by Derryn Hinch (Human Headline)
December 23, 2013
IT NOW SEEMS OBVIOUS, and this should surprise and repulse some members of the Jewish community, but Melbourne’s conservative Yeshivah College has been as bad as the Catholic Church in protecting paedophiles and covering up their sex crimes against children.
What really pisses me off here is that Catholic Church leaders, and powerful men in the Jewish hierarchy, thought (and I fear, still think) that protecting the barn is more important than safeguarding your flock. It’s a shocking, continuing theme.
That whistleblower, Manny Waks, was right when he claimed that rabbis at Yeshivah College were Yiddish George Pells when it came to sexual assaults and cover-ups.
Was right to bravely start an advocacy group called Tzedek for Jewish child sex abuse victims in their own Orthodox college in St. Kilda.
The Age also ran damning stories about the culture of it being against Jewish law to go outside the religion to complain to Police.
And on 3AW I interviewed Waks several times before the radio station carpet-strollers sacked me for being obsessed ‘with this paedophile thing’.
(Of course since then we have had the Victorian parliamentary inquiry table its report and the national Royal Commission has started taking evidence. Methinks Yeshivah will be a late starter at that inquiry).
At Yeshivah, the bosses showed that, while the Catholics perfected the cover-up of transferring paedophile priests to other innocent parishes, the Jewish hierarchy went one better.
A paedophile rabbi was not only allowed to leave Australia without having his crimes reported to police, but college authorities were complicit in that. Even paid for his escape to Israel.
That child molesting rabbi was David Kramer. He went on to work in the United States where he molested another unsuspecting student. A 12-year-old boy.
Kramer was eventually extradited to Australia where, earlier this year, he e pleaded guilty in Melbourne’s Magistrate’s Court to five counts of indecent assault and one of committing an indecent act in the presence of a child under 16 when he worked at the college in the early 1990s. He is now in jail.
Also in the early 1990s, a former college martial arts instructor, David Cyprys, now 44, was found guilty of indecent assault of a young boy at Yeshivah.
In those days of what I’ll call ‘benign judicial neglect’ when it came to child sex offenders and sentencing, Cyprys was fined $1500 and put on a bond without conviction. Without conviction!
His predatory background apparently didn’t worry college administrators. He was welcomed back with open arms as an instructor and security guard.
No wonder Waks alleged that a code of secrecy protected paedophiles at the college for decades.
Last week, Cyprys was jailed for eight years for molesting nine students in the 1980s and 90s. The children were aged between seven and 17.
Waks said: ‘It is unfathomable how he was allowed to not only remain within the centre, completely unmonitored and unsupervised, but in fact had a leadership role. He was the person in charge of security’.
Maybe it was because the-then college principal, Rabbi Abraham Glick, was concerned about his ‘welfare’.
In the 1990s, the father of two victims at Yeshivah College formally complained to Rabbi Glick (about Kramer) and he refused to take action. The school principal advised the father that he wouldn’t even suspend Kramer from the teaching staff because he was ‘concerned for his welfare’.
To hell with the welfare of his victims or future victims. What hope did those kids have? Here’s their rabbi, their school principal, siding with their abuser.
When that came out in County Court, I pointed out that Rabbi Glick while no longer principal still presided over the religious ethos of the Yeshivah Centre. I said he should be sacked.
Since then Rabbi Glick has himself been accused of raping a student, has been questioned by police and has been stood down.
(He also recently launched defamation proceedings against Mr. Waks).
After recent events, I’d still like to know if it is still considered against Jewish law to go outside the religion and report child sex abuse to police. Somebody should perhaps point out to people like Rabbi Glick that it is against Australian law.
Footnote: Apart from facing expensive legal action for defamation, that brave whistleblower Manny Waks was in court himself last week seeking permission to publicly name himself as a victim of sexual assault at Yeshivah. Under Section 4 of the Crimes Act it is a criminal offence to identify a victim -- even if you are identifying yourself. Permission was granted.
And speaking of courts. The Director of Public Prosecutions has decided not to appeal the sentence (I’d call it the ‘non-sentence’) of ex-magistrate Simon Cooper who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two of his adult friends’ teenage sons.
Cooper was the sleazebag who got his mates on the bench to swear what a fine upstanding citizen he was. Candidate for Man of the Year.
He got a totally suspended three-year jail sentence. Not one minute in prison, not one dollar in fines, not one hour of community service. Not even on the sexual offenders’ register.
What’s that about ‘all men are equal under the law’ stuff?