Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Feldman attained notoriety when Australian Newspapers reported on his testimony about sex abuse in the Chabad community in Australia to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
According to ABC (Australia) in Feb 2015:
The director of the ultra-orthodox Jewish Yeshiva centre in Sydney has resigned after last week telling a royal commission hearing he did not know it was a crime for an adult to touch a child’s genitals.
Since then, Feldman has gone on a spree of libel lawsuits. Manny Waks linked to a listing of those lawsuits in a post on FaceBook on 7/20/16. The targets of his eight lawsuits include The Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Australia, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and a number of media outlets.
In response to Manny Waks’ FaceBook post and some taunting comments he justifies himself by writing
The context as you can clearly see was that in my strong opinion, publicity wasn’t necessarily a good thing in the Jewish community and neither would it help victims. It obviously could encourage attention-seeking phonies to come forward.
Feldman is telling the truth. He, and others like him don’t like victims going public either through the courts or the media. In my experience, Haredi rabbis eager to avoid scandal and criminal prosecutions of frum molesters don’t like publicizing survivor stories because the example of one victim/survivor can help another also summon the courage.
Multiple victims of an offender are very awkward for those who prefer keeping abuse scandals under wraps. Their usual tactic is to discredit reports by doubting the credibility of the survivor. It gets harder to pull that off as more survivors come forward.
It takes ignorance or malice to think it is easy for a survivor to come forward publicly.
It might be funny to say that Feldman just earned himself another citation for foot-in-the-mouth disease. But he has also kicked abuse survivors, yet again, while they were down.
In my opinion, Feldman does not merit respect as a rabbi or even a mensch.