A former Israeli Health Minister is set to be prosecuted for interfering in the Malka Leifer case by attempting to prevent her extradition to Australia.
Ms Leifer, 54, fronted the Melbourne Magistrates Court earlier this month and is facing 74 charges of child sex abuse, including multiple counts of rape, indecent assault and sexual penetration of a child.
She is accused of abusing three sisters – Dassi Erlich, Nicole Meyer and Elly Sapper – during her time as headmistress of Adass Israel School in Elsternwick between 2001 and 2008.
Israeli media is now reporting the former health minister Yaakov Litzman will be prosecuted for trying to prevent Ms Leifer from being extradited to Australia to face justice.
The Israeli police fraud unit has been investigating Mr Litzman for several months after it was alleged he pressured psychiatrists to state Ms Leifer was unfit to stand trial in Australia while the extradition case was ongoing.
A Jewish charity will offer chaplaincy services to alleged paedophile Malka Leifer when she returns to Australia, a decision that has angered some members of the religious community.
The Age has confirmed Ms Leifer will be offered support from the charity Jewish Prison Chaplaincy Victoria, a group contracted by Corrections Victoria to assist every Jewish person in the state’s system and support prisoners “to observe and grow while in prison”.
Corrections Victoria appointed the chaplain, independent of the organisation.
The charity’s role is controversial because it is led by Benjamin Koppel, the president of the Adass Israel Congregation, part of a small ultra-orthodox group of about 150 families based in Elsternwick and Ripponlea where Ms Leifer worked.
Mr Koppel was president of the Adass Israel Congregation when Ms Leifer left Australia in 2008, 24 hours after she was accused of sexually molesting some of the students and sacked by the board.
He [Mr. Koppel] was questioned in the Supreme Court in 2015 about the decision to hire Ms Leifer amid allegations she travelled to Israel with the assistance of the Adass board. However, there is no evidence or allegations to suggest Mr Koppel helped Ms Leifer, or knew about plans to help her leave for Israel.
Malka Leifer, who fled to Israel, faces 74 counts of sexual abuse related to her tenure as a principal at a Jewish girls’ school in Melbourne.
JERUSALEM — An Israeli woman accused of sexually abusing students at an Australian school where she was the principal has been extradited from Israel, according to reports in the Israeli news media, concluding a seven-year deportation process that had tested relations between the two countries.
Malka Leifer, 54, is accused of 74 counts of rape and sexual abuse that investigators say took place between 2004 and 2008, when she was the principal of a Jewish girls’ school in Melbourne.
Australian officials formally sought her extradition in 2014, but the process was repeatedly delayed after Ms. Leifer’s legal team at the time argued that she was mentally unfit to stand trial.
Photographs published Monday on an Israeli news website, Ynet, showed Ms. Leifer being escorted aboard a plane in Tel Aviv on Sunday night.
Ms. Leifer’s lawyer, Nick Kaufman, said he had not received official confirmation that she had been deported but had been told she would be sent to Australia this week.
Officials at the Israeli foreign and justice ministries, state attorney’s office, police force and prison service declined to comment, as did the Australian attorney-general’s office.
Ms. Leifer, an Israeli citizen, moved in 2001 to Australia, where she later became the principal of Adass Israel, a school for ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls, and then fled to Israel in 2008 after details of the assault allegations emerged.
The sluggish pace of the deportation process drew occasional criticism from Australian lawmakers. The case also embroiled an ultra-Orthodox Israeli government minister from the same sect as Ms. Leifer, Yaakov Litzman, after the Israeli police accused him of pressuring psychiatrists to report that Ms. Leifer was not well enough to be tried.
Topline: During a Tuesday coronavirus briefing, President Trump offered well-wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime confidante who now faces multiple federal charges related to Epstein’s alleged sex ring. In the 1990s and early 2000s, all three traveled in the same social circles, and Maxwell was photographed with the future commander-in-chief multiple times. Here’s every photo of them we could find:
A photo of Trump and Maxwell at a “hookers and pimps” themed party was published by the Daily Mail in December 2019. Maxwell sports a blonde wig and a leopard-print trench coat, while Trump wears the same business suit he’s typically seen in.
