Chabad Rabbi Yosef Feldman has stepped down from his role as the interim rav ha-machshir (kosher food supervising authority) for the prominent Sydney-based kosher caterer Amaze in Taste. But Feldman still holds the position as top rabbi of a synagogue, despite his shameful testimony before Australia's Royal Commission investigating child sex abuse at Chabad institutions.
Above: Rabbi Yosef Feldman
Shamed Before Royal Commission, Senior Chabad Rabbi Resigns From Yet Another Communal Position
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Chabad Rabbi Yosef Feldman has stepped down from his role as the interim rav ha-machshir (kosher food supervising authority) for the prominent Sydney-based kosher caterer Amaze in Taste.
Three other local Orthodox rabbis – South Head Synagogue’s Rabbi Benzion Milecki, Jewish Learning Centre’s Rabbi David Blackman and Kehillat Masada’s Rabbi Gad Krebsare – have at the request of the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of New South Wales (COSNSW) stepped in to provide kosher supervision.
Feldman provided the interim kosher supervision for the past year, but his shocking testimony before Australia’s Royal Commission investigating child sex abuse at the Chabad institutions his family controls – and a no-sex sex tape leaked to FailedMessiah.com – has raised such anger among many in Australia’s Jewish community that having Feldman’s name on anything is seen as a major detriment.
An ongoing Kashrut Commission of Inquiry is investigating other problems with the community’s kashrut. When its investigation is completed and its report released, a new permanent kosher supervision can be chosen.
“AIT would like to publicly acknowledge and praise Rabbi Feldman for his valuable services for the past year. Rabbi Feldman stepped in to assist AIT with an interim hechsher during a difficult time for the company and we are forever indebted to him for his friendship and support. Whilst it is not in the purview of a catering company to comment about the recent publicity, we can emphatically state that Rabbi Feldman’s knowledge and integrity in the area of Kashrut have been an immeasurable asset to the company and allowed AIT to operate with the highest standards of both catering and Kashrut,” a spokesperson for Amaze in Taste told J-Wire, making no direct mention of the children who were raped and abused at Sydney’s Chabad Yeshiva Centre under Feldman’s watch.
Feldman resigned from all of his formal duties with Chabad in Sydney, but his family, led by his father and mother, still control the organization. Feldman’s first public act after resigning was to threaten to sue rabbis who publicly criticized him for his bizarre views on child sex abuse and to tell the media that he hoped to return to the positions he had just left in the near future.
Despite being roundly condemned throughout the country and beyond for those views, for his Royal Commission testimony, and for widespread calls for him to resign from all aspects of Jewish leadership, Feldman is still the rabbi of Southern Sydney Synagogue.