Rabbi Kluwgant falls on his sword

February 16, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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Rabbi Shlomo Meir Shlomo Kluwgant has resigned his presidency of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia.

Following his appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse

In an email Rabbi Kluwgant wrote:

Rabbi Meir Kluwgant

Rabbi Meir Kluwgant

“As you know I have served in leadership positions for over two decades, and as President of ORA since May last year. I am humbled by your faith me, and I have always considered it an honour and a privilege.

In light of what has transpired the Royal Commission I have decided to step down from my position as President of ORA, effective immediately.
I believe this decision to be in the best interest of victims who have contacted me and advised that my standing down would be helpful to them in their healing process.
I have always had the best interests of the individual and the community at heart, and my track record speaks for itself.
I wish you all continued Hatzlocho in your important work; may you all know only goodness and kindness all of the days.”
When responding to questions from Melinda Richards, representing Manny and Zephaniah Waks, Rabbi Kluwgant admitted  to sending a text message stating: “Zephaniah is killing us. Zephaniah is attacking Chabad. He is a lunatic on the fringe, guilty of neglect of his own children. Where was he when all this was happening? ” Rabbi Kluwgant responded: “I may have sent that, yes”.


4 Responses to “Rabbi Kluwgant falls on his sword”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Things don’t quite add up here. On the one hand during the hearing, due to Jewish ethics, a Rabbi is reluctant to say anything negative about a person due to the shame that would cause that person, and on the other hand we have Rabbi Kluwgant sending a text message of explicit and extreme negativity, accusatory, dramatic, name-calling, all aimed at one Z. Waks! – and he had the cheek to attempt to shift the blame for the abuse back on to Waks implicitly by asking where he was when all this was happening. “Zephania is attacking Chabad!” – it doesn’t matter that someone attacked a child in the care of Chabad, it matters that the child’s father is attacking Chabad. How weak, how utterly morally destitute that is.

    In his resignation speech Kluwgant says his track record speaks for itself. Well this email is part of his track record. And, he has the best interests of the ‘individual’ and the community at heart. And, ‘may you all know goodness and kindness all your days.’ Please spare me the homilies. Obviously a resignation speech under these circumstances can be a bit of a minefield, however, one would think these kinds of inappropriate platitudes could go by the wayside. Let’s at least go out with frankness and in that way maintain some sort of sense of dignity.

    You might remember Vivien Resofsky posting a comment on 29/01. She addressed Rabbi Kluwgant and said he was ignoring the main issue and flipping the problem onto the victims. She went on to say that ‘As a social worker, over the last years I have asked you, Rabbi Glasman (ex RCV president) and Rabbi Goodhardt (Rabbi in charge of family violence portfolio) whether I can address the members of the RCV to tell the Rabbis about reform that has taken place in other Chabad communities – that involve Rabbis. The answer has been no. Perhaps it is time to implement the reform required – to confront the cultural barriers to reporting and for Rabbis to spearhead change in Orthodox communities.’ Indeed, perhaps Rabbi Kluwgant and his colleagues should have said yes.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    I can see nothing unrealistic about Rabbi’s comments regarding that bloke.

    Anyway, this Royal Commission is not about Zephania and why is a private legal council permitted to intercede with the workings of a Royal Commission !!

  3. Mal heimfeld says:

    Got slaughtered for saying the truth

  4. ben gershon says:

    long over due


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