Child Abuse Advocate Sued for Defamation

Herald Sun

One of Melbourne’s most senior Jewish figures questioned over allegations of child abuse has launched legal action against the head of a victims’ advocacy group.

In a writ lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court this week, victims’ advocate Manny Waks was accused of defaming the rabbi in a series of online articles and Facebook posts.

Mr. Waks allegedly published articles that falsely implied the rabbi had perjured himself in court, was guilty of abuse and had admitted to abusing children.

The rabbi was stood down last week from his position at a local Jewish boys’ school after allegations that he molested a student in the school’s synagogue were leveled at him.

The student claimed he was molested and made to perform lewd acts on the rabbi, who was then deputy principal at the school in the 1980s.

After the allegations were made to police, the rabbi voluntarily attended a police station and was questioned.

It was the first time he had been accused of misconduct, and he has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

Following his questioning, the rabbi was released without charge pending further police inquiries.

In a statement of claim filed with the court, the rabbi claims he was defamed by articles posted by Mr Waks following his questioning by police.

The articles were posted on Mr Waks’ personal Facebook page and on websites he runs as the founder and CEO of victim support group Tzedek.

The claim alleges Mr Waks posted false imputations and selective material for the purpose of sensationalizing his campaign against child abuse at the expense of the rabbi.

“The defendant invited comment to be published on the website and Facebook pages, which led to a torrent of abuse and defamatory statements,” the statement of claim said.

It is alleged Mr Waks failed to properly screen, block publication of or remove defamatory comments left by visitors to his site.

“As a result of the publication of each of the online articles and postings…the plaintiff has been severely injured in his reputation as a practicing rabbi, educator in the State of Victoria and as a responsible member of the community,” a statement of claim alleges.

The rabbi claims he was “brought into hatred, contempt and ridicule”.

He has claimed aggravated damages, interest and costs.

Both Mr Waks and the rabbi were unavailable for comment.

This article has been modified from its original form; the name of the plaintiff has been removed.

58 Comments

  • 1. down under wrote:

    I don’t believe (hope) that the current accusatios against Rabbi G. are true. However he was running the school when the convicted paedophiles were given access to our children.

    Reply
    • 2. vos misht zich kashe mit borsht wrote:

      what does one thing have to do with another rabbi g.’s life was ruind by this false accusation which was pushed and publicized by one individual who made it his life mission to do just that to rabbi g. the rebbe and chabad

  • 3. hooray wrote:

    At last someone is standing up to that vile man who has done nothing but use poor victims in his fight against the community that fed and clothed his family for years. Once the dust settles and it is clear that MW has noone but his own intentions at heart, perhaps he will finally just SH____T UP!!

    Reply
    • 4. it is a very sad matzov for everyone wrote:

      What are you celebrating? You may hate Manny but because of him 2 paedophiles are in jail. EK is being investigated. There are a lot of former Yeshivah College students that went off the derech, had marital and other problems as a result of the sexual abuse. What about the damage done to their families?! Rabbi G. and others knew about it and instead of action they chose to bury their head in the sand. No heads rolled as a result of this aweful neglect of duty of care for our children. I do hope RAbbi G. can clear his name of those accusations, as charges were not even brought yet.
      Yes, if Manny did step over the line let the law deal with it. But it ther is no reason for celebration in Melbourne.

    • 5. long overdue wrote:

      Let’s hope the innocent victims of JCW’s campaign to post unfounded accusations take some of Rabbi G.’s courage and FIGHT BACK. Time to shut both them down until they show RESPONSIBILITY.

    • 6. Kiva wrote:

      Yes, how dare anyone expose the truth about sexual abuse in the frum community.

      If the frum community had the same anger towards pedophiles as they have towards those who expose them, we wouldn’t have such problems.

    • 7. Chabad Rabbonim wrote:

      This is a sad comment and a sad indictment of our society. For 50 years, the community leaders have done nothing. We saw and heard no allegations of abuse. We and our parents werent warned of the potential predators roaming among us.