Another image of Maxwell wearing a green outfit and posing with Trump and an unnamed third woman has been posted multiple times to social media, but it’s unclear when the photo was taken, or where.
“I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “I just wish her well, frankly.”
At least 15 years. In July 2019, and after Epstein was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges, Trump said he hadn’t spoken to the disgraced financier—who he once called “a terrific guy”—for 15 years. “We had a falling out,” Trump told reporters, adding he “was not a fan.”
In 2016 we covered the Newsweek story about the Ultra-Orthodox community and the sexual abuse allegations against a Rabbi at one of the more prestigious schools, Oholei Torah of Brooklyn. At the time, it did not get much coverage beyond Newsweek which ran a comprehensive piece on multiple allegations against the rabbi featured in the story and Oholei Torah.
It should come as no surprise, these stories are tricky to write and the circulation of them gets shut down fairly quickly.
In a lawsuit by an anonymous Plaintiff who had the courage to finally seek justice, a Motion to Dismiss has been filed by Defendant claiming, among other things, that there were insufficient facts pleaded and that Oholai Torah did not have a duty to the Plaintiff such that negligence can be found.
We leave it to the reader to decide for yourself if you could possibly come to the conclusion that the Defendant seeks in its pleadings, namely that a school cannot have a duty of care inferred upon it.
We hope that the judge does not allow the Defendant off this easily. But in Kings County one never knows.
More importantly we ask this: is it plausible to consider that this will be the defense strategy of every institution, religious or otherwise, faced with accusations of failure to provide a safe learning institution such that sexual abuse could occur on its premises?
And, if that is the defense strategy, perhaps parents need to consider this when choosing the institutes of learning for their children. Perhaps parents need to demand contracts get signed in the private school setting wherein the school is paid privately and by virtue of that payment has a duty of care to its students.
“Twelve-year-old Ozer Simon hadn’t grown up Hasidic, but after his parents divorced, his mom became a baal teshuva, a secular Jew who has “returned” to religious ways, and enrolled him at a yeshiva. He immediately fell behind because the other kids had been studying Hebrew since they were toddlers, so when Rabbi Joseph Reizes, a new teacher recently arrived from Brooklyn, offered to tutor the child, his mother jumped at the opportunity.
But when she asked Simon how his first lesson went, she could tell “something was really wrong.” Simon told her the rabbi hadn’t taught him anything; instead, he’d asked the boy to lie down and take a nap. When he did, the older man lay down on top of him. The next school day, Simon’s mother went to Rabbi Avrohom Korf, principal of the boy’s school, and told him what had happened. “I said to him, ‘If Reizes continues to teach here, I’m going to go to the newspaper. Or whatever it takes,'” she recalls. “The next thing I know, the guy is gone.”“
“When contacted by Newsweek, the child whose parents brought the complaint to the school in 1996 didn’t want to speak about it publicly, but other students from that class say Reizes long had a reputation for inappropriate behavior. Bibi Morozow, 31 years old and now living in Florida, says a relative was molested by Reizes while attending Oholei Torah in the 1990s. (When reached by Newsweek on the phone, the relative declined to be interviewed.) “Reizes was always touchy; he’d put kids in his lap,” says one student who asked to remain anonymous because he feared being shunned by his community.“
“Oholei Torah conducts its seven-plus daily hours of religious lessons mostly in Yiddish. According to more than a dozen former students across three decades, it provides almost no lessons in science, math, English grammar or history. (The school did not respond to queries about its curriculum.) Many of these students go home to an apartment with no television, no Internet, no newspapers and no books except religious texts. Many will not gain the basic knowledge of how to navigate the world until they are married off around age 18, like how to write a check, how to order General Tso’s chicken or even what sex is. When you’re a child in this environment, you don’t question the fact that you can’t identify your own state on a map. And when you are molested, you don’t ask questions about that either.“