Home » Arts and Culture, Benk, Community Life, Recent Posts

Beautiful Benk and Manny Waks Apologises to R’ Glick

April 2, 2014 – 8:43 am42 Comments

benk3aEditor: We have two very different stories today. Firstly, we have a short piece by Benk on his current exhibition and pictures of some of his beautiful work. After that, we publish Manny Waks’s apology to Rabbi Glick.

By Benk:

When asked by a gallery to be part of a themed exhibition, it’s rare to already have unreleased works that fit the theme perfectly.  This was the case for me with the ‘Closer’ show at Fawn Gallery. The gallery describes the theme as an exploration of closeness, a thoughtful look at the world around us. When asked to exhibit in the show, I had just finished working on a series of illustrations that look at the way my generation communicates; we have changed the definition of what ‘voice’ is. The works show digital communication in both positive and negative lights. I also made three new works specifically for the exhibition. My illustrations are exhibited alongside some great work by Sam Michelle, Ryhan Pearse and Joe Blair.

The show opened on March 21st and will be on display until April 3 (11am-5pm).
Go check it out while it’s still on. Fawn Gallery, 66a Johnston St, Collingwood, 3066.

See more of Benk’s work:
www.benk.com.au

Follow:
facebook.com/benkartist
instagram.com/benkartist

benk4

benk3

benk5

benk1

benk2***
***

From the Editor:

Manny Waks posted the following apology on his Facebook page yesterday:

During December 2013, I posted certain statements on Tzedek’s website and on my personal Facebook page and permitted a third party to post a statement on Tzedek’s website, which referred to allegations made against Rabbi Abraham Glick.

In particular, I posted certain statements that suggested to some that Rabbi Glick was guilty and permitted a third party to post a statement stating that Rabbi Glick had admitted to the allegations made. I accept that those statements about Rabbi Glick were false and inaccurate, and accept and believe that Rabbi Glick was at all times completely innocent of the allegations made.

I unreservedly apologise to Rabbi Glick and his family and retract those statements.

Manny Waks

Print Friendly

42 Comments »

  • Whatever Was says:

    When Yeshiva released an apology that was obviously written by lawyers they were attacked by supporters of Manny for not being genuine and writing it to avoid legal action. There was moral outrage.
    When Manny writes an apology that is even more obviously written by lawyers his supporters accept the apology as genuine.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    You would think so, but if you look at comments elsewhere you can see that Manny’s supporters don’t really seem to accept his statement at face value. I can’t think why: would they prefer some sort of rash or intemperate outburst, made on the spur of the moment? This apology looks as though it was crafted with great care and with the input of some very intelligent people. If any statement can be considered genuine, it is this.

  • Whatever Was says:

    @Joe, I was not commenting on the nature of Manny’s apology and whether it is genuine (which is something only Manny can truly know), rather the public discourse around this topic. When Manny makes a statement obviously written by lawyers he is lauded, while Yeshiva is attacked for their lack of remorse.

  • Sunshine says:

    Hmmmmmmm

    Good points above.

    Don’t care. Any man or women who covers for, excuses abusers or commits abuse is scum.

    Saying sorry in either side cause a lawyer said so means neither side means it.

    Oh well maybe it will be enough for parents to excuse the behaviour of many and think they are safe

  • Sunshine says:

    [Editor: Please do not link to sites that contain potentially defamatory material]

    Turns out not everything we’ve been told is the truth

  • Menachem says:

    As far as I am concerned, Tzedek has become irrelevant.
    When a CEO of an organisation does something as devastating as what this CEO did, he needs to step down. The board should be insisting on it!
    He needs to make a serious reckoning about his actions.
    I would be recommending victims to seek help from other suitable and respectable organisations rather than go to this one.
    Tzedek is far too controversial an organisation and too much in the media.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    would be recommending victims to seek help from other suitable and respectable organisations

    I don’t think Manny ever said Tzedek would help victims. That is, it doesn’t provide funds, or therapy, or legal representation, anything else that a victim might need. On Tzedek’s website it says that its mission is to “advocate for Jewish victims/survivors of child sexual abuse and their families”. Advocate, not help.

  • Menachem says:

    @ Joe
    Some advocate!
    He gave the impression that his is an organization that offers support for victims, encourages them to come forward etc.
    In any case, There are others who also advocate for Jewish victims of all sorts.

