Rabbi and son declared bankrupt by court

July 21, 2022 by AAP
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An ultra-orthodox Jewish leader and his son have been declared bankrupt after they failed to pay back a $1.5 million loan to keep their Yeshivah Centre afloat.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman

Rabbi Corey Tayar sued Rabbi Pinchus Feldman and his son Rabbi Yosef Feldman in Victoria’s Supreme Court after they failed to repay him for a series of loans to meet the centre’s ongoing expenses.

The Feldman family are leaders in Sydney’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community, and Rabbi Tayar, who now lives in Melbourne, previously worked with them at the city’s Yeshivah Centre.

The court ruled in Rabbi Tayar’s favour in March 2020, with the father and son ordered to pay him back $1,515,402. The Feldmans tried to appeal the decision, but their attempts failed.

Rabbi Tayar applied to have the Feldmans declared bankrupt because they have only paid back about $150,000 since 2020, the Federal Court in Melbourne heard on Thursday.

Rabbi Pinchus Feldman

The Feldmans, who were self-represented, argued the debt should be paid back under the Jewish bankruptcy process, allowing them to repay their debt over time as they can afford it.

They said it was unfair for the matter to be pursued in a secular court when the original dispute had already been determined under Jewish law.

But Judicial Registrar Amelia Edwards said that was not required in the Supreme Court’s decision ordering them to repay the loan.

She declared the Feldmans bankrupt and ordered about $5600 in Rabbi Tayar’s costs be paid to him from their estates.

Rabbi Pinchus Feldman told J-Wire: “We believe that there has been a very serious miscarriage of justice and we are certainly planning to appeal.”

From Emily Woods in Melbourne  AAP

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