Yesterday, I reported that two of Sydney, Australia's Yeshiva Centre's leading Rabbis received special honours, in spite of their apparent involvement in covering up pedophile activities in the centre. One of the Rabbis resigned the following week after giving testimony at Australia's Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.
The other Rabbi, Abraham Glick, testified today before the commission. Rabbi Glick's testimony was not very helpful, however, as he could not recall anything about anything, particularly if it might incriminate himself or anyone else in the centre.
I'm having trouble rectifying Rabbi Glick's convenient lack of memory with a leader, teacher, and holy man of God.
|Rabbi Abraham Glick|
Rabbi Abraham Glick said he could not even remember the interstate student, identified only to the public as AVR, as having ever attended the school within the Yeshivah religious centre in Melbourne.
Glick appeared before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse on Thursday after AVR gave evidence on Monday.
AVR told the commission that in 1990 he was repeatedly raped by a security guard at the Yeshivah centre and college in Melbourne, David Cyprys, who in 2013 was convicted and jailed for his crimes.
But when he and his mother reported the abuse to Glick, AVR said his scholarship was stripped from him and he was sent home.
Glick told the commission: “I have no recollection of AVR attending Yeshivah. I do not recall him.”
|Counsel assisting the royal commission, Maria Gerace, centre|
Glick told the commission that at the time he felt if Kramer was found to be guilty, he could simply be extradited from Israel. He denied he had tried to cover up the allegations.
Kramer has since been convicted for child sex offences in the US and Australia.
The commission heard that a victim told Glick about his abuse in 1986 and was sent to see the school’s director, Rabbi Dovid Groner.
Glick said he sent students to Groner for many reasons but he could not recall ever sending someone relating to child sexual abuse.
Groner also never informed him that other child sex abuse complaints had been made by students and their parents, Glick said.
Counsel assisting the commission, Maria Gerace, said it was “truly extraordinary” that Groner, who is now dead, would not have told Glick about students who were being abused in his school and under his care as principal.
“All I can say is Rabbi Groner dealt with many sensitive issues,” Glick said. “He dealt with them in strict confidence. He dealt with them very discreetly. I can’t say why he didn’t tell me other than that.”
Victims have told the commission throughout the course of the hearing that they had told Groner they were being abused, but that Groner never went to police or offered them help.
Glick was asked by Gerace whether he agreed that this failure by Groner to act was a “grave failing”.
Glick responded: “It’s very difficult for me to criticise Rabbi Groner. I just have enormous respect for him. And knowing all the work he did for the community I’m prepared to say if he were alive today he would agree that was a mistake, a big mistake.”
The hearings continue.