Delays, Delays, Delays… Malka Leifer, Judge Lomp Do you Think Her Victims Get to Delay Their Nightmares?

Malka Leifer in court in May 2018.

Court orders new psych report for accused child sex abuser Malka Leifer

Jerusalem The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that a new psychiatric report is needed to assess if former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer is fit to face an extradition trial over child sex abuse allegations.

Judge Chana Miriam Lomp on Monday presented a distant deadline of December 10 for the new assessment to be filed by three psychiatrists, in order for the court to decide if Leifer is truly mentally unfit, or faking her illness.Now at hearing 57, the case to try and bring the former principal of the Ultra- Orthodox Adass Israel school in Elsternwick in Melbourne’s south-east back to Australia to face 74 charges of rape and child sex abuse has met countless delays.

Judge Lomp in court said the evidence she had seen hadn’t reached a significant benchmark to automatically state that Leifer had been feigning her illness and therefore was fit enough to face justice.

Manny Waks, chief executive officer of the child sex abuse prevention group Kol v’Oz, said after the hearing that the decision was the “worst-case scenario”.

“It leaves the entire case in limbo and it’s just prolonging the pain and suffering to Leifer’s alleged victims,” Waks said.

Dassi Erlich, one of the survivors of Leifer’s alleged abuse who has been fighting to bring Leifer back to Australia for eight years, said the ruling left her feeling defeated.

In five years of court hearings, 30 psychiatrists have already been involved in determining if Leifer is fit to face extradition trial.

“How is this not enough? How many more psychiatrists need to weigh in? How much more emotional pain?,” Erlich said after the hearing.

“We are defeated but we will not give up.”Erlich and her two sisters intended to travel to Israel from Melbourne for the court hearing but cancelled their plans due to the continual and exhausting delays in the justice system.”We’ve decided to push off our trip to Israel and reserve our energy until there is more certainty regarding next steps in this long process,” Erlich announced earlier in the month.

Allegations of child sex abuse were first raised against Leifer in 2008.

The continual delays in court and the findings that Israel’s Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman acted to have medical assessments altered in Leifer’s favour has raised question marks around Israel’s judiciary.

To continue reading click here.

Kol V’Oz – Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in the Global Jewish Community

Special Thanks to the Contributor of this Newsletter

 

Dear Lost Messiah,
I’m delighted to announce that Kol v’Oz has been granted Core Participant status in the forthcoming investigation into the UK Jewish community by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). This means that Kol v’Oz and I will be an active part of the Inquiry and will be able to testify, ask questions of witnesses, make submissions, among other benefits. A public hearing will be held in March 2020.

Those of you who followed the monumental Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse would be aware of the significant positive impact this continues to have both in the broader Australian society and more specifically in the Jewish community. We hope and expect this to also be the case in the UK.

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has been sexually abused within a Jewish institution in the UK to contact IICSA to share your story. Please feel free to contact me as well (or alternatively, if contacting IICSA is an issue). Please also contact me if you have any information regarding cover-ups and/or intimidation within any UK Jewish institution.

Our colleagues at Migdal Emunah have also received Core Participant status – please feel free to contact them as well. We will continue to work together with Migdal Emunah to ensure the Inquiry is well-equipped to investigate the Jewish community properly and to ultimately make appropriate recommendations to ensure justice is achieved for victims/survivors of child sexual abuse and to ensure the safety of our children today and into the future.

Please share the above information with anyone you think may be interested.

Obviously there are costs to participate in the Inquiry – and for our work more broadly – so if you’re in a position to support us financially, please do so by clicking here. There are tax deductible options available in the US and in Israel. We’re currently working on an Australian option as well. Thank you in advance!

As always, I’ve shared below a range of relevant material.

On this Tisha b’Av, I’d like to share a Kinah from a survivor of child sexual abuse.

Warmest,

Manny Waks
Chief Executive Officer

Debbie Wiener is the former Chair of the now-defunct The Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence. This organisation has caused damage to many in the Jewish community. It has recently come to my attention that Debbie is on the board of a new Jewish organisation that deals with another vulnerable group of people. I feel compelled to protect this group by sharing publicly relevant information.
Israel Police has recommended to charge Deputy Health Minister, Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, in the Malka Leifer case. Click: i24YnetThe Jerusalem PostThe Sydney Morning HeraldThe Jewish ChronicleJ-WireThe Australian Jewish News
In response to the latest sexual scandal involving Chabad, I wrote an oped titled Chabad – a law unto itself. Subsequently, there was a further allegation in the same case, which ultimately prompted the Chabad rabbi to resign from his Rabbinic post (but not as director).
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Some quotes from a 2008 article, soon after Adass purchased plane tickets for Malka Leifer to evade justice immediately after allegations of child sexual abuse were made against her:

[Adass spokesperson Norman] Rosenbaum said it was “categorically just not true” that the school purchased Leifer’s ticket to Israel after she resigned amid still unconfirmed rumours that she behaved inappropriately toward students.

