Adass Yisroel “unaware” of Leifer funding

June 6, 2016 by Henry Benjamin
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A member of Melbourne’s Adass Yisroel community has told J-Wire that no-one is aware of anyone within the community funding Malka Leifer who lives in Israel but is wanted by authorities in Australia to face 74 charges of child sexual abuse.

Shlomo Abelesz SBS

Shlomo Abelesz SBS

The offences took place when Leifer was employed by the Adass Yisroel school as its principal . She fled Melbourne in 2008 when allegations were surfacing and has avoided extradition on ten occasions to Australia  failing to appear in court on psychiatric grounds.

Melbourne’s “The Herald Sun” has reported that it “can reveal a bank account linked to Mrs Leifer is being topped up by Adass community members here”.

The report stated that “deposits are being made over the counter at a bank in Elsternwick”. Elsternwick borders the suburb of Ripponlea, home to the Adass community.

Leifer has been ordered to undergo psychiatric assessment in Israel…a process which could take up to ten years. The court has ordered assessments to be produced every six months.

Malka Leifer

Malka Leifer

Shlomo Abelesz, featured in the recent SBS documentary on Melbourne’s Adass community Untold Story – Strictly Jewish.

He told J-Wire: “No-one I have spoken to within Adass is aware of this and we are as shocked as the rest of the community. If someone is doing it privately, it is possible. We would be surprised if it is true.”

Ablest said that if it were true someone, somewhere “had broken privacy laws”. He added: “I haven’t heard of one person within Adass who has heard of this account. Mrs Leifer was not very popular. There would be very people who would be wanting to support her within Adass. The story sounds to me like fabrication and until I see proof of it I would say it’s a beat-up. Everyone is disgusted with her. No-one in any official position in Adass has ever heard of this account.”


11 Responses to “Adass Yisroel “unaware” of Leifer funding”
  1. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    Yes, Harry, the protection of young ones and vigilant inquiry by the police and courts into any possibility of sexual abuse, is paramount. Nothing else matters. I have been very outspoken in this regard all through the Royal Commission proceedings in regard to sexual abuse of minors through various institutions, including the Jewish Rabbis and/or leaders who thought more of Jewish law as they saw it, and the reputation of their schools/synagogues, than of the victims and their families. Many of the religious in the Jewish community were no better in attitude.

    When those who practise religion lose sight of humanity, they tread the wrong path and become less than human themselves. The rules of Halacha become rigid concepts that create distance from imagination, empathy and understanding of human suffering. I am sure within Judaism it was not meant to be that way. Man has dangerously over-intellectualised Halachic interpretations.

  2. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    The Charedim can think what they like about the Israeli court system – I don’t think they get abused for post-court deliberations and judgements that are critical. It’s another matter though to seek to by-pass the legal system by perhaps following their own laws instead insofar as judgements are concerned, to protect reputations and keep things in-house.

  3. George dabya says:

    Why is it that the local zionists are disrespecting the israeli court ruling?

    But when the Charedim r not happy with the israely courts ruling, they get badly abused for it?

  4. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    Henry Herzog,
    As it happens I agree with all you say on your posts here. The victims are always to the fore of my consciousness. Obviously, you have not read the many comments I’ve already made on the Leifer situation elsewhere on J-Wire.

    This does not mean I have to respect media such as the Herald Sun, who seek to sensationalise or make worse any story that is already bad. I have nothing but contempt for easy, irresponsible reporting. I fully realise the ‘dirtiness’ of the whole sorry state of affairs. Insofar as the Israeli courts are concerned, I can only imagine that they don’t wish to extradite a Jew from Israel – if that is the reason for the decisions made, then it’s certainly not good enough. Leifer should either face court, with extradition, or be institutionalised if she is deemed insane.

    • Henry Herzog says:

      Thank you for your response Liat. No, I haven’t read many of your posts regarding sexual abuse of children, and I detest the Herald Sun for its blatant right wing hateful bias. But other papers also reported this story.

      But the most important thing here is the safety of children at schools and their suffering from this abuse.

      Yet reading some of the comments from those who have illusions that this is some sort of Adass witch-hunt, it shows that they just don’t get it. How would they respond if it happened to their kids, and that’s not a question. It’s about the welfare and wellbeing of our kids and protecting them from life destroying sexual abuse.

  5. Miri Goldstein says:

    Look, I know Adass-bashing has always been popular in our community.
    This is despite of (or maybe because) most people know nothing about who and what they are and stand for. But similarly to anti-semites who always did and continue to hate and slander Jews at every opportunity, so it is with many in the non-observant Jewish community who for no logical reason hate Adass and indeed religious Jews generally.

    Can anyone here, recall a SINGLE positive article about Adass in the AJN in the last decade? I can’t. They must’ve done SOMETHING right or good in the past 10 years!
    But obviously the AJN and it’s series of editors has never noticed.

    The fact is that after Leifer was sent off the Adass leadership immediately contacted educational and rabbinical authorities in Israel informing them of the allegations against Leifer. Additionally they followed her wherever she moved to and always contacted the authorities in her new locations with the same warning.

    And she NEVER again found a teaching position.

    Anyway, my question to those attacking the Israeli judges is, are you insinuating that they took bribes, or that they simply look after child abusers?

    If so, shame on you.

    MG (who lived near Adass families for over 20 years – and couldn’t wish for nicer and more decent neighbours)

  6. Steven Langley says:

    A couple of months ago in the Supreme Court (I presume under oath) Adass were saying that Leifer was never employed by the school so that they wouldn’t have to pay compensation to one of Leifer’s victims.

    In the SBS documentary Abelesz proudly said “We got rid of her. Unlike a lot of the other schools, they knew they had abusers there for twenty and thirty years and did nothing about it. The second we found out about it, we got rid of her. Whatever way we got rid of her, was correct or not so correct, but we got her away from the kids. We didn’t want her in the community trying to abuse any more kids.

    Yeah, hopefully she won’t abuse more girls overseas. And as for the victims, they were abused by Leifer, then the school and now by the judiciary in Israel.

  7. Henry Herzog says:

    The fact remains that Leifer was whisked away to Israel as soon as accusations were made of her sexually abusing young, innocent vulnerable Adass school girls. That is the crime. The people responsible for her departure obviously put her and their school’s welfare ahead of the victims’ terrible traumas they have suffered and probably continue to suffer. I thought our Torah teaches us to look after victims of crime, but not so at Adass.
    And now that an Israeli court has let her walk free as long as she gets some psychiatric treatment, whatever that means, and not face her accusers and victims, she’s unfit for trial. She’s certainly fit enough to come back, and let the courts in the country where it is alleged, she committed the crimes decide on whether she’s fit enough to face trail.

    • Henry Herzog says:

      Her case for being unfit to be extradited was that she suffered from anxiety and depression before having to make a court appearance. Well that seems reasonable, considering the prospect of her having to face justice.

  8. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    More like the Herald Sun making things dirtier than they need be.

    • Henry Herzog says:

      No Liat, things are already dirty, very, very dirty, without the Herald Sun story.
      Can’t you spare a thought for the suffering the victims have and continue to endure.

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