Adass Israel School Failed Me, Says Abuse Case Student

By Pia Akerman
The Australian
May 7, 2015

A woman suing an ultra-orth­odox Jewish school and the former principal for sexually assaulting her as a student says the school provided no sex education or pathways for reporting the abuse.

Mother of eight Malka Leifer and the Adass Israel school in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs are facing court action brought by the former student, who says Ms Leifer repeatedly ­assaulted her over four years in the mid-2000s.

Ms Leifer swiftly left the school when allegations concerning several students came to light in 2008, resigning after an internal investigation and flying to ­Israel with her family the next day. She has previously denied the allegations, but is not mounting a defence in the civil case.

There are ongoing court proceedings in Israel to extradite her to face criminal charges.

Her former student, who was 15 when the alleged abuse began, yesterday told the Victorian ­Supreme Court she initially felt “privileged” by Ms Leifer’s attention. “I trusted her, I trusted what she said to me,” said the woman, who is now 27.

“She would tell me that she loved me and that she really cared for me ... (that) this was her way of showing how close she felt to me.”








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