Chabad's Aus child sex abuse scandal grows

  • Berland Holland Feb 15
Media frenzy as senior Chabad rabbi gets delisted as emissary as fallout continues from Australia’s Royal Commission into a child sex abuse scandal. Rabbi Yosef Feldman, pictured left on front page of , Aus Jewish News was former director of Sydney’s Yeshivah Centre, which houses Chabad headquarters in the city. He was delisted last week after making controversial comments to the commission, including his suggestion that paedophiles who had not committed sex crimes for two decades, should be treated with leniency.
by ANT KATZ with JTA | Feb 25, 2015
Rabbi Yosef Feldman, a former director of Sydney’s Yeshivah Centre, which houses Chabad headquarters in the city, was delisted last week.

Rabbi Feldman made controversial comments to the Royal Commission into a child sex abuse, including his suggestion that paedophiles who had not committed sex crimes for two decades, should be treated with leniency.

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RIGHT: Rabbi Yosef Feldman

Rabbi Feldman also told the Royal Commission that he did not know in 2002 that it was illegal for an adult to touch a child’s genitals.

Feldman, a son of Chabad’s Chief Rabbi in Sydney, sparked a storm of protest by Orthodox rabbis and mainstream Jewish leaders.

His delisting came as Rabbi Avrohom Glick, who had resigned from all his posts at Yeshivah College in Melbourne, where he was principal during the time of the abuse in the 1980s and ’90s,

Rabbi Glick also tendered his resignation from the spiritual committee of the Yeshivah Centre.

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LEFT: Rabbi Avrohom Glick

Victims were outraged that he had kept the post, which Glick had described as “his calling” during the commission hearings.

The resignations come in the wake of the two-week hearing into the child sex abuse scandals at Chabad headquarters in Sydney and Melbourne.

A third rabbi, Shlomo Kluwgant, resigned as president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia after it was revealed at the hearing that he had sent a text message describing Zephaniah Waks, one of the whistleblowers, as a “lunatic” who was “killing us”.

His son, Manny Waks, the only Jewish victim in Australia to go public, is still demanding more resignations.

“Every rabbi and every leader of peak Jewish bodies should publicly acknowledge what happened and apologise for their silence about intimidation shown towards myself, my family and other victims,” Manny Waks told Fairfax Media.

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RIGHT: Rabbi Shlomo Kluwgant, 


“And the Yeshivah Centre boards in Melbourne and Sydney need to apologise and resign, along with other leaders who’ve been implicated.”

Three Orthodox men were convicted of crimes, with two receiving jail terms. The third, who now lives in the United States, received a suspended sentence.

“We are appalled and deeply pained to learn of the allegations against individuals associated with some of the Chabad institutions in Australia,” said a statement from the educational arm of Chabad in New York.

“The information that has emerged is utterly disturbing, a profound violation of the non-negotiable principles implicit - and explicit - in any and every situation where the wellbeing of a child is entrusted to the care of an educational institution.” (JTA)


  1. 17 Choni 25 Feb
    And not so long ago if one said anything negative about any Chabad Shaliach, it was analogous to criticising the Rebbe himself. 
  2. 16 jonni 25 Feb
    ten shoemakers make a minyan
    nine rabbonim do not
  3. 15 jonni 26 Feb
    Ten Shoemakers make a Minyan

    Nine Rabbonim do not
  4. 14 Choni 26 Feb
    Why has it taken so long to bring this vital issue to S.Africa?
    It's been going on in Australia for years.
    I believe many financial supporters of Chabad in Australia are now withholding their contributions to an institution which now has quite a few Rabbis suspected, and convicted of sex crimes against children.
  5. 13 Daniel 01 Mar
    Choni I happens here too.
    Our rabbinic leadership just has a bigger broom and a wider carpet. 
  6. 12 Denis Solomons 02 Mar
    Is this not a direct result of Australians hanging around with and being too fond and familiar with their sheep ! ?
  7. 11 Jonni 03 Mar
    Denis Solomon's comment is xenophobic,rude and uninformed.
    Australia has some of the finest Medical brains etc etc etc in the world.Their professionals and University system rank very highly world wide.
    Perhaps Denis should visit Australia and get rid of his nasty stereotyping.

  8. 10 Mordechai 03 Mar
    It is so sad that Denis Solomon can attempt to make a joke out of such an important, sad and serious issue
  9. 9 Denis Solomons 03 Mar
    Hey ! It was just a joke !
  10. 8 Choni 03 Mar
    Jonni, we are not talking about intalect, we are talking about the vilest sins that a Jew can commit, especially a religious Jew, no matter how clever he is.
    Dennis Solomons, you are completely off the mark.
  11. 7 Denis Solomons 03 Mar
    Choni : Get a Life !
  12. 6 Jonni 03 Mar
    Choni you have missed the tenor of my comment,which is hardly surprising given the way you spell intellect.
    I understand well the nature of the sins perpetrated. What I do not condone  is the inappropriate, puerile joke made by Denis which belittles such sins.    
  13. 5 Mordechai 04 Mar
    Denis, this is not a subject to make jokes about
  14. 4 Denis Solomons 05 Mar
    Mordechai and Jonni! Get a life !
  15. 3 Jonni 06 Mar
    denis , get some counselling 
  16. 2 Denis Solomons 09 Mar
  17. 1 David 17 Apr
    Isn't it so interesting that the subject matter has gone out the window , while you 'intalectuls' have a go at each other.
    The subject is one of the most scurrilous  diseases that has been inflicted on our community ( and many others for that matter )  but you all kick the man instead of playing  the ball. Forget the man and come up with something meaningful on the subject


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