      The leadership allowed predators to stay in their postions and allowed access to children, claiming ideals of teshuva. These leaders caused abuse to thousands of people.

      Finally, some brave individuals stepped forth and exposed the truth, and you are attacking them!! Shame, shame and shame on you chabadnicks and rabbonim. Gd will be waiting for you to pay for your sins.

  • 8. TZEDEK should be next wrote:

    Does anyone know why four board members quit from Tzedek since this fiasco started?

    Does anyone know if the claims that Manny allegedly pays himself a salary in the 200k mark from funds earmarked for victims is true?

    Reply
    • 9. long overdue wrote:

      At least you know who the Board is. We have no clue IF there is a Board for JCW or IF they have Rabbinic/Halachic advisors. They say they have but nobody knows who they are. That’s a big part of the problem we face here. SECRECY!

    • 10. he needs the 200k wrote:

      As you see he will have to defend himself and our pay damages so the 200k is justified. He is a high prices h**ker

    • 13. Kiva wrote:

      How do you know the allegations are false?

      Are the allegations against Cyprus, Kestecher and Kramer also false? Do you know better than the police and the courts?

    • 14. Salem wrote:

      We can know it’s false because accusations of ritual abuse are always false. There is a long history of such accusations, and in all that time there has never been an actual case of ritual abuse. It just doesn’t exist. The classic blood libels were really just a form of ritual abuse accusation, tailored to the beliefs of the time.

      Another way we can know it’s false is because it’s just not plausible that anyone would do something like that in the shul, on the bimah, when all day there were people there and/or passing through. There was no time at which one could be sure to have 10 minutes alone there. There were plenty of more private places a person could have gone if they wanted privacy, not to mention someone who had his own office!

  • 15. crazy wrote:

    unfortunately, if rabbi g. is innocent, the proverbial feathers are out of the pillow. they have blown all over the world. :-(

    Reply
  • 17. Hopefully wrote:

    This will finally expose Manny Waks for who he really is and save more innocent people from getting shlepped through the mud by him.

    Reply
  • 18. Rabbi G. is a Benonei wrote:

    I learned in Melbourne as a Bachur and Rabbi G. was my Mashpiah. He is a Yid who is Durchgitriben with Chasidus and Yiras Shamayim. I do not believe for a second that any of these alegations are true.

    Reply
  • 19. Before Moshiach comes wrote:

    The wicked will dress up in sheeps clothing (in this will hi-jack a worthy cause) to use it a platform to launch their real agenda, all the while convincing the naive and simple minded, to accept them at face value.

    There are many such characters in our generations,
    Be it the Forward mag. Be it Richard Farkh (an anti Semite who was appointed by the UN “human rights counsel” to ignore the REAL atrocities around the world, and vilify and attack Israel to the world!

    The irony, is that PETA, ACLU, WAKS, UN Human rights counsel, JCW, THE FORWSRD, THE NY TIMES, they all USE the “platform” of “compassion” the platform of the protectors of the innocent, only their REAL agenda is never to SOLVE problems, ONLY to have a DECEPTIVE platform to hide behind from which they can accomplish their REAL agenda.
    Attack the Jew,
    Attack the Religious,
    Attack the Orthodox,
    Attack the Right-conservatives,

    Only naive simple minded ppl. Fail to see their real agenda.

    Reply
    • 20. YMSP wrote:

      Very well said. Add the YU and Hershel Schachter (the YU one, not the WW2 hero) to that list. They destroy marriages and take advantage of postnatal women to exact coerced gittin or when fathers are seeking some custody. They’ve now gone to the NYPost with smears and lies in a case that was recently discussed on here. Shmarya’s a big trumpeter of theirs, even as he attacks some of their ring leaders for covering up molestations – real ones, not the Waks/JCW type (the common denominator between their actions to destroy marriage and the molestations are the hurt and harm that they cause to children).

      Btw, if someone’s weak enough to fall for it and gives a get because of such tactics, it’s almost always invalid and the husband is oiver lifnei iver for causing an aishes ish to be believed to be divorced. It’s also fundamentally wrong to give one without trying to save the marriage.

