Malka Leifer – The ONLY Way to Serve Justice for the Abused is to Return Her to Australia – Victims Abused by the System

Demonstration against Malka Leifer outside the Jerusalem District Court

MALKA LEIFER JUDGE: PANEL TO RULE ON ALLEGED PEDOPHILE’S MENTAL STATE

Decisions will stretch out even further legal proceedings to extradite alleged sex offender which have taken nearly six years

Judge Chana Miriam Lomp said that since there has been a considerable of conflicting information and testimony on the case she needed to hear from a new expert panel in order to make a definitive ruling on Leifer’s mental fitness.

A hearing on October 6 in the Jerusalem District Court will determine which psychiatrists will be on the three-member panel.

The panel will be expected to issue its opinion by December 10.

The decision will mean that the legal efforts to extradite Leifer to Australia which have already taken six years will drag on even longer, frustrating Leifer’s alleged victims and activists who have waged a concerted campaign for Leifer to stand trial in Australia.

Leifer is standing trial for extradition on 74 counts of sexual abuse in Australia against sisters Dassi Erlich, Ellie Sapper and Nicole Meyer while she was principal of an ultra-Orthodox school, but has for many years claimed to be mentally unfit for extradition.

Jewish Community Watch stated that it was very disappointed with the judge’s decision to consult with a new expert panel.

“After more than 57 court hearings, the court has pushed off the decision once again and assigned it to yet another group of psychiatrists,” said JCW.

“The real decisions the court has made today is that it wishes to be seen as an international embarrassment instead of a justice system which protects the most vulnerable.

“We continue to support the survivors, who have waited far longer than any victim should have to in order to simply face their alleged abuser in court. Their fight for justice is our fight, and we hope the community will rally around them until such time that Leifer is finally extradited back to Australia.”

Leifer’s lawyer Attorney Yehuda Fried spun the decision as in favor of his client arguing that “the court has determined that the state has not lifted its burden [of proof] and argued that the ruling meant Leifer would not be extradited.

Fried also said that he would petiiton the court to release Leifer from prison where she has been held since she was rearrested in 2018.

Leifer fled Australia to come to Israel in 2008, but legal proceedings against her only began in 2014.

A psychiatric panel ruled on Leifer’s case at the beginning of the legal proceedings against her that she was fit to stand trial for extradition to Australia but a private investigation into her situation in 2017 conducted on behalf of the Jewish Community Watch organization raised severe questions over her supposed psychiatric incapacity to stand trial.

The police subsequently initiated its own investigation and arrested Leifer in 2018 on suspicion of feigning mental illness to avoid extradition.

In May 2017 after a previous hearing in the District Court, private investigator Tzafrir Tzahi who carried out the private investigation into Leifer, said that his team had observed Leifer for two weeks and that her behavior and functioning seemed perfectly normal.

“During the investigation we saw that she was functioning like a normative woman and mother,” said Tzahi.

“She does the shopping, hosts her children on Shabbat, goes to the grocery store, goes to the post office, speaks a lot on the cell phone, laughs, converses with people, nothing that could indicate a problem with her daily functioning,” he continued, adding that they had also witnessed her writing cheques and paying bills.

Tzahi noted that Leifer does not work, but that she occasionally goes to Bnei Brak, alone by public transport, for various arrangements and also to meet one of her children.

He also stated that during the entire two weeks his team had tracked her they had not seen her husband once.

To continue reading click here.

The Rabbinic Counsel of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ) and its Distorted Take… A Lack of Accountability

australian-coat-of-arms

Why the president of RCANZ must stand down

 

THE leading rabbis of Australia have shown a lack of respect for the Australian legal system by ignoring a ruling of three courts and instead focusing on one dissenting opinion, writes Joshua Levi.

After the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the rabbis called time on the tarnished Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia and launched the Rabbinic Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ) as a sign the rabbinate was turning over a new leaf.

“We will look to work together with rabbinic and lay leadership to create a robust rabbinate that the entire community can be proud of and we hope to only bring honour to the community,” Rabbi Paul Lewin, the first president of the organisation said when RCANZ was founded.

