Jewish leaders face child sex abuse inquiry
Australian Associated Press
23 March 2017
Orthodox Jewish leaders who failed to protect children from being sexually abused must be held to account, survivors and the peak body representing Australia's Jewish community say.
Senior community representatives will on Thursday appear at the child abuse royal commission's final public hearing into two Jewish institutions, after the inquiry found leaders of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi failed to act on reports of abuse.
Abuse survivor Manny Waks says a number of survivors from both institutions have told the royal commission that Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Sydney have not yet responded appropriately to the abuse issue.
'We hope that the broader Jewish community and its leadership will now get more involved in holding these institutions to account and ensure that they can never repeat the terrible damage that they have done to so many within our community - indeed to our entire community,' he said on Wednesday.
In a letter apologising to Mr Waks this month, Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Anton Block said the Jewish community could have done more to support survivors and work with Mr Waks to address the grave injustices of the past and ensure the safety of children going forward.
'The ECAJ is committed to the wrongdoers in our community being brought to justice and to those whose failures led to the abuse and/or suffering of innocent victims being held to full account,' Mr Block wrote.
'The ECAJ is equally committed to the victims/survivors of these terrible events being given recognition for their suffering, the support that they deserve and the help that they require to live a happy and fulfilled life.'
The rabbinical councils of Australia and New Zealand, NSW and Victoria have jointly said those those who the royal commission identified as not fulfilling their legal obligations to protect children should stand down from their public positions.
A dozen Jewish leaders will appear at the Sydney hearing, including Mr Block, NSW Chabad community leader Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, head rabbi of Melbourne's Yeshivah Centre Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner and the principal or directors of the Melbourne and Bondi colleges.
Originally publish at Sky News.