FORMER Yeshivah College principal Rabbi Avrohom Glick and child sexual abuse victim Manny Waks will speak at the same Yeshivah function, “Silent No More”, next month.
A senior leader at Yeshivah told The AJN this week that the event will be a key moment for the community to try and move forward following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Rabbi Glick was principal of Yeshivah College from 1986-2007, during which time there were a number of incidents of child sexual abuse that were not reported to the police.
During the Commission, he offered his personal apology to all victims and after the hearings in February he resigned from all of his positions at Yeshivah.
He also privately apologised to Waks.
“I view this event as an opportunity for Rabbi Glick to publicly accept responsibility and apologise for his role in the events which led to the Royal Commission, for his failure to protect the children who were entrusted to him and to call on members of his family and other to end their ongoing attacks against victims,” Waks said.
“If Rabbi Glick can do that, and we can show that our rift has started to be healed, then perhaps there is hope that a divided and traumatised community can start to get back on track.”
Rabbi Glick and Waks have a chequered past. In December 2013, Rabbi Glick was temporarily stood down by Yeshivah amid false allegations that he sexually assaulted a student in the 1970s.
Waks, who was the CEO of Jewish child sexual abuse victim advocacy group Tzedek at the time, was forced to apologise as part of a defamation settlement.
Waks said in the apology that in December 2013 he posted statements on Tzedek’s website and his personal Facebook page which referred to allegations made against Rabbi Glick.
“In particular, I posted certain statements that suggested to some that Rabbi Glick was guilty and permitted a third party to post a statement stating that Rabbi Glick had admitted to the allegations made.
“I accept that those statements about Rabbi Glick were false and inaccurate, and accept and believe that Rabbi Glick was at all times completely innocent of the allegations made. I unreservedly apologise to Rabbi Glick and his family and retract those statements.”
Dr Cathy Kezelman, president of Adults Surviving Child Abuse, and past Yeshivah students will also speak at the event.
“Silent No More” will be held in the Goldhirsch Hall at the Yeshivah Centre from 7pm on December 9.