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Mesirah Accusations Persist

March 12, 2013 – 5:07 pm132 Comments

Tzedek has confirmed the following incident, which occurred last Wednesday (6 March):

The wife of a senior Chabad Emissary to Sydney and a spiritual leader of the Yeshiva Centre in Sydney,  referred publicly to myself and my family as “Massers” (in Hebrew: collaborators with the secular authorities – in clear reference to their work in combating child sexual abuse). The statement was made in the presence of others during an unprovoked attack by the rebbetzin on my young brother-in-law, 24-year old Dovy Rapoport.

This incident confirms what so many of us have known for a long time; that this type of attitude is fairly prevalent among many within the ultra-Orthodox community. It also demonstrates, yet again, the ongoing harassment and intimidation many victims and their families are subjected to, including by those in leadership positions.

Tzedek would like to acknowledge and thank the Rebbetzin in question for sharing with the public views that are generally kept behind closed doors, and for highlighting the importance of our work and just how far we still have to go.

Enough is enough – we will no longer remain silent.

Manny Waks

Founder & President of Tzedek, an Australian-based advocacy group for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community.

For legal reasons, this letter has been edited to remove the name of the rebbetzin in question. The identity of the rebbetzin is alleged here.

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132 Comments »

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Enough IS enough, INDEED !!!

    Hearsay lashon hora just to noch bring up again the profile of Manny Waks in his crusade for personal, vanity driven, satisfaction is even worse, as IT IS happening, than the “accusation” of massers.

    ………..perpetual VICTIM Manny……………….

  • Steven says:

    Hearsay & lashon hora = tautology, why is it lashon hora, if she said it publicly?
    noch = make it sound Jewish Otto!
    noch & bring up again – tautology
    ‘personal vanity driven satisfaction’ – that’s not lashon hora is it Otto? And it is worse than silencing the victims and keeping the molesters on the street?

    It is because of people like him that Jewish paedophillia is going to stop.

    Idiot.

  • Yaron says:

    Well Otto,

    Finally, you write something that can be understood by English speakers and it…

    …defends the facilitators of sexual abuse?!

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    We should pray that people should never know what it is like to be abused or to have a child that has been abused or a spouse.
    Any work done to prevent abuse of children is good work.
    If the Rebetzin did indeed make such an ignorant comment, then we should pray for her enlightenment and that she should never have to know personally what it is like to have a child or close relative abused.
    Indeed this sort of rubbish needs to stop. Sometimes people let their emotions rule their mouths and say things that they should not. If they really thought about what they were saying they would be embarrassed.
    The thing is when confronted with someone who defends child abusers, one has to remain calm and try to educate them.
    The vulnerable and the weak need to be protected from predators. If we remain silent, then the abusers can get away with what they are doing and shame on us for standing by.
    I once said to a friend, my pen is for hire, but there are somethings I will not do. I would not write one word in defence of child abusers, nazis, people who hurt older people and bullies. I would try to change their attitude and the way they believe to a more Torah true attitude. If one is a Torah Jew and lives a Torah lifestyle, then to defend a child abuser is completely out of the question. YOU CAN NOT DO IT! Families come first. Who is the basis of our future? It is our children. They deserve our protection. Who is the keeper of our heritage? Our elders and sages!
    Nothing is gained from public slinging matches. Let’s hope if this incident happened that the parties concerned do make peace.
    Let’s liberate ourselves from this scourge of covering up abuse and helping parents to keep their children and precious ones protected.
    Manny will make abusers and their protectors head for the hills we hope and leave us all alone to get on with life in peace.

  • Bishloma says:

    One has to agree with Otto.
    Waks is relentless in his quest for never-ending self-promotion.
    While he has everyone’s sympathy – enough is enough.

    People are allowed to have different opinions on how to handle such awful matters – especially events that took place years ago.

    Sadly both he and some of our Galus commenters immediately label anyone who doesn’t follow the Waks line 100%, as “defenders of facilitators of sexual abuse”.

    That kind of bullying is also a form of abuse and should also be condemned.

  • Elijah says:

    When scum make anti-jewish comments we should all draw a line in the sand, stand firm, point out the bigotry and go on the attack.
    When scum apologise for, facilitate and protect child abusers we should all draw a line in the sand, stand firm, point out the bigotry and go on the attack.

    For Otto as suggested by another contributor:
    So Jewish of comments which would owe us all the removed amount a line in sand make the dregs, you are companies, underline you to it fanaticism and go on the attack.
    If the dregs to excuse to him, of the seducers of child facilitate to you and protect you who would owe us all the amount removed a line in sand, are companies, underline you to it fanaticism and go you on the attack.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Otto Waldmann, champion defender for pedophiles everywhere.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Steven, I am impressed by your modesty cum realism, as you signed off “Idiot”. Not impressed, however, that you reckon that tautology renders comments invalid, particularly when different idioms/languages are involved. In addition, you do not articulate any substantive criticism cum dismissal of my opinion by simply applying some grammar observations.

    Same goes for:

    – Daniel Levy who, habitually erratic, will have to outlay my history of paedophilia exploits, otherwise you shall remain forever THE Daniel Levy we all know and laugh at, kinda chorus of LOL.

    – Elijah who is so bad in his mode of expression that drives one at once at sensing that “Elijah” is none other that our Manny Waks redivivus, so tautology is alive and well – the kind of “well” that makes one sick -.

    – Yaron who has excellent reasons to disagree with anything above my name because I disagreed once and then twice and so on with his stuff when he attempted, also habitually, at the same Rabbinate his bosom-buddy Manny wont let go of.

    So, yourse want a piece of me, make it happen, but make it realistic and then we shall have some fun……….

  • The Rebbetzin’s comments fully deserve condemnation as they do NOT represent contemporary understanding by the majority of Orthodox Rabbis on the relevance of mesirah to reporting of sexual abuse. Indeed, many local Rabbis have made public statements affirming that victims can and must go to the police. Manny has publicly commended these statements every time they are made public – see http://www.jwire.com.au/news/rabbinical-council-of-victoria-reaffirms-its-stance-on-sexual-abuse/32454, which includes the comment “It is noteworthy that all the RCV member rabbis have signed this statement”.

    So what I don’t understanding is the comment “this incident confirms … that this type of attitude is fairly prevalent among many within the ultra-Orthodox community”.

    Do the comments made by a Sydney Rebbetzin make these attitudes “fairly prevalent”? Or does the affirmation by ALL RCV member Rabbis show these attitudes are coming into line? You can’t have it both ways!

  • Reallity Check says:

    And what did the senior Chabad rabbi say?

  • TheSadducee says:

    David W

    Your point is valid. However you must recognise that few leaders in the community who have similar views would publicly express them – precisely because of the opprobrium that such views draws upon them.

    I would suggest that it is valid to ask how many people of influence/role models in the community have similar views?

    The rabbi himself may not agree with his wife, but she still has a public role in the community which she needs to take into account before making any public comments. This affects him also – he needs to come out publicly and refute these sort of comments otherwise he appears complicit to them.

    Wont be a happy household but hey – she knows better.

  • Reality Check says:

    Those people who criticize Manny Waks are more concerned about Chabad than they are about the kids who have been abused and who have been scared for life. Serious crimes have been committed here, and Otto and his friends are either attacking the victims or trying to defend the perpetrators and those who protect the evil individuals. You are not talking about some traffic infringement here. The crimes are very serious and justice must be done.

  • TheSadducee says:

    I’d also raise the issue of the fact that Chabad’s leadership is so unclear that no-one has stepped up and taken charge overall for these issues – each locality is doing their own thing and it appears shambolic. The only consensus seems to be to try to damage control, attack the messenger and issue publicly palatable statements but take little action to enforce them.

    Time for a new rebbe now!

  • Steven says:

    Do you think that Mrs Feldman never talks to her husband about paedophilia and that they don’t agree 100% about whether to report molesters to police? These Rabbis say one thing privately and another publicly.

  • Jake says:

    See above link at end of article to ” the identity of the Rebbetzin..”
    Great to see Galus linking to renowned international website of
    http://Www.failedmessiah.com

  • Bishloma says:

    IIANM, Rebetezen Feldman may have been referring to other allegations regarding Mesirah charges against some members of the Waks family – which had nothing to do with the abuse claims.

  • Steven says:

    Perhaps delete the link and replace with this one.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tzedek/216632805145320?fref=ts

    Otto won’t be please…

  • Reallity Check says:

    Bishloma, yor attitude is exactly what I find so abhorrent.

  • Bishloma says:

    RC, how sad that you cannot tolerate a different POV.

  • Reallity Check says:

    So what’s your point of view Bishloma; that we should protect these vile criminals?

  • Levi (a refugee from the ussr) says:

    The usual hate mongering and slander – all under the guise of “speaking out” for the victims. any excuse to single out an entire community and create division. Just another day on galus australis. Nothing new folks, move on.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Everybody:

    – DEEP BREATH
    – DEEP LOOK AT THE “EVIDENCE” AGAINST A PERSON, RABBANIT OR NOT
    – DEEP CONSIDERATION FOR WHAT CAN BE CONSIDERED AS ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF FACTS
    – DEEP LOOK AT THE FACT THAT TZEDEK AND MANY WAKS ARE ONE AND THE SAME THING !!! And Tzedek is efending Manny Waks………..

