"The case of Malka Leifer needs to be in the news," says a source. "She’s hiding out in Beit Shemesh and has left hurt people all over the world. This is a cult-like case."
In 2000, Malka Leifer was hired by Adass Israel Girls School. In 2003 she was promoted and made principal. Her employment terminated and left Melbourne within 24 hours of being investigated by the school board. There were allegations made that Adass Israel school purchased the ticket for Leifer to return to Israel. Norman Rosenbaum, the schools spokesperson, the rumors are not true.
Zipporah Oliver, a prominent Orthodox psychologist, was quoted in saying that she has encouraged anybody who feels traumatized by the events to seek help in a culturally appropriate way.
Over the last seven years The Awareness Center has seen "the culturally appropriate way" in many orthodox communities is to let the rabbis "handle" these sorts situations, by either doing nothing or protecting the alleged sexual predator not to embarrass his or her family, at the expense of those who have been criminally violated.
It’s not very often we will see rabbonim encouraging survivors of sex crimes to work with law enforcement, instead they encourage survivors to have their cases heard in a Jewish religious court. According to Jewish law there needs to be two `kosher’ witnesses to a crime. It’s important to note that women do not count as kosher witnesses. When you are dealing with sex crimes, there is hardly ever one witness, let alone two.
We all must be aware that our rabbis are not trained to conduct victim sensitive interviews nor have knowledge in how to collect forensic evidence. The "cultural norm" in more insulated communities is to scare those who have been victimized into silence by warning them they will not find good marriage partner or be allowed in good yeshivas (schools) if it was known they or a family member were a victim of a sex crime.
Instead of instilling fear, our rabbis should be encouraging survivors to work with law enforcement, to insure no more innocent children, adolescents or adults are harmed by alleged sexual predators. Instead of promoting fear, our rabbonim have a responsibility to be educating our communities that all survivor of sex crimes should be honored and respected.
The Awareness Center wants to encourage all survivors of sex crimes to contact their local rape crisis center and to work with law enforcement. It is the only way to insure that there is hope in stopping a sexual predator from creating more victims.
Adass principal flees Australia in disgrace (03/13/2008)
‘Misbehaving’ teacher leaves for Israel (03/13/2008)
Allegations send principal packing (03/13/2008)
Principal ‘molested schoolgirls’ (03/14/2008)
Jewish school ‘devastated’ (03/14/2008)
Claim Jewish principal molested students (03/14/2008)
School acting on claims, says lawyer (03/15/2008)
Head flees over school scandal (03/19/2008)
Adass denies paying for principal to flee (03/24/2008)
Rabbis urge victims to speak out (03/27/2008)
Abuses alleged in Melbourne community (03/30/2008)