Yom Hadin: Judgment Day in Australia for Malka Leifer’s Sex Abuse

Malka Leifer

Malka Leifer

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