The president explains

February 5, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
Read on for article

Hakoah president Phil Filler has written to the club’s members “to clarify and correct” information recently published about the club in the Jewish media.

Filler writes:

“I am writing to you on behalf of the entire Hakoah Board to clarify and correct a recent editorial and article in the Australian Jewish News about the White City site.

Phil Filler

Phil Filler

As Hakoah members, we have not lost sight of our history. It was universally agreed our former site in Hall Street was outdated and for Hakoah to survive, it needed to reinvent itself to appeal to youth. The Members resolved to sell the building, maximising its capital value and the Club purchased the White City site. The Board is working tirelessly to fulfil the vision for the site which was developed in consultation with you, as members. Our vision encompasses sport, social, cultural and communal facilities for current and future Hakoah members.

The Hakoah Board has advanced its architectural plans to ensure our proposal is practical, affordable and sustainable. Our concept includes uses that fit perfectly with a new LEP currently being introduced by Woollahra Council. Proposed sport facilities include tennis (through Maccabi Tennis Club), football (the raison d’etre for Hakoah’s existence as well as the pre-eminent sport being conducted within our community), a gymnasium, a multi-purpose sports hall (capable of staging basketball, netball, futsal, volleyball, table tennis) and an aquatic centre. A modern clubhouse is currently planned for the heart of the complex. A child-care facility is also included in the current plans. The Board looks forward to updating you on the latest developments at our forthcoming AGM in March.

Discussions with a number of parties in relation to the provision of these facilities are advancing well. The discussions are confidential to maximise ultimate outcomes. It is true discussions with some potential parties have ended. This is not surprising given the complexity of the development and project. The Board will continue to pursue all potential ventures with organisations whose vision complements ours.

None of the newspaper allegations regarding the Board either being offered money by or ignoring a potential benefactor, rejecting money from B’nai B’rith or walking away from a deal with Double Bay Bowling Club are accurate. In the interests of the White City project and communal harmony, the Hakoah Board has, and will continue to, refrain from engaging in public debate. All previous proposals were beset with complex legal and practical complications.

With respect to the JCA, a joint working party was formed with a view towards seeking solutions to the financial viability of the project. At a full Hakoah Board meeting four months ago, Hakoah’s Board could not, as was required by the JCA, unconditionally agree to the JCA demands. Numerous aspects were not considered to be in the best interests of Hakoah members. Andrew Boyarsky and Harold Kopelowitz immediately resigned from the Hakoah Board, realising they were completely at odds with the rest of the Board. Daniel Grynberg later resigned from all voluntary Board positions he held after accepting the CEO position with the JCA. The claims that all the pieces were in place and the money was available to start the first stage are incorrect.

The Board is confident it is making great progress in advancing the viability of the White City site. Hakoah continues to enjoy, in both a voluntary and professional capacity, the benefit of people with extensive and invaluable property development and commercial experience. We are a dedicated Board who remain committed to delivering outcomes you, as members, and the community will be proud of. The vision to serve the next generation of Hakoah Members in a truly meaningful manner remains intact.”

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