Skip to main content

exposing child sexual abuse worldwide

The International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) is appalled by the findings of child sexual abuse in certain Jewish schools in Australia, made by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

For two weeks during February, the Jewish world has been shocked by the revelations emerging from public hearings of the Royal Commission in Melbourne, including stories of child sex abuse and systemic cover-ups by a number of Jewish institutions in Australia.

Since 2011, abuse survivor Menachem (Manny) Waks has spearheaded the efforts to break the unofficial code of silence and bring perpetrators to justice. He founded the Australian branch of Tzedek, an organization that works with abuse survivors and aims to raise awareness of the problem in the Jewish community. He is now calling for a global Jewish initiative to address child sexual abuse and its cover-up throughout the Diaspora, including Israel.

ICJW President Robyn Lenn OAM, who lives in Sydney, Australia, and served as National President of the National Council of Jewish Women in Australia from 2003-2007, says: “ICJW stands with our Australian affiliate NCJWA in affirming support for Manny Waks in his attempt to expose child sexual abuse within the Jewish community. We acclaim his courage in speaking publicly about his own abuse and the abuse of others in an attempt to bring justice to bear. We also strongly support Manny Waks’ efforts to establish a global task force to address child sexual abuse in Jewish institutions around the world.”

Since its inception over a century ago, the International Council of Jewish Women has worked against violence and abuse. Its affiliates and members in 34 countries are encouraged to provide information and awareness-raising programs in their communities about violence against women and children, and to alert rabbis and community leaders to the problems.