice (there is no statute of limitations on these crimes in secular law or halocho) everyone who knows anything about these matters should be encouraged to go to the police.

  • Malki Rose says:

    Wolf,
    Victims and their families feel trapped by a fear of consequence.

    They need to hear their leaders tell them “It’s ok, go forward and cooperate with the police, anonymously, we are not equipped to deal with this, but the police are”.

    Paging Rabbi Beck and the Adass board. Do you really care about the individuals in your community? Then speak up now! If you leave your community so emotionally fractured then you’ll soon not have one.

    Detective Dwyer has just advised me that if any victims (of Leifer, Kramer or anyone else known or unknown) wish to talk to him completely off the record then he is able to do that!

    Don’t be afraid to come forward, you will be believed no matter who it is you name and your confidentiality will be respected and assured.

  • der ruv says:

    I saw your latest comment Malki after I posted above.
    “We’ve all heard that the reason Rabbi Groner decided to send him along was because of threats on Kramer’s life.”. I was a parent then. I never heard such stories. I know the reason was to protect the institution.

    “But we live and learn, and hopefully if Yeshiva had its time over, G-d forbid, they would act differently.”. Wishful thinking. NB’s comments to the Age show that the basic mindset has not changed.

  • Malki Rose says:

    Der ruv,
    Correct but what’s more important is not even so much any ‘statute of limitations’, but protecting the current and new victims. Vicki Polin mentioned afew posts back, that molesters do not go on hiatus, rather they continue to prey on the vulnerable. That is there M.O.
    If they appear not to have struck for 18 years, the chances are it means we just don’t know about.
    I understood that a letter had gone out from the RCV?
    And I have certainly seen the widely distributed letter from the Victoria Police everywhere, including via the Yeshiva mailing list, or at least part thereof.
    have you not seen this. In all cases, it is possible that it wasn’t distributed to the entire list. There are certainly more places and people that could bear to distribute the letter. It may as you suggested, be a case of “a little helpful, a little apprehensive”.

    Not sure about any statements from the JTAFV, and hopefully someone from the JTAFV is in a better position than I to comment on that. I would presume that seeing as they work closely with Police and Jewish Institutions they may have not felt any need to double up, especially if it reaches the same audience.

  • Truth says:

    There are more at Yeshiva that Rabbi G said “leave it to me, I’ll take care of it…”. Whilst this might have been in the past, some of the predators he dealt with may still be employed by the school today. Kicking it under the rug risks our future, simply in order to protect the lies of the past.

  • Vicki Polin says:

    Malki,

    In my note up above forgot to thank you for writing this vitally important article and for your paper’s bravery in publishing it. The more articles that come out about these issues the better. You are a true hero to the Jewish people. You’re article is helping to save lives.

  • Vicki Polin says:

    I have to agree with Malki 100% when it comes to the survivors of Malka Leifer. Those who were sexually manipulated by her will have to live the rest of their lives with the memories of being sexually exploited by her. It saddens me a great deal to say that a number of them may become suicidal, develop eating disorders, turn to drugs or alcohol or other types of addictions. That’s not even touching the issue of self-esteme, self-blame, etc.

    In cases of sex crimes no one is a winner. Leifer escaped to a community in Israel known to harbor sexual predators. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone in Australia that they sent her away to molest more innocent victims — no matter how old they are.

    “Somebody said” Talking about sexual abuse is the first step of ending the insanity. The shame and blame of the so called “taboo” of the topic belongs to the rabbonim and other community members who cover up these sorts of crimes, and refuse to address them in a manor that helps to protect our children and adults from becoming the next victim of a sex crime. What does it take for communities to wake up? Does it have to happen to someone you know and love? How many suicides have to happen before someone says — oh, we better address this?

    There needs to be community outrage and a demand that things change. You know Australia has had more cases then just Kramer and Leifer. Are you forgetting about “rabbi Hershy Worch”? He was another one chased out of town. There’s even a book written about him. After being chased out of Australia, he was also chased out of just about every other town he lived including Istanbul and Chicago.

    There’s also another case, yet I’m blanking on it right now.

  • Vicki Polin says:

    What will it take for Jewish leadership and rabbis to care more about our children and our people then they do about their institutions and assets?

    I hate to say it, but money talks. Unless those who have been victimized and or their family members file civil suits against the offender, the institutions and individuals who cover up these sorts of cases — nothing will change. I had always hoped that we could be a leader amongst the nations when it came to sex crimes — yet my hope, dreams and prayers have not been answered. It appears our leadership is worst then the Catholic Church when it comes to handling these crimes.

    Those of us who have been on the forefront demanding change, not only have been slandered, our lives have been threatened. I’ve been spit at, heckled and more — and my dear friend Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was shot. B’H’, he’s ok – yet how bad do things have to get?

  • Vicki Polin says:

    Malki,
    There was a study conducted back in the late 1980s where they found that over a 25 year period 52 % of convicted sex offenders were caught re-molesting other children. Remember only 16% of all cases are ever reported. Knowing those statistics — why are these types of discussions even occurring? Why the denial?

    I could go on and on forever, yet it’s getting late.

  • BR Girl says:

    Malki,
    Some points you make are valid, however some of what you have written is sensationalist journalism at its best. I am a Beth Rivkah girl from not long after you were at the school and I believe you have generalised, exaggerated and sensationalised the atmosphere within the school.
    1) sure there was the guy who liked to shower without the blind in his bathroom pulled down – but he did not stand there waiting for us to look at him. Was it gross? Yes, but hardly sexual abuse. You make it out to be that it’s the school’s fault or the atmosphere of the school allowed this to continue!

    2) you make it sound like tens of girls were being abused and noone lifted a finger. UM, HELLO!? Maybe in your class there were 1 or 2 girls who had been in compromising situations or claimed they were abused and things were not followed – but you paint a picture of a school marred by abused children who weren’t being taken care of!
    I find this to be sensationalist and exaggerating.

    A further point. You might want every victim to come forward – but I know 5-10 victims of Rabbi Kramer and they will NOT come forward. Some of them are people who are mostly unaffected by what occurred – they have moved on, thanks to their parents providing them counselling and treatment after the fact, and some of the victims I know are majorly affected – they suffer drug addictions, mental instability etc.
    Of all the victims I know, NONE OF THEM WANT TO REPORT/TESTIFY.
    Why?
    = NOT BECAUSE THEIR RABBI TOLD THEM NOT TO – IN FACT THE RCV STATEMENT WAS CIRCULATED BY YESHIVAH CENTRE IN THEIR COMMUNITY EMAILS AFTER THE VICTORIA POLICE LETTER WAS SENT TO ALL YESHIVAH STUDENTS FROM THAT ERA.
    = NOT BECAUSE OF COMMUNITY STIGMA – FOR THOSE WHO ARE MARRIED WITH FAMILIES, THEIR FAMILIES KNOW OF THE ABUSE/MOLESTATION AND THEY HAVE FOUND THEIR SHIDDUCHIM. FOR THOSE WHO ARE MENTALLY ILL, UNSTABLE AND WITH DEMONS THAT THEY FACE EVERYDAY, COMMUNITY STIGMA IS NOT A WORRY.
    = NOT BECAUSE THEIR CHILDREN WOULD BE KICKED OUT OF YESHIVAH, BECAUSE THAT COULD NEVER OCCUR – YESHIVAH WOULD GET TOO MUCH FLAK FOR IT.

    They don’t want to testify because they don’t want to relive these events of 18-23 years ago. They don’t want to stand in a court and face their abuser, or have to describe the acts he did to them.
    They don’t want to sit in Police Interview rooms and have this recorded, they don’t want to have to write and sign statements that take them back into those situations that were so long ago.

    Sure, they know that Kramer will go free one day- he can’t be locked up forever – and maybe that’s why they don’t bother – if they will only stop him for another 5 or 10 years, what’s the point?

    Thing is Malki, that in the Jewish community of Melbourne, which is small and very, very familiar, most people WOULD NOT WANT THEIR CHILD TO BE NAMED IN COURT AS A VICTIM, TESTIFY OR RELIVE ABUSE – even if it would mean that the perp was put in jail. This I find is many people’s opinions in Chabad, Mizrachi and even not religious circles. Victims are never guaranteed anonymity. They are not guarateed a conviction or jail sentence – and even then the sentence can sometimes be 24 months.
    So many victims then and I believe now (if CH”V abuse occurred again in any schools or shuls), would not run to the Police to report abuse.

    So, my points in replying to you are:
    1) stop exaggerating details to make your articles look more sensational – you had enough good content already, without painting a picture of BR as a hot-bed of sexual abuse, flashers etc and negligence
    I know of no BR girls who were preyed upon by the man in the red car – we were told to be careful to stay away bc he watched girls, he never grabbed one. Also the guy who rode past school with bald head and long hair on the sides, he never DID anything – he was just a wierdo around on the streets – why do you make it out like everyone in our school was abused?
    2) stop taking moral high groend people needing to report abuse etc. thousands of crimes are not reported every year by people who “fear consequences” as you put it. yes, children need their parents to be good advocated, but 18 years later, these adults can make these decisions for themselves.
    3)Having for a time worked at both Y and BR, I know that their measures taken before and after hte Leifer case to prevent any suspicion of abuse of students by teachers are very very comprehensive – from see through class doors, to teachers being todl they cannot meet privately with students – they should stand at ht eclassroom door if they have somehting to discuss privately, as this gives no oppotunity for these things to even ‘seem’ to have occurred. Additionally, teachers in the highschool have been told theat they cannot SMS, privately email etc. students as this is also quite innappropriate.

    I agree that 20 years ago, people did not know enough about sexual abuse to realise how detrimental, malignant and recurring it is. But, honest reporting is a must – there’s enough in your contention and this story to do without sensationalism.

  • der ruv says:

    BR Girl: I am always suspicious of the use of large numbers of uppercase to bolster an argument. When you add to that “I know 5-10 victims of Rabbi Kramer and they will NOT come forward”! Is that 5 victims you know who won’t come forward, & 5 who you are not sure if they came forward. Or is it that you really don’t know too much of what you are talking about, but have a zeal to cool down the situation? Have you spoken to police & psychologists with expertise in the area about what is best for the victims? I think not.

  • Malki Rose says:

    BR girl,

    It is really upsetting that you choose to see my article as sensationalism.
    I did not say the man at the window was a case of sexual abuse.
    And you are obviously not referring to the same person as I am.
    My point was simple. The teachers response demonstrates an attitude.
    One of being unsure how to manage a situation. Rather than telling us to ignore him
    perhaps a teacher might have been best of reporting him to the Police.

    I was definitely not painting BR as a hot-bed of sexual abuse. You’ll notice that I mentioned that the incidents of the next few years were around the whole Jewish community and I list not just BR/Yeshiva but also Yavneh/Mizrachi and Kollel Beth Hatalmud.

    I also mention that to Beth Rivka’s credit any and ALL reports that were made to the counsellor were ALWAYS taken to Mr Gurewicz and to HIS credit he ALWAYS dealt with them promptly as well.

    I mention that the concern is that as soon as the accused predator is questioned, the issue is no more, because the victim is usually forced by the predator to either recant the story or retreats back into their cone of silence out of guilt of having dared violate their abuses confidence.

    You are obviously not one of the abused, nor have you any true awareness or understanding of anything that went on or continues to go on in our community.

    I’d say that until such time as you are, it is outside of your field of expertise to insist that “nothing went on”, or “its not so bad” or that “victims do not want to come forward”.

  • xyz says:

    malki:There are several families of victims who DID want to see different action taken, and were told by the school board that the action being taken was appropriate and sufficient. These parents were NOT happy with this, but were asked to remain silent on these issues.
    ___

    Pure fiction. No parent was prepared (at least at the time) to take any action.

    You obviously do not understand how much extra pain and shame the victims and families would have felt – had they done so. These are all frum, shy and modest girls – who would be horrified to face police questioning.

    Now a few years later, when these victims are married adults, they can still go to the police – if they wish to do so. To the best of my knowledge they haven’t wanted to.
    (Though – and this should make the do-gooders/scandalmongers happy – I hear that the Age is working to rehash this story in the next few days, so who knows what they will dig up – or invent.)

    M: Until this day they never have, and to misrepresent the Police as being “not interested” is just irresponsible and wrong. The Police cannot force admissions from victims.
    __
    And as the victims have not come forward therefore the police are not interested.

    M: They cannot help if the leaders of a community create obstacles such __as labelling victims ‘mosrim’ for going to the authorities.

    WADR, you really have no knowledge of what did and is happening inside the Adass community.

    In short, Mrs Leifer is despised by all. Very few would care if she was locked up. (Yes, there would be mountains of sympathy for her poor innocent kids – who would suffer terrible collateral damage.)

    However,NOT A SINGLE PERSON would label any victim as a Moser. Not one! While, AFAIK, Adass has no truck with the RCV, the leading poskim in the Charedi world – including Rav Wosner and Rav Sternbuch have long ago ruled that one may (or rather, should) report molesters to police.

    No one in that kehilla will label a person following Rav Wosner’s psak as a ‘moser’.

    M:I’d like to suggest that the reason that not a single victim or victims family have pressed charges thus far is simply because the school and Rabbi Beck asked them not to.
    >>>>

    That is pure fiction which you either invented or overheard. Not a smidgen of truth to it.

    Malki, you obviously realise that bashing Adass is even easier than bashing YBR. After all, most of them do better things with their time than respond or even read such blog-rechilus.

    There are days that I happen to be in Adass twice – morning and evening. You may be shocked to learn that not a single person there has – as of tonight – heard aboutyour most recent allegations?
    More – it is doubtful if there are 5 or even 3 “Adass regulars” who have ever heard of this blog?

    Thus you and others can probably get away with saying whatever you like about them, their Rav, the school and members of their board – as they seem to have no knowledge or even interest in what is being written here.

    And believe me, they love and care for their children as much – if not far more – than you and the other bashers here.

    The victims of Leifer were given unlimited help and counselling – while at the same time their identities were withheld from the public – thus lessening their feelings of shame.

    M: All of the statements released in the days following the incident are highly suggestive of this approach.

    Really? Where did you see this?

    TTBOMK all the flak – in the pretty despicable AJN reporting – was in reaction to Rav Beck asking the community to stop non-constructive (or rather very destructive) gossiping about the matter, which was causing more pain for the victims and their families. But then, what would a lashon hara rag like the AJN understand about such things?

    M: Frankly unless someone from the Adass board or Rabbi Beck himself were to release a statement similar to that of the RCV, encouraging victims to come forward to Police, the only possible light in which to view them both is ‘enabler of predators’.


    And frankly you are besmirching the reputation of a caring, decent human being whose boundless Ahavas Yisroel is second to none. (And knowing him, I am sure that if he heqard what you are accusing him of – he would forgive you.)

    M: Addtionally, regarding your assertion that people in Israel are aware of her history, my sources tell me different, that she has been happily employed in a school for some time.
    __

    So your sources are lying.

  • xyz says:

    Wolf says: To Addass Community,

    Be aware, what you were told about the shipping off of the Liefer lady is is simply not true. She is not in a neighbourhood that ‘knows’ her and her behaviour.
    >>

    She is. They know. You are writing untruths.

    W: I have heard, quite reliably, I believe, that she now lives on a kibbutz where absolutely nobody knows of her past history. I heard this from someone who has a close friend that visited this kibbutz about a year or so ago.

    She is not living in a kibbutz but in a town.

    If your someone’s close friend knows as much about Leifer as she does in being able to differentiate between a town and a kibbutz, I would suggest you find yourself more reliable sources.

    W: Be moral, act now! Call the police! Or at least tell the Israeli police!

    Tell them what? That no one anywhere has ever pressed charges against her?
    Or is prepared to do so?

    Educational and religious authorities WERE properly notified as far as I know they keep an eye on her.

    OTOH, if you REALLY care so much, why don’t you download all the details of this horrid affair – after all, it’s all over the web – and forward it to the head of your “kibbutz”. That should do the trick, no?

    W: How will you answer to the parents of children in that kibbutz or wherever Leifer is when they ask you why you didn’t tell the police earlier? How can you have a clean conscience?

    You aren’t listening, are you? The educational authorities in that “kibbutz” were given full details of what is being alleged – and that is why no school there will employ her.

    W:It is not easy to speak up, but I’m sure if Rabbi Beck genuinely understood the gravity of the situation then he would encourage anything and everything to be done to protect Jewish children!

    Of course, you anonymous Wolf, understands the gravity of the situation far, far better than Rabbi Beck!
    Maybe someone should suggest that he too log on to Galus .

  • Alex Fein says:

    First thing’s first:

    Let’s get this mandatory reporting falsehood out of the way. The implementation of mandatory reporting began in the mid-80s and was fully established by the early mid-90s. Discussion on the matter had been going on for well over a decade.

    To claim that Yeshiva can be exonerated because mandatory reporting was unknown back then is ridiculous.

    Apologies for the huge link – but here’s the information.

    “http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:2xJTMzbd3J4J:www.dhs.vic.gov.au/office-for-children/cpmanual/Output%2520files/Practice%2520phases/Output%2520files/Execute/1122_mandatory_and_other_required_report.pdf+when+did+mandatory+reporting+start+in+victoria&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiNuIUCU4CoFBRUfoSeVzTMvPQrjfV8qfl5N2wvqxYE3Vfc0T9d9fVSMzwU5OqRIWlqb9GOZQoTvKLviMSRBwHLhBfG2K0diqVE4PVXpx8B0fekqMDUCFTGadYfMg6qC0j-QCTY&sig=AHIEtbSiAbT5IJk92HXlbksJRm_tOuJxQw”

    Secondly, here’s an interesting comment from the Failed Messiah blog:

    “Apparently, the Australian Jewish community is still trying to shut down discussion of this. One blogger who indicated that he was asked to remove materials has now removed same. The broken link:
    http://pitputim.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/the-ages-revelations/#comments

    Does anyone know what happened to the Pitputim blog post?

    The rush to exonerate Yeshiva today is just beyond comprehension. They have been forced to act now – 18 years after the fact. These are 18 years during which children in the US were abused.

    Has there been a complete clean out of all senior Yeshiva positions since then?

    That so many people are still discussing the meaning of Telsner’s drasha is indicative of a broader problem.

    Those who argue that the abuse took place long ago and that the culture has changed, need to remember that 15 years might be a long time in dog years, but in terms of the Yeshiva personnel, not so much.

    The 1990s were not some mythical dark ages in which child rape was smiled upon.

    Chastising the abusers and demanding that victims come forward is great, but it has its limits.

    Such demands on people who are terrified of ostracism (or worse) are of limited value.

    We all saw the intimidation threats on the Rubashkin post against the writer who dared question Rubashkin’s supporters.

    The most valuable thing right now is to ask the hard questions of the institutions and demand cultural – and perhaps personnel – change.

  • xyz says:

    der ruv says: … some of our institutions have not changed their basic attitude. For example, as quoted in the recent Age article in the name of a major player, the problem then was that there was “no mandatory reporting”, implying that even today there would be no moral or halochic impediment to shipping a perpetrator off overseas to continue his or her abhorrent activities, seriously affecting hundreds of other innocent lives
    >>

    It is obvious that The Age and yourself wish to misunderstand that statement by NB.

    What she clearly was trying to say was that
    1) She cannot respond to questions about matters that happened 15-20 years ago – way before she was appointed to her current position.
    The rabbi who could (and should) respond is unfortunately no longer with us. (And knowing the late Rabbi G, I have no doubt that he would’ve agreed that he made a terrible error. Has anyone in the YBR denied that it wasn’t an error. But he also did many, many great things – almost on a daily basis. But who cares about that.

    2) NB’s quote in the Age was from the ‘legal’ angle. Whilst these days there is mandatory reporting, this was not the case then.
    She was simply stating that the school did not break any laws.
    Is anyone here stupid enough to think that NB would allow molesters in the school?

  • Alex Fein says:

    XYZ:

    “These are all frum, shy and modest girls”

    Do you mean that non-Adass girls who might be inclined to report sexual abuse are less religious, bold, and slutty?

    ***
    Everyone else:

    Apologies for the mucked up link re mandatory reporting. I’ll try again.

    If it doesn’t work, type into Google: “When did mandatory reporting begin in Victoria” It should be the second result.

    http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/office-for-children/cpmanual/Output%20files/Practice%20phases/Output%20files/Execute/1122_mandatory_and_other_required_report.pdf

    And my mistake: mandatory reporting was fully implemented in the early early 90s, contemporaneous with the abuses taking place at Yeshiva.

  • Malki Rose says:

    xyz,
    Given who my sources are, victims, Police, Rabbanim, – all of whom I trust- I have no reason to doubt the veracity of their claims.
    As we may end up going in a circle of “No it isn’t” /”Yes it is”… we shall have to agree to disagree.
    I’ll leave it to our readers to decide for themselves.

  • der ruv says:

    Dear “xyz”, Let’s go back to basics, to the “abc”, so to speak, of yiddishkeit, ethics and morality. Truth. We’ll call a spade a spade. I thought you were an apologist for Adass, about which I know very little, but once you started explaining things about Yeshiva, about which I know a lot, I know you are just a plain old run-of-the-mill apologist. I am not going to challenge your ridiculous assertions one by one.

    This blog, and others like it, in spite of errors here and there, serve the important and necessary purpose of shining light on the snakes and the snake charmers, their defenders and apologists. Just by talking about these matters openly will hopefully cause people to come forward, realizing that they are not alone, helping victims get closure, and also hopefully reducing the possibility of these grotesque situations occurring in future.

    “xyz”, when, not if, charges are laid, I fear you will head the committee for the defence of the perpetrators. Oh yes, that’s what happened in Kramer’s case: certain people in his community organized collecting money for his legal costs, at the same time as ostracizing the victim for daring to come forward. Malki and other fair-minded people, especially those who dare use their real names: let’s make sure that does not happen in Melbourne.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Some of the victims might be inclined to come forward if they can get a class action lawsuit going against whatever religious organisation the perps were members/employees of.

    When you start talking about millions of dollars of compensation it provides a wonderful incentive for transparency and reform – just look to the Catholic Church and see the trouble they’ve had with similar problems. Consider that the Church in the US alone has paid out more than $2.5 Billion in compensation to victims.

    If the leadership of these religious groups were aware of the abuse perpetrated by their members/employees they could be liable, which could be expensive for Adass/Chabad.

  • Malki Rose says:

    TheSadducee,
    Interesting you should mention this option. As a similar path is being explored by several victims as we speak. Aside from the obvious failure of ‘duty of care’ there are some financial issues relating to ‘aiding and abetting’ as well.

  • TheSadducee says:

    xyz

    I note that you mentioned earlier that you know a fair bit about the Leifer case – perhaps you can answer an interesting question?

    Did the school board send her off to Israel before or after reporting the matter to police?

  • Truth says:

    [Eds: Specific allegation about an institution removed. Sorry, we can’t allow these kinds of allegations, especially from anonymous commenters who do not provide a real email address.]

  • TheSadducee says:

    I would caution the mods to probably edit out Truth’s post as this could potentially get the website in legal trouble.

  • How so? It would seem to me that if the statement is correct, and there is a cover-up, then the onus is on the school to come clean. If the statement is incorrect, and there has been no cover-up, then the school can make a confident admission accordingly. It is important to know, with as close to 100% certainty as possible, that there are no cover-ups, when it comes to this sort of issue.

  • der ruv says:

    When the arrests of perpetrators start, it may become clearer who covered up what and by how much. There is no “if” involved. Imagine how victims feel when they hear such a debate.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Michael

    I would suggest that an anonymous poster asserting as fact that there is an offender(s) at this location without providing any evidence to confirm their assertion is potentially liable for defamation.

    As the website is the host of the claim it is also probably liable as it has a duty of care not to permit such assertions without evidence.

    I’m not defending anyone or taking a position other than that Galus should be alert to the risk in this situation.

  • Police seek victims of sexual assault in second Jewish school

    July 7, 2011 by J-Wire Staff

    For the second time within a month, Melbourne police are investigating sexual assaults in a Jewish school.

    Today police have issued a request for information on assaults alleged to have taken place in the Adass Israel Girls’ school in Elsternwick.

    Acting Detective Sergeant Scott Dwyer told J-Wire: “We have reports but are seeking any others willing to tell us.

    In 2008, Malka Leifer fled to Israel following complaints. Scott Dwyer added: “I believe she was employed as principal and had been based in Israel.”

    Last month, Victorian police were seeking victims of sexual assault at the Yeshivah College between 1989 and 1993.

    ADS Dywer has asked anyone with onformation to contact him at the Moorabin Sexual Offences Unit on 03 9556 6128

    J-Wire contacted the principal of Adass Israel, Professor Herszberg. He was unavailable.

  • Marky says:

    As far as I am aware, not one victim has come forward to testify against these creeps. Until they do, nothing will/can be done by the police. Hence there can be no uncovering of cover ups.

  • Truth says:

    Regarding “[Eds: Specific allegation about an institution removed. Sorry, we can’t allow these kinds of allegations, especially from anonymous commenters who do not provide a real email address.]”

    I apologise to the Eds if my naming of an institution in an allegation was inappropriate.

    I’ll repost the original message:

    There are definitely STILL predators on the XXXXX campus that were made known to the school in the late 80s/early 90s, during which time they certainly molested children.
    That they did nothing at the time is terrible. That they haven’t reported them since? Shocking. They’ll probably say they didn’t know – but they did know. They were told. Whatever they did with this information has effectively resulted in the perpetrators being given a free license to roam the college today… right now.

    I took the liberty of removing only the offending name rather than the content of the whole message. I hope this is more appropriate.

    [Eds: thanks Truth.]

  • xyz says:

    Alex Fein says:
    XYZ:“These are all frum, shy and modest girls”

    Do you mean that non-Adass girls who might be inclined to report sexual abuse are less religious, bold, and slutty?

    Your words. I wouldn’t use all those descriptions.

    Would you understand it better if I had written that “nuns and /or hijab-clad Muslim women” would not be inclined to discuss sexual abuse with police as would free-spirited, swinging, good-time girls and pole-dancers..?

    The fact is that strictly religious and modest girls brought up in a closeted environment, without exposure to TV, movies, (multiple) boyfriends etc , find it far more difficult to discuss matters of abuse than their counterparts who have been exposed to all the chazerai of today’s world.

    You obviously have not met too many genuine frum girls in your life. Pity.
    ***

    Malki Rose says: xyz, Given who my sources are, victims, Police, Rabbanim, – all of whom I trust- I have no reason to doubt the veracity of their claims.
    ==

    Do you have a single source in Adass? I doubt it. And what ‘police’? Have they told you that victims have approached them? If so why aren’t they doing something about it?

    M: As we may end up going in a circle of “No it isn’t” /”Yes it is”… we shall have to agree to disagree.I’ll leave it to our readers to decide for themselves.

    Good idea.
    ***
    der ruv says: Dear “xyz”, I thought you were an apologist for Adass, about which I know very little, but once you started explaining things about Yeshiva, about which I know a lot, I know you are just a plain old run-of-the-mill apologist. I am not going to challenge your ridiculous assertions one by one.
    >>
    Of course not. Far easier to simply attack people – fairly or unfairly.

    DR: Just by talking about these matters openly will hopefully cause people to come forward, realizing that they are not alone, helping victims get closure, and also hopefully reducing the possibility of these grotesque situations occurring in future.
    =

    I haven’t noticed too many victims writing here. Have you wondered why? Do you really think that this blog is going to make a single person ‘come out’ and run to the police? I doubt it.
    Of course I may yet be proven wrong, but as of today we haven’t heard of anyone prepared to go public on Kramer. And if you saw the Age beat-up today on Leifer – you may have noticed that they said ZERO about any new developments. And despite all the recent stirring and publicity (here and elsewhere) the police have still not bothered to contact Adass about Leifer.
    Doesn’t sound like anything new has happened. Frankly, I’d be amazed if something came out of all this.

    As for Kramer, seeing that you know so much about that case, can you tell us how many victims have gone on record demanding to have him extradited and charged?

    DR:“xyz”, when, not if, charges are laid,
    ==
    Wanna bet?

    DR: ..I fear you will head the committee for the defence of the perpetrators.

    No !@#$%$# way! As I have said before I despise her for what she has done (though it may well be that she too is a victim of physical or sexual abuse).
    OTOH, if they were raising funds to feed her innocent kids, yes, I would participate.

    DR: that’s what happened in Kramer’s case: certain people in his community organized collecting money for his legal costs,
    ==
    First I hear of it. (Sure, you didn’t make that up?)
    ***
    TheSadducee says: xyz -I note that you mentioned earlier that you know a fair bit about the Leifer case – perhaps you can answer an interesting question?
    Did the school board send her off to Israel before or after reporting the matter to police?
    >>
    Who said that the board went to the police at all? What did they have to report when they had no victim was prepared to come forward?
    As I hear it, the school contacted the relevant people at the Education Department (and some other govt/schools authorities and reported what had been alleged. They also took legal advice on what they were duty bound to do – and they followed this – 100%.

    It seems that you and possibly the others who are giving their opinions here (and elsewhere) know nothing about how this affair developed.
    Maybe if they did, they would see things differently.

    No one in Adass (or Melb) had any idea about abuse by Leifer. This is the fact – despite stories later on claiming that she was a known molester. (No way, that she would have been allowed entry in the school had there been the slightest buzz or rumor.)

    So, you may ask, how did it come out into the open?

    The answer is that an ex-pupil of hers, some years after leaving the school, had married and moved to Jerusalem where had some personal issues for which she went to see a psychologist there. The psychologist didn’t take long to discover about the abuse and contacted a colleague here in Melb – who through an Adass family member went to see the rabbonim.

    That was the first anyone here knew about it. (And the only reason that we know about the background is because the original psychologist reported the case to a conference of Jewish psychologists. Someone there- going against their ethics and rules – published the story (without names) on the net.

    The rabbis involved immediately had meetings with the school board and head-teachers etc which resulted in Leifer (who totally denied all allegations and still does) leaving Australia.

    I realise from the tone of some of the writers here that nothing will make them change their view that Adass, YBR, the rabbis et al are devious and evil people who couldn’t care the slightest about kids and defend and shield molesters.
    Despite knowing this, I still respond here as I am also convinced that there most people out there are honest and decent enough to be prepared to listen to another POV. They deserve to hear the truth – after all the malicious gossip and rechilus peddled here.

  • In The Age.

    Jewish community leader tells of sex abuse
    Jewel Topsfield
    July 8, 2011

    [Photo]

    “This is about justice” : Manny Waks today and as a schoolboy. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

    MANNY Waks’s behaviour started to change part-way through his schooling at Yeshivah College.

    ”I wasn’t listening to the teachers and was getting into trouble,” Mr Waks says.

    Now, more than 20 years later, he believes his disruptive behaviour, his rebellion against his strict Hasidic upbringing, even the fact he is no longer an observant Jew, can potentially be linked to sexual abuse he says he was subjected to at the Orthodox Jewish school in St Kilda East.
    Advertisement: Story continues below

    Mr Waks claims he was repeatedly molested by a trusted figure of authority at the school who had unfettered access to the young boys.

    “This was a man who was in a position of power and authority, who was trusted by the school and who repeatedly took advantage of his position in preying on young boys who looked up to him.” The 35-year-old Canberra public servant says he was also abused by another member of the Chabad community. One of the alleged incidents is said to have occurred inside a synagogue.

    ”No wonder I feel so uncomfortable being in a synagogue, because it evokes in my subconscious some of these memories,” Mr Waks says.

    As a leader in the Jewish community and a human rights advocate, he believes he has a responsibility to speak publicly for the first time about the abuse he says dogged his childhood. He hopes his story will empower and encourage others to speak to the police or seek the help they may require.

    ”This is about justice and closure, both for myself and other victims,” says Mr Waks, a vice-president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and president of the ACT Jewish Community, among other senior roles. He wants to hold to account the alleged perpetrators of the crimes and the Yeshivah Centre, which runs the college and which he says betrayed victims by persuading them to remain silent.

    Mr Waks also hopes his story will help change the stigma faced by victims of sex abuse. ”I feel I’ve moved on with my life … you can actually move forward while acknowledging that it has inevitably impacted me in a profound way.”

    While some alleged victims of sex abuse at Yeshivah College have made statements to police, Mr Waks says there are many others, some of whom he knows personally. ”The main reason for the silence is the culture in this segment of the Jewish community to keep these types of issues quiet: it’s my understanding a lot of these victims haven’t even told their wives.”

    Allegations of sex crimes at the college resurfaced last month, after police wrote to former students urging them to contact Crime Stoppers if they had been assaulted between 1989 and 1993. The claims were mainly linked to former Jewish studies teacher David Kramer, who fled Australia in the early 1990s after parents complained he had sexually abused boys.

    Yeshivah College, which did not report the complaints to police, was accused of covering up the scandal. Kramer went on to offend in the US, sodomising a 12-year-old boy while conducting a youth program at a St Louis synagogue. He was jailed in 2008 and is now serving a seven-year prison sentence.

    Mr Waks, who was not abused by Kramer, says there are multiple perpetrators and victims involved in the current police probe. He is furious that Yeshivah College did not take action at the time and says it recently tried to ”defend the indefensible” by suggesting the alleged abuse related to a time before mandatory reporting.

    ”This lack of basic action is what has ultimately led to perpetrators reoffending and the tally of victims rising.”

    And he was distressed by the memories from 20 years ago triggered by the current probe.

    Menachem ”Manny” Waks and his 16 siblings grew up in an Orthodox Chabad family in St Kilda East. Mr Waks says he only told one friend about the alleged sexual abuse. But rumours soon circulated and boys started to snigger. Midway through year 7 he left mainstream school and focused purely on a religious studies program at Yeshivah College. When he was 18 he joined the Israeli army and rejected his religious upbringing.

    Mr Waks made his first statement to police in 1996. He also told Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, Yeshivah Centre director. In 2000, after returning to Australia, Mr Waks was shocked to see his alleged abuser was still in a position of authority at the Yeshivah Centre.

    ”I said to Rabbi Groner: ‘How can you give this person access to children?’ Rabbi Groner pleaded with me not to take it further. He said to me that [the alleged perpetrator] was getting help from a psychiatrist. I said: ‘Can you guarantee he will not re-offend?’ Rabbi Groner said no and that’s when I walked out. In my attempt to seek justice and closure I felt like I was working against an entrenched culture and system of covering up these crimes at any cost.”

    Yeshivah College’s general manager, Nechama Bendet, says Rabbi Groner died in 2008.

    ”We are therefore not in a position to clarify any communications he is alleged to have made around 15 years ago,” she says. ”The college would like … to make it absolutely clear that it supports and encourages any person who alleges sexual abuse to report the matter to the Victoria Police as the college condemns all forms of child abuse.”

    Since learning of the police inquiry last month, Mr Waks has worked closely with police. He is hopeful of arrests soon.

    ”This is certainly a move I have been anticipating for many years,” he says. ”I do not seek sympathy but rather understanding and support for deciding to bring this important and sensitive issue into the public domain. We need to shatter this insidious code of silence.”

  • In The Age.

    Police investigate former principal over molestation claims
    Jewel Topsfield
    July 7, 2011

    [Photo]
    Adass Israel Girls’ School.

    A FORMER principal of a Jewish girls’ school in Elsternwick is being investigated over claims she molested students, as the Victoria Police probe into alleged sexual abuse widens to take in a second school.

    Malka Leifer, a former principal of the Adass Israel Girls’ School, fled to Israel in 2008 after the school board sacked her following complaints of inappropriate conduct with students. At the time, parents told The Age that Ms Leifer, a mother of eight, had molested students at school, at her home and probably at school camps. They said one victim had attempted suicide.

    Parents were critical of the Adass Israel School, claiming it allowed Ms Leifer to flee before notifying police. The school has denied this.
    Advertisement: Story continues below

    Ms Leifer, who is still living in Israel, is now being investigated by police after people came forward with information when police began investigating a separate sex scandal at Yeshivah College in St Kilda East.

    Former teacher David Kramer allegedly sexually assaulted boys at Yeshivah College between 1989 and 1993.

    Kramer, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence in the US after molesting a boy, 12, in St Louis in 2007, fled Australia in the early 1990s after the Yeshivah College accusations.

    At the time, Yeshivah College did not report the complaints to the police.

    The Age believes Ms Leifer’s alleged victims are more reluctant to speak out than those who claim they were assaulted by Kramer, because Ms Leifer has not been convicted of a crime.

    It is believed some alleged victims feel constrained by the prohibitions of mesirah, which discourage Jews from referring other Jews to civil authorities.

    The Rabbinical Council of Victoria last year issued a statement condemning child abuse and affirming that the prohibitions of mesirah did not apply in cases of abuse.

    The statement said the council had become increasingly aware of incidents of the sexual and physical abuse of children in ”our community” and many abuse victims still did not come forward to accuse perpetrators or seek help for fear of stigma, personal and familial consequences, or ”perceived halachic concerns”.

    The principal of Adass Israel School, Israel Herszberg, said neither the school nor any of its staff had been informed by Victoria Police that it was investigating Ms Leifer.

    ”As a matter of general principle, the school would obviously encourage and support any victim co-operating fully with the police,” he said.

    Professor Herszberg denied claims made by parents at the time that the school allowed Ms Leifer to flee to Israel before notifying police or that it paid for her to return to Israel.

    He said counselling was made available to students following Ms Leifer’s departure in 2008 and the school had not been in contact with her since.

    The Adass community is a small, ultra-orthodox group of families based in Elsternwick and Ripponlea, who have little contact with the wider Jewish community and non-Jewish community.

    If the police decide Ms Leifer has a case to answer, they are expected to seek her extradition to Australia.

    Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

    Do you know more? Email Jewel Topsfield at scoop@theage.com.au

  • charly says:

    iam an [eds: name of school removed] student ,at the time the principle was rabbi [eds: name removed],an some of the rabbis and teachers were abusing in the most cruel way ,so i called the police and told them some names of the abusers and they said if you don’t give us your name we wont be able to do much {because i called anonymous }.one of the many abusers were rabbi [eds: name removed] he sexually molested dozens of students and he would slap in a very dirty way ,they flue him to israel ,one is still employed his name is rabbi[eds: name removed] he would slap in a very dangourous way,he injured many studtunts,his uncle rabbi [eds: name removed]is the currunt [eds: name of position removed] here great things about him he tried very hard to stop abuse ,.after rabbi [eds: name removed] injured some studunts rabbi [eds: name removed]made him promise that he should stop abuzing but he didnt listen ,rabbi [eds: name removed]made sure to cover up every thing

    [Eds: Hi Charly, Sorry about editing your comment. We are investigating what we can and can’t publish at the moment in terms of names of people and institutions. There are legal issues in terms of defamation if these people/institutions aren’t found guilty but also because of the current police investigation being underway, we don’t want to do anything to compromise that investigation and any subsequent litigation. Please don’t hesitate to be in contact with us – editorial AT galusaustralis dot com if you want to discuss further. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact the police with your information. You are most welcome to comment further in a general way without mentioning the names of particular alleged perpetrators or institutions.]

  • moish says:

    as a studunt of [Eds:name of school removed] school i must say this is one of the best and true articles i have ever read i must thank the editor malki roze ,thanks a million for this, this will bring healing and closure for the hundreds of [Eds:name of school removed] students who are mostly not living in melbourne today they live in the united states or israel and not able to come and testify in court about the abuzers ,also there is tremendous pressure from the [Eds:name of school removed] to cover up also they have been brain washed that it is mesira but today we know its not true ,but unfortunately most of the victims live outside australia because of shiduchim and marriage

    [Eds: Hi Moish, Sorry about editing your comment. We are investigating what we can and can’t publish at the moment in terms of names of people and institutions. There are legal issues in terms of defamation if these people/institutions aren’t found guilty but also because of the current police investigation being underway, we don’t want to do anything to compromise that investigation and any subsequent litigation. Please don’t hesitate to be in contact with us – editorial AT galusaustralis dot com if you want to discuss further. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact the police with your information. You are most welcome to comment further in a general way without mentioning the names of particular alleged perpetrators or institutions.]

  • Malki Rose says:

    Moish,
    All of those who live outside of Australia are still able to contact Detective Dwyer in Melbourne and file a complaint regarding any incidents. 0414 181 311

    Since this piece has gone up, so many people have come forward and I am really just thrilled. What BR girl said afew posts back that people don’t want to sit and relive their pain, although this is true and the fear and pain is horrendously traumatic, what they all say is the most traumatic about it all is feeling like the community does not care for them and that they will be judged for coming forward.
    It seems that with a little support, even in online form, from people who DO put their names on their opinions, victims are starting to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, where they do not need to feel trapped anymore and that good will prevail.

  • moish says:

    thanks malki for your encouragement
    this is a huge mountion being lifted of the chest of hundreds of victims especially from the adass school ,we have been waiting in pain being traumatized for decades

  • Marky says:

    Without doubt, Charly and Moish are the same person(same “unique” style of writing, same mistakes etc.) Which removes at least most of his credibility.

  • Wolf says:

    I don’t think that moish/charly ever denied being the same person, he just changed his forum name. After all his forum picture stayed the same so he knows everybody will know he’s the same person!

  • Marky says:

    Wolf, gimme a break. He can hardly write English, and you think he would have any idea re forum pictures etc?? He didn’t put the picture there himself. Anyone posting with two different names
    on the same subject is doing it to add credibility, which they may be lacking.

    Anyhow, as soon as the eds wake up this morning, they will more than likely remove his first post, as mentioning names in that way can be quite libellous

  • Front page of The Age today. No doubt it will be the topic of discussion at most Shabbos tables tonight, and in many other circles.

  • Alex Fein says:

    NB Editors Galus Australis:

    When you edit the Charly/Moish comments – PLEASE do not delete them in their entirety.

    PLEASE just remove the names of the accused and if absolutely necessary, the name of the school.

    PLEASE get legal advice about the very furthest you can go in regards to releasing this sort of information.

    Deleting the comments leads only to entrenching the feeling that cover ups are endemic and unavoidable.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Marky, XYZ, and to a lesser extent, BR Girl:

    Did you know that in a very real sense, you and the schools you defend are worse than the child rapists and abusers?

    Let me explain.

    Everyone agrees a child rapist is an animal that must be locked up.

    HOWEVER, psychiatry, psychology, criminology, and everyone working in those fields have reached consensus:

    There is a degree of compulsion (lack of free will) in the actions of such rapists/abusers. They are the most intractable of criminals and continue to offend regardless of the consequences.

    That is why, when these rapists/abusers are not charged and incarcerated by the SECULAR authorities IMMEDIATELY, they go on to rape and sodomise again. And again.

    So…

    . when you and your institutions contribute to an atmosphere of fear of reporting

    . when you justify inaction with ridiculous arguments (BR GIRL, XYZ, Marky)

    . when you equate the ability to report with “POLE DANCING” and promiscuity (XYZ)

    . when an argument for reporting is equated with no relationship religion or the religious (XYZ)

    . When a lack of reporting is equated with womanly virtue and “modesty” (XYZ)

    …you bolster and embolden authorities and officials at these schools to…

    . put the interests of the institutions before the welfare of the students

    . to shame the victims into fearing seeking justice

    . to a reverence for people and institutions that actively allow rapists/abusers to flee and to continue their crimes or even…

    . to continue their crimes in their current position.

    . AND WORST OF ALL – to the cult of reverence for institutions and people, where such reverence should only be for Hashem.

    Is this not the foulest heresy of them all?

    The research, the facts, and the experience are clear and unequivocal:

    Those in authority who stand by and facilitate abuse are more morally culpable than even the rapists/abusers themselves –

    And you are their messengers.

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    I am in awe at the courage of Manny Waks. I would like to shake his hand and tell him this. The agony suffered by sexually abused children is terrible. To be in a religious family where the abuser may be held in high esteem by the family, brings the additional torment of whether to tell, how to tell and how to protect oneself from ongoing abuse while appearing to act “normally” around the abuser.
    I wonder how many poor kids have had to sit at the Shabbos or Yom Tov table, with the abuser there as a guest. I am guessing we have only touched the tip of the iceberg with this brave message from Manny.
    What can we do, as a society? We can make sure we are available to listen and offer the time, place and patience to hear, if the victim needs to talk. We can be EXTRA vigilant, watch for signs of distress in all children, not just our own. Manny says his behaviour changed because of his ordeal: was anybody watching, did anybody ask “why is this boy acting out?” Kids don’t usually change their behaviour dramatically without a deep reason, often one that is too hard for them to verbalise. Our duty as adults is to watch over them and intervene.
    I do feel that our community has an almost smugly complacent attitude at times, that we are above sins that are being committed in other areas of society. Sadly we need to lose this attitude FAST and wake up to reality.
    My sincerest thanks to all involved in this website, for being brave and dedicated in bringing these matters to light. And my heart goes out to Manny and all other victims.

  • Malki Rose says:

    Alex and Marky

    Charly/Moish has written this “complaint” in similar detail in other online forums, so it would certainly seem that in one way or another he/she is trying to find a way to share this information, even if the methods employed are somewhat questionable the information does not change from forum to forum, so I’d say that is key.
    (The Police have access to the comments in question, so rest assured that even if the comments or sections of comments are removed from online… the information is now in the hands of the Police.

    Perhaps the Charly/Moish comments are examples of some of the less than ideal methods individuals employ in efforts to expose evil while retaining their anonymity.
    (Yes, I guess sometimes they backfire).

    Thus far the sort of denialist, subversive approaches coming from those who want to anonymously ensure a reign of silence on the part of the victims means a victim would not dare speak up for fear of of being castigated or called “a liar” by ‘xyz’ or “sensationalist” by ‘BR girl’.

    Sadly that bullying approach still exists where if you point out that there is a flaw in the system, you are accused of being a ‘basher’ (adass basher, BR basher).. even if you have strong ties and a great deal of admiration for the community in question.

    It’s very simple.
    In case it wasn’t made clear enough in the article.
    This is not nor should it be a school or community bashing opportunity.
    This is about flaws in a system, flaws which are not small and flaws which cause far reaching and irreparable damage. Therefore flaws which need to be rectified. Now

    There will be no more cover-ups, no more hiding.

    Once the community and the victims have realised that the ‘all powerful Oz’ is just a pathetic individual with ‘little man syndrome’ hiding behind a curtain. There is no seeing otherwise… and despite their fumbling at curtains of lies to draw the them shut, yelling out “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” is really just a silly waste of their time.

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    In my experience I have seen the fear that victims feel about “telling”. Fear of not being believed, obviously, and fear of what will happen. Because the event was so huge, so life shattering and traumatic to them, they almost have a sense that indeed the world will change or shatter if they “tell”. There is a sense of guilt and shame, which is so misplaced but the poor victim often cannot see this. Which is why we must all help by standing strong. Zero tolerance.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Malki, I’m not sure if there was a misunderstanding:

    I implored the editors NOT to delete the Charly/Moish comments.

    Yesterday, they deleted comments due to potential defamation.

    My comment simply asks that they leave as much information out there as possible so that the culture of cover-up cannot pervade further.

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    Whilst it is absolutely essential to not slander or besmirch anyone who might be innocent of allegations, we must also be careful not to protect anyone who is proven of guilt where information might be useful in protecting future targets.

  • Malki Rose says:

    Oh yes, understood. I meant that once the remarks have been posted, even if the editors (whether by their own choice or as a result of legal advice) remove the remarks (in part or in their entirety), the information is now out in the ether. The Victoria Police are monitoring the comments on this thread and are taking note of every name and accusation mentioned and can and will investigate their veracity.

    So what I meant was that the culture of cover-up is no longer even possible anymore as too many eyes are now on this.

    Ideally I agree that names of abusers/molesters should be made public at all costs, a la Derryn Hinch. The concern is that until they have been questioned by police and found to in fact be predators, should they already be shamed. You’re probably aware that there are cases of people being unfairly and incorrectly labelled as child abusers often times to purposefully ruin someones business, career prospects, standing in court or chances of being granted custody of children. Naming and shaming is only appropriate once it has been ascertained, at the very least through Police investigation, that the individual in question IS in fact an abuser.

    Ditto Linda!

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    I just want to add that I think the way we, as the Jewish Community,handle this, needs to be impeccable. This is a huge challenge for all of us and we must meet it properly, as ghastly and disturbing as it is, and never dodge our responsibilities and, where they exist, our faults.
    If sins and crimes have been committed we must not rest until we have dealt with them.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    Alex Fein says: July 8, 2011 at 9:29 am

    i commend your comments. anyone who does not yet “get it” should read your comment carefully.

    thanx very much to this blog. and as many of you do understand, this is really only the start of the beginning in fixing the problems, past & present. more people now have to be inspired to come forward. scott dwyer, the lead investigator, is a good man.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Thank you, Zephaniah.

    I wish you and your family the very, very best.

    Your son is a hero.

  • I can’t let these comments from ‘Marky’ go without responding:

    Wolf, gimme a break. He can hardly write English, and you think he would have any idea re forum pictures etc?? He didn’t put the picture there himself. Anyone posting with two different names
    on the same subject is doing it to add credibility, which they may be lacking.

    1. We have to assume the comments are real, as others have said.
    2. It’s irrelevant whether he uses multiple names. They might both be his real names. My parents gave me two English names and two Hebrew names. My father rarely uses his first given name, and favours his second. That’s not uncommon.
    3. English might not he his first language.
    4. If English is his first language, perhaps he has a developmental issue, and is expressing himself as well as he can, which is pretty darn good in my opinion. In any case, if he does have a developmental issue, it may be related to the abuse he suffered.

    Your comments don’t help.

  • Correction. I thought he was writing about personal abuse. I re-read the comments and it is unclear if charly/moish was a victim of abuse, or was aware of the abuse of others.

  • Marky says:

    A Fein. It seems your reading of English is not the best. Where did I defend any school?? You just made that up. When did I justify inaction? I never said anything of the sort!

    Maybe it’s time for you to start writing fairy tales(Maybe much what you write is?). Just because I don’t accept that what an annonymous blogger says as fact, does not give you the right to accuse me of the above.

    And Michael, it doesn’t really matter how many names he has. Even one of the 2 names he posted with may not be his. Fact is, posting the same thing with 2 different names to show credibility, shows the lack of it. Galus aust eds have many times pointed this out

  • Marky says:

    And Michael writes “we have to accept the comments are real”

    Why, we don’t know him “from a bar of soap”. So you want to decide for others which annonymous blogger is to be accepted and which not? Sounds like “know all” arrogancy to me.

  • Just because I don’t accept that what an annonymous blogger says as fact, does not give you the right to accuse me of the above.

    It’s just the pot calling kettle black here. What are your real-life credentials behind your anonymous Internet ‘Marky’ persona? If you don’t believe charly/moish then why should we believe anything you have to say?

  • Marky says:

    Michael: Everyone has a right to believe what they want. It’s a free world. I don’t tell you what to accept as true. Whereas you do(you said “we have to assume the comments are real”).

  • Is what you’re suggesting that we assume he’s making it up? Reminiscent of the parent or teacher that says the abused child is making it up.

  • moish says:

    unfortunately i am a victim my self and when i spoke up the rabbis just made fun of me and belittled me ,that was nearly as painful as the abuse any ways this is an amazing start i never believed this day would happen i can start breathing as i said before the abuse was done to hundreds of students not just to one or two and many times it was done in front of other students so its easy to prove but the adass make sure to cover up everything . everyone is so afraid including my self mainly because you will be looked down by the community and for many other reasons .any ways now there is a address to talk to so i will go strait to the police instead of being shambled for chaning my name

  • Embi says:

    Manny – I can’t imagine what you have been through but I hope your bravery in speaking up will give other victims the courage to also go to the police and help bring the abusers to justice.

    I hope it helps change the culture of covering up abuse.

    I hope it finally shuts up the critics who say this sort of thing doesn’t happen in our community.

  • Moish, you should know that what you’re doing is commendable. Please don’t ever think you are betraying anyone. You must speak out and tell the truth and start to repair the hurt and the damage that you and others have suffered.

    Sadly there are people in this world who don’t want the name of their community to be “shamed”. That’s utter crap. I hope you can ignore that selfish attitude and stand up for yourself and for those people who are too scared to stand up for themselves.

    Michael.

  • Embi, agreed. Your last sentence reminds me of what a very close friend of mine has told me numerous times about her brother’s children who have been abused by (her words) a ring of ultra-orthdox child abusers in the Jewish community. I believed every word she told me, and it saddened me deeply that they all knew it was happening and no one wanted to speak up about it because of the “shame”.

  • Wolf says:

    People shouldn’t feel they are ‘shaming’ their community by stepping forward. On the contrary the community has already been shamed by its actions, and now by stepping forward it will work towards creating an environment of honour for our community once more.

  • Zoe Ajzenman says:

    Thank you Malki – totally blown away by the courage of Manny Waks and my thoughts are with him and his family and the other victims, whether able to speak out or not.

  • Manny Waks says:

    Thank you to everyone for your supportive comments. The level and breadth of support has been unexpected and overwhelming. It’s literally taken me hours to respond to all of them – please accept this as a personal one if I haven’t responded.
    Please be aware that I have accepted many calls today, including from new victims who are yet to take any action. Much like what Moish (above) said, they too never believed this day would come. Admittedly, I never believed this either. In many cases, this is why victims have not come forward. Hopefully this exposure will continue to embolden more victims to seek justice and closure.
    As I’ve said elsewhere, as victims we seek justice and closure to these horrible experiences, which are proving to have been endemic within the ultra-Orthodox community.
    Unfortunately, there is still so much to come out….
    In the meantime, please help spread the word to encourage victims to take whatever action they feel they can and need to take.
    Shabbat Shalom to all,
    Manny

  • moish says:

    michael barnet
    thanks for your kind words
    this is such relief,
    unfortunately my English is very poor .in the adass in my days 1985-2000 the english education was a joke .the only thing the teachers and rebbes did were abuse so forgive my english ,luckily my parnasaa does not depend in the english language

  • Marky says:

    Michael, when a Parent or teacher dismiss a child’s complaint, without even looking into it, is of course wrong. They know the child, they know the alleged molester, and the truth can be sought. But to compare that to an annonymous blogger is ridiculous. There is no way to find out if it is the truth. There is always the possibilty that he just wants to besmirch someone’s name for any number of reasons.

  • Marky, you still remain an anonymous blogger, as I previously mentioned, and will still not believe a word you say. Moish has spoken up and I believe him. You continue to challenge his claims and that hurts.

  • Wolf says:

    Manny Waks,

    Your behaviour is to be applauded, you truly are a brilliant community leader, leading by personal example.

    I hope your courage, leadership and personal story help the others in our community go to the police, achieve the closure they so obviously desire for, and hopefully, most importantly, put these wicked criminals behind bars where they can’t molest any Jewish children ever again.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Moish, kol hakavod for going to the police. I think many people will be inspired by your bravery.

    Manny, it’s impossible to put into words my admiration for what you’ve done. Thank you.

  • letters to the age says:

    Hi Manny,
    You are a real champion and it takes guts to do what you have done to make changes within the community.

    I may not agree with your politics but you have won my utmost respect on this matter.

    Keep safe!

  • Marky says:

    Michael, what did I say that you should believe or not? And if I tell you my name is Mark Reich, what difference would that make to you? Or that your name is Michael Barnett who I have never heard of until Galus, makes no difference either in this topic. And where did I challenge his claim? You, like someone else here, is ,making up stories. You feel he is saying the truth, fair enough, but everyone else can decide for themselves.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Mark and Michael

    Stop demonstrating your precious ego conflict and kiss and make up and get back to the topic at hand.

  • moish says:

    marky are you saying i am making up stories ?if you are i am not surprised that was what the abusers did so i am not offended i expect this attitude ,all of this is a big shock for me i thought it will be swept under the rug forever ,most of the abusers will probably get away but at least their will be some guilt placed in them {i hope so any way}and hopefully they will realize some of the damage that they did .those who did not go through or see the abuse with their own eyes of the hell house of the adass school in elsternwick can not begin to understand the damage the teachers and rabbis did .i must say the shul and kehila it self is one of the best in the world it is very united and full of kindness

  • What you have done is attempt to discredit Moish by stating “Fact is, posting the same thing with 2 different names to show credibility, shows the lack of it.” By you claiming he has no credibility, you are saying we have no reason to believe a word of what he is saying. I would say that is where you challenged his claim.

    I don’t mind that you hadn’t heard of me, but I have always been upfront as to who I am.

  • Stop demonstrating your precious ego conflict and kiss and make up and get back to the topic at hand.

    The famous last words of yet another anonymous Internet blogger.

  • xyz says:

    Ed: This comment has been removed. It is disgustingly insensitive to be attacking victims of abuse and their families. Furthermore, considering the nature of the comment attacking individual victims and individual members of their families, it is very cowardly to make such a comment anonymously.
    PS. We are happy to republish your comment, but it would need to be under your real name – please contact us if you’d like us to approve the comment under your real name.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Manny I can only echo what others have said. Your courage is awe inspiring. Shabbat shalom to all -except xyz .

  • TheSadducee says:

    XYZ wins the award for “low-life of the week” with that last comment.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    xyz is a low-life. i sometimes wonder about the skeletons in the closets of those who make such comments. needless to say, i am not going to start rebutting the many factual innacurrcies in his & other such claims (it’s worse on the US blogs). & to those who wish to protect the protectors: i have yet to see a serious statement of regret about the past from yc, jccv etc. the mindset still has a way to go.

    menahem has received overwhelming community support via phone & email, & plenty on blogs as well. xyzs of the world: get real, talk about the message, not the messenger.

    good shabbos from canberra (for an opsherenish, arranged long before all this!)

  • Zephaniah, don’t hold your breath for any genuine compassion from an organisation as morally bankrupt as the JCCV. Their current president told me in person, in his house, when asked why they didn’t make any statement of condemnation about the Tel Aviv attack in August 2009 that they only respond to issues in the community at their discretion. Total lack of empathy, tact and humility.

    Don’t expect anything and you won’t be disappointed.

    On a positive note, you and Manny are to be commended for your strong visible stance.

    Michael.

  • Hailey says:

    Let’s not forget Sydney. I personally know of several pedophiles who were sent packing, and the Yeshiva ensured no charges were laid. It is unknown how many children in Sydney were victims. Maybe some will come forward now. Maybe not.
    This is also the case for victims of domestic violence, whose husbands were protected by the Yeshiva Centre Sydney. Many wrongs were committed, and they remain unresolved to this day.

  • Malki Rose says:

    Hailey,

    This is precisely as I’ve mentioned in the article, NOT unique to ANY community.

    We can love our community as much as we like, but Jewish communities around the world have a culture of silence towards abuse like all others.

    Perhaps the only difference is that with Jewish communities is that the silence is harder to break as everyone worries about this destroying us.

    Those who sit at the helm of our communities, on our boards and in our shules and schools worry that going public about tackling abuse makes us the laughing stock of the non-Jewish world in the media.

    But its the not the abuse they mock us for. It’s the fact that we have spent our history insisting on placing ourselves on our own pedestal of religious and spiritual superiority… and yet allow these things to go on.

    The communities worry about the community as a whole rather than its many ‘parts’.
    A common good cannot be served when ignoring the needs of individuals.

    If a culture truly sees itself as morally and spiritually fantastic then its first point of order should surely be to protect and care for victims within, not shun and discredit them for being victims of a fate they did not choose.

    If you’ve watched the video of Pinny Taub, you’ll see he had the same problem with the Satmer community, and the fear of being cast out or judged or blamed crippled him enough to want to take his own life.

    All Jewish communities need to start practicing real Jewish values and caring for the all the individuals the comprise the ‘whole’.

  • a different ex BR girl says:

    Unfortunately in a debate such as this, those who say it should not be reported are those who cannot sympathise, let alone empathise; those who do not know the pain, who do not know the suffering that can come from abuse.
    As a grade 6 BR girl in the 90s, a school friend’s father tried to touch me up. He slid his hand up my leg, all the way up to my undies, but thank g-d no further. He ran out of time, I got the hell out of there. In that moment, I swore I would never tell anyone, such was the shame and shock. However, I couldn’t hold the tears in, once my mother had picked me up from my friend’s house.
    I broke down and told her everything. She told me that we had to report it to the police, and we did. Not only that, my parents took me to confront the man, face to face, that very afternoon. My mother yelled the sh*t out of him.
    I later learned that my mother had been a victim of sexual abuse herself, horribly by her uncle, when she was a young girl. I can see now that she made me behave in a way that she probably wished she had herself. It took her about 30 years to tell her family what had happened. I’m sure she spent many a night thinking about how she wished she’d actually dealt with the situation.
    So I hope that more people who were abused, at any times in their lives, find the courage to come forward and put these f*cking bastards away. Thank goodness Manny Waks has got the ball rolling. If you know anyone who should go to the police, please encourage them. THIS is important. Not the appearance of our religion and our community, but to allow all individuals and their families to heal properly, and all abusers brought to justice.

  • moish says:

    i would like to wish every one shabat shalom
    and by the way i know i claim that hundreds of kids were abused in the adass but i would like to say there were also very nice and dedicated rabbis and teachers that i have tremendous gratitude to and hakarat hatov
    malki rozen am i aloud to post names of the good teachers?

  • moish says:

    one more point for all those trying to deny the abuse in the adass
    there is a student who lost his hearing do to being slapped over the ear and every one knows whom i am talking about so that it is impossible to white wash, another student was also slapped on the ear and needed medical assistance for over a year i am sure the doctors have records and i myself was injured and went immediately during school hours to the doctor for check up .what i don’t understand is how the doctors did not make a report but all of this will be reported to the police and its up to them to decide what to do
    and what i am saying is only a drop in the bucket

  • Sam says:

    An interesting point is that a little research will show that a high level of physical and most likely sexual abuse has occurred for generations in a similar setting.
    Anecdotal stories from now quite elderly jewish relatives reveal that in Poland pre-WW2 that the melamed in charge of the cheder-torah was a feared and hated person by the young children in their care and trust. I use these words in a very ironic sense as hitting and beating for inability to answer questions correctly was the normal modus operandus. And to think that parents gave money to the children to give to the melamed in gratitude.
    I have not heard personally of sexual abuse, however shame would prevent any victims from giving that information, even to close relatives, and therefore I cannot assume that it didn’t occur also.

  • Marky says:

    To a different ex BR girl: Did the police take any action against this man?

  • Yeshiva College must distance itself from grievous mistakes of the past or it will be in big trouble. Soon people will think of us like they think of the catholics: 1) big families 2) waiting for the second coming 3) and covering up for pedophiles. They should take note that the catholic church has been sued for megabucks by victims.

  • On that very topic, there’s a highly enlightening video about the Catholic Church that I would encourage everyone to watch and learn from.

    Stephen Fry & The Catholic Church

    Michael.

  • NB, the ‘relevant’ part starts about 9 minutes in…

  • KMA says:

    Appears to be some dispute regarding when Mandatory reporting was legislated.

    I’m not trying to mitigate in any shape or form, any activities of any offenders, rather, this is an academic exercise for the purpose of clarification. The article below suggests it was 1993.

    http://www.aare.edu.au/01pap/tay01411.htm

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    Shabbat is over for another week and I spent a lot of it wondering how many victims of sexual abuse have been profoundly helped and comforted by Manny and his bravery. He has not only opened a huge door, but by living a successful and meaningful life, he is showing that life CAN go on and be happy.
    I was hoping that anyone who has been suffering the hell of the “secret horror” will begin to see that they are NOT ALONE and there are many of us in the community who care and that they can get help.
    The first step is always incredibly difficult, so we need to keep the door open for them. I hope there is some sort of outreach going on to try to enable victims to access help – some may not have the courage to actively seek it out and this is nothing for them to feel bad about.
    It has been naive of many of us to think our community is above such things as sexual and/or abuse of other kinds, and now it is out we must deal with it.

  • Marky says:

    So, Shoshana, are we going to do something about our big families?

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    Thank you moderator, & all those that attacked the pathetic xyz. His type of comments enable predators to continue, by cowing victims into not coming forward. The good news is, my truly brave son (& kol hakavod to his brave wife) has received overwhelming support from all sections of the community, including classmates. Some of the calls he has received, from very prominent & well-known members of the community, would make your hair stand on end. People my age who have told noone or only one person about serious abuse from 50 years ago, never having told their parents.
    My wife & myself have also received good messages & calls of support, but ominously, almost none (a big thank you to the exceptions, you know who you are)from our Yeshivah community.

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    Dear Mr Waks, my warmest good wishes to you and your family at this difficult time, and my deepest admiration for your son. Manny has shone light into some dark, bad places and as a result lots of victims will now see a way out. May your son be blessed for his courage.
    Regarding the sad omission of support from the Yeshivah community: may I just check with you, are you sure they all know about it? I am posibly ignorant and naive about this but do they all read papers? Perhaps they haven’t contacted you because they are unaware? I do so hope that they will support you. Kind regards, Himmelfarb family.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    Thanx Linda for your kind wishes. I wish you were right about their lack of awareness, but I fear it is not so. It may be they don’t know what to say, feeling “sympathy”, when what is required is empathy & action, encouraging others to come forward. A worse case scenario would be a continuation of the denial: it happened a long time ago, just a few people, not happening recently, not to my family (some people would in fact be wrong if they thought that), maybe it’ll all blow over if we just shut up.

  • Malki Rose says:

    Linda and others,
    You’ll be happy to know that since this article went live more and more people have been coming forward every single day. Several people have contacted me and have been referred to the Police with their complaints, others have gone directly to the police. It’s truly amazing.

    Those who have made reference to incidents and predators in this thread need to note that although the Police have read those remarks and can add those details to their file, they CANNOT ACT unless a statement is made to the police directly.

    Detective Dwyer can be contacted at scott.dwyer@police.vic.gov.au

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    Well, Mr Waks, you are wonderful in the staunch way you are standing shoulder to shoulder with Manny. The love and support from you and his family and friends will be the thing that gives him strength. If any of the community fit into that “worse case scenario” that you describe, it is not going to help them. There will come a point when there is nowhere left to bury their heads.
    You have many many supporters and we who care. Your son is definitely going to be preventing other kids from being hurt and that is something that NOTHING can diminish, so when you feel hurt by the lack of empathy by some members of the community, keep all that in mind. We wish you the best.

  • xyz says:

    Zephaniah Waks says:
    Thank you moderator, & all those that attacked the pathetic xyz. His type of comments enable predators to continue, by cowing victims into not coming forward
    >>

    Zephaniah, I realise that you and Manny have pain and chas vecholileh that I should to add to it. But I am earnestly seeking answers to questions that others are also asking.

    Know what uyou did about abusers in YBR, why did you allow your other children to continue there?

  • To clarify so my comment is not misunderstood: I am totally in favour of big families and believe in the imminent coming of Moshiach (but not in the ‘second coming’ version of some of my co-religionists in Chabad).
    I am dismayed and disgusted but the tacit support and cover up of pedophilia by Orthodox communities (or by anyone) and merely made the point that outsiders may start seeing some similarities to us and catholics if we don’t get our act together on this issue.

    Remember when you were a young innocent child? Imagine how it would feel being violated by a grown up. Imagine how much it would hurt. Then imagine yourself as a child being threatened by that grown up. Then imagine if got the courage to speak out the very school and community that is supposed to nurture you protects the abuser instead. How angry would you be?

    To me there is nothing more important when it comes to this issue than protection of innocent children. The reputation of the abuser, the abuser’s own spouse and children, the abuser’s future well being, the loss of money and prestige of the school, none of it matters at all when weighed up against the protection of the innocent child.

  • typos corrected:
    To clarify so my comment is not misunderstood: I am totally in favour of big families and believe in the imminent coming of Moshiach (but not in the ‘second coming’ version of some of my co-religionists in Chabad).
    I am dismayed and disgusted by the tacit support and cover up of pedophilia by Orthodox communities (or by anyone) and merely made the point that outsiders may start seeing some similarities to us and catholics if we don’t get our act together on this issue.

    Remember when you were a young innocent child? Imagine how it would feel being violated by a grown up. Imagine how much it would hurt. Then imagine yourself as a child being threatened by that grown up. Then imagine if got the courage to speak out the very school and community that is supposed to nurture you protects the abuser instead. How angry would you be?

    To me there is nothing more important when it comes to this issue than protection of innocent children. The reputation of the abuser, the abuser’s own spouse and children, the abuser’s future well being, the loss of money and prestige of the school, none of it matters at all when weighed up against the protection of the innocent child

  • Alex Fein says:

    KMA:

    I urge you to click on link I provided earlier.

    It is clear that the process of implementing mandatory reporting began in the 1980s and was the subject of vigorous public debate back then.

    Yeshiva would have been well aware of this.

  • Alex Fein says:

    I encourage Galus readers to go to this blog:

    http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=36004

    There are many comments supportive of Manny and other abused children; however, there are a number of comments that are clearly intended to damage Manny’s credibility, and by extension, to intimidate others who might be considering coming forward.

    The comment I left there – and the sentiment is directed at XYZ as well:

    “Concerned Ex-Pat and all your supporters – many of us in the community are reading your words.

    We also hear lashon ha’rah that is spoken and remember who has said what.

    Your haste to blame Manny would make many question your motives.

    When you attempt to intimidate him and others who come forward, you invite speculation.

    I have therefore sent the link to this website to the officer in charge of this investigation.”

    The comment is currently awaiting approval from the site’s moderators.

  • Alex Fein says:

    XYZ, some questions:

    1) Why are you anonymous?

    2) When will you provide your real name?

    3) If you are writing for altruistic reasons, why do you hide behind a pseudonym?

    4) What (or whom) do you have to hide?

    Mark Reich had the courage to give his real name on this blog.

    Why don’t you?

  • Isaac Balbin says:

    Hey Alex,
    Instead of following Scott Rosenberg’s blog for information, given that you married my cousin Yaron, you could sort of email or call me directly to find out about pitputim? As with lots of Rosenberg’s stuff, he had/has no clue. He could have asked me as well-he used to delete my comments when they showed him up. He prefers shoddy sensationalism to reporting the truth.
    Kind Regards
    Isaac

  • Isaac Balbin says:

    forget about xyz
    He posted to my blog under a different pseudonym. He is an Adass apologist. His posts on my blog go to spam. I know who he is.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    xyz, good to see you are such a constructive person. i will gladly answer your important questions, and you will be able to pass on the info to the “others…also asking”. just identify yourself first. if you are scared to do it on this blog, ring me on 04-28259163. happy to chat. till then, get lost you sicko.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Zephania, I sent you a Facebook message.

    Isaac, my email address is alex.fein at gmail dot com.

  • Marky says:

    Isaac, is this Scott Rosenberg the same person as Nuchem Rosenberg?

  • Isaac Balbin says:

    No he is failed messiah

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    I wish I had not read the Crown Heights blog. Hardly anyone had the guts to put their name to their comments and all the ignorant comments were upsetting.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    to various people that have asked: i really appreciate your support. i don’t use facebook at all, have it just for family photos. & i’m a slow typer so i prefer not email. best contact is phone: 03-95072377 or 04-28259163. anytime about anything.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    p.s. don’t ring with a private or hidden caller-id. i don’t want anon callers: it’s enough with the anon creeps on the blogs.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H
    First let me say, to Manny Waks I have the utmost respect and admiration for his courage in coming forward and talking about his abuse. It is not an easy thing to do, even years later. This sort of abuse marks a person with a deep shame and embarrassment that gives the victims an often flawed and uncomfortable perspective on interpersonal relationships with others because the trust of an innocent child has rudely and brutally shaken. That broken trust is never fully regained. What makes it worst is that the abusers as Malki so aptly points out, are often very smart, charismatic and like-able individuals who hold positions of authority or have or move within a certain powerful social hierarchy. This happens not just in Orthodox Jewish circles but even more frequently in the non Jewish world.
    Somebody remarked to me, that Manny looks like an angry young man with problems and said,’Why didn’t he come forward years ago?’ Let me answer that question because from reading some comments here, I can see that some people fail to understand the the horror of this sort of abuse for the victims and their families and how twisted and evil abusers really are. I think also that there are many people within the Orthodox community who do operate on a very naive and simple black and white level of good and evil. They simply cannot imagine how someone ‘so charming and so nice’ can abuse a child or do something so unnatural. So it is the child who is disbelieved or it is passed over as something else’that could not be. No, not that nice Mr Simpson or Mrs Levi or whoever.(apologies to the Mr Simpsons and Mr Levis who are not child abusers) He is on the parents committee and always volunteers his time and energy and contributes so much…no, not him and the child and even the parents are not believed.’
    Paedophiles are very clever people, usually of higher intellectual capability than the majority. They groom not only their victims, but those around them and they create an image of Mr or Mrs nice guy or gal. They do this because they have learnt that this gets them what they want, which is sweet little boys and girls to abuse. They are selfish individuals who only care about satisfying their own sick sexual desires and they have no understanding of boundaries, no understanding of incest and in short they are totally amoral people. They will justify to themselves and others (as some do in prison) that their abuse of a child or vulnerable person is ok or they will portray themselves as the victim who was led on by a sexually provocative child. They will lie and connive to continue their abuse and such people are extremely dangerous because they will destroy lives again and again in order to satisfy themselves and they will attempt to destroy anyone who might expose them for what they are.
    I understand why Manny is angry and he has every right to be and so do his brothers and his sisters and his parents. I know them. They are a very good family and his parents worked very hard to raise a nice chasidic family with all the right values and they tried damn hard to give them the right Jewish environment. How has this impacted on the rest of his family, because I am sure that if some of his friends knew, then so did his brothers and sisters? So abuse has far reaching effects, whatever community it is in and believe me, it is not just covered up in some sections of the Orthodox Jewish community but out in the wider non Jewish community too. I worked in a town of 5,000 people where it was said that over half of the indigenous kids were regularly abused sexually by a close family relative or family friend by the age of ten or eleven. The sad part about this is that these kids accept that this is part and parcel of their life and it is normal for a girl or boy of eight or nine to be regularly raped or sodomized by an older uncle or mum or dad’s friend. Very few escape and some of them are even given for ‘favours’ to older family members ‘to use’. These children then begin to exhibit all sorts of weird behaviour and say things that are outright sexually inappropriate and odd. Things that no child or even adult should even know about, come out of these babies mouths and you think, what is going on here?
    The thing is that nothing will be gained by blaming people like Rabbi D.Y. Groner OBM whose family is still very present in the community and besides he is dead and can not do anything about these events that happened nearly twenty years ago. It is crying over spoilt milk and achieves nothing except to hurt his widow and upset families who are equally shocked and dismayed by what has happened.
    The most positive thing and the best way to move forward will be to do something now about David Kramer and other abusers who are recognized within the community as such and definitely not allow them to have access to vulnerable children and to set up MANDATORY reporting structures within all Jewish schools and for all reports of child sexual abuse to be treated very, very seriously.
    The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and to work vigorously to protect children and students of today from abuse, otherwise the lesson Manny Waks is trying to impart will be lost and his courage will be lost.
    Do you know how much courage it takes to come forward after even twenty years? The shame and embarrassment of abuse never really leaves. The worst part is that the abusers make you, the victim feel somehow that you are to blame for this happening. You feel wrong. It is very hard to bring them to account and even if an adult believes you and tries to help you break free or can see the abuse happening, the abusers often make the parent, or other adults feel that they are not doing the right thing or it is an act of malice on your part for some reason.
    It is a very ugly issue and it is something that has to be dealt with more effectively, but not just in the Jewish community but the wider community and kids and the vulnerable need to be protected from these predators. Malki’s article is a good start and raising awareness of this issue and the learning curve on how to deal with it is going to be a big one. At the moment, not even the courts deal with it effectively and there have been pedophiles among judges and in the legal system too, so one wonders at the light sentences handed down in some quite horrific cases of serial molestation and there is the case of Mr Baldy and his ring of prison pedophiles who raped children of their families once they got out of prison. These are very sick people, they have compulsions that do not go away and how do we deal with them, not just in the Jewish community but everywhere? How?
    I can relate very well to the father who said he would kill David Kramer. I feel so strongly that if I were to find out that some one had touched my son inappropriately, I would want to go and bludgeon that person’s head in and be quite happy to go to prison for it. I feel that such a person who abuses children and literally kills their emotional and psychological well being is a rodef a pursuer. They are unashamedly pursuing children with the intent to damage and destroy the child in order to satisfy their own sick sexual urges. They must be stopped and locked away in order to protect the children. It is about priorities and our children are the next generation – we must protect them.
    We cannot tolerate this within the Jewish community or any community and rather than blaming those who may not have handled it well in the past, we need to fix the problem now. It is all very well to say in hindsight that this or that should have been done. Who knows what might have been done? The problem must be fixed now and if this Malka person in Israel is working in a school, then she needs to be stopped and taken away from a situation where she has access to vulnerable girls. I find it totally ironic that I got slammed out of teaching for doing the right thing and because of the bullying of two principals who conspired to destroy me, I cannot get a teaching position in government schools and am banned from teaching in NSW, yet here is a person who abused children and she is back in schools. Crazy world. It shows how upside down the values are in places.

  • R B says:

    Unfortunately, such cover-up of sex crimes is a characteristic of any closed community, which considers itself as idealistic and having higher moral values the surrounding society.

    In 1988, in Kibbutz Shomrat in northern Israel, a 14.5 yo girl was raped time after time by a group of older boys, some of them were from the same Kibbutz. She told the Kibbutz’s nurse about that, but the nurse did not report the police. The police was involved only after the girl’s mother insisted on that, ignoring pressures of the Kibbutz “to keep the case at home”.

    This case shocked many Israelis, who at that time believed that the people in the Kibbutzim have high moral values and are free of crime – just as the Kibbutzim considered themselves.

  • Marky says:

    A Fein, you seem to have no moral principles when it comes to besmirching. You fabricated things about me, saying that I am defending certain schools, that I am justifying inaction and other lies. Even that I am worse than a child rapist!

    You did not even have the decency to respond when I asked you previously about this. You are beneath contempt

  • moish says:

    to xyz
    because of people like you abusers can go on for a life time and feel good about them selves they no it will be covered up and that gives them tremendous strength

  • moish says:

    to xyz
    you are obviously an adassnik trying to cover up everything ,but rest a sure its changing times ,but i must say sadly because of people like you so many boys and girls were abused because the abusers know very well they can get away with it

  • Malki Rose says:

    moish,
    have you contacted Detective Dwyer yet to make a statement?
    If you want to stop the cover-ups.. that is the only place to start!!!!!

  • moish says:

    not yet i called but he was not in

  • leedsiy says:

    B”H

    I think this issue is of such seriousness we should all be working towards solving and protecting children from these abusers is the first priority or should be, of everyone, whether a parent or not. We should not be labelling people as Adassniks and giving over the inference that only Adassniks are likely to cover up the crime of child abuse. To do so is childish and insulting to a whole community and I would bet that there are many people among the Adass who are not happy at all that Ms Malka Leiber is now allegedly at another school apparently. Again this is hearsay but if it is true, she should be removed from her post immediately and she should not be in the position to destroy the lives of more young girls in the charedi or indeed any communities.
    Malki Rose’s suggestion is a good one. We need to bring these people to justice and we need to do it now and not wait until they re offend and some other child’s life is blighted. This is one of the greatest challenges the frum communities face, dealing with this spiritual danger, because that is what it is. Very clever and cunning people using the religious community and playing them for fools. Sometimes I think some of the very innocent and naive people in the community who have no idea as to the evil of these child abusers, think that these people can do Tzuva and reform their lives. They cannot. The best thing may be that these child sex offenders are ousted from the communities they have remained submerged in and everyone knows who they are (not who they have abused because these are the people who should be protected) and people are told not to communicate with them, do business with them and they are literally placed in cherem. They damage families and we cannot afford to have whole families placed in jeopardy like this. Look at the Waks family and I am going to say this publicly, I found it so hard to believe that so many of Manny’s brothers became fry (Not frum) because I know a little about the effort that his parents put into raising them. They are very hard working people and always tried their best. They are very good people. I tutored one of their children. A very sweet kid when he was around eight or nine.
    The impact of abuse is far reaching and insidious. It is a cancer that eats away at the victim and the families of the victims, Yes counselling can do something, but isn’t better to educate people to recognise the signs, train kids to protect themselves, deal effectively and swiftly with abusers and give these molesters no quarter – not an inch to move and make sure that they are tracked and prevented from re offense. You are talking about very very sick people. They cannot help themselves. They, most of them, can not do tzuva and leave a trail of destruction in emotionally and psychologically scarred children and their families. I am sure Manny’s reasons for coming forward were not for cheap publicity as some have suggested, but to stop the abuse and get people to face it and deal with the abusers once and for all. He is also having to deal with some very difficult issues and has been brave in doing so.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H
    This week’s parsha is Pinchas. What happened at the end of Parsha Balak? What did Pinchas do and why? There are some interesting questions and we need to look at the morality that is played out here and why he took such extreme measures. Now I am not advocating spearing child abusers, but we need to be vigilant and deal in no uncertain terms with them. To allow them to co-exist besides us, puts families in grave danger.

  • Malki Rose says:

    moish,
    he is “in” on his mobile (number supplied at end of my article) constantly so best try him on that or email him at scott.dwyer@police.vic.gov.au and he will most certainly get back to you immediately.

  • Steven says:

    Re: Malki’s advise to moish.
    IMHO I strongly feel that generally victims should go to the police, but if his/her spouse does not know of the abuse, I think it is probably wiser not to go, and let others, whose spouses know, get these molestors off the street.

    For the former, councelling may be a better option. It is not impossible that the spouse will not understand, (like half the comments here) and may well end in divorce and more heartache.

    Those, whose spouse and family knows, should follow Menachem’s example and give the police a call. Those who are still single and frum should – do you tell your date? Debatable?

    At the end of the day, just one victim needs to come forward for justice and closure.

    It is very easy giving advice, but giving bad advice is the worst thing you can do.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Mark Reich (Marky),

    If you don’t want people to make inferences, you might like to refrain from jumping on someone who seeks to discuss abuses they may have suffered.

    You might also like to refrain from criticising those who seek to support such people.

    If you don’t remember what I’m talking about, let me remind you:

    “Without doubt, Charly and Moish are the same person(same “unique” style of writing, same mistakes etc.) Which removes at least most of his credibility.”

    “And Michael, it doesn’t really matter how many names he has. Even one of the 2 names he posted with may not be his. Fact is, posting the same thing with 2 different names to show credibility, shows the lack of it. Galus aust eds have many times pointed this out”

    “So, Shoshana, are we going to do something about our big families?”

    Upon your apology for these remarks I will retract my initial assessment that you are a defender of institutional cover-up and offer you an apology.

    Finally, if you reread a previous comment of mine, you will see that I commended you on your using your real name and stated that this distinguished you clearly from XYZ.

    ***

    For anyone interested in following XYZ’s cruelty on other forums as well as others who seek to shame and intimidate those who might want to report abuse, please go to http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=36004

  • Truth says:

    I tried for a few weeks on the landline number the police supplied. Every time they responded that “Detective Dwyer is on ‘leave’ and they couldn’t tell me when he would return”. A bit pathetic, i thought, given they had just advertised these numbers for public assistance. Then I tried the mobile number advertised and he answered immediately. He has answered the mobile fairly consistently. It appears to be a very reliable way to reach him.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    steven: “At the end of the day, just one victim needs to come forward for justice and closure.”. are you an expert, in exactly what field? do other experts that work in the field, including police, agree with you?

    Truth: det. dwyer is a good guy, with his heart in the right place. glad you could reach him, but it took a few weeks: why did you wait a few weeks when they had supplied 2 numbers from the start?

  • Marky says:

    A Fein, I should apologise for questioning an anonymous blogger using two names?? Good try. Nothing excuses your lies and besmirching.

  • Steven says:

    Zephaniah, I am not an expert, but concerned that a victim will end up divorced and I am suggesting that preferably others testify instead. Perhaps you could ask the police what the difference is in jail time if 10 people testify or just one.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    steven: we’ve finally established you are not an expert. how unexpected. you are “concerned”: admirable, i am totally heartless & thoughless, is that the implication? again, maybe ask some experts. i have.

    “Perhaps you could ask the police”. i have. have you?

    all anonymous drivel writers please note: i will not answer or comment on any more drivel, or circular, repetitive posts. my lack of comment is absolutely not to be understood as any type of agreement or acquiescence. i am simply too busy, & too bored with the drivel.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Can someone tell me if these constitute a death threat and call to vigilante justice?

    Comment 11. Milhouse wrote:
    #10, Velamalshinim al tehi sikvoh. And no, despite what you may read on some web sites, there is no blanket heter. Unless you know very specific details about a particular case, and have asked an expert posek for a heter, you may NOT inform the authorities, and anyone may kill you to prevent you doing so.

    Comment 22. MILLHOUSE RIGHT! Just take revenge wrote:
    Millhouse is 100% correct! You don’t
    commit something as serous as mesirah.
    When it comes to molesters and other such
    vermin, just take a gun and blow their heads off,
    simple as all that! That will bring justice,and,for sure, prevent another victim.

    The link to these comments is:
    http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=35692

  • Rachel SD says:

    Perhaps some of the anonymous commenters who are trying to encourage people not to report sex crimes are doing so because they are/were perpetrators of such crimes?

    Some comments certainly beg the question.

    No advice fits all, but lets not assume that everyone’s wives (spouses?) would be so disgusting as to blame their own partner for being a victim of violent crime.

  • xyz says:

    • Michael Barnett says: July 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm
    . Your last sentence reminds me of what a very close friend of mine has told me numerous times about her brother’s children who have been abused by (her words) a ring of ultra-orthdox child abusers in the Jewish community. I believed every word she told me
    ==

    Of course you did.
    Just like there are still plenty of people out there who believe Jews use the blood of Christian children to make Matzos.

  • xyz says:

    • moish says: July 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm
    …… the abuse was done to hundreds of students not just to one or two and many times it was done in front of other students so its easy to prove but the adass make sure to cover up everything . everyone is so afraid including my self mainly because you will be looked down by the community ..
    ==

    Huh? You haven’t been part of that community for years…??

    M; any ways now there is a address to talk to so i will go strait to the police instead of being shambled for chaning my name
    ==
    Excellent idea.

  • xyz says:

    • moish says: July 9, 2011 at 3:14 am
    there is a student who lost his hearing do to being slapped over the ear and every one knows whom i am talking about so that it is impossible to white wash,
    ==
    I checked with my Adass source and yes, you are correct. That case is well known and no one denies it. As for the teacher himself, he was and still is upset and embarrassed about it. There is no excuse, and he admits this himself. He was at the time hauled before the rabbi and the school committee. He admitted that he lost his temper after some atrocious class behaviour, but there is no excuse. No justification at all. He is still thoroughly ashamed of himself and after it happened he apologised both to the boy and his family.

    BTW this was approx 18-20 years ago and that teacher has never ever done anything similar. (And I repeat for the sake of Alex Fein, who will no doubt twist whatever I write for her fantasy tales, I personally strongly condemn such behaviour which is totally not acceptable in the eyes of any community.)

    M: another student was also slapped on the ear and needed medical assistance for over a year i am sure the doctors have records and i myself was injured and went immediately during school hours to the doctor for check up .what i don’t understand is how the doctors did not make a report but all of this will be reported to the police and it’s up to them to decide what to do
    >.

    Terrible. But what I don’t understand is why your parents who know the laws better than you and a I, didn’t report this to the police. And how they then allowed your siblings to continue at that school and with the same teacher?

  • xyz says:

    • moish says:
    and by the way i know i claim that hundreds of kids were abused in the adass but i would like to say there were also very nice and dedicated rabbis and teachers that i have tremendous gratitude to and hakarat hatov
    malki rozen am i aloud to post names of the good teachers?
    ==

    Of course not! What a naive question!
    This thread is here purely to attack, disparage, denigrate, defame and besmirch the orthodox Jewish education system.

    If you want to name good teachers, start you own blog!

  • xyz says:

    • leedsiy says:
    I would bet that there are many people among the Adass who are not happy at all that Ms Malka Leiber is now allegedly at another school apparently. Again this is hearsay but if it is true, she should be removed from her post immediately and she should not be in the position to destroy the lives of more young girls in the charedi or indeed any communities.
    >

    When I spoke to my Adass source this afternoon I specifically mentioned the allegations made on this blog.
    The person in charge of the “Leifer file” was up to date with what had been written here in the past week or so. Therefore he contacted the relevant people in Israel as well as in the town that she lives in. They told him that it is a total ‘sheker’ to say that she is teaching in any school. She hasn’t had a job at a school since leaving Melbourne.

    And I was asked to pass on the message to all, that Mrs Leifer is exactly as popular in the Adass community as she is with the commenters here.

  • xyz says:

    A couple of relevant comments on that crownheights blog:

    85. e.g. wrote:
    i am troubled by the fact that this article went to the Age. those who read it know very well that it is a left wing paper with a strong anti religious,anti semitic and anti Israel bias.it’s readership will love this story as it portrays both Jews and the Rabbis in a very bad light. friday night a woman who is not yet frum came to my home so upset about this article. she complained that it was on the front page and she just couldn,t see the point. her words were “don’t we have enough anti semitism?” neither she nor i would have minded seeing this article in the local Jewish news, but following the recent articles supporting a ban on shechita, and it’s horrific bias against Israel, we just resent this obvious airing of our dirty laundry to hostile goyim.
    as a Yeshiva parent i would very much like to see the names made public, i don’t understand why charges have not been laid, and perpetrators not prosecuted.
    also, to menachems vorcheimer and waks, i undertand your intentions, but you should understand that this constant Yeshiva bashing in the paper destroys our sons’ school. when a school has a bad reputation it can’t get decent staff and our kids lose out. think before you speak!
    that said, my heart goes out to both menachem(manny) and his parents- may you all heal immediately, with the coming of Moshiach.

    July 10 2011 – 10:46 –
    86. MG (don-t print my name) wrote:
    I am not trying to excuse anybody or minimize the seriousness of abuse. I just want to point out that until recently there was a lack of awareness (at least here in Melbourne) about these issues. No one including the community leaders understood the perameters and ramifications of abuse not the warped mind of the abuser, nor the extent of the damage to the abused. Keep in mind also that in Australia, teachers were legally allowed to use physical means of discipline in the classroom until the 1970’s. I am not in any way condoning this- I’m just trying to explain the mindset of the times. Thank G-d in recent years the Jewish Taskforce Against Abuse has done a wonderful job educating the community and especially Rabbis about these issues.

  • moish says:

    to steven
    i dont need your advice on the contrary this is the trick of all cover up people like you to give such stupid advice ,how would a 20 min conversation cause any shalom bayis issues .
    steven do me a favor keep your advice for you self
    i spoke to several great poskim and they said i must get these molesters behind bars
    any ways like i said before i will give the information and the experts can decide what to do
    the only reason nothing was done until now
    1.because adass brain washed every one that it is mesira
    2.THERE WAS KNOW ONE WHO CARED
    let me make it very clear i am not doing anything its up to the experts to decide what to do
    but to me this is a huge step that there is a place and address to report things which until now there wasn’t

  • Yid Melb says:

    i am an ex adass student from a while back.

    i am all for this blog, and for abuse and abusers to be stopped. such a shame they were not stopped years ago.

    just a personal view on “moish/charly”‘s posts.

    if u read his posts he mentions hundreds of kids being abused. and in general from reading his posts i get the feeling he is not talking about sexual abuse but teacher’s hitting students i.e. physical abuse.

    while this is also bad (i got hit a few times in my adass years) it is another issue completely and should not be confused with sexual abuse. i think many in there 30s, 40s and beyond will remember the days of the “cane” at school – i think in all schools hitting was pretty common until 20-30 years ago.

    from his comments (although the mods deleted the names i can still work out what he wrote as i know all the people involved) i know for a fact that the teacher he named for abusing hundreds of kids is still currently teaching and is a good teacher. as a young inexperienced teacher he did hit kids too much but he has reformed. he NEVER was accused cv”sh of sexual abuse and to post his name as an abuser on this blog is misleading.

    i am not saying there were was never any sexual abuse in adass. we all know the recent case in the girls school which shocked us all to the core. we would all like to see her behind bars. we just pray that no victim or their families should need to suffer more in order to get her convicted.

    it is possible that there was sexual abuse in some form happening in the boys school as well, but i went through the school and never was aware of any such stories. i was not a naive kid either.
    i would hate to cover up a crime. but i also would hate to think that a good teacher who hit kids too much 20+ years ago should have to be dragged though the mud because of slander.

    my main point is – 99% of adass students from the 70s-90s had a positive education with perhaps a little too much hitting. as did many in other schools around the world.

    i doubt there is any parent on this blog who has never hit his kid.

    today we mostly agree that teachers should not hit. back then it was a grey area.

    but NEVER was sexual abuse tolerated in adass. and never have they been more aware than in the past few years.

    i believe the days of sexual abuse in jewish schools are over b”h. the awareness is there to protect our kids. but yes we should put away those that have sexually abused kids in the past to make sure they do not carry on offending. there is no excuse for it. or for covering it up. this blog is great and any victim who has the guts to come forward and help put them away should be commended.

    may Hashem protect our kids and all children further. One never can be guaranteed even with all that we do.

    we should daven every day that no stranger (or not stranger) touch our kids or cause them any harm.

  • moish says:

    let me make my self very clear
    i am talking about sexual and physical torture {not paching)
    there were many rebbes that slaped me but i am not making an issue about that although i would have never aloud that and i think it was wrong but that’s not what i am talking about.
    now regarding sexual abuse in the adass BOYS SCHOOL around years 1997 -2000 i was told that the adass them selves called police but first they made sure that he took a plane to israel and i know many students who told me they were victims.they are my close friends from adass and no body is denying this

    now when i was in school the students would talk about another rebbe that was doing sexual abuse ,it is very graphic to say what he did ,maybe the boys were lying i don’t know could be ,i didnt see it with my own eyes so who knows but this is what they were talking during recess
    (please for give my english)

  • Marky says:

    Moish, your main issue was abuse-non sexual-which is off topic on this thread. Re molestation, you only heard from others. Yes it did happen, and it is well known by Adass people and others. Those victims need to go to the police. The latter do not accept second hand info such as yours.

    I have only heard of one “rebbe” (as opposed to female teacher)molesting-the one shipped off to Israel. No one I know has heard of another one. And as you are only saying what you say that you heard, one would need a lot more than that to consider accepting your accusations(look in Chofetz Chaim/Shemiras Haloshon).

  • Malki Rose says:

    Not true Marky,
    If Moish has information which could help the police investigate a suspected predator (and no this is not just limited to sexual molestation) then he should contact them. It is for them to ascertain the veracity. Not us.

    In addition to this, beating the hell out of a kid (or a spouse) whether they are yours or someone else’s IS abuse and should be reported.

    As moish mentioned, we are not talking about little slaps on the wrist for misbehaving. We are talking about individuals who are charged with the care of others who violate this responsibility and dole out extreme and cruel abuse of ANY kind as an expression of their own damage and illness. This is being a predator. These individuals are not well and should not have children in their care, nor should anyone tolerate it or fail to speak up if they observe it.

  • If I recall correctly, corporal punishment was banned in Victoria when I was in primary school in the late 1970’s. If there have been instances of corporal punishment in the schools that Moish refers to, then this does need to be fully investigated. His claims cannot be dismissed.

    Any sort of child abuse, be it physical, verbal, sexual or psychological (etc) are all unacceptable. Our schools must set the highest standards possible.

    Michael.

  • Joshua Segal says:

    Having been raised in Melbourne and attended Yeshiva, I am certainly glad that I have spent the past 15 years overseas and bear no affiliation with the community as it now stands. My great-grandfather and grandfather (thankfully still healthy and alive) were generous donors to the local Jewish community and their names sit on the foundation stones of many buildings and facilities belonging to Yeshiva, Beth Rivkah, YG, Adass, Caulfield Shul, amongst others. My family on my father’s side records seven generations of rabbei’im affiliated with Chabad and my own father was raised in Kfar Chabad.

    The issue is very simple – several child molesters were able to operate for over 15 years with the compliance of Rabbi Groner and others having positions of authority. Rather than letting the police do their job, the Yeshivah and RCV interfered despite not having any business in such criminal issues (and I am certain without the victims’ best interests at heart – I guess that it will be made clear that almost certainly none of these poor souls were affiliated with the families running the center and school). Additionally, little or nothing was done to treat the tens of victims in an effort to assist them best manage their trauma. Now that Manny came public and put a human face to the issue, he is being maligned, despite his contributions to the community. Those against any official investigation or hiding behind abstract concepts such as “mesirah” are perverts and will never be convinced – and the RCV still consists of the same poorly educated individuals I grew up with.

    Zephania, I am truly sorry that your son Manny suffered at the hands of evil people and, even moreso, was poorly represented by those who claim to have his best interests in mind – please do not respond to the trolls and haters.

    Manny, you are a mensch and I respect you for standing up for basic human rights despite being used as a punching bag. I remember one day in Tel Aviv while on miluim seeing you standing proud in your Golani beret(if I remember, one of your other brothers served there – with others such as my own brother and Perry W). You have done alot, even in those difficult early days, to be proud of.

    Malki, congratulations on your efforts to move things in the right direction – the police need to be supported as there is certainly political pressure being placed and the wider Jewish community sits passively (how is it that the Jewish News has had a single short article on the issue with zero comments published while you have over 150?). Seriously, you epitomise those good elements of the Jewish community in Melbourne.

    A final word – the victims were little children unable to defend themselves – the trauma that they suffered is still hurting them today – the criminal perpetrators need to be imprisoned and the enablers need to be held civilly liable.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H
    Thank G-D there are some people out there like Joshua who see things clearly. HEAR, HEAR!

  • Like many others at Yeshivah, I got “the strap” for my sins many years ago, and remember several teachers who were more than generous in their use of physical discipline. Fortunately, that sort of thing is a relic of the past.

    These days, almost all schools have a “no touch” policy which ensures that there are no longer shades of grey regarding how hard a student was struck and whether this constitutes physical abuse. I wonder if Adass school now has this policy?

  • Truth says:

    Zephaniah – I waited because the police people answering the phone informed me at my first attempt that “BOTH those officers are on LEAVE this week, they are NOT WORKING, try again next week”… I tried again the next week and received the same response…

    As it turns out the officers were not on leave – but the person(s) at the police station answering the telephone call was giving out this information. Apparently, they look at a roster… if the names aren’t on it, people are “on leave”.

    Perhaps it is wrong of me, but when a professional is on leave I usually do not ring them on their mobile numbers. I eventually realised that according to the main desk at Moorabbin, it seems these officers are always on “leave” and then I tried the mobile number, successfully.

    I therefore encourage anyone else whom may be having a hard time ringing the police on the main number to try the mobile number as a first point of contact.

  • der ruv says:

    Kol hacavod Joshua. What is the magic number of people who the Yeshivah will brand as malcontents (you are now officially one of them), stirrers and ratbags who must come forward before it is acknowledged that there is a problem?

  • Alex Fein says:

    Joshua, firstly, thank you for your moral clarity and well articulated defense of what is clearly right.

    Could you please elaborate on the political pressure that may be hampering the investigation. I understand you can not name names, but can you give an idea of the general sectors such pressure is coming from and how it’s manifesting?

    How can the wider community help?

    There are many of us throughout the Jewish community who would want to apply counter-pressure, but we don’t know what we’re dealing with, and it’s therefore difficult to know where to start.

    ***

    Malki, thank you also for shutting down the idiocy that seeks to define abuse – or the parameters for seeking justice – without a scintilla of evidence or any knowledge of the matter. Your work on this issue has been a Godsend.

    ***

    Moish, please don’t let anyone with any vested interest prevent you from going to the police. If you haven’t already done so, please call Scott Dwyer.

  • Marky says:

    Malki, I will agree to disagree with you what constitutes “off topic”.

    Again, hearing second hand something not known by others is not permitted to
    be believed al pi Holocha(unless someone tells you privately to be careful dealing with an individual who he knows is suspect) . You, yourself wrote that Moishe’s method of his posting is questionable. There have been other inconsistencies in his posts in addition to the issues already mentioned. If he has a any issue he should contact the authorities. I never said he shouldn’t. It’s for the police to decide, not for the bloggers on a forum who are only hearing half a story(and I am not talking about what is public knowledge).

  • david segal says:

    Malki

    You wrote in your opening post: “he was quietly shipped out of Yeshiva and sent packing to the USA to strike again”, he wasn’t send to the u.s. but to Israel and was living in emanuel, I remember an interview with him that was published in an chabbad Messianic magazine, in which he was described as the head the “tzivot hashem”, in emanuel, where he was in contact with little kids, will i be f
    wrong if i will say that his “shipper” didn’t notify his mates in chabbad that Kramer is a child molester, and that kramer molested kids in israel?
    _____________

    Wolf

    You wrote: “I have heard, quite reliably, I believe, that she now lives on a kibbutz…”, and I was told that she is a “mikve lady” in a breslev mikve specializing in under age brides.
    _____________

    Alex fein

    You wrote: “To claim that Yeshiva can be exonerated because mandatory reporting was unknown back then is ridiculous”, it is even more ridiculous when on the “monkey beth din” that found Mrs. Leifer “guilty”, was an official leader in the yeshiva community.

  • moish says:

    thanks all of you for your encouragement,
    its hard for me to express in writing but in talking i am very clear

  • Wolf says:

    David Segal,

    I find it funny that you write that Kramer was shipped off to Emanuel in Israel, because I was told the same thing about the Leifer lady at Adass when she was first shipped off. I will never understand how the people that help these criminals live with themselves. I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask of them again, how do they answer the parents of the child that is molested in Israel/America/Elsewhere when they had a hand in protecting the molester after the abuse in Australia?

  • david segal says:

    Case of David Kramer

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2008/09_10/2008_10_17_AwarenessCenter_CaseOf.htm

    Background History

    1991-92 (Melbourne, Australia) — Former Yeshivah College principal Rabbi Avrohom Glick confirmed this week, that for a short time in the early 1990s, Kramer had taught Jewish studies to boys in years 5 to 8. It is understood Kramer was asked to leave the school, and the country, immediately following an alleged incident, which was not formally investigated.

    1992 – ? (Emanuel, Israel)

    2008 (St. Louis, MO) – Pled guilty to 2 counts of sexual molestation of a minor and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

  • LETTERS TO THE AGE says:

    The Jewish News has and is run by vested interests and is not a credible paper delaing with this issue at all

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Letters to the Age – that is a very strong allegation. The AJN broke the story on Adass in 2008 despite some pressure not to (and I should disclose for good order that my husband was editor at the time).

    The AJN is a privately owned paper run as a commercial enterprise and is not clearly or directly accountable to the community (whatever that means) in the way it is run or for its editorial line. Nor does it look to the community for financial support except in a commercial sense. That is different from some Jewish papers in other parts of the world which are governed by community bodies or representatives. That’s a description not a judgment.

    But that’s very different to saying it has a vested interest in preventing disclosure of how sexual abuse is hidden by any Jewish institution,. If you have evidence of that, you should disclose it. Otherwise your comment is extremely unfair.

  • david segal says:

    .

    Where did he see this halocho? in menashe klein’s teshuvah? See here what people had to say about it:

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/06/r-klein-abusers-dont-threaten-society.html

    the editors of ajn will begin to report what’s happening in the community, only when the public will boycott will threaten the magazine, and until then nothing will change, for the editors a full page ad by the yeshiva is worth more than a story about dozens of molested children, in local Jewish schools

  • Bruce J Cooke says:

    Will the apologists now shut up after the Crown Heights ruling made just a few hours ago?

    See Failed Messiah web site

  • L'Kaf Zchus says:

    Clarification required:

    The Age article stated Manny lodged a formal complaint with the police in 1996. Manny stated that Kramer was not the chap involved. I read above mandatory reporting was legislated in 1993 yet Manny reported the event in 1996, which begs the question of why didn’t the police follow thru? They were legally obligated to. Manny said the perp wasn’t Kramer. He said in his discussion with Rabbi Groner in 2000, the perps were still there. So, what did the police do between 1996 and 2000? Does that mean the police investigation hit a brick wall? If so why? Were there credibility issues? Are there now credibility issues? Have the perps slipped the net? Are they still here? If there are no arrests shortly or any corroborating witnesses or sustainable evidence does that mean a few holes are appearing in Manny’s story? Another cause for concern follows that story of last week when an 11 year old girl admitted she had made up the story and given a false identikit description to the police when she claimed some guy tried to kidnap her. Who knows what her motives were? Who really knows anyone’s motives until it’s crystal clear the allegations have real substance followed by an arrest. Anyone care to clue me in?

  • Alex Fein says:

    Oh dear.

    L’Kaf Zchus, your comment smacks of wishful thinking.

    And many of us might wonder why you’d wish so hard for this story to go away…

    Might such allegations affect you personally?

    If you’d like to put such suspicions about you to rest, provide us with your real name.

    If you cannot do this, many of us might conclude you have something to hide.

  • Of course you did.
    Just like there are still plenty of people out there who believe Jews use the blood of Christian children to make Matzos.

    My friend didn’t make up that her brother’s childen were abused. Normal people don’t go making this up. Sick people deny it.

    You really are a gutless troll on this blog. I’m surprised you aren’t outed by the Galus Australis moderators. In them keeping your identity anonymous and allowing your hate to be published, they are complicit in perpetuating the same attitudes that you are.

    Michael.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Michael, pull your head in.

    XYZ and his ilk are scum. And they are facilitators – assuming they are not perpetrators. While they remain anonymous, any assumption can be made.

    It is grossly unfair – maybe disgusting even – that you accuse the Galus folk of complicity with such people.

    This forum has been central to raising awareness of this horrible story, and has maybe even given strength to more victims to come forward.

    And on a purely practical note, there is no way of knowing who a poster actually is.

    If you remember, back in my blogging days, I was regularly threatened with all sorts of things – including rape.

    Neither you nor anyone else was able to track the scum down from the IP addresses.

    Give them a goddamn break.

  • Alex, they maybe you’d like to support me in my claims that my friend’s brother’s children were child-raped by a gang of ultra-orthodox Jews? Or are you going to let this troll get away with denying it happened? We all know what happened when people get away with denying things happened…

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    moderators: serious thought should be given to permanently banning xyz, as isaac did. keep up the good work.

  • Truth says:

    Manny wasn’t the only one whom went to police in the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

    Police investigations take time, need witnesses and corroboration.
    It’s not like there is a list of witnesses whom may corroborate ready at hand … I cant imagine that the victims are known to each other, and I certainly wouldn’t expect the perpetrators to announce to the police whom to go and interview… And its all made harder because it happened 20+ years ago.

    Fortunately, in this country, there is no statute of limitations for such vile offenses. This gives the police time to gather their information and when they have a solid case, to act.

    What Manny has done is excellent in many ways – and one of those key ways is to be a beacon for other victims to come forward. And they are coming forward. One cannot imagine how valuable this is in assisting the police in doing their work… Arrests and subsequent prosecutions are inevitable… unless of course some in the community see fit to help these criminals flee the country… it wouldn’t be the first time, would it.

    Oh, wait a minute, maybe all of us are just making this up… what an idiotic thing to suggest.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H
    @MB
    Oh for G-D sake what does this hateful person think with? Certainly not his brain.
    Go into fantasy writing Michael. You certainly are a warped individual. There are people on this thread dealing with a very serious issue and having a decent discussion not marred by the hallucinations of your sick meandering mind.
    You are either trying to be funny in a twisted way or really pushing the envelop on this one. Your ‘friend’s brother’s children were child-raped by a gang of ultra-orthodox Jews?’ You are a total mullet head. Apart from the fact that what you are posting is calculated (if you were posting to morons which thankfully the majority of posters here are not) to inflame and incite the ire of people on a sensitive issue.
    Your hatred of Orthodox Jews is all too obvious, fool.
    Apart from trying unsuccessfully to interest people in your bris scars and the ‘supposed traumas and violation’ you feel because your parents gave you a bris, on another thread, you now try and interest people in a fake story where according to your one line summary, some children were child-raped (Michael, please explain the difference between rape and child-rape why not use molestation or abuse or is that too broad a vocabulary item for you to cope with.)
    You are the troll here. Either continue to contribute sensibly like you appeared to in the beginning and even put the link to Pinny Taub’s story or go out and cruise some of those bars you are so fond of. You are wasting your time and other people’s here.
    There you may find the sorts of people you could trade stories with. Maybe you had something nasty for dinner and it has put you off balance.
    Go away, SHOO SHOO, if you can’t be sane and sensible.

  • So now I’m the one making it all up, and I’m the bad guy and the troll. Amazing turn of events.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H

    I want people to view this Rav’s talk. He speaks so much sense and a pity he could not talk to some on our community in Austalia.

  • xyz says:

    • Michael Barnett says:
    My friend didn’t make up that her brother’s childen were abused. Normal people don’t go making this up. Sick people deny it.
    ==
    Come on Michael, stop being such a baby. You don’t really expect any fair-minded person to believe a statement like “a very close friend of mine has told me numerous times about her brother’s children who have been abused by a ring of ultra-orthodox child abusers in the Jewish community.”

    However, let’s for a moment assume that this is true. Can you explain, how come your friend did nothing about it? A ‘ring’ of ‘ultra-orthodox child abusers’, no less. And obviously repeatedly abusing her kids. What the hell is going on here? What’s the matter with your friend and her brother and indeed you – the great champion of ultra-orthodox victims? Where are you and why haven’t you banged the door down at the nearest police station to report this outrage?
    How can you be so relaxed and do nothing to save your “friend’s brother’s children”? After all, you wrote that you believed your friend. Shouldn’t we be shocked at such negligence and dereliction of minimal standards of feelings for those poor children?

    Or am I right in repeating the whole story with your friend is simply a figment of your imagination.

    I (and no doubt all of us here) await your (non-abusive) response.

    Until then please forgive me and thers who don’t believe a word of it.

    [Eds: Content removed. WARNING: This is not the forum to insinuate that gay men are more likely to be sex offenders etc]

  • xyz says:

    david segal says:
    when on the “monkey beth din” that found Mrs. Leifer “guilty”, was an official leader in the yeshiva community.
    ==

    “monkey beth din” !!!????
    Please explain

  • xyz says:

    Bruce J Cooke says:
    Will the apologists now shut up after the Crown Heights ruling made just a few hours ago?
    ==

    Bruce, please show us ONE SINGLE POST where anyone has written anything against reporting abuse to the police.

    Why are you posting pure untruths?

  • moish says:

    Thanks again malki rose for puting things in proper respective

    to xyz i am not going to waist my time answering your lies and stupid questions
    there are other people who answered me and asked questions in a truthful dignified way and i was more then happy to answer them
    but you are making up things
    you have no idea who i am

  • xyz says:

    Zephaniah Waks says:
    moderators: serious thought should be given to permanently banning xyz, as isaac did. keep up the good work.
    ==

    I apologise if I upset you. That was the last thing I want to do.
    But I truly have no idea why you feel that way. Aside from a few pertinent and appropriate questions which deserve answers (either now or at a later stage, should the police case go ahead), I said nothing insulting or defamatory (unlike some of the others here).

  • L'Kaf Zchus says:

    @ Alex Fein:
    Thank you for clearing up some glaring inconsistencies. Your explanation crossed all the “tees” and dotted the “i”s and now it cleared the missing gap between 1996 & 2000. I ask a genuine question which sticks out like a sore thumb and you go on a personal attack? What on earth does my identity have to do with unexplained inconsistencies? If no arrests occur which relate specifically to Manny’s allegations the obvious question will be why not? Surely the police are no less intelligent than you or any other poster on this forum. You deliberately went for the man, rather than the ball. Fool!

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    L’Kaf Zchus: why don’t you just demand from the police to explain everything to you. you have the perfect right. in fact demand an explanation with threats, & rubbish them a little also. perhaps suggest that they are involved in a conspiracy with the victims. & above all, stay anon.
    i definitely could not be a moderator.

  • Joshua Segal says:

    If any of the victims have US citizenship it is worthwhile reporting the allegations to the US embassy. Similarly, several of the alleged perpetrators and Yeshivah executives are US citizens. The US Dept of Justice takes these investigations extremely seriously and will presumably act to pressure the Victorian Police to pursue any allegations. Additionally, just recently US Federal courts have recognized sexual abuse as a civil rights violation (http://www.jsonline.com/features/religion/117108133.html), which makes Chabad particularly vulnerable.

  • Bruce J Cooke says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BwZODBEuRI&feature=share

    THIS ONE SHOULD BE COMPULSORY VIEWING

  • Alex Fein says:

    Good morning, L’Kaf Zchus.

    If you do not like people making assumptions about you or your motives, perhaps you’d benefit from:

    1) providing a real name. Anonymity gives the impression that you have something to hide. In fact, it gives the impression that revealing your identity may harm you – that you remain anonymous for your own protection.

    2) less emphatic denunciations. When you devote time and energy to undermining a victim’s credibility while a police investigation is under way, people will naturally wonder why.

    3) not conducting a “parallel” investigation while police are determining what happened. That is bizarre behaviour. It shows an unhealthy interest in defending the accused.

    4) admitting that in your case, “the ball” and “the man” are indistinguishable. Just as you play “the man” (Manny) in trying to discredit the investigation, you are indistinguishable from the culture of cover-up and intimidation.

    5) following the directives of the RCV, Rabbi Moshe Soleveichik and Crown Heights. They are emphatic that victims should come forward and that mesirah does not apply. They are also emphatic that intimidation of victims and witnesses is unacceptable.

    6) understanding that when you end your comment by calling your interlocutor, “fool,” you exhibit a sense of panic. This is not the statement of a man comfortable with what he is being asked.

  • Alex Fein says:

    XYZ

    All your questions to Zephania are answered in my reply to L’Kaf Zchus above. All assessments apply to you as well.

    Your statements are not so labyrinthine in their complexity that your intent is not absolutely clear to every reader of this blog.

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    Let’s maybe all take a step back for a second and consider what all this argument could be doing to Manny and his family.
    I am not saying this discussion should not be held, but maybe not under the main post which concerns something which must have been incredibly difficult for him to confront publicly. It has veered off in different directions, and I cannot help worrying about how this makes him feel. (((Manny))
    Please, let no one make it worse for him or his dear ones.

  • L'Kaf Zchus says:

    @Alex Fein:
    Ducking and weaving? Every excuse to fob off answering or clearing up a critical point? You sure you’re real name is Julia Gillard? Ok, go ahead, introduce more red herrings, but the question remains: Did the police fall asleep on the job between 1996 and 2000 when by law they were obligated to follow thru? Perhaps Manny should sue them? I’m in total agreement should he choose to do so.

  • All those who are carrying on about the anonymity of other commenters, their motives, and speculating on what they might be hiding are really adding NOTHING to this debate. Accept that with a sensitive topic like this, people have plenty of reasons for commenting anonymously. Can you all please stop it and focus on the core issues here?!

    Michael – your comment about “a ring of ultra-orthdox child abusers” is quite inflammatory, and is nothing better than second hand rumour. Has the victim or their mother reported anything to the police? If they have, then let the police handle it; if they haven’t then urge them to (which is really what this story is all about). Either way, your comment simply adds fuel to a nonsense conspiracy theory of an ultra-orthodox cover up. How would you respond if someone talked about “a ring of gay child abusers”??

    Editors – insinuations cut both ways!

  • Alex Fein says:

    Linda, I support your sentiment; however, we must remember that the foul inferences being drawn by XYZ, L’Kaf Zchus, and others not only appear on this blog, but offline as well.

    The ephemeral nature of the slander and undermining of the Waks family and other victims is very difficult to counter.

    It is unrecorded and the authorities are unable to monitor what is being said.

    On this blog, XYZ and L’Kaf Zchus are unable to delete their comments. They are unable to deny what they have written.

    It is a mistake to believe that they are confining their defamation to this blog. XYZ has been prolific elsewhere in his rush to undermine the police investigation, and undoubtedly, worse is said offline.

    This abuse disaster was able to happen precisely because otherwise good people, “stepped back,” and allowed the intimidators and facilitators to dominate the culture and the discourse.

    Galus and the blogosphere have provided an invaluable service to the community in recording and making public the vile worldview that provides the ideal environment for abuse and its concealment.

  • Zephaniah Waks says:

    xyz says July 12, 2011 at 2:55 am

    i don’t know who you are, but i don’t like you. i don’t believe your feigned apology. if it’s true, you are also an idiot for not understanding what you say. you come across as a provocateur with sick views.

    you & your ilk remind me of the group in the shul where kramer was caught in the usa: they took up a collection for his legal fees, & attempted to ostracise the victim & his family (anyone really doubting this should check with rabbi smason). because of course, it was all made up. just like you rat-bags intimate here, where i can easily see you doing the same when the arrests start.

    i don’t mind having a discussion with someone with different views, if something is contributed. but you just rant on the same sicko mantras. i would ban you totally. or maybe it’s better that normal people realise that there are creeps out there like you, so that they can beware.

    & sicko, don’t complain about me abusing you: you hide behind anon. if you claim to be “frum”, then you maybe believe that G-d runs the world, that there is “din v’dayan”, from whom you cannot escape, hiding behind anon. even though it is not a good midda, i do not wish you & your nefarious friends well. “col karnei r’shoim agadea…”

  • L'Kaf Zchus says:

    @Alex Fein:
    I have nothing to retract. I raised a pertinent question and am entitled to a reasonable answer. Again, why didn’t the police lay charges during those critical 4 years? As to ZF response that I or others should ask the police, is plainly childish and irresponsible. It wasn’t my child who was allegedly interfered with, it was his. As a parent, he had a duty of care and should have followed thru. Manny as an adult in 2000, should have as well. What, are we posters basically strangers, supposed to take over the role of parenthood? Please!! Just answer the question and save the speeches for the jury, if there ever will be one.

  • Alex Fein says:

    David, when people such as XYZ and L’Kaf Zchus slander, defame, and undermine an investigation through intimidation tactics, their anonymity is very much an issue.

    This is not a theoretical debate about politics or history. When a victim dares to go public and he and his family are libeled, anonymity is bound to raise suspicions.

  • It really doesn’t surprise me that some people would rather instantly dismiss allegations of child-abuse than consider the possibility they might be true. Typical “it couldn’t possibly happen in our community by our people” attitude. I have nothing further to add on the matter.

  • [Eds: Content removed. WARNING: This is not the forum to insinuate that gay men are more likely to be sex offenders etc]

    No forum is a suitable topic for such an insinuation.

  • L'Kaf Zchus says:

    @Alex Fein:
    You stated
    David, when people such as XYZ and L’Kaf Zchus slander, defame, and undermine an investigation through intimidation tactics, their anonymity is very much an issue.

    Please demonstrate where I have slandered anyone or that I am undermining an investigation.

    I am not suggesting that nothing occurred. I simply need to know why everything went silent in those critical 4 years 1996-2000 after mandatory reporting was legislated 1993, plus I’d also like to know why ZF sat on his backside and didn’t push the police to follow thru with their investigations and issue a report, or lay charges. What is wrong with that? Are readers supposed to blindly digest every word you utter as if it and only it was the absolute gospel truth?
    Either say you don’t know, or in ZF’s case, he should demonstrate he followed thru to the very end. Surely ZF would a final report during that 4 year period as that too would have been a compulsory requirement by the police. If he doesn’t have anything to show us, that too will require to be explained. On the other hand, if the police didn’t follow thru, that should be closely looked at, as that means they were deficient in their duties and responsibilities. We, the public have a right to know, now that Manny brought this into the public arena. If there was a cover up or an abuse of process, an investigation should be launched and if officers are found to have been derelict in their duties, remedial actions should be taken forthwith.
    After all, if another abuse is ever reported, we need assurance that the report will be taken seriously and followed thru to the very end. Actually, I hope the police are monitoring this. I’m sure they’d be interested to get to the bottom of this sad saga.

  • Marky says:

    A Fein writes: “…when people such as xyz and L kaf zchus slander, defame..”

    While they did not defame or slander anyone, the above quote comes from A Fein, the master defamer and slanderer, calling me and others “worse than a child rapist” and other such claims. Fein, you are disgusting.

    Although there is one thing I totally agree with you: “Michael pull your head in”

  • Mordy says:

    Good questions you pose L’kaf. And to your Mr Fein, reading your twaddle posts is an embarrassment. You’ve dodged everything which makes me query your bona fides. You don’t want anyone to digging a little deeper do you, as heaven forbid something might pop up which might place the Waks complaint in some sort of jeopardy. Personally, I think there is a smell developing and I’ll be damned if I’m going to run with the herd lynching mentality which was evident at the beginning of the blog post. I say, all the facts out in the open, and Que Sera, Sera.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Mordy

    Que Sera, Sera? You’re certainly showing your age gramps.

  • Mordy says:

    2 TheSadducee
    Just quoting my mum. Coming out of my ears. Anytime there’s a dispute in our home, that’s what she comes out with.

  • TheSadducee says:

    L’Kaf

    There could be a whole range of reasons why very little occured in that period.

    Perhaps the police could not obtain enough evidence to enable the DPP to successfully prosecute the accuser which would have led to no charges being laid?

    This is a very common outcome in relation to sexual assault matters (approx. 35% of prosecutions end in conviction).

    That might explain the public nature of the current situation – perhaps it was rationalised that other victims might present themselves which would add weight and evidence to the original complaint and enable charges with a good chance of a successful prosecution?

    Whatever the case, the allegations are serious, and are on the public record and deserve serious attention.

    I can assure you that no serious person would issue a vexatious complaint of this kind as they would not want to put themselves through the unpleasantness of the police and court proceedings.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H
    This is what disturbs me more than anything else. A comment by Zephannia Waks and this is what we should all be fighting against:

    “you & your ilk remind me of the group in the shul where kramer was caught in the usa: they took up a collection for his legal fees, & attempted to ostracise the victim & his family (anyone really doubting this should check with rabbi smason). because of course, it was all made up. just like you rat-bags intimate here, where i can easily see you doing the same when the arrests start.”

    I think there are some cases where one must NOT support a criminal who is endangering the lives and health of our children. Those people who donated money for that monster’s legal fees must think how they would feel if it was ‘their son or their daughter’ who was raped repeatedly because that it what molestation is – rape on many levels.

    Unfortunately, it is common knowledge in both rape and child abuse cases that the perpetrators and their lawyers try to discredit the victims because if they can de-legitimize the allegations of abuse then that is how they get off and they are very very clever in choosing victims who are usually kids at risk for what ever reason. It would be very unlikely for a victim of child abuse to be a Gutnick or a Werdiger or a Feiglin, for example, because those families have the legal and the financial clout to ensure anyone who dared abuse one of their children or grandchildren would never see the light of day for many years. Abusers pick kids who are vulnerable. Kids who are unlikely to be believed if they tell someone or their parents are no one in the community and have little if any social standing in the hierarchic scheme of things.
    The fact is dealing with child abuse is extremely painful and carries a huge psychological load for the victim and families to cope with. People don’t come forward. Think about it. Try and put yourself in their shoes. Would you go around telling people that you were abused by Mr XYZ if that meant
    1. You were telling about something that was incredibly shameful and embarrassing firstly
    2. You are a kid and unlikely to be believed at first because Mr XYZ is a teacher or a person in authority and some people will be going ‘YECH how dare you say something so revolting against him. He is a LOVELY GUY!!!’
    3. The extent of the grooming that victims undergo makes it extremely hard for them to separate their feelings of friendship and liking for the victim and the revulsion at what they are doing to them. Ever heard of Stockholm syndrome. I am sure you have and it applies in some of these cases too.

