Yeshivah probe broadens

The Age

March 29, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Victoria’s Human Rights Commission will investigate a complaint by Zephaniah Waks, the father of Jewish abuse victim advocate Manny Waks, that he has been shunned by the Orthodox Jewish community in Melbourne because of his son’s anti-abuse campaign.

Mr Waks snr says that since the police began investigating child sexual abuse complaints around Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre nearly two years ago, he has suffered an escalating campaign of ”innuendo, lies, vilification, victimisation and discrimination”.

The case, which is shocking in a community that prefers to sort out disputes internally, names Yeshivah Centre spiritual head Zvi Telsner and its committee head Hershel Herbst as respondents.

Mr Waks said on Thursday he had tried to resolve issues internally and through Jewish courts, but the Yeshivah leadership refused, so he had gained permission under Jewish law to go to the secular courts from a leading American rabbi, Yosef Blau from Yeshiva University.

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