  • Sunshine says:

    Menachem given the poor record of those meant to protect our children, Tzedek has done more in two years then anyone will ever.

    If left to those who were I charge before, these men would be continuing aided by those in charge.

    Tzedek and multiple organisations like it are stepping on toes, get over it, there’s probably more to come and getting all
    Upset or deflectin g with words like “great community leader” won’t detract from the path of those actually making a difference.

    [potentially defamatory material removed]

  • Joe in Australia says:

    You might enjoy the idea of people “stepping on toes”, but consider what the phrase describes: someone who hurts other people out of clumsiness or a lack of consideration for other people.

    It has been suggested that the late Ezzy Kestecher may himself have been a victim of sexual abuse. In any event, the circumstances of his tragic death should make us take a hard look at the motives of the people who ran prurient whispering campaigns against Rabbi Glick and other people, both guilty and innocent.

    We don’t need secret vigilantes mounting private prosecutions via press release. The police are the ones charged with investigating allegations of sexual offences; their actions so far seem to have been responsible and conducted with an appropriate regard for the rights of both victims and the accused. Kol hakavod to Manny Waks for his initial actions in reporting his abuse to the police, but everything since then has shown that personal and private judgment is no substitute for formalised procedures carried out in accordance with the law.

  • Avigael says:

    Whatever the case, Manny Waks is one of the ONLY people to stand up for the victims … while everyone else sat on their backside. Before any of you criticize, perhaps you might want to tell us all what you did to protect the children? Oh, we know that answer already – NOTHING because they went on and were abused for years. Just like all the other abuses swept under the carpet that no one wants to know about until it hits the media. Shame on you all.

  • Menachem says:

    @ Avigail
    There is no doubt that Manny’s initial intention for setting up Tzedek was good.
    Still, the fact he had to an official issue an apology for a very serious case of defamation, indicates that he has erred, very badly.
    Now, no one is going to sit on their backsides.. I hope, and all those in responsible positions will deal with all child abuse issues appropriately.
    This is thanks to Manny’s efforts, true.
    Yet, as of late, his credibility is being questioned and that can’t be good. Not for him nor for Tzedek.
    Time to suppress your anger Avigail, and move on. Practice what you preach and stop criticising. You won’t make any difference with that.

  • Avigael says:

    My anger will subside when JUSTICE is done. That concept that this community avoids like the plague, just like their responsibilities.

    People who are victims of the disgusting acts that have been permitted and propagated deal with it on a daily basis. Not just sexual abuse victims. All the others that this community has stolen from, abused, spiritually murdered, destroyed.

    If you think this is a small thing, then you better think again. Justice has only just begun, not finished here.

    You have yet a huge pile of corpses that have have to be accounted for … you dont lose any sleep over those, I can assure you the rest of us do.

    [Editor: Avigael, your last sentence straddles the boundary of what constitutes crazy. Please tone it down or I will suspend your account.]

  • Sunshine says:

    Just spent time reading the supporters of Hey Dads Hughes. In reading the criticisms of the brave women that went to thesis because it was the ONLY way to get justice, I see that Jewish, celebrity or catholic peole like Menachem, joe et all exist everywhere

    Avigael you are correct.

    As for everyone else you are no better than the rest of them. Turn in the TV tonight and watch a current affair. When u hear these victims talk of how they were prevented from reporting and how they became harassed, they may as well be talking about you all.

  • Sunshine says:

    Sorry want to say “Went to the press”

  • Joe in Australia says:

    When allegations were made against Rabbi Glick, “going to the press” did the opposite of securing justice: they libeled an innocent man. Worse, I have seen a regrettable suggestion that the presumption in favour of complainants’ credibility has been refuted by the uncritical way these allegations were advanced. It would be a great pity if future complainants found things harder as a consequence of this.

    Several lawyers of my acquaintance have been surprised by the nature of the news coverage. It may have been driven by the search for ratings, or there may be something more sinister. There was a certain air of vindictiveness about some of the reports, and I was surprised and disappointed to see this coverage fed by Manny Waks on behalf of Tzedek.

    I don’t know why or whether the complainants against Robert Hughes felt the need to go outside the usual channels, but the circumstances (not least the fact that the police had already begun their investigation) are clearly very different. Finally, and for the record, your slurs are baseless, as always, and can do nothing but further lower the regard people have for you.