  • Yaron says:

    I think that everyone is missing the point – it is not about how people responded in particular years or following up what the police did.

    The focus here is about the fact that children are sexually abused in our community by teachers who had a duty of care towards them and the perpetrators were allowed to walk away without any consequences.

    As for those trying to hide behind Halachic arguments that people seem to be throwing around, you are allowed to pass on information about someones potential shiduch without any Beit Din getting involved or a series of witnesses without fear of lashon hara. How much moreso does this apply with inquiries about giving a known sexual predator a job where there are children in his care.

    Let us keep this in perspective. It is about the children and keeping them safe when they are in school.

  • L'Kaf Zchus says:

    [Eds: Comment removed as probable defamation. WARNING: Do not leave such comments again]

  • Marky says:

    Yaron, what chiddush are you telling us? No one on this forum wrote anything disputing what you have written.

  • Marky says:

    I. Leeds, why are you using xyz as the name of the molester in your example. Very grubby tacticts.

  • Atoz says:

    I have been following the discussion on this blog about sexual abuse within various Orthodox schools. I write as a victim of sexual abuse. My comments relate only to myself. I don’t seek any sympathy or empathy. I have dealt with issue. It may not be a perfect solution but its mine.

    May I say to Manny Waks a thank you for standing up and saying what you had said. You have forced the Jewish community to face up to some of the issues which it prefers not to face. Our community does not want to believe that sexual abuse has taken place within our schools. That only happened in the Christian schools.

    There seems to be a number of posters (you know who you are) who seem to fall in “let us bury our heads in the sand” group and seek to use whatever they can to delegitimize and further victimise those who have been abused. Any method, fair or foul is permitted to be used. Attack the parents if you have to as well. Inflict as much pain as you can. Allow the perpetrators to get away with it by silencing the community or if that fails ship the perpetrators overseas. Damn the consequences. Who cares, they certainly don’t. They don’t have to pick up the pieces or deal with it. To these people to say that you are beneath contempt would be far too kind.

    It took the Police many years and there have been reported cases of where the abuse took place some 40 plus years ago. These perpetrators have had to face justice. So to the perpetrators your day will come. And it will come hard

    I realise that for many people by seeking to remain anonymous that whatever I write is not to be believed. But having seen the vile why would anyone want to do anything else but for those who want to have a go at me you can contact me at atoz3161@rocketmail.com

  • letters to the age says:

    Dear Galus et al,
    Out of respect to Mr Waks and his family, i think it is inappropriate to analyse the a.j.n on this thread and under this sensitive topic.

    Many thanks for your reply Mandi.

    Cheers

    Maya Angelou (poet and sexual abuse victim)

    “is it true the ribs can tell

    The kick of a beast from a

    Lover’s fist? The bruised

    Bones recorded well

    The sudden shock, the

    Hard impact. Then swollen lids,

    Sorry eyes, spoke not

    Of lost romance, but hurt.

    Hate often is confused. Its

    Limits are in zones beyond itself. And

    Sadists will not learn that

    Love, by nature, exacts a pain

    Unequalled on the rack.”

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    Not sure what comments like this:

    “Love, by nature, exacts a pain” are doing on this thread. Totally misplaced.

  • letters to the age says:

    Maya Angelou is a renown and very well respected poet in the u.s.

    Her poems convey the abuse she suffered and have been used by organisations and groups against assault that specialize in the treatment of survivors and their families.

    Cheers.

  • There’s a page dedicated to her on Wikipedia:

    Maya Angelou

    Michael.

  • letters to the age says:

    Cheers thanks Michael ,keep safe.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Gentlemen, those stalwarts of you valiantly protecting Yeshiva College through defaming the victims, please understand –

    1) Many, many people read this blog. It is the most read Jewish online source in the country.

    2) Only a tiny handful of readers is actually commenting.

    3) A number of non Jewish interested parties is also reading.

    4) Many, many readers – religious and secular, Jewish and non – do not venerate Yeshiva to the point of supporting potential criminal negligence, faciliation, and abuse.

    5) Most readers have the necessary intelligence to know that you are *not* merely interested parties asking reasonable questions.

    6) Your questions do not seem reasonable to anyone not seeking to protect the institution or himself.

    7) The more you write, the more you shame your community and Yeshiva.

    8) You do not have the requisite skills to appear impartial or anything other than apologists or worse.

    9) Please keep writing so that the entire community can see the foul culture of cover-up that the victims must fight.

    10) I don’t believe anyone need argue with you any longer – your motivations are utterly transparent.

    Good luck, gentlemen. You may need it.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H
    @Marky
    Not even half as grubby as those who do not deal with child abusers or apologise for them.

    I. Leeds, why are you using xyz as the name of the molester in your example. Very grubby tacticts.

    And another thing XYZ is little short of an anonymous moniker, can be used by anyone for anything. You see I am not ashamed to put my name to my posts, are you?????

  • Marky says:

    Many, many people are shocked at the herd lynching mentality in the first part of this blog by Fein & Co.

    Fein writes “I don’t believe anyone need argue with you any longer” Good riddance!

  • Marky says:

    I Leeds writes “not even half as grubby as those who do not deal with child abusers and apologise for them”

    I agree, those types are really disgusting!

  • david segal says:

    xyz

    “monkey beth din” !!!????”

    When the accusations against Laufer became public, there were members who turned to the heiliker roo, and demanded that he should sack her, but he refused, claiming that the allegations were not proven, (while it might be that he refused to do so because it was he that ousted Ms. F. And appointed Rebetzin Laufer, I do not know whose idea it was, but a “beth din” was appointed to investigate the allegations, and this bets din found her guilty, and soon after that, she was shipped into Israel.

    one of the members of this tribunal was was the Chabbad “leader”.

  • xyz says:

    [Eds: XYZ and those other people interrogating victims and their families, this is the final such comment we will allow. It is our consensus that the aim of these commenters is to discourage other victims and witnesses from coming forward. This is a particularly serious matter if lack of sufficient evidence means that perpertrators are allowed to continue to hold positions of power and responsibility in our community.]

    Linda Himmelfarb says:
    Let’s maybe all take a step back for a second and consider what all this argument could be doing to Manny and his family…..Please, let no one make it worse for him or his dear ones.
    =

    I have no doubt that this must be very painful for the family. That has been made quite obvious – especially from the reaction to questions asked – and I mean benign questions.

    The fact is that it wasn’t any of the commenters who started this – it was Malki (and I am convinced that she did it with the best intentions.)

    But the questions being asked by Marky, Lekaf Zchus, myself and others are necessary and relevant and will be asked both by police investigators and eventually defence lawyers.

    If they are unanswerable in this forum, how much more so in a court of law.

    If that happens all this pain and publicity will have been in vain.

  • xyz says:

    • david segal says:
    the editors of ajn will begin to report what’s happening in the community, only when the public will boycott will threaten the magazine, and until then nothing will change, for the editors a full page ad by the yeshiva is worth more than a story about dozens of molested children, in local Jewish schools
    =

    David is 100% correct. The AJN will never upset its big advertisers.

    Those of us who remember their screaming front pages and later reports – week after week after week – on the Leifer affair, (long after there was nothing left to to suck out of it), as compared to, say, reports about the YBR, understand what is going on.

    Chabad in Melb spends tens of thousands of dollars a year advertising in the AJN. Adass doesn’t spend $500 with them.

    Same deal with that disgusting AJN front page about Rabbi Engel in Adelaide. He too was not an advertiser.

  • Isaac Balbin says:

    Come on xyz:

    When you say things like

    If they are unanswerable in this forum, how much more so in a court of law.

    I have to wonder about the logic they taught you in Cheder.

    By the way, will you be defending Holy Hamodia’s lack of coverage or do you only stick the knife into people who don’t keep shabbos?

    PS Can you tell us if it is true that a Roov asked two thirteen year olds to drop their pants so he could check whether they had developed hair in order to ascertain that they could serve in a Matzah Bakery? He wasn’t a pervert, but this was a very dumb way to find out.

  • moish says:

    to xyz
    your comments and questions on this blog and other blogs made no scene,and were based on lies so i didn’t bother answering them.
    and besides i am here to protect and make other people safe ,all the damage done to me and my class mates was done it can not be reversed.
    i am only trying to make sure that no jewish boy should suffer the abuse done to me.this blog is not the place where i will answer questions .i will leave this for the investigators ,to them i will answer questions.many adassniks have been very sorry and apologetic for the abuse done their ,i respect this and i appreciate this.but i have zero tolerance for cover up and asking silly questions.This is to serious of an issue theirs no room for me to play miky mouse with you.

  • Yid Melb says:

    Isaac your PS stinks. Rav Beck would look if bachurim had enough of a beard to assume they had shtei saaros. To write what you did is simply slander and shows your true colours as an Adass hater. Shame on you!

  • moish says:

    yid melb
    i agree with you on that point
    but you must agree that any chasidish rebbe that abused physically and especially sexually he was very quick to cover it up.
    i have a lot of respect for the Rav Beck and dont blame him,but feel that he should have done more to stop abuse in the school ,but as long as you had the chasishe levush he closed his eyes and said wearing the chasideshe begadim is the main thing .
    thats why the molesters and abusers feel very safe

  • Isaac Balbin says:

    Dear Yid Melb,

    I didn’t mention any person.

    There are ways other than asking kids to drop their trousers to find out if they have the required maturity. Do you agree?

    It is inappropriate for any person to do this.

    There is absolutely NO implication that any person who does this, does so for an ulterior motive.

    That being said, it is COMPLETELY inappropriate to do such a thing. You also know it happened. Are you sensitive enough to admit that it’s unacceptable in 2011?

  • david segal says:

    my intention In my previous message, wasn’t to claim that the “yeshivah” was represented in the “beth din” that examined the rumors about the activities of Mrs. Leifer, as it is clear to everyone that has a half head on his shoulders, that it wasn’t so, and that it was the initiative of a person that did not know or forgot, that If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

  • Marky says:

    Moish says “said that wearing the chasideshe begadim is the main thing”

    When did Rav Beck say that? Another one of your fairy tales. In fact the 2 people he respects/respected the most do/did not even have beards! One was niftar about a year ago.

  • The JCCV clearly rushed to get this out to the media.

    I find the first statement of story particularly ironic, and laughable, especially considering who’s saying it and my history with him.

    JCCV comments on Sexual Abuse Claims
    July 13, 2011 by Agencies

    The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is disturbed by the recent allegations of sexual abuse at Yeshivah College.

    [Photo]
    John Searle

    JCCV President, John Searle said, “we abhor the abuse of children in any way, be it physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, and particularly when it is perpetrated by those in positions of trust and authority at our communal institutions”.

    Searle went on to say: “we strongly encourage anybody with information about the alleged abuse to contact the police so that justice can be achieved for all. If anybody is in any way reluctant to come forward, I would ask them to contact either the JCCV or the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence for assistance and support. The JCCV has already made offers of support to both the Yeshivah Centre and victims, and will continue to do so as long as is necessary. We are able to facilitate with access to appropriate counselling and support services, as well as mediate with police”.

    Searle continued, “we take these complaints very seriously and encourage all organisations – whether JCCV affiliate members or not – to constantly review the steps they have in place to ensure the safety and security of our children. It is hard to imagine anything more important than the welfare of our children.”

    Searle concluded by saying “the victims of this alleged abuse need support and assistance from every avenue in our community and the JCCV will do whatever it can to assist all of the victims.”

  • Steven says:

    “disturbed by the recent allegations of sexual abuse at Yeshivah College.” What about allegations at Adass?

    Seems everyone is willing to help victims, but I still have not heard any offers of help from Yeshivah. The general manager’s disingenuous comments intimate that only Rabbi Groner a’h knew anything. Yeshivah was run by a manager and executive at that time – the place was not run on a day-to-day basis by Rabbi Groner a’h.

  • Yid Melb says:

    Isaac you totally missed the point. The story is baloney! Before Pesach each year the 13-14 year olds who want to bake Matzos (which has to be done by a adult de’oraisa) go to Rav Beck and he looks at their BEARD (or chin) and if they have enough of a beard he allows them to join. Your story was obviously made up by a lowlife and you are stupid to even think it could be true!

  • Atoz says:

    To those who have tried to protect the abusers by trying to silence or intimidate the abused and their families, they should be treated as being morally and ethically bankrupt by their community. Your actions in doing so are far worse than that of the abusers. You know what they have done is wrong but yet seek to protect them. Where appropriate under Victorian Criminal Law you should be charged.

    The best thing these “protectors” can do is to tell the perpetrators to consult the relevant religious authorities and lawyers immediately. Go to the police and fully confess. By that I mean confess and seek forgiveness of all of those whom you have abused. Also don’t be smart and forget to remember all those you have abused. Many of the Catholic priests have faced repeated charges for their actions after their imprisonment and release by being too smart. It will all come out eventually. For example when David Kramer is released by the US authorities he will be deported to face charges in either or both Israel and Australia. Kramer is going to spend a long time in jail. If you are thinking of leaving the country it may be all too late. Your name is more than probably on a list to prevent you leaving the country. The countries which Australia does not have an extradition treaty with are necessarily the countries you want to live in. Even then these non extradition countries can deport you if they believe that you are unacceptable. Visas can be revoked at will.

    Please don’t wait until the police knock on your doors to arrest you in front of your family, friends or fellow congregants. By then it will be all too late for you.

    Atoz3161@rocketmail.com

  • moish says:

    to marky
    you catch on words and blow it out of per portion ,this your dirty trick how to cover up things and manipulate every one ,i am not going to reply to this kind of game.

  • Yid Melb says:

    and Moish I think you are right that Rav Beck could have done more, but I think if you understand the generation he grew up in it was probably hard for him to even believe that these things happen.
    and I do NOT believe he thinks the chasidishe levush is the main thing at all.
    I also think that these days he would deal differently with a sexual abuser. It was new to him then. I don’t know exactly what he was told but I am sure he would not support or tolerate abuse of any kind.
    At most he is guilty of being ignorant of the severity or oblivious to the facts.

  • Marky says:

    Moish, you write an outright fib and then you say that I blew it out of proportion!? First make sure that what you write is correct.

  • david segal says:

    See here:

    מדינת ישראל – משרד המשפטים

    note 29:

    גם בעניין “חזקה דרבא”, מעניינת ההשוואה למשפט הרומי (ראה לעיל, הערה 14). כאמור (לעיל, הערה 17), גם במשפט הרומי הקדום, נקבעה הבגרות לפי בדיקה פיזית של סימני הגוף (לחלק מן השיטות, נוסף על דרישת הגיל). אף על פי כן, בשנת 529 הורה הקיסר יוסטיניאנוס כי כשם שבדיקת הסימנים בנשים בוטלה בעבר מטעמי צניעות (כפשטות לשונו של רבא, המתייחס לקטינה), כך יש לנהוג, ומאותו הטעם, כלפי קטין, ויש להסתפק בהתקיימות דרישות הגיל: “הקדמונים רצו לקבוע את הבגרות לא רק לפי השנים, אלא אצל הזכרים גם לפי סימני הגוף. אולם אנו מצאנו ליותר מתאים למדות זמננו, כי אותו דבר שהיה נחשב כבר אצל הקדמונים לגנאי לגבי הנקבות, דהיינו, בדיקת סימני הגוף, יהא חל מעכשיו גם אצל הזכרים. והילכך קבענו… שתתחיל הבגרות אצל הזכרים מיד אחרי מלאות להם ארבע עשרה שנה” (האינסטיטוציות, ספר ראשון, 22). ראה: בועז כהן, עמ’ 3; פוקרובסקי, עמ’ 374; איזנשטדט, עמ’ 129.

  • Steven says:

    Wow, an apology from Yeshivah, the only one I have seen and 20 years too late. And as far as I know, there has never been any offer of councelling, in fact I was told the kids at the time were assembled in the Werdiger Hall and told not to discuss the ‘incident’ with anybody.

    The email I just received:

    “Further to my letter of June 21, 2011, I am writing to provide you with a further update.

    As you are aware, there has been media attention directed toward Yeshivah College regarding allegations concerning events around 15-20 years ago. The Victoria Police are investigating the allegations and the school is cooperating fully with the Police. In relation to the more recent allegations reported in The Age on Friday, July 8th, 2011, the school has been advised by the Police that the allegations and investigations do not relate to a member of staff.

    While we await the outcome of the Police investigation/s, the College expresses its sympathy to those who may have been affected in any way and we continue to offer counselling and provide support to anyone who feels this would be of benefit to them, at this time.

    Anyone with any reports, information or concerns in relation to any of the allegations should contact Moorabbin Sexual Offences Unit (by telephone on 9556 6128 or 0414 181 311) or Crime Stoppers (on 1800 333 0000). This is a position that is fully supported by Rabbi Z. Telsner.

    We are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for our school community and creating a school environment where students, staff, and parents feel comfortable to come forward with any concerns. We have invested much energy and resources in this area and will continue to do so, going forward.

    In circumstances where the Police investigation is still in progress, we have been advised that it is inappropriate for the College to comment further or provide more details at this time. However, we will keep the school community advised of significant developments, if and when we are advised by the Police that it is appropriate to do so. In the interim, the College continues to cooperate fully with the Police.

    Yours Sincerely

    Rabbi Y. Smukler
    Yeshivah College Principal”

  • Marky says:

    Atoz, what you write that these pedophiles should go to the police and confess, sadly that just doesn’t happen. I have never heard of any of these desperadoes to give themselves in. Have you?

    These protectors you mention, I assume you mean the people in charge at the schools etc. No molester would ever admit to them that they interfered with children. Hence, a lot of these people in charge, just cannot believe that such a fine teacher etc. could possibly do such a thing. And even when it is proven and common knowledge, they assume it’s like some other do not’s e.g. running a red light, shoplifting, where a slap on the wrist can put an end to it. They have no idea that their primary urges are focussed this way(the same as adults of the opposite sex, but which is legal) and they are always looking for opportunities to reoffend as there are no legal ways whatsoever(as of course there shouldn’t be). No sane person who is aware of this, would stick up for them. You need to remember that recognising the problems of pedophilia has only happened relatively recently, so no one was really set up for it.

    There needs to be people with specialised training who understand the issues to deal with this(and report it).

  • Atoz says:

    Marky,

    You are right these paedophiles will not go to the police and confess. But that is my advice to them. Do it before the Police come.

    By protectors I mean anyone. From School management to for example even you. (I am not in way suggesting that you are one of the protectors just using you as an example.) It can be anyone. Yes I am aware fully aware that most people don’t want to believe but! Sexual abuse is not like running a red light or shoplifting. It does not end when the abuse ends. The aftermath continues throughout one’s life. Some people handle it better than others. Some simply cannot. Society pays a heavy price.

    Schools under law have a duty to report as well as some other class of professions when they believe that there is abuse (whether sexual, physical etc.) The reporting of many incidents involving the same person(s) is hard to ignore. Looking at the Catholic Church, the Church hierarchy sought to ignore these complaints and ignored the cries of the abused. It played hard ball but it lost in the court of public opinion, lost respect and still had to pay compensation. You don’t have to look far to see how the Catholic Church has paid for ignoring the abused.

    There is nothing legal about sexual abuse of students at school. Schools are always responsible for their student’s welfare and well being. The abusers do know what they are doing.

    Paedophilia is not something new. It just didn’t come out of the woodwork. It has been there just that we are more prepared to acknowledge and are aware of it.

    atoz3161@rocketmail.com

  • Steven says:

    If this guy in jail this wouldn’t have happened, and he probably wouldn’t have tried it after his release, as he would have known the police would be knocking on his door in two minutes.

  • Truth says:

    “the school has been advised by the Police that the allegations and investigations do not relate to a member of staff”

    …well, maybe not staff – but if it is, say the school gardner, employed by the school, paid for by school, paid to be on the grounds, would they call them a member of staff?

    …and if maybe it is found out that the gardner carried on gardening as a result of non-reporting and inaction despite the school being told about it many times… That would be quite shocking…

    I’m disgusted at the school already trying to say ” it wasn’t one of us”

    PS the gardener is an analogy. I’m not accusing the school gardner of anything.

  • Yeshiva Coll school gardener says:

    Truth: “The gardener is an analogy. I am not accusing the school gardener of anything”

    Phew! I was starting to get worried there..

  • Steven says:

    From 10.13pm link:

    “Shmarya – how do you know the guy has a history of sexual abuse. Is he a convicted offender? Is there a Megan’s Law profile on him?

    Posted by: Apikorus Al Ha’esh | July 13, 2011 at 09:20 AM

    Because a source close to law enforcement told me he has that history, but the community never reported him to police.

    Posted by: Shmarya | July 13, 2011 at 09:26 AM”

  • moish says:

    to yid melb
    i respect and what you write
    to marky
    these subject is to serious of an issue,we will not get distracted by your games.the issue here is all kinds of abuse which had happened to me and my class mates and friends .i have the ut most respect for rav beck he never abused any one .it is not his fault that the abusers just laughed at him , he was a softy and maybe a little naive when it came to abuse .and when the abusers were chasidish it was maybe harder for him to accept this.
    the topic here has nothing to to with rav beck,it has to do with with all the terrible kinds of abuse that when on in his school, which he is not the blame at all .its just very sad to see one of the worst abusers in history still teaching as a rebbe their .how can some one so wicked be around kids .some of the adass are saying he stopped abusing ,how can you trust an abuser to be around kids .
    any ways the police will have to decide this not me

  • moish says:

    marky
    this of subject ,but yes rav beck did many times talk about having a beard and not shaving ,and the importance of the levush ,it was done in private conversations not public.your write he did not say its the most important thing,but would constantly talk how important it is.
    and he has all the rights to do that ,its a free country

  • Truth,

    I didn’t understand Rabbi Smulker’s letter to be saying “it’s not one of us”. Abuse from a teacher within a school or, say, an adult subcontractor who has access to students are both terrible, and both unacceptable. Both can be considered to be in a “position of authority”. In the case of a teacher, it is a position of greater authority and trust, in that they are entrusted by the school (and therefore by the parents of students) to be responsible for the care and welfare of the students. So you could say that if it was a teacher, it would be worse (rather than saying if it was not a teacher, it’s not so bad, as you are suggesting).

    Someone who didn’t have inside knowledge and read the article in The Age might have assumed the allegations were against a teacher. The letter sets out to clarify this.

    Further, for the people in the community who were talking about a particular individual who was/is suspected, it clarifies that the article does indeed refer to that individual, and not to any teachers. Let’s hope sufficient people come forward so that the police can take action about this.

  • Marky says:

    He is quoting the police when he says “do not relate to a member of staff”.

    I am trying to work out how someone who is not staff can get so close to the children inside a school. I don’t recall outside people walking around schools. Maybe parents?

  • @Marky – send me an e-mail david@werdiger.com and I will explain

  • der ruv says:

    To David Werdiger says: July 14, 2011 at 8:14 am. Well written. But the last word should be “these”, not “this”.

  • Bruce J Cooke says:

    http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=15398&alias=reporting-abuse-is-not-mesirah

    Will the apologists check this one out please.
    When this despicable debacle has been done & dusted I would hope the apologists are seen for what they are.They are facillitators for paedophiles.Those who help others to sin are spoken about in the most severe terms in the Holy Books.

  • david segal says:

    Is there a person in Melbourne who thinks that school principals will report to the police about child molestation in their school because the RCV said so.

    How many of the rcv members knew about the molestations and did nothing?

    Alexander Yanai, (Alexander Jannaeus) one of the Hasmonean kings, who fought against the Pharisees, and killed many of them, told his wife before his death:

    “do not fear from the Pharisees or the Sadducees, but from the hypocrites, who act as ZImri and asks for a reward as Pinchas”. (sotah 22b).

  • Devori says:

    Hey Everyone
    My First time commenting here
    I want to be quick and brief if I can

    sexual abuse is wrong and the Yeshivah Centre does EVERYTHING in their power to prevent it from happening- and will continue to do so going further.

    crime HAVE happened in the past- Yeshivah centre has never denied this.

    How Rabbi Groner dealt with it then (OBM) we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight- its really not fair to do that.

    when NB said in the age that it was before mandatory reporting she was trying to relay this sentiment- we understand today about sexual predators is VERY different to what was understood back then.

    Rabbi Groner surely only had the BEST intentions of victims in his mind, and maybe also the predators family? Does anyone dare dispute this?

    Yes, a change in culture, community values and our understanding has changed in the last 20 years- no longer will the Jewish community or the Yeshivah Centre “ship off” perpetrators- the fat that mandatory reporting is now in place reflects societies shift in this understanding and the laws understanding of this matter.. which ofcourse reflects community moral values as well- my point is Thank g-d society has changed their perception on sexual abuse/assult etc- and as societies views have changed, so too have the Yeshivah centre and the Jewish community.

    You want to blame NB and Rabbi Glick (the then principal of YC) and ask them to resign because of comments/position at the time- it is rediculous and in my view, discounts the legitamacy of victims crimes.

    let the victims now, 20 years later, find some peace in the fact that the allegations are NOW finally being persued- and may we all rejoice in the fact that society has changed so much over the years.

    stop trying to hang the Yeshivah Centre- and lets focus on what we all want to do- the safety of our children now and going forward.

    Cheers and I hope all the hate for the Yeshivah Centre can be channeled towards better causes.

    Devori

  • der.ruv@gmail.com says:

    Devori, We’ll excuse you as it’s your first time. You were neither brief nor quick. Unfortunately, nor accurate, in almost anything you said. You are either related to someone of power in Yeshivah, or work there yourself. Goodnight.

  • Devori says:

    whats not accurate

  • Devori says:

    im not related, and i dont work there. what was innacurate?

  • Joshua Segal says:

    Devori,

    I attended Melbourne High – 1200 kids from years 9-12, ages 15-18.

    Yeshivah probably has 100-odd in the same age group, same years.

    MHS is 100 years old, Yeshivah barely half that.

    MHS has a disproportionately larger number of students from broken households, new immigrants, etc.

    Yet no rumors or proven examples of molestors at MHS, while Yeshivah has more than an admitted handful.

    I guarantee you if there ever was a molestation claim, the school would have called the police asap.

    Different culture, different outcomes.

  • Marky says:

    Joshua, you need to compare apples to apples. I think any abuse at the Yeshiva took place with boys somewhat younger than 15. So-if this is indeed the case- no comparisons can be made. The younger the child, the easier the target.

  • Sam says:

    Joshua, I guarantee you, regardless of recent media attention, Yeshivah College today (or for last ten years) would report any molestation claim to the police.

    Times, understandings and cultures have changed thankfuly, I don’t see the need for this intense Yeshivah bashing.

  • der ruv says:

    Sam, does your guarantee apply to everyone, or only to Joshua? If we need to call in the guarantee, how would we get in touch with you? I only ask this because not everyone is as sanguine as you, some even think that, taking into account a certain person’s involvement in the Leifer case, both Adass and Yeshiva would try to cover up even today if they thought they could get away with it.

  • Sam says:

    Der Ruv great comment coming from someone posting anonymously yourself

  • Alex Fein says:

    Hi Devori.

    When you’re new to a conversation – particularly one as complicated and vexed as this – it is a good idea to read the previous comments.

    Every one of your points has been comprehensively debunked, numerous times, by various commenters.

    I will attempt to summarise these rebuttals, and I ask others – such as Bruce Cooke, David or Joshua Segal, or Der Ruv – to add what I have forgotten.

    “sexual abuse is wrong and the Yeshivah Centre does EVERYTHING in their power to prevent it from happening- and will continue to do so going further.”

    This has been demonstrated as false by numerous commenters, as well as Manny Waks. Three of many examples:

    1) Manny Waks and many, many others did not receive the initial recent notifications to come forward with any evidence.

    2) It took 18 years and an RCV directive for Yeshiva to make any such public notification at all.

    3) This was precipitated by the publicising of the ANAL RAPE of a child in the USA by a teacher that Rabbi Groner shipped off, rather than sending to the police.

    “crime HAVE happened in the past- Yeshivah centre has never denied this.”

    To hide the abuse and to ship rapists off to other countries rather than go to the police is *most certainly* denying the problem.

    “How Rabbi Groner dealt with it then (OBM) we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight- its really not fair to do that.”

    Do you feel that such 20/20 vision was necessary to anticipate that sending a CHILD RAPIST overseas without notifying anyone of his tendencies might prove problematic?

    What is “not fair” is to create an environment conducive to abuse. What is HORRIFICALLY, “not fair” is to foist a CHILD RAPIST onto a US community so that he can continue to rape.

    “when NB said in the age that it was before mandatory reporting she was trying to relay this sentiment- we understand today about sexual predators is VERY different to what was understood back then.”

    Are you trying to couch complete MISINFORMATION as metaphor? Mandatory reporting was most certainly in effect, and had been discussed LOUDLY and PUBLICLY throughout Victoria for over TEN YEARS before its implementation.

    If Yeshiva was so insular as to miss this PUBLIC conversation, it had no business dealing with children in the first place.

    And as I wrote earlier, 15 years is only a long time in dog years. I remember the 80s and 90s clearly. That is why I remember the mandatory reporting debate from that time. I also remember that NO Western civilised society misunderstood the gravity and horror of child rape back then.

    “Rabbi Groner surely only had the BEST intentions of victims in his mind, and maybe also the predators family? Does anyone dare dispute this?”

    EVERYONE disputes this. Everyone, that is, except a tiny handful of Jews with some motivation that goes beyond the actual WELFARE of Yeshiva students. That motivation may be due to shortsightedness, but it is more likely to be due to self interest of some sort.

    “You want to blame NB and Rabbi Glick (the then principal of YC) and ask them to resign because of comments/position at the time- it is rediculous and in my view, discounts the legitamacy of victims crimes.”

    That makes absolutely no sense. How on earth does a reasonable demand for accountability delegitimise the victims? It is an utterly bizarre statement that speaks to a complete disregard for logic.

    And again, EVERYBODY – save a very few interested parties – holds those in authority at the time of the abuses responsible. If those in authority had any knowledge of the abuses and did not go to the police, they should be prosecuted. If they had no knowledge, they should resign in disgrace for dereliction of duty.

    “let the victims now, 20 years later, find some peace in the fact that the allegations are NOW finally being persued- and may we all rejoice in the fact that society has changed so much over the years.”

    Oh for crying out loud! This is the most self serving nonsense that has yet been written in the comments. No victim who has come forward will agree with this idiocy, and no right thinking Jew or non-Jew would either.

    “stop trying to hang the Yeshivah Centre- and lets focus on what we all want to do- the safety of our children now and going forward.”

    When you start to use phrases from the Julia Gillard song-book, you know you’re in trouble.

    What, exactly, does “moving forward” entail?

    EVERYBODY – except that handful I referred to earlier – sees JUSTICE as the only way to move forward. CONSEQUENCES for not protecting children is the ONLY way to ensure abuses do not happen again.

