“In my view it’s clear that [Kamien] was effectively dismissed for disclosing to me a vital bit of evidence for submission to the royal commission. Had the text message not been disclosed, Rabbi Kluwgant would probably still have his senior leadership positions and victims and their families would still be accused of exaggerating the intimidation [they have faced and continue to face]. The journalist’s disclosure ensured the truth was told. It vindicated us fully."
Leading Jewish Newspaper Fires Whistleblower Who Exposed Chabad Rabbi’s Duplicity And Intimidation In Massive Child Sex Abuse Scandal
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Australian Jewish News promised that it would “take no further action in relation to the matter” of the leaked text message that rocked Australia’s Royal Commission investigating child sex abuse in Chabad institutions last month, but that promise was a lie.
The text message was devastating for Chabad. It was sent by Chabad Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant – at the time Australia’s top Orthodox rabbi – to Zeddy Lawrence, the editor of the AJN, as Zephania Waks, father of child sex abuse victim-turned-advocate Manny Waks, was testifying.
“Zephaniah is killing us. Zephaniah is attacking Chabad. He is a lunatic on the fringe, guilty of neglect of his own children. Where was he when all this was happening?,” Kluwgant, who would soon testify himself, wrote.
Adam Kamien, the 120-year-old Jewish paper’s top Melbourne journalist, saw the text and did the ethical thing – he sent it to Manny Waks, who gave it to the attorney he and his father share.
When Kluwgant testified the next week, he spoke of concern for victims of child sex abuse and very smoothly tried to paint himself as one of their champions. And then the Waks’ attorney read that text message to the Royal Commission. Did you send it, she asked? Kluwgant stammered. And then he admitted that he had.
In response, Kluwgant was forced to resign as president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia and step down from other positions of Orthodox communal leadership.
But Kluwgant retains his position as Chabad’s chief schochet (ritual slaughterer of animals), despite the fact that someone who is caught lying publicly would under strict halakha (Orthodox Jewish law) be deemed unsuitable for that role. (That Chabad failed to remove him has sparked a small boycott of Chabad meat products, mostly by people outside the Chabad community.)
The AJN suspended Kamien – who it did not name – and launched an internal investigation into the leak, and a few days later the paper announced that “the Australian Jewish News confirms that as a result of its investigation The Australian Jewish News determined to lift the suspension imposed on the relevant employee and take no further action in relation to the matter.”
But the AJN was finely parsing its words, and those words did not mean Kamien’s job was safe.
FailedMessiah.com reported the as yet unnamed journalist had been forced out or fired.
And now the Australian explains exactly how that happened.
…[O]n Friday last week, group general manager Rod Kenning sent an email to [AJN] staff saying that Mr Kamien’s position as senior journalist had become redundant.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you that the position of senior journalist in the Melbourne office has been made redundant as part of a restructure of the editorial team,” the email said.
“As a result, Adam Kamien will be leaving the paper.
“The Australian Jewish News takes this opportunity to thank Adam for his loyal service.
“No further redundancies are planned at this time; however, if you have any concerns regarding your position, please do not hesitate to talk to me.”…
Manny Waks noted that without Kamien's action, Chabad would have been able to hide much more of its coverup from the Royal Commission.
“In my view it’s clear that [Kamien] was effectively dismissed for disclosing to me a vital bit of evidence for submission to the royal commission. Had the text message not been disclosed, Rabbi Kluwgant would probably still have his senior leadership positions and victims and their families would still be accused of exaggerating the intimidation [they have faced and continue to face]. The journalist’s disclosure ensured the truth was told. It vindicated us fully,” Waks reportedly said.