  • Alex Fein says:

    I’m confused: why exactly doesn’t Levi move on? He spends an inordinate amount of time here repeating himself incessantly, yet is supposedly disgusted by the site’s content. What a thoroughly masochistic fellow he must be. Surely there’s some religious injunction against self flagellation which Levi’s presence here contravenes.

    Meanwhile, Otto’s ridiculous malapropisms and pomposity continue to cloak embarrassingly facile arguments. His constant violations of the English language contribute nothing but simple minded viciousness. His self delusion would be pitiful were this not such an important topic.

    Note to everybody who seeks to defend the indefensible: Manny’s actions, whether to your taste or not, have resulted in a number of abuse victims coming forward, reporting their abuse to police. This simply wouldn’t have happened without Manny’s work. Conviction of paedophiles will protect countless numbers of children into the future.

    That anyone here would prioritise comfort or communal reputation over the safety of children is beyond repugnant.

  • BoJo says:

    @Alex

    Sprinting to the press on matters unrelated to child abuse by the Wak’s is designed to embarrass the Yeshiva no more no less. Seems to be a family pastime. Read some of the junk on Mannys facebook. No apologies there when an innocent guy’s pic was flashed. Why? Oh, he happened to belong to Bet Hatalmud. Oops Manny corrected himself. The man prayed at the Yeshiva. Dirt flung around, and Manny wants an apology from Mrs Feldman because she hinted at what the Waks family does best. Manny, mosser doesn’t mean police collaborator. Point scoring again? It means informant. The Age thrives on them. Ask Jason Koutsoukis. Doesn’t require to be correct to gain headlines. What won’t Manny do for a headline? Yes tzedek it is. Go Otto!

  • Bishloma says:

    Reallity Check says:

    So what’s your point of view Bishloma; that we should protect these vile criminals?
    ==

    Comprehension issues, RC?
    Go back to my first comment on this thread for my POV.

  • Yaron says:

    I think we have to understand what is going on here.

    I would want my children to grow up in a community where there is no risk of being molested.

    As things currently stand that sort of community does not exist.

    Manny’s relentless pursuit of this issue would seem to be the best way of achieving that.

    While I do not want a witch hunt, I am even more afraid of perpetrators being able to hide behind the protection offered by the community, or the fear that ‘nothing will come of it so why bother.’

  • Levi (a Refugee from the USSR) says:

    “I’m confused”

    That’s an understatement.

    You tried to get your 15 mins of fame by “stimulating debate” and “freedom of speech” within our community – i.e. orwellian terms for creating a forum where everyone agrees with you and toes the party line. Your husband also gets his kicks from attacking the so called “establishment” – i.e. the wider community by parrotting anti-Semitic talking points and questioning the loyaly of Australian jews. Enough said.

    The lets attack, trash and rubbish the entire community is pretty much the standard modus operandi of this forum. Sorry if I’ve questioned the party line. Please forgive me in time for Yom Kippur.

    No denying that a lot of good has come out of manny’s actions. But can’t deny that the usual hate mongers and opportunists have seized on this to promote their hateful and divisive dribble (and I am a masochist for reading all of it)

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Interesting how all of the people attacking Manny remain anonymous. What a bunch of gutless cowards. They are the worst oxygen thieves, those who would try to bully sexual abuse victims into silence. And for what? For some paranoid fear about anti-semites and some slight damage control?

    You all have a disgusting lack of empathy. This is the kind of sick and twisted behaviour that makes you lose faith in humanity.

    And you, David Werdiger, where are you to criticise these obviously frum Jews looking to dash to protect the Yeshivah centre? You’ll happily leap to the defense of chabad when it is attacked. What of your deafening silence when members of your community post these vile, disgusting things.

    “Do the comments made by a Sydney Rebbetzin make these attitudes “fairly prevalent”? Or does the affirmation by ALL RCV member Rabbis show these attitudes are coming into line? You can’t have it both ways!”

    That’s what you wrote. Well here is the ugly truth. What responsibility will you take? Will you say “it’s not me! They don’t represent me!” or will you continue to be a gutless coward and allow these diatribes to go unrebuked?

    These disgusting attacks will only stop when members of the chabad community stand up and tell them to stop. Until then, you’re all complicit. All you do is maintain your plausible deniability and watch with popcorn while your mindless attack dogs do their dirty work.

    Despicable. You should all be ashamed of yourselves that this is what your community is reduced to.

    The “official” line (the line they were dragged to, kicking and screaming by the secular authorities, a line they would not have arrived at on their own) is of course that there is no shame in telling the police about abuse.

    But you only have to look at the animals in this comment thread to know that anyone who does go to the police is going to get ostracised and shit flung at them wherever they go. Anybody who does this is a disgusting excuse for a human being and should have some goddamn empathy for what is one of the most heinous crimes one can suffer.

  • Shirlee. says:

    Knowing Penina Feldman as I do, this comment from her comes as no surprise to me at all.
    She opens her mouth and beware what comes out of it, I think it has a mind of its own. Her dear husband isn’t much better.

    I was at the official opening a few years back of ‘Our Big Kitchen’ I was wishing for the ground to open to swallow me, because the remarks they were making to the Governor General were beyond embarrassing.

  • Steven says:

    Alex Fein, thanks for the breath of fresh air. Let me clarify Manny’s MO. Anyone that covers up paedophilia or attacks the victim gets mercilessly jumped on and exposed in detail in the press and on his facebook accounts. What’s wrong with that? Perhaps you would like him to do ‘his’ job quietly on some obscure blog so as not to embarass anyone. Well victims read The Age and SMH and not obscure blogs they have never heard about.

    If it were a psychopathic murderer doing the rounds, then everyone would call the police in a heartbeat. Why not with molesters?

    The ultimate tragic irony will be if these rapists (molestors) have molested kids or grand-kids of those that send them to different shules and/or cover-up for them.

    It’s unbelievable that there are first, rapists around and second, there are people in charge who cover-up for them so that the name of the shule is not besmirched. End of story.

  • Shirlee. says:

    Hold your horses guys.!

    You are all missing the point

    No one is denying the fact that Manny Waks is doing a good job exposing these people for what they are.

    What they are saying is that Manny Waks is commonly known as a ‘self-promoter’ or a ‘community grandstander’

    I had thought this for a while after reading his opinion pieces on J-Wire. Then even more so after joining his Facebook page and sharing a few private messages with him. Manny Waks is certainly VERY self-opinionated.

    Ok enough, shoyn genig, especially Otto who is overseas at present. “Otto get on with your holiday!” Let’s stop with making this a personal mudslinging match and why I don’t bother much with the place.

    From a number of the comments I read here, I can ‘hear’ that a good many of you come from a younger generation than Otto and myself. I, like Otto, don’t like laying it all out for all and sundry to see, and by that leaving ourselves open to abuse and antisemitism. Believe me that’s what you are doing. I monitor many web sites and blogs and can tell you for a fact that by laying this all out, you are providing fodder for these people.

    You don’t know the world of ‘Jew hating’ you haven’t lived with the hate from the extreme Left & Right, though they are once again rearing their ugly heads in Europe and Scandinavia. I like Otto feel that by exposing this all so publicly we are leaving ourselves open and vulnerable.

    This is no different than those on the far left like the AJDS, the NIF etc who demonise Israel. These people haven’t lived in an era when they need Israel, they see Israel as a fact of life. She is there. They don’t see that they are damaging her in the eyes of the world. She has enough to deal with, without the ‘enemy within’ making matters worse. Living in the Diaspora they have no right to do that. You have issues with Israel – then go and live there and sort your problem out there, not in the big wide world.

    Now I am sure some of you will disagree, but do try and keep it civil without the usual insults and abuse I read here. To be quite honest with you don’t attract new people to the site that way.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Personal, sexist and highly offensive comment removed.

  • Reuvain says:

    The Rebbitzen did not say reporting child abuse was Mesirah. In fact in a public statement she says she has made such reports. The issue is Manny Waks going to media and slandering other people. Making unsubstantiated claims, is Mesirah.

    Waks has become a media junkee. Looking for the attention. He is damaging the cause he wants to champion. In this case we have more of the same. A Rebbitzen, pained by false stories about her husband says going public with inaccurate information is Mesirah. Waks twists the story and claims she feels that she is against informing the police in cases of abuse. This is not true. She has stated clearly cases should be reported.

  • Someone offline took me to task for my comment after it became known that Rebbetzin Feldman was actually accusing Manny of running and/or threatening to run to the media whenever his demands are not met (even if they have nothing to do with the important task of exposing sex abuse). In my view, that is not “mesirah”, and because of the meaning attached to the term, it should not be used. By using a very harsh term incorrectly, Rebbetzin Feldman’s loose lips have played into this and help feed the media with more nonsense. There are other words for what she has accused Manny of doing – it’s just that “mesirah” isn’t one of them.

    Rebbetzin Feldman has affirmed the halachic position that reporting abuse to the police is entirely permitted, and this whole “scandal” descends into a farce and more of a media beat up than anything of substance.

