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Time to fess up

September 24, 2014 – 1:38 pm2 Comments

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Dear Friends,

 

As we approach Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we reflect on the past, and what we would do differently had we the opportunity.

 

We so often make promises to G-d, that if he blesses us, we will do what is right this time.

 

The stain and stigma of the child sexual abuse perpetrated in our midst remains.

 

There have been a number of convictions before the courts in the past year.

 

Many have stated that times were different then, and that’s why the crimes went on for so long and the perpetrators were allowed to continue roaming the corridors of our shules, schools, mikvahs and community. They have said if we had our time over again, we would protest and not sit idly by.

 

There is a petition being circulated to make matters right.

 

The leadership of our community have made it clear, that it is incumbent on each and every one of us to hold to account those who perpetrated child sexual abuse against our children.

 

This same communal leadership made it clear that it is incumbent on each and every one of us to hold to account those who covered-up child sexual abuse against our children.

 

Yom Kippur is a time when we do teshuvah (repentance), remembering and acknowledging past wrongdoing and making a commitment for the future. It’s a perfect time for atonement.

Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, President of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, Yom Kippur 2013.

 

If there are people in synagogues confessing to the almighty for being engaged in abuse or being engaged in covering up of abuse, it’s not enough. They must speak to their victims and they must ask their victims forgiveness.

Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, 2014.

 

Anyone found to have betrayed the trust of children under their care or supervision must be held to account…

Joint Statement of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria, 2011.

 

The RCV reaffirms its utmost condemnation of those who perpetrate such evils against children or turn a blind eye to them.

Rabbinical Council of Victoria, 2012.

 

Sign the petition here

 

Don’t be afraid. Make a stand. G-d rewards the righteous, and punishes the wicked according to our Holy Books.

 

If you love your children, if you love your grandchildren, if you genuinely care about the safety and welfare of each child, you will sign, so that there is a lesson for all generations: no matter who you are, if you fail to protect children in your care or in the care of the institutions you preside over, you have no place as a leader within the Jewish Community.

 

Shana Tova

 

Read more about the petition as covered by The Age.

 

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