Australian police are currently investigating the possibility that Chabad rabbi, Chaim Tzvi Groner, lied to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It was revealed by the Royal Commission in March that the disgraced former chief rabbi of the Yeshiva Centre in Melbourne, Rabbi Zvi Telsner, is still being paid a salary more than 18 months after he resigned over his failure to properly address child sexual abuse issues.
Left: Chaim Tzvi Groner Right: Zvi Hirsch Telsner
In February, Groner told the Royal Commission that Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner no longer occupies a position of leadership at Yeshivah Centre. However, one victim of child sexual abuse told Australian Federal Police that Rabbi Telsner continues to occupy an office at the synagogue, delivers sermons, collects a salary, and engages in other activities not consistent with his “resignation.”
If convicted, he faces five years in prison or a fine of up to $20,000.
THE Australian Federal Police (AFP) is assessing an allegation that Yeshivah board member Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner knowingly gave false or misleading testimony at February’s hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The AJN can exclusively reveal that the AFP spoke to a representative from the Royal Commission this week and then stated in a letter on Tuesday that “as a result of these discussions”, the allegation “has been sent to the relevant area for assessment”.
Rabbi Groner told the Royal Commission that Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner, who resigned as the head rabbi of the Yeshivah Centre in 2015 but is still being paid, does not still occupy a position of leadership within the Yeshivah Centre.
However, a victim of child sexual abuse told the AFP that Rabbi Telsner maintains an office within the synagogue, delivers sermons from the pulpit during weekly services and is waited on by other congregants.
The victim also told the AFP that Rabbis Groner and Telsner are co-heads of the Chabad Kashrut Committee, that Rabbi Telsner still sits at the front of the congregation, that Rabbi Telsner is still paid his full salary and that at a recent wedding Chabad Youth director Rabbi Moshe Kahn referred to Rabbi Telsner as the Moreh D’asra of Yeshivah, which means the rabbi of Yeshivah.
Further details on Australian Jewish News