Alison Caldwell; Updated; 14/2/13
Detectives in New South Wales have launched an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community in Sydney in the 1970s and 1980s. A NSW Police spokesman said Victoria Police detectives had information about two individuals associated with the Yeshiva Centre at Bondi. Victims advocate Manny Waks, who was abused at Melbourne’s Yeshiva Centre when he was a boy, has welcomed the Sydney investigation. He says it was only a “matter of time” before the alleged abuse came to light. “I’ve been speaking to a number of alleged victims from Sydney over the last year or so,” he said. “It is not surprising at all. It was always, for me, a matter of time before victims actually stepped forward and decided to take action. It’s a really welcome development.
“This is a global issue with the Jewish community that has never been addressed in a proper manner, and what we are seeing over the last short period is that it is now getting the attention that it has always deserved. “It’s not necessarily just an ultra-Orthodox issue. We are starting to see justice attained for some victims and survivors and hopefully we are in the right direction, and we’re going to see a complete cleaning house of the past. “Those who were involved in covering up … are directly responsible for the abuse that occurred as a direct result of them taking absolutely no action about the cases that they were aware of.
“So all of these individuals must be held to full account.” Mr Waks said he was hopeful the investigation would help more victims speak out. “At least people are stepping forward to try to address their past abuse,” he said. “Of the cases that I’ve heard, mostly they have been from Melbourne. I’ve heard a number of cases from Sydney, a number of cases, two cases from Perth. “That’s within Australia. A victim contacted me who lives in the US but is originally from London. That was another case and there’ve been another couple of cases in Israel and the US in the past.” The ABC has tried to seek comment from Yeshiva Centre spiritual leader Rabbi Feldman.
Audio: Listen to the interview with Manny Waks (The World Today); http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-14/police-investigate-claims-of-child-abuse-in-jewish-community/4519040