Waks Welcome call to commission
17 December 2014
A public hearing will be held in Melbourne on February 2 to examine the response of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse.
The hearing will be before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse .
On their website the Commission states:
The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:
- The response of the Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah College in Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against David Cyprys, David Kramer and Aaron Kestecher.
- The response of the Yeshiva Centre and the Yeshiva College Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Daniel Hayman.
- The systems, policies, practices and procedures for the reporting of and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse of:
b. Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges,
c. The Yeshiva Centre – Chabad NSW, and
d. Yeshiva College Bondi.
4. Any other related matters.Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 16 January 2015.
The hearing will be streamed live on the Internet.
Founder of Child Sexual Assault advocacy organisation Tzedek Manny Waks said:
I welcome today’s public announcement by the Royal Commission advising that a public hearing into the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne and the Yeshiva Centre in Sydney will take place in the first two weeks of February 2015.
I have advocated tirelessly for this public hearing to take place so I feel a great sense of vindication and accomplishment. I believe that had both centres responded appropriately when this scandal became public over the last few years, we probably would not have ended up with today’s announcement. So these major Chabad institutions really have only themselves to blame – although I accept that I will continue to be their scapegoat, sadly something I’ve become accustomed to.
Many victims from these institutions, myself included, our families and most of the community are looking forward to these institutions being held to full account for their actions and inactions over many years. My mantra has been Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof – Justice you shall pursue. This is predominantly why I established Tzedek (Justice). I genuinely believe that the truth and justice will prevail.
I look forward with great anticipation of being a key witness in this public hearing, and to bring these institutions to full account. The public – especially the Jewish community – needs to be fully aware of the unconscionable, immoral and irreligious behaviour by so many leaders who claim to be “a light unto the nations”. Individuals who still refuse to apologise directly to victims and their families. Individuals who re-victimise the abused and their families. Individuals who do not believe in accountability. And individuals who are protected by their communities and institutions.
When I take the stand to share my experience, I will do so proudly on behalf of so many other victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, many of whom have found a voice through me.
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone with information that may assist the Royal Commission to undertake its important work to do so as a matter of urgency.”
Manny Waks is the founder of Tzedek and a victim of sexual abuse at the Melbourne Yeshiva.
Originally published at J-Wire.