    “Attacking the victim” because s/he is a victim or to prevent exposure of paedophiles is absolutely wrong. That doesn’t preclude people from criticizing aspects of a victim’s campaign that may be peripheral and/or driven by other interests. Suggesting that anyone who criticizes Manny in any way is facilitating sexual abuse is quite absurd. Yet that is what happens on pages such as there. The Manny supporters seem unable to distinguish any daylight between black and white – as GWB said “you are either with us or against us”. This only seeks to create divisions when in fact there is much common ground in what’s really important – the fight against sexual abuse.

  • Shirlee. says:

    “Rebbetzin Feldman has affirmed the halachic position that reporting abuse to the police is entirely permitted, and this whole “scandal” descends into a farce and more of a media beat up than anything of substance.”

    THANK YOU David.

  • Levi (a refugee from the USSR) says:

    “unable to distinguish any daylight between black and white”

    The only people who are going to stand to benefit from the good that will come out of this are people who are involved with the local chabad community and whose kids attend the school. Making the chabad leadership more transparent & accountable in cases of abuse (as oppossed to 20 or more years ago) is just what everyone directly involved with the community needs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the chabad community that treated pedophelia as a taboo subject 20 plus years ago – this was the attitude of the wider mainstream society. Things are changing for the better.

    That being said, I question the motivations of people who are not directly involved with the community who use this as a spring board to trash orthodox Jews – especially when they have a history of grand standing by trashing the wider Jewish community or Israel in general and do this under the guise of stimulating “debate,” or creating “plurality”, etc. The AJDS comes to mind and so do the usual suspects who frequent this forum.

  • Shirlee. says:

    “The AJDS comes to mind and so do the usual suspects who frequent this forum.”

    Agree.

    My husband and I have discussed repeatedly the whole issue of people sexually abusing children and both of us cannot fathom out why it happens.
    I would like to hear what a Psychiatrist says about it. Surely it must be a mental issue. I cannot for one moment conceive the idea that an adult could find a child sexually attractive.

  • Levi (a refugee from the USSR) says:

    You’re spot on…but not sure how that point is relevant to the AJDS

  • Shirlee. says:

    It wasn’t relevant to the point Levi. I was agreeing with you on your previous post. I had just been posting on the Facebook page of the abominable AJDS and my head was elsewhere. That mob make me so angry.

  • Shirlee. says:

    Maybe some people would like to pop over to J-Wire and comment

    Tzedek, the advocacy group for victims of child sexual abuse, has formally severed its links with the Sydney Yeshiva Centre.
    Manny Waks

    Earlier, Tzedek president Manny Waks had released a statement citing witness reports that Rebbetzin Pnina Feldman, wife of the spiritual leader of the centre, had publicly attacked the Waks family as “mossurs” (police informants) against the community.

    Waks sees this as evidence of the “ongoing harassment and intimidation that many victims and their families are subjected to”, and part of an underlying attitude amongst many in the ultra-Orthodox world which seeks to silence victims.

    Rebbetzin Feldman has denied the claim. She told J-Wire: “I unequivocally stand by the Halachic rulings that reporting child sexual abuse and in fact any form of physical violence to the relevant government authorities is not Mesirah. I have personally reported such incidents to the police in the past and have encouraged others to do so”.

    She rejects the claim that her comments were made publicly, saying “I do not intend to publicly explain details of a private conversation that may embarrass or cause pain to certain individuals, including some who may have tragically been the victims of child abuse.”

    Rebbetzin Feldman further rebuked Manny Waks, adding: “Many in the community, including mental health professionals, firmly believe that constant leaking to the media in the midst of a sensitive police investigation only hinders the ability of victims to come forward with their deep personal pain for fear of publicity”.

    Calling the Rebbetzin’s statement “outrageous” and “offensive”, and rejecting the notion that publicity is a hindrance, Manny Waks said Tzedek had made the decision to sever ties with the Sydney Yeshiva Centre and its representatives until a full retraction and public apology was issued by Rebbetzin Feldman.

    A spokesperson for the Yeshiva has declined to comment further to prevent what could become an endless “table-tennis match”, saying that Rebbetzin Feldman has made her position clear in her initial public statement.

    J-Wire contacted NSW Police for a comment. The officer concerned has not returned our calls.

    http://www.jwire.com.au/news/tzedek-severs-links-with-sydney-yeshiva/33253

  • Jake says:

    “……Tzedek, the advocacy group for victims of child sexual abuse, has formally severed its links with the Sydney Yeshiva Centre…”
    Was this the decision of Manny Waks alone , or the entire Zedek organization or its committee?
    What links did one organization actually have with the other?
    If an organization “severs its links” to another organization, as a result of an alleged statement by a person who is not in a position of authority of the other organization, where will it all end?
    Why would J Wire contact the NSW police?

  • Shirlee. says:

    Gee Jake that’s a lot of questions

    “……Tzedek, the advocacy group for victims of child sexual abuse, has formally severed its links with the Sydney Yeshiva Centre…”
    Was this the decision of Manny Waks alone , or the entire Zedek organization or its committee?
    No one can answer that except Manny himself.
    Is this his group alone, if not how many others are involved in it?

    What links did one organization actually have with the other?
    No idea

    If an organization “severs its links” to another organization, as a result of an alleged statement by a person who is not in a position of authority of the other organization, where will it all end?
    Again no idea

    Why would J Wire contact the NSW police?
    My sentiments exactly. Probably to see what he could dig up.

  • Reality Check says:

    That’s right David: what the fight is about is stopping and preventing child sexual abuse, supporting and providing help to the victims, and bringing the alleged offenders, and those who allegedly protected them, to trial, without any interference to due process from the public, which means you.

  • JustAQuickQuestion says:

    Dear Manny

    I notice that you haven’t responded to anything in this forum since posting the article, but I have one genuine question.

    You write that:

    “This incident confirms what so many of us have known for a long time; that this type of attitude is fairly prevalent among many within the ultra-Orthodox community.”

    I genuinely don’t understand how this incident confirms the prevalence of an attitude in an entire community. Could you please explain?

    Thank you

    P.S. Let it be known that I fully support acts of child abuse being reported to the police and other relevant authorities and I condemn any abuse of any kind 100%, I just don’t understand how one can smear a whole community on the basis of one statement from one person (I write this because questioning those who work against child abusers is sometimes misconstrued as showing support or ambivalence towards child abuse which is certainly not the case here)

  • Jake says:

    JustAQuickQuestion. – if I may.
    I believe that Manny has not responded, due to the fact that he realizes he was out of line and off the track.
    Whatever Rebbetzin Feldman said, was not in a public forum, and not in an official capacity.
    Yet Manny chose to make it Tzedek vv Yeshiva , Tzedek vv Ultra Orthdoxy without a substantive case.
    David W has apparently gained further insight into what really did occur, and his derogatory remark about Rebbetzin Feldman was totally unnecessary.
    It is not the media being fed “more nonsense” as David puts it, but rather he himself whose posts are gleaned by the media.
    Reality Check is “right on the money” when he says that we do not need interference .

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Dear Shirlee
    while on me hols and maybe bcs of that I can still find a minute or 30 to delve into what MY Aussie hard working web commentators get up to.
    Yesterday for instance I climbedthe hills of Toledo only to be regaled at the very top by the most beautiful former Sephardi creations, the two remaining former Synagogues. The only living Sephardita within my reach and hugging was the meidele Rabbi Apple married me to at the Great a few decades ago.
    Overcome by strong emotions for a time past and cruelly destroyed, I also came to consider that the way some , thankfully small, sections of our present Jewish fold carry on, would associate in my mind, destructive possibilities.
    Having said that, I betya that Rebbetzin Feldmann’s statement on JWire, which is a clear explanation of facts, will supply only MORE ammunition to the Waks camp in continuing with their ( I reckon we are talking here abt a handful of at least perplexed minds, some of whom appear here in various guises/names )relentless attacks on the ultra Orthodox.That is because they do not need a “reason”, just a few syllables to ignite their readily available prejudices.
    I for one am most avidly passionate to see what Alex Fein can produce and that is precisely why I am using excessive use of words, adjectives with prefference and I would love the oportoonitie too mispell a few words just to make hers and Yoram and Stevens day…………….
    C’mon yourse guys, bring it on !!!

  • TheSadducee says:

    “Rebetezen Feldman may have been referring to other allegations regarding Mesirah charges against some members of the Waks family – which had nothing to do with the abuse claims.”

    -why is she talking about this stuff irrespective of whatever it is? As I suggested before – she has a public profile and has to take steps to ensure that she doesn’t create scandal and acts responsibly as a community leader.

    Talking about people’s families to whoever doesn’t fall within this remit.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Alex Fein

    “I’m confused: why exactly doesn’t Levi move on? He spends an inordinate amount of time here repeating himself incessantly, yet is supposedly disgusted by the site’s content.”

    -perhaps he feels a need to provide some balance in the commentary/pov’s expressed here? or perhaps he is a crazy internet troll? maybe both? who knows? whatever the case may be why confuse yourself over it? I’m sure the eds can handle the Soviet refugee :)

  • TheSadducee says:

    “You tried to get your 15 mins of fame by “stimulating debate” and “freedom of speech” within our community – i.e. orwellian terms for creating a forum where everyone agrees with you and toes the party line.”

