And then there were two

Posted on 3 August, 2011 by

A few months ago we reported on the resignation of Mulik Gurewicz from the Vaad Ruchni. Chabad in Melbourne has reached a new low. Reb Arel Serebryanski has been officially removed as a shliach by the Shluchim Office in New York.

This is the latest in a dispute between Rabbi Moshe Serebryanski and Rabbi Nir Gurevitch (no relation to Mulik) in the Gold Coast. Gurevitch is the Rabbi of Gold Coast Hebrew Congregation, and claims he should be the only shliach in that area. He was appointed as Shul Rabbi before Serebryanski was there and has a letter from 2007 saying he is a shliach. Serebryanski (Reb Arel’s nephew) has a Chabad House and works in Gold Coast and Northern Beaches (Byron Bay) since 2003. Gurevitch is officially “under” Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner, and Serebryanski was appointed by Reb Arel.

Because Arel refuses to go to Beis Din to settle the dispute, and because Moshe Serebryanski doesn’t have the money to go to Beis Din, they have both been delisted as shluchim. Letters have been flying back and forth, particularly a letter from Chaim Tzvi and Rabbi Telsner, which found its way to Gurevitch and then to New York, but which they claim was unsigned and therefore not an official letter. The people in New York probably have no idea what or where the Gold Coast is, and what kind of community it is. Chaim Tzvi is Rabbi of Ohel Devora, which is Mottel Feiglin’s shul. Feiglin has strong links to the Gold Coast and has been helping Gurevitch. Is Chaim Tzvi being influenced by Feiglin in this?

Reb Arel himself doesn’t really care that much about being delisted – he was sent to Australia as the original shliach of Merkos. Chaim Tzvi was only appointed as a yerusha after his father passed away, and Yossel managed to get his head shlichus by greasing some palms.

It is disgusting that the head shluchim couldn’t sort this out between themselves. Rabbi Pinchos Feldman has quickly opened up a Merkos seforim store in Sydney (previously the store in Sydney was a branch of Reb Arels). It’s a sad day for Chabad when our leadership has failed so miserably yet again.

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