It's almost a year since the Royal Commission exposed decades of child sex abuse and coverups at Chabad's Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Chabad promised Yeshivah Centre restructuring, which was due to be completed by last week at the latest. But it still isn't finished. And that may be because some of the worst offenders – at least in terms of nepotism and abuse coverups – are still in power, as a new letter from the centre's board of trustees shows.
It's almost a year since the Royal Commission exposed decades of child sex abuse and coverups at Chabad's Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Chabad rabbis embarrassed themselves and Chabad on the witness stand, and their testimony – much of which appeared to be bald faced lies – was broadcast live worldwide over the Internet.
Some of these Chabad leaders 'resigned' only to keep their leadership roles 'unofficially.'
Then Chabad launched – after months of delay – a redress scheme for victims that excluded help for those victims families and for others damaged by Chabad's actions.
A promised Yeshivah Centre restructuring, due to be completed by last week at the latest, still isn't finished. And that may be because some of the worst offenders – at least in terms of nepotism and abuse coverups – are still in power, as a new letter from the centre's board of trustees shows:
We are writing to you to keep you updated on developments in the organizational restructure of the Yeshivah Centre.
We recently received the first complete draft proposal from the Governance Review Panel (GRP). Together with the Interim Committee of Management (ICOM) who have carried the administrative burden for the last 6 months and our Rabbinical advisers, the Trustees ("Members" of the existing incorporated associations) are now considering the proposal.
As the proposal is drafted in legal language, we have requested the GRP to prepare a summary of the proposal with an explanation of the legal structure for release to the public. Given the holiday period, we are doing our best to circulate this as soon as practicable. We appreciate that the GRP have spent many hours of meetings, drafting and receiving submissions from the community and thank them for their outstanding honorary contribution to our Centre.
Once circulated, the community will be given reasonable notice to make submissions to the GRP.
In the meantime, a number of the current members of the ICOM wish to resign for personal and professional reasons. They have all contributed greatly to the Yeshivah Centre over the last 6 months, but they agreed to participate in an interim committee only.
The GRP has been inundated with submissions from many sections of the community and are doing their best to draft a set of rules that will satisfy the majority of the stakeholders. To draft a new constitution and open up the Yeshivah Centre to widespread community participation is a daunting task. The date of 31st December has proved to be too optimistic, and whilst we understand that the community wanting a new structure, it is crucial that the structure is the correct one.
Once we have received the summary, in language understandable by all, it will be immediately released as stated above.
The ICOM will continue to operate until the new constitution can be adopted. We are having intensive discussions to persuade the ICOM members to continue. Those that still wish to resign, do so with our grateful thanks and recognition of their hard work, under difficult circumstances. In consultation with the ICOM, we expect to fill any gaps with new appointments within a very short time and will advise you of the changes forthwith.
We thank you for your patience and look forward to establishing the new structure as soon as practicable.
With best wishes
Mr M. New
Mr B. Althaus
Mr. S. Gurewicz
Mr. H. Cooper
Rabbi S. M. Kluwgant
Rabbi S. Jurkowicz
Rabbi C. T. Groner
Mrs N. Bendet