The following message was distributed by Manny Waks via his Facebook page on November 4 2012. I encourage anyone who has any relevant information to come forward to the police. Manny has requested any direct contact with him to be via Facebook.
Over the year or so since I went public with my story of child sexual abuse at Melbourne’s Yeshivah, I’ve been entrusted with allegations relating to numerous other victims/perpetrators.
I want to share one of these with you. A prominent Jewish Australian who’s a household name, informed me that during his Bar-Mitzvah classes (several decades ago) at an Orthodox synagogue (not ultra-Orthodox), the prominent and highly respected rabbi (who for the time being will remain nameless) would expose himself and masturbate in front of him. At this stage, decades later, the victim still does not want to share his story with the police – as he told me, even his parents aren’t aware of his experience.
The reason I’ve elected to share this particular serious allegation is to point out a number of important points:
• anyone can be a victim;
• anyone can be a perpetrator;
• it is not just a Yeshivah/Adass/ultra-Orthodox issue; and
• many victims are still reluctant to share their experience with anyone, including family members and the police.
After holding discussions with the police on this matter, they have advised that they are unable to take any action, as the victim must provide a statement. Consistent with the way paedophiles work, it is reasonable to assume that this prominent rabbi would have done similar things to other children.
So I urge anyone who was also exposed to any such experience, especially similar to the story described above, to report the matter to the police – of course if you are aware of any other cases of sexual abuse, whether perpetrated against you or anyone else, please report this information to the police. It’s important that they are informed of everything so that they can have a broader picture of what has been happening. Because the picture that I currently have is very grim – in my opinion it’s not a question of whether instances of abuse were on a similar scale to the Catholic Church but rather whether this will all become public…..
Contact details (Melbourne, Australia):
Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team
(03) 9556 6129
Detective Senior Constable Jonathan RUSSELL (or others in the team)
If you’re reluctant to make a confidential statement to the police, please realise that you’re not alone – it’s common! But please consider that if you go to the police, you’ll be:
• pursuing justice;
• assisting other past victims; and
• protecting potential victims.
Please feel free to contact me in complete confidence if I can be of any assistance.
In a casual conversation I had today with someone involved in a key organisation in Melbourne’s Jewish community, I heard something amazing, although to the person I was talking to it seemed fairly matter-of-fact. What I heard has the potential to improve the way GLBT people are treated in the community and I believe it has huge ramifications. I will disclose more information about this over the coming days, so stay tuned.
Channel 31 TV’s Jewish show The Shtick was at the Melbourne Pride March on February 6 2011. Henry Greener and his team spent a few moments talking to me in the marshalling area by Lakeside Drive just before the march. They then made their way toward the end of Fitzroy Street to capture the colour and excitement of the parade.
Last Sunday was the 16th annual Pride March in St Kilda. Melbourne’s weather started out a little rainy and overcast, but cleared in time for the parade, leaving an abundance of blue skies and sunshine.
Kaye Sera always brings a ray of sunshine, and a pink plastic penis.
Behind-the-scenes magic was performed by Colin Krycer, back with a vengeance after missing the prior year’s parade due to an appointment with a heart surgeon.
Pride March celebrates the diversity and under the umbrella of the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council marched a diverse array of cultural organisations.
And the homophobic hate just keeps pouring in from the AJN Watch website.
Of course, silence will reign in the Jewish community because there’s no anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism here. Just some good old-fashioned homophobia, and we know that the leaders of the community don’t consider homophobia to be much of a problem because they won’t speak out against it.
Never mind if you’re a gay person being bashed by a homophobic thug in the street, as happened in Collingwood in October. But that’s ok, because it wasn’t an anti-Semitic attack and it wasn’t an anti-Israel attack. It was just a boring gay bashing. Gay bashing. Gay bashing. Gay bashing. Boring. Everyday. Gay. Bashing.
When will the leaders speak out against this hatred? Why are they so silent on the matter? Perhaps gay children are expendable.
Their parents must be SO proud!Sending kids to a Jewish youth group used to mean that you hoped they would spend their time there being imbued with Jewish and mentchlich values and ideals.
