Australia Orthodox Jewish Community Rocked by New Child Sexual Abuse Charge

A Chabad Youth Leader who worked as a substitute teacher at Yeshivah College in Melbourne, Australia, has been charged with sexually abusing a child there. The Yeshivah College, a school for Orthodox Jewish boys, was already at the center of a <"">child sexual abuse scandal when Aron Ezriel Kestecher, 26, was arrested on four counts of indecent acts on a child under the age of 16.

According to a report from, Kestecher has been released on bail and will appear in the Moorabbin Magistrates Court on November 29.

This is not the first time that someone affiliated with the Yeshivah College in Melbourne has been charged with sexually abusing a child. According to, earlier this year, Melbourne police wrote to former students of the school, asking them to make a police report if they were assaulted or witnessed an assault between 1989 and 1993. The school’s principal has also written a letter asking that sexual abuse be reported to the police.

According to, the letters were written after parents complained that former teacher, David Kramer, had abused boys at Yeshiva College in the 1990s. They also claimed parents and students were pressured to keep quiet about the alleged abuse, and the child abuse complains were not reported to police by the school officials. Kramer eventually fled to the U.S., where he serving a seven-year sentence for molesting a 12-year-old boy at a synagogue in St Louis, Missouri. Melbourne police are planning on having him extradited when he is released, said.

Just last month, Yeshivah College security guard David Samuel Cyprys was charged with multiple counts of indecent assault and gross indecency after he allegedly repeatedly molested boys from the school between 1984 and 1991. During his appearance at Melbourne Magistrates Court, several Melbourne police officials accused members of the Yeshivah College community of lying to police and trying to cover up sex abuse claims, said.

As we’ve reported previoulsy, Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. have also been rocked by charges of child sexual abuse and cover-ups. According to a report published by the New York Post in July, sexual abuse victims in some of New York’s Orthodox Jewish communities have been routinely discouraged by rabbis from making reports to criminal authorities. “There are prohibitions and a psychological fear about saying bad things about people or talking about negative things that bring shame,” Long Island psychologist Michael Salamon, author of a book about abuse in the Orthodox community, told the Post.

That JTA News Service reported that same month that Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, the vice-president of Agudath Israel of America’s Supreme Council of Rabbinic Sages, insisted in a speech in Flatbush, Brooklyn that the sexual abuse of a child should be reported to a rabbi, who would then determine if the police should be called. Even worse, Kamenetsky delivered his shocking remarks on July 12, the same day members of the New York Jewish Orthodox community were frantically searching for 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, whose dismembered body was found the following day in a dumpster and in the apartment of Levi Aron, a suspected child predator.

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