Tzedek welcomes Maccabi statement

July 7, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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J-Wire has published Maccabi Australia’s updated policy on protecting children in their care from sexual abuse…Tzedek has welcomed the new strategy.

Manny Waks

Manny Waks

In September 2013 Maccabi appointed an independent committee to investigate misconduct by former Maccabi coach Shannon Francis towards Maccabi members. Tzedek welcomes Maccabi’s public statement today in response to the report, which was recently submitted by the committee.

Tzedek CEO Manny Waks issued the following statement:

“Tzedek commends Maccabi on its initiative to launch this independent inquiry, and welcomes its findings and broader outcomes. It highlights the seriousness in which Maccabi views this matter.

Tzedek acknowledges the monumental work and commitment of all those involved in this inquiry, especially the three committee members, Nina Bassat AM, Harry Rosenberg and Daniel Aghion, as well as the senior Maccabi leadership. At all times through this process both the committee and Maccabi acted professionally, compassionately and sensitively.

We would like to take this opportunity to commend the courageous victims for participating in this process. It would not have been easy but their contribution has been invaluable – not least for Maccabi to better understand the various consequences associated with such an experience.

Tzedek is pleased to have been involved in this important process in a number of ways, and hope that our contributions benefitted both the committee and Maccabi more broadly. Tzedek is grateful to have received a redacted copy of the report, the content of which has reinforced our faith in the committee itself and in Maccabi as a whole.

Through our ongoing interactions with the Maccabi leadership it has become evident that Maccabi is taking a leadership role in the area of child protection, and we commend them for doing so. It is clear that they now possess an appreciation of the complexities around this issue and better understand the importance of addressing it in a serious manner. We are particularly pleased with Maccabi’s comprehensive Member Protection Policy, which is currently being implemented, as well as the cultural changes that we are seeing.

We are in discussions with Maccabi regarding a proposed education programme for its constituents – staff, volunteers and members – especially for parents and children, and hope to be in a position to finalise something in due course. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Maccabi in any way possible.

Tzedek would like to reiterate Maccabi’s call for anyone with information about allegations of child sexual abuse and/or cover-ups to disclose this information to the authorities. In all instances, the first port of call should be the police. If necessary Tzedek may assist in this process, just as we have in numerous other cases.”

Victims/survivors of institutional abuse and their families can also share their experience with the Royal Commission. As a Royal Commission-funded service provider, Tzedek is available to continue to assist, support or advise in regards to the Royal Commission process. Tzedek is also in a position to continue to assist victims/survivors of non-institutional abuse and their families. Tzedek can be contacted on 1300TZEDEK (1300 893 335) or at info@tzedek.org.au.

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