All change at the Yeshivah Centre

Yeshivah Centre.

AMID reports this week that the Yeshivah Centre’s Committee of Management (COM) is to be replaced, The AJN can reveal that the centre’s Board of Trustees is also to be disbanded.

Following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in February, which saw victims call for the entire management of the centre to step down, the past four months have seen a succession of resignations from the nine-member COM.

The most recent came last week with Shlomo Werdiger relinquishing his position.

The AJN understands that not all the resignations in recent months have been connected to the Commission.

When approached by The AJN, Werdiger declined to comment on the reason for his departure.

As far as The AJN could ascertain, his resignation meant only one member of the committee as it existed in February remained, Merv Adler. He did not respond to calls from The AJN.

In the wake of revelations of Werdiger’s departure, the Board of Trustees announced on Tuesday that the COM was being disbanded.

In a letter to parents, they wrote, “An interim new Committee of Management is being appointed until such time as a new constitution is drawn up and adopted.

“This body will be comprised of individuals with recognised and proven skill sets and experience, from our community and beyond. They will support the principal in his role, as well as supporting the other leadership staff of the organisation, as we go through this transition.

“The interim Committee will be held to strict timeframes and will only hold office until the Annual General Meeting which must be held no later than December 31, 2015, at which time it is expected that a new constitution and set of rules will be adopted.”

However, there was more to come. Following the release of the public letter, the Board of Trustees told The AJN exclusively that they would follow suit and would also step down this year.

“At the conclusion of this process, which we expect to take no longer than six months, elections will take place and a new formal governing body and COM will be set up,” a spokesperson told The AJN.

“The existing Trustees will then step aside.”

A victim of child abuse at Yeshivah known at the Royal Commission as AVB, told The AJN on Wednesday, “I welcome changes that remove the actual and/or perceived familial, personal or financial conflicts of interest at the Yeshivah, and result in a transparent and formal process, that is inclusive of all parents, congregants and donors.

“If this is what indeed transpires, then in my opinion, the Royal Commission public hearings which highlighted the lack of effective governance and leadership at Yeshivah, ought to be acknowledged for their significant contribution in shining a light on the considerable failures that caused so much unnecessary hurt and pain, and forcing change.”

The Royal Commission is expected to release its recommendations before the AGM.

JOSHUA LEVI