    -rubbish. I didn’t always agree with everything Alex or her contributors put on her old site and frequently wrote as much and engaged in civilised and intelligent debate without any problems.

    People who were kicked off were almost always trolling and/or arguably deranged/offensive in their commentary.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Reuvain

    “A Rebbitzen, pained by false stories about her husband says going public with inaccurate information is Mesirah.”

    -she should have stayed schtum and acted with more dignity if the stories are false. Why throw fuel on sparks?

    I’m sure the good rabbi is more than adequately capable to handle himself without the public intervention of his wife…as a public figure she knows better.

  • TheSadducee says:

    David W

    “…after it became known that Rebbetzin Feldman was actually accusing Manny of running and/or threatening to run to the media whenever his demands are not met…”

    -but what was she doing discussing this at all for in the first place? This isn’t a case of loose lips, this is a case of atrocious personal judgement by a public community figure.

    Your advocacy/intervention to explain the rebbetzin’s comments isn’t earning you any gratitude or benefits – why throw pearls before swine?

  • TheSadducee says:

    Eds: Rather than repeating the offesnive comment on the public thread, it would be best to email the editors so we can remove it in a timely manner. We don’t always read the comments in a timely manner, but we do monitor our email more frequently. The offensive comment has now been removed.

    -this is just offensive and contributes nothing to the discussion. The eds should clean this sort of rubbish up.

  • Shirlee. says:

    Good old Manny is ‘self promoting’ again in the AJN

  • TheSadducee says:

    “Living in the Diaspora they have no right to do that. You have issues with Israel – then go and live there and sort your problem out there, not in the big wide world.”

    -if Israel presents itself as the Jewish state and homeland/refuge and encourages the Diaspora to make aliyah then the Diaspora have every right to speak about Israel.

    What point is having a state which is more dangerous to live in than the diaspora?

    Whose actions/policies create ill-will for Jews in the diaspora?

    Not only do we have a right to speak up, we have an obligation to speak up about our cultural/spiritual homeland.

    And that has nothing to do with the child abuse issue at hand here btw.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Shirlee

    Good. If he isn’t for himself, who would be for him?

    The dislike of his public profile is generally reminiscent of tall poppy syndrome.

  • Sadducee,

    I completely agree – as a public person & community leader, she ought be more careful about what she says publicly, particularly as she treads close to highly controversial topics, and gets on the wrong side of people who bear a victim’s cloak of invincibility.

    My comment did not seek to justify her comments now that it’s been revealed she didn’t quite say what she was accused of saying, nor did I seek gratitude or benefit by commenting.

    The point was simply that this additional information shows this whole thing was actually a media beat-up of little substance (as some people suspected from the outset).

  • Reality Check says:

    So what Manny Waks has said is a complete lie. I do hope he has defamation insurance, or those who accuse him.

  • BoJo says:

    Eds: Comment removed. If you want to attack named people and families in a such a personal fashion, then please comment under your real name.

  • Levi (a refugee from the USSR) says:

    @ TheSadducee –

    “rubbish. I didn’t always agree with everything Alex or her contributors put on her old site and frequently wrote as much and engaged in civilised and intelligent debate without any problems.

    “or perhaps he is a crazy internet troll? maybe both? who knows? whatever the case may be why confuse yourself over it? I’m sure the eds can handle the Soviet refugee”

    Let’s check the Orwellian dictionary for a translation –

    1. A civilised debate = orwellian term for engaging with people who you agree with you.

    2. crazy internet troll & running to complain to the eds = orwellian way of saying I disagree with your point of view.

    thanks for proving my point. it’s nice that you encounter like minded people in on the forum who seek to “stimulate debate”

  • WasThere says:

    Nice to see we have the Yeshivah apologists here in full voice….

    You apologists are pathetic….

  • Michael says:

    Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Shame on those who would rather have the sexual abuse of children fester under the cover of darkness.

  • Shirlee. says:

    ……….and shame on you Michael for making such a comment. No one has suggested such a thing

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    In his merciless astuteness it looks like Saducee – and in fact all those following the trail of a circus act by Manny Waks – has missed out the massive elephant drek dropped by the same MW when he made the NEWS that Tzedek is severing its relaionship with, WHO !!!???, the same institution the same Manny Waks has been at loggerheads well before the same MW created his own aka Tzedek !!!
    This is what should concern those who are anxious to brandish any such farcical publicity stunts as means of elliciting paedophile protectors, paedophile advocates, paedophile monsters lurking in the darkness ( yes Burdy, a 1st time blunder to my mind ) why not paedophile practitioners AKA all of the above sleazy bastards who have finally come out as “protectors” of Chabad, Sydney Yeshive in “one word” all those who dare have a go at the idol of ethics, the same Manny Waks, the one AND ONLY protector of children in this land, the ONLY ONE knight in whatever armour fighting paedophilia !!!!
    I am, together with all those with a bad taste about Manny Waks and gutsy enugh to say it publicly, a dedicatd life long PAEDOPHILE !!
    And shall sign off AS SUCH, Otto Waldmann.
    All I wish now is that Alex Fein drives a sharp Manny Waks sanctified stick anywhere she feels like into the splendour of my phyisique. I am currently in Madrid and happy to pay Alex’s travel expenses. Trouble is she will not be allowed to carry on the plane any sharp objects, so she may use her fangs instead.Anybody else willing to join me into this auto dafe ??!! ( I just saw a magnificient Lucas Kranach painting of the same procession at the Prado yesterday. Lots of Goya, Velazquez, massive Rubens canvases and, by far me favorite, Breughel ……….)

  • Amanda Kahan says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Please do not make baseless accusations of criminal activity. Also, please do not speculate on who might be victims of sexual abuse.

    Please email the editors if you wish to further discuss the matter, or our moderation policy in general.

  • Amanda Kahan says:

    What an uproar
    What a shame
    This is the Jewish community
    And it seems the community
    It’s seems it’s the community of secrets
    There must be bodies buried everywhere

    You don’t want anybody digging around because you are scared what they might find
    The only thing that would make people more anti Semitic would be the same thing that made people more anti catholic

    That is the coverup

    Noone hates someone who takes account and fixes thing
    People only hate cowards

    And the most cowardly action is using attack as defense

  • Shirlee. says:

    What the hell are you on about Amanda?

    ( I wanted to use some stronger words here, but good sense got the better of me

    Maybe I should say “What the hell are you on Amanda?”

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    yes Amanda, this is a cabala of perfidy, complicity and a lot more…….
    Stay tuned and your life will be changed into something your nightmares never conceived in heir darkest ( see Burdy on this !!!) hours !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Shirl, love, Amanda she’s all ours !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WasThere says:

    Shirlee is the worst kind of apologist. Rather then face the issues you rather attack Manny.
    Manny is a bigger tzadick then all the Feldmans combined.

  • Shirlee. says:

    Otto – Thanks, but no thanks, you can keep her, along with the other loony lefties that appear to be abundant here and also unable to read it seems.

    This place is quite hilarious.

    Very apt name ‘Was There’ because you most certainly are not. I would suggest ‘precious one’ that you go back to the beginning, read and don’t take things out of context.

    I have had personal dealings with the two people involved, so I am very well aware of what and who they are.

    Manny Waks is what is known in the Community as a ‘self promoter or community grandstander’

    Penina Feldman, though she does a great deal of good work, is not too bright and needs to think before she opens her mouth.

    Now be a good little one. Scroll to the top of the page, start at the beginning, read and do try to comprehend.

  • WasThere says:

    I have read the whole page Shirlee and I’ve also read your comment at the j(unk)-wire site.
    People like you who attack Manny are the worst of the worst.
    Manny has done more good in the past year or so then Penina has done in her life time.

    You call Manny a ‘self promoter or community grandstander’. He has stuck his neck out to force change which will protect Jewish kids in schools.
    Your attacking of Manny shows that you don’t want kids protected but rather you wish to protect the pedophiles. And you wish to protect those like Feldman who protect the pedophiles.
    (LOL, Feldman will get his after the next extradition which will be from LA).

    This makes you and anyone else who attacks Manny the worst of the worst.

    You also said about Penina, “is not too bright and needs to think before she opens her mouth.”
    I don’t agree.
    Penina is smarter then you give her credit for. She is just a vicious, evil person who treats others like something she scraped from her shoe.

  • Shirlee. says:

    What a warped screwed up and evil mind you have and definitely are ‘not **all** there’ !!

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Insult without any substance whatsoever.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Insult without any substance.

  • Amanda Kahan says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Please do not make baseless accusations of criminal activity. Also, please do not speculate on who might be victims of sexual abuse. Please email the editors if you wish to further discuss the matter, or our moderation policy in general.

  • Shirlee. says:

    The comment on this item is interesting and may well be correct

    http://www.jwire.com.au/news/sydney-yeshiva-and-the-police/32587

  • Amanda Kahan says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Please do not make baseless accusations of criminal activity. Also, please do not speculate on who might be victims of sexual abuse. Please email the editors if you wish to further discuss the matter, or our moderation policy in general.

