Australia's Jewish community is in shock after one of its most senior rabbis stepped aside, apologising for his treatment of child sex abuse victims at a Melbourne Jewish school.
Rabbi Zvi Telsner has said he will step down immediately as head of Melbourne's Yeshiva Centre, which manages schools including Yeshiva College, apologising for his behaviour towards victims.
In a letter to the Jewish community on Tuesday evening, Rabbi Telsner apologised for the way he dealt with child sex abuse victims and their families.
"We must all be aware of how our words and actions impact on others and therefore would like to apologise for my conduct and urge everyone to show compassion and support towards victims and their families," he said.
Yeshiva College was among the Jewish schools in Melbourne and Sydney examined by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concerning their response to sex abuse.
The hearings exposed a culture of turning a blind eye, a lack of knowledge about child abuse and reporting requirements, and a dearth of sympathy for victims between the 1980s and 2010.
Rabbi Telsner told the royal commission he believes pedophiles can be cured over time.
Former Yeshiva student Manny Waks, who was molested at 11 and was shunned by his community when he went public, celebrated Rabbi Telsner's departure.
He tweeted on Tuesday: "Finally. The news we have all been awaiting. I commend all those who stood up and voiced their views."
A group of 11 victims including Mr Waks had demanded the resignation of the entire Yeshiva Centre board.