He denied the school had tried to cover up allegations, and said “the school has not yet received any complaints”.

And a quote from a 2017 article:

The group then told Leifer she would be stood down as the head of the Adass school. But then, in a fateful decision, it was agreed that rather than report Leifer to the police, the principal should be spirited out of the country.

Rosenbaum was reportedly a part of the decision-making group.

All those at Adass who were involved in the cover-up in any way must be held to full account – for justice and to ensure the safety of children today.

The one-year look-back window for New York victims and survivors to sue their abusers or the institutions where the abuse took place commences on 14 August 2019. This was part of the New York Child Victims’ Act, which recently came into effect. We are proud to have been part of a broad coalition, over many years, who successfully lobbied for the archaic laws to change – in spite of fierce opposition from the Catholic Church, the ultra-Orthodox community and others. We encourage everyone who feels they can pursue some semblance of justice to do so. Please ensure to obtain proper legal advice. Click here for additional information.
More hypocrisy from David Werdiger…

Werdiger’s ‘thought of the week’ to members of JBD – Jews of the (Melbourne) CBD tells readers of Hasidic teachings about the power of words which can be used to ‘hurt and to deceive’. Werdiger is especially concerned about ’choos(ing) our words even more carefully’ when it comes to social media.

Yet an independent IT report has found that Werdiger, through Objectivewear Pty Ltd, a Company of which he was a Director and Shareholder, was behind the infamous anonymous blog site ‘The Fifth Chelek’ which was highlighted at the Australian Royal Commission for its anonymous attacks against victims of child sexual abuse, their families and supporters. This blog played a key role in the demonisation of victims/survivors and creating the culture that inspired it.

To date, Werdiger has failed to accept responsibility for his involvement with this blog. Nevertheless, he has continued to preach on the Jewish perspective of using words carefully, decried the fact that because of social media ‘things people have written years or decades ago (privately or publicly) are hauled out to haunt them’ and the closest he has come to an apology is ‘acknowledging that there are things that I have said or done in the past that I would not say or do now’. He has also sought to play a leadership role in reshaping the Constitution of the Yeshivah Centre, notwithstanding his role in the events which led to the Royal Commission and the restructuring of the Yeshivah Centre.

And to be clear, this was not Werdiger’s only infraction.

It’s important for victims/survivors to hold to account those who have wronged them, especially when they continue to preach shamelessly. It’s important to us for the public to know that Werdiger, among others, is a hypocrite.

Manny Waks – Letter to Lost Messiah –

Newsletter 5/2018
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https://mailchi.mp/770ad6de32b9/newsletter-1947229?e=58da27f930

Dear Lost Messiah,
I write this e-newsletter on the eve of yet another trip back to Australia – this time, to represent many victims/survivors of institutional child sexual abuse within the Australian Jewish community, and their families, at the Federal Government’s National Apology in Canberra on 22 October. My thoughts will also be with those children who were sexually abused overseas due to Australian Jewish institutions’ negligence. I will also think of the vast majority of child sexual abuse victims/survivors within our society; those who were sexually abused within the institution of family.

Hopefully, this Government apology will have its desired effect. Importantly, institutions should not see this apology as absolving them of their responsibilities. Nor should these institutions think that an apology, compensation or other forms of redress on their part will suffice. These institutions have often caused life-long, irreparable damage to so many children under their care. It will take a lifetime to try to heal and repair the damage.

Well done to all concerned, especially former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Royal Commission. It’s a good time to try to heal.

On a personal note, I’ve had a number of successes recently. First, as noted in the last e-newsletter, I expect Australia to seek the extradition of my first abuser, Velvel Serebryanski. Second, I was delighted to reach a financial settlement with the Yeshivah Centre in response to my civil claim against them. But to be clear, despite the settlement reached, I still view this institution to be rotten to the core (see relevant articles below).

