Rabbi Pinchus Feldman and the NSW Rabbinical Council

December 20, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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J-Wire has received a letter from a legal representative of Sydney Rabbi Pinchus Feldman…

David Austin, a legal representative of Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, writes: “Last week’s edition of the AJN reported a demand by Manny Waks to the NSW Rabbinical Council for the resignation from all public positions of Rabbi Pinchus Feldman as a consequence of the report of the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse.

As a child abuse survivor, Mr Waks is not a disinterested party. Whilst that is not a reason for the disqualification of his views, it does call for a detached analysis of the views he expresses. As has been famously said, “emotion is not a good judge of issues demanding clear and objective judgement.”

Rabbi Pinchus Feldman at the Commission

The Royal Commission spent millions of dollars and two years of deliberations evaluating all of the evidence relating to Yeshiva Sydney in a thorough manner.

Contrary to the complaint of Mr Waks, Rabbi Pinchus Feldman has not been the subject of even the slightest negative finding by the Royal Commission of impropriety or misbehaviour in personal, official or public office.

Rabbi Pinchus Feldman presided over the Sydney Yeshiva for almost 50 years, during which time many thousands of children were successfully educated, yet not one instance of child abuse was found by the Royal Commission to have occurred because of his default or that could have been avoided by any action taken by him.

The Royal Commission has been investigating dozens of Institutions throughout Australia and the report on Yeshiva Sydney is Case Study 22.

In all of its reports, the Commission does not mince its words in finding fault with organisational leaders and explicitly criticising their conduct.

The fact that the report does not find failures with the leadership and conduct of Rabbi Pinchus Feldman is a badge of honour that he and Yeshiva Sydney can wear with pride.

The complaint from Mr Waks has cherry-picked quotes from the report in order to find fault with Rabbi Feldman and draw conclusions that the Royal Commission did not see fit to draw, and conveniently misquotes a statement of 30 November 2016 by the Federal, New South Wales and Victorian Rabbinical Councils. The actual statement says:

“We call on those who have been identified in the report as not fulfilling their legal obligations to protect children to stand down from their public positions. We believe that those who denigrated or undermined the victims have lost their moral right to serve as leaders in our communities.”

Mr Waks’ complaint against Rabbi Pinchus Feldman ignores the crucial fact that no such findings were made against him in the report.

Mr Waks makes his own findings and demands the Rabbinical Council of NSW to act accordingly, however natural justice decries the use of defamatory language and the misrepresentation of facts by any person, especially one who is not an objective and
dispassionate observer.”


One Response to “Rabbi Pinchus Feldman and the NSW Rabbinical Council”
  1. ben gershon says:

    the credibility the NSW Rabbinical Council is now at stake


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