A few senior Orthodox Jewish leaders in Australia are under investigation for allegedly negating multiple complaints of child sexual abuse. Documents and recordings acquired from the prosecution of former authority of Bondi Yeshiva, Daniel Hayman, reveal that senior most Rabbis refused to act when such complaints were reported to them.
The Police and the Ombudsman in New South Wales are now examining whether the Jewish leaders broke the law by ignoring to report these instances that took place at the center. Similar investigations are underway in Melbourne where allegations of such cover-ups were reported in St Kilda’s Yeshiva.
According to New South Wale’s Ombudsman Act 1974, heads of government as well as non-government agencies must report allegations of child sexual abuse to responsible authorities and implement policies that will ensure all employees feel safe to report such abuse. Yeshiva centers and Catholic schools in Australia are bound by this legislation.
Reportedly, several victims told three senior Jewish leaders in Sydney about Hayman’s abuse during the 1980s but none of them reported these complaints to the police. Instead, they sent Hayman to the United States from where he returned after sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl and being penalized for it.
Apparently, those who have spoken out against Hayman’s behavior have been threatened and persecuted within the Jewish community. One of his victims who requested anonymity said his adoptive family abandoned him after they found out that he had reported Hayman’s abuse.
“The community was more intent on protecting its good name than me,” he said.
None of the officials at either Yeshiva centers was available for comment.