Regards,
Manny

• Click here to read my statement re Yeshivah Centre settlement.
• Click here to read  Yeshivah’s statement, and my response.
• Click here to read  Yeshivah’s subsequent clarification regarding the roles of (Rabbis) Groner and Telsner, and my response.
I’d encourage those of you who can to attend this milestone event
Merv Adler (above) was the last Yeshivah Centre Board member to resign in disgrace after the Royal Commission in 2015. He has written the following disgusting comments in a public forum (not his first indiscretion), which reinforces some of what I’ve been saying regarding that rotten institution:

Now that the Yeshivah has embarked on the road of embryonic democracy, is it not up to the Boards and members as to the employment or roles of Rabbis Groner and Telsner? It pains me to say this, but I think it’s time Manny Waks lets go of the Yeshivah. It seems that he is as addicted to the Yeshivah as Pharoah was to his Jews. It might not be perfect, and there could well still be some soul searching left for the Yeshivah, but it’s time to draw the line in the sand and say – what ever has been said, has been said. Whatever has been paid, has been paid. What ever changes were required to be made by the Yeshivah have been made. What ever group photos and apologies were necessary have been taken and given. Time for the Yeshivah and Manny Waks to recognise a complete and comprehensive divorce from each other. As a member of the Yeshivah, it is well and truly enough. Let the Yeshivah go forward from strength to strength and let Manny Waks live the life G-d intended for him. Wishing all a wonderful year and may we all be inscribed in the Book of Life.

And if you’re wondering whether any lay or religious leader spoke out against his vile hate speech, no, not a single one of them did! Further evidence that the community still has a very long way to go. Sad and offensive.

At least my good friend and colleague Phillip Weinberg responded publicly:

What an extraordinary comment from one of the people responsible for the events which led Yeshivah to the Royal Commission and the last one to take responsibility for his horrific failures and to resign.

As you should know, Groner’s role is not up to the Boards and members. He rewarded his failures by appointing himself to the Boards for life. Telsner’s role is indeed up to the Boards and members and the fact that he is still employed there (presumably because he has been doing the Rebbe’s work while attacking victims of child sexual abuse and their families) tells you everything you need to know about the place.

If Manny has an addiction, it is to ensuring the safety of children and that people who behaved appallingly in relation to child sexual abuse are held to account. Some more people with the same affliction in that place would not go astray.

It’s well and good for you, one of the people responsible for the way victims were treated, to say ‘it’s time to draw the line in the sand’ while victims are still hurting.

Rather than ‘a complete and comprehensive divorce from each other’ (as you suggest), Yeshivah should create an environment where Manny Waks and its many other victims feel safe attending Yeshivah and are held up as heroes on account of the Yeshivah children they have saved while those responsible for the mistreatment of victims feel shame whenever they enter the place.

To say ‘what ever changes were required to be made by the Yeshivah have been made’ while people like Telsner and Groner who led Yeshivah to the Royal Commission continue their involvement and cause ongoing suffering to victims is vile and disingenuous.

Once ‘whatever changes were required to be made’ have indeed been made, then ‘let the Yeshivah go forward from strength to strength’.

Until then I hope that Manny continues to shine a light on Yeshivah so that your children and other peoples children can be safe.

Wishing you the insight into your own behavior to seek forgiveness from the people you have hurt and continue to hurt. I suspect another Yom Kippur will be wasted on Yeshivah.

https://www.jewishnews.net.au/all-change-at-the-yeshivah-centre/42341

Chabad Lubavitch UK, Golders Green, North London Honors Child Molester of 14 Year-old Girl; Attempts Damage Control After Exposure — Chafraud-Depravitch

On January 6, 2018 Manny Waks reported the details of a recent event at a Chabad synagogue in the UK at which another convicted Chabad child molester was celebrated with honors. Manny Waks blog: Another major Chabad injustice 6/1/2018 Convicted child sexual abuser Mendel Levy ​​Chabad, they’ve managed to do it again. After everything we’ve […]

via Chabad Lubavitch UK, Golders Green, North London Honors Child Molester of 14 Year-old Girl; Attempts Damage Control After Exposure — Chafraud-Depravitch

An Unholy Alliance – The Catholic Church and the Haredim – Sexual Abuse Cover-Ups

 

How could this happen again?’ Why this Catholic abuse scandal seems worse than 2002

 

(CNN)This is how bad things are in the Catholic Church right now: The Pope’s top adviser on clergy sexual abuse canceled a trip to Ireland for a papal event because he has to investigate sexual misconduct in his own seminary.

And Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, isn’t alone. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, another key papal ally embroiled in the sex abuse crisis, has also canceled his appearance at next week’s World Meeting of Families, a spokesman told CNN.
Consider the litany of recent incidents in the Catholic Church:
• Catholic bishops have launched investigations into sexual misconduct in seminaries in Boston, Nebraska and Philadelphia.
• The former archbishop of Washington resigned from the College of Cardinals after accusations that he molested seminarians and an altar boy.
• A Catholic bishop in Australia was convicted by a civil court of covering up abuse, and the Vatican has accepted the resignations of six bishops from Latin America after church investigations.
• An Associated Press investigation found evidence that priests and bishops around the world have abused Catholic nuns and sisters for decades.
• Next week, the Pope plans to travel to Ireland, where the former president, in an interview with The Irish Times, recently accused a top Vatican official of pressuring her to “protect” incriminating church documents from civil authorities in 2003. The Vatican has declined to comment on the allegation.
But none of the above compares to the stomach-turning, nearly 900-page grand jury report unveiled Tuesday in Pennsylvania.
The report, two years in the making, revealed shocking accusations: More than 1,000 children had been abused by 300 Catholic “predator priests” in six Pennsylvania dioceses during the past 70 years.
The report also said some church leaders covered up the crimes, shuffling priests from rehab centers to parishes, giving no notice to parents or civil authorities.
The state’s attorney general called it the largest investigation ever by a US government into the Catholic Church. The president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops called it a “moral catastrophe.”
“I know that many of you are asking,” Cardinal Blase Cupich wrote to Catholics in his Chicago archdiocese Friday, “how could this be happening again?”
If the Catholic sexual abuse scandal that came to light in 2002 slowly unspooled through news reports, Pennsylvania’s grand jury report landed like an atom bomb, dropping its online horrors all at once. With some redactions, the report was readily available for everyone to read and share: the accusations of sexual deviance, shameless lies and deceitful churchmen.
“What we have now is people freely expressing their outrage on Facebook and Twitter,” said Greg Kandra, a Catholic deacon in Brooklyn, New York. “The anger is palpable. This is like 2002 on steroids.”
To continue reading click here.

 

Child sexual abuse, cover-ups and intimidation — a global Jewish community snapshot

A global Jewish community snapshot in light of revelations in Baltimore, and an ongoing Australian case
Rabbi Steven (Shmuel) Krawatsky, formerly of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore (via The New York Jewish Week)

Rabbi Steven (Shmuel) Krawatsky, formerly of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore (via The New York Jewish Week)

In the wake of a recent child sexual abuse scandal to hit the Jewish community, this time in Baltimore, it is an opportune time to examine similar cases around the Jewish world and reflect on how we have responded to them. Learning from these will help us respond more adequately to such scandals in the future.

For this purpose, I will focus on what has recently transpired in Australia and the United Kingdom.

In 2011, during my tenure as Vice President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), I publicly disclosed for the first time that I had been sexually abused as a child by two perpetrators while a student at Melbourne Chabad’s Yeshivah Centre.

While initially applauded by some, this revelation and my subsequent public advocacy on the broader issue of child sexual abuse unleashed a torrent of additional abuse from many quarters, most notably from many within the global Chabad community, including its leaders and their supporters.

The week after the disclosure, Yeshivah’s senior rabbi, Tzvi Hirsch Telsner, asked a question directed at me and my family in his Shabbat sermon: “Who gave you permission to speak?” An Australian Judicial Inquiry, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, later confirmed that Rabbi Telsner effectively intimidated me and my family (and others) in an attempt to silence us.

The intimidation and cover-up attempts came not just from the Chabad community, the centre of the scandal and investigation. Much of it came from the mainstream Jewish community, including those at the highest levels of leadership. Dr Danny Lamm, then president of the ECAJ, publicly supported Yeshivah’s reactions during the scandal, despite clear evidence that they were behaving unconscionably. The ECAJ recently apologised for its part in the scandal, but Lamm has stubbornly refused to do so

To read the remainder of the article, click here:

 

 

The Rabbinical Counsel of New South Wales – following the blog of Manny Waks

MANNY WAKS – BLOG

The farcical Rabbinical Council of NSW

8/8/2018

Picture

On 13 December 2016, I lodged a formal complaint with the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) regarding one of its members, Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, the long-time Head Chabad Emissary in NSW. As the matter has still not been resolved (around a year and eight months later), and after countless attempts on my part to try to have the matter resolved, below I share the correspondence between the RCNSW and myself. It seems the Mashiach (Messiah) will arrive before the RCNSW belatedly does the right thing. Important to remember that the RCNSW is the peak Orthodox Rabbinic body in NSW….

