Manny Waks, the Australian victims' advocate and survivor of child sex abuse at Chabad's Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne, has stepped down from his leadership role in Tzedek, the anti-child-sex-abuse organization he founded.
Manny Waks writes:
After more than three years in this role (including pre-Tzedek), it's time to move on. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for being a part of my journey, and for your ongoing support, advice and assistance. I look forward to sharing my plans with you all in due course. In the meantime, it's business as usual.
Tzedek announces impending resignation of founder and CEO Manny Waks
The Tzedek Board of Management would like to announce that its founder and CEO Mr Manny Waks will be stepping down from his position at the end of November 2014. At a recent Board meeting Mr Waks advised the Board that after more than three years of working with the highly complex, sensitive and controversial issue of child sexual abuse, the time has come to move on from this role.
“It has been a great honour and privilege to establish and lead Tzedek. Over three years ago, when I publicly disclosed my personal experience of abuse, I set out on a long and challenging journey, which has led to great achievements both personally and professionally,” Mr Waks said.
“We could not have achieved what we achieved without the support, assistance and guidance of the Board of Management and Board of Advisors, the generous donors, volunteers and support agencies. Most importantly, I wish to thank my family and friends who supported me while undertaking this most challenging work,” Mr Waks said.
He went on to say, “I have accomplished what I set out to achieve, and am comfortable moving forward knowing that I leave behind a strong foundation from which Tzedek’s important vision and mission can continue to grow. This position wasn’t a life tenure, rather a role I felt compelled to undertake at a particular point in time. I feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction in what I have accomplished. Indeed it is humbling to have been part of creating a cultural shift in the context of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community – not only in Australia. While we have made significant progress, there is still much work to do.”
The Board would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Mr Waks’ significant and integral contribution as founder and inaugural CEO of Tzedek. “In addition to the abuse Manny suffered as a child, he and his family have endured further pain which we do not underestimate or take for granted. We thank Manny on behalf of the entire community,” Tzedek President Mr Josh Bornstein said.
The Board invited Mr Waks to join the Tzedek Board of Advisors who provide advice to the Board of Management as well as support the work towards Tzedek’s vision of a Jewish community free of child sexual abuse.
An opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank Mr Waks will take place in November.