Yeshivah College in spotlight for employing child sex predators

Ninesman 9 News, Australia/February 2, 2015

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has held hearings into abuse within the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and other religious groups – but today was the first involving the Jewish community, and in particular the ultra-Orthodox Yeshivah College.

Three convicted child abusers were under the spotlight of the commission including David Kramer, who pleaded guilty to molesting four young boys at the college.

A second pedophile at the same Jewish school, David Cyprys, was convicted of five counts of rape and admitted interfering with nine children.

And in Sydney's Yeshiva centre, Daniel Hayman was handed a suspended sentence over child sexual abuse.

Manny Waks was a victim of Cyprys, and it started when he was just 11.

“I was taunted and bullied and called gay, because I had been sexually abused by a man,” he said.

A parent at the school says she complained to principal Rabbi Groner about Cyprys in 1986.

Despite numerous complaints, Cyprys was still employed at the school two decades later.

In 2002 Mr Waks confronted Rabbi Groner himself, saying he would go to the police.

“He said Yeshivah was dealing with Cyprys and I should not do anything of my own accord,” he said.

Also under examination in this hearing is Jewish law, and whether it prevents one Jewish person from giving evidence against another.

Mr Waks says members of the community put pressure on victims not to speak out.

He kept speaking out, his abuser was jailed - but the backlash from his community now means Mr Waks has moved overseas.

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