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Five Yeshiva Melbourne Senior Officials Resign over Child Sex Abuse

In February, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse spent two weeks looking at how abuse cases were handled by the Yeshivah centers in Sydney and Melbourne.

Manny Waks

Two days after child sex abuse victims called for the resignations of senior staff from within the Orthodox Jewish Yeshivah community, four of its leaders have stood down.

On Friday morning, Yeshivah Melbourne announced that committee chairman Don Wolf and members Chaim New, Yirmi Loebenstein, and Sue Susskind had resigned.

The resignations presumably came in response to an open letter 11 abuse victims had sent the Melbourne yeshivah on Wednesday, protesting a lack of accountability of the yeshiva leadership following the hearings on rampant sex abuse in the institution.

In February, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse spent two weeks looking at how abuse cases were handled by the Yeshivah centers in Sydney and Melbourne.

The commission heard how victims were groomed for sexual abuse by staff, then bullied and ostracized by religious leaders when they sought help, the Guardian reported.

The yeshiva statement read: “We will shortly commence an independent review of the governance arrangements of the centre, including the transparency of the committee. We will undertake a process to renew the committee’s composition in the light of this review.”

The statement went on to promise that “an independent and pre-eminent committee is being established to develop and implement a scheme based on the principles of existing models operating in other organizations.”

Manny Waks, who was abused multiple times by two Yeshivah staff members, and then, when he went public with his complaint was ostracized by the community, told the Guardian the resignations on Friday were “token” and “insufficient.”

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