CHILD VICTIMS ACT – Legislation and Justice – SIGNATURE REQUESTED

Houses of worship and a person’s experience of their faith should be free of sexual abuse.

Shockingly, when victims of child sex abuse by religious leaders and other perpetrators come forward to seek justice and stop abusers from causing more harm, they are blocked by current New York State law. New York ranks among the very worst in the nation — alongside Alabama, Michigan and Mississippi — for how the courts and criminal justice system treat survivors of child sex abuse.
Mental health experts know it can take decades for a victim of this abuse to overcome the fear, shame, and trauma to be able to come forward to confront their abuser, but our current law allows survivors of abuse to pursue criminal or civil justice only until the age of 23 — a statute of limitations of, in some cases, only five years.
A bill called the Child Victims Act can change that at the upcoming session. It will extend or eliminate the statute of limitations so victims come forward and perpetrators can be prosecuted, helping victims get justice and taking unknown abusers off the streets. April and May are critical months for clergy to demand that officials introduce and vote for the bill.

Add your name to demand action here

Right now, many Republican members of the New York legislature are opposing the bill. Some religious institutions are pressuring legislators to reject the bill because it could mean holding them accountable. Religious groups and others are threatening to thwart the re-election of members if they pass the bill.
Clergy for Child Victims is mobilizing faith leaders to sign this petition to the governor letting the governor, state assembly, and state senate know that we stand behind the governor’s support of the bill. On May 9, a group of clergy will make a lobbying trip to Albany to try and get new legislation passed before budget negotiations start.

Sign and share with your colleagues here

As an influential faith leader in New York, I urge you to sign the letter to demonstrate widespread support from multi-religious faith leaders.
Thank you for supporting this crucial effort.
In faith,
Rabbi Ari Hart

The Australian Federal Police – Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner

Media Release: Australian Federal Police asked to investigate Yeshivah’s Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner over evidence to Royal Commission

Manny Waks
19 April 2017

PictureRabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner

The Australian Federal Police have received a complaint by victims of child sexual abuse at the Yeshivah Centre in East St. Kilda that alleges Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner, a Member of the Yeshivah Board, knowingly provided false or misleading evidence to the Royal Commission last month.

Rabbi Groner told the Royal Commission that disgraced Rabbi Zvi Telsner did not ‘still occupy a position of leadership within the Yeshivah Centre’

Rabbi Groner was called to appear before the Royal Commission’s Case Study 53 last month, which followed an investigation into the Chabad run Jewish school by the Royal Commission in early 2015 which heard that Rabbi Zvi Telsner, as Head Rabbi of Yeshivah, had delivered sermons attacking child sexual abuse victims and their families, encouraging other members of the community to ostracise them and discouraging victims from reporting their abuse to the police or media.

Rabbi Telsner, who is the brother in law of Rabbi Groner, supposedly resigned his position as Head Rabbi in September 2015 after another attack on a victim of child sexual abuse and released a statement acknowledging that his ‘conduct towards victims and their families did not demonstrate the values or behavior…necessary of a Rabbi in my position’.

Giving evidence last month, Rabbi Groner told the Royal Commission that presently, ‘the full extent of [Rabbi Telsner’s] involvement in the Yeshivah Centre Melbourne’ is as a ‘congregant’ who ‘gives a few classes in the Synagogue’ and that Rabbi Telsner did not ‘still occupy a position of leadership within the Yeshivah Centre Melbourne’.

According to victims, Rabbi Telsner continues in the position of Head Rabbi despite ‘resignation’

In a complaint made to the Australian Federal Police and the Royal Commission last week, victims of abuse said that Rabbi Telsner remained extensively involved in the Yeshivah Centre Melbourne and continued to occupy its most senior leadership position. 

In particular, Rabbi Telsner:

  • officiates at life cycle events of congregants – for example on 4 April 2017 Rabbi Telsner officiated at a wedding ceremony in which he was introduced by Rabbi Moshe Kahn (Director of Chabad Youth) as the Moreh D’atra (Head Rabbi and most senior halachic decision maker of the Yeshivah Centre);
  • together with Rabbi Groner, is the co-head of the Chabad Kashrut Committee in which they are responsible for determining the kosher status of food eaten by the Yeshivah community;
  • is seated in front of the congregation in the Head Rabbi’s seat during Synagogue services;
  • continues to be paid his regular salary as Head Rabbi;
  • maintains an office within the synagogue building; 
  • delivers sermons from the pulpit during weekly and festival prayer services;
  • is waited on by congregants and prayer leaders before prayers commence as a congregation does for its Head Rabbi.

Victims allege Rabbi Groner knowingly gave false or misleading evidence to the Royal Commission

Victims have asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether Rabbi Groner’s evidence breached Section 6H of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) which makes it an offence to knowingly provide false or misleading evidence at a hearing before a Royal Commission. The Act provides:

(1)    A person shall not, at a hearing before a Commission, intentionally give evidence that the person knows to be false or misleading with respect to any matter being a matter that is material to the inquiry being made by the Commission
(2)    An offence against subsection (1) is an indictable offence and subject to this section is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years or by a fine not exceeding $20,000.

Continuing involvement of Rabbis Telsner and Groner with Yeshivah a source of ongoing trauma for victims

Victims who were sexually abused as children within Yeshivah cite the continuing involvement of Rabbis Telsner and Groner with Yeshivah as a source of ongoing trauma which makes it difficult for them to move on with their lives. They are disappointed that the Jewish community, donors and the Government continue to support and provide funding to Yeshivah despite its failure to hold these individuals to account over their roles in the child sexual abuse scandal.
Rabbi Groner was a Trustee of Yeshivah during the period in which victims were bullied and ostracised for speaking out. He is one of only two members of the old guard who did not resign in the wake of the Royal Commission’s revelations and instead, implemented a new governance structure in which he was given a permanent seat on the Board. Rabbi Groner is the son of the late Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, the long-time leader of Yeshivah, who was found by the Royal Commission to have ‘failed in his obligation to the students of Yeshivah’ by not acting upon complaints of child sexual abuse.

UPDATE: The AFP has responded – in part it reads:

I would like to advise you that further discussion has occurred between the AFP and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) regarding your allegations about false evidence provided to the Royal Commission by Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner. As a result of these discussions your information has been sent to the relevant area for assessment.

Please see: http://www.mannywaks.com/media-release-australian-federal-police-asked-to-investigate-yeshivahs-rabbi-chaim-tsvi-groner-over-evidence-to-royal-commission.html

Yosef Yitzchak Feldman – Litigious – Seeking Profit from the Unspeakable Sins of a Community

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Date Time Case no. Case name Jurisdiction Court Listing type Presiding officer Location Court room List no.
02 Mar 2:00 pm 2016/00040453 Yosef Yitzchak Feldman v Jeremy Spinak Civil Supreme Court Mediation
    Deputy Registrar B Siva
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02 Mar 2:00 pm 2016/00040435 Yosef Yitzchak Feldman v Executive Council of Australian Jewry Inc Civil Supreme Court Mediation
    Deputy Registrar B Siva
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02 Mar 2:00 pm 2016/00040450 Yosef Yitzchak Feldman v Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Australia Ltd ABN 35 140 866 655 Civil Supreme Court Mediation
    Deputy Registrar B Siva
Supreme Court Sydney
King St Building
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07 Mar 9:30 am 2016/00192626 Warwick Susskind v Josef Yitzchak Feldman Civil Local Court Review
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10 Mar 9:30 am 2016/00045119 Yosef Yitzchak Feldman v IAC/InterActiveCorp Civil Supreme Court Directions
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15 Mar 9:30 am 2016/00192626 Warwick Susskind v Josef Yitzchak Feldman Civil Local Court Hearing
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THE MALKA LEIFER DEFENSE… More Abusing Children and Denying it… Israel

 

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Rabbi-charged-with-rape-sexual-assault-sodomy-against-a-minor-475756

Rabbi charged with rape, sexual assault, sodomy against a minor

By JEREMY SHARON
12/18/2016

According to the indictment, Harrison, now 58, initiated direct contact with the complainant after he was her substitute teacher at Beit Shulamit in December 2009. In an indictment sheet of horrifying allegations, Rabbi David Harrison, who taught at the Beit Shulamit religious girls high school in Jerusalem, was charged with dozens of counts of rape, sodomy, sexual assault, assault and intimidation through threats against a former pupil, who was a minor at the time.

The complainant, a woman now aged 21, filed a charge of rape and other allegations against the rabbi at the beginning of the month claiming that they took place over a period of several months when she was 14.

