Rabbi back after abuse comments

By Dan Goldberg, September 1, 2011

A senior Sydney rabbi who removed himself from the presidency of the Rabbinical Council to "clear his name" following controversial comments he made about child abuse has resumed his role.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman stood aside from his post after the July 29 edition of the Australian Jewish News called for his resignation following the publication of blistering extracts of a leaked email exchange about child abuse.

In the emails, Rabbi Feldman appeared to suggest that rabbis should decide whether or not allegations of child abuse should be reported to police.

But following a month of legal negotiations, Rabbi Feldman and the newspaper issued a joint press release last week in which both parties acknowledged their part in the controversy.

The newspaper, while standing by its story, admitted its coverage "may have been considered sensational" and Rabbi Feldman acknowledged that his views "could have been misunderstood".

Rabbi Feldman said he "unreservedly and emphatically" condemned all forms of abuse. "Perpetrators must be brought to justice in the Australian legal system," he said.

Last updated: 1:05pm, September 1 2011