Today, Rabbi David Kramer 52, an American citizen, made his first appeance at Melbourne Magistrates Court on 12 charges of sexual abuses of his students under age of 16 at Chabad Yeshiva College in St Kilda East. During the court proceedings, Jewish lawyer for one of Rabbi’s victims yelled: “Welcome back to Australia Rabbi Kramer“.

The offences are alleged to have happened while Kramer taught Jewish studies to boys in years 5 to 8 at the college between 1989 and 1992. Kramer fled to Israel in 1993, after several of his students accused him of sexual abuses. Later he returned to America where he was convicted and sentenced 7-year in jail in 2008 for sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy at Nusach Hari B’Nai Zion synagogue in St. Louis.

As reaction to Rabbi Kramer’s history of child sex abuse in Australia, Israel and New York, Rabbi Ze’ev Smason established ‘Our Precious Children’ fund with the goal is to help meet some of the financial needs Jewish sexually abused children and their family members. This includes helping to cover the costs of rape counseling or small things such as purchasing an IPOD for the child.

Rabbi Kramer was arrested in the US in April in response to Australia’s request for his extradition. He unsuccessfully fought the extradition order through the courts. He was surrendered by US authorities on November 29, 2012.

Rabbi Kramer is one of two former Yeshivah College employees facing separate child sexual abuse charges. Former school security guard David Cyprys is due to stand trial in July on charges of child rape and other sexual abuse against 12 students in the 1980s.

Senior Yeshivah College official have previously confirmed they did not report allegations of abuse levelled at Kramer to police as commanded by Jewish ’Mesirah’ – which prohibits Jews from telling the Civil Authorities of crimes being committed by other Jews.

Last year, Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president Agudath Israel, told a conference that even mandated reporters – teachers, social workers and people in certain other professions who are required by law to promptly report any suspected cases of sexual abuse – should consult a rabbi before going to the police.

Read Rabbi Michael J. Broyde’s article on Mesirah, here.

Rabbi Kramer: Welcome back to Australia | Rehmat's World