  • Shirlee. says:

    Watch out Amanda. The Big Bad Wolf might just get you

    I suggest you ease up on whatever it is you are taking dahling. It’s injurious to your mental health.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Amanda

    let’s say that you are able to read and MAYBE comprehend what all this stuff here is about. It is NOT about crack pots persisting in making childish, in fact very mature irresponsible statements and going on and on about stupid assumptions.It is obvious that you are infatuated with Manny Waks and, respectively, that certain other people do NOT share your feelings. Thos other people are not deemed at all all those idiotic things you call them. In your world of extremme vulgarity/simplicity such qualifications are normal, expected. Incidentally all those waiting in line to chant the Amanda Kahan mantra ( and sad to say that Michael Bird is among them ) are just as devoid of any rational argument not by getting personal, I beg you to continue that line of thought bcs. I am pretty good at it meself, but by bringing up absurdities in place of concrete responses.
    That is to say that if one disagrees with the MANNER in which paedophilia is revelead and attacked one is NOT rendered a paedophile or defender of those involved in it or covering up the practice of paedophilia. It is SIMPLY the MANNER and NOT the substance.
    GOT IT !!!!!????

    Now Amanda, you are an exception and I expect you NOT to understand what I said up there and keep on saying the only stuff you seem capable of. C’mon……….

  • WasThere says:

    Otto if not by exposing the cover ups, the lies and so on from both Melb and Syd Yeshivah then how do you suggest that pedophilia be revealed and attacked(tackled)??.

    Or is it just that Manny had the guts to do what no other has done that eats you and Shirlee up to the point that you belittle anyone who exposes you??

  • Shirlee. says:

    Get a life will you for G-d’s sake and grow up.!

    Try reading and comprehending what you read. Gees, this place is quite mind blowing.

    NO ONE IS CONDEMNING MANNY WAKS FOR DOING WHAT HAD TO BE DONE.

    Have you got that? If not read it again until you do.

    It’s the fact of him being an attention seeker, being a self-promoter and a community grand-stander that is the issue. As far as I am concerned my issue goes back way before all this was exposed.

    As for exposing Otto and myself, what the hell are you raving about? I know a good Psychiatrist/ Psychologist for you if you are in Sydney.

    Apart from a screaming spelling mistake. pedophilia .. paedophilia. This is Australia, not the USA and we use English here, not American, this comment may well be libellous unless you have proof of what you are accusing the Chabad of.

    “”the cover ups, the lies and so on from both Melb and Syd Yeshivah then how do you suggest that pedophilia be revealed and attacked(tackled)??.””

  • Daniel Levy says:

    “It’s the fact of him being an attention seeker, being a self-promoter and a community grand-stander that is the issue. As far as I am concerned my issue goes back way before all this was exposed.”

    It speaks volumes about you that THIS is what you’re up in arms about and outraged. Let’s suspend rationality for one second and pretend you’re right.

    So what? The thing you rant and scream about is Manny doing some attention-seeking?

    You think you’re being clever by paying some lip-service to say you support the uncovering of child rape. Congratulations, you have established that you have a shred of human decency in you.

    However, it’s hard to take you seriously when you’re so bent on discrediting the guy trying to do all the uncovering. Anybody with half a brain can see through your platitudes to the disgusting rape apology beneath.

    You, Shirlee Finn, are a rape apologist. No amount of yelling and screaming from you will be able to convince a rational person that you are anything but until your actions reflect your words and you stop trying to discredit anti-rape activists as attention-seekers.

    Attention-seeking is the kind of victim blaming that people DO use to discredit rape victims. Know the context of your words. Know that every single person who reads your words know what you’re about. You disgust me.

  • Shirlee. says:

    Daniel get life you idiot !!

    Go play on the NIF or AJDS sites or better still with your foul mouth you’d do well on one of the pro-Palestinian sites.

    I don’t know how you know my surname and do not like this breach of security

    Whoever owns this site needs to clean it up. I certainly will not use it again.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Shirlee, you feel big and strong when you aren’t named. Why aren’t you proud to stand behind your words if your convictions are so strong?

    P.S. I couldn’t give a toss about Israel-Palestine. There are much more important conflicts to worry about.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Hey Daniel, since you are ( and indeed could be ) so smart, answer me this one :

    Your idol, Manny Waks, has been telling us only quite recently that he was the victim of paedophilia abuse within the ultra Orthox schooling system while a CHILD, at least TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO !!!!

    WHY DID MANNY WAKS not CANVASS THE ISSUE OF PAEDOPHILIA WITHIN THE ULTRAORTHODOX JEWISH COMMUNITY WHILE MANNY WAKS WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE ACT JEWISH COMMUNITY OR EVEN EARLIER, ALL DATES AFTER THE PAEDOPHILIA OCCURENCES TO WHICH HE WAS A VICTIM !!!??? SAY, SOME 15 OR EVEN 20 YEARS AGO !!!!????

    Another one for you. Since you seem so anxious to label anyone you dislike a paedophilia protector or even worse WITHOUT any evidence, but just to be nasty, howz about I said that YOU are, in fact a paedophiliac yourself based on the FACT that you have climbed the utter heights of anti paedophilia barricades with such aplomb ( climbing with aplomb, I love it !! ) only to HIDE your obsecene, preposterous REAL self, as a paedophiliac; it stands to…your type of reasoning, doesn’t it, paedophiliac Daniel Levy !!!
    Incidentally, this goes for all yourse Manny Waks frontline paedophilia “fighters”, women included !!!

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Otto:

    1) Psychological trauma is very difficult to recover from. Many victims are never able to confront what happened to them. This is not helped by assholes like you blaming and shaming them for having the misfortune to be abused.

    You, and scum like you, are the reason that victims feel ashamed to come forward. Because Otto [Eds: expletive removed] Waldmann will trivialise, berate and humiliate them for having been abused. This is not something that generally goes over well with people who have already suffered as horrible a torture as abuse.

    You have absolutely no conception of empathy, do you?

    2) You can call me whatever you like. You are simply a schoolyard bully who gets perverse pleasure out of making very vulnerable and downtrodden people even more upset.

    Now kindly shut up, rape apologist and victim blamer. Your presence is neither desired nor required in civilised society.

  • Shirlee. says:

    WHO IS THE OWNER OF THIS SITE?

    I see you have some moderation, but nowhere near enough.

    This Daniel Levy character should be banned from posting here and you need some sort of system to be able to report abuse.

    I won’t bother coming back again and I will make sure that others don’t

    Eds: If you wish to report abuse or discuss moderation, then EMAIL the editors, per the instructions at http://galusaustralis.com/about/

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Nothing rong with Daniel Levy carrying on in his habbitual manner.
    Answering clear questions in an intelligent way, not the Daniel Levy school of thought.
    So, Daniel knows something about psychological traumas and acts accordingly.
    What we are to conclude is that Manny Waks escalted the communal ladder to the position of President of the ACT Jewish community while under psychological trauma, failed to be re-elected in the same, created a few more or less personal organisations with the Jewish terminology in the titles – still psychologically traumatised – , engage in a conflict or two with the ultra Orthodox community, alongside some other members of his family, still traumatised and, then, as Daniel the trauma expert cum Judaic specialist almost Rabbinical contender – as seen on other topics – KNOWS as a fact says, BINGO attacks an entire Ultra Orthodox establishment for the same traumas, finnally out of his bottled self. In the process he engages seriously deranged subsidiaries – see ,if you must, Daniel Levy again – readily available to do the dirty work for him alongside a coterie of other impressionable contributors.

    Hey Daniel, seriously deranged, as I said already , outpatient, I am commenting on the manner Waks has aggrandized the paedofilia topic as a means not just to clear the specific immorality of such a practice, condemned clearly by all those who disagree here with your idol, including me. Take your daily bucket of medication and understand that the means used by Manny Waks to have a go at the ENTIRE Jewish establishment completely outside the issue of paedophilia, attacking all and sundry just to ellicit his own importance in lieu of the communal position NO LONGER occupied, has a clear and immediate function and that is that people who have completely lost the route to wisdom and reality, such as yourself, yet anxious to vomit their frustrations of existential failures at the expense of the entire Jewish fold , act pro bono as the useful idiots no longer serving the important mission of addressing paedophilia AND the corrupt modes of cover up, but to prop up a clearly bitter debunked former Jewish communal leader, young enough to harbour grandomaniac ambitions. As a douche bag, Daniel, you are doing a great job, as an intelligent “conteneder”, you are a sad failure.

  • BoJo says:

    Eds: Comment removed. If you want to attack named people and families in a such a personal fashion, then please comment under your real name.

  • Steven says:

    I understand Daniel Levy’s frutstration. The whole paedophilia issue is about stopping molesters by putting them in jail. This is the only way to stop it happening in the future and bring resolution to past victims.

    However, ripping into Manny and bagging the shit out of him seems more important to some people here. You don’t have to love him, you don’t have to agree with his methods. The question you should ask yourselves is, is he stopping paedophilia?

    It is ironic that some armchair commentators who have achieved absolutely nothing here and in community service can then abuse Manny for bloody trivial reasons or that they would ‘do it differently’ etc and ignore the simple fact that he, together with victims who testify and the police, is doing most of the work of getting rid of paedophilia in Australia and could have possibly saved someone we know from getting molested.

    Good work Manny. Enoough is enough (and much too much).

  • Shirlee. says:

    I feel this has to be answered, then I am unsubscribing.

