THE CEO of Jewish child sexual abuse victim advocacy group Tzedek Manny Waks (pictured) has been forced to issue an apology to Rabbi Avrohom Glick as part of a defamation settlement.
Earlier this year Rabbi Glick was accused of child sexual abuse, but an investigation by police concluded he had no case to answer.
In the apology posted on his Facebook page and on the Tzedek website Waks wrote: “During December 2013, I posted certain statements on Tzedek’s website and on my personal Facebook page and permitted a third party to post a statement on Tzedek’s website, which referred to allegations made against Rabbi Abraham 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.”
But within hours of the apology being issued, a statement from Glick’s accuser, which Waks helped draft, was sent to The AJN accompanying a letter from police explaining the reason the investigation into Glick was abandoned.
The letter from SANO Taskforce detectives stated that “insufficient evidence exists to lead to a reasonable prospect of conviction”.
Waks said he played no part in the letter being sent out on the same day the apology was issued.
Tzedek president Josh Borenstein was asked about Waks’ part in the email correspondence, but failed to respond prior to The AJN going to press.
The Rabbinic Council of Victoria (RCV) issued a statement that welcomed the apology from Waks, but also urged the Tzedek board to “give serious consideration to his [Waks’] position, as well as the practices that led to the publication of those damaging and defamatory comments”.
“The RCV notes with concern that the publication of the defamatory matters over which he has apologised, has true capacity to cause untold harm to individuals, their family members and to the whole of the community.”
The Tzedek board said in a statement that it supported its CEO and that it disagreed with the RCV. “That said, we also accept mistakes were made in this matter. Like all organisations who are concerned with good governance, we are taking steps to improve our processes.”
A spokesperson for the Glick family told The AJN the family of Rabbi Glick was “pleased that Rabbi Glick has been completely exonerated. It’s a tragedy that such accusations were ever made about a man who has spent his whole life serving the community.”