Tzedek applies to appear at the Royal Commission

May 8, 2013 by  
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Tzedek, the Jewish organisation which has been established to end the silence on child sexual abuse within the Jewish community, has made an application to appear at the Royal Commission into child abuse.

Manny Waks

Manny Waks

Manny Waks, founder and CEO of Tzedek and well-known human rights campaigner in the Jewish community has enlisted the help of Maurice Blackburn principal and Tzedek President Josh Bornstein, and will apply for leave to appear at the Royal Commission.

Maurice Blackburn is working with a legal team that also includes Victorian barrister, Daniel Star, Anton Hermann from Minter Ellison and lawyer Joel Vernon, who is also Secretary on the Tzedek board.

Mr Waks established Tzedek in December 2012 as the first organisation in Australia dedicated to the issue of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community. In 2011, Mr Waks publicly disclosed that he had suffered child sexual abuse, making the brave decision to tell his story in a bid to help others speak up and break the cycle of silence.

“The Jewish community has been exposed to numerous cases involving serious allegations of child sexual abuse and subsequent cover-ups and I believed the rapid developments that have happened here in Australia demanded an organisation such as Tzedek to properly respond to the issue in our community,” Mr Waks said.

“I strongly encourage all Jewish victims to reach out to Tzedek for advice and to better inform our submission to the Royal Commission.”

Both Mr Bornstein and Mr Waks separately campaigned for the establishment of the Royal Commission and in the course of doing so, met for the first time and agreed to collaborate on establishing Tzedek.

Mr Bornstein said Maurice Blackburn will work with Tzedek in assisting the Commission with its terms of reference, in line with an ongoing belief that the Commission should leave no stone unturned in addressing the issue of protecting children.

“I applaud the courage and conviction of Manny Waks in taking decisive steps to try and reduce child sexual abuse within the Jewish community, and to radically improve the way in which Jewish organisations respond to such cases,” he said.

“Like many others in the community, I believe that the Royal Commission is an extraordinarily important part of the process of changing institutional behaviour and giving victims a voice.”

Tzedek means ‘Justice’ in Hebrew.


4 Responses to “Tzedek applies to appear at the Royal Commission”
  1. Suzette says:

    I heard Manny and his father speak on the ABC Radio program on Friday 2 August 2013 called The Spirit of Things: Sexual abuse in Hasidic Jewish community. I was very impressed and very inspired.

    I support Manny Waks and his very important organisation, Tzedek. A Jewish organisation established to end the silence on child sexual abuse within the Jewish community is an important historical turning point in more ways than one.

    Congratulations Manny!

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    @ kush
    let’s see, according to the previous appearance before the same Commission he wants:

    – the closure of all mikve, described at the Commission by the same as a festering webb of paedophilia
    – the closure of any Yeshivah that dared not succumb to the Tzedek rationale
    – the closure of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) because they devote excessive time to matters…Zionist
    – the closure of the ECAJ for the same reason as ZFA.

    and that should do for the time being.

  3. kush says:

    But Manny has already appeared before them???

    what exactly does he want this time?

    (besides of course not wanting to break his record of going more than a week without media coverage)

  4. Otto Waldmann says:

    Mr Bornstein said, as per text of article that Mr. Waks is trying to “reduce” sexual abuse. It does not sound all that smart, only to “reduce”, does it !!?? Anyway, Tzedek seem to be all made of experts……

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