Ultra-jewish cult help accused child-molester escape justice
Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-03-16
An ultra-ultra-orthodox Jewish school council in Melbourne has conspired to assist a probably child-molesting school principal escape justice. Will those complicit be held to account in our courts, or will they be treated with kid gloves, not labelled "cult" the same way other ultra-looney Judaeo-Christian groups seem to escape the label and avoid prosecution?
The Adass community in Melbourne has many things in common with the Exclusive Brethren, who are getting away with mere electoral irregularities. The group even shuns contact with normal orthodox jews, prevents girls from working or entering tertiary education until they are married, refuses to engage with the wider community, and has all the hallmarks of a dangerous cult.
For those outside Victoria who might have missed it, here’s a potted summary of what’s been happening…
- For years it seems the female principal of the cult’s girls school has been molesting students.
- In such a close community, it’s likely that the school board has been aware of it for some time.
- When the principal was brought before the board a few days ago, she resigned, and fled for Israel, with the board paying for the plane ticket.
- There are claims that Mrs Leifer left Australia with up to $100,000 borrowed from a family in the community two days before she flew to Israel
- A police spokesperson said the force "was aware of the claims", but does not indicate whether they were informed by the school or community, or whether they learnt about it from journalists.
- Addas community spokesmen said "appropriate bodies" were informed, but would not confirm that they had contacted police, suggesting that they are still trying to keep it in house.
If you or I knew of a child-molester, and helped them escape justice, what would happen to us? This seems worse than driving the getaway car for a bank-robber who didn’t actually hurt anyone physically.
Will the police seek an extradition warrant from Israel, and how vigorously will they pursue it? Will Interpol be involved as they are with other international child abusers?
Will action be taken to free children, especially girls, from an oppressive cult that forces them to marry young before they can pursue their education?
Will the tabloids smear the non-ultra-ultra-extremists of the Jewish community just like they do the Islamic community?
Now, I’m not for smearing non-extremists in any particular religion because of a minority of nutters, but this Addas community has gone too far. They have all of the characteristics of a dangerous cult, including the oppression of young people, probably after life-long brainwashing. Should we be rescuing these children, and unbrainwashing them?
This group wants nothing to do with either the Australian community at large, nor even with the general Jewish community. Unfortunately, with only 150 families, it won’t be possible to get an undercover cop infiltrating the organization like there have been for mosques.
Thankfully, other conservative Jewish groups (some would say very conservative if not Zionist), have been reporting the outrages. I never thought I’d be tipping my hat to Australian Jewish News, for instance!
- Full marks to the Australian Jewish News for early criticism of Adass:
- "The Secret Life of Adass Israel" (2008-01-16)
- "Adass principal flees Australia in disgrace" – Australian Jewish News – 2008-03-13
- From Australian Jewish News Editorial 2008-03-14:
What does concern us is that she is no longer in Australia, which makes it problematic should she ever be required to return here to explain her actions.
What also concerns us is that the Adass community, which has consulted with a self-described “relevant authority” on this matter, has yet to declare what that authority is.
Many would argue that the only authority that matters in this instance is the Victoria Police – and that its involvement is necessary so that the allegations can be investigated properly and, most importantly, ensure that the interests of the students are effectively served.
- From The Age:
- "Isolated and proud" – The Age – 2008-03-13
- "‘Misbehaving’ teacher leaves for Israel" – The Age – 2008-03-13
- "Principal ‘molested schoolgirls’" – The Age – 2008-03-13
- "‘School acting on claims’ says lawyer" The Age – 2008-03-15
- Do you know more? MMS 0406 THE AGE (0406 843 643) or email email@example.com
- Case of Malka Leifer page on a United States Jewish site against sexual assault with a fairly complete set of articles, and a call
if anyone knows of the location in Israel where Malka Leifer allegedly fled to or if anyone has a photograph of Malka Leifer please forward it to (us).
The site also has a guide to finding a Rabbi for Jewish Survivors of Sexual Assault
- a series of articles on Malka Leifer from JewishSurvivors Blogspot, including this update that suggests their is some wider problem in her base community in Israel.