Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse : Progressives have their say

February 10, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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The Progressive Rabbinic Council of Australia, Asia and New Zealand and the Union for Progressive Judaism have stated their position on statements made at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

progressSigned by Stephen Freeman, president of the UPJ and  Rabbi Adi Cohen, Chairman of  Moetzah, the statement reads:

The Rabbis of the Moetzah (the Progressive Rabbinic Council of Australia, Asia and New Zealand) and the leadership of the Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) join those who are shocked and horrified by the revelations about the deceit and ignorance displayed by rabbis within the Chabad Yeshivahs and communities in Australia.

The abhorrence to these statements is compounded by the attempts of these senior leaders to use Jewish tradition and Jewish Law as an excuse for them to cover up child sexual abuse; to protect the perpetrators; and to vilify the victims and their families
This abuse of Jewish law in order to create a code of silence and to protect evildoers is a damning condemnation of the people involved and reflects terribly on the movement of which they are representatives and spokespeople. While the number of people who have perpetrated the crimes may be small, the pervasive and deliberate conspiracy to attack the victims and their families is clearly spread widely through the Chabad community.


The Moetzah and the UPJ call upon all Jewish congregations and organisations to take responsibility for past events and to commit themselves to prevent future ones. Each person and organisation must obey civil and criminal law and also act in accordance with Jewish ethics. Those responsible for the criminal acts must be brought to justice and those who sought to protect them should be removed from positions of authority and prevented from working with children and young people.
Although the Progressive stream of Judaism shares the same values as other Jewish groups, we believe that the behaviour of these individuals places in question their real understand of, and commitment to, the essential principles of Judaism.
The Moetzah and the UPJ offer full support to the victims and offer to help them in seeking to ease their pain and sorrow.



2 Responses to “Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse : Progressives have their say”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    As expected, we see an intolerant highly divisive attitude by the Progressive Whatever, a classical wholesale attack on an entire core Jewish community.

  2. Harry freedman says:

    It is interesting to observe the different approaches taken by the jewish community and the Muslim community in commenting on the behaviour of rogues within each community

    Within days of evidence being made public about the misconduct of the yeshiva institution and the outrageous comments made by Moshe Feldman, all major bodies immediately issued statements condemning such

    Whereas after years of experiencing radical Islam , it is only recently that some Muslim bodies make statements condemning their radicals

    Some small consolation after these horrible revelations

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