Harrison has spent his career as a teacher and educator, and has also worked extensively performing wedding ceremonies for couples without a personal connection to a rabbi. Harrison began work at Beit Shulamit, in the Ramot neighborhood, as a part-time teacher in September 2007 but was fired in June 2010.

According to the indictment, Harrison, now 58, initiated direct contact with the complainant in December 2009, after he was her substitute teacher at Beit Shulamit.

A few days later, he met the pupil close to her classroom and asked her to accompany him to a staff room where he gave her worksheets to hand out to another class.

On this and several other occasions, Harrison allegedly touched the student on her hand, arm, stomach and chest, but apologized immediately for having touched her.

At a later stage, Harrison allegedly called the pupil to the same staff room used specifically by the rabbis of the school and which could be locked from the inside.

When she entered, Harrison allegedly locked the door behind her and told her to sit down, whereupon he took off his pants and underwear, and forced her to perform oral sex, while telling her that it was all right because he was a rabbi, that it was a secret between them and threatening to harm her if she told anyone.

In the next incident after this assault, Harrison allegedly met the girl at the entrance to the school and told her to come with him to a bomb shelter in the building, divided into two rooms. According to the indictment he pushed her into the inner room of the shelter, and told her to undress, slapping her in the face when he told her she was undressing too slowly.

He then hit her again, forced her to lie on a table in the room and then raped her. Afterwards he told her that she’d had fun, and that so had he, and that she had been a good girl. He again threatened to harm her and that he would tell everyone she was a prostitute if she spoke with anyone about what he had done.

According to the charge sheet, Harrison raped the girl between two and four times a week, including sodomy. On one occasion the day after he raped her, he forced her to swallow an emergency contraception or “morning after” pill.

During May 2010, the complainant was ill and was away from school. When she returned, Harrison allegedly ordered her to meet him in the shelter and scolded her for having been away without informing him.

He then allegedly ordered her to strip and beat her for several minutes, and then raped her once again.

The beatings occurred on other occasions as well, in which Harrison would kick the pupil, beat her with his belt, and in one incident threw a chair at her, bruising and scratching her.

Harrison would allegedly repeatedly threaten to harm her if she did not do as he instructed, and threatened to tell her parents and others that she had initiated sex with him and that they would believe him and not her because he was a rabbi.

He also threatened that he would have her expelled from school, that no other schools would accept her, and threatened to send other people to harm her and even kill her.

The state has requested that Harrison be incarcerated until the end of the legal proceedings against him.

The director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, Orit Sulitzeanu, described the allegations as “outrageous and terrifying” and said that such crimes required a severe punishment.

“This criminal exploitation by an educator and religious figure is unforgivable,” said Sulitzeanu.

“This incident demonstrates the urgent need to ensure that advisers are placed in all educational frameworks who will be able to identify and deal with sexual violence, and for pupils to attend workshops for the prevention of sexual violence.”

Harrison denies the allegations against him and says he does not even know the woman.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Rabbi-charged-with-rape-sexual-assault-sodomy-against-a-minor-475756

The Halachic Obligation to Report Abuse

scales of justice and child

http://www.kollel.edu.au/single-post/2016/12/25/The-Halachic-Obligation-of-Reporting-Abuse-to-

FACING CHALLENGES, REPORTING ABUSE, AVOIDING HARM…

We are surprised by this. You may be too.

“Don’t Stand Back. Don’t Withhold Yourself.”

 

The following is a link to a video regarding the obligation to report abuse.

http://www.kollel.edu.au/single-post/2016/12/25/The-Halachic-Obligation-of-Reporting-Abuse-to-

 

Failing the Victims of Abuse – Rabbi Inaction, Yeshiva Center Response…

australian-coat-of-arms

Child abuse royal commission: Rabbi inaction failed abuse victims within Yeshiva community

 

The royal commission has delivered its findings into child abuse at Jewish institutions in Melbourne and Sydney, saying that abuse victims were let down by rabbis and their “confused” adherence to the Jewish law Mesirah, leaving them vulnerable to paedophiles.

The commission found many of the lead rabbis at Yeshiva Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi, as well as synagogues and schools in Sydney and Melbourne followed “a pattern of total inaction” that was wholly inadequate.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s findings vindicate whistle blower Manny Waks, who first exposed abuse within the strictly orthodox and insular sect.