Habonim, it seems, has decided to go in the opposite direction.
We wonder how happy the parents are about this.
(Also it’s quite obvious that the AJN can’t find anything else newsworthy to report about this group.)
- Anonymous said…
- How shameful of Habo management to allow this. And the AJN is continuing is promotion of gays and their issues
- Tuesday, December 14, 2010 10:46:00 PM
- Anonymous said…
- I feel neither way about this issue…
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 9:49:00 PM
- Adam Braitberg said…
- To all those reading this thread, My Name is Adam Braitberg, and all though you may not be able to see it, that boy in the photo with the Habo Chultzah (shirt) is me.
I have spent my life in the Melbourne Jewish Community, Been a chanich and now a Madrich (leader) at Habonim Dror, i have been involved in Jewish education since i was a child as well as constant hours volunteering for many for the Jewish charities in our community and Israel.
And Guess What I am also Gay, Habonim Dror is a youth movement that is there for all chanichim (kids) regardless of sexual orientation, by attending a same-sex rally, we show that we support all people, regardless of difference. We educate our chanichim (kids) about respecting all individuals, a value that Judaism holds very highly, we also encourage them to see where there is something wrong in the world, and to actively make a change. And the lack of tolerance much of the world shows to same sex individuals is something that needs to change.
There are many people around the world not given the same rights as us. It’s not just youth movements that should be trying to make a difference, it is us as a Jewish Nation that should be upholding our values as people, and trying to make that change.
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:07:00 PM
- Tyger-Lee Baise said…
- I am featured in this photo and I am proud to say that my parents are extremely proud of me.Sending your child to a Jewish Youth Movement is not only about instilling Jewish values and ideals but educating youth on issues facing many people. This rally was an opportunity for us to show our support for the values of equality, civil rights and respect for all human beings.
So yes my parents are proud of me and I am so proud to be a part of a youth movement that stands up for all people being intrinsically valuable and unique and is accepting of ALL human beings.
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:02:00 PM
- Shilloby Weezel said…
- Tyger that’s really great for your parents. Now what about joining in a march with Muslims demanding teh right to polygamy? That too comes under civil rights and respect of humans who are also intrinsically valuable and unique
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:13:00 PM
- Bill K said…
- Adam, you have all my sympathy for your sad predicament . But really, why the need to advertise your sexual proclivities?
Do what you like, but don’t bore the world with your activities.Habo has always been for ‘normals’ and not an outlet for problematics with sexual issues.
So I can’t see any reason why they now go marching with the perverts and abnormals of the Sex party.
That was NOT the way it was when I was in Habo some years ago.
Or should you change the name from Habo to Homo?
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:18:00 PM
- Anonymous said…
- Well stated Shilloby. Why not go a step further? What if someone wishes to marry his dog, cat or even chimpanzee (remember that homo-pedophile Michael Jackson?)?Will Tyger and Adam and the Habonim crew be marching for that too?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer was “yes”.
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:21:00 PM
Yes, it’s true. The JCCV, under the presidency of John Searle, want to work toward full acceptance of homosexuality in the Victorian Jewish community. It’s been reported in the Australian Jewish News (Melbourne edition,) on page 9 (Dec 3 2010).
Praise for the JCCV
UNDERSTANDING and cooperation between faiths is key to promoting a better society, according to commissioner of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission Helen Szoke.
Szoke made the comments as guest speaker at last week’s Jewish Community Council of Victoria’s (JCCV) 3rd annual general meeting.
She explained the work of the commission, the importance of building a human rights culture, and law reforms planned for the near future.
Szoke also noted the similarities between her organisation and the JCCV, praising Victoria’s peak Jewish body for its efforts to stamp out hate crimes.
Changes to the JCCV executive included Matthew Lazerow and Helen Light joining, and Gerard Max stepping down.
With one year of his term remaining, president John Searle said he felt it appropriate to reflect on the JCCV’s achievements to date, as well as looking ahead to the next 12 months.
“In so doing, it is important to remember that five or 10 years ago, the JCCV was cash-strapped, not particularly well known and lacking in influence.
