The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (Australia) warns of another religious predator, a rabbi, abusing his way through Melbourne.
…however, want Jews to come forward to them, not to police, as the Australian Jewish News reports:
REPORTS of alleged sexual abuse by the former principal of the Adass Israel girls school have sparked Melbourne’s Orthodox rabbis into action amid reports that another high-profile figure within the community has been engaging in inappropriate behaviour.Let me offer a humble suggestion – the proper "venue" for complaints of physical or sexual abuse or theft and fraud is the police. When your rabbi is molesting your son, your first call should be the cops.
The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) has shored up its processes and is seeking to reassure the community that victims of abuse can come forward and seek assistance from qualified legal, psychological and rabbinical authorities in a confidential manner.
The high-profile figure in question is not affiliated with the Adass school or congregation, nor a member of the RCV, but the person’s identity and details of alleged inappropriate behaviour have been the subject of widespread speculation throughout Melbourne’s Orthodox community for the past few weeks.
It is believed the latest allegations involve both inappropriate physical contact, as well as improper financial transactions.
In a statement to The AJN, the RCV said: “We have been aware for some time now that there have been concerns regarding alleged abuse by a trusted official in the Jewish community.
“During this period, the RCV has continued to encourage alleged victims to come forward and confidentially present their issues to the RCV, so that halachic and legal counsel may be provided.
“In light of recent occurrences, the RCV wishes to make it known that its good offices are available for the purpose of assisting victims and alleged victims of abuse by trusted officials in our community.
“A small, but highly-qualified group of professionals has been engaged by the RCV to assist with legal and psychological counselling as required.”
It is believed that until late last week, there was division within the RCV as to how to deal with the community identity in question, and it was felt that this was deterring some of the alleged victims from coming forward and seeking assistance.
But this issue was resolved after a series of meetings over the weekend, so that a completely confidential environment can be created for those who wish to seek comfort.
“It needs to be made clear that if alleged victims do come forward, there will be no cover-ups and no sweeping of any issues under the carpet,” said RCV president Rabbi Meir Kluwgant.
“We’re equipped to offer whatever sort of assistance is required.”
The AJN understands that two high-profile community identities, who have previously held leadership positions within the general Jewish community, have agreed to work with the RCV and talk to individuals who may come forward seeking assistance.
All approaches on this matter should be made directly to the RCV on (03) 8517 5684 during business hours. All discussions will be treated in the strictest confidence and will be directed with the permission of the complainant to the appropriate venue.
Realize this: The Rabbis "have been aware for some time now that there have been concerns regarding alleged abuse by a trusted official in the Jewish community." That abuse is said to be both "inappropriate physical contact" and "improper financial transactions."
The rabbis have done nothing to stop this man.
If you had called the police instead of the rabbis, this creep would probably have been arrested and would now be facing trial.
If he is indeed abusing children or exploiting women he counsels, this delay is unconscionable.
[Hat Tip: Pushkina.]