Malka Leifer, former Melbourne principal and accused child abuser, granted further delays in extradition process
The alleged victims of an Israeli teacher accused of sexually abusing girls at a Melbourne school said they were distressed and angry about further delays to her extradition case.
The Jerusalem District Court has granted lawyers for the former principal of the Adass Israel girls school, Malka Leifer, time to cross-examine members of a psychiatric panel that found the 54-year-old had been faking mental illness to avoid extradition.
Israel’s State Attorney’s Office had seized on its findings to press for a speedier resolution to the extradition hearing, so Ms Leifer could be sent to Australia to face 74 sexual abuse charges.
“The psychiatric panel’s findings lead to the inevitable conclusion that over the past five years, the court and the mental health system have fallen victim to a fraud perpetrated by Leifer and her supporters,” it said in a press release before the court hearing.
Please see his blog for an in-depth look into Rabbi Daniel Greer, whom Noodles refers to as the “GOAT.” He has written extensively on the subject.
In our opinion, far too many Jewish organizations, shuls, funds, and people have supported Rabbi Greer, written letters on his behalf, explained away his crimes as if they did not happen. Is it not time that his supporters be held accountable for their support and by implication their complacency?
A recent letter written to the Court and posted by Noodles on his blog reads: “He [Greer] humiliates people with the ease that others say good morning.”
“However, I wish to echo and amplify the voices of his true victims and tell you both from experience and professional expertise that victims of emotional, let alone physcial or sexual abuse often come back, often seek to impress, and often fail to confront the abuser.”
We will be following this story closely and adding information as it becomes available regarding Rabbi Greer and his supporters.
Is it not time to denounce Rabbi Greer and show your support for his victims?
NEW GOAT VICTIM COMES FORWARD
Daniel Greer was sentenced to 20 years in prison, suspended after 12, last month after getting convicted of four felony counts of risk of injury to a minor. Connecticut trial Judge Jon Alander considered the testimony of no less than three accusers, ie., Rabbi Avi Hack, Eli Mirlis and Rafi when he sentenced pedophile “Rabbi” Daniel Greer, AKA “the Goat” to 20 years in jail.
In spite of the testimony of no less than three accusers, in spite of the fact that the Goat’s two loyal sons fled the compound, and in spite of the fact that Dr. Ford testified in the civil trial that Ezi Greer was molested by the Goat, the Goat received numerous glowing letters of admiration, love, and support. One such love letter was written and signed by “Senior” Rabbi Albert Feldman, Rabbi Emeritus of the Westville Synagogue, who stated: “After knowing Daniel Greer for better than a half-century, I can fully vouch for Rabbi Daniel Greer’s upright moral and ethical character and behavior in all situations.”
We are subscribers to the newsletter published online by Manny Waks on his blog. We encourage you to subscribe as well. Interested readers should click here.
We are reposting this without obtaining his permission to do so and if asked, it will be taken down. We have chosen this particular printing of the newsletter to repost because we have covered so many of the stories independently.
We are admirers of Manny Waks’ work on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse and wholeheartedly support his efforts to prevent sexual abuse in the Global Jewish Community. We sincerely hope that one day his newsletter will be deemed unnecessary, obsolete and be relegated to the annals of history.
Until that happens, we remain steadfast in our efforts and our admiration.
Established in 2016, Kol v’Oz (meaning voice & courage/strength in Hebrew) – which combats child sexual abuse in the global Jewish community through advocacy, education & awareness – is in a transitional period. We’re growing, and are taking this opportunity to review and strategise.
As we’re a global organisation, one of the things we’re doing is changing the name to English. So, we’re reaching out to see if anyone has any creative and appropriate ideas – we’re looking for something short, appealing and memorable! Feel free to provide me with any feedback you might have – regarding a possible name or anything else of relevance. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to sharing with you the new name, logo, website and other changes in due course! For now, let me welcome our newly-appointed Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, Ms Noga Shelleg. I look forward to what lies ahead!
As always, below are items of interest – most importantly, details of the next Malka Leifer hearing (and the new live-blogging platform from court), as well as our new partnership with The Jewish Agency.
Jewish Agency and Kol v’Oz partner to protect children
“We know of 60 convicted and credibly accused perpetrators of child sexual abuse who have made aliyah,” says Manny.
By HANNAH WACHOLDER KATSMAN
DECEMBER 4, 2019
“The concern is that Israel is viewed by many as an ‘ir miklat,’” according to Manny Waks, CEO of the international child protection organization Kol v’Oz. He is referring to the cities of refuge described in the book of Deuteronomy for those whose actions led to an accidental death, therefore protecting them from retaliation by the victim’s family. The case of Malka Leifer, whose ultra-Orthodox school helped her escape with her family to Israel, has sparked outrage in Israel and abroad because of the justice system’s failure to extradite her to Australia to stand trial for abusing three teenage sisters. Although Leifer was born in Israel, her case has called attention to immigrants who made aliyah in the wake of sexual abuse allegations. Keep reading
Israeli Court OKs Evaluation of Australia Sex Crimes Suspect
By The Associated Press
Dec. 3, 2019
JERUSALEM — Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a former educator accused of sexually abusing students in Australia, paving the way for a new psychiatric evaluation to determine her fitness to stand trial for extradition.