  • Steven says:

    From A Current Affair, http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/…/the-story-behind-a…, at 1 min 40 sec “The reality is that this day probably would never have happened had it not been for mainstram media particularly this program and Women’s Day.” Publicity encourages more victims to come forward, not ideal, but necessary.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    We’re talking about the the allegations made against Rabbi Glick, not a wholly different case involving a different person in a different state. At the time the allegations were made public the complainant had already approached the police.

    So at the time Manny Waks “posted certain statements” the allagations were already being investigated. This alone makes it wholly incomparable to the Robert Hughes case. And if publicity “encourages more victims to come forward”, it would be a matter for the police, not for someone whose motives are, at best, unclear. The police had no problems calling for other witnesses in earlier cases; why should this one have been different?

    Finally, of course, Rabbi Glick was innocent. No “more” victims could have come forward because there were no victims. This is, after all, why Manny apologised for this frightful debacle. He maligned an innocent man to no point, discrediting not only himself, but the Jewish community. Even if some tortuous (not to say tortious) benefit can be ascribed to his actions, the act was wrong, harmful, and should never be repeated.

  • Menachem says:

    Oh well, it seems that Sunshine and Avigail don’t really care about solutions. They want blood!!
    Schools and organisations have publically announced that programmes and protocols are in place to prevent ( hopefully) future child abuses of any type.
    RCV has regularly sent out letters to the community advocating that reporting to police is mandatory and must be observed.
    The community as a whole is aware!
    If the police are continually involved in investigating these cases, that’s a good thing, isn’t it?
    Or do Sunshine and Avigail prefer to attend public hangings?
    I have had enough of the rhetoric.
    “My anger will subside when JUSTICE is done. That concept that this community avoids like the plague, just like their responsibilities”
    Not any more, Avigail, Not any more. Go and have a cold shower!

  • Avigael says:

    [Editor: This comment has been deleted due to its anti-Chasid, hateful nature. You have been warned numerous times and your account has now been suspended until further notice.]

  • Sunshine says:

    Public hanging? Never thought of that!

  • Raph says:

    Manny Waks has quit his job to work full-time for Tzedek.

    What a chillul that a government grant is paying Manny’s legal bills and campaign of defamation.

    I abhor child sexual abuse. But Manny is frankly not making kids any safer. The schools already enforce strict protocols. He’s simply defaming our community and people.

    Yes, there’s sexual abuse in some communities. ie. the ultra-ultra-Orthodox (ie. Satmar) need to confront the issue. BUT that requires a frum and respectful campaigner who will be respected by the Haredi leaders. Manny Waks is not that person.

  • TheSadducee says:

    @Raph

    Firstly, if you have a problem with the funding that Waks gets, write to your local MP and explain your grievance. Let us all know their response – if you make a good case perhaps things will change. Otherwise one should refrain from criticisms of that type lest they engage in ‘lashon hara’.

    Secondly, I don’t think whether someone is ‘frum’ or not is important to their ability to campaign against child sexual abuse in any community, religious or otherwise. You are welcome to demonstrate otherwise however.

    Thirdly, the ultra-Orthodox leaders need to respect the laws of the land they are in, and shouldn’t be pandered to by enforcing some kind of ‘fit person’ test based on religious observance for discussion on any issues.

    Lastly, Waks is an abuse victim and survivor from a religious community and is aware of their communal idiosyncrasies. Regardless of errors and missteps made, the balance of good still rests with him in terms of addressing this issue communally. Until that balance changes, I think he is suitably qualified to undertake this work.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    TheSadducee, I don’t think anyone here would disagree with your statement that “ultra-Orthodox leaders need to respect the laws of the land”. What Raph said was “Manny is frankly not making kids any safer. The schools already enforce strict protocols.” That is, the schools are already complying both with their legal obligations and (what I understand is currently recognised to be) the best techniques for preventing child abuse.

    This would arguably not have happened without Manny bringing the matter to a head, but he’s certainly not the one currently driving this and I don’t think he has the skills to do so. For instance, I can’t imagine him preparing educational materials for them or reviewing their techniques. In fact, I very much doubt that he’s engaged in a dialogue with the schools at all. This is a great pity: I think our community would really benefit from some sort of structured liaison on this matter, and it’s a shame that Tzedek is not equipped to do it.

  • Steven says:

    Joe, how long ago was Malka Leifer? Did they comply?

