Kol v'Oz urges UK Inquiry to also investigate Jewish community

On 7 April 2016, Kol v'Oz sent the following letter to the UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse:

Hon. Dame Lowell Goddard DNZM
Chair
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
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Dear Dame Goddard,
 
Firstly, I would like to commend the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse(IICSA) for its ongoing work in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse in England and Wales.
 
The IICSA notes that it will investigate a wide range of institutions, including those who fall under the category of ‘other religious organisations’. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage the IICSA to seriously consider including at least a segment of the Jewish community in its investigations.
 
While child sexual abuse occurs in every segment of society, the context of the abuse, the response by the institution and community, and other factors differ to some degree.
 
In the past few years, there have been numerous reports of troubling incidents within the UK Jewish community; more specifically, within the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community there. Some examples include:
 

I would like to make it clear that we are not requesting the singling out of the Jewish community for investigation or further action – rather, we urge the IICSA to include the Jewish community as a part of its investigations.
 
I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise that some progress has indeed been made in the Jewish community in this area, including within the ultra-Orthodox community. In particular, I would like to commend the Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, for his public statements on this issue, which he has backed up with a range of actions. I should note that Rabbi Mirvis has written a letter of support for our newly-established global organisation, Kol v’Oz. There are a number of other organisations and individuals who are playing important roles in this area, such as Migdal Emunah (a support and advocacy group for victims and survivors led by survivor Yehudis Goldsobel, who courageously waived her right to anonymity), Reshet (which is supported by the United Jewish Israel Appeal and the Jewish Leadership Council, and assists Jewish organisations that deal with youth in the area of policies and procedures), Shema Koli (a support organisation catered specifically for the ultra-Orthodox community), and others. In my recent meeting with The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the official representative of the Jewish community in Britain, they expressed support for the work that is currently being undertaken in this area.
 
Finally, I would like to refer the IICSA to the public hearing conducted by the Australian Government’s Royal Commission for Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse into the (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish community there. There is no doubt that this was a watershed moment for the local Jewish community, and its impact is being felt there and in the global Jewish community, and will no doubt continue to be felt for some time to come. I was pleased to have greatly assisted with that public hearing.
 
Please feel free to contact me if I may be of any further assistance.
 
In the meantime, I wish the IICSA much success in its important work.
 
Best wishes,
 
Manny Waks
Chief Executive Officer
Kol v’Oz