  • 21. shame wrote:

    Shame on manny and his father for exploiting the cause of csa for personal use by delibertely throwing out false accusations against Rabbi G. I wouldnt want to be manny or his father when it comes to their yom hadin being that Loshon Horah is considered triple murder. They would be better off directing their efforts to stabilizing their family than by trying to destroy Rabbi G. and his family with ridiculous, outright lies.

    Reply
  • 22. whats the point? wrote:

    whats the point of this post? are you trying to say its about time someone fought back at the corrupt waks who uses victims for a personal vendetta?

    Reply
  • 24. Rabbi G. - stellar mashpia and chossid wrote:

    Rabbi G. has always been a dugma chaya of the highest ilk. He espouses chassidus and walks the talk. The manner in which he is dealing with these false allegations has placed him on even a higher pedestal. It’s about time someone stood up to Waks and his shennanigans.

    Reply
  • 25. great news wrote:

    now we can stop talking about Call of the Shofar — finally a new piece of LH for the farmers to mull over!!

    Reply
  • 27. Rabbi G. is a tzadik. wrote:

    I am from Melbourne but currently live overseas, and am very relieved to hear from several people in Melbourne exactly what I was thinking, that no sane person is buying this lie, this libel. Rabbi G. is a truly special and upright man, who deserves the utmost respect and appreciation for what he has done for the community in Melbourne in and out of the school.
    To say that Mr M Waks has gone too far this time is the understatement of the century, and has therefore lost much credibility.
    Unfortunately Mr M waks has decided that his life is over and so it should be for everyone else ch’v. He seems to carry terrible bitterness, resentment and hatred to anyone and anything associated with the Melbourne chabad community and tries at every opportunity to besmirch the yeshiva and its leaders (the vast majority of whom are upright and respectful people) despite the community’s many good and positive achievements. This approach doesn’t benefit him or anyone else for that matter, on the contrary these destructive feelings that he carries and feeds into, only causes him to be self destructive and to those around him.
    His mission statement is to destroy Rabbi G.’s life.
    He claims to be an advocate for abuse victims, and probably truly believes he is. However his outrageous claims has only served as a disservice to these unfortunate victims where people will be less likely to believe and help the next or past stories.
    We support you Rabbi G. May Hashem bless you with menuchas hanefesh, yitamu chatoim vlo chotim may Mr M Waks open his eyes to see the unfortunate ways of how he has been going about this. May you get the true respect that you deserve.

    Reply
    • 28. copycat wrote:

      Substitute Meyer Seewald’s name for Menny Waks in these comments and you have the same bad scenario in Crown Heights.

  • 30. samuel wrote:

    manny is only trying to make trouble to the jewish community in melb he should leave asap with his parents

    Reply
  • 32. Jcw Can't be Sued wrote:

    They did a clever shtick, by writing “Alleged”
    So no, defamatory suit can be brought! Sorry!

    Obviously they post names they’re not sure abt, and are afraid of being sued,

    Reply
    • 33. chaim wrote:

      JCW is not sued because no abuser wants to have their past sick history brought up in court. They’d rather lay low for a bit, knowing that they can still Daven in 770 without anyone saying a thing to them

  • 34. Kiva wrote:

    It’s very disturbing to see so many people attacking Manny Waks who was the only person prepared to stand up to the Yeshiva’s in Sydney and Melbourne who have protected pedophiles for years.

    He is not the one making the allegations at all. It is someone else. It is up to the police and courts to determine whether there is any truth to them or not.

    Reply
    • 36. Salem wrote:

      First of all, who do you think dug this meshuggener up, took him to the police, took him to the Jewish News to tell his story, and publicised all this two months ago? It was Waks.

      Second, who do you think gave Rabbi G’s name to the press? The police didn’t. The names of people interviewed but not charged is meant to be secret, precisely so they don’t have their reputations harmed for no reason. So how did the newspapers know about it? Waks told them.

