Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Three Australian Rabbis Resign As Result of Government Inquiry Into Sex Abuse Scandals

JTA reported yesterday that in Australia, three leading Orthodox rabbis have resigned from at least some of their positions as a result of an inquiry by Australia’s Royal Commission into how Chabad officials responded to child sex abuse scandals in the 1980's and 90's at two institutions-- Yeshivah College in Melbourne and Sydney’s Yeshivah Centre. Yesterday's  Melbourne Herald Sun has additional details.

The Guardian reports that a turning point in the Commission's inquiry came earlier this month when Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, a senior judge of the Sydney Beth Din, told the Commission that a "culture of cover-up, often couched in religious terms" had pervaded the two schools. One of those resigning was the country's most senior rabbi-- Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia. His resignation was prompted by a text message he sent while the father of one of the abuse victims was testifying before the Commission. He labeled the father "a lunatic on the fringe, [who is] guilty of neglect of his own children..." Another of those resigning admitted to the Commission that in 2002 he did not know it was illegal for an adult to touch a child's genitals.