Manny Waks

A senior member of the Board of Deputies has offered support to two former victims of child sexual abuse who now work to counter the problem in the community.

Speaking at Limmud, Manny Waks, an Israeli who lived in Australia, and Yehudis Goldsobel, from Stamford Hill, were offered backing from Board vice-president Marie van der Zyl, who was in the audience on Wednesday. 

Waks, who is building an international organisation to fight abuse in the Jewish community, recalled how he was abused as a child and faced a “cover-up” by the community and a campaign of “bullying and intimidation” to prevent the abuse being exposed.

He said: “My parents had to leave Australia and I left too.”

Citing the difficulties he had in gaining support from authorities in Australia, Waks told van der Zyl: “I hope you are aware of the power and importance of you attending today and offering help.”

van der Zyl told Jewish News: “Abuse is abhorrent and totally contravenes Jewish values. It should neither be condoned nor covered up in any society, Jewish or otherwise”