    • 37. Knows the facts wrote:

      The accuser in this case is a emotionally unstable person (fact) and has been manipulated by manny to file this complaint with the authorities.

  • 38. bound to happen wrote:

    You had to know a lawsuit was coming. You can’t just say whatever you want and cast aspersions. This guy figured if he cats a wide enough net he would catch fish. Now it’s coming back to bight him.

    Reply
  • 39. Past supportt wrote:

    From: Emmanuel
    Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
    Subject: [SAL] Al Ta’amod al dum Roi’echa.
    To: anash@stop-press.com.au

    Email received today from Mr Shmuel Gurewicz for publication “There
    have been allegations and insinuations about Tzfania Waks that he is a
    “moser”. I wish to disassociate myself from these allegations.
    Furthermore, I wish to state that I have been a friend of Tzfania for
    many years. And although we do not always agree on everything, I can
    vouch that he is not a “moser” and would never do something like that.
    Shmuel Gurewicz——————————————————————————
    24 Adar II 5771 / 30 March 2011 I too wish to disassociate myself from
    any allegations, innuendoes or insinuations that Zefania Waks may be a
    “mosser” or the “mosser, (if in fact there was one to begin with),
    from within our community. Whilst this extrapolation in all
    likelihood was not intended, the result however is evidenced from the
    blogs I have been reading and the discussions in shul that by
    insinuation, Zefania Waks is implicated and is the person alluded to,
    during the drosho this past Shabbos. Furthermore, any reference to
    the oft quoted comment that “oifen ganef brendt der hittel” is totally
    uncalled for, as that implies a person may not protest their innocence
    as the protesting itself attracts the speculation of guilt, meaning
    the more one protests, the guiltier they are. What is occurring now is
    Shefichas Domim. Those who stand by silently, those who speculate as
    to who may or who may not be the mosser alluded to (even in the most
    broadest sense) this past Shabbos, should be aware they may be
    transgressing Al Ta’amod al dum Roi’echa. An immediate public
    apology/retraction and clarification is required!! It’s never too
    late, to right a wrong!! Emmanuel
    Althaus—

    Reply
    • 40. Salem wrote:

      What’s this got to do with anything? That was an entirely different affair, when someone massered the yeshivah to the city council, and people suspected Tzfanyah. In hindsight, maybe they were correct, but at the time it seemed to many that it was wrong to accuse him without proof that he was the mosser.

    • 41. Libelous wrote:

      I am sure that both are now of an entirely different view.
      Since the time of those posts much has transpired that shed very strong light on the individual in question.
      Neither of the two posters, I am sure, have nothing to do with him.

  • 42. YMSP wrote:

    Boruch Hashem. Wishing Rabbi G., who was wronged like so many others, well.

    Someone should take action against Shmarya too, who has hurt so many people and moisdois with airing of false allegations.

    Not sure why anyone supports people who’ve made it their mission in life to write against frum people. If someone posted everything every bad Swede even did, many wouldn’t travel to Sweden. And that’s aside from the fact that Shmarya twists the story into whatever garbage he wants to.

    Shmarya is 15 times worse than Waks and if a person published a site like that about Jews in general, the outcry would be unimaginable.

    We should learn a lesson from this. Often in a kehila there are holchei rochil and people who want to spread falsehoods or exaggerate details to a ridiculous extreme (or they believe all, no matter how ridiculous, because it gives them something fun and exciting to do – I guess). How many people have they hurt, often without cause? Some attention needs to be given to this and the solution is to encourage being don lkaf zechus (which today usually means you’ll judge the situation right).

    Reply
    • 43. Salem wrote:

      Unfortunately Scotty is untouchable, because in America the first amendment protects him. It is very difficult to win a defamation suit in America, especially by a public figure such as Rabbi G. All in all, America is much better off with such strong protection of free speech, even if it also protects menuvolim like him, but that is an unfortunate side-effect.