    Daniel Levy may well be frustrated, but his vile outbursts accusing people of things he has no knowledge of are totally unacceptable.

    How dare you say “armchair commentators who have achieved absolutely nothing here and in community service”? I resent that remark you have no idea of my level of involvement in the Community it is huge, but unlike others, I don’t go around talking about it or making myself look big.

  • Steven says:

    Shirlee, to you I apologize.

  • Manny Waks says:

    Otto Waldmann and Shirlee Finn, I’m addressing the two of you only as I have no interest in responding to the cowards posting vile hate anonymously (which of course may simply be the two of you regurgitating your hate to make it seem as though you have a few supporters).

    Firstly, I have more productive things to do than to check the comments on the many blogs out there. So no, I didn’t see this until Friday, when it was brought to my attention. It is quite evident that you both have too much time on your hands.

    There is no point in addressing all of the hate/lies that you have posted.

    Shirlee, I realise that you tried concealing your true identity by only using your first name but we were more than happy to expose your full name (Shirlee Finn) on Facebook because some of what you have written here is consistent with what you wrote to me in a personal Facebook message, which was, that my airing publicly of the Jewish community’s dirty laundry somehow contributes to the antisemitism out there. I’m not going to bother responding to this, as every right-minded person can see the fallacy of your argument. Your further contention that I’ve launched this ongoing public campaign for my egoistical needs, well, coming from you, I can live with that!

    And by the way, I at least give you credit for confirming that it has been you all along – your shock/anger at being identified and publicly outed was somewhat amusing. I guess it never occurred to you that sitting in the comfort of your living room propagating hate and lies against others may one day come back to bite you. If you have any friends out there (excluding Otto), I hope they disassociate themselves from you. Hopefully you will now see how wrong you have been and perhaps publicly and unequivocally apologise for the damage people like you cause to our community (especially to victims/survivors and their families).

    Otto, your obsession with me over the past few years has been well documented. I never feel the need to respond to your nonsense but for the benefit of those who read it I’ll just provide two quick examples to demonstrate just how completely ignorant you really are.

    Firstly, you claim that there were never any ties between Tzedek and Yeshiva (Sydney) to sever. Well, in fact, Tzedek was working very closely with Rabbi Eli Feldman (Yeshiva spokesperson and son of Rabbi Pinchas Feldman and his dear Rebbetzin). So yes, we have informed him that we have severed our ties with him.

    Secondly, you ask why I hadn’t publicly exposed this issue years ago. This, yet again, demonstrates your cluelessness on this issue. Most victims don’t have the courage to even make a police statement for decades after the abuse….and you expected me to go public soon after the abuse?

    Of course I can continue to discredit the rest of your vile hate and lies (e.g. I did not seek re-election as President of the ACT Jewish Community because I needed to return to Melbourne for the legal proceedings – contrary to your claim that I wasn’t re-elected). But I think you’ve done an excellent job yourself. You and Shirlee were obviously made for each other. I’ll do my best to contact the local matchmakers in your area to set you guys up!

    Until such time, please respond to the following question: What have either of you done to address the rampant child sexual abuse and cover-ups that has plagued our community for decades?

    To conclude, ironically, in our experience, many people who express such sentiments do so due to personal experiences around this issue – they themselves may have been a victim or a perpetrator, or someone close to them has. It is simply too confronting for them to participate or even just to observe any public discourse around this issue. Of course this may not be relevant in this case – only Otto and Shirlee would know.

    I’m sure to try to cling on to any semblance of credibility you will respond with all sorts of additional nonsense….so let me be clear, I will not engage with you any further.

    For those who didn’t see the following from a witness to this incident (verbatim):

    “I can confirm that I was a witness at the incident in which Rebbetzin Pnina Feldman confronted Dovy Rapoport (the brother in law of Manny Waks) in an unprovoked attack. It happened around 6:45pm on Wednesday 6 March in the Yeshiva Centre courtyard on Flood St Bondi, at a Feldman family simcha [celebration]. There were quite a few witnesses, including Rabbi Eli Feldman, the Rebbetzin’s son, and Fruma Shapiro, the Rebbetzin’s eldest (married) daughter who were at the Rebbetzin’s side when she made those remarks. The Rebbetzin referred to Manny Waks as a “masser” [collaborator with non-Jewish authorities about the crimes of a Jew] and his family as lacking respect for anyone. (There were also some derogatory comments directed to Dovy Rapoport regarding himself and his wife, who was not present.) I was shocked and horrified by Rebbetzin Feldman’s comments. So were some of the others who were present.”

    So please don’t be fooled by people like David Werdiger who are in complete denial of the truth.

  • BoJo says:

    @Manny
    Your reluctance to out yourself is understood however you have expressed on numerous occasions how outraged you were in 2000 when you walked past the Yeshiva, saw your abuser, lodged a complaint without any result or response.
    My questions to you, after having visited your website,
    Why in December 2009 did you heap praises on Habad feeling as you did (refer http://www.capitaljewishforum.org/speech-parliament-of-the-worlds-religions-speech.html para: My outlook on Habad nowadays is very different to what it was after I left the movement – I now very much respect and admire Habad and the wonderful work it carries out. I very much value and promote the concept of “Jewish continuity”. I have come to appreciate ultra-Orthodox Judaism, especially Habad, for their significant contribution in this area.

    In recent years I have been very fortunate to be heavily involved in the broader Jewish community both as a professional and a layperson, including taking leadership positions. I have often utilised my contacts within the Habad community, where many still consider me as “one of them”, for broader community matters.

    Surely those must have been insincere words having stewed for 9 years on the negativity of your approaches to the Yeshiva when faced with your alleged perpetrator? (I use the word alleged as the matter is before the courts and is the appropriate reference despite what we may believe or not) Would it not have been better to say nothing about Habad, feeling the way you did, rather than heap praise when it your heart of hearts you must have felt differently?

    My next question. What exactly provided you with the impetus within the next 18 months to go public?

  • Shirlee. says:

    FYI I haven’t posted any lies. I am only calling it as I see it. I haven’t said anything that many people haven’t said here or on J-Wire.

    Manny I still hold with not going too public with this. That view I will not change. I come from a different generation to you and I know for a fact revealing too much causes antisemitism. I monitor blogs and web sites and I can tell you that pro-Palestinian and anti -Jewish/Israel sites and groups lap this information up and boy do they use it. I have an issue with you in regards to certain things. I most certainly haven’t any problem with what you are doing.

    In answer to “What have either of you done to address the rampant child sexual abuse and cover-ups that has plagued our community for decades? ”
    I had no idea until very recently and was horrified that it had happened in the Jewish Community. I still find it hard to grasp that this actually occurs anywhere.

    As for your other comments you are way out of bounds and should be ashamed of yourself. If you think I am posting “hate/lies” then you have some major issues that needs to be dealt with.

    Seeing as to how you seem to have an issue with Otto. None of these comments are his

    “Waks is relentless in his quest for never-ending self-promotion.
    While he has everyone’s sympathy – enough is enough.”

    “Waks has become a media junkee. Looking for the attention. He is damaging the cause he wants to champion. In this case we have more of the same.”

    “Tzedek is Manny and Manny is Tzedek.
    Manny is SICK for publicity and by his behaviour is destroying any good that his campaign against abusers could achieve.”

    “The fact is that Manny aka Tzedek (the same thing) is all about self-promotion.”

    Don’t bother answering, I am now deleting this dreadful web site permanently.

    FYI I don’t take kindly to my surname being bandied about on the Internet, for security reasons. As far as I am concerned you are the lowest of the low that you would reveal what was a ‘private conversation’

  • Steven says:

    BoJo, so many intricate. peronal questions. I am sure if you post your real name then Manny may even read what you have written. The Waks’s are not really interested in anyonymous comments, including mine.

    Again, it’s not about Manny or you, it’s about getting molesters off the streets.