    “Cheers and I hope all the hate for the Yeshivah Centre can be channeled towards better causes.”

    The best and only “cause” to which the community and society in general can direct its anger is justice.

  • Truth says:

    Well said Alex.

  • TheSadducee says:

    I think one thing which should be considered is mandatory training for staff in religious/education facilities in how to handle these types of complaints and issues – strict guidelines need to be set down and followed without exception.

    The reality is that the leadership of these organisations failed – they were compromised by a range of factors – brand protection, denial, naievete/gullibility, poor education in handling these issues, self-interest, complicity etc.

    The fact that claims are made that alleged perps are still in these places 10+ years later is a big wake up call for the community and its leadership – are there any studies and guidelines/recommendations by Jewish leadership in these communities into these issues? if not, why not? if there are, where are they? have they been acted on?

    It can be observed that the community leadership can find time to write detailed and researched responses on any criticisms made on Israel, kosher slaughter, circumcision, anti-semitism but can’t find the time to examine and implement reforms concerning child abuse and predatory behaviour in Jewish schools and the community? Seriously?

  • der ruv says:

    Look what comes from the pen of a paid fundraiser of Yeshivah Centre: “People here in crown heights have been questioning Waks’ motives for going public to the press. They have also questioned his qualification as a leader in the local Jewish community, and they are wondering if this is a publicity stunt.” Does this disgusting bile perhaps represent the YC view?

    Apologists should be wary of denying this quote, as the original email may eventually be sent around (after legal advice is received), and we wouldn’t want them to look stupid, heartless or vindictive, would we?

  • TheSadducee says:

    Manny Waks is the community elected leader of the ACT Jewish community. He has been recognised by both communities (Orthodox and Liberal).

    It should be noted that, as far as I am aware, the local Chabad rabbi is not part of the ACT Jewish community – and this was by their own choice.

    I am not certain what questions could be raised as to his qualifications in this respect?

  • Devori says:

    you know, this whole correspondance is sad.

    You argue from a place of high moral ground as “defenders of victims of abuse” but we are all stand together in support of vitcims- I don’t know ANYONE who doesnt.

    you cannot hide behind this veil of morality to pursue your vandetta against the Yeshivah Centre.

    Der ruv, Alex, Mr Waks- I will leave you to this hate spewing forum, Im sorry I ever commented- it is just completely futile.. u seem to be hell bent on destryong the yeshivah centre- and I will take no part in this.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Der Ruv, in what context was the Crown Heights email/letter circulated?

    Assuming that it is legally possible, how soon do you anticipate being able to make this disgusting missive public?

    It is vital that written records of intimidation and hindering a police investigation are made public – and where necessary, forwarded to the police.

    For too long, the discourse has been dominated by double-speak: public declarations of good intentions and private or anonymous smear campaigns against the victims and their families.

    Sadducee, do you know the reasons that Habad Canberra declined membership in the Canberra Jewish community?

  • Alex Fein says:

    Devori,

    What is sad, exactly?

    Is it sad that my husband and I intended to send any future children we might have to the Yeshiva kindergarten?

    Is it sad that now we know we cannot do that?

    Is it sad that you equate our being “defenders of victims of abuse” with a “vandetta[sic] against the Yeshivah Centre”?

    As for not knowing ANYONE who defends abuse, I direct you to the Daas Torah blog. There, such abuse is STAUNCHLY defended – http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/06/r-klein-abusers-dont-threaten-society.html

  • Marky says:

    Joshua is saying that at his non jewish school no one ever heard of molesters. In the Yeshiva there were a handful. As I wrote before, his comparison seems totally false, as these are apparently completely different age groups(the former over 15-which is rare and the latter well below) .

    Hence, Joshua has spoken like a true anti semite.

  • der ruv says:

    Alex, the email was sent to a member of the Yeshivah Centre. It hasn’t yet been decided if the name of the sender will be made public, but interested people will be able to find out who he is. The email has been forwarded to the police.

    Devori, I’m not defending myself, you win. Your type of inane comments no doubt help the “vandetta”[sic], which is now in full swing with the full involvement of the police, the wider Jewish community and all the non-Jewish community, who are all looking on in amazement.

  • Marky says:

    Also in his first post on this forum, Joshua Segal writes with regards to the Yeshiva “the victims were small children unable to defend themselves”. Then here he makes the comparison to 15-18 y.o’s in his not jewish school. Nothing but a libel besmirching jews!

  • TheSadducee says:

    alex

    Being the sensible Jew* that I am, I would defer any of my own personal comments on that matter and refer you to the official leader of the community – Mr Waks, who is certainly better placed to discuss the details of the ACT Jewish community and its relationship with Chabad here in the nation’s capital.

    *sorry – couldn’t resist it.

  • Embi says:

    Well said TheSadduccee. I hope your voice of reason, your plea for the community to learn from the past and ensure all schools and teachers receive the training and information they need to prevent abuse being covered up in the future, isn’t lost in the to-ing and fro-ing on this forum.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Sadducee:

    I second Embi’s sentiment regarding your statements on training and culture change.

    You are most certainly a sensible Jew! (nice one, smart arse :) )

    And I’ll be sure to ask Manny.

  • Joshua Segal says:

    Marky,
    OK, I am a “true anti semite”…
    You are all class.
    You seriously write that?
    You are a classless little troll.

  • Marky says:

    Joshua, you disgracefully besmirch jews with totally false comparisons. And I am the troll??!!

  • TheSadducee says:

    I have to second Joshua’s response on that.

    Marky is out of line and the mods should step in and deal with that assertion.

  • Marky says:

    the sud. Please explain what you think I said wrong. Joshua’s comparison is totally false and you are criticising me for showing that up?? Why?

  • Marky says:

    Sud. It is what anti semites do. They manufacture false info to show that jews are worse than others. Why are you not insulted by what he wrote?

  • Bruce Cooke says:

    The Importance of Truth

    How topical.What a “coincidence”
    This is from Merkaz 105 Parshas Pinchas

    One should always speak truthfully; as the Torah says “Midvar sheker tirchak” (You should distance yourself from falsehood). Even if the lie will not cause any harm to another, it is forbidden to change a story. Moreover, one who is careful to ascertain the facts of a story before repeating it, will always have many listeners.

    (אורחות צדיקים שער כ”ב, ר”ח שער קדושה פי״ב)

    There was once a town called Kushta (meaning truth), where the inhabitants never veered from the truth and no one died at a young age. The Amora, Rav Tavus, moved to the town, got married and had two sons. Once when his wife was washing herself, a neighbor knocked on their door, and feeling that it was inappropriate to have someone come in, Rav Tavus said that his wife was not there. As a result, shortly after, his two children died. When the townspeople heard the story, they asked him to leave Kushta and not bring the malach hamaves upon them.

    (סנהדרין צ”ז ע”א)

    The Torah warns us to distance ourselves from falsehood, since falsehood is more disgusting than all other negative traits. One who speaks truth, follows in the way of Hashem, and merits His brachos. One who chooses falsehood invites upon himself worry, conflict and pain.

    (ס’ החינוך מצוה עד)

    When Hashem commanded Noach to take a pair of all living creatures into the teiva, Falsehood, wanted to enter as well, but was stopped because he had no pair. Searching for a match, he met Tragedy and asked if he was willing to be his pair? “What will you give me in return?” Tragedy asked. “All my profits,” Falsehood promised, and Tragedy agreed. After the mabul, when they left the teiva, Falsehood went around to gather his earnings, but they were all being taken by Tragedy. “Where are all my profits?” he complained. Tragedy replied, “Have we not make an agreement?” to which Falsehood had no response. Nothing is achieved by falsehood, for everything will be taken by tragedy and misfortune.

    (מדרש שוח”ט ז)

    All the letters of the word emes (אמת) stand on two feet, and the letters of the word sheker (שקר) stand on one. This teaches us that truth has a continued existence and falsehood does not. Additionally, the letters of emes are far apart in the sequence of the Aleph-Beis, while the letters of the sheker are close to one another, for keeping truthful can be difficult, while resorting to lying is easy to do.

    (ילקוט שמעוני, בראשית ג)

    Chazal say that the punishment of a liar is that even when he tells the truth, no one believes him.

    (סנהדרין פ”ט ע”ב)

    Chazal say, that the Yidden were sent into golus only because they transgressed the possuk ‘Midvar sheker tirchak’, (you should distance yourself from falsehood).

    The tzaddik Reb Pinchas Koritzer would tell his talmidim that if Yidden would hold themselves back from telling lies, Moshiach would have come long ago. The main deterrent to Moshiach’s coming is the negative trait of falsehood.

    One of his talmidim, the tzaddik Reb Refael of Bershad excelled in this middah. So much so, that if he were to walk into the beis medrash dripping wet and someone would ask him if it was raining outside, he would not answer, but only say, “When I was outside it was raining…”

    (שעריהקדושה להרח”ו, שמועות וסיפורים ח”א ע’ 243)

    A wealthy Yid decided one night, while saying krias sh’ma, that he would give twenty five rubles to tzeddaka every time he would say something that was not true. When the local melamed heard this, he exclaimed, “Then lie and provide for the poor!” Later, when the melamed visited Lubavitch, the Rebbe Maharash rebuked him for his advice, for one is not allowed to lie even for a good reason.

    (סיפורי חסידים זוין תורה ע’ 208)
    Under No Circumstances

    The Amora Rav had a wife who caused him much distress. Whenever Rav would ask for lentils, she would serve him beans, and when he would ask for beans she would serve him lentils. When his son Chiyah grew older, he began switch his father’s serving, getting what he had requested. At first Rav thought that his wife had mended her ways, but then the boy told him what he had been doing. Rav was pleased at his son’s wisdom, but he told him not to go on with it, for he is learning to speak falsely.

    (יבמות סג ע”א)

    Rebbi Zeira said that one should not promise something to a child and then not fulfill it, for then he will be teaching him to lie.

    The tzaddik Reb Yechezkel of Shinova was known as the ‘lover of truth.’ His father, the Divrei Chaim of Tzanz once said that his son would never go back on his word, even if he’d be given everything in the world. Once, a tailor sewed a garment for Reb Yechezkel’s grandchild. After trying it on, the boy refused to take it off, until the tailor promised that he would sew pockets unto the garment. The tzaddik then insisted that he do as he had promised, so the child not become accustomed to telling lies.

    (סוכה מ”ו ע”ב, סיפורי חסידים זוין תורה ע’ 208)

    When one answers ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ it should be completely truthful. Even nodding, shaking one’s head ‘no,’ or any expression should indicate only the truth.

    (ספר חסידים סי’ תתרנח)

    A decree against the yiddishe way of dress was placed on many cities in Poland, and the rabbanim differed in their opinions whether one had to be moser nefesh for this or not. The tzaddik Reb Avraham of Chechanov held that one must go on mesiras nefesh, while other talmidei chachomim in his city insisted that another opinion should be considered on such a vital subject. Despite the dangers of travel, Reb Avrohom decided to travel to Warsaw to the tzaddik, the Chiddushei Harim. When his family expressed their concern, he assured them that there was no need to worry, for he was not going to settle there (‘avek-zetzin zich’). When he arrived, the Rebbe offered him a chair, but Reb Avrohom refused and stood as the Chidushei Harim cited his view, also expressing the need for mesiras nefesh.

    When Reb Avrohom left, he explained why he had refused to sit, “I told my family that I was not going to ‘avek-zetzin zich’ (literally “sit”), and I did not want to go back on my word, even in its literal sense.”

    (סיפורי חסידים זוין מועדים ע’ 259)

    One is allowed to change the truth for the purpose of peace. However, this only applies when relating something of the past, but not when promising something that will be done in the future.

    (שו”ע אדה”ז סי’ קנ”ו)
    Staying Far from Falsehood

    Once, in the city of the Baal Machatzis Hashekel, a dead man was found, and the Rov’s knife, full of blood, was lying near him. It seemed that the murderer had stolen the Rov’s knife to place the blame of killing on him. The townsmen advised the Rov to tell the judge that the knife was not his. At the court, the Rov told the truth, admitting that it was his knife, though he insisted that he had not committed the murder. In the end, the Rov was freed. He explained that when the shevatim were told by Yosef to bring Binyomin to Mitzrayim, Yehudah could have taken another child and told Yosef that he was Binyomin, but he could not bring himself to tell a lie.

    (הקדמת המו”ל למחצית השקל יורה דעה)

    There was once a young man, who, since his childhood, had always done as he pleased, and commited many aveiros. One day, feeling remorseful, he went to Rebbi Shimon ben Shetach and told him he wants to do teshuvah. Rebbi Shimon told him that all he had to do was watch himself from telling lies and he would be saved from transgression. “No problem,” said the young man. Rebbi Shimon had him swear, and then the young man went home.

    Sometime later, the young man was in his neighbor’s home, and unable to control himself, he stole all the gold and silver. As he was leaving, he thought to himself, “What will I say to the neighbor when she asks about her possessions? If I will deny taking them, it will be a lie, and what will be of my swearing?” He then returned all he had stolen, and understood the wisdom of Rebbi Shimon.

    (אוצר המדרשים, ס׳ חסידים החדש ע’ יג)

    Reb Aizik of Vitebsk, was one of the outstanding chassidim of the Alter Rebbe. Once, when he was a young Rov, he partook in a seudas mitzvah, where he took a piece of cake from the table. One of the guests asked why he did not take the ‘lekach’, since it is more special. Reb Aizik had forgotten about the ‘lekach’ but was embarrassed to say so, thus he answered, “I don’t eat ‘lekach’!” From that day on, he never tasted a piece of ‘lekach’ again.

    (שמועות וסיפורים ח”א ע’ 261)

    The Frierdiker Rebbe heard the following story from his father, the Rebbe Rashab:

    There was once a talented child, who would overly exaggerate and was known as an expert liar, to the point that his family and others kept their distance from him. As he matured, he came to recognize his negative trait, and wanted to teshuvah, but was unable to. Though he learned a lot of Torah, his lying did not lessen, and even when speaking divrei torah, he would exaggerate or lie.

    Hearing of a great tzaddik who lived in a nearby city, he decided to go ask for his help. When he arrived, the tzaddik tested him and found him to be very knowledgeable in Torah, so he asked, “Don’t you know that it is forbidden to lie and that those who lie do not welcome the shechina?” The bochur replied, “I know that it is a severe aveira, and, but I can’t help myself, for I feel that I am being held back by shamayim from doing teshuvah.”

    The tzaddik asked, “Nothing stands in the way of one’s will. Are you willing to accept what I tell you?” The bochur accepted, and the tzaddik instructed, “Take upon yourself, not to speak anything other than Torah for five years straight, and if you do speak, accept the punishment of becoming mute for five years.”

    The tzaddik then gave him a seder of learning and behavior, with emphasis on saying ‘Modeh Ani’ and washing negel vasser near his bed. For five months, he followed all this carefully, withstanding many tests. Once he awakened, thinking that someone was in his room. “Who is here?” he called out, and at that moment, he became mute and was unable to speak for the next five years. Exactly five years later, his muteness left him, and he was healed from the sickness of speaking falsehood. He later became one of the geonim and tzaddikim of his generation.

    (ספר המאמרים תשי”א ע’ 302)

  • atoz says:

    A)

    Reading Marky’s recent posts one would have to start thinking what is he afraid? Perhaps the blowtorch is being applied on the predators. His posts are full of vile and contempt for any decent person.

    B) Devori

    You wrote saying “let the victims now, 20 years later, find some peace in the fact that the allegations are NOW finally being persued- and may we all rejoice in the fact that society has changed so much over the years.”

    How nice of you. If my experience rings true for many people, I had spent a life time trying to hide my abuse. Yeah I succeeded for some 40 years because I told no one. Then one night watching a movie, bang! A simple line uttered by one of the actors just brought me undone. I was fortunate in that I had some great friends, counsellors and a more importantly a greater partner who waited for me patiently not knowing if one day the Police would knock on the door to impart bad news. As I have said I have dealt with this issue to my best of my ability. As Alex Fein wrote years are just a number dog years. People like Many Waks and his family are to be applauded. It takes more than a brave person who takes on a community that wants to hide its head in the sand and attack everyone and anyone who seeks to make it accountable. We have seen the vile from those who seek to silence and intimidate the abused and their families. To those who have done so, how do you sleep knowing that you support abusers of children.

    atoz3161@rocketmail.com

  • TheSadducee says:

    Marky

    Calling someone an anti-semite for drawing a poor comparison is absurd.

    What Joshua was trying to highlight was that in different environments matters are handled differently and different outcomes are achieved. This is hardly controversial, and discussing it in this context is hardly anti-semitic.

    I will grant that his comparison was not the best, but it does not completely invalidate it.

    It is probable that similar allegations made at a government school would have been handled differently than they were at a religious Jewish school (or Catholic school at the time for that matter).

  • der ruv says:

    Atoz, all the best to you. The stinking, apologist, rat-bags should read your post several times. Probably the most moving thing written on this blog. Good on you.

  • david segal says:

    Bruce

    Seems that everything is the same, here, there and everywhere.

    See comments 12+28 in your link.

    12
    Really?
    There are at least 3 well known pedophiles in positions of influence within the CH /Crown Hights/ community, I challenge one of these “Rabbonim” TO HAND THEM OVER TO THE COPS. Or at least give a private ruling allowing one of them to be handed over, but they won’t, as this is all fluff without any substance.

    Until they do so this piece of paper will remain just that, a stunt to legitimize the new “Rov” and an attempt to marginalize the only real Rov on the CH B”D

    It’s shocking that there are people out there in our community willing to use this issue for political gain

    28
    follow through
    Great so they say report it. Are they going to follow through? We had a situation in which the school was allowing abuse to go on and we could not get a single Rav to follow through to the end on the situation. All agreed what was happening was abuse and assur but they all ran the other directions. What is the point of such a letter if they won’t actually help anyone in the end?

    One call to the police, will do more for the protection of children, than a thousand rulings of the RCV.

    A ruling that it is permitted according the Halacha to report cases of child molesting to the police, will do nothing to solve this problem. a similar psak was given many years ago, by rabbonim that each of them had more knowledge under his nails, than all the members of the RCV combined have in their head, and it did nothing to solve the problem. Is there even one person in Melbourne who thinks that whoever was responsible for the shipping out of Melbourne, of Kramer, Leifer and at least one more molesting teacher, did it because they didn’t know about the ruling?

    They did it because they panicked, and hoped that what they did will be forgotten.

    Leaders of all sorts and Committee members need to be educated, that lives are more important than their swollen ego, and that attacking victims and their families, will get them nowhere. it didn’t do any good to the catholic church, and is not going to do them any good.

    _______________________

    Dvori
    You wrote:
    “sexual abuse is wrong and the Yeshivah Centre does EVERYTHING in their power to prevent it from happening- and will continue to do so going further. crime HAVE happened in the past- Yeshivah centre has never denied this. How Rabbi Groner dealt with it then (OBM) we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight- its really not fair to do that”.
    I don’t know if you are a dvori or a dov ber, but it is clear to me that you were educated In a chabad school or employed in yc.
    To me writing: “How Rabbi Groner dealt with it then (OBM) we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight- its really not fair to do that”, is like saying on every criminal act: “How … dealt with it is wrong, but we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight- its really not fair to do that”.
    it isn’t that we only now are able to judge with 20/20 hindsight are Rabbi Groner dealt with it then is wrong, it was wrong then not less than it is now, what changed from then and now is the way people react not the crime.
    You are trying to load all the “blame” on rabbi groner, but what the victims and the general public want to know, why after that it became known about the long term affects that child molestation has on the victim, nothing was done to find the victims and support them with whatever is needed, and writing: “Rabbi Groner surely only had the BEST intentions of victims in his mind, and maybe also the predators family? Does anyone dare dispute this?
    Yes, I do and so are many others, and if you want to know why, if you ask I will tell you loud and clear.

  • Marky says:

    Atoz: His posts are full of vile and contempt for any decent person”

    Yes, all the decent herd lynch mentality and disguting besmirching of anyone who questions anything whatsoever. Anyone who toes your line can write anything. Lies and the like. Comparing a school where he himself writes they are small children, to his school of almost adults is not honest but for you it’s ok because he is “decent”.

  • Marky says:

    And atoz you write “that perhaps I am afraid that the blowtorch is being applied to the predators”

    What a vile, disgusting allegation. You show your true colours with your slander.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Atoz, my very best to you, too! Have a good Shabbes.

    Mark Reich (Marky), enough already.

    We’ve heard your frantic apologia many, many times now. No one is convinced, save the very few who have similar motivations to you. You are only digging your hole deeper and deeper.

    To everyone else, good Shabbes/Shabbat Shalom. Let’s hope next week brings better news.

  • Steven says:

    Half this thread is people bad-mouthing each other.

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    “There are at least 3 well known pedophiles in positions of influence within the CH /Crown Hights/ community,” David Segal wrote above. What is meant by this? Are you saying that there really are people who are known to be paedophiles working near children? This is very frightening, and I for one would like to know if this has been reported to the authorities and immediate action taken, and if not, why not?

  • Marky says:

    A Fein writes:”the few who have similar motivations to you”

    Yes, and what are those motivations? Just more slander and lies from you. Talking about holes being dug deeper. Look in your backyard.

  • sam says:

    so much hate against fellow jews and organisations, its a shame.
    it seems anyone who voices any opinion against the way this has been dealt with in the media is a “supporter of abuse.” and anyone who supports rabbi groners memory is an appologist.
    Ok, well if that is true- you are all haters.
    i dont think you support the victims any more than I do.

    signed, an apparent abuse supporter, Rabbi Groner supporter, a Yeshivah appologist, oh and I must also work for yeshivah and be related- any other brandings?

  • Monster, Gary Philip Dolovich, was employed as director of a chabad affiliated kashrut organization, MBK.

    He was caught by the authorities in Canada due to on-line discussions with similar minded pedophile monsters in Australia that he traded child pornography with. These discussions involved his plans to kidnap, rape and leave children in the wilderness.

    Perhaps the authorities should revisit those he was networking with in Australia in regard to the current Chabad linked investigation.

    Here is one of the news reports with excerpts:
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/No-jail-time-for-for-42198652.html

    Police said their investigation began with a tip from Australian authorities that a man was having conversations with several people over the internet and allegedly trading hundreds of child pornography images.

    A forensic examination of Dolovich’s computers found that between May and September 2005, child pornography images were imported and distributed on 17 different occasions, according to investigators. A total of 547 images were found, most of them involving children between the ages of three and seven engaged in explicit sex acts.

    Police also unearthed a series of online chats in which Dolovich discussed violently abusing the pictured children with other men he was trading images with.

    In one conversation, Dolovich claims to know the kids in a certain picture and says he plans to “snatch them and rape them.” He also claims he will abandon the children “in the middle of the province.”

  • atoz says:

    To Alex Fein,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    To Marky,
    Yes my vile and contempt is aimed quite clearly at those abusers and those who have supported them by threatening to silence and intimidating the abused and their families. As i have said before these supporters are morally and ethically bankrupt. I have not heard you once (unless I have misread your posts) offer any form of support to those who have been abused. You seem to support the absuers, No doubt when you read today’s Australian front page article you will make a number of outrageous claims.

    Finally you make a statement (see post 38312) ” Yes, all the decent herd lynch mentality and disgusting besmirching of anyone who questions anything whatsoever. Anyone who toes your line can write anything. Lies and the like. Comparing a school where he himself writes they are small children, to his school of almost adults is not honest but for you it’s ok because he is “decent”. I have looked back at my past posts and I can see where I have even said that.

    So Marky if you want to have a go at me write to me at the email address below. The only people who have written to me have written letters of support. Not one from the protectors. Wonder why????

    Atoz3161@rocketmail.com.

  • atoz says:

    Ops a typo I meant “I have looked back at my past posts and I can’t see where I have even said that.”

  • Marky says:

    Atoz, why should I respond privately to your public slander and lies about me. You write that my posts are vile. A few times you write disgusting slander about me that I seem to be supporting molesters. Whatever did I write to make you think that??

    You can see what my opinion is in the first post that I responded to you before you started getting stuck into me. I criticised Josh for trying to dirty a jewish school compared to a non jewish school with a totally false comparison and you attacked me as vile comments. You attacked me for that, so don’t say you can’t see where you said that.

    I never said that Joshua is an anti semite. Just that this particular comment is anti semitic, and it is.

  • Marky says:

    Sam writes “signed..an apparent abuse supporter, rabbi groner supporter……”

    Sam, you are one of the lucky one’s. The vile a fein (apparently the leader of the lynch mob)called me “worse than a child rapist..”

  • YBR parent says:

    I express my support for manny and Zephaniah and indeed all the victims of all abuse at yeshivah.
    My question is:
    What do you want now? Have you expressed to yeshivah executive or board exactly what you want done?
    Won’t Victoria Police handle this properly?
    I just don’t understand what it is you want Zephaniah. Would you care to enumerate and elaborate?

  • Steven says:

    From The Australian, link above

    “The then chairman of the school’s executive, Harry Cooper, this week confirmed that Kramer was flown to Israel at the school’s expense. Parents were offered counselling but no one reported the allegations to the police.

    Cooper, who lives in Israel, told The Weekend Australian: “At the request of the parents, we shipped him off. I remember it vividly.”

    1. I was never offered councelling, not then and nothing since, and I question Yeshivah’s very first communiction with me, in the form Rabbi Smukler’s unconvincing email, (“we continue to offer counselling and provide support to anyone who feels this would be of benefit to them, at this time”) and am interested exactly when and how was councelling offered.

    2. I doubt many parents requested him being shipped off – I would have requested that the police be called. Even then you didn’t need to be a genius to know that he would re-offend, as will Leifer.

  • TO Steven says:

    To Steven,
    1) any email from R’ Smukler will look unconvincing to you. If you really wanted counselling, why didn’t you contact the Yeshivah Centre and take advantage of the offer?
    2) Parents of boys have admitted that they wanted Kramer shipped off. I have seen on numerous blogs allegations that ZW himself wanted Kramer out of the country so that his kids shidduchim wouldnt’ be ruined.

  • Steven says:

    To TO Steven

    All I am saying is that Yeshivah never admitted what happened (until Rabbi Smukler’s email) and has never offered counselling. Of course I can go to counselling if I make an appointment.

    If ‘the parents of boys requested it’ then I am wrong in saying that, and so were they.

  • to steven says:

    to steven,
    1) your’e right, yeshivah never admitted it until now. they have offered counselling – i don’t know if anyone has availed themselves of that offer but it has been made a couple of times via emails etc.

    2) yep, if they requested taht kramer be shipped off then they were wrong. but they were doing the best they could with what they knew and with what they had to work with.

    my focus is on yeshivah of today and tomorrow. What happened in the past is a matter for victoria police. I am interested in my kid’s futures.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Joshua, thanks for posting the link.

    Steven, that was really well put.

    YBR parent, you ask: “What do you want now?”

    I can’t speak for Zephania, but I imagine that, like most of the Jewish and wider community, he would want justice.

    If those in charge of Yeshiva at the time were complicit in the abuse and have not yet paid any price, that is unjust.

    Most Jews would want this rectified. Most Jews care much more for the protection of children than they do for an institution.

    “Won’t Victoria Police handle this properly?”

    The police cannot handle anything as long as victims don’t come forward. Victims have only begun coming forward in numbers since Manny (with his father’s support) went public.

    That Yeshiva may still be actively trying to prevent victims coming forward would be an unequivocal hindrance to the police investigation… but more on that later.

    “I just don’t understand what it is you want Zephaniah. Would you care to enumerate and elaborate?”

    He already has – and quite articulately. Either you have failed to read the comments above, or your are deliberately baiting Zephania and exacerbating a profoundly difficult and painful situation.

    Atoz, don’t engage Mark Reich (Marky).

    That he has resorted to shrieking, “anti-Semite,” at those who disagree with him shows how utterly desperate he’s become.

    He is also incapable of understanding some very simple logic:

    1) A child rapist is a particular class of criminal devoid of free will as we understand it. He is compulsive and inherently recidivist.

    2) The ONLY way to stop a child rapist from raping again is to report him to authorities so he can be incarcerated.

    3) Not reporting child rapists and shipping them off to other countries renders inevitable the fact that they will rape again.

    4) Institutions that fail in their duty of care in this way are therefore more morally culpable than the rapist himself.

    5) Those that defend an institution whose policies entail concealing and protecting child rapists are equally as culpable as the institutions themselves.

    So… why might we suspect that Yeshiva holds fast to its ethos of protecting itself at all costs?

    There is much talk of Telsner’s drasha from this Shabbes.

    There is the belief he implied that those victims and their families who go to the secular authorities risk excommunication.

    If this is true, see the five points above.

    ***

    Those of you frantically trying to defend yourselves and an institution at the expense of children and your own community…

    …those of you prepared to defame, intimidate, and hound the victims and their families…

    …read The Australian article and think very, very hard.

    From The Australian:

    “Acting Sergeant Dwyer said yesterday he had received a flood of responses to his call for students to come forward. “Many haven’t ever told their families,” he says. “Some who did were told, ‘We’ll never speak of this again’ . . . This is what you’re up against. Those who have walked away from the religion find it easier.””

    Sleep well, friends.

  • Steven says:

    To to steven

    you say
    2) yep, if they requested taht kramer be shipped off then they were wrong. but they were doing the best they could with what they knew and with what they had to work with.

    my focus is on yeshivah of today and tomorrow. What happened in the past is a matter for victoria police. I am interested in my kid’s futures.”

    I am trying to make the simple point that they did not do the right thing then etc, and to claim that it was 20 years ago when it was ‘new’ is being a bit disingenuous, as the Leifer story was IDENTICAL and that was only 2 years ago and allegedly orchestrated by the Rabbis of three communities.

    So what does happen to your kid’s future if r’l is happens again. And allegedly there are still people involved with kids who shouldn’t be. Will the schools call the police or do nothing?

    And why didn’t the third Rabbi of CH Bais Din sign the psak of Rodef? Does he not agree with it? Dovid Segal’s Zimri and Pinchos quote is classic.

  • Marky says:

    Fein, you are such a filthy liar. Show anywhere where I disputed any of those points you accuse me of!!

  • Marky says:

    Fein “Atoz, don’t engage Marky”

    Of course not, you don’t want the truth, with all your lies and other garbage.

  • Steven says:

    Chillul Hashem. Guys, its bad enough we have molesters here and overseas, bad enough we deny, cover up and don’t call the police, bad enough the cover-ups make the front page of the newspapers, bad enough Brooklyn happened, but then this is how we talk to each other, not just the above comment but the whole way through this thread. The Police are aware of this blog and I am sure many other non-Jews read it also.

    Google ‘HG Wells Jew’ and see what comes up. This sort of stuff doesn’t help.

  • Yaron says:

    Marky,
    You are a liar, an apologist for all the evil in this world, a denier of gravity and worst of all a homo sapien.

    Wow these random trading of insults is fun and it would bring such joy to my life.

