Dassi Erlich tells her story

June 27, 2018 by Hila Tsor
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JNFNSW, in collaboration of the Jewish House and The Australian Jewish News, raised awareness for victims of child sexual abuse and support for the Association of Rape Crisis Centres in Israel. 

Joshua Levi, Dassi Erlich, Rinat Kedem-Bart and Rabbi Mendel Kastel

JFN hosted Dassi Erlich, survivor of child sexual abuse, in order to tell her story and give insights about her journey. Erlich spoke about her eventual refusal to remain silent, which forced her to leave her community. Erlich said: ‘sexual abuse thrives in secrecy, and I have been silent for long enough’. 

Erlich also spoke about her ‘Bring Leifer Back’ campaign, revealing that she had discovered that Leifer’s abuse did not stop in Australia, but that she had abused again in Israel.

Dassi Erlich tells her story

Malka Leifer is facing an extradition hearing in Israel which may if successful will expedite her return to Melbourne. She has been on 74 counts of child sexual abuse.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel, the CEO of Jewish House, spoke about the Royal Commission inquiry into child sexual abuse, and the National Redress Scheme. Kastel explained to the full room that every organisation in the community must have proper regulations and procedures in place regarding abuse, and that leaders must be properly educated about what is right and wrong, in order for both complaints and survivors to be handled appropriately. 

Following the speeches, Joshua Levi, CEO of The Australian Jewish News, moderated the panel with Erlich and Kastel, who were joined by Rinat Kedem-Bart, the Jewish Agency for Israel representative and former Jerusalem Rape Crisis Centre CEO. Some of the topics that were covered included the legal complexities of the Leifer trial in Israel, Dassi’s hopes for the future and frustrations, the community support, and education


One Response to “Dassi Erlich tells her story”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Give Dassi an OAM in the Queen birthday honours list next year. Someone close to her please nominate her.

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