Royal Commission – the rabbis call on named to stand down

November 30, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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The Executive of the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ), The Rabbinical Council of New South Wales (RCNSW) and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) have expressed their  deep distress by the contents of the report by the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse at Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne.Royal-Commission290In a joint statement the rabbis said: “Child sexual abuse has caused unimaginable suffering to the victims in our community, and RCANZ, RCNSW and RCV and their members are totally committed to removing this scourge from our community and from our institutions. We offer our deepest sympathies to the victims and commit ourselves to learning from the failures of the past.

As the Royal Commission has made clear, child sexual abuse was allowed to continue because of actions and inaction by some rabbis and community leaders. Victims were not always believed or supported, adding to the trauma.

We restate a ruling that has been made many times before, that Jewish law requires all allegations of child sexual abuse to be reported immediately to the police and other relevant government authorities. We encourage all professionals working in the Jewish community whose work brings them into any contact with young people to receive specific and detailed training in child protection. We urge all synagogues and schools in our community to ensure proper governance procedures to oversee the work of their staff, to ensure that failings are identified and corrected.

We call on those who have been identified in the report as not fulfilling their legal obligations to protect children to stand down from their public positions. We believe that those who denigrated or undermined the victims have lost their moral right to serve as leaders in our communities. The Rabbinate must demonstrate that Judaism and the Jewish community will not tolerate child sexual abuse and those who perpetrate it, and must support those who have suffered.

We hope and pray that this report will help our community and others to keep children safe, and ensure that no child in the Jewish community, or throughout Australia, will ever again suffer the horrors of sexual abuse.”

Victim and co-founder of the child sexual abuse advocacy group Tzedek Manny Waks said: ‘This is an extremely powerful and moving statement. I commend the RCANZ, the RCV and the RCNSW for this leadership position. It will be comforting for victims/survivors and our families – indeed, for the entire community. It will also help to restore the community’s faith in the Rabbinate. I look forward to continue working closely with these organisations in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse.’



One Response to “Royal Commission – the rabbis call on named to stand down”
  1. Avigael Cassel says:

    More words backed by no action. Not one of these Rabbis has stood for the innocent in the community, dealt with the plethora of allegations and injustices and have collectively been perpetrators in crimes against Australian Families – directly or indirectly due to refusal to act on these and other issues. Even today, they cover up the crimes of their colleagues and refuse to deal with the issues at hand.

    Its well past time these pseudo councils are closed down, along with their fraudulant claims of ‘serving the community’. The only people these serve are themselves. They should no longer be permitted to operate.

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