Rabbi Milecki defies termination

April 28, 2017 by J-Wire News Service
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Rabbi Benzion Milecki has reacted to an announcement that his employment at Sydney’s South Head Synagogue has been terminated.

He has issued the following statement:

Rabbi Benzion Milecki

“It is with deep sadness that I, together with the Rebbetzin, regret the need to make this statement.

For over thirty-two years we have devoted our lives, our souls and our family to South Head Synagogue and its members and friends.

We will we continue to do so. We will also continue to work for the viability of the shule even at our personal expense.

Last night, Mr James Hochroth wrote an announcement to the community containing many statements, including that my employment with the synagogue has been terminated with immediate effect.  So as to promote dignified relations with the synagogue’s management and controllers, I am choosing not to respond here to many of the matters raised in the announcement – other than as follows with respect to my continuing role as Rabbi of the synagogue.  I make this announcement for the congregation to be properly informed.

Today, my legal representatives have notified the synagogue’s legal representatives that I do not accept that there has been any valid termination of my employment and that I remain ready, willing and able to perform all of my obligations under my employment contract.  The letter includes as follows:

The Contract remains on foot

Please be on notice that our client does not accept that there has been any valid termination of our client’s contract of employment with the Synagogue (the Contract).  The Notice of Purported Termination constitutes a repudiation of the Contract, in response to which our client hereby elects not to accept the repudiation but instead to keep the Contract on foot.

The Notice of Purported Termination is ineffective because it is in breach of the Contract for reasons including that:

(a) it is impermissibly retrospective; and 

(b) our client’s engagement as Rabbi of the Synagogue cannot validly be terminated unless and until a properly constituted Din Torah has first determined in accordance with Orthodox Jewish Law that the termination of our client’s employment is justified on a ground recognised by the usages, customs, practices and traditions of Judaism.

Accordingly, the Synagogue and our client continue to be bound by the Contract.  The parties’ rights and obligations under the Contract remain in force, respectively as applicable under the local civil laws in force in New South Wales and under Orthodox Jewish Law.  

Please be on notice that no act or omission by our client, regarding the continuation or otherwise of his employment relationship with the Synagogue, should be taken as any acceptance of the purported termination.  This includes any temporary absence from the Synagogue by our client or his refraining from officiating at the Synagogue, pending our client’s obtaining relief from a Court.  Our client is and remains ready, willing and able to perform all of his obligations under the Contract in accordance with its terms.

Our client reserves his rights.

I maintain sincere hope that the present issue will be resolved swiftly for the benefit of the synagogue and congregation, which remain my first care.
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Benzion Milecki OAM”





10 Responses to “Rabbi Milecki defies termination”
  1. marc bross says:

    i think the rabbi is in his rights and should do what he feels in accordance to the law..

  2. Susan says:

    If the rabbi would stop being so egotistical and manipulative this employment dispute could have been settled amicably by now. Instead we have an ex employee with a grievance probably due to the fact that for the first time in his career someone stood up to him and challenged his belief that he runs the shul.Poor boy is now throwing his toys out the cot of his expediency.His unfettered power is no more and his ego has been dealt a huge blow.

  3. Jonni Pollak says:

    If the Din Torah is conducted by Chabad rabbis their decision will be questionable.Who will comprise this Din Torah will be extremely important so as to appear independent and objective.Perhaps call in The London Beth Din .

  4. Sarah Pincus says:

    The rabbi is living in cloud cuckoo land.He should have taken the retirement package offered to him and gone gracefully. The rabbi is an employee like anyone else and the shul is not his private fiefdom.All employees are expected to give loyalty and be devoted to their jobs so why does the rabbi expect we applaud him for doing what is required of every employee.

  5. Rafi Plotkin says:

    The dispute with the rabbi is an embarrassment to the community. I believe that the rabbi should listen to the reasons why the community want him to leave and retire gracefully.

    • Binyamin says:

      The Rabbi who has served the synagogue in an extraordinary fashion deserves to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. If the shul has a dispute with him let them take the dispute to the Bet Din as required by their contract with him and argue their case. They should treat him with the courtesy he deserves after giving of himself freely and willingly to every need of the community over more than three decades.

      • Harvey Kaplan says:

        The Rabbi has served the WEALTHY and ignored the others whom he has treated with contempt.

        • Bob says:

          Harvey Kaplan is talking through his tuches and should wash out his mouth as well. I don’t even know if he is a member of South Head. I have been a member for about 30 years and I have seen with my own eyes the hard work that he and his Rebbetzin have done throughout this time. They deserve praise and respect and have never treated the wealthy any better or any worse than the others Their home is always open to all. As are their hearts and souls. In due course I hope the whole truth will be revealed and those that have maligned him will apologize profusely and seek forgiveness for their sins.

          • rafi says:

            Bob you are remarkably rude and crude..No one will reply to your filthy outburst.

      • David says:

        I am proud to see the strength Rabbi Milecki has to fight this obvious disgrace to Kovod HaTorah. I hope all rabbis strand together with him. And I hope those who currently deny the Rabbi a Din Torah repent.

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