Three commissioners found a “marked absence of supportive leadership for survivors of abuse” and the incorrect application of Jewish law left those who spoke out criticised and isolated.

Mesirah is the religious concept stopping a Jewish person informing upon another to a secular authority. To do so would make them a “Moser”.

Mixed messages produced inaction

Those who spoke out where strongly criticised and confusion reigned about whether reporting abuse to police was forbidden, the report found.

“If anything, the mixed messages were likely to have produced inaction,” the report said.

Manny Waks sought the court's permission to he was one of David Cyprys' victims.

PHOTO Manny Waks first exposed abuse within the strictly orthodox sect.

Four victims of sexual abuse, along with leading rabbis within the Chabad movement, gave evidence about child abuse in Yeshiva Colleges and centres in Melbourne and Bondi last year.

Convicted paedophiles David Cyprys, Rabbi David Kramer and Daniel Hayman were all the subjects of allegations of abuse by parents and students between 1984 and 2000.

“It is perhaps unsurprising that a community described in the evidence as being insular, would be concerned by communication with those external to the community about child sexual abuse reportedly perpetrated by Jews,” the report said.

“We are satisfied that, for the period from 1984 to 2007, the Yeshiva College Melbourne did not have adequate policies, processes and practices for responding to complaints.”

Child abuse ‘uncommon’

Senior Sydney rabbi Yosef Feldman provoked controversy when he told the royal commission he would be “asking for more leniency” for reformed or inactive paedophiles

In its findings, the commission was critical of his ignorance about what constituted child abuse.

“Rabbi Feldman freely admitted to a lack of technical knowledge about child sexual abuse but expressed the belief that his ignorance was unimportant,” the report said.

He told the commission he believed child abuse to be “uncommon”.

“He did not hear of child sexual abuse or complaints of child sexual abuse ‘much’ and believed that ‘only’ 5 to 10 per cent of the community ‘are involved’ in child sexual abuse,” the report said.

Rabbi Feldman misunderstood what grooming was, describing it as “just talking to the child and trying to get close to him”, the commission found.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman at the royal commission

PHOTO The commission was critical of Rabbi Feldman’s ignorance of child abuse.

ABC NEWS

He also regarded the age of a victim to be important when assessing any allegation.

“The older you get, the less innocent you become and there could be a possibility,” he told the hearings.

“I could imagine that there could be false accusations with regards to teenagers, who are not so innocent.”

The commission found Rabbi Feldman believed that the conviction of a child abuser who was repentant would be unfair.

 

To read the article in its entirety click, here.

YESHIVA CENTER RESPONSE FROM THE PAGES OF MANNY WAKS:

http://www.mannywaks.com/rabbinic-council-of-australia-and-new-zealand-public-statement-in-response-to-the-royal-commission-report.html

Rabbinic Council of Australia and New Zealand public statement in response to the Royal Commission Report

30 November 2016

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Report of Case Study No. 22. The response of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against people associated with those institutions

The Executive of the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ), The Rabbinical Council of New South Wales (RCNSW) and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) are grateful for yesterday’s report by the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse at Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne, and deeply distressed by its contents.

Child sexual abuse has caused unimaginable suffering to the victims in our community, and RCANZ, RCNSW and RCV and their members are totally committed to removing this scourge from our community and from our institutions. We offer our deepest sympathies to the victims and commit ourselves to learning from the failures of the past.

As the Royal Commission has made clear, child sexual abuse was allowed to continue because of actions and inaction by some rabbis and community leaders. Victims were not always believed or supported, adding to the trauma.

We restate a ruling that has been made many times before, that Jewish law requires all allegations of child sexual abuse to be reported immediately to the police and other relevant government authorities. We encourage all professionals working in the Jewish community whose work brings them into any contact with young people to receive specific and detailed training in child protection. We urge all synagogues and schools in our community to ensure proper governance procedures to oversee the work of their staff, to ensure that failings are identified and corrected.

We call on those who have been identified in the report as not fulfilling their legal obligations to protect children to stand down from their public positions. We believe that those who denigrated or undermined the victims have lost their moral right to serve as leaders in our communities. The Rabbinate must demonstrate that Judaism and the Jewish community will not tolerate child sexual abuse and those who perpetrate it, and must support those who have suffered.

