UNLESS Rabbi Pinchus Feldman can raise more than $20 million, Yeshiva in Bondi could collapse.
That was the message from Yeshiva’s spiritual leader when he recently approached a major communal philanthropist for desperately-needed funds.
The rabbi is also reported to have told the donor that he and his organisation have debts of more than $30 million.
As a result of the financial situation, the operating budget of Yeshiva College has been handed over to parents.
In recent weeks, several rabbis associated with the organisation have left Sydney, teachers have left Yeshiva College to work at other schools and parents have enquired about moving their children to Kesser Torah College.
When approached by The AJN, a spokesperson for Yeshiva would not comment on claims that two individuals were owed at least $700,000 each.
One of those individuals spoke to The AJN last week and confirmed that he is owed money by the Feldmans. However, he wouldn’t disclose the amount and would not comment on speculation his recent move away from Sydney was prompted by the debt.
Yeshiva’s situation has become more precarious in the last week because some major donors in the community, including Harry Triguboff who helped out Yeshiva College only two months ago, said they wouldn’t dip into their pockets again.
“I can only help one school at a time and Rabbi Feldman is not first on the list. I like to help when I can but not now,” Triguboff told The AJN.
The only major communal philanthropists The AJN has spoken with who expressed any interest in helping is Melbourne mining magnate Rabbi Joseph Gutnick. However, on a previous occasion when he helped out Yeshiva, it ultimately led to a court battle that resulted in two Yeshiva properties being handed over to Rabbi Gutnick to cover the debt.
Gutnick, who is Rabbi Feldman’s brother-in-law, was recently valued at $300 million in the 2012 BRW Rich List, and told The AJN he is “sympathetic and would like to help”. However, he did not confirm whether he would in fact assist. continue reading...