South Head: creditors’ meeting this week

July 10, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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The Administrator’s report on the cash-strapped South Head Synagogue in Sydney’s Rose Bay has recommended that the company running the shule should be wound up.

The synagogue’s president James Hockroth has told J-Wire that a creditors’ meeting is scheduled for this Friday

James Hockroth said: “The winding-up process can take some time. The synagogue’s employees will lose their jobs if the decision to wind up the synagogue goes ahead.”

The story so far:

The board failed to do a deal with Rabbi Benzion Milecki which would have seen him leave the congregation. The cash-strapped shul had a debt to Westpac which was paid out by three members who funded a loan to the congregation of $500,000 equally. The shul was put into administration and the administrator terminated the rabbi’s employment…a termination the rabbi refused to accept. The Supreme Court in NSW found the termination was void and ruled that the termination matter had to be heard by a Din Torah. The court awarded the costs to Rabbi Milecki.

President James Hochroth wrote the members saying: “The NSW Supreme Court stated that the termination by the Administrator of Rabbi Benzion Milecki was invalid and the Administrator must treat him as the continuing rabbi of our synagogue.

Yet, to continue to do so will see our Shule plunge into liquidation.  Indeed, the very existence of our beloved South Head Synagogue now rests in the hands of Rabbi Milecki.  If he does not resign (with a fair financial settlement, in line with the award of a Beth Din in similar matters), there will be no future for our Shule and liquidation will commence.  There is no viable alternative.

The only chance left for the Shule to survive, is if Rabbi Milecki decides to CHOOSE LIFE for the Shule, and not be the author of the demise of his once thriving Kehillah.”

On  June 30 the administrator closed the synagogue as he did not have sufficient cash reserved to keep it going. Within the hour, the much-needed cash had been provided concerned members and the shul was declared open again.

Since then, many of those who wanted Rabbi Milecki’s employment terminated chose to daven at the newly opened Dover Minyan in at the Moriah College’s Dover Heights campus.

If no settlement is reached by Friday’s meeting of the creditors, the story of the 1948-established synagogue will enter a new chapter.




7 Responses to “South Head: creditors’ meeting this week”
  1. Monty Jochelson says:

    Ms. Morris this is a free country. Mr. Plotkin has every right to share his opinion with us

  2. Kim Morris says:

    J-Wire your rules state that you won’t publish comments which are abusive, rude or defamatory – yet you continually publish comments which are rude and directly NAME, shame, blame, degrade and defame!!!

    • Vivien Kaplan says:

      By no stretch of the imagination is Rafi’s comment rude and defamatory.That is why it was published. I find his comment relevant and appropriate and in fact just summarises what was said by James H.
      You seem to be over indignant and sensitive in a matter that would appear to be caused by Rabbi Milecki’s intransigence. Sorry but the truth hurts and Rafi’s comment is an ironic take on a sad event.

  3. Rafi Plotkin says:

    Rabbi Milecki should change his name to NOAH as he watches the beloved Shule go into liquidation.

  4. Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

    Are the Synagogue properties controlled by the Board of Management of the day or are they controlled by trustees.

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