Rabbi Lewin said the new organisation would help educate members to face the challenges of the modern rabbinate, develop a code of conduct which all members must adhere to, and represent them more efficiently and effectively to the broader community.

There was so much hope that there would actually be reform, but this week RCANZ has failed the community.

Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, the president of RCANZ, was one of four rabbis of the Sydney Beth Din found guilty of contempt of court by the NSW Supreme Court in December 2017.

He should have immediately stepped aside as president, but several leading rabbis told me that it would inappropriate while he appealed the conviction.

In December 2018, two out of three judges ruled against Rabbi Gutnick and the other rabbis in the NSW Court of Appeal.

When the appeal was rejected, several rabbis on the RCANZ executive couldn’t take it any more and resigned.

Mount Scopus principal Rabbi James Kennard was one of those who quit, noting that RCANZ was meant to provide “much-needed rabbinic leadership with integrity, to demonstrate that rabbis could act with professionalism and accountability”, but it failed because Rabbi Gutnick didn’t resign as president.

“There was silence,” Rabbi Kennard said of RCANZ.

“No resignation, no accountability.

“When the appeal against that verdict was rejected, still silence.”

Rabbi Kennard said at the time that RCANZ joined other rabbinic bodies that fail to police themselves and thus fail the community that they purport to lead.

“It is painful to write these words.

“I do not doubt that I will be condemned by some whom I consider my friends and teachers for speaking publicly.

“But I cannot remain silent when the rabbinate of Australia is prevented from fulfilling its primary task – to provide religious leadership to our community – by the refusal of its representatives to act with the highest standards of integrity, which should be the natural hallmark of any who bear the title ‘rabbi’.”

At the time, rabbis quietly told me that because there was an appeal to the High Court of Australia afoot, that it would be inappropriate to comment and that Rabbi Gutnick should be granted his right to appeal.

Well – last week the High Court of Australia refused to hear that appeal and the case has now come to an end.

To Continue reading the article click here.

 

 

A Plea for the Extradition of Malka Leifer, Still Protected by Israel

United Torah Judaism leader Yaakov Litzman

‘Extradite Leifer’ pleads voter

THE ongoing saga surrounding attempts to extradite Malka Leifer has impacted on the Israeli election, for one Australian oleh at least.

Howard, who asked that his surname be withheld, said he could no longer bring himself to vote for the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party because its leader Yaakov Litzman has been accused of falsifying psychiatric assessments to help the former Adass Israel principal evade extradition.

Litzman is Israel’s Deputy Health Minister. 

The handwritten note calling for Malka Leifer to be extradited.

Howard said he lived in Melbourne during the time that Leifer allegedly committed at least 74 acts of child sexual abuse. Attempts to extradite her have foundered amid claims she is unfit to stand to stand trial.

Referring to the party by its Hebrew shorthand, Gimmel, Howard told The AJN: “I voted for Gimmel in the 2013 and 2015 Knesset Elections. I decided not to vote for Gimmel this time as a result of the alleged conduct of Deputy Health Minister Litzman in falsifying Malka Leifer being mentally ill in order to prevent her to face the justice system of the State of Victoria.”

Instead, Howard cast what is called an informal ballot on which he penned a note, “Extradite Malka Leifer to Australia.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties are desperate to avoid a Blue and White-led government, fearing that it would mean conscription for yeshivah students. 

They engaged in frantic last-minute campaigning, with one party even holding a huge election rally, despite normally rejecting such events as unbefitting religious leaders. 

There, one of the party’s leaders, Moshe Gafni, predicted doom if his party didn’t come out of the vote strong, telling the crowd of thousands that they are “in the middle of a war over Shabbat” and “a war for yeshivah students”, meaning to avoid their conscription. 

Now, the ultra-Orthodox parties look poised to hold on to their 13 Knesset seats – but only after the fight of a lifetime.

They struggled hard to avoid losing votes to right-wing parties. The unprecedented election rally brought together rabbis from rival camps who don’t normally talk. The event for the UTJ party, in Jerusalem, united people from Chassidic and non-Chassidic communities. 

