Malka Leifer molested girls in the Adaas Haredi yeshiva in Melbourne, Australia. When the board of her school thought the cops were closing in on her they acted to fly her out of the country the same day. Since then she has evaded extradition from Israel by feigning mental illness. Recently, the Australian government pressured the Israeli government at the “highest levels.”
Behold, the Israeli government that claimed to be hamstrung by its laws, found a way, and she was arrested according to a report in Y-Net. They do not name her, which is typical of Israeli media restraints when reporting on those not convicted. But it is clearly her based on the description of the allegations and the role of the Australian government.
All we have now is a sketchy report (in Hebrew). Let’s hope this is will culminate in her return to Australia to face trial. Continue reading
The Age of Australia confirmed earlier reports that Malka Leifer moved to the small ultra-orthodox Israeli settlement town, Immanuel. She did this after her house arrest was lifted.
Leifer faces multiple felony charges of molesting teen girls in Australia but the Israel court has allowed her to evade extradition on the ground of mental illness. She dodged every single one of her hearings by conveniently checking herself into mental hospitals just before hearings and then checking out right after the hearing. Continue reading
Hannah Katsman, proprietor of the blog, A Mother in Israel, who occasionally blogs about sex abuse, wrote this morning (7/6/16) on FaceBook,
Just got word that Malka Leifer, a former high school principal facing 74 counts of sex abuse in Australia, has returned to live in the small [Haredi] settlement of Emanuel [aka עמנואל Immanuel]. She has not faced an extradition hearing in Israel because she has admitted herself into a psychiatric hospital in advance of each scheduled date.
As police were closing in on this notorious molester of orthodox girls in Melbourne, her school board got her out of the country.
This initiated a multi-year saga of justice denied now being played out in extradition process in Israel.
The downside of Theodore Herzl’s dream of a Jewish refuge is the sheltering of molesters who abscond justice in the diaspora.
Australia’s 9News reports: Continue reading
I was reading the text of the court ruling* awarding more than a million dollars damages to the woman sexually assaulted by her Adass Israel School principal, Malka Leifer. This jumped out at me:
[In 2007] the plaintiff consulted Ms Chana Rabinowitz, a counsellor/social worker, concerning her symptoms. The plaintiff saw Ms Rabinowitz on five or six occasions and then ceased seeing her. The plaintiff said she stopped seeing Ms Rabinowitz because she did not appear to believe that she was sexually abused by Leifer. Eventually, the plaintiff resumed sessions with Ms Rabinowitz after she confirmed the plaintiff’s allegations with the plaintiff’s sister and a person at the School. (page 57, section 155)
It shocked me for several reasons.
It was proof that the Adass Israel School knew Malka Leifer molested her students and yet kept her on as principal until 2008 at which time they knew of a total of 8 victims.
Mrs. Chana Rabinowitz is a staff social worker at Darchei Binah Seminary (according to a blurb for Mrs. Debbie Fox’s book, Seminary Savvy, 2015). It raises the possibility that we are dealing with a therapist unwilling to believe a victim of sexual abuse without corroboration from other sources. This pattern makes it less likely victims get necessary support and contributes to the underestimation and under-reporting of sexual abuse. Continue reading
In 2008 the management of the Adass Israel School (AIS) in Melbourne, Australia learned its principal, Mrs. Malka Leifer, was sexually abusing teen girls including manually penetrating them. Fearful of the police, they convened a group including Rabbi Zvi Telsner of the Chabad Yeshivah Centre and decided to cover up the crimes and whisk Mrs. Leifer out of Australia. Within days, they paid some $ (AU) 8,000 to ship her and her family off to Israel. There she remains, fighting off Australia’s request to extradite her to face criminal charges.
While the extradition demand wound its way through the Israeli courts, a victim sued AIS. Just after Rosh Hashanah the court awarded the victim $(AU) 1,024,428 ($US 734,310 ). This includes “exemplary damages” (aka punitive damages) of $(AU) 100,000.
Expensive judgments are the looming nightmare of institutions that cover up sex abuse, as well they should be. By rights they should have prevented or stopped abuse. When they fired an abuser they should have made sure s/he did not move on to another job. They should have protected other children by reporting an abuser to the authorities. Continue reading