  • 44. shame on you crown heights .info wrote:

    before posting such sensitive matters.
    Do your homework.
    yes Manny was abused and deserves our sympathy for that. However Manny in his anger lost the plot and is a disgrace to the Melbourne Jewish community. His should vent his anger towards his parents perhaps that continued to send him and his 16 other siblings to a school that did not perhaps act sensitively to Manny.
    His parents who today cry victim, where were those many years ago for their son??. Was free school fees too tempting the use of Yeshivah playground as their backyard 24-7 too enticing.
    Being abused in no excuse for abuse. Manny you want justice for those unfortunate victims , and we want justice for your victims.

    Reply
  • 45. To #6 wrote:

    So you are judge and jury and have decided that the accused is guilty without the ability to defend himself against his accuser.

    Reply
  • 46. Lifelights wrote:

    Kiva, thank you for saying what has to be said. How many lives have been ruined forever????Someone in my city, a 19-year-old boy who was also abused, went on drugs and eventually killed himself. 19 years old from a very frum, eidel family. He was just one of many victims of unknown/kept secret abuse!

    Reply
    • 47. Knows the facts wrote:

      Do you mean to say that it’s OK to accuse innocent people of these types of abuse? Learn to separate the innocent from the guilty.

    • 48. Stop the Propoganda wrote:

      Who is this anonymous 19 year old that you are speaking about?

      Just in case your story is true – how do you know he did not have any other problems before he was abused?

      Give me the dates that he *dropped out of school, that he *went on drugs and that he *was “abused” – Let us see what happened first.

  • 49. Oy vey iz mir! wrote:

    we need to punish them! oy vay! we need to worry about the CHILDREN! oy vay! SAFETY FIRST! oy yayoy!

    Reply
  • 50. jcw wrote:

    Thank G-D rabbi G. has a son in law a billionaire who can pay the price of the lawyers and Bez”h that good man and chossid Rabbi G. will hopefully have his named cleared. Thats not the case for many innocent people who were defamed by seewald on his nekama site JCW, and they and their families are suffering emotionally and many other ways, maybe its time for that gvir to apply what the Gemorah says “is your blood redder then your friends” now that he personally knows what it feels like having your family go through this, maybe he will be compassionate and help form a group to finally stop this man and his site and put him where he belongs.

    Reply
  • 51. Libelous wrote:

    So, Manny Waks and his father. who is no doubt involved in this travesty, takes an apparent dim-witted individual highly suspected of living in fantasy worlds, to the police and encourages him to report a totally fabricated lie, (and the Waks for sure know it is a total lie) just to bring down an innocent Rabbi G and the Yeshivah in Melbourne, and there is no major outcry from Anash?
    This is Manny’s Tzedek? This is what his organisation is all about?
    Their day of reckoning will come here and lema’aloh. I have no doubt!
    CSA is very serious and needs to be treated as such, with caution and complete integrity.
    There must be justice for the real victims, but to be vindictive and want to publicly destroy innocent people’s good name and institutions that have brought yiddishkeit to thousands, is pure and unadulterated evil.

    Reply
  • 53. Family of JCW accused wrote:

    Just imagine what the children of the victims who are defamed and posted on JCW go through.

    All their friends in school are speaking about the people posted on JCW.

    These kids are going to be messed up for life.

    Reply
    • 54. Blame the right people wrote:

      Blame their predator father for his vile actions. Why are you blaming the messenger????

    • 55. Meshugga wrote:

      Who on JCW is innocent and has been defamed??? Who? Please tell the world and clear the persons name. You have that obligation!

      Oh, there is none? Good post though!

    • 56. Seewald wrote:

      When a person is killed I blame the shooter.
      Even if the shooter is a “messenger” or a “messenger of GOD” or the killed man was an idiot.
      I will always blame the actual shooter.

  • 57. Manny you want justice for those unfortunate victims , and we want justice for your victims. wrote:

    Abused become abusers!
    they are not objective and level headed

    Reply
  • 58. boruch wrote:

    #18 is so right on,and dont forget, these guys always throw in some rachmonos story lalong with their agenda,like when s rosenberg was bad mouthing sholom rubashkin

    Reply

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