Many Waks has a post up featuring an article written by survivor/victim ‘AVB’ who gave evidence in the Royal Commission regarding child sexual abuse at Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre run by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
A victim/survivor from Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre who participated in the Royal Commission public hearing (as ‘AVB’) has written an article to coincide with the one-year anniversary since that watershed moment for our community.
In 1999, in a speech in the oval office, Ellie Weisel stated:
“In the place that I come from, society was composed of three simple categories: the killers, the victims, and the bystanders. During the darkest of times, inside the ghettoes and death camps…we felt abandoned, forgotten. All of us did.
And our only miserable consolation was that we believed that Auschwitz and Treblinka were closely guarded secrets; that the leaders of the free world did not know what was going on behind those black gates and barbed wire; that they had no knowledge of the war against the Jews that Hitler’s armies and their accomplices waged as part of the war against the Allies.
If they knew, we thought, surely those leaders would have moved heaven and earth to intervene. They would have spoken out with great outrage and conviction. They would have bombed the railways leading to Birkenau, just the railways, just once.
And now we knew, we learned, we discovered that the Pentagon knew, the State Department knew. And the illustrious occupant of the White House then Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew.”
As a child growing up, and into my adult years, I believed that if the leaders of the Jewish community knew of the incidence of child sexual abuse perpetrated within their institutions, by seemingly religious men, then they would have ‘moved heaven and earth’ to protect myself and all the other children in their care.
If these Jewish leaders knew, I believed that they would have ‘spoken out with great outrage and conviction’ to provide solace, understanding and unwavering support as victims sought justice and accountability.
Sadly, my family, myself, the Jewish Community, and indeed the public have now all learned, that members of the leadership of the Jewish Community, including various senior Rabbis, all seemingly knew about the child sexual abuse, including multiple incidents of rape that occurred within their institutions, under their watch, yet they were silent and seemingly indifferent.
You can read it all here.