    Unfortunately this thread is discussing a serious topic of raping young children in our schools. Perhaps you would like to place some rationality and logic in your arguments. Otherwise please go and buy yourself a frog so you can insult it without infecting the rest of humanity with your hatred.

    Then the rest of us can get back to discussing the topic – how there was a coverup of widespread sexual (and other) abuse of students at religious Jewish schools.

  • Malki Rose says:

    To all commenters,
    I would like to request that the hurling of insults and attacking of others cease immediately.
    It derails this important discussion and delegitimizes the entire issue.

    Those who insist on this line of attack will not be tolerated and are warned that they are in danger of being suspended from comment on Galus Australis as per the Editorial policy of the site.

    This article and its follow up discussion is intended to support victims of abuse. Not intimidate them further or discourage them from coming forward by deligitimizing victims who are coming forward; doing so only encourages and empowers sexual predators.

    Those who enable or protect sexual predators or knowingly employ need to be aware that this will not bode well for them or their establishments.

    As Dwyer has remarked in this weekend article in The Australian, the current campaign to encourage and support victims is proving extremely successful and it seems that as per both my intention in writing this article and the intention of those coming forward, the predators are finding that they indeed have NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/jewish-boys-school-gave-molester-free-run/story-e6frg6nf-1226095591892

    I would like to ask Moish once again, have you managed to speak with Dwyer?

    And ‘Sarah’ who has not yet commented under that name on this site (but has commented throughout the web), I encourage you to contact Dwyer as well and if possible email me please.

  • atoz says:

    Marky,

    I don’t know what you are afraid of but you are sounding as if you are desperate. I still keep on wondering why? My offer to discuss things offline is still open. Though I doubt that you will take me up on that offer.

    Your recent posts are insulting to say the least especially when you “claim” concern.

    atoz3161@rocketmail.com

  • Marky says:

    I only defended myself against some horrible accusations.

    Atoz (and Yaron): Suffice to say that you only want to see things one way. Many more people would have wanted to comment, but they are afraid of being crucified.

  • Marky says:

    It’s like this story in a “once upon a time shtetl”

    Reuven had a bone to pick with Shimon. So he went around town telling everyone that Shimon’s daughter is a “zoine”(harlot). Shimon angrily confronted him, saying “I don’t even have a daughter”

    To which Reuven replied “that’s for you to explain to people”

  • Yaron says:

    Marky,
    Clearly you missed the point of my post. I accused you of lashing out at people with some pretty childish name calling. It would seem there was no other reason behind those posts.

    It had nothing to do with being one eyed. That was you imagining words in my post that were not there, maybe when you get your insult frog you can practice reading English to it and not finding hidden meanings that just are not there.

    But just so I am clear I will make my point once more:
    Discuss the topic and argue your point, but do not just leave one line insults against people you don’t like.

    I now wait with anticipation to see how you misinterpret that.

  • Marky says:

    Whatever I say you will write that I misinterpreted you. Why can’t you understand that if someone asks a question or doubts an anonymous poster, that is not a licence to call them worse than mr baldy and other insults?

    You seem to have no problem with certain others insults.

  • Alex Fein,

    You say “… Yeshiva may still be actively trying to prevent victims coming forward”. Do you have any evidence of this whatsoever?

    Re Rabbi Teslner’s drosho yesterday, you suggest “[t]here is the belief he implied that those victims and their families who go to the secular authorities risk excommunication”. That is complete nonsense! He did not suggested victims not go to the police to have matters investigated. There is a letter up on the shul noticeboard saying “… I wish to state emphatically that all parents should cooperate fully with these authorities”. What he spoke out against specifically yesterday is people going to the media.

    You continue “If this is true …”. It’s not an “if”. Anyone can easily find out exactly what he said before embarking on wild accusations and drawing long inferences. I suggest you get the facts right before you speak out.

  • moish says:

    Malky Rose
    yes of coarse i did ,i have being waiting for years for this opportunity, he listened very carefully .now i can finally get this heart ace of my heart.but unfortunately my child hood was damaged.I am scared for ever.
    .one good thing has come out of this ,that i know that their are evil people who enjoy abusing children ,because if i didn’t experience this on my own skin i would never believe other victims .like we see how many people are denying what when on in the adass and in other communities .his either because they are abusers them selves or simply cant imagine that their is evil people.
    wants again i have a lot of gratitude to many of my rebbaim and teachers

  • david segal says:

    marky

    “Joshua, you disgracefully besmirch jews with totally false comparisons. And I am the troll”.

    Why do think that he did it?

    Any person with an IQ over 50 knows, that there is more to Judaism than Chabbad and there is more to chbbad then rabbi Groner, and that the way rabbi Groner handled it, was (and is) handled by other religious schools such as the Catholic schools.

    he was comparing MHS that was run by professionals, to YC that was run by “one man band” who wasn’t educated in any field, but saw himself as the owner of the Melbourne Jewry, and when the crunch came, he lost his marbles, and acted the way he did, hoping to save the honour of G-d, Chabbad or his, (in this order or other), and not caring for the victims in any way, not then and not in years later.
    There is more shame in neglecting of the victims, than in finding out that there was a pedophile in your school.
    There are as many chances for a pedophile to be found in a school of 1200 kids from years 9-12, ages 15-18, from different backgrounds and cultures, with a big number of stuff, as in a much smaller school with younger kids, The question is how you handle when found.
    ______________
    Devory

    You wrote:

    “How Rabbi Groner dealt with it then (OBM) we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight- its really not fair to do that”.

    What is it that we are now able to see?

    I noticed that you Didn’t mention the word wrong, was he as g-d is never wrong And is only that think so?

    You also wrote:

    “You want to blame NB and Rabbi Glick (the then principal of YC) and ask them to resign because of comments/position at the time- it is rediculous and in my view, discounts the legitamacy of victims crimes”.

    to blame he or she and ask them to resign because of comments/position at the time, and not changing the way we think is not going to do a thing, doing things now the way because what rabbi groner said or did (as we saw not long ago with the yechi sign, and the chabbad houses cases), is a recipe for saying in the future “we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight that”.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/jewish-boys-school-gave-molester-free-run/story-e6frg6nf-1226095591892

    “Cooper, who lives in Israel, told The Weekend Australian: “At the request of the parents, we shipped him off. I remember it vividly”.

    V’yhudah v’od l’ero:

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/10/chabad-rabbi-gi.html

    “…Vicki Polin, of the US-based International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault, said she had been contacted by several former pupils and parents of the school”.

    “I have been told that Kramer abused over 30 boys in his time at Yeshiva,” Ms Polin said.

    She said when parents complained to the school, Yeshiva Centre head, Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner – who died in July – told Kramer to leave.

    “He paid for him to leave – he gave him a ticket,” Ms Polin said

    ________________

    Linda

    You wrote:

    “There are at least 3 well known pedophiles in positions of influence within the CH /Crown Heights/ community,” David Segal wrote above. What is meant by this? Are you saying that there really are people who are known to be paedophiles working near children? This is very frightening, and I for one would like to know if this has been reported to the authorities and immediate action taken, and if not, why not?”.

    I am not saying, I was only quoting from this chabbad site:

    http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=15398&alias=reporting-abuse-is-not-mesirah

    The fact that the crown Heigts Beth Din had to issue a psak din that it is permmited to report

  • david segal says:

    marky

    “Joshua, you disgracefully besmirch Jews with totally false comparisons. And I am the troll”.

    Why do think that he did it?

    Any person with an IQ over 50 knows, that there is more to Judaism than Chabbad and there is more to chbbad then rabbi Groner, and that the way rabbi Groner handled it, was (and is) handled by other religious schools such as the Catholic schools.

    he was comparing MHS that was run by professionals, to YC that was run by “one man band” who wasn’t educated in any field, but saw himself as the owner of the Melbourne Jewry, and when the crunch came, he lost his marbles, and acted the way he did, hoping to save the honour of G-d, Chabbad or his, (in this order or other), and not caring for the victims in any way, not then and not in years later.
    There is more shame in neglecting of the victims, than in finding out that there was a pedophile in your school.
    There are as many chances for a pedophile to be found in a school of 1200 kids from years 9-12, ages 15-18, from different backgrounds and cultures, with a big number of stuff, as in a much smaller school with younger kids, The question is how you handle when found.
    ______________
    Devory

    You wrote:

    “How Rabbi Groner dealt with it then (OBM) we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight- its really not fair to do that”.

    What is it that we are now able to see?

    I noticed that you Didn’t mention the word wrong, was he as g-d is never wrong And is only that think so?

    You also wrote:

    “You want to blame NB and Rabbi Glick (the then principal of YC) and ask them to resign because of comments/position at the time- it is rediculous and in my view, discounts the legitamacy of victims crimes”.

    to blame he or she and ask them to resign because of comments/position at the time, and not changing the way we think is not going to do a thing, doing things now the way because what rabbi groner said or did (as we saw not long ago with the yechi sign, and the chabbad houses cases), is a recipe for saying in the future “we are now only able to judge with 20/20 hindsight that”.

    I said enough.
    “Cooper, who lives in Israel, told The Weekend Australian: “At the request of the parents, we shipped him off. I remember it vividly”.
    V’yhudah v’od l’ero:

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/10/chabad-rabbi-gi.html

    “…Vicki Polin, of the US-based International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault, said she had been contacted by several former pupils and parents of the school”.

    “I have been told that Kramer abused over 30 boys in his time at Yeshiva,” Ms Polin said.

    She said when parents complained to the school, Yeshiva Centre head, Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner – who died in July – told Kramer to leave.

    “He paid for him to leave – he gave him a ticket,” Ms Polin said

    ________________

    linda

    it was a qoete from this chabbad site:

    http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=15398&alias=reporting-abuse-is-not-mesirah

    The fact that the crown Heigts Beth Din had to issue a psak din that it is permmited to report molesters to police is saying that they have a problem.

  • Steven says:

    To David Werdiger

    you say that the sign in Shule says
    “I wish to state emphatically that all parents should cooperate fully with these authorities”

    This is nowhere near saying that people should go and report their abuse to police. And why didn’t the third Rabbi in CH sign the Psak?

    Just like ‘Yeshivah is cooperating with Police’. Yeah right. And Adass is cooperating too. But did they ever initiate the contact?

  • Alex Fein says:

    Moish, kol hakavod! You are not only doing the right thing by yourself, you are helping many, many others.

    David Werdiger: we have known of each other for a couple of years now. It has always been evident to me that you are a good man with good intentions.

    On this, however, we must disagree.

    In any situation in which a closed community is confronted with a catastrophic event that not only threatens internal rupture, but also invites scrutiny from the outside, there will always be a duality:

    On the one hand, there are public statements on record.

    On the other, there is the shadowy, unrecorded interaction. Sometimes – perhaps even often – such statements do not match up.

    It is very difficult for the authorities and for Jews outside the Yeshiva/Adass communities to determine when, where, or whether the institutions are matching private and public statements.

    I consider very carefully what I write here and what I say in unrecorded interactions.

    My greatest fear is that victims and their families will be denied justice because of unrecorded behaviours.

    My second greatest fear is that in the hysteria, a witch hunt mentality will take hold and innocent people will be accused.

    For me to write what was essentially hearsay, I would have to have such information on good authority.

    The person who passed this information to me is someone who heard the statements firsthand, and whose record of honesty is unimpeachable.

    Such statements as this person claims were made are by their nature unrecorded and unverifiable in any concrete way.

    This does not mean that such statements were not necessarily made.

    It is the responsibility of all Jews who care that abuse does not remain hidden and perpetuated, to behave with caution, but also to try to convey difficult information.

    I have heard many things over the past couple of weeks. Many of these things I would never repeat on record because I do not know where the information originated from.

    In this particular case, I do.

    You know me well enough to understand that I never seek to engage in frivolous gossip – that I will only engage in what I truly believe is important, even you disagree with my assessment.

  • Sam says:

    malki- can I ask you the following:

    is an argument put forward my by many on this blog-that reporting abuse in the Yeshivah community to the media is wrong and detrimental- interpreted by you as “enabling or protecting sexual predators”

    if so, I must contend that this blog serves no real purpose other than to promote your own personal agenda (shared by a few others) and is not a forum for real discussion of this important issue.

    [Eds: Sam/Devori, Please do not use multiple pseudonyms under the one thread. If you are two separate people using the one internet connection, then please contact the editors to explain as such. Since you have not provided a legitimate email address, we are unable to contact you privately about this].

  • Malki Rose says:

    Sam/Devori,
    You make an extremely important point.
    I completely understand the notion that reporting abuse cases from the Jewish community to the mainstream media can be very detrimental to the community. I see why. We do not live in a bubble and anything that goes on in our small community that ends up in the clutches of an often exploitative media can be used by the rest of the community to target Jewish communities as morally bankrupt and evil. So yes I see the point that many community leaders are making when they ask that people please not resort to taking these issues to mainstream media, or even Jewish media.

    And no I do not think that this statement is in itself a form of ‘enabling’.

    What many leaders, Rabbanim and community members don’t realise is that the media is a final resort, when all else has failed. When there is no other way to have a victims needs served.
    Ideally, our community leaders should be able to handle this internally. Meaning, not that they deal with it themselves, but that our Rabbis and leaders take these issues to the Police and ensure that the predators or alleged predators face the full force of the law.
    In this instance, media would never be required.

    In the cases we’ve referred to, people have been silenced, asked not to go to police, disbelieved, their testimonies doubted and ultimately their predators not brought to justice. The victims felt at a loss and that involving media was the unfortunate last possible way of ensuring that their molesters are found and prosecuted and those who enable them are held accountable.

    An Enabler, by the way means one who turns a blind eye, encourages silence, disbelief, creates a culture of fear or shame or castigates victims.

    In the Leifer case the media were contacted by concerned victims parents when they were shocked to learn that she had been allegedly financed by the adass board and sent away on a plane without having to face consequences. These same parents were instructed by their leaders not to “spread lashon hara” and not to create “controversy and shame for the community”.

    Presumably you can see why they contacted the media?

  • Rachel SD says:

    Hi David,

    You say that R’ Telsner said in a letter that people should go to the police, but did he say this explicitly in his drasha? It sounds to me that there are some mixed messages coming from the Yeshiva authorities.

    Second, is it really possible to support people going to the police while speaking very strongly against them going to the media? Will victims really feel that they have the community’s support to criticise community members who perpertrated and community leaders who covered up this abuse when they give statements to the Police or in court after R’ Telsner’s drasha?

    I heard that R’ Telsner said that ‘besmirching Rabbi Groner’s name’ is the ‘worst sin’. How confident are you that this was not said? And if it was, and everyone knew that the context of all of this is sexual abuse of young children and the subsequent cover-up of that, then how is anyone to interpret a statement that besmirching anyone’s name is the ‘worst sin’ here? Surely, the worst sin is sexually abusing children and covering it up.

  • Rabbi Telsner’s public letter says (in full):

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

    With regard to the recent request by the Police authorities, I wish to state emphatically that all parents should cooperate fully with these authorities.

    If one has any queries then let him speak to myself or his own Rav.

    (signed)

    I’m not going to comment at length about what he specifically said in the drosho and whether this overrides a letter on the noticeboard. It is counter-productive to speculate about hidden agendas or what the “private policy” of the school or the Rabbi might be. Does anyone think such a discussion will lead anywhere?

    I strongly disagree with the statement “besmirching Rabbi Groner’s name is the worst sin”. In my opinion, there are far worse sins. Rabbi Groner OBM was nothing less than fierce in his protection of students – he considered them like his own children. When he became aware of the abuse, he went out of his way to seek out appropriate counselling for victims at the time, and offer their services to parents. However, I think he also sought to protect the offenders and their families, which is why they ended up being sent away rather than sent to the police. Nowadays, this is considered unacceptable. At the time, it was “the way we dealt with these problems”. Again, my view is that ruminating on what should’ve been done then, or seeking accountability now from the people who were involved then (other than perpetrators) is not where our energies should be focussed.

    Rabbi Groner OBM was a huge influence in the Yeshivah (and broader) community, and even three years after his passing, some are not able to acknowledge that he too was human, had flaws, and did not always do what was correct. Sadly, some of the current leadership are still unable to “fix” some of that, and we are left counting the cost.

    That’s about all I’m prepared to write on this specifically in a public forum, and I’m being very measured in my comments. It’s already drifting off topic.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H

    I think what David Werdiger has said, is balanced and fair. I am not into Rabbi Groner OBM bashing. The guy is no longer with us and cannot defend his actions and this statement speaks volumes.

    Rabbi Groner OBM was a huge influence in the Yeshivah (and broader) community, and even three years after his passing, some are not able to acknowledge that he too was human, had flaws, and did not always do what was correct. Sadly, some of the current leadership are still unable to “fix” some of that, and we are left counting the cost.

    As a person who did so much good in the Melbourne Jewish Community, I feel very strongly that nothing is gained by screaming out,’Oh yes, he had feet of clay.’ Who among us is perfect and would everyone of us acted differently, more appropriately. It is all very well to state equivocally what we would do with 20/20 hindsight vision. There are a lot of factors in play here and the issue is not simply a black and white, cut and dried issue. There are families involved who are innocent parties and even more unfortunately, there are families, children of the perpetrators and wives or ex wives, mothers and fathers and unfortunately some are tainted by the crimes of those close to them and they feel shame and embarrassment. I feel very strongly that people who have passed on, will have enough facing another heavenly court and we should not presume to judge. What we should be focused on is ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice and ensuring that this is not possible again EVER.
    Not everyone is aware of who abusers are and that is the sad part. Children need to be protected and we must put the needs of the children before the sensitivities of flawed adults and unfortunately the innocent – their families and children will probably suffer more than they will.

  • Steven says:

    My last comment.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/when-silence-is-not-an-option-20110717-1hk36.html

    David, you cannot say “At the time, it was “the way we dealt with these problems”” and yet Leifer, just two years ago, was dealt with in the same way. And I can see it being dealt with in the same way ten years from now.

  • Steven,

    The way Yeshivah dealt with it 15-20 years ago is similar to the way Adass dealt with it 2 years ago (and perhaps the way Adass still does). I made an observation, not a justification. Our focus should be on making sure all Jewish organizations now and in the future deal with these issues in the proper way, and do everything to support a culture of reporting abuse.

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    David Werdiger, I am afraid that sort of suggestion just won’t do. You are not looking at this from the perspective of the victims. Are they to be given the impression that their damaged lives are to seen as some sort of learning curve? I suggest that time heals nothing unless proper analysis of the events that caused the damage is done, with acknowledgement of the wrongs done, both by the perpetrator and those who covered it up or assisted a cover up. One cannot keep moving the line in the sand forward in time to accommodate the ” that’s what we did in those days” attitude. Whilst that sentence has its (sad) place in all this, it MUST be followed with the next sentence “and it was very wrong and hurt many people and helped criminals evade capture” and finally this sentence “we must all make sure this NEVER happens again”.

  • Ilana says:

    Well said Linda. David I agree with your admonition to “do everything to support a culture of reporting abuse.” But that is not mutually exclusive to the -equally important- focus of validating the pain that was perpetrated and gaining a deep understanding of WHY this happened. History repeats itself if the causal factors are not understood and addressed. Those who abused their rabbinical/ leadership power will not ever change unless they come to understand the pain the contributed to. Just as a parent might take little Chaim by the hand and show him the teeth marks on little Chanale’s hand to teach him empathy and to teach him why he should never bite again, so must someone show these rabbonim et al the painful marks they left. Without confronting the effects of their actions, they have no motivation to change other than superficially to dot their i’s and cross their t’s to placate the law (and any upset donors to the college). The survivors deserve a chance to have their pain heard, not ignored while we “move forward”, helping others in the future but not them. We need to do both: re-visit the culture that allowed this to happen and use insights from this to inform our moving ahead to ensure it never happens again.

  • david segal says:

    the way charedim deal with pedophilia in the charedi world-in hebrew

    http://www.bhol.co.il/Article.aspx?id=29869

  • pedohunter says:

    not content to molest his own kids and several jewish women patients, one creature has now decided to post under a bullshit name and claim to be concerned for victims. but i am one of his victims and i see through this.
    He’s stupid because after claiming to speak on behalf of the victims, he then praises himself as a hero. dead give away Mr !!!!

  • Am Yisroel Chai says:

    The Yeshiva Com have told some people their view.
    They see Manny Waks not as a victim or a hero but as a pain in the you know what. They have no compassion for him or any of the victims and feel they are under siege and that the parents who went to the press are atacking them and trying to destory Yeshiva.
    They are doing their usual thing and that is pouring dirt on Manny and the whole Waks family. Anyone who has any criticism of Yeshiva Com is against them in their minds and is a no good person and they do their usual thing of character assasination.
    They are terrified of a class action suit. The only thing that bothers them is not the suffering of the vitims and the families but the fact they may lose money. They have no understanding of the psychology of abuse victims. They are saying Manny and the Waks family and the rest of the victims are only using this to milk Yeshiva. Psychologists will tell you victims who sue do not do it for the money but to gain some sense of justice and to help them heal but Yeshiva Com doesn’t see things in these human terms.
    Yeshiva Com could have come out of this looking like heroes if only they had said right away that they are in total support of the victims, will purge the schoool of any abusers. If they would have done this then they could have had the support of everyone but now it is too late, their reputation has been damaged beyond repair. Their mishandling of all this is destroying the school even though they are trying to blame others they have no one to blame but themselves.
    Rabbi Telsner is helping to destroy the school and this whole community. Eight women walked out of his Shabbes drosho in disgust. He is arrogant and in a constant rage and is always berating us and acts like a total misnaged showing not any compassion for any feelings of anyone. He acts implusively and is full of bitterness. He has to realise, aloong with the Yeshiva Com, we the community are not here to serve them but the other way around as they are here to serve all of us. Perhaps it is best if the entire system crashes so it can be renewed and rebuilt into something we can be proud of.

  • Steven says:

    Am Yisroel Chai

    It’s a good thing you only know the tip of the iceberg.

  • Raphael Aron says:

    [Eds: This comment (now removed) was not written by Raphael Aron but by someone impersonating him. It is unacceptable and potentially very damaging to impersonate someone in this context.]

  • Am Yisroel Chai says:

    The Yeshiva Com is similar to a communist party committee. They behave like party operatives. Their power and control over the organisation is their first priority. Everything is secondary to their control over the money and their power. They are each men with control issues and this is the manner in which their own personal control issues gets played out, by being members of the YC Com it gives them a feeling of status and self esteem. They are alienated and aloof from the people and parents of the community seeing them merely as pawns in their little control games. Their response to all criticism, valid or otherwise, is through assassinating the character of whomever dares to bring their flaws as an ineffective organisation to anyone’s attention. This way they avoid fixing any of the issues, usually because they are too incompetent to fix anything or they simply do not care enough about the people and their problems. They smother the criticism and suppress others who may want to speak out through intimidation because most people cannot stand their character being assassinated. They are now accusing the Waks family of having all kinds of ulterior motives, of wanting a payout, of being neglectful abusive parents, of Manny of being an untruthful attention seeker. They are the ones who love kesef so much and accusing others of being money motivated is psychological projection. The potential loss of money is their only real worry, not the children, not the families pain, not the Rebbe, nothing else but the loss of money and their own prestige is of any concern to the Yeshiva Commies. They respect no one and use Rabbi Groner in death as they did in life now turning him into an icon to justify their own failures. Rabbi Groner’s actions cannot be questioned, they will claim, it is not right as he is dead and a shaliach of the Rebbe, and all this is a guilt trip they put upon the community to hide their own failures. They have a real problem now and that is that there are now too many critics. When there were only a few loud ones like Menachem Vorsheimer, Manny Althaus, Shoshana Silcove, it was easy to paint those few in black as stirrers who want to destroy the organisation but now they are not alone, there is a chorus of critics growing by leaps and bounds, and like a ship with too many holes to plug, they are sinking. Rabbi Telsner has been completely co-opted by them and is now their mouthpiece but not an effective one as he is not liked or respected and every time he opens his mouth to defend them it backfires and they lose more and more support. They are in a siege mentality convinced that there is an organised effort to take them down, flailing about like a cornered animal, and that is dangerous for all of us.

  • Josh Segal says:

    The danger of not identifying sexual abusers and dealing with the matter like human beings is acute. In the article cited above ( http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/when-silence-is-not-an-option-20110717-1hk36.html#ixzz1SVdVcmBX), the child abuse expert states: ”The long-term effect is that there is a huge amount of inter-generational impact. A lot of people who have been reported as child abusers have themselves been victims of child abuse…”

    By dealing with the issue of child sexual abuse properly, could further tragedies have been avoided?

    A case in point is Yehivah Melbourne alum Rabbi Mordechai Yomtov, arrested in Los Angeles in 2001 and subsequently convicted of sexual abuse and committing lewd acts against three boys (his students at Chabad’s Cheder Menachem school).

    Was he abused himself while a student? If so, who abused him and what happened to this individual?
    Did he possibly abuse others while still in Melbourne?
    How did he find a position at Cheder Menachem and was he assisted by the Yeshivah Melbourne or Rabbi Groner?
    Why didn’t the Yeshivah Melbourne notify the local community of the threat posed by Rabbi Yomtov given his Mebourne roots and the possibility that he might find his way back here (Yomtov has been on the run from Californian authorities since March 2003)?

    Incidentally, look at all the steps that Chabad in LA (not exactly a paragon of virtue in many matters) took to address the damage caused to the children: http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/rabbi_jailed_20011214/

  • Steven says:

    From above
    “Rabbi Chaim Cunin, spokesman for West Coast Chabad, expressed deep pain at the incident and said the school is doing everything possible to cooperate with the authorities.”

    I am wondering why there was no letter from Rabbi Telsner (or Yeshivah) urging victims to come forward, attached to the letter from the Police. In fact the very first comment from Yeshivah since 1990 was only after The Age started running the story.

  • Ilana says:

    If this were Facebook I would “like” Am Yisroel Chai’s post. I am so thankful that this (the way the heads of the community operate)is all coming out in the open. I just wish it had done so before all this pain had been suffered.

  • Raphael Aron says:

    This afternoon at comment was posted on this blog in my name. The comment was not made by me and I find it reprehensible that Galus Australis can sanction the publication of unsolicited material without verifying the authenticity of its origin. To the editors’ credit, that comment has now been removed. It would now be appropriate for the editors of Galus Australis to also remove the responses to this fictitous comment posted by “Wolf” and “Ilana.” The editors would also do myself and the community a service if the name of this blogger was brought to my attention while at the same time aired on this website; how many other people are being impersonated by this blogger? Failure to respond in this manner can only compromise the value and reliability of Galus Australis.

    Raphael (Taffy) Aron

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    Dear Editor
    I am appalled that a comment here was posted in the name of Taffy, and frightened at the damage this could cause him or any other person who was falsely represented here. I apologise wholeheartedly and unreservedly to Taffy for being taken in by this mischief maker, and would request that all my posts in response to the fake be deleted by you.
    I can no longer post on this site due to this incident.

  • Concerned says:

    Hi Moderators

    Obviously please don’t post my previous comments, as thankfully Taffy wasn’t the author.
    Thanks

  • Dear Taffy, Linda, and Concerned,

    Like you, we are disgusted that someone impersonated Taffy on this site and agree that the comment could be potentially very damaging. We are glad that Taffy was made aware of the comment and contacted us, and we removed the comment as soon as we became aware that it was inauthentic. To the best of our knowledge, we have also removed all of the comments responding to the impersonator’s comments. If you can still see any, please let us know by email (editorial AT galusaustralis dot com) or through the comment mechanism.

    (Linda and Concerned – at the moment you might still be able to see your own comments but if you look closely, you will see a note on them saying that your comment is awaiting moderation. No one else can see your comments.)

    Unfortunately, it is very difficult for us to determine whether a
    comment is inauthentic. It is unfortunately very easy (though
    thankfully in our experience very rare) to impersonate someone in the online environment.

    We have taken some steps to try to ensure that no one else can impersonate Taffy and have communicated them to Taffy by email. We can’t really disclose them here or the person may be able to find a way to get around them.

    As always, we take this very seriously and if anyone sees a comment that they believe to be inauthentic, we would ask them to please contact us by email immediately.

    We will also disclose all of the information that we have about the offending commenter to Taffy and hopefully, this can be followed up and the offender identified.

    This matter is also going to be referred to the police.

    Taffy, I am not sure if you received our email but I have now also left a message on your phone so hopefully we should be able to get in contact at some point tonight.

  • david segal says:

    linda

    you wrote:

    “I can no longer post on this site due to this incident”.

    did the real linda write this?

  • Linda Himmelfarb says:

    David, I don’t see any humour in your above post. This is a horrible thing to have happened to Taffy and I am very upset for him. This whole thread is on a very sad and serious matter and now Taffy has had his name dragged into it by someone posing as him. I fail to see the relevance of a joke.

    Editors, thank you for your post and the actions you have taken. I do understand that this was a very unfortunate and unusual occurrence.

  • Ilana says:

    I have only just seen this news-that a despicable impersonation was comitted. I am so appalled and I apologise to R. Aron for being fooled; I should have known better. I did know that R. Aron would never mean what it sounded like and that is why I begged “him” to come back and clarify. I shudder to think of the harm attempted against R.Aron and I cringe that I almost became a part of it. Please accept my apology.

  • Yeshiva Alumni says:

    I was a student at Yeshiva College during the 1980’s and I think that a large part of why the administration mishandled the Kramer case can be attributed to the culture of Yeshiva College during this time. It is interesting to note that many non-Chabad parents send their girls to BR, but not their boys to Yeshiva.

    The focus of the Yeshiva College administration was to get the best VCE grades and to encourage kids to become Chabad (even if they were already frum). Rabbis were allowed to invite students to their houses, form friendships outside of school hours and offer them alcohol (participation in a fabrengen). I remember a Rabbi in high school who would invite boy from our class to his house and get teenage boys drunk. Later, he left Melbourne very suddenly and worked for a Chabad House in Long Island. (Since I have no first-hand knowledge of what transpired, I will leave it to others to shed light on his abrupt departure).

    One can’t blame the Yeshiva College administration for Kramer’s acts. At the same time, the importance placed on kiruv came at the expense of other considerations such as setting guidelines for appropriate student-teacher behaviour and safeguarding the welfare of the students.