Australia wants Malka Leifer extradited to face 74 charges of abusing students while she was principal at a Jewish religious school in Melbourne. Prosecutors say she is feigning mental illness to dodge extradition. Keep reading
The next Malka Leifer court hearing (#62!) details are as follows:
Venue: Jerusalem District Court Presiding judge: Judge Chana Lomp Date: Tuesday 10 December (tomorrow) Time: 9am (Jerusalem), 6pm (Melbourne), 2am (New York)
It’s expected to be a decisive hearing. The court will advise of the new psychiatric panel’s decision regarding Leifer’s fitness to face justice – whether she will finally face the ever-elusive extradition trial (she is wanted by Australia on 74 charges of rape and sexual assault against the three courageous sisters, Nicole, Dassi and Elly).
Once a decision is made, it’s expected that both the Prosecution and Defense will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, etc. We are not sure of precisely what to expect and when – after 61 court hearings, we expect the unexpected!
Please note that I will be live-blogging from inside the court-room on The Australian Jewish News website (their Home page will have a direct link to the blog before the start of proceedings). Hoping for some semblance of justice to finally prevail!
HEBREW: This is one of the most disturbing stories of pedophilia in Israel. There is consensus that many children have been sexually abused in a religious neighbourhood in Jerusalem (Nachlaot). The rest of it is full of controversies and conspiracies. Tragic, in more ways than one. Hopefully this in-depth investigative journalism will lead somewhere – to justice, prevention and a better understanding of the issues. Watch story
The former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer, who is accused of sexually assaulting female students, has lost a bid in an Israeli court to stop a further psychiatric examination to assess if she is mentally fit for extradition.
The Jerusalem supreme court on Tuesday rejected an appeal filed by Leifer’s lawyers against a district court decision handed down in late September that ordered a new psychiatric panel to assess and report on the 52-year-old’s mental state.
The appeal was heard a week before the new panel was due to present its findings to the Israeli court.
Leifer faces extradition to Australia on 74 charges of sexually assaulting students during her time at Melbourne’s ultra-orthodox Adass Israel school.
She fled to Israel in 2008 after the allegations emerged and the process to extradite her has stalled several times since charges were laid in 2013.
Dassi Erlich, one of her alleged victims, has been fighting along with her sisters to bring Leifer back to Australia. She had a nervous six-hour wait for a final decision from the supreme court’s judge David Mintz.
“With two months since the last hearing, Leifer has been front and centre of our minds and we almost forgot how emotionally exhausting and physically gruelling these hearings are,” Erlich said. “Time to breathe, sleep and remember we will get through this.”
In September judge Chana Miriam Lomp deemed there was not enough evidence that Leifer was mentally fit to face an extradition trial, even though court proceedings have been under way since 2014.
Israel’s State Attorney Office, acting as the prosecution in the case against Leifer, has produced countless evidence over the 61 court hearings that the accused is feigning mental illness to avoid an extradition trial.
At the end of October Leifer’s lawyers had stated she would not cooperate in the fresh psychiatric assessment. The district court judge ruled the panel should proceed anyway.
In court on Tuesday Leifer’s defence continued to claim there was no “rationale” or “authority” by the court for the accused to undergo another assessment, and it was unfair on the defendant.
The psychiatric panel will examine Leifer on Wednesday before presenting its report to the court on Tuesday.
The report will be discussed at next week’s hearing and both sides will then be given the opportunity to cross-examine the psychiatrists.
The victim supporter Manny Waks said he was pleased with the supreme court’s decision.
“We expect next week’s decisive hearing to rule that Malka Leifer is indeed fit to face justice, and that her extradition hearing will finally recommence,” he said.
“This ongoing farce must end, and justice must prevail – for Leifer’s victims and for other victims who are being deterred from pursuing justice.”
Six followers of Hasidic rabbi and convicted sex offender Eliezer Berland were reportedly detained Sunday evening over suspicions of fraud and money laundering.
In a series of raids, police searched the suspects’ homes, seizing documents and bringing the men in for questioning, according to Hebrew-language media reports.
There were no details about the suspicions against the six, but it was reportedly tied to an investigation opened into Berland following a report by Channel 13 alleging he told a cancer patient not to accept medical treatment and instead pay him money so that she will live.
Berland commands a cult-like following among the thousands in his offshoot of the Bratslav Hasidic sect and has used his followers’ faith in his righteousness to bilk them out of large sums of money in exchange for mystical and religious rites, including blessings and promises to heal the sick.
After her daughter died as a result of the faulty non-medical advice from Berland, Nurit Ben Moshe filed a police complaint on November 7, with her lawyer arguing that Berland’s conduct constituted manslaughter.
Berland was not arrested as part of the raids, but his house was searched by police, according to the Behadrei Haredim news site.
The investigation into the death was expected to focus on trying to get inside information from Berland’s supporters, a tough task since they are a closed circle and tend to be extremely devoted to their leader. Many of them have taken violent action and threatened those who speak against Berland.
Berland fled Israel in 2013 amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted several female followers and was for years protected by a fiercely loyal network of cadres around the world.
After evading arrest for three years and slipping through various countries, Berland, 81, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in November 2016 on two counts of indecent acts and one case of assault, as part of a plea deal that included seven months of time served. He was freed just five months later, in part due to ill health.
Since then, he has resumed his activities as the leader of the Shuvu Bonim community, an offshoot of the Bratslav sect that has been disavowed by the broader Hasidic dynasty.