“Today, it is truly an influential body, capable or representing our community at all levels and whose input is sought by government, police, the media and many other bodies.”
Searle spoke highly of the Youth and Alcohol Project and thanks project office Debbie Zauder for her efforts.
He also made mention of the GLBT reference group formed by the JCCV, which is continuing to work towards combating discrimination, vilification and managing mental health issues.
You see, the only way that discrimination and vilification against GLBT people in the Jewish community, along with managing mental health issues in same-sex attracted people who don’t necessarily identify with the GLBT community (ie, they haven’t accepted their sexual orientation and may still reluctantly identify as heterosexual) will come about is when the JCCV work toward full acceptance of homosexuality in the Jewish community. It’s a bit like being pregnant. You either are or you aren’t. There are no half measures in taking on these challenges.
Some more good news to share. It’s now been 12 months since the JCCV formed their GLBT reference group and they have had a number of great successes as a result of this. These include
- making sure that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Jewish community still don’t have a voice at the table in the community and effectively remain unrepresented by the JCCV
- further alienating, excluding and isolating GLBT Jews
- having nothing to show for all that has been done over the past 12 months
- not speaking out against intolerance of homosexuality in the Jewish community
- ignoring homophobic hate in the Jewish community
- closing lines of communication with established GLBT networks in the Jewish community
- not acknowledging that suicide amongst same-sex attracted youth is a major problem in Australia and is worst amongst religious communities intolerant of homosexuality
It really has been a great twelve months of success for the JCCV. Let’s toast a l’chaim to the next twelve.
PS. I’m still here waiting for you, when you’re ready to re-open the lines of communication John. My number is on the contact page here.
For the past nine years United We Dance has been one of the highlights of Melbourne’s queer community’s calendar. Primarily established as a fund-raising event, bringing together people from different multicultural communities, the event has gone from strength to strength.
Organising an annual dance party with the best multicultural DJs and 15 excellent performances staged over the evening doesn’t just happen by itself. Many months of hard work happen behind the scene and accolades must be given to John Tzimas, Colin Krycer and their teams who have undertaken this mammoth effort annually.
I have been lucky enough to have been involved as the photographer for the event since 2004, when it formed the closing party for the Inaugural Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Conference in October that year.
United We Dance has raised tens of thousands of dollars for organisations such as the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, JOY 94.9, Pride March, the Australian Lesbian & Gay Archives, the Gay & Lesbian Foundation of Australia and many more. It has also provided grants through its parent body, the AGMC, for the smaller multicultural groups in Melbourne’s queer community, such as Greek & Gay, Arcilesbica, Aleph Melbourne, i Ragazzi and others.
It has been an honour being involved with United We Dance for all these years. I love the people who attend, in all their diversity. I love the organisers for putting on an excellent night’s entertainment, knowing that every cent raised is going directly to support the community. I love the buzz it gives me, being there and getting to meet and photograph everyone. I also love that it’s a place where people from every nationality, cultural background, religion (and absence of), gender identity and sexual orientation come together to enjoy a night out and treat each other as equal. It sets an example wider society can take a lesson from.
Please take a few moments to browse my galleries from this and previous years and enjoy a sense of the unity and harmony that United We Dance fosters. It’s truly unique.
Thank you again Colin and John.
This letter appeared in the October 15, 2010 (Melbourne) edition of the Australian Jewish News:
AJDS deserves a slap on the wrist
KUDOS to the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) for passing a resolution unanimously condemning in the strongest possible terms the left-wing Australian Jewish Democratic Society’s (AJDS) support of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) campaign. It is about time the JCCV made it clear that the AJDS’ extreme views on Israeli-Arab-Palestinian conflict are not in sync with the mainstream Jewish community.
The argument that Michael Burd puts forward here is extremely troubling. He asserts that because a view held by an organisation is “not in sync with the mainstream Jewish community” it must therefore be worthy of condemnation. What utter nonsense. A minority view, as unacceptable or extreme as many may find it, does not by default equate to a wrong or unworthy view.
