Sydney, Australia - Rabbi Says Attending Mediation Between Him and Shul at London Beth Din is Expensive
Sydney, Australia - First he refused to go quietly when his synagogue tried to make him redundant.
Now the intransigent Rabbi Moshe Gutnick refuses to go overseas to have his employment dispute heard by an independent tribunal.
The Bondi Mizrachi Synagogue, which says it can no longer afford Rabbi Gutnick, asked the Supreme Court to send the dispute to the London Beth Din, saying there was nobody in Australia who had the authority to hear the matter and did not have a compromising relationship with the influential clergyman.
But the rabbi says it would be prohibitively expensive to send him, his solicitor and his counsel on business-class tickets to London and accommodate them for five days to have the matter heard.
The court blocked the synagogue from making Rabbi Gutnick redundant last month by granting an injunction against a board vote that was to be held.
Rabbi Gutnick’s part-time job costs the synagogue $80,000 a year, but he says the board does not have the power to sack him because it granted him lifetime tenure. He says his redundancy package is worth more than $1 million.
The London Beth Din has indicated it is willing to hear the matter on June 1.
Yesterday Justice Patricia Bergin adjourned the matter to investigate whether the London group could change its date to accommodate a trip by Rabbi Gutnick from New York, where he will be on June 1 for his daughter’s wedding.
Justice Bergin said the New York trip presented the perfect opportunity for the rabbi to travel to London if the date of the London Beth Din could be set back.
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