    Lack of administrative oversite and deliberate but unofficial policies provided a fertile environment for sexual predators.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H

    I just want to say that Ilana and Leedsiy (me Ilana Yael Leeds) are two different people. What this has shown me is how easy it is to impersonate another person on a website such as this. I know Taffy and Shani Aron personally and I consider them to be friends. They do a lot of good work in the community and Taffy has also worked very hard at helping a lot of lost people, not only Jews but also non Jews. I did not see the comments made by the impersonator, but I do know that someone who impersonates another person like this can do untold damage to a good and decent man and his really lovely family. Jealousy is a really nasty thing because it drives people to do things that they may not normally do.
    I post only under my own name Ilana Leeds or Leedsiy which is my surname and initials. I do so, not for reasons of an egocentric desire for fame and fortune, although it might be worth being famous if you get a fortune and can reclaim your privacy afterwards, but because I own my comments and do not hide behind anonymity in order to slag off at or misrepresent others in the religious or secular community. Yes, I have a mouth but I own it and if I offend I am more than willing to apologise or to reconsider, except where it goes against halacha or Torah. Eg, my stand against same sex marriage, but let’s not go down that path now.
    What can Gallus mods do to prevent this happening? Sign in under your own names and be up front about who you are!
    I post on another site and apart from the no swearing and other things I like about the site which is for rural Aussies and the farm arena (yeah, I know you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl :-) ) you have to use your own name and a picture of who you are.
    Personally I have no interest in being anyone but myself. I have many sides to my personality like most of us and it is hard enough to keep up with being me.
    So we need on Gallus – real names
    a password and maybe pictures and have to have valid id checked by the moderators. It doesn’t have to be published but it needs to be verified.
    Just imagine someone could pretend to be Gary Peer and give advice on real estate, Rav Joe Gutnick and give out stock exchange advice, Mark Symons and give out psychiatric advice, Dr J Pinczower and give out medical advice. Enough said, but the potential for damage here is so great as to be very scary, because people can be faceless. How do you think these molesters groom kids to meet them over the net. They pretend to be someone else.

  • Truth says:

    Finally The Age name a monster.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/synagogue-asks-alleged-child-molester-to-stand-down-20110719-1hne0.html

    It beggars belief that the school allowed the fox to guard the chickens… a practice that continued even this year… despite ongoing warnings from 1986 onwards by students, parents, police and, as it emerges, a plea of guilty to indecent exposure as early as 1992.

    We’re not just taking Manny at his word. We sadly know all too well of this vermin and his filthy ways.

    We too look forward to seeing you in court, Mr. Cyprys. Our voices shall join with those of all the other innocents you preyed on.

    And shame on those that let you have access to us, remained silent, turned a blind eye… you too will have to explain yourselves.

  • Ilana says:

    Leedsy, who has suggested you and i are the same person?! I didn’t see that. Why on earth? Anyway, i shall get back to today’s news. More important things at hand than the bizarre dynamics of this blog.

  • Ilana says:

    Sorry Leedsiy, there are many reasons for anonymity. I do not want my adult children to suffer from my comments. Their shidduchim are at stake… And all that. Also, due to similar stigma, many victims wouldn’t post.
    As for Cyprus: the sick, twisted joke that circulated when he became a locksmith was : great now he can get you at your home. Everyone knew! The whole community is culpable. There is something very rotten in the state of Lubavitch/Ultra-Orthodoxy.
    Oh, and the anonymous photo on the weekend was obvious to us who know him that it was him. There were packets of locks on the passenger seat. I just thought it better not to put his name here till the press did.

  • anonee mouse says:

    hellooo….whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty??
    what is this mob thing and trial by media thats going on?
    …from Yidden? from frum Yidden? should know better!
    let the police investigate, and if after investigation, he is charged, he will have the chance to defend himself.
    shame on you who present yourselves as judge, jury and executioners.

  • leedsiy says:

    B’H
    It’s ok Ilana, someone thanked me for support on a comment and I had to admit it was not me, but you, but I would have happy to take credit but, darn, my integrity does not allow it. I take credit for anything bad or good I have done and allow the same to others. I have to stand before Hashem one day and of that I am aware.
    Yes, but the moderators of this site, NEED to know that every poster here is legit and they cannot hide behind nicknames all the time.
    I have to say I agree with innocent until proven guilty. See a paper should not have to publish the name of a person until the trial. I do not agree with trial by media. Yet, IF ONLY those in power at the school had done the right thing and why hire him if ‘everyone knows?’ If he had touched my son, he would want to be in a safe prison or I would have been there. For Murder! That goes for anyone who touches my kid or any kid for that matter because if I found soomeone molesting even someone else’s child, they would be lucky to escape without injury and being dragged then and there to a police station.
    Yeshiva College NOW is the time to acknowledge the pain of the victims and to work at healing this. The Healing will not happen until you put the needs of the victims and their families BEFORE the perpetrators. It is the least you can do and then you will gain some respect back. At the moment, you are on a downward spiral and you need to bring the family back together again… a lot of people are hurting.

  • Malki Rose says:

    This unfortunate situation, where individuals, some innocent and some guilty, are named by anonymous bloggers has come about due to a culture of fear and lack of disclosure.

    It is hugely unfair and enormously problematic.

    There is nothing stopping anyone with a vendetta from labelling someone a molester or abuser at any time and this is dangerous.

    Already this week one individual has been questioned by police, after it was claimed that he had molested a young boy. The claim was false. This man’s livelihood and reputation are now irreparably damaged, not to mention the emotional state that he is now in.

    If you have reason to believe that someone has harmed another, do not process them in the court of public opinion or submit them to ‘trial by blog’.
    REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE.

    Every day hundreds of fantastic and loving adults work with a generous and open heart with children in our community. Good people, people who would do anything to protect children from harm.

    What is more evil than naming individuals anonymously, individuals who’ve not yet been processed by police or legal process, is naming individuals who are innocent and in fact work to defend, protect and nurture young people.

    Perhaps this his happened because of the fear people are experiencing or because of the frustration they feel towards their leadership. A leadership who does absolutely NOTHING when they are told of REAL abusers and molesters in our midst.

    Jewish leaders and rabbis – You all need to stand up and be accountable for this. You’ve been lax in your responsibility. You’ve failed most unquestionably in your vital duty of care and to prevent more innocent people from being harmed you must act now.

  • harry says:

    Malki I am so glad u have finally understood the damaging nature of this blog and the internet in general in dealing with such nuances and sensitive issues. We have factors such as pedophellia, homosexuallity, sexuality, religion, police, crime, leadership, media, all coming together and you thought an anonymous blog that has a historyof drawing from the community’s lowest common denominator would be constructive? It has been massively destructive. I plead with the administrators of this blog to consider their options very carefully.

  • frosh says:

    Harry,

    This isn’t a blog, and (unlike you) it’s certainly not anonymous.

  • Ilana says:

    I have come to think like Harry. I protect kids for a living (enough said) yet I have been called a “pedo” here for imploring others not to name names of suspected perpetrators etc. I think the bizarre dynamics of this blog are due to the sensitive nature of the topic and the feeling of frustration and fear that is bubbling amongst us. How many of us here are victims who are, for very understandable reasons, unable to disclose; victims who have disclosed; people who have been hurt by the ‘rabbonim’s” power over their lives, power wielded without empathy or wisdom ; people who are scared they might be unjustifiably accused becasue they work with children or someone simply has an axe to grind with them; or people who are feeling terrible that they did not report suspicions or disclosures to the police? There are too many people here who are hurting and there is perhaps no way this discussion can remain purely rational, fair and constructive because of all this emotional reactivity. There is a witch hunt on that makes Salem look tame. I call on the new generation of potential leaders in Chabad to stand up and address this rotten core. I call on all of us to do anything we can to keep the true “hunt” less hysterical and more constructive. We need to be a part of a new culture/mind-set that does not allow abuse to fester under our very noses. I am bowing out of this blog now; too much harm has been created from something that started with the best of intentions. I do think good has come from it Malki and I commend you, but I think it has reached the limits of its usefulness. If I can ever help constructively then I will.

  • Ilana says:

    fredo, there are good and valid reasons for anonymity. I have addressed that in an earlier post. (Now to stick to my resolution and not post no matter what baits me!)

  • Sam says:

    Harry

    Malki’s piece here was arguably the most important article that has so far appeared on Galus (not to diminish the value of many others).
    This is the polar opposite of a damaging blog article that you refer to.
    It is groundbreaking in as much as it become such a public issue that the previous cover ups and seemingly pragmatic solutions (David Kramer being shipped out of the country only to re-offend) will now become a non viable option to those in charge of schools. We should commend the administrator’s of this online magazine (not blog) for having the guts to bring this into the public domain.

  • harry says:

    Frosh, most of the comments are anonymous and at some stage the admin of this online newsletter need to take responsibility for what has been written as they have facilitated and instigated that. I’m not a lawyer but if the admin plan on caloing in the police they may have to check what responsibility they have in opening this pandoras box.

    Sam I don’t know what you think malkis article achieved that the newspaper articles abd internal community debate has not. Indeed even without mannys newspaper article the police were already investiagting and in the 20 years since the incidents the school seems to have advanced its policy towards this matter. In reality malkis article roused a whole bunch of extremists and fringe elements to throw outrageous statements hurting the innocent and victims more then the perpetrator.

    Bottom line every act we do has to begin with the premise ‘do no harm’ this website has done alot of harm… So much so that the police are being called in. I just think its time to reassess.

  • Malki Rose says:

    Harry,

    Yes there are extremists, people with vendettas and master manipulators who have taken the opportunity since the Kramer case became public to whip a vulnerable community into a hysterical unthinking frenzy.

    This community is like every other community who have responded hysterically worldwide to the issue of child abuse for the last 20 years by suspecting every school teacher who gives a child so much as an encouraging pat on the back.

    That you attempt to blame me for causing this long standing hysteria demonstrates a lack of understand of the issues involved and of the real consequences this has had on real people.

    Both the victims and the police are thrilled with the response that the article has generated from the moment it went live.

    You clearly have no involvement with a single victim or with the police investigation.
    I have a large amount of both and am well aware of the outcome of this piece.

    I also have a first and last name and an identity.
    To that ends I will say the following in my own real name.
    You are an idiot.

    Feel free to sue me for saying so.

  • Truth says:

    Well said Malki!

    We too have seen many attitudes in the community begin to change, as a result of articles and forums such as this one.

    That such articles are long overdue only makes the doing harder. Those that do are to be commended on breaking very hard ground… Ground that has had concrete poured over it by those that would rather it never gets broken.

    Silly, short sighted, selfish people, those that protect the past at the sacrifice of their children. Such a stance guarantees the death of any society.

  • harry says:

    Malki if you read what I wrote I don’t beleive I blamed you for what has gone on here. But as the author who I hope cares not ti cause harm, and as an admin of the site I asked you to have a look at what has gone on in the 400 odd comments on your article and reflect. If self reflection and the ability to take stock lead you to calling me and idiot that’s fine …it was a suggestion. And I’ve been called worse. Im not sure you’ve got the assets that make sueing a worthwhile venture. But your response does suggest a defensive posture ofbone who may harbor self doubt.

    Sure I don’t have links to the investigation or access to data which shows that many and important people reading this site. All I have done is read the last few articles and the comments. And I worry that a lot of damage has been caused. Good people are being hurt. The admin themselves have announced a police investigation into the site. At worst the admin of this site has been grossly iresponsible and negligent in allowing what happenned on this and other threads to occur. If you don’t feel that fair enough. Im just expressing my feelings and I imagine the feelings of many others who were once supporters of this site.

  • Harry,

    The admin didn’t announce a police investigation into this site. They announced that the impersonation of a known identity would be referred to the police. Unfortunately, it is easy to that in the online environmnet on ANY site. If you have any evidence that the admin were negligent in this matter, then I suggest that you contact the admin (editorial AT galusaustralis dot com). Otherwise, I suggest that your (anonymous) comments are defamatory. Which would be kind of ironic, wouldn’t it?

  • harry says:

    Not defaming just raising concern. If you deem that inappropriate I don’t apologise. Peoples lives are being adversely affected by what’s being written here. I dont feel it is safe to use my real name here. I imagine all the anonymous bloggers feel the same. That’s exactly my point. and you are wrong to wrote this ocurrs on any online site. All the online papers and other. responsible online media are not allowing comments on their coverage of this event.

    I know this may sound like I’m trying to stifle discussion on these matters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed a few select excerpts have been very positive and valuable. On a whole however there has been too much damage in this and the past few threads. the discourse has turned toxic and dangerous and has already jure innocent people.

    I think I’ve had my say. I wish you well. My thoughts are well meaning please treat them as such.

  • david segal says:

    Am Israel chai

    Why do you think the com of the yeshiva should “listen” to the public, when there isn’t even one Chabbad centre in the world, where the “Shluchim” and com are “listening” to their public, and Chabbd Melbourne isn’t different, if the public isn’t satisfied with the way their com are running the yeshiva, let them find a different service provider.

  • Steven says:

    What is the din of reporting to police all the physical abuse that has occurred at Yeshivah and Adass?

  • Raeb Yekim says:

    Interesting to note that the person who on Tuesday evening updated the “Yeshivah College, Australia” and “Yeshiva Centre, Melbourne” Wikipedia pages regarding the sex abuse scandal is going under the name ‘Ctgroner770′.

  • Sam says:

    Harry

    Why don’t you explain to us exactly how the public knowledge of all these very unpleasant matters has adversely affected peoples lives. Then we will be in a position to discuss whether the cost of all the publicity and comments made, was too high a price when weighed against the benefit of victims speaking out, and possibly going to the police. This is an essential first step in the healing process.

  • Chaim says:

    Steven: no problem reporting abuse.One is forbidden to remain silent.

    see here: http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=36091

  • Josh Segal says:

    This is ridiculous – doesn’t anyone in a position of authority in Melbourne have the balls to take a stand on this issue: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/jewish-community-in-turmoil-over-sex-assault-probe/story-e6frg6nf-1226098615135

  • Truth says:

    The stance taken to date appears to be one of ‘willful blindness’.

  • Am Yisroel Chai says:

    Dovid segal, you who seems to think you know everything, and how do you know that not a single Chabad House in the entire world listens to their community? You have no way of knowing this to be so. I have been to several Chabad communities in which the sensitivities and views and wishes of the community members are indeed taken into account by the ‘service providers’.

  • david segal says:

    Am Israel chai

    Are you so simple?

    The views and wishes of the community members that are taken into account by the ‘service providers, are the same views and wishes of the community that are taken into account by Coles or Myers, and for the same reasons, as only in that way, they are able achieve their goal, but when their position is solid, they behaving like rabbi Groner, pini Feldman or s. Cunnin.

    how many Chabad houses that were established by chabbad there is a membership with rights to elect a committee that is able to override the Shliach?

  • Steven says:

    He is not the only one who thinks he knows everything. Sometimes you have to defer to uncorrupted, though cynical intelligence.

  • parent says:

    I got this email last night from yeshivah community emails
    _____________________________________________________

    Dear Parents and Friends of Yeshivah College,

    At Yeshivah we are dedicated to creating a safe community for our children.

    I write to share with you Yeshivah’s policy, approach and practices regarding child protection issues, and our commitment to ensuring that we are all well equipped to prevent and deal with issues should they arise.

    As is good practice, the school has strong connections and relationships with relevant organisations and support people to assist us should any problems arise. These include:

    Ø We have a point of contact with the local Child Protection (DHS) investigative unit manager and a number of her colleagues.

    Ø We are acquainted with the local SOCA (Sexual Offences and Child Abuse) Police team, and how they work within the Jewish Community.

    Ø We are very familiar with the children and family services provided by SECASA. (SECASA = South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault, we encourage you to avail yourselves of the quality family education resources on their website: http://www.secasa.com.au).

    Ø We also tapped into the resources, training and support offered by the JTAFV (Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence).

    At Yeshivah today we are not aware of anyone on staff who poses a risk to our children and Victoria Police have confirmed there are no investigations relating to current staff, contractors or employees. All teaching staff are subject to a Police Check prior to being offered employment, and all auxiliary staff such as groundsmen, administrative staff and people who have regular contact with the school have a Working with Children Check. Should we become aware of a problem or possible risk to our students, we will immediately work with the authorities and ensure the person is dealt with appropriately and has no access whatsoever to our children.

    We are proactive in creating a safe school community:

    Ø We empower our students to stand up for what they know is right and to say ‘no’. We do so via the ‘Bounce Back’ -a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program -in our Primary School that develops these and other resiliency skills.

    Ø Our entire staff have undergone DHS ‘mandatory reporting’ training.

    Ø A number of our staff attended training with Debbie Gross (Director of the Crisis Centre for Jewish Women in Jerusalem) during her Melbourne visit in March 2011.

    o These educators returned to our school after the seminar and conducted ‘Protective Behaviour’ workshops with our students,

    o In these workshops the children learnt to ‘say no, run away and tell an adult’.

    Ø The students also learnt about ‘good touch bad touch’, ‘no secrets’, ‘my body is mine’ and ‘if something makes me uncomfortable I don’t need to put up with it’.

    Ø We systematically train the students of our Primary School in these personal safety behaviours and regularly revisit these skills to ensure they are fresh in the children’s minds.

    Ø We have robust policies and procedures that govern staff and student interaction.

    It takes a community to prevent abuse. The close working partnership between the school and the parent body is vital. The school adopts a leadership role by prioritising child safety, providing training programs and ensuring effective policies to prevent, and procedures to deal with, issues should they arise. Parents must establish open lines of communication with their children and the school, and can facilitate prevention through their own awareness and education.

    An effective 30 minute video workshop, training parents to ‘speak to your kids about personal safety’, was produced by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, founding director of project ‘YES’. It is an essential video that must be viewed by all parents and can be found at: http://vimeo.com/25322132

    The effects of abuse are profound. Victims and their families need love, understanding and professional support. Revisiting abuse whether recent or from long ago can be painful and embarrassing. It is not an easy task to come forward. However, if an individual has suffered abuse, they know its agony, and are well aware of the imperative to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    We all want to eradicate abuse from our community and indeed communities around the world. To this end, the Rabbanim in our community as well as the Yeshivah Centre and College have on numerous occasions encouraged victims of abuse to come forward and work with the relevant authorities.

    Should you become aware of, or suspect abuse of any kind please contact Child Protection Southern Region on 1-300-655-795 or the Moorabbin Sexual Offences Unit on 9556 6128 or 0414 181 311.

    If you have any concerns about abuse in relation to the school staff or students please contact me directly on 9522 8223 and I will immediately and unhesitatingly contact the relevant authorities.

    ‘A safe community’ is a verb not a noun; it requires constant effort, but together it can be achieved.

    Sincerely,
    Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler
    Principal Yeshivah College

  • TheSadducee says:

    Well written release piece – who’s doing their PR work?

  • Malki Rose says:

    I stand corrected!!!!!

    The ECAJ (Executive Council of Australian Jewry) JCCV (Jewish Community Council of Victoria), RCV (Rabbinical Council of Victoria) and ORA (Orthodox Rabbis of Australasia) have released this statement several days ago to demonstrate the strong condemnation of Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community and their strong support for victims and to encourage them to come forward.

    MEDIA STATEMENT
    18 July 2011

    JEWISH COMMUNITY URGES UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

    “Recent allegations of sexual abuse in the Jewish community in Melbourne should be the subject of a thorough and proper investigation by the police with the complete co-operation of the community’” said Jewish leaders this week in a statement issued jointly by the Australian community’s umbrella body, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, together with the Victorian community’s roof body, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the Organisation of Rabbis of Australia and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria.
    “Anyone found to have betrayed the trust of children under their care or supervision must be held to account to the full extent of the law”, the statement continued. “The abuse of children in any way, be it physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, is abhorrent, particularly when it is perpetrated by those in positions of trust and authority. All claims of abuse must be treated with the utmost seriousness.”
    “The Jewish Community Council of Victoria and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria have clearly and repeatedly publicized their position in relation to this matter, namely that it is obligatory to report cases of sexual abuse to the relevant authorities. We echo this position and urge all alleged victims to come forward and provide the police with any relevant information they may have and do everything to assist the police with their enquiries.
    We call on the families, friends and advisers of those with claims of abuse to support them in every way, for the sake of helping victims to achieve justice and closure and to prevent further harm to other children. There is no place for victims to be ostracized or ‘punished’ in any way for coming forward and making a complaint.”

    “All victims should know that we stand ready to provide any assistance to them that we are able”.
    For further information, please contact:
    Peter Wertheim,
    Executive Director
    Executive Council of Australian Jewry
    (02) 8353 8500

    or

    Michelle Coleman,
    Executive Director
    Jewish Community Council of Victoria
    (03) 9272 5579

  • Tess says:

    Hi Malki, what a fantastic article. I am relieved that sexual abuse happening in the Jewish community is being finally uncovered and dealt with. I was part of the yeshiva/Beth Rivkah community back in the 1980s and was aware (through rumours)that there was predatory activity going on.

    I, myself was sexually abused by a family member for several years. My mother decided to get help from our Rabbi, just for him to shrug off the allegations. (My abuser was a ‘respected’ man of the community after all!)
    My mother then proceeded to report the abuse to the police who after interrogating me and shouting at me (“stop lying to us!!”)just sent us back home. (thankyou Blackburn Police Station).

    The effects of sexual abuse is life long for victims and can ruin lives and families. Victims need support and encouragement from their community.

    I hope by the current exposing of these perpetrators that abuse will not be swept under the carpet anymore, victims will feel safe reporting any abuse and perpetrators will not think they can ‘get away with it’ anymore.

    BTW xyz- your comment: “The fact is that strictly religious and modest girls brought up in a closeted environment, without exposure to TV, movies, (multiple) boyfriends etc , find it far more difficult to discuss matters of abuse than their counterparts who have been exposed to all the chazerai of today’s world.”

    This not true for most victims of abuse. Talking about the abuse for any victim is traumatising and extremely humiliating.

  • Steven says:

    Tess, call Detective Dwyer 9556 6128 or mobile 0414 181 311 if you want to have another try. He is very sympathetic.

  • david segal says:

    we still have to see their action when a problem Arisess. isn’t it sad that it took all those bodies, so much time to understand that people are not play Dough?

  • Mandi Katz says:

    The AJN has reported very thoroughly on Rabbi Feldman’s statements here.

    http://www.jewishnews.net.au/rabbi-should-step-down/22129

    not sure how this fits into people’s theories about the AJN pandering to Chabad’s advertising dollar.

  • Wolf says:

    Interesting AJN article Mandi, the thing I find more interesting is the motive for this so called ‘Rabbi’ in Sydney to voice such an un-halachic opinion?

    To be sure, I actually studied the laws of ‘Mesierah’ (Mesechet Avoda Zora) and I can say unequivacally they have no relevance to the paedophile cases.

  • Sam says:

    Wolf

    I couldn’t agree more with your comments. The so called “rabbi” probably does have a motive for his view that is so ourageous. Glad to see the strong rejection of that view by the Perth rov, Dovid Frielich.

  • Marky says:

    To “former jew”

    Good riddance!!

  • Marky says:

    Mandi, does this rabbi spend much advertising dollar at the AJN?

  • david segal says:

    is rabbi feldman a talmid of rabbi mnashe klein?

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/08/rav-menashe-klein-how-does-calling.html

  • Chana says:

    Former Jew is at it again. Would the moderators of this website REMOVE his/her anti-semitic comments please??!!

  • Chana says:

    COSA PRESS RELEASE

    Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria

    http://tinyurl.com/COSA-Press-Release-28July2011

    Thursday July 28, 2011

    26 Tammuz 5771

    בס׳ד

    כ”ו תמוז ה’ אלפים תשע”א

    COSA PRESS RELEASE

    The Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Australia (“COSA”) unequivocally disassociates itself from the views expressed by Rabbi Yossi Feldman concerning the reporting of sexual offenders to the police, as reported in the Australian Jewish News (July 28 edition).

    Furthermore COSA wholeheartedly endorses the position recently enunciated by the Organisation of Rabbis of Australia (“ORA”) and its affiliates as to the positive obligation, according to both halachic and secular law, to report any such offences to the authorities.

    COSA urges all its State constituent bodies to ensure that the guidelines issued by ORA are adhered to by their Rabbis and leaders.

    It is COSA’s unqualified position that any person who holds a view contrary is deemed not fit and proper to assume any form of leadership in our community.

  • Marky says:

    David Segal, I think that teshuva of R Menashe Klein does not need to be repeated. He wrote it about 2 years ago, and could well have changed his mind. He is a great T”Ch, but obviously doesn’t understand the sick mind of a paedophile. He may have thought it is like a bochur pinching some kugel from the yeshiva kitchen :-), needing just a telling off, and not doing it again. Whereas we know nothing stops a ped.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Marky – I dont know exactly how much money this rabbi (or institutions he is associated with) spends on the AJN, and its not he primary issue here. But the press (the Age, this site, AJN) have played a huge role in bringing this story to light. There has been a fair bit of comment about the role of the press in all of this and some criticised the AJN and said that it was too beholden to Yeshivah’s advertising power to disclose bad news about it.
    I found that unfair, and more importantly in some cases people use that accusation against the AJN as a form of deflection from the real issue.
    Especially as the same week that comment was made AJN had a big blue with Danby who is a huge advertising buyer. I’m really not the person to advocate on behalf of the AJN for a few reasons but the paper has covered controversial stories about Jewish Care, the schools, Yeshiva in Sydney, Danby – all advertisers.
    You can say lots of things about the AJN but not that it would protect a pedophile for the advertising dollar.

  • Marky says:

    Mandi, I wasn’t talking about what the AJN report or don’t. You seemed to be bringing proof from the reporting of this Rabbi’s comments by the AJN. I was doubting this is any proof, as he probably doesn’t spend money there.

  • david segal says:

    marki

    “He wrote it about 2 years ago”

    Is it only 2 years from 21/2/2005 When I wrote about teshuva and about the Kramer story in the yeshiva here?

    http://www.bhol.co.il/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=1290615&forum_id=1364

    “He is a great T”Ch”

    So what?

  • Marky says:

    Can’t see the point going back to 2005.

  • david segal says:

    Marky

    “Can’t see the point going back to 2005″

    What point didn’t you see?

    My point was very simple. you wrote: “He wrote it about 2 years ago, and could well have changed his mind”, and my question to you was, how can it be that “He wrote it about 2 years ago”, and how could it be that he changed his mind” when I wrote about this tshuva on 21/2/2005, which is about 6.5 years, enough time to change his mind and write that i made a mistake, it isn’t good enough to say “may be he changed his mind”, I also questioned your writing: “He is a great T”Ch, but obviously doesn’t understand the sick mind of a pedophile”, and my question to you was: how can he be a great T”Ch when he gives a psak B’diney Nfashot in a topic that he has no idea.

    What is your definition for “a great TC”h”?

  • Vicki Gordon says:

    Hi Malki,****
    >
    > I am aware that many people are reading your blog and would like to inform
    > your readers about the Australian, Psychology Group Inc. We are a group of
    > Jewish psychologists with specialized training in trauma debriefing, and
    > while we have so far attended only ‘physical traumas’ we believe the issues
    > that are being raised at the moment in the community with regards to child
    > abuse, are more about psychological trauma at a community level. We would
    > be very willing to assist anyone who is dealing with any of these issues
    > and offer our expertise in this area. The best way for someone to contact
    > our group is to ring JCCV and leave a number and Hilary will pass the
    > messages on to us. A person may leave the number without their name if they
    > wish to maintain anonymity with the JCCV office (we do not have a secretary
    > manning the phone for our group).
    >
    > ** **
    >
    > ** **
    >
    >Dr Nicky Jacobs & Dr Vicki Gordon

  • Yosef says:

    A few points. Firstly, I find the claim that Rabbi Beck would ask any 13-year-old to drop their trowsers to see if they had shtey saaros completely preposterous. In any case, it would be pointless. One measures shtey saaros by one’s beard, not one’s pubic hair. The sole exception is a ben sorrer u’morrer, which never happens anyways (and probably never did).

    As to the Leifer case, it isn’t over. Stand by for new developments. And I don’t believe the school funded her departure, from what I heard. Rather, she borrowed money from her former students which (to my knowledge) she has never repaid.

    At the time, I think no-one wanted to go to the police – particularly when she was still in the country! However, she did try to bully some of her victims after the allegations were raised. (She is very emotionally abusive, not just sexually). She was told to stop in no uncertain terms, or there would be repercussions. Note that she tried to sue the school for unfair dismissal. That just shows what kind of person we’re dealing with here. I’m quite sure that if and when she is brought back to face trial, she will deny the allegations tooth-and-nail, and put her victims through hell in the courtroom. If the police are smart, they won’t be applying the extradite her until AFTER they have completed ALL the investigations. With abusers like her, it’s easier to get victims to talk whilst she is far away on the other side of the world.

  • Yosef,

    You say “She was told to stop in no uncertain terms, or there would be repercussions“. That succinctly expresses the very problem some communities have in dealing with these cases. It should not be “stop OR ELSE …”, or must be “stop AND we are referring this matter to law enforcement who will ensure this crime is dealt with appropriately”.

  • Leo Braun says:

    “These predators are people in positions of responsibility in our community, within the walls we ironically build to keep danger out”! “Nothing has been learned“? “It is one kind of evil to be a sociopath who inflicts harm on a child, but it is an altogether different and possibly worse kind of evil to facilitate and enable the predator crimes. So far our community has demonstrated that it is more than capable of both”!

    Because power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. After all, religious relics of despotic feudal power, manifested in the current era of universal deceit — lingering decadence from an era of absolute power — where a supposed divinely ordained ruler literally lorded over usurped people. Popular leaders nowadays have an ostentatious flair of persuasion, money, politics, and supremacy status that they are fooling themselves into thinking they are in-the-right in the situation, a situation of abominable sin!

    “The predators so far have won. They are predominantly individuals of standing, people who are known and who hold positions of responsibility in our community, people who have the respect of our leaders. This is the single greatest threat to our children’s safety. How can even the bravest young person find the courage to come out and say that one of these individuals are harming them? Who would believe them”? “Two greatest obstacles to protecting our children appear to be the demonising or doubting of the child, and allowing the reputations of notable community members to precede the rights of the child”!

    “Maintaining a code of silence only means providing impenetrable cloak of protection under which predators can hide, safe in the knowledge that nobody would dare ever step forward and name them”! “They hold the lives of so many in their hands and can manipulate them to their advantage. So many victims would not dare speak out, believing that their story or complaint would never be believed over that of someone with a good reputation or strong standing in the Jewish or greater community. Aside from the issue of reputation, victims also worry that nobody will believe them because the person they are naming ‘Is so lovely’, or ‘Such an active member of the community’, or ‘Someone everyone trusts implicitly'”!

  • Malki Rose says:

    Ariel
    Australian media has been subject to a request from the accused for a temporary suppression order in recent months, hence why you’ll not see anything about this here on GA.
    As of today the suppression order was denied, although the interim order still stands until midnight tomorrow.
    Wednesday morning you can expect to see more information.

  • Wow, this piece of writing is good, my sister is analyzing
    these things, so I am going to inform her.

  • Dean Ashby says:

    This is rather disturbing, and sexual predators like him should not be allowed to roam around freely. However, how do we spot one? And if we do, do we report them to the police even before they actually do something? I once had the same conversation at our self storage facility in Manly, with one of my staff. Though this has not happened to her nor to her loved ones, but there was a series of reported cases about a sexual predator on the loose. The man was apprehended only when there was someone who stood out in public, and able to point out the evidence. It was painful for the victim, but I am glad it happened, since the predator was apprehended, and the reported cases went down. I guess that he is the only one in that area, but I hope that no one copied his actions and activities.

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