New Yeshivah structure revealed

The Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne.

YESHIVAH–BETH Rivkah Colleges (YBR) will be governed by parents under the new structure that will be announced by the Governance Review Panel (GRP).

The proposal by the GRP – which was set up to restructure the Yeshivah Centre and its associated entities in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – will state that the members of YBR will be the parents, and that five of the nine board members will be elected by parents, with at least one of those board members being a vocational Chabad rabbi.

The other four board members will include Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner and three members appointed by Yeshivah Centre Limited (YCL), the centre’s overarching roof body.

A third organisation, Chabad Institutions of Victoria Limited (CIVL), will be established to operate the Kollel, Chabad Youth, Ohel Chana and shuls.

For all three organisations – YBR, YCL and CIVL – each board member must be halachically Jewish, while each board must comprise a majority of Chabad-adherent members and have at least three vocational rabbis, defined as a rabbi engaged full time in a religious vocation such as a pulpit rabbi, a Jewish studies teacher or someone retired from such a position.

One of those rabbis will be Rabbi Groner unless 75 per cent of the board vote to remove him.

The CIVL board will comprise Rabbi Groner and eight people elected by members.

A member must be shomer Shabbat and a paid-up existing member of one of the various shuls within the Hotham Street complex, or, subject to the board of management’s discretion, any other person resident in Victoria who personally identifies as an adherent of Chabad and who has paid a membership fee ­prescribed by the board.

The YCL board will include three members from the CIVL and YBR boards, Rabbi Groner and two people appointed by the seven other board members.

Yeshivah’s trustees will send the documents, prepared by the GRP, to a lawyer to put the proposal into a formal constitution. That process is expected to take less than one month, at which point the Interim Committee of Management will step down. The new board should be in place within four months.

Following the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last year several Yeshivah trustees and committee of management members stepped down.

They GRP was established to recommend a new governance structure for the Yeshivah Centre and, after consultation with the community earlier this year, the proposals are expected to be rubber-stamped by the trustees next month.