Now is the time

June 20, 2013 by Manny Waks
Read on for article

The Commonwealth Royal Commission Inquiry into child sexual abuse within organisations has now commenced.  Tzedek, an Australian-based advocacy group for Jewish victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, is uniquely positioned to provide evidence to the Royal Commission about the nature and extent of past and present child sexual abuse within Jewish organisations.

Tzedek1306 Tzedek has already gathered significant evidence of sexual abuse against children and young people in organisational settings.  Now, as the Royal Commission prepares to hear evidence of the extent of abuse across Australia, an opportunity exists to help piece together our community’s proper understanding of this issue that has historically, and tragically, been enveloped in silence.

How many Jewish children and young people have suffered alone in the agony of sexual abuse?  In which organisations has this occurred, and with whose knowledge? Who are the perpetrators, who are the handmaidens, and who are the conspirators? What has happened to the discarded allegations and suspicions that have fallen into labyrinths of obfuscating bureaucracies and worse? Who has shown the courage to raise their hands to investigate allegations, and who has conspired to ensure that a torment burrows ever deeper within our community? What can we do to aid the healing of victims and change the consciousness of some segments of our community? What can now be done to put an end to this scourge?

These are questions that our community must now answer. Tzedek has already been in contact with around 100 Jewish victims/survivors from around Australia. We will maintain an ongoing communications with these individuals, and in some cases with their families. Now is the time for others who have experienced past abuse (or their family members) to come forward and share their stories. Clearly this is a confronting message for some members of our community. How do victims/survivors end years – sometimes decades – of silence? In Tzedek’s experience, victims experience enormous relief when they share their stories within a supportive and confidential environment. This not only brings healing, but also opens the possibility to report perpetrators to the appropriate authorities. Apart from the opportunities to bring closure to fractured lives, it also helps ensure that those perpetrators cannot re-offend. Now, with the establishment of the Royal Commission, there is a unique opportunity to document past wrongs and ensure that the precedent of silence is replaced with a commitment to prevention and transparency. Victims can share their stories with Tzedek, which will be relayed to the Royal Commission, or Tzedek can support victims to contact the Royal Commission directly.

We are aware of the pain and discomfort to those who value the reputation of our community. Nevertheless, the answer to this unease is not to further obscure an issue whose time has come, but rather to stand together in pride that we are secure and compassionate enough to endure challenges to belief systems that condemn some of our fellow Jews to a lifetime of hiding. The protection of Jewish children and young people against the risk of child sexual abuse is paramount and the past practice of silence and denial has made the problem worse, not better. Enough! No more silence.

The Royal Commission will investigate how all Australian community-based organisations protect the children and young people in their care. This includes Jewish organisations, whether they be schools, synagogues, youth groups, sporting clubs or the like. It is already clear from the short history of Tzedek that our community has its share of sexual predators. The Royal Commission is a unique opportunity for the Jewish community to establish the full extent of this scourge and to prevent its reoccurrence. You can help build a stronger and better Jewish community by coming forward to share your story. Tzedek can assist victims/survivors and their families within a safe and supportive environment. We can also provide victims/survivors and their families with comprehensive information about the role of the Royal Commission and the range of ways to share information that ensures your privacy, if that is your wish.


Please visit the Tzedek website at or contact us at


Manny Waks is the Founder and CEO of Tzedek.



5 Responses to “Now is the time”
  1. Sara Barda says:

    Today I read in the age and listened on line to a pig who dares call himself Rabbi make figuring comments about children Jewish and not.

    Page 4 Otto and Sam, is a very sickening account and the audio is simply too hard to hear.

    Manny Waks go for your life. The supporters of child sex abuse cover ups, which I can only assume you two morons are, are petrified.

    And the louder they tell others they don’t like how you do this the better job you must be doing.

    I think Otto ( having read your ramblings here and elsewhere) you’ve never met Manny Waks. Maybe you should. Or are you too scared to actually support the cause that gets rid of the scum that rape our children, hide criminals and then rely on you to fight their cause.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      What’s to meet ! One reads enough to figure out the lot and , then, perish the thought, what if you happen to be in the entourage !!!!!
      Now see if you will understand this simple phrase:
      Nobody in the Jewish community supports pedophiles and, if statements from certain people are truncated or, indeed, sellectively sourced from less that wise individuals, an entire community is not at fault. Eliciting wrongs is one thing, branding whole communities as morally deficient, describing institutions, such as the mikveh as a hotbed of pedophilia etc. is something that responsible Jews would not allow. Otherwise, simplistic and hysterical outbursts ( see your own ) are consistent with Tzedek’s MO.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    Once again, we are seeing a badly distorted positing by the Tzedek promoters of their own flagship to the detriment of all other Jewish genuine concerns for the same cause.
    Get it right and straight Mr. Waks : your are NOT the “unique” institution dealing with ANY ethical issue in our community. Your pathetic claims are offensive to all those Jews who you do not know from Adam who have worked all their lives, much longer than you and your other family members, for the ethical values of Judaism in our community. The groisse Moishe image you are carving up for yourself is in many respects damaging our collective image.
    The 100 or so cases you have gathered MUST be listed nominally if any credence may be given to your inflamatory statements about the Jewish community.
    Your and your Father’s performance at the Commission, as per the complete texts shown here on Jwire, were, in many parts, a disgrace. Your twisted perceptions of the functions of our Yeshivot and other institutions, such as the mikveh, were replete with irresponsible, false assertions, some pure and simple anti Semitic or conducive of such assumptions by those only anxious to see statements unfairly critical of anything Jewish.
    Your relentless quest for public aura and fame is causing to a great extent serious damage to a community which you so farcically pretend you are defending and – G-d forbid – lead.

    • Sam says:

      Well said Otto Waldmann . I and many people whole heartedly concur with your post above.

  3. John says:

    As an Australian gentile and a friend to Jews everywhere, I wish Tzedek and the rest of the Jewish community in Australia, a successful and constructive engagement with the Commonwealth Royal Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse within organisations. The use of the criminal justice system, transparency, prevention and accountability, are vital components of the protection of everyone’s children. Shalom to all!

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.