Aussie student to face court overseas over sex allegation
An alleged sexual assault committed by a high school boy has brought a Melbourne school trip to Israel into turmoil.
The minor from Hawthorn's Bialik College faces court in Israel on Sunday (local time) over an alleged assault on a girl from another school.
The hearing is closed to press due to their ages.
Bialik's principal Jeremy Stowe Linder has been forced to make his way to the Jewish homeland to comfort students and staff shocked by the alleged assault.
The alleged attack on a child is set to rock Australia's Jewish community, which is already reeling for the attempts to bring back alleged paedophile and ex-headmistress Malka Leifer back to Melbourne to face justice.
Bialik College was on an annual joint trip to China and Israel when the allegation against the boy was made.
The boy was immediately removed from the trip when the serious allegation was made and the Israel police were called in.
Mr Stowe-Linder told News Corp Australia that he was doing everything he could to support the families rocked by this alleged attack.
"I am deeply saddened to be notified of an incident of this nature occurring on our Chavayah program," he said
"Israeli authorities were immediately notified that there was an allegation of assault, and whilst both parties are minors the focus of all our attention is the wellbeing of the group.
"The College has been in constant communication with all families and is working with students to ensure they are supported throughout this difficult time."
Stunned Bialik students and staff remain in Israel despite the alleged attack by one of their own.
The six-week Chavayah program was supposed to a fun, life-changing trip which saw the students explore both China and Israel - where they meet business leaders in a hope to bring both countries and Australia closer together.
Both the parents of the alleged attacker and victim have been fully briefed on the terrifying school trip alleged assault.
The Bialik College community were informed of the alleged assault via email on Saturday by Mr Stowe-Linder.
The school trip horror is the latest in a string of alleged child abuse incidents which have haunted Australia's Jewish community in recent years.
The royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse uncovered multiple allegations of the mistreatment of children in the Jewish community over decades.
And the fight to extradite Ms Leifer - who is accused on assaulting multiple Australian schoolgirls under her care - is still dragging on in Israel despite pleas from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews directly to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Manny Waks, chief executive of the Jewish child protection group Kol V'Oz, said the alleged attack highlighted the work Australia's Jewish community still needs to do to keep children safe.
"While all cases (and alleged cases) of assault against children are devastating and sensitive, when the alleged perpetrator is a child," he said.
"In my ongoing and direct interactions with Bialik College and its Principal, Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, over many years, I can state that they have been at the forefront of addressing the issue of child protection and have done so with professionalism and sensitivity.
"I know the same professionalism and sensitivity is being applied in this case as well. I have full confidence in the school and its leadership.
"It is also an opportunity to remind the community of the need for ongoing diligence and education in the areas of child safety, including around issues of consent between minors."