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Australian Chabad Leaders Quit Over Child Sex Abuse Scandal

Four senior officials with Chabad’s headquarters in Melbourne stepped down two days after child sex-abuse victims called for the resignations of all members of management.

The Yeshivah Centre confirmed this week that Chaim New, Yirmi Loebenstein and Sue Susskind had resigned from the committee of management, in addition to the chairman, Don Wolf.

“We will shortly commence an independent review of the governance arrangements of the centre, including the transparency of the committee,” Yeshivah’s statement said.

“We will undertake a process to renew the committee’s composition in the light of this review.”

Manny Waks, the only Jewish victim in Australia to have gone public, said the latest moves only raised questions about past commitments to address the scandal.

“Why is Don Wolf referred to as the current chair when only weeks ago he gave evidence [at the Royal Commission] that he had resigned from his post in 2014 due to personal circumstances,” Waks asked. “Rest assured that this matter will be brought to the attention of the Royal Commission.”

In February, the Royal Commission questioned rabbis and officials for two weeks over the child sex abuse scandal that has embroiled the Chabad community in Melbourne since Waks came forward in 2011.

Three Orthodox men have been convicted of sex crimes: former security guard David Cyprys, who remains in jail in Melbourne; former teacher David Kramer, who was jailed and has been released; and Daniel Hayman, a former director of Yeshiva in Sydney, who was convicted with a suspended sentence.

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