Media Release: Aleph Melbourne disappointed in unsatisfactory resignation letter of Rabbi Zvi Telsner

MEDIA RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 2 2015

ALEPH MELBOURNE DISAPPOINTED IN UNSATISFACTORY RESIGNATION LETTER OF RABBI ZVI TELSNER

 

Aleph Melbourne acknowledges the overdue resignation of senior rabbi Zvi Telsner from the Yeshiva Centre in Melbourne but is disappointed with the unsatisfactory letter written in his name.

Whilst his resignation letter claims remorse for his actions, his apology falls short of addressing his claims that homosexual people can be cured of what he believes is an ailment.

To demonstrate genuine remorse for his harmful words Zvi Telsner must undertake secular education on homosexuality and strongly distance himself from any notion that homosexuality can either be cured or is abnormal.

As a senior religious leader in his community his authority combined with his ongoing intolerance of homosexuality will feed into the self-destructive outcomes that same-sex attracted people experience due to intolerance of their sexuality.

Homosexuality has not been considered an illness by mental health professionals for over 40 years and is now affirmed as a normal expression of human sexuality.  For any person to consider it curable demonstrates gross ignorance.

Victims of child sexual abuse who experience same-sex attraction will benefit by seeking support for their abuse from accredited mental health professionals, whilst avoiding any form of sexual orientation change efforts, such as reparative therapy.

The Australian Psychological Society and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists can provide referrals to suitably qualified practitioners.

Contact Michael Barnett on 0417-595-541 for further comment.

ENDS


Letter from Rabbi Zvi Telsner:

י”ז אלול תשע”ה
1st September, 2015

Dear Yeshivah Community Members, Friends and Supporters,

As a senior Rabbi at the Yeshivah Centre I acknowledge and endorse its values, policies and message of continued support and compassion for victims of Child Sexual Abuse, their families and all of the community. Elul is a time to reflect on ones values and behaviours as we prepare to herald in the New Year.

I recognise that my conduct towards victims and their families did not demonstrate these values or behaviour to the extent necessary of a Rabbi in my position. Accordingly, I have decided to stand down from my position as Rabbi at the Yeshivah Centre, effective immediately.

We all must be aware of how our words and actions impact on others and therefore would like to take this opportunity to apologise for my conduct and urge everyone to show compassion and support towards victims and their families throughout the moised and broader community.

I wish the community all the best for a Ksiva Vechasima Tova, and a year full of blessings.

Yours Sincerely,
Rabbi Z. Telsner

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