  • kush says:

    Eds: Comment removed. If you want to attack named people and families in a such a personal fashion, then please comment under your real name.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    What is really painful is the bile of some of these posters. Child abuse is a problem not only in the Jewish community, but world wide. I put it down to the societies we have created without rules and respect for others and it all boils down to education and values.
    We have societies without rules and values instilled through education.
    We have given no boundaries to our children. We allow them everything and then wonder why they do not know how to behave and to treat others.
    Manny is fighting child sex abuse and doing all he can to help clean up problems not only in the broader Jewish communities but the wider world community. DO NOT think it does not happen in secular communities – it does, sadly enough. We need to rethink and to work on educating people in many areas of behaviour and mind set.
    I picked this comment from the woman called Shirlee

    “My husband and I have discussed repeatedly the whole issue of people sexually abusing children and both of us cannot fathom out why it happens.
    I would like to hear what a Psychiatrist says about it. Surely it must be a mental issue. I cannot for one moment conceive the idea that an adult could find a child sexually attractive.”
    Well Shirlee you and your husband grew up in a more normal society and a more conservative era if you are around my age – closing in on sixty.
    With ‘sexual freedom’ comes lack of boundaries and blurring of the lines of appropriate sexual behaviour. I actually am of the opinion that all this ‘freedom’ has become slavery to physical desires and wants for many and people have lost the ability to think.
    Yes, there are people who are offended by Waks because he may stand between them and the fulfillment of their sick desires. Such a person, Shirlee, who would find a child sexually attractive and seek to find physical fulfillment through a sexual connection with a child is SICK, he or she (yes there are female pedophiles too) is MENTALLY NOT NORMAL and NEEDS TREATMENT and in the case that they have MOLESTED CHILDREN THEY NEED TO BE IMPRISONED. End of story.
    If it is your uncle, father or brother or sister or mother or grandmother – that is sad. But such people MUST BE KEPT FROM OUR CHILDREN.
    That is all there is to it. We must protect the most vulnerable in our society. Manny is one person in the Jewish community who is leading the fight and there are those who are defaming him and there are those who are going over the top in their support for him in slamming everyone in the Orthodox communities with the same attitude. They have a problem with the Orthodox community and are using Manny to slander and slam these communities.
    Rebetzin Pinina Feldman certainly does not speak for me and I am sure there are plenty in the community who she does not speak for. I feel very uncomfortable even having to name her. We should not be discussing this and bandying names online because it give non Jewish people the wrong impression about all of us.
    However with all due respect to Mrs Feldman I think it is going over the top to call her ‘evil’. Yes she may have her own set of problems in life to deal with that we do not know about. What her IQ is, I do not know or care, but what is important is what she says in a public place about others in the community and unfortunately she has created a lot of bad feeling which she may not deserve. Sometimes less is more.
    We must NOT ALLOW this issue to DIVIDE the community. What should be happening is we should be saying,’The problem of child abuse is one we should do all we can to address through our educational institutions and in the communities. There should be no place for a pedophile to hide and the victims must be supported and allowed to heal and to get on with their lives. We must work together and not degenerate into spiteful and hateful posts that achieve nothing except to make a laughing stock of the community.
    I am speaking only from love of my community and its members, even ones who are not fond of me for their own reasons. We need to speak to each other with respect and work together against a common enemy of us all. The predators or rodefim of our children’s innocence.

  • WasThere says:

    Quote from Shirlee Finn..” won’t bother coming back again and I will make sure that others don’t”.

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out you Yeshivah apologist scum.

  • Sam Rosenwax says:

    She sure is exposed – to filth – having to deal with scumbags like you WasThere

    Why don’t you go play on the freeway? Do us all a favour

    How dare you speak to a lady in that fashion

  • Daniel Levy says:

    “I don’t know how you know my surname and do not like this breach of security”

    Translated: I would like to use the internet to attack people and have zero repercussions for my actions.

    “you need some sort of system to be able to report abuse.”

    I want everybody to stop and contemplate the sheer irony of Shirlee’s remark. This is the most “abuse victim” advocacy she’s done ever. And only because she perceives herself as the victim.

    Yes shirlee, you’d like to see a “system to report abuse” on Galus? We’d like a system to report abuse in the Jewish community. Now kindly stop your yammering and let the rational heads work this out.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Manny Waks

    1. The intensity of your “relationship” with the Sydney Yeshiva can be easily determined by the nature and intensity of the public conflict, all of which was initiated by you and which has began well BEFORE Tzedek as formed. As such what kind of “relationship” could it be between two arties constantly at “war” !!!

    2. I have been involved for nearly THIRTY years with the Sydney Jewish community in a formal way and NEVER, I repeat NEVER have I encountered any practice or even MENTION of child abuse, so your assumption that I would have condoned such a monstruous practice in any manner is totally baseless. If you would have known me and my activities in the community and even the Jewish press, you would have known that I have been one of the most ardent critic of anything I considered worth criticising in the manner our community has been managed. As such, I am not the garden variety apologist of leadership, quite the contrary.

    You, as usual, make broad accusations about those who object to your modus operandi and fail to substantiate them calling “reasons” as being involved in more important matters etc.
    I shall not repeat my objections to the manner in which you persue matters, nor will I repeat confidential opinions gathered from current and longstanding communal leaders in regards to the same.
    I shall, however, remain astutely allert to the methodology you employ in constantly attempting to discredit legitimate Jewish organisations even if the ostensive causes you embrace would have some merit.
    I must conclude that, sadly, in your response to me, you have offered nothing of substance to allay my complex criticism of your methodology. You are, however, as I aluded, concerned with who and how many attach to your side and the opposite and delude yourself that you have accumulated a solid communal base, something very central to your personal pursuits,purportedly for the benefit of the entire community.The methods and nature of suport ( see the incredibly vile, vulgar and baseless voices you have mustered !!!)
    befit, however, what I have described in the entire Manny Waks enterprise.
    EVERYBODY IN OUR COMMUNAL LEADERSHIP IS FIGHTING THE SCURGE OF PAEDOPHILIA, WHETHER DETECTED IN OUR COMMUNITY OR OTHERWISE.
    MANNY WAKS IS NOT THE ONLY ONE AND HAS NOT BEEN THE ONLY ONE !!!

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Ilana Leeds

    I read with interest your opinions. I am, however, concerned that, while pinning your thoughts on laudable principles, some of the “arguments” you aduce to support those principles run counter to the….principles as such.
    Could you please attempt to re-assert some of the “either way” qualifications of people and situations to which you add the qualification that you, in fact, are NOT privy to their veracity !! It makes for blatant lashon hora and I get the feeling that you are pious enough not to be involved in that……

  • Daniel Levy says:

    “I have been involved for nearly THIRTY years with the Sydney Jewish community in a formal way and NEVER, I repeat NEVER have I encountered any practice or even MENTION of child abuse, so your assumption that I would have condoned such a monstruous practice in any manner is totally baseless. If you would have known me and my activities in the community and even the Jewish press, you would have known that I have been one of the most ardent critic of anything I considered worth criticising in the manner our community has been managed. As such, I am not the garden variety apologist of leadership, quite the contrary.”

    And there we have it. The reason why Otty boy attacks Waks so vigorously. For his own petty self-preservation.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Daniel that is so incredibly absurd – I’d call it stupid but that seems innocuous to you -.
    Mate, you lost the plot. What I said and you repeated has NOTHING with what you said………..

    you are fast losing the bit of respect I had for your brains.

  • Given that this comment thread has degenerated into largely nasty personal attacks, and a variety of baseless accusations, we’ve decided to introduce a particularly strict moderation policy on this thread from this point onwards.

    Any future comment on this thread that contains any insult will be removed. Any comments of a personal nature concerning Manny Waks, Manny Waks’ family, or any other commenter on this thread will be removed.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Eds: Comment removed.

    If you wish to discuss comment moderation, then the way to do this is not via the comment thread, but rather to email the editors.

  • Kumbaya says:

    Anyone up for a bonfire sing along with toasted marsh mellows??

  • WasThere says:

    Eds: Comment removed, as we’re trying to de-escalate the bickering in the comment thread.

  • Kumbaya says:

    Ok Wasthere is tasked with bringing the marsh mellows.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Eds: Comment removed.

    If you wish to discuss comment moderation, then the way to do this is not via the comment thread, but rather to email the editors.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    sorry, forget abt point 1, I’ve got your email address.

    Don’t forget abt the other points !

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’h
    Otto
    I think the mods have said it all. We should be focusing on the important issues. Calling Shirlee Finn ‘scum’ achieves nothing and simply put it is an ad hominem attack that does not stand up in a good debate.
    What is wrong with people who can’t stick to the issues at hand? They have to bring ego into it and it all degenerates into personal attacks on this or that person. For goodness sake, just grow up and realise that this issue of child abuse needs to be dealt with.
    For those of you who question WHY abused children do not come forward just think quietly to yourselves. Are you going to believe a little five year old girl that your favourite Uncle might have sexually molested her or an eleven year old boy that another man supposedly religious (I do not call a person who abuses a child – religious by any stretch of the imagination. For that person is totally without fear or belief in Hashem.) has done something unspeakable to him in a Mikvah of all places or a shul. Tell me, who is going to believe? What adult will take the word of a child over a perverse manipulative and sick adult if that adult has been well known and liked in the community. Most pedophiles are quite charming and even charismatic. But they are by the same token very sick and they have no conscious about what they do. It is all about them and the fulfillment of their perverse desires.
    Instead of attacking people who are trying to deal with the problem – Work with them, we are all part of a common cause and that is defending the right of a child to an abuse free childhood. Is that the point of the exercise or NOT?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Ilana

    It is painfully obvious that you have ignored EVERYTHING I was saying and you are, willy nilly, gettting on with your own agenda.
    I DO NOT NEED to be told what are the effects of child molestation !!
    I am old enough to know all that stuff and in my life in excess of SIX decades I never condoned such abissmal practices, nor did I protect any known such bastard engaged in it. I am educated enough to know and understand all the stuff you are on about.
    If you are so concerned about Yidishkeit then look at the manner in which a certain campaign has been unleashed to discredit the ENTIRE Jewish community for the acts of only a few who are, rghtly so, being legally prosecuted.
    How about you reveal to us your opinion regarding the dragging of an entire community, and the ULTRA frumm section in particular, into the filth created by only a few. How would you like to have your persona identified with the scum that have been revealed to be responsible for paedophilia!!?? How would you like your Schull to be branded “protectors of paedofilia criminals ” !!??How would you like your Rabbi to be branded a “paedophilia protector” in spite of the FACT that your Rabbi has come out clearly in condemnation of ANYTHING associated with paedophilia !!!???
    THESE ARE THE ISSUES HERE AND NOT THAT SOME ARE PROTECTING ON THIS SITE, NO LESS, ANYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH PAEDOPHILIA, SOMETHING THAT ONLY A BADLY TENDENTIOUS AND DERAILED MIND WOULD CONCEIVE !!

