It’s a brave person to admit publicly they’ve been the victim of sexual abuse. Making this admission in a small close-knit community is even more courageous; few do it.
Manny Waks has shown he’s a person who stands by his convictions, someone not afraid to say it how it is. Forthrightness is a quality I admire.
In Manny’s response to the statements from Yeshivah and the JCCV, he makes some comments that are especially insightful.
While Yeshivah’s reluctance to fully cooperate with the investigation is somewhat understandable as it attempts to maintain its reputation – although completely unacceptable – the JCCV’s silence on this issue has been bewildering and outrageous. It indicates that there is a major gap in leadership in the Victorian Jewish community. No one was willing to stand up when it counted – this from an organisation that claims to be the voice of Victorian Jewry.
No victim would be interested in seeking assistance or support from an organisation that lacks moral leadership. Furthermore, the JCCV’s recommendation to seek assistance and support also from the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence, a group that has proved itself to be primarily a Yeshivah apologist, is further alienating.
What is most revealing about Manny’s observation of the JCCV is that it parallels my experience with the same organisation. This confirms to me that there are some fundamental deficiencies with the JCCV. Address these and we can start to identify and then tackle the underlying harms that exist within the community, rather than just remedy them in a superficial manner.