Rabbis 'aware' of youth leader's 'penchant for young boys'

VICTIMS of child sexual abuse at schools in Melbourne and Sydney were shunned for breaking the Jewish code of silence, the Royal Commission has heard.

A hearing into abuse claims at orthodox Yeshivah Melbourne and Bondi centres has learned of the Chabad (an orthodox movement) concept in which Jewish people do not hand over people of their faith to authorities.

A victim of convicted child molester David Cyprys said the hushed-up mentality contributed to his continued abuse during the 1980s.

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Yeshivah Centre and some of the rabbis were aware of David's penchant for young boys," he said.

"The Yeshivah Centre and Yeshivah College knew that David was molesting me and it went on for two years after they were told.

"They had a duty of care to me and I believe they are responsible for failing to prevent that abuse."

Cyprys is serving an eight-year prison sentence.

The commission heard then-Rabbi Dovid Groner said he "thought we'd fixed him", after being told of Cyprys's abuse.

Another victim, Manny Waks, said Rabbi Groner "practically pleaded with me not to pursue the matter" when he told him about Cyprys's abuse.

Mr Waks, who has been campaigning for justice for victims of the Yeshivah schools since 2011, went on Facebook after he finished giving evidence.

"Relieved, empowered and just genuinely happy," Mr Waks wrote

"Thank you for the outpouring of support. It has made this entire process so much easier.

"A great day for justice."

- APN NEWSDESK


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