Manny Waks email to Rabbi Eli Cohen, President of the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) – 13 December 2016:

Rabbi Cohen,

I wish to lodge a formal complaint in respect of Rabbi Pinchas Feldman, and ask that he be removed as a member of the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales (RCNSW).

In making this complaint, I refer to the recent formal statement by the Rabbinic Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ), Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) and RCNSW in response to the findings of the public hearing into Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

As you are aware, the RCANZ, RCV and RCNSW publicly stated:

“[T]hat those who did not fulfil their legal responsibility to protect children should step down from public positions, and that those who denigrated victims have lost their moral right to serve.”

I refer to the following findings by the Royal Commission in respect of Rabbi Pinchas Feldman, including but not limited to:

  1. As dean of Yeshiva Bondi – Rabbi Pinchas Feldman failed to ensure that the Yeshiva Bondi had a formal written policy in respect of complaints of child sexual abuse, despite mandatory reporting being introduced in 1988 and there being an express requirement that Rabbi Feldman have such policies.
  2. As dean of Yeshiva Bondi – Rabbi Pinchas Feldman failed to ensure that the Yeshiva Bondi recorded complaints of child sexual abuse, despite mandatory reporting being introduced in 1988 and there being an express requirement that Rabbi Feldman ensure such complaints were properly recorded.
  3. As dean of Yeshiva Bondi – Rabbi Pinchas Feldman failed to undertake any formal training in respect of child sexual abuse, despite the requirement that he do so.
  4. Rabbi Pinchas Feldman did not take any steps to inform anyone that AVL [alleged perpetrator of child sexual abuse and relative of Rabbi Pinchas Feldman] was contemplating leaving Australia.
  5. Rabbi Yosef Feldman [son of Rabbi Pinchas Feldman] was appointed to his roles at Yeshiva Bondi, including those as director and dean of the Yeshivah Gedolah Rabbinical College by Rabbi Pinchas Feldman. Rabbi Yosef Feldman advised the Royal Commission, and the Royal Commission accepted, that Rabbi Yosef Feldman relied heavily on Rabbi Pinchas Feldman for guidance and advice in respect of governance and legal requirements. Accordingly, failures of Rabbi Yosef Feldman, are attributable to Rabbi Pinchas Feldman, as he failed in his duty to provide proper oversight and guidance to Rabbi Yosef Feldman, who acted under his direction, and expressly relied on Rabbi Pinchas Feldman to “bring all matter of importance to his attention”.
  6. Rabbi Pinchas Feldman was a party to several emails which are a matter of public record, that denigrated victims who had reported Hayman to Police. These emails included assertions that:
  • the reporting of Hayman was an act of mesirah;
  • Hayman had no recollection of the incident and we are relying on a 12-year-old’s memory;
  • that the truth could not be found as Hayman had ‘cut a deal’;
  • that Hayman was innocent and the allegations were similar to the ‘orchestrated testimony’ against Rabbi Glick; and
  • that a man in his fifties should not be punished for allegations made about his youth.

Rabbi Pinchas Feldman made no statements to counter the views expressed in the emails. In doing so, Rabbi Feldman was a party to conduct that denigrated victims.

Based on the above, it seems that Rabbi Pinchas Feldman did not fulfil his moral, religious and legal responsibility to protect children, and was a party to conduct that denigrated victims. Accordingly, consistent with the statement of the RCANZ, RCV and RCNSW, it seems clear that Rabbi Pinchas Feldman has lost his moral right to serve the community and should step down from all his public positions, including as a member of the RCNSW. Alternatively, the RCNSW should act swiftly and decisively to stand Rabbi Feldman down.

Finally, I would like to raise a conflict of interest concern. I understand that as Head Chabad Shliach (Emissary) in NSW, Rabbi Pinchas Feldman is effectively your superior, and has a range of powers over you, including the ability to stand you down from your position. If this is indeed accurate, or if you have any other similar relationship with Rabbi Feldman, your involvement in dealing with his matter puts you in a serious conflict of interest. Therefore, your request of another victim to lodge formal complaints regarding Rabbi Feldman directly with you are, in my opinion, and based on any robust governance principles, highly inappropriate.

I look forward to your response in due course.

Sincerely,
Manny Waks

To read the responses click here.

Manny Waks – New Wall of Shame – Sexual Abuse and the Royal Commission

 

http://www.mannywaks.com/blog/wall-of-shame#comments