  • WasThere says:

    Nice try to deflect from the issues here Otto but it’s never been suggested that it’s the “entire community”.
    It’s already come out in court with regards to Melbourne Yeshivah so no need to rehash.
    Sydney Yeshivah has their turn now. Yes it’s true that, “your Rabbi has come out clearly in condemnation of ANYTHING associated with paedophilia”. But what you don’t understand is that it’s going to come out in court and in the media that he lied.
    No need to name names as I’m sure you’ve read the Age and Sydney morning herald.

    With any luck the other orthodox school in Melb will in time get their turn.

    At the end of the day we all want the same thing. That is for our kids and grandkids to be safe. If we have to look at Manny’s pic in the media every week so that at the end the kids are safe then so be it. Small price to pay.

    To attack Manny for the effort he makes here to bring change for the better is just wrong.
    Can’t you see that??

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Eds: Comment removed.

    If you wish to discuss comment moderation, then the way to do this is not via the comment thread, but rather to email the editors.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    WHAT IS THE EMAIL ADDRESS !??

    Eds: see http://galusaustralis.com/contact-us/

  • BoJo says:

    @Was There

    Do you have an issue if questions regarding the style, the veracity, the consistency of comments made by Manny or is his alleged (again, the correct wording, the matter being before the court)victimhood so sacrosanct that aspects which require explanations are relegated to taboo land?

    Why for example was it ok to post within the original post of his the following – see top of this thread.

    Manny Waks
    Founder & President of Tzedek, an Australian-based advocacy group for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community.

    For legal reasons, this letter has been edited to remove the name of the rebbetzin in question. The identity of the rebbetzin is alleged here. (here being – http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2013/03/wife-of-senior-chabad-rabbi-calls-victim-of-child-sex-abuse-and-his-family-informers-234.html

    Was that not being to clever by half? Naming but no naming? Referring bloggers from Galus Australis to a scuttlebug grubby blog where absolutely anything goes? Are we not entitled to expect better from any president of any Jewish organization particularly one by the name of Tzedek and all that such a name ought to represent?

    Was there anything wrong with my earlier post which by the way was acceptable to the the mods of of GA whereby several straightforward questions were put forward. Bear in mind the questions related directly to passages from Tzedek’s presidents speech were was posted on his website.

    Does my questioning imply I am a paedophile protector or facilitator?

    Victims do not have a carte-blanche to do as they please when they please and to whom they please. No victim of any crime!

    They too have red lines which must not be crossed otherwise victims would always fall into the category of being blameless, which means Rafferty’s Rules would apply resulting in a total mockery of the law.

    Red lines have been crossed. Are you/we really that color blind not to have noticed?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Was There
    you are wrong and misleading once again.
    The term “Jewish community” as responsible in many respects for the “protection” of paedophiles in its midst has been used in texts by the same author as the present article, discussed here.
    Generalisations in the same vain by the same abound and no one could claim to protect the interests of his/her Jewish community and at the same time ignore this important “detail”.
    One must be aware of the expanding effects of such indulgencies within the larger society and, implicitely, the succor given to those only happy to see an entire Jewish fold compromised.

  • WasThere says:

    @BoJo

    You asking me to answer why Pinina Feldman was not named in this story?
    How should I know????
    Go ask the site admin of Galus to explain as they did it not me.
    If it were me I would have named her.

  • Steven says:

    Good article

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2013/03/19/3122451/charges-of-rampant-sex-abuse-rock-melbourne-jewish-community

    In it Manny was asked :

    “Is it grandstanding?” Waks asks. “Maybe. But the simple rhetorical question to these individuals is this: What have you done to address the rampant child sexual abuse and cover-ups that have plagued our community for decades?”

    There are a couple of people who don’t like his methods. Personally I think the more he ‘grandstands’ the more will hear about Manny and Tzedek and more victims will come forward to testify.

    Otto and company, ask yourselves this : whose pants would Rabbi Kramer be in if not for Manny’s testimony? AFAIK without Manny, Rabbi Kramer would be a newly released felon in the USA and free to reoffend, instead of in remand in Australia. And the victims who have since come forward because of Manny’s grandstanding who will put others away and keep the community free of rapists.

  • Reality Check says:

    Grandstand as much as you need Manny, if it helps to bring the perpetrators and their protectors to justice.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Thre is no doubt that “Steven”, “reality Check” & co. would derive enormouspersonal satisfaction if I said something to the effect:
    ” …yourse guys showed me the light and me is grateful and reckon that me is bloody (sic) wrong and I wronged yours and me thinks that from now on I will wake up every morning and see what is Steven and reality check tellin me ” and stuff like that.
    Well guys/dolls, it aint gonna happen because:

    I never says that paedophilia is something we should protect so that certain individuals and communal entities should not be “vicimised” etc.
    Just LIKE YOU, I am dead set against any form of paedophilia manifestation, whether direct or indirect, by the way of cover up.
    All I says is that there IS methods and there IS methods in dealing with the phenomenon and expanding the methodology OUTSIDE the relevant actions is not helping the cause. That’s all.
    Now, can we talk about relevance and the value of it, so that more harm than good is NOT done, and we engage the ENTIRE Jewish community in a harmonious, no personal stuff/shit about at all !!??
    I reckons a big fat YES !!!
    ( and for starters I am tellinya that I shall dispense with the diphtong “ae” in pedophilia, bcs it is beggining to hurt me fingertips, ok with yourse !!?? )
    Friends !!!???
    ( ok, Daniel Lev y may be included )

  • Steven says:

    As we have to be polite see my first comment above Otto. I pointed out your grammar mistakes as every word you wrote together with your logic was incorrect. I will leave you with your diphthongs. Refuah shelaimah. The last word is surely true now.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    What kind of slap are you talking about !!!

    Claims must be proven, arguments supported by evidence etc.
    So far, I am not at all convinced that the claims are substantiated and , since this is not a court of law and “Was There” is hardly the name of a member of the Bar one can find in the phone book, we are still dealing here with publicity manipulations.

  • WasThere says:

    Clearly Otto you have not followed the whole story of discrimination against Manny’s father.

    Here are some more links for you to read so you can get the whole story..
    Including the link to the part where Yeshivah refuse to deal with this at Beth din.
    Simply put Manny’s father had no choice then to take this to the human rights commission.

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2013/03/dayan-of-chabad-in-melbourne-refuses-beit-din-summons-in-child-sex-abuse-retaliation-case-789.html

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2013/03/chabad-insists-victims-familys-suit-must-be-heard-by-chabad-beit-din-only-123.html

  • BoJo says:

    @WasThere.
    Following your cue to that [Eds: profanity removed] where does it say the Yeshiva refuses to attend a Din Torah? Here is the extract “Please note that the request to attend a Din Torah that you issued was not a proper Hazmonah. Should we receive any Hazmonah, as a Chabad – Lubavitch institution we insist to have this matter heard before the Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch HaKlolli to be conducted in Melbourne.”Every dimwit knows the respondent has the right to choose the locale where the Din Torah is to be heard. Waks claims to be Habad, therefore the Yeshiva is within its rights to have a Habad jurisdiction. It would appear proper process has not been followed followed which doesn’t say much for the issuer. Blau in his own bio is a ruchni advisor, albeit with a smicha. Is he a posek, a congregational rabbi or merely a spiritual guide at YU? Yes, he’s involved sex abuse cases but has he heard or spoken to anyone at the Yeshiva to see if there is another take on the story? How therefore was he able to give Waks an open invite to do what Waks does best? Waks disingenuously guides everyone to Blau’s wikipage where its states he is a member of the RCA yet when one visits the current RCA website he is not listed although two other Blau’s are. Cursory investigation of the RCA website stresses the membership is made up of not only rabbis, but laypeople from all walks of life. Bottom line one cannot not say the Yeshiva refuses attend a Din Torah unless one has it in for the Yeshiva.

  • WasThere says:

    I can understand why you hate that site Bojo and feel the need to use such profanity.
    But at least there is one site that posts such stories about the orthodox community that don’t bow for no apologists.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Bo-Jo has explained the halachic angle and , since Was There still blieves that a simple listing of a complaint with a legal forum – and I shall not make further comments about the substance of the claim by the plaintiff, except in saying that one MUST have a very good, intimate knowledge of the manner in which a Beit Din works in order to decide if the breaches within have occured and, considering the structure and possible substance of a non halachic insitution , even one as hghly respectable as the HR Comm., one is entitled to have doubts about the halachic competence within the said legal forum – we are still entitled to suspect that reasons closely related to a certain kind of retributory intent are more prevalent here and those reasons do not allay the use of speculative and possible pernicious publicity means of attracting attention, populous opprobium and discrediting of the Beit Din/Yeshiva/Shule involved.
    Best is to wait the outcome of the complaint !!!

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