The following message was distributed by Manny Waks via his Facebook page on November 4 2012. I encourage anyone who has any relevant information to come forward to the police. Manny has requested any direct contact with him to be via Facebook.
Over the year or so since I went public with my story of child sexual abuse at Melbourne’s Yeshivah, I’ve been entrusted with allegations relating to numerous other victims/perpetrators.
I want to share one of these with you. A prominent Jewish Australian who’s a household name, informed me that during his Bar-Mitzvah classes (several decades ago) at an Orthodox synagogue (not ultra-Orthodox), the prominent and highly respected rabbi (who for the time being will remain nameless) would expose himself and masturbate in front of him. At this stage, decades later, the victim still does not want to share his story with the police – as he told me, even his parents aren’t aware of his experience.
The reason I’ve elected to share this particular serious allegation is to point out a number of important points:
• anyone can be a victim;
• anyone can be a perpetrator;
• it is not just a Yeshivah/Adass/ultra-Orthodox issue; and
• many victims are still reluctant to share their experience with anyone, including family members and the police.
After holding discussions with the police on this matter, they have advised that they are unable to take any action, as the victim must provide a statement. Consistent with the way paedophiles work, it is reasonable to assume that this prominent rabbi would have done similar things to other children.
So I urge anyone who was also exposed to any such experience, especially similar to the story described above, to report the matter to the police – of course if you are aware of any other cases of sexual abuse, whether perpetrated against you or anyone else, please report this information to the police. It’s important that they are informed of everything so that they can have a broader picture of what has been happening. Because the picture that I currently have is very grim – in my opinion it’s not a question of whether instances of abuse were on a similar scale to the Catholic Church but rather whether this will all become public…..
Contact details (Melbourne, Australia):
Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team
(03) 9556 6129
Detective Senior Constable Jonathan RUSSELL (or others in the team)
If you’re reluctant to make a confidential statement to the police, please realise that you’re not alone – it’s common! But please consider that if you go to the police, you’ll be:
• pursuing justice;
• assisting other past victims; and
• protecting potential victims.
Please feel free to contact me in complete confidence if I can be of any assistance.
In a casual conversation I had today with someone involved in a key organisation in Melbourne’s Jewish community, I heard something amazing, although to the person I was talking to it seemed fairly matter-of-fact. What I heard has the potential to improve the way GLBT people are treated in the community and I believe it has huge ramifications. I will disclose more information about this over the coming days, so stay tuned.
Channel 31 TV’s Jewish show The Shtick was at the Melbourne Pride March on February 6 2011. Henry Greener and his team spent a few moments talking to me in the marshalling area by Lakeside Drive just before the march. They then made their way toward the end of Fitzroy Street to capture the colour and excitement of the parade.
Last Sunday was the 16th annual Pride March in St Kilda. Melbourne’s weather started out a little rainy and overcast, but cleared in time for the parade, leaving an abundance of blue skies and sunshine.
Kaye Sera always brings a ray of sunshine, and a pink plastic penis.
Behind-the-scenes magic was performed by Colin Krycer, back with a vengeance after missing the prior year’s parade due to an appointment with a heart surgeon.
Pride March celebrates the diversity and under the umbrella of the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council marched a diverse array of cultural organisations.
And the homophobic hate just keeps pouring in from the AJN Watch website.
Of course, silence will reign in the Jewish community because there’s no anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism here. Just some good old-fashioned homophobia, and we know that the leaders of the community don’t consider homophobia to be much of a problem because they won’t speak out against it.
Never mind if you’re a gay person being bashed by a homophobic thug in the street, as happened in Collingwood in October. But that’s ok, because it wasn’t an anti-Semitic attack and it wasn’t an anti-Israel attack. It was just a boring gay bashing. Gay bashing. Gay bashing. Gay bashing. Boring. Everyday. Gay. Bashing.
When will the leaders speak out against this hatred? Why are they so silent on the matter? Perhaps gay children are expendable.
Their parents must be SO proud!Sending kids to a Jewish youth group used to mean that you hoped they would spend their time there being imbued with Jewish and mentchlich values and ideals.
Habonim, it seems, has decided to go in the opposite direction.
We wonder how happy the parents are about this.
(Also it’s quite obvious that the AJN can’t find anything else newsworthy to report about this group.)
- Anonymous said…
- How shameful of Habo management to allow this. And the AJN is continuing is promotion of gays and their issues
- Tuesday, December 14, 2010 10:46:00 PM
- Anonymous said…
- I feel neither way about this issue…
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 9:49:00 PM
- Adam Braitberg said…
- To all those reading this thread, My Name is Adam Braitberg, and all though you may not be able to see it, that boy in the photo with the Habo Chultzah (shirt) is me.
I have spent my life in the Melbourne Jewish Community, Been a chanich and now a Madrich (leader) at Habonim Dror, i have been involved in Jewish education since i was a child as well as constant hours volunteering for many for the Jewish charities in our community and Israel.
And Guess What I am also Gay, Habonim Dror is a youth movement that is there for all chanichim (kids) regardless of sexual orientation, by attending a same-sex rally, we show that we support all people, regardless of difference. We educate our chanichim (kids) about respecting all individuals, a value that Judaism holds very highly, we also encourage them to see where there is something wrong in the world, and to actively make a change. And the lack of tolerance much of the world shows to same sex individuals is something that needs to change.
There are many people around the world not given the same rights as us. It’s not just youth movements that should be trying to make a difference, it is us as a Jewish Nation that should be upholding our values as people, and trying to make that change.
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:07:00 PM
- Tyger-Lee Baise said…
- I am featured in this photo and I am proud to say that my parents are extremely proud of me.Sending your child to a Jewish Youth Movement is not only about instilling Jewish values and ideals but educating youth on issues facing many people. This rally was an opportunity for us to show our support for the values of equality, civil rights and respect for all human beings.
So yes my parents are proud of me and I am so proud to be a part of a youth movement that stands up for all people being intrinsically valuable and unique and is accepting of ALL human beings.
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:02:00 PM
- Shilloby Weezel said…
- Tyger that’s really great for your parents. Now what about joining in a march with Muslims demanding teh right to polygamy? That too comes under civil rights and respect of humans who are also intrinsically valuable and unique
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:13:00 PM
- Bill K said…
- Adam, you have all my sympathy for your sad predicament . But really, why the need to advertise your sexual proclivities?
Do what you like, but don’t bore the world with your activities.Habo has always been for ‘normals’ and not an outlet for problematics with sexual issues.
So I can’t see any reason why they now go marching with the perverts and abnormals of the Sex party.
That was NOT the way it was when I was in Habo some years ago.
Or should you change the name from Habo to Homo?
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:18:00 PM
- Anonymous said…
- Well stated Shilloby. Why not go a step further? What if someone wishes to marry his dog, cat or even chimpanzee (remember that homo-pedophile Michael Jackson?)?Will Tyger and Adam and the Habonim crew be marching for that too?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer was “yes”.
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:21:00 PM