Published On: Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015

Journalist Fired from Australian Jewish Paper For Revealing Text about Sex Abuse Coverup

Advocate Manny Waks said, "In my view, it is clear the journalist was effectively dismissed for disclosing to me a vital bit of evidence for submission to the royal commission."

Yeshiva College sex abuse victim Manny Waks

The Australian reports that a Jewish newspaper dismissed a journalist who provided a text message that may have been instrumental in leading to the resignation of a top rabbi.

Journalists at the Australian Jewish News were questioned by managers on how a text message found its way to the Royal Commission investigating allegations of child sexual abuse in a Chabad yeshivah in Melbourne. Adam Kamien, who had worked for the publication since 2006, was suspended on full pay while the matter was being investigated. Although AJN said it would take “no further action” as the result of the questioning, and Kamien’s suspension was lifted, on Friday, group general manager Rod Kenning informed staff that Kamien’s position as senior editor had “become redundant because of a restructure of the editorial team.”

The text message was one sent by Rabbi Meir Klugwant  to AJN editor Teddy Lawrence, and said, according to the Australian, “Zephaniah (father of abuse victim Manny Waks) is killing us. Zephaniah is attacking Chabad. He is a lunatic on the fringe, guilting (sic) of neglecting his own children. Where was he when all of this was happening?” Rabbi Klugwant was forced to admit he had written the text message and resigned as President of the Organization of Rabbis of Australasia.

Manny Waks, who was a victim of the abuse as a child and has been a vocal in his efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice, told the Australian, “In my view, it is clear the journalist 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 Klugwant would probably still have his senior leadership positions and victims and their families would still be accused of exaggerating the intimidation.”

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