Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Another Let Down by a Jewish Organisation Claiming to Address Abuse

Then we come to Vienna in Austria. An organisation called ESRA, has been set up by the local Jewish Community to address issues surrounding abuse and trauma. More specifically, in 2009, they launched a campaign to fight domestic violence against women. The literature clearly lists Rabbanim and senior community leaders who were behind the initiative, most notably [Rabbi] Jacob Biderman and Konstanze Thau. Those familiar with the case of the Schlesinger Twins in Vienna may be aware of how their mother, Beth Alexander, was tricked into going to see the psychiatrist at ESRA, by Mr Schlesinger, with the intention obtaining a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, or postnatal depression at the very least. This attempt failed and the psychiatrist issued a short report to say that beth was not suffering from postnatal depression or any other form of mental illness. Shortly afterwards ESRA imposed a silencing order on the case. When Beth requested that the psychiatrist submit a more detailed report to the court to help her case, the psychiatrist said she was unable to do so as ESRA wouldn’t allow it, even though by this time she was no longer working for ESRA. After Mr Schlesinger gained custody through the Austrian courts, he took paternity leave, during which time, ESRA voluntarily paid him a large monthly living allowance. When questioned why they felt this was appropriate, they said it was because they needed to maintain his lifestyle. Beth received no financial support nor any compassion in all her dealings with ESRA.

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