To continue reading the article in its entirety click here.

Sexual Abuse Within the Catholic Church, no Different from the Jewish Establishment – Justice Should be Same

The Catholic Church and the Jewish Establishment, Holding Someone Accountable – The New Yorker Article

Dear Reader:

We are posting excerpts of the following article from the New Yorker, despite its focus on the Catholic Church. Victims are victims and both those from within Catholicism and those from within Judaism share harrowing similarities and should share in justice and holding those in charge accountable.

We do not view the injustices that have occurred within the Jewish community to be any different and may even be worse. The nature of the sexual abuses are the same, a person entrusted with the care and upbringing of children has used religious observance as a means to serially abuse. The determination of the establishment to cover up the abuse is equally as similar among the Catholic Church and the Jewish establishment.

Where the Catholic Church differs, however, is that it does not as a pattern and practice brainwash its victims into this notion of “Mesira” or “reporting,” shunning families and leaving those victimized to be isolated and thereby re-victimized over and over by the community. The Catholic Church, while trying to strong-arm victims into remaining quiet, has not resorted to the same dark and tragic methods of using the very belief in G-d as both the sword and the shield to cover up and avoid accountability for the sexual abuse that has been rampant within the community.

We thank the write for this piece and we hope that this, along with admissions by religious Jewish leaders now coming forward with their own stories of abuse, will help to move this forward in a significant and meaningful way.

 

THE NEW YORKER:

What Do the Church’s Victims Deserve?

The Catholic Church is turning to outside arbiters to reckon with its history of sexual abuse. But skeptics argue that its legacy of evasion continues.

Continue reading

Australia, Yeshivah Center – Child Sexual Abuse and Questions [Part II] – Are the Children Safe?

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – Letter to Members – “Real and Present Danger”

Thank you to the source of the following letter, sent to LM on the 25th of March, 2019. We apologize for the formatting. The letter was apparently sent out to members of the Yeshivah Center. 

Letter to the Yeshivah Center Community, re: Royal Commission Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse – Part I

Hat Tip to our Source for the following:

 

To the Yeshivah Center Community – Australia

Dear Members of the Yeshivah Community,

My last public email was in June 2011.

In response to that email, and the assistance I provided to the police and the authorities in relation to incidents of child sexual abuse, including rape, at Yeshivah; my family and I have been subjected to bullying, intimidation and ostracism.

The purveyors of this conduct sent e-mails and used blog sites where they anonymously posted vile and abusive comments, as part of the demonization of victims, advocates and their families. This conduct was part of a wider cultural problem at Yeshivah, that manifested in a dangerous environment for children, as was so painfully and publicly exposed by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The purveyors of this conduct acted under the mistaken and perhaps arrogant belief that their identities would never be discovered and exposed. They arguably demonstrated that they feared man, more than G-d, in stark contrast to their projected ‘religious’ identity and self-proclaimed status as ‘yiras shmoyim’ (G-d fearing Jews).

The Yeshivah leadership belatedly and unreservedly publicly pledged and affirmed including to the Royal Commission, that it had ‘zero’ tolerance for such behaviour and its perpetrators.

Sadly, those representations have proven false. Consequently, the integrity of the institution, and the robustness of the child safety policies has been undermined.

The specific identities of purveyors of this conduct is now known.

Recently, Chabad Institutions of Victoria was provided information relating to the identity of 18 people, whose activity has been exposed as a result of various successful legal actions.

These 18 people include:

  1.  at least 1 current member of the Boards of the ‘Yeshivah Centre’;
  2.  at least 2 current employees of the ‘Yeshivah Centre’;
  3.  at least 2 persons who hold a volunteer positions at the ‘Yeshivah Centre’; and
  4.  at least 1 person who is the child of one of the 3 “Head Shluchim” of Chabad in Victoria as determined by Merkos.

To date, Chabad Institutions of Victoria has failed to act on this information and uphold its public promises.

More to come…

 

Good Shabbos.

 

Menachem

Manny Waks – Letter to Lost Messiah –

Newsletter 5/2018
View this email in your browser

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