On­go­ing sex abuse failings


AUS­TRALIA HELD a fi­nal Royal Com­mis­sion hear­ing last week on the in­sti­tu­tional re­sponse to the child sex abuse scan­dal that took place over sev­eral years in the Mel­bourne and Syd­ney Yeshiva com­mu­ni­ties.

It emerged at the hear­ing that Rabbi Zvi Tel­sner, the dis­graced for­mer chief rabbi of the Yeshiva Cen­tre in Mel­bourne, was still be­ing paid a salary more than 18 months af­ter he re­signed over his dis­mis­sive con­duct to­wards vic­tims and their fam­i­lies.

Rabbi Chaim Zvi Groner, the direc­tor of adult To­rah ed­u­ca­tion at the Yeshiva Cen­tre, was un­able to shed light on why this was the case.

Rab­bis Groner and Smuk­ler, the prin­ci­pal of Yeshiva col­leges in Mel­bourne; Rabbi Pinchus Feld­man, head of the Yeshiva Cen­tre; and Rabbi Dovid Slavin, head of the Yeshiva Col­lege, both from Bondi, were asked about the poli­cies they had in­sti­tuted in re­sponse to the orig­i­nal hear­ings — on is­sues such as child pro­tec­tion, deal­ing with com­plaints and mikveh pro­to­cols.

Rabbi Feld­man ad­mit­ted he had signed off on the Chabad Youth child pro­tec­tion pol­icy with­out know­ing what was in it. “I ac­cept that I have dropped the ball,” he said.

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