How do Jewish Community Leadership Bodies Respond to Manifestations of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse? A Case Study of Malka Leifer

Philip Mendes, Marcia Pinskier

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) have both drawn attention to examples of CSA within (primarily but not exclusively ultra-orthodox) Jewish communities and the failure of Jewish religious authorities to protect children or comply with core child safety procedures. Yet to date, there has been little examination of how Jewish lay leadership bodies have responded to manifestations of institutional CSA. This article used content analysis methods to explore the advocacy activities and statements of three leading Australian Jewish organisations regarding the high profile Malka Leifer case. We argue that the emphasis placed by these organisations on campaigning for Leifer’s extradition to Australia and critiquing the failures of the Israeli political and legal systems, whilst rightly supporting the demands of the alleged victims of CSA for justice, has also tended to downplay the specific implications of this case for child safety standards within Australian Jewish community organisations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-133
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Child safety standards
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Jewish community organisations
  • Malka Leifer

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