Rabbi Yosef Feldman Claims He Was Defamed

by J-Wire Staff
August 1, 2011

Rabbi Yosef Feldman has issued a statement alleging he has been defamed following the publication of articles in the Jewish and secular media over the weekend.

The original article, published by Jewish media which had obtained leaked emails, accuses the rabbi of wanting matters relating to "all acts of abuse" dealt with internally and not by the official authorities.

He is considering legal proceedings alleging that the initial article is defamatory.

In his statement, Rabbi Feldman says that "he has, at all times, publicly endorsed the unanimous view of the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales under his Presidency - that all acts of abuse must be reported to the police."

The statement goes on to say: "It would appear that the AJN obtained, by means unknown, an internal email exchange among Rabbis in which there was academic discussion of a range of views held by international scholars on how to deal with situations not subject to mandatory reporting. The AJN took extracts from that exchange and constructed a story and an editorial which attributed to the Rabbi views and opinions which he simply does not hold."

Rabbi Feldman added in his statement: "The true position is that Rabbi Feldman, like all other right thinking Australian citizens, believes that acts of paedophilia should and must be reported to the police for investigation and, if warranted, prosecution. It is not, and has never been, his view that criminal conduct of this kind should be covered up. The Rabbi's stance is that suspected paedophiles must face the Australian legal system.

There is no suggestion that any abuse has occurred in any Jewish establishment in New South Wales. However, the unanimous view of Rabbi Feldman and the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales is that suspected paedophiles must, if discovered, be reported to the police."