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Video: Sydney Rabbis Apologize and Pledge to Combat CSA

Following the shocking and troubling revelations during the Australian Government’s Royal Commission that investigated abuse and molestation in the Sydney community, a number of community Rabbi’s released a video apologizing for not doing enough and pledging to combat CSA.

The video is titled “A Message from your Rabbis” and features a number of rabbis including, Rabbi Aron Moss, Rabbi Michoel Gourari, Rabbi Bentzion Milecki, Rabbi Mendel Kastel and Rabbi Levi Wolff.

43 Comments

  • 1. great job! wrote:

    whats happened this past week in australia is horrifying…than you to the rabbis that actually care.

    • 4. Menachem wrote:

      The less Yossi Feldman says the better. In the last two weeks, his words and actions have cause the biggest Chillul Hashem Australia has ever seen.

  • 5. Whats interesting is wrote:

    These Rabbis are basically the only ones that are not directly related to the Feldmans or under Yeshiva payroll.

  • 7. sane voices wrote:

    These Rabbis in Sydney are sane, responsible and sound like Rabbi’s should sound.

  • 9. Sickening wrote:

    Not acceptable. I don’t believe a single word and couldn’t care less if they actually mean it. The entire rabbinate in Sydney should resign or else face criminal prosecution. Their negligence, selfishness and blatant disregard for Torah and their fellow man’s suffering is inexcusable. The only way to begin heeling is with a fresh start. If these clowns had even an ounce of integrity they would step aside and let real yiras shamayim yidden run the show.

    • 10. Anonymous wrote:

      These Rabonim were in no position to know what was going on. That is like saying one senator does something wrong so we should revoke elections for the entire country.

  • 11. Interesting wrote:

    The younger Rabbi Feldman isn’t on it. Did anyone read what he said to the commission? He didn’t know it was illegal for a rebbi to do what he did. Is he for real? At least Australia is doing something about this stuff, more than we can say about what goes on every day in Brooklyn. Parents, talk to your children, not just once but every so often. Watch out for changes in behavior, eating patterns etc. Be aware that your child might be trying to tell you something.

  • 15. Anonymous wrote:

    To# 8 I agree with you 100% but I believe the problem is not only in Australia what you’re saying is everywhere the arrogance is everywhere what education do they really have to help kids and people of these type of issues being a learned person means nothing if you’re going to come out in a clown suit

  • 16. ctr wrote:

    JCW / Jewish community Watch is making a huge difference, they have to get credit here. Everyone will see in the future that they are doing the right thing, and doing the best that they can.
    thankyou to the JCW is not enough, but its something. We have to wake up and get supportive. Right now, it is clear that we have to all we can to support, protect and love each Jew.

  • 18. To all the negetive comments wrote:

    I think things should be put in perspective. Not one the Rabbi’s in the video is known to ever have mishandled cases of sexual abuse, and not one of them is being interrogated by the commission.
    They are all very highly respected by the wider Jewish communities, and known as men of integrity and good values.
    The point of the video is just to make clear that they disassociate themselves with any of the ignorant and harmful views presented by others to the commission, and to encourage victims to come forward.

    • 19. wrong wrote:

      1) maybe they never had to deal with the issue

      2) maybe there are cases you do not know about that some of these rabbis were involved

      3) im sure 20 years ago these rabbis wouldn’t do anything, remember the entire investigation goes back decades im sure if something happened today in any city it will be different

      these rabbis are no better then anyone else the entire video is just to cover themselves and make them look good

  • 20. throwing manis under the bus wrote:

    i guess the strategy of throwing Rabbi Manis Friedman under the bus didnt work out so well for them

  • 22. anon wrote:

    with all due respect the Rebbe sent the feldmans to sydney and who are we to question him.

  • 23. Sydney-Sider wrote:

    I don’t usually comment, but since there are some borderline slanderous comments above:

    The rabbis in this video, all have:
    a) policies in place for years to safeguard children from sexual abuse

    b) have made statements both oral and written to their communities condemning the the mishandling of abuse

    c) have made public seminars involving police, survivors and lawyers to educate their communities

    AND all this BEFORE anyone even dreamed of the Royal Commission.

    • 24. wrong wrote:

      they only put these in place a few years ago when people make alot of noise, they never spoke about 10 20 or 30 years ago,

      ps the yeshiva i Melbourne e and sydney also have policies in place

      these rabbis are doing this as a PR stunt

    • 25. don't throw stones wrote:

      I’m sorry, but aside from the people who were interviewed by the commission, nobody had any way to know this was going on at Yeshiva school 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

      I happen to know (abuser) Gug Hayman, and one of the survivors is a very close friend and classmate. And I had NO idea – NO IDEA – that there was sexual abuse at Yeshiva until I read about it in the news.

      The only thing that can be expected of other leaders (who are not connected to Yeshiva) is to take a stand when the knowledge was released, which they did back in 2007 before anyone dreamed of this chilul hashem.

    • 26. don't throw stones 2 wrote:

      I should also add that the entire Chabad community – including the rabbis on this video – publicly separated themselves from Yeshiva in Sydney for other reasons, way before the first case of sexual abuse was publicized.

  • 27. MLB wrote:

    #19
    With all due respect, the Rebbe sent Shluchim to places, but he didn’t make their decisions for them. People have Bechirah Chofshis….
    You can’t forgive pple based on the the fact that the Rebbe sent them. And the Rebbe sent his father, not him. Maybe Rabbis should hire the right person for the job & not try to keep it in the family.
    “Not knowing that it’s not ok for a Rebbi/teacher to touch someone’s privates.” is a whole new level of Stupid.
    And plenty of shluchim make mistakes, because they’re human.