We hope and pray that this report will help our community and others to keep children safe, and ensure that no child in the Jewish community, or throughout Australia, will ever again suffer the horrors of sexual abuse.

Note:

No member of the signatory bodies with a conflict of interest took  part in the drafting of this statement. For further information please contact Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton, Secretary of RCANZ  via info@rcanz.com.au. 

 

FOR FURTHER READING:

http://www.mannywaks.com/melbourne-yeshivah-centre-public-statement-in-response-to-the-royal-commission-report.html

Melbourne Yeshivah Centre public statement in response to the Royal Commission Report

Yeshivah Centre
29 November 2016

28 Cheshvan 5777
29th November, 2016

Dear Community Members

Today, the ‘Report of Case Study No. 22’ was tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament. The Yeshivah Centre is currently reviewing the Report and expects to make a more detailed statement in the near future.

As you are aware, in February 2015, the Yeshivah Centre was the subject of a Royal Commission into ‘Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’. This followed the incarceration of two perpetrators of child sexual abuse, both of whom held roles in different capacities at the Centre. The Commission focussed on the institutional response to these crimes.

The Yeshivah Centre deeply regrets its failure to protect those who were victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by people in a position of trust in the Yeshivah Centre and its schools. We condemn any form of abuse and acknowledge the serious harm it causes, both at the time of the abuse and later in life, for victims and their families.

The Yeshivah Centre Board and staff have been working hard to properly respond to these issues and ensure that we embed policies and processes of the highest standards to create a safe environment for our children, and to support and show compassion for victims and their families. The Yeshivah Centre’s number one priority is the safety of the children in its care, and we will continue to take all possible steps to maintain and continually raise this standard. We also need to ensure that we continue to support and show compassion for victims and their families.

In September this year, the Commission invited us to present our current policies and procedures in relation to child protection and child-safe standards and the steps taken across the Centre following the Royal Commission hearing. We submitted information in relation to:

  • The newly established governance framework (with elections closing 7 December 2016);
  • Our accreditation from the Australian Childhood Foundation (Chabad Youth in 2014 and YeshivahBeth Rivkah Colleges in March 2016); and
  • The establishment of an independently operated Redress Scheme for past victims of Child Sexual Abuse.

In its executive summary and media release the Report notes that:

The evidence identified that Yeshivah Melbourne has taken significant steps in implementing structured child protection measures, including drafting formal policies and giving training to children, parents and staff.

We are aware that the process of growth and change that the Centre has embraced over the past few years will continue to present us with some challenges along the way. However, we firmly believe that this process of change and the new representative governance structures now being established will bring us forward towards a stronger, brighter and safer future.

The Boards of Directors of:

Yeshivah Centre Limited

Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Schools Limited

Chabad Institutions Victoria Limited.

The Report of Case Study No. 22 has been made publicly available on the Royal Commission’s website at: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/2016-11/report-released-intoyeshiva-bondi-and-yeshivah-me

The Yeshivah Centre encourages anyone who has experienced sexual abuse at Yeshivah Centre (Melbourne) to contact the independently operated redress scheme via the confidential email yeshivahredress@gmail.com or the police (contact the Moorabbin SOCIT unit on 9556-6124).

 

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions – A Sex Offender Sues a Rabbi for Protecting Children

Compounding the Cruelty of Abuse by Entertaining a Lawsuit Against one Brave Rabbi Willing to Stand up and Protect Abused Children. 

We at LM hope that THE DAILY BEAST does not object to our decision to post the entire article from top to bottom. We would like to see rabbis and parents, teachers and other children applauded and praised for coming forward to protect abused children.

The children are precluded from suing the Rabbis who abuse them, the rabbis who use their Rabbinical stature as a tool for abuse, a corridor into the destruction of the very children they are entrusted to protect.

One  Rabbi, knowing that Israel does not have a sex offender registry, tried to protect those children by tweeting about their abuser. He is now embroiled in a lawsuit over it.

We feel strongly that if the courts do not dismiss this lawsuit, they are encouraging silence. They are complicit in the crimes committed against the abused children.

We feel it is important to send the message that the courts, the communities and the families will commend Rabbis who come forward, thereby encouraging them to do so. Anything short of that, in our view, is just another act of cruelty  and injustice against abused children.

article-molester2-0115

EXPOSED

Sex Offender Sues Rabbi for Tweets Alerting Families in Israel

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