Sunday, November 30, 2014

Manny Waks steps down, announces big plans for his future 

The Caulfield man has stepped down as CEO of the Australian advocacy group he founded two years ago, Tzedek, and revealed he is working on a “major global initiative to address the issue of child sexual abuse within the global Jewish community’’.

He will also relocate his family overseas this summer.

“While we have made significant progress, we still have a long way to go. Therefore I will proudly remain a victim advocate and dedicate myself to this cause for as long as I possibly can,’’ he said.

“Just as I felt compelled to speak out publicly in 2011, I feel compelled to continue this critical work.’’

Mr Waks’ campaign has taken a heavy toll on his family and he conceded that had influenced his decision to leave.

“One reason certainly is due to the ongoing ramifications of going public. There’s no question about it. But there are other factors as well,’’ he said.

One of his defining moments came in August when the documentary ‘Code of Silence’ aired on national television.

That lifted the veil on child sexual abuse in Melbourne’s Jewish community and exposed Mr Waks’ own suffering at the hands of an abuser at St Kilda East’s Yeshiva College.

Mr Waks will join Tzedek’s board of advisers and Tzedek is recruiting to fill his role.

He intends to return to Australia when the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse holds a public hearing relating to the Yeshivah Centre, expected next year.


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