  • 28. LA MORAH wrote:

    If these men have no history of being involved in the cover i[s,it’s unfair to judge them or their motives. Regarding #20 however,are you kidding?! Some of the shluchim and head Shluchim at that,ahmem,I live in California,have gone so far away from what the Rebbbe or posut any erliche Yid,would deem acceptable. Unfortunately these men are able to delude themselves into thinking that since they work for the Rebbe,anything goes.

  • 29. in 2002 Yosef Feldman... wrote:

    In reference to the incident in 2002 which was addressed in the Royal Commission Is about a bocher ‘leaving’ back to America..

    That incident took place in South head shuls camp. Were Rabbi Meleki is Rabbi.

    I wonder what he means when he says..

    “We will not allow cover ups”

    “we will not protect institutions”

    • 30. Anonymous wrote:

      I think you should clarify such a scandalous statement. If the commission would have thought that Rabbi Milecki was responsible they would have hauled him in front of the commission just like everyone else.

  • 31. From Sydney wrote:

    The Sydney community will never strive while the Feldmans are still in charge. That is the sad reality. That is why evey Rabbi in this video is not directly accountable to them. You do not have a single successful shliach who is directly responsible to them. This is because it is impossible to successfully attract the public to your mossed if it is aassociated with the cover ups, and dictatorship that the feldmans are known for.

    The most successful shluchim are those that are responsible to their board and community. When the community is involved in policy making you create an atmosphere they want.

    It’s that simple. People can either choose between a democratic shule with no cover ups and financial mess, or a shule where they have no say in the operations and is always embroiled in cover ups and financial troubles. Who would choose the later??

  • 32. To #27 wrote:

    1. The case you refer to was reported immediately to the police and relevant authorities
    2. The issue is he left the country

  • 33. Not excluding anyone wrote:

    Rabbi Moss is one of the most respected rabbis in Sydney. He is turned to as a mentor and mashpia by anash and many from the general community too.

    Please note that this video was created as a last minute erev Shabbos message to the communities of these rabbis. Thus is not trying to exclude anyone.

    Do we need new leadership
    Yes

    Do we need strong leadership
    Yes

    Do we need change
    Yes

    Yes it’s late
    But at least something is starting to chNge

  • 34. Sydney wrote:

    Rabbi Y Feldman cares an enormous amount for all Jews. More than anyone else I have seen.
    Pls stop with negativity and loshon hora.

    The media likes to make big stories of things and u can research facts from proper reliable sources before u believe anything the media puts out or loshon horah people say.

  • 36. yaakov wrote:

    #26 Just for the record, yosef feldman never once said that he didn’t know “that it’s not ok for a Rebbi/teacher to touch someone’s privates.” that is outright lies. Read the transcript from the Royal Commission. He said that according to Jewish Law the seriousness of a man touching even another man is terrible and how much more so touching a child is completely unacceptable and highly inappropriate, and therefore he would never tolerate this kind of behaviour at all in his schools. but secular law thinks that homosexuality is fantastic and he never studied exactly what the criminal law in australia is therefore he didn’t know exactly what is considered illegal according to secular law, so even though the school IMMEDIATELY reported the allegations to the police, he wasn’t certain how the authorities would deal with it, and whether they would consider WHAT WAS REPORTED TO THE POLICE to be criminal. The anti religious media took that statement and turned it into a blood libel against Chabad and the Rabbis. They saw a headline that he didnt know if it was illegal and turned it into as if he thought it was perfectly ok!!!! Exactly opposite to what he was saying!! Anyone who has an objective brain will see that a travesty has been done in this instance to his name personally and to the name of Chabad and Rabbis in general. Especially with the obligation of Don lekaf zechus we should be the last to feed energy to this open blood libel and anti chabad frenzy. It is simply outrageous the perpetuation of these lies which is doing such damage to the name of Chabad which is exactly what our enemies want to achieve.

  • 37. To #29 wrote:

    Thanks for all the negativity
    The feldmans did lots of great work in sydney. They were sent by the Rebbe and if u are not happy u don’t have to go to yeshiva, u can find another place to daven. But no need to say negative things about people

  • 38. LA MORAH wrote:

    To #30-to clarify,I wasn’t talking a case of molestation. I was talking about #21’s assertion that we shouldn’t question a shaliach since the Rebbe sent him in the first place.

  • 40. let's be careful not harmful wrote:

    I don’t know people in Australia, but once I see a praise to JCW I don’t believe. Stalin and Moa (China’ leader at that time) were friends forever.

  • 42. dovid wrote:

    So I guess since rabbi feldman was sent as a shliach to Sydney, we’re not allowed to criticize his son when he says the craziest things.
    Maybe it’s time we have an open discussion as to how much power the Rebbe intended the shliach to have. Does this mean he owns the entire state, with no-one else allowed to do anything, and no-one allowed to question any of his actions whether according to shulchan aruch or not?
    We saw the results of people having this misguided belief at the commission in Melbourne, where people’s belief in this led them not to feel the right to question rabbi groner-certainly on of the greatest of the shluchim- and the results that tragically followed.

  • 43. mad winter wrote:

    The scandal came to crown hights this is sidny punishment for sending us that gift

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