Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse : The Rabbinical Council of NSW

February 10, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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Following the appearance of Rabbi Yossi Feldman at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, The Rabbinical Council of NSW has issued a statement.The RCNSW  views with distress and dismay the increasingly sordid revelations that are emerging from the Royal Commission into Child sexual Abuse in Melbourne and Sydney.  Our hearts are heavy and filled with anguish at the suffering endured by the victims. We empathise with their pain and the pain of those close to them.

Rabbi Yossef Feldman

Rabbi Yossef Feldman

Had we known of these revelations at that time, the decision to allow Rabbi Yossi Feldman to remain as president until the AGM would have been very different. The views expressed by him at the time, as were revealed by the commission, are diametrically opposed to the position of our Rabbinate and were publicly rejected and condemned by it on many occasions.

It wishes to note that Rabbi Feldman is no longer a member of the RCNSW.

The RCNSW wishes to restate that it is vital for us as Rabbis to reiterate that child sexual abuse is a criminal act and therefore the first recourse for victims and their families is the police.  This is not stated as a populist position but as an halachic imperative as stated in the previously published Ruling of the Sydney Beth Din.
It is highly regrettable that some individual rabbis have been guilty in the past of (a) misjudging the seriousness of allegations of victims and (b) ignorance of proper procedures to be followed in the event of such allegations being made.

Every single instance of abuse in our community is one too many and must stimulate a genuine and sincere cheshbon ha-nefesh (soul-searching) on the part of us all as, “all Jews are responsible for one another” (Talmud Shevuot 39a).

May the Al-mighty give strength to the victims and their families.  May these abhorrent and intolerable acts against innocent children and other vulnerable members of our society be eradicated. May we all strive for ever-higher standards of morality and ethics in our own communities and in society as a whole.   And may our leaders be infused with the wisdom to learn from past mistakes and never fail victims of abuse ever again.

The executive on behalf of the RCNSW

Comments

5 Responses to “Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse : The Rabbinical Council of NSW”
  1. ruth says:

    NOT GOOD ENOUGH JUST COVERING THEIR OWN INTERESTS AND DOING DAMAGE CONTROL.

    THE RABBINIM IN JERUSALEM MY CITY DONT EVEN BOTHER TO PRETEND TO APOLGISE BUT THEN WE DONT HAVE THEM FACING A COMMISSION OF ANY KIND FOR ANY OF THE MANY CRIMES GOING ON HERE AGAINST THE CHILDREN.

    THE RABBINIM ARE CORRUPT AND POWER GREEDY AND DONT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE SAFETY OF THE CHILDREN AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY CONTACT WITH CHILDREN. ONE DAY WHEN THE JERUSALEM STORIES DO BURST OUT INTO THE MEDIA, IT WILL BE PAINFULLY OBVIOUS HOW BAD IT REALLY IS.

    IN THE MEANTIME WE HAVE ENDLESS HORROR STORIES FROM THE USA AND OTHER LANDS OF RABBINIM TURNING A BLIND EYE TO THE SUFFERING OF THE CHILDREN AND SUPPORTING AND HELPING THE PERVERTS.

  2. Lizzie Moore says:

    Rav Feldman evidently was not tuned in – but a few years back, when a Melb Catholic bishop commented to The Age, that there was now “a victims’ industry” in Australia, all that did, was pour half a tanker of petrol onto a steadily burning fire. We once heard a Catholic senior priest rant against retrospective sentencing,” the horrific injustice”, “the corrupt, persecutory and evil police, lawyers and justice system”, etc. [1995] The past 19 years, have shown us in spades, why he did this!

    • Lynne Newington says:

      Yes it was a shameful statement by then Vicar General Bishop Les Tomlinson considering what has since come to light through parliamentary inquiries both in Victoria and NSW and the decades of survivors just trying to do that; as in survive.
      Then there were those who didn’t…….known and unknown.

  3. ben gershon says:

    this is a group containing Dyanim ,rabbis that one would go to for a din torah

    now they come out with a statement their judgment lacks credibility

    please print the composition of the council

    ben

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