Yeshiva University's David Pelcovitz, linked to alleged coverups at OHEL of failure to report child sex abuse, is flown to Australia to teach Chabad, haredi and Modern Orthodox rabbis how to deal with congregants who disclose child sex abuse claims to them.
The Herald Sun reports:
VICTORIAN [i.e., Melbourne] Jewish religious leaders are being trained in how to deal with disclosures of sexual abuse and family violence.
A US expert recently visited Melbourne to advise rabbis on the subject.
There have been perceptions in the Jewish community that some religious figures were advising against reporting abuse cases to police.
Last month, rabbi David Kramer was jailed for sexually assaulting four students while teaching at Melbourne's Yeshivah College between 1989 and 1991.
Rabbinical Council of Victoria president Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant said the training for rabbis was not directly linked to the sex abuse cases, but was influenced by them.
"There was a misconception that rabbis were saying to people that they mustn't report to the police," he said.
"But in our many media releases and policies and statements we certainly don't say that," he said. "If somebody has information regarding sexual abuse, they must report it to police - that goes without question."
But Rabbi Kluwgant, who is a police chaplain, said some victims didn't want to report incidents to police because they felt ashamed.
"If someone discloses to the rabbi this information, apart from telling them to go to the police, what can the rabbi offer to that person? What's the best way for the rabbi to respond?" he said.
Psychology professor David Pelcovitz, of New York's Yeshiva University, recently trained Victorian rabbis on dealing with disclosures of sex abuse and family violence.
"After meeting Dr Pelcovitz, the rabbis felt better equipped to help their congregants," Rabbi Kluwgant said.