Malka Leifer
Malka Leifer Flash90

The Tzohar Rabbinical Organization hailed a decision Monday by a Jerusalem court to approve the extradition of accused child molester Malka Leifer.

In a statement released by Tzohar, Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the organization, called the decision by the Jerusalem District Court Monday to back Leifer’s extradition a “critical step” in combating sexual abuse.

“Today’s decision is a critical step in addressing the impression that religious figures can never turn a blind eye to the pain of victims of sexual abuse. The efforts to keep Malka Leifer in Israel and away from an Australian court were nothing less than a desecration of God’s name and a stain on our country’s reputation for pursuing justice, so we can all hope she will now be held accountable for her alleged actions.”

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, who as Director of the Tzohar Center for Jewish Ethics has also written extensively about the case said, "Israel must never become a refuge for sexual abusers. We need to always act in partnership with all other nations in ensuring that these criminals are being brought to justice. Anything less would be gross negligence and is a failure for our national responsibility to act morally and ethically.”

On Monday, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the 53-year-old Leifer, a former principal of the Adass Yisrael girl’s school in Melbourne, can be extradited to Australia based on the case pending against her there.

Leifer fled Australia in 2008, after being accused of sexually abusing minors under her authority at the school.

She currently faces 74 counts of sex abuse.