Allegations of inappropriate behavior have forced the principal of an Australian girls’ school to leave her post.
Malka Leifer, the head of the fervently Orthodox Adass Israel Girls School in Melbourne for five years, returned to her native Israel last week following an internal investigation.
According to the Australian Jewish News, the allegations concern inappropriate behavior between Leifer, a mother of eight, and several students. Some parents are believed to have notified police, although it is unclear if an official investigation is under way.
Two counselors, including one from Israel, have been called into the school due to the sensitive nature of the allegations, the newspaper reported. Adass Israel has about 250 students.
“The school is deeply saddened by these events,” Adass Israel president Benjamin Koppel said in a statement. “It is taking every step possible to ensure the welfare of the students is protected and that everything is done to minimize the prospect of such behavior occurring in the future.”
In a Shabbat address to the community, Adass Israel spiritual leader Rabbi Avrohom Zvi Beck said Leifer should not be considered guilty because no charges have been pressed, the Australian Jewish News reported.