Chief Rabbi’s son rapped for tribute to Australian yeshiva sex abuse scandal rabbi

Danny Mirvis spoke at Yitzchok Dovid Groner's tenth yahrzeit in Melbourne on Sunday


A British rabbi has been attacked for speaking at the tenth yahrzeit of an Australian rabbi accused of failing to report sexual abuse incidents at a Melbourne yeshiva.

Danny Mirvis, who is the son of British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and a senior rabbi at the Mizrachi Organisation in Melbourne, spoke on the subject of “Models of Jewish leadership” at last Sunday’s event to honour Yitzchok Dovid Groner.

Rabbi Groner was posthumously named in an Australian public inquiry as having failed to report complaints against two employees, David Kramer and Davis Cyprys, at the Melbourne Yeshiva centre in 1984.

Manny Waks, who was a victim of child sex abuse at the Melbourne Yeshiva and launched a campaign after revealing his story, said Melbourne Mizrachi members “should be enquiring whether it’s appropriate for their head rabbi to speak in honour of Rabbi Groner.”

He said the 2015 public inquiry, a Royal Commission, had heard from a former Melbourne Yeshiva principal who said Rabbi Groner would have today regretted his failure to act on the allegations.

Both Cyprys and Kramer were jailed in 2013 for multiple offences against boys at the Chabad-run school in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Rabbi Mirvis’s decision to speak at the yahrzeit led to anger online.

“Rabbi Groner was undoubtedly of the old school mentality that abuse could be handled ‘in house’ and that he would personally be able to oversee the rehabilitation of serial paedophiles or abusive husbands,” one member of the community, Shimon Walles, wrote on Facebook.

“This I believe is what needs to be remembered on Rabbi Groner’s Yahrzeit. How are we changing our attitudes towards victims and abuse?”

But Rabbi Mirvis told the JC: “My decision to speak at the event has been met, both before and after, with overwhelming communal support in Melbourne, including from individuals impacted by the findings of the Royal Commission.”

And Mizrachi President Danny Lamm said he “totally” supported Rabbi Mirvis’s decision to participate.

“I myself attended the event honouring the memory of one of Melbourne Jewry’s greatest leaders,” Dr Lamm said.

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