Sydney Chief Chabad Rabbi's Wife Sorry for Offensive Email to Child Abuse Victim

Manny Waks, who went public with his story of child sex abuse in the Jewish community, released the email to the media.

JTA
JTA
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
The Sydney Opera House
סידני. הריבית צפויה להמשיך לעלותCredit: Bloomberg
JTA
JTA

The wife of the chief Chabad rabbi in Sydney has apologized for offending a child sex abuse victim on the eve of Yom Kippur.

On Monday, Pnina Feldman said she regretted the email she had sent three days earlier to Manny Waks, who went public with his story of child sex abuse in the Jewish community, stressing she had written a “private” email to Waks.

Waks, an advocate for child sex abuse victims, released Feldman’s email to the media.

Feldman sent the email after receiving a request to support a petition calling on two senior Chabad leaders in Melbourne to resign from their positions over the child sex abuse scandal that embroiled Chabad’s Yeshivah College in the 1980s and 1990s.

“In my robust and emotional email I employed offensive language which I remorsefully regret and unreservedly apologize for,” she wrote. “I agree with all efforts to prosecute pedophiles but take issue with some aspects of Manny’s crusade against Melbourne Yeshivah.”

Feldman added, “I also want to apologize for any perceived trivialization of the impact of child abuse on victims.”

In her email, Feldman wrote of Waks, “I haven’t met a person yet with one nice word to say about you. Most people consider you a lowlife.”

Feldman, whose Brooklyn-born husband, Pinchus, was sent as an emissary to Sydney by the Lubavitcher rebbe in the 1960s, also accused Waks in the email of waging a “malicious blame game” against Yeshivah that is “unjust, unwarranted, undeserved and wicked.”

Last year, former Yeshivah College security guard David Cyprys was convicted and jailed for molesting Waks and eight other boys. David Kramer, an American and a former teacher at the college, also was jailed for molesting four boys.

In response to Feldman’s email, Waks wrote, “I’m truly shocked and horrified that Rebbetzin Feldman has deliberately chosen the eve of Yom Kippur to launch an unprovoked, vile and offensive tirade against me.”.

In 2012, Yeshivah in Melbourne apologized “unreservedly” to victims of child sexual abuse, but the scandal continues to smolder within the Jewish community.

Senior rabbis will be called to testify before the ongoing Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, the Melbourne Age newspaper recently revealed.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism