$1m awarded to sex abuse victim

September 16, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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A woman alleged to have been sexually abused by the principal of a Jewish day school in Melbourne has been awarded $1 million in damages.

Malka Leifer

Malka Leifer

Justice Rush said in Melbourne’s Supreme Court that the actions taken by the Adass Israel School in helping principal Malka Leifer flee Australia in 2008 were “deplorable and disgraceful.” The allegations of her behaviour were raised shortly after she left Australia.

The school was also criticised for failing to contact police.

Leifer has been arrested in Israel where she is facing extradition to Australia to face 74 charges of sexual assault.

Hadassah Ehrlich who sued the school is one of three sisters who were allegedly abused with the offences starting in 2002 when she was 15.

The Age reports that Justice Jack Rush found the school liable “for the former student’s pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, economic loss and past and future medical expenses”.

J-Wire was told by the Adass Yisroel School that they would make “no comment”.

In response to the Supreme Court decision, the President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) Jennifer Huppert stated, ” Although the Adass Israel School is not affiliated with the JCCV, events at Adass concern all members of the community.  The JCCV believes very strongly that Malka Leifer must be brought back to Australia to face justice.  It is critical for the sake of the victims and for healing to be able to take place.”

“We are pleased to note that the current administration has been working towards improving policies and procedures regarding child sexual abuse, and they have been participating in this year’s JCCV Child Protection Policy & Procedures Training.  We hope that the administration of the school use this knowledge to ensure a safe and secure environment for the children in their care.”

Comments

5 Responses to “$1m awarded to sex abuse victim”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Miriam,
    It’s about protecting children and adolescents from sexual abuse, not closing down good educational facilities. No amount of excellent education will prevent, or recompense, the frightful psychological and emotional effects of an adult taking advantage of a child sexually. All the school has to do when learning of such an event is follow it up immediately with the interests of the child in mind, rather than the interests of the institution and the perpetrator in mind in the hope of covering it up. This applies to any school anywhere, including the likes of Geelong Grammar, which has been publicly exposed by both television news, and investigative reportage culminating in television film,on ABC recently.

    Why, oh why, are people such as yourself so concerned primarily with the organisation rather than the child or children who have suffered? Nobody is suggesting that the school be closed down. But certainly, it needs to completely change its ethos to embrace transparency and primary focus on the welfare of the children in its care. Consider carefully where the shame lies, for it certainly does not lie with those who put children first.

  2. Miriam Weinstein says:

    Yep. Adass and Yeshiva should be penalised to penury and forced to close down.
    Of course the hundreds of kids from low-income large families who have been getting free or almost free education till now, should be tossed out on to the street.
    But what do you care?

    You make me sick!

    Adass and even more so Yeshiva – in both Melb and Sydney have been educating, and supporting thousands of Jews in dozens of ways. Whenever a problem or someone needs help, they won’t go to Temple Emmanuel or the billionaires palace Central and definitely not Anglo-Cathedral Synagogue in the city. They probably couldn’t even get inside.

    No, they run to Chassidisc and charedi rabbis and Shuls – where they are always welcomed and helped.

    Rabbi Feldman and his sons have been doing this for decades. Same in Melb. Adass and Yeshiva is where every nebach goes for assistance.

    And their schools have been going for over half a century without any known issues but when make a regrettable error (which school didn’t?) you want to burn them down!

    Let’s hear you say that about Geelong Grammar or the Catholic system. Sure.

    But the best Jews we have here – let’s bash them to hell.

    Shame on all of you!

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    Such an absolute disgrace. And the same old story as far as institutions quickly seeking to cover for themselves. Adass Israel School should have to face the consequences of their complicit actions and Malka Leifer should be extradited to Australia to face the ugliness of what she has done.

  4. Avigael Cassel says:

    Both Adass and Chabad schools should be sued to set a precedence that schools that cover up and aid in child sexual abuse should have to face Judgment with their wallets. They are a disgrace.

  5. Marta Mikey Frid says:

    Ugly Monster: Ugly in and out.

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