The “mainstream Jewish community” has trouble coping with or discussing a lot of concepts, amongst which the AJDS’ view on BDS is not in isolation. One could start with issues such as indifference or opposition to Zionism, intermarriage, Orthodox vs Reform, secular humanism, child abuse, suicide, homosexuality, etcetera, etcetera.
It is imperative that the views and attitudes of the “mainstream Jewish community” be challenged and debated more frequently, in an intellectual and respectful manner. Any community will contain a diversity of opinions on most issues, of which more than one may be valid. Respect for this diversity is crucial for the health of the community. Minorities being shouted down in a parochial and bullying fashion by organisations such as the JCCV is far from respectful or healthy.
The JCCV promotes itself as “the voice of Victorian Jewry“. How remiss of me for taking an inclusive and plural interpretation of their motto. It’s time the JCCV stopped pushing its single agenda view of how they want their community to be. It will never work.
Richard Dawkins spoke out on the visit of the Pope to the UK.
The Pope personifies evil.
The Catholic Church he represents is the ultimate organisation of evil in existence.
And the Jewish Community Council of Victoria prides itself on its association with the Catholic Church [JCCV media release].
The people of the Jewish community deserve better.
On August 14 the Equal Love people put on another rally in Melbourne. It started on the steps of the State Library of Victoria and ended on the steps of the Marriage Registry in Spring Street.
It was a lovely afternoon for a rally to protest the unnecessary discrimination that same-sex couples face in Australia. There is absolutely no justification for this appalling situation.
I have documented the event using photos, and uploaded them to Picasa and Facebook, as I have done in the past. Please take a moment to look at the photos and understand that the people you see who are not allowed to get married by the Australian government are all second-class citizens. Australia is a better place than that. It’s citizens deserve full equality in all aspects of life.
There is a federal election less than a week away. One way you can send a message to the politicians who legislated this hateful situation and also to the politicians who have not promised to overturn it is to vote for a party that promises full equality in marriage.
I will be voting for the Secular Party of Australia. They promise 100% marriage equality and will fight to overturn every piece of legislation that denies full equality to Australia’s GLBT citizens. So committed to marriage equality are the Secular Party that they have undertaken a commitment to guarantee full marriage equality in advance of a nationwide relationship register. I understand this is an undertaking the Australian Greens refuse to commit to. The Secular Party will ensure marriage equality is a priority. Equality must be 100%.
You can help make a positive change this election by voting Secular in the Senate, and if you have a candidate in your electorate, also for the house of reps.
If you want full equality in marriage, you have the power to make a difference. Use it wisely.
News just in that a person who has been a staple in the gay community for at least the past 14 years that I’ve known him has just died. This is a shock and complete surprise. Addam Stobbs. Bitch to the stars. Gone.
I loved Addam. He was one of the nicest-to-your-face people I have ever met. But he *was* a nice person. He made me laugh. Just listening to him talk, on the radio, on a microphone at Midsumma, in the street, on the phone, at Club 80, wherever. He was a lovely, callous, direct person with a huge heart.
The world needs more bitches like Addam Stobbs.
I’ll miss you sweetie.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DP Tex McKenzie <email@example.com>
Date: 16 June 2010 15:13
Subject: [QueerNews] Vale Addam Stobbs
To: Qmelb <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi all – sad news. I have just forwrded the following email around the Victorian AIDS Council and People Living With HIV/AIDS Victoria (hence the mention of Addam being a supporter of our organisations).
I have just been on the phone to the Program manager @ JOY 94.9 and have been told that Addam Stobbs passed away today.
Addam was a long time supporter of our organisations and was the host of Allegro Non Troppo on Sundays on JOY. He was also on the board of JOY and had been a long time member.
Addam has in the past interviewed many people about HIV and same sex related issues. The program Allegro Non Troppo is broadcast on the Community Radio Network around Australia and the programs he and his radio partner Peter presented helped to de-mystify both HIV and homosexuality to non-alphabet folk.
Earlier this year he and his partner celebrated their 9th year together.
He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
I imagine funeral details will be in the print media and online in the next few days.
DP Tex McKenzie
Health Educator – Outreach
Quite by chance this protest rally happened as I started recording a video of Melbourne city while waiting for someone at Flinders St Station.