  • TheSadducee says:

    @Joe

    I can’t be certain whether they (schools) are complying or not because I’m not privileged to have access to any information assessing their compliance.

    You however appear to be so perhaps you can direct myself and fellow readers to that info so we can examine it ourselves?

    As to Waks’ capabilities – he is part of an organisation that can certainly hire the skills needed to do things like education courses etc – that is normal for most advocacy groups and/or just about any organisation so I’m unsure why you are seizing on him and his capabilities personally?

    As to what he or Tzedek gets up to – why don’t you ask instead of speculating?

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Steven: Malka Leifer left Melbourne in March, 2008. So a bit more than six years ago.

    TheSadducee: I have kids in Yeshiva/Beth Rivka. Before we sent our son there we had a lengthy meeting with the principal, headmaster, coordinators of studies and so forth. I didn’t take notes during that part of the meeting, but their descriptions accorded with my reading about child safety. I’m not associated with the school otherwise, and I can’t speak on their behalf, but I suppose you could ask them for a statement or something.

    As for Manny Waks, you’re the one who said that he was “addressing this issue communally”. It’s easy to refute that claim, by pointing to the fact that he isn’t engaged with Melbourne’s Jewish educational community in a substantive way.

  • TheSadducee says:

    @Joe

    I don’t want to sound particularly harsh but this is what I’ve summed up from your comments –

    yesterday: you make the definitive claim that the schools are already complying with both their legal obligations and exceeding them.

    today: you advise that your evidence of this is that you had a meeting with the people running the school and they reassured you that they are compliant and that your reading in child safety accorded with their reassurances.

    So – you don’t actually have any proof other than your own personal opinion from ONE meeting with people who have an interest in reassuring you (after all, the school is a business and they want you to send your children there) based on your reading about child safety (whatever that was?) that your claim yesterday is actually correct and factual.

    I hope you’ll pardon my cynicism in questioning the value of your assurance and the motivation of your personal attack on Waks based on your comments!

    As to Waks himself, I disagree – he is addressing this issue communally – by setting up an organisation that actually probes the goings-on in the community and disseminating that information in a variety of forums. After all, we’re talking about it right now on a communal website.

    Incidentally, engagement is a 2 way street – you need a partner to talk to in a discussion. Do you think, seriously, that any educational institution that has had problems of this sort, really wants to engage with individuals who have brought this into the public forum and obligated them to respond in ways that have been unpalatable to them?

    And finally, how do you know if Tzedek or Waks is or isn’t engaged with the Melbourne Jewish educational community? Have you done some investigative research into the matter to confirm this? Or are you peddling gossip? or your own personal beliefs?

  • Joe in Australia says:

    TheSadducee wrote:

    I hope you’ll pardon my cynicism in questioning the value of your assurance and the motivation of your personal attack on Waks based on your comments!

    No, I don’t think your cynicism is warranted. I freely acknowledge that my knowledge is limited to that of a concerned parent who is engaged with his children’s teachers and the school officials; who interviewed many of them at length – I think the meeting took a couple of hours – and has since kept abreast of school announcements and external reports. That’s substantial enough for me to say that I have a firm basis for my opinion. In contrast, you haven’t indicated that you have any basis for your opinions.

    And finally, how do you know if Tzedek or Waks is or isn’t engaged with the Melbourne Jewish educational community? Have you done some investigative research into the matter to confirm this? Or are you peddling gossip? or your own personal beliefs?

    The claim that “Manny Waks isn’t engaged with Melbourne’s Jewish educational community in a substantive way” would not be a very interesting item of gossip. In any event, it would be up to you to show that he does have a substantial level of engagement; I can’t prove a negative. I can say, though, that Manny has been very thorough about keeping the world abreast of his public activities, and he doesn’t indicate that he has any interest in what I would call a substantive engagement: that is, liaising between schools, preparing curricula, or organising professional training. This doesn’t make him a bad person; just that there is arguably a role that remains to be filled.

    For what it’s worth, he has actually announced a personal lawsuit against Yeshiva/Beth Rivka. This follows on from his ill-advised promotion of a criminal case against its former principal. He has a perfect right to sue them, of course, but it implies that he isn’t engaged in any other sort of dialogue with that school.

  • TheSadducee says:

    @Joe

    Instead of wasting our time discussing back and forth these issues why don’t you contact Tzedek yourself and work with them to build bridges and perhaps a more substantive relationship with Yeshivah etc rather than criticise the organisation and its staff online?

