Rabbi Yossi Feldman

3 Australian Chabad Rabbis Resign After Damaging Testimony About Child Abuse

Three senior Orthodox rabbis have resigned from their posts in the wake of Australia’s Royal Commission into the child sex abuse scandal at two Chabad institutions.

On Monday, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, president of the Organization of Rabbis of Australasia, resigned from several posts after a text message was revealed during the commission’s hearings last week, in which he accused one of the whistle-blowers of being a “lunatic” who is “killing us.”

Rabbi Avrohom Glick, principal of Yeshivah College in Melbourne when two convicted pedophiles were perpetrating crimes in the 1980s and 1990s, resigned from college duties last week. However, he remains on the spiritual committee of the Yeshiva Center.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman, a director of Sydney’s Yeshivah, also resigned from several posts last week, following a slew of controversial comments he made at the Royal Commission, including an admission that he did not know in 2002 that it was illegal for an adult to touch a child’s genitals. His position as rabbi of a synagogue in Sydney remains under scrutiny.

The Royal Commission spent the last two weeks probing how rabbis and senior officials responded to the child sex abuse scandal inside both Chabad institutions. Three Orthodox men were convicted of crimes; two were jailed in Melbourne while the third, who now lives in the United States, received a suspended sentence.

“We are appalled and deeply pained to learn of the allegations against individuals associated with some of the Chabad institutions in Australia,” said a statement Monday from the educational arm of Chabad in New York.

“The information that has emerged is utterly disturbing, a profound violation of the non-negotiable principles implicit – and explicit – in any and every situation where the wellbeing of a child is entrusted to the care of an educational institution.”

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

3 Australian Chabad Rabbis Resign After Damaging Testimony About Child Abuse

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close