FOUR weeks after Rabbi Yosef Feldman appeared to compare Yeshiva major donor Harry Triguboff to the Nazis, his father, Rabbi Pinchus Feldman has finally distanced himself from the comments.
The saga began on March 16 when Triguboff, who owns Yeshiva’s Flood Street property, gave eviction notices to several members of the Feldman family.
On March 17 Rabbi Yosef Feldman criticised Triguboff because he said the eviction would close the Yeshiva shul. He said that Triguboff would be “the first Jew to close a shul since the Nazis”.
Two days later Rabbi Yosef Feldman clarified his statement, saying that it would be “totally out of context” to compare Triguboff to the Nazis, but the damage was already done.
On April 9, in an attempt to get a stay of execution, Rabbi Pinchus Feldman encouraged members of the Yeshiva community to contact Triguboff.
“I believe that if he (Triguboff) would see that there is serious communal support for the shul to remain/and under present leadership he may reconsider his harsh decree,” Rabbi Pinchus Feldman wrote.
“I therefore ask of you a very great favour. Please send Harry Triguboff an email in your own words – just a paragraph or two – stating how important Yeshiva has been/is in your life and requesting him to reconsider and to grant us a long term lease.”
Dozens of letters were sent, and copied to The AJN, but the ploy from Rabbi Pinchus Feldman seems to have failed because Triguboff responded to those who contacted him saying he had no intention of closing the shul.
“After decades of committed support, I am currently fixing the Yeshiva College, the shul and the Centre so the premises may remain a viable and sacred centre of the local Chabad community for many years to come,” Triguboff said.
“I have supported Rabbi Pinchus Feldman for many years, but how can he remain as Spiritual Leader of the shul when he cannot control what his family says about me? They have publicly made awful attempts to liken the termination of the lease to an act of the Nazis.
“I cannot possibly work with people who would say such terrible things.
“The future of the shul is bright and I hope you will continue to support and attend.”
It was only following that email from Triguboff that Rabbi Pinchus Feldman wrote that he had to register his “unequivocal disapproval” of some of Rabbi Yosef Feldman’s comments, “mainly the comparison to Nazism, to the early termination of the Yeshiva leases including the Yeshiva synagogue led by myself”.
“For the record – at my behest – my son clarified himself to the same people he wrote, to negate those comments that were interpreted to be against Harry Triguboff personally, and then apologised in writing soon after for any upset that his comments caused,” Rabbi Pinchus Feldman wrote.
“He also made it clear that he wrote without my knowledge.”
The deadline for eviction given by Triguboff was April 20.