    And now to the critical point – what do you think would happen to you in your community if you were to do so publicly and openly?

  • Steven says:

    I think everyone agrees that all schools don’t want paedophiles molesting kids. The question is what the Rabbi would recommend to do, if a parent reported that his son was molested at school.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    The organisation is Manny Waks. I don’t think he even has a phone line in Tzedek’s name. And it’s hardly criticism to say that he’s not doing something which which he would (a) be unsuited for; and which (b) he never said he would do. Similarly, I hope you will refrain from criticising me if I let Manny and Yeshivah work out their differences together, and thereby avoid trying to do something that I would be unsuited for.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Thanks Joe – I see that you are one of those fine contributors to the community who criticises public figures online from the safety of anonymity but when called out to do something begs off the responsibility themselves.

    Nonetheless best of luck with everything going forward and let’s hope that the measures in place do actually prevent anything unpleasant occurring.

  • Leader Indignation says:

    I try to keep up with these discussions about Manny.

    One thing I find fascinating though is how “shocked” the community and the School leaders are about having to defend against abuse allegations.

    If you are an individual that has spent 40 years plus leading or teaching in the community education sector you will be accused of and have to defend all sorts of things. Any sector in the public eye for that matter. Sexual abuse is of course the pinnacle of issues but With great power comes great responsibility!

    When I was a youth worker my managers made it very clear to us all to expect investigations regularly … as anyone can make allegations about anything, anytime. That is our justice system.

    Consequently I have to say I was surprised that RGlick attacked Manny back and threatened and ducked for cover when this all happened. I respect RGlick greatly and just wish he had acted like a true statesman and leader at those difficult times…

    I wanted him to calmly and publicly welcome the investigation, wish the obviously-hurt complainant well, and welcome the scrutiny.

    That is what innocent people and especially great leaders do. Those who sell spiritual harmony and insight must demonstrate it – especially at the most difficult times.

    Instead the school engaged in legalistic attacks and defences… and manny is now suing them in return.

    Would he have sued them otherwise? I don’t know. But the virulent reaction and unstatesmanlike defensiveness brings it on.

    He has a very strong case of negligence and cover up as far as I can see from a great distance – just depends on the rules about limitations and how long allegations can stay dormant.

  • naftoli says:

    Two things spring to mind when I read Leader Indignation’s comments above
    1) I understand your comments about Rabbi Glick and acting like a statesman but believe that his overprotective (overbearing?) family ‘got in the way’. I don’t believe that Rabbi Glick was allowed to respond in a way that was indicative of his real personality
    2) I, and many others, believe that Manny’s whole raison d’etre was and is to punish Yeshivah. It is understandable that he is angry with those that supposedly didn’t handle his molestation appropriately but I believe that he has used Tzedek to gain notoriety and acceptance by the wider community in order to further his personal vendetta. I don’t believe his suing Yeshivah has anything to do with Rabbi Glick.

  • Naftoli you may want to look at the names of the defendants on Mr. Waks’ civil case number S CI 2013 01744.

    And there has been yet another guilty plea the facts of which appear to contradict public statements and assurances of Yeshiva Centre.

  • Steven says:

    naftoli – ” It is understandable that he is angry with those that supposedly didn’t handle his molestation appropriately” – nice euphemism “appropriately”.

    Sending Kramer overseas to re-offend is ‘inappropriate’? Letting Cyprys keep working at Yeshivah is ‘inappropriate’? Letting paedophiles continue raping is ‘inappropriate’? So would you say murdering children would be,say, ‘unacceptable’ or ‘not good’?

    jwb – the new guilty plea was in Sydney which is Yeshiva not Yeshivah.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Can we please not go through this whole “I know something you don’t know” nonsense again. Who are the defendants you’re talking about. Who pleaded guilty, to what, and what “public statements and assurances” do you think it contradicts?

  • Steven says:

    [editor: This comment is inappropriate and has been removed.]

  • Steven says:

    I didn’t know why on earth you didn’t post my comment, then I googled what Gug means.

    LOL

    Joe wrote : “Who are the defendants you’re talking about. Who pleaded guilty, to what”

    The guy’s name is Gug. That is what everyone calls him. Is Daniel Hayman better?

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Either name is fine. I was confused by the reference to the Yeshiva Centre.

Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.