Rabbi Milecki wins against his board

This is a remarkable decision. Rabbi Milecki, a Lubavitcher, and long time Rabbi of South Head Synagogue, was effectively sacked by his board through some clever manoeuvering involving the Shule going into liquidation.

One assumes that Rabbi Milecki tried to take the Board to a Din Torah and failed. He then received permission to take it to the secular court in New South Wales, Australia.

The Supreme Court ruled, quite incredibly that the South Head Board had wrongfully dismissed Rabbi Milecki and they needed to take the case to a Din Torah.

This shows that the court is culturally sensitive and doesn’t want to trample on such mores, unless forced.

One implication for this, and I assume the decision will be appealed to a higher court, is that if we want to get the court to assist us in having compulsory Halachic prenuptial agreements whereby a male or female could not withhold a Get/divorce, may be more difficult as they may not wish to be involved.

You can read the ruling here.

[Update: in case you thought this was a new precedent. As per legal advice, it follows Gutnick v Mizrachi where court sent matter to Din Torah 

Also in Mond v Caulfield Hebrew Congregation where the court granted injunction and sent matter to a Din Torah.

Very strange that Shul’s administrators argued that the contract with Rabbi Milecki was not subject to Halacha. ]

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

2 thoughts on “Rabbi Milecki wins against his board”

  1. Let’s assume all rabbis sign a new contract every x years to renew their contract. Are they being disingenuous by repeatedly signing a contract that they know is totally worthless, as they know they can rely on Chazaka if they get fired? And if so, are they basically lying as they are giving the impression that they agree with the contract?


    1. We don’t know the nature of such contract extensions. They may be financial reviews and arrangements. A good contract would have a clause(s) about longevity and conditions etc, but I’m not a lawyer. These days many Shules have contracts which are entirely based on secular law. If the Rabbi signs it, then he will have an issue if he wants to fight it. Some shules have Rabbis for periods, and they change them. There is something ageist about Shule Boards. The minute someone gets to a certain age, they think they need an injection of “youth”. Interestingly, many of the Shules who have gone for younger outreach Rabbis to attract the youth, are left wanting when the cold hard facts are analysed. There is much I could say about this, but it would be a post.


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