Senior Yeshivah Officials may face tribunal

May 25, 2013 by  
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The father of child sex abuse victim Manny Waks is taking two senior officials at the Yeshivah Centre to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Zephania Waks

Zephania Waks

Zephaniah Waks had taken his complaint against Yeshivah’s chief rabbi, Zvi Telsner, and the chairman of the Yeshivah committee, Hershel Herbst, to the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, accusing them of “an escalating campaign of shunning me during the last 18 months, because of my views and actions and those of my son who they find it hard to attack except via me”.

Since Manny Waks went public in 2011 with allegations of child sex abuse in the 1980s and claims of cover-ups by school leaders at the time, his father claims he has been shunned by many in the fervently Orthodox community although Rabbi Telsner has denied the allegations as “absolutely false”.

Zephaniah Waks withdrew his complaint on Friday after Nechama Bendet, a spokesperson for Yeshivah, said they required until May 31 “to consider the issues”.

But Waks said “these delaying and other tactics by the respondents are unacceptable”.

He said he had agreed to all their demands for the benefit of the conciliation, including waiting until after Shavuot, agreeing to confidentiality, and in last week accepting “their unwillingness to show the smallest gesture of goodwill towards the conciliation by giving me an aliyah upon the birth of a grandchild, as is customary for everyone else in the congregation”.

Waks wrote in an email to the HREOC official earlier this week: “I am not prepared to play their games any more,” stating that he will now pursue the case with VCAT.


4 Responses to “Senior Yeshivah Officials may face tribunal”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    What Zephania Waks is doing is showing what the shule is really made of in not supporting him and his son in their brave act of speaking out. Religion: used and abused to the point of inhumanity, while those so doing prop themselves up in their untouchable cocoons, disregarding the ugly truths around them. Makes me so angry,

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    That’s the systm working for all Australians if successful, maybe a precedent being set.
    I’ll look up and see whose on the Tribunal and wager a guess.

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    Onya Zaph, mate, give’em hell, humiliate the whole shule and show them what you are really made of and this way you’ll be sure to gain the respect of EVERYONE !!!

    • nathan says:

      your sarcasm does not diminish from the value of seeking fairness and civility even in the dark world of the ultra-orthodox who often seem to feel that they can live and behave, detached from norms of society, by their own rules.

      Indeed, that is how they got themselves into this sordid and disgraceful mess of covering up, and not effectively dealing, with predatory pedophiles within their community.

      With sincerity, I wish Mr Waks well in his battle for civility and justice.

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