Leadership changes at Yeshivah Centre after abuse probe advised against

The New York based orthodox Jewish movement which oversees the centre, Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, is understood to have sent trustees a letter in which it states the Melbourne centre do not have the power to change governance structures.

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It has told them not to make any decisions without first consulting a special subcommittee of rabbis it’s empowered to represent it.

Victims’ advocate and survivor of child sexual abuse, Manny Waks said the intervention stalls efforts by the centre to implement reform.

He questioned why Chabad headquarters is only stepping in now.

“If they are do believe they are in charge where have they been until now?” he said.

“If they are the ones with the power and authority where were they when kids were being sexually abused when covering ups were taking place, when the intimidatation against victims, their families and their supporters was going on.

“When cover ups were taking place. Where has the global Chabad movement been during all of this?”

Mr Waks said the Yeshivah Centre and Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters have had ample time to respond to the scandal, and it is time to consider bringing in an independent administrator to establish a robust structure of governance.

A spokesperson for the Yeshiva Centre in Melbourne has told SBS:

“The Trustees are committed to adopting a corporate structure for the Yeshivah Centre that reflects good governance and adheres to  the principles of Chabad Lubavitch and the guidance of the Rebbe.

“The GRP is in the process of receiving community feedback on their proposed governance structure. The GRP are conducting an open, transparent and collaborative process and we encourage the community to make submissions to the GRP.”

SBS has also sought comment from the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters.