May 26, 2013
Gutnick Relocates to Singapore

Ta ta Australia: Mining magnate Joseph Gutnick recently moved with his wife Sterna to Singapore for lower income tax, investment opportunities and the ability to stroll the streets at 1:00 AM.

By COLlive reporter

Rabbi Joseph Gutnick, the Australian Lubavitcher mining magnate who was a known name in the Melbourne Jewish community and in the business world, has recently moved to Singapore.

With most of his 11 children married and a growing number of wealthy Australian entrepreneurs moving there for lower corporate and personal income tax, Gutnick made the move with his wife Sterna in recent months.

He opened up an office in Singapore's Marina Bay Sands building and told the Business Weekly Review (BWR) that he wants to become a permanent resident of Singapore. He is still retaining his Australian citizenship.

"I've moved to wonderland," says the 60-year-old, who is the considered the world's only ordained Orthodox rabbi who has created fortunes by mining gold and diamonds. BWR estimated his fortune is $285 million.

"I feel more at home in Singapore than I do in Australia," he told the publication. "You can’t walk down Carlisle Street [St Kilda] at 1 o'clock [in the morning], but you can do that in Singapore," where, he adds, "there's no anti-Semitism."

"We have left our friends here [in Melbourne] and I've given up my position in the Chabad house of Caulfield," he said. "I am doing it because the resource sector and investment environment is much better in Singapore. It's also quiet. I can read. I get peace."

The shul in Caulfield is the one he built as a replica of Lubavitch Headquarters - 770 Eastern Parkway in New York. It is one of the many institutions in Australia and around the world which he helped build and sustain.

It is not clear what will happen with the Machon L'Smicha Yeshiva in Melbourne, one of Chabad's longest running and respected rabbinical ordination institutes, which was under Gutnick's patronage and directed by Rabbi Faitel Levin.

Gutnick says he does not see the South-East Asian country as a vacation spot, as he keeps homes in Melbourne, Jerusalem and in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood.

He is back on the acquisition trail, looking to set up an investment fund to find rubies and phosphate. He is now a significant investor in Innopac and has made a bid for Canadian company True North Gems, which mines rubies and sapphires.

But he remains convinced that one day he will strike it gloriously rich with diamonds. His nickel business Centaur Mining & Exploration failed in 2000.

Speaking about the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Gutnick told BWR that "in 1988 [after the sharemarket crash] he encouraged me to continue my search for gold, and brought up the idea of looking for diamonds."

"Today, with the gold price down, it looks like the only good thing is diamonds," he says. "I believe that when I am successful with diamonds – like in the billions – then I will have left a legacy honoring his memory. That drives me, big time, to diamonds. It's why I spend tens of millions of dollars looking for them."

"I want diamonds to be the jackpot," Gutnick says. But would he be upset if it was gold that brings him the billions? "I wouldn't mind it," he says. "But I'd prefer it to be diamonds. I am Diamond Joe."

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
Wow !!
1) good for him!
2) wanna share some?
3) why go looking for rich Russians? He can do the job :)
4) may hashem protect you and your family with joy and happiness!
(5/26/2013 9:10:24 PM)
Only in aus.
The rebbe pointed to Yossel in the upstairs of his own home on a map of australia.

Yossel the rebbe brochi I waiting for you in that exact spot. Go buy back that piece of land which the rebbe put his holy finger on and only there will you find billions and make the rebbes name yisgadel veyislades. Yossel I heard this from you
(5/26/2013 9:19:24 PM)
R' Yossel is such an Ohev Yisroel.
So much tzedoko and chesed - a true example of a payron of Torah.
I love the man!

A mispalel of kimbereley.
(5/26/2013 9:44:14 PM)
You write "It is not clear what will happen with the Machon L'Smicha Yeshiva in Melbourne,"
Let me tell you, it is VERY clear that the Smicha program has come to an end! I tried applying there for next year, and that's what I was told!
I even heard rumors about this year, but idk
(5/26/2013 10:24:54 PM)
Smicha's Going Down
Yup, it's closing early. The guys have nowhere to go. They even called the menahel of the seminary to see if they could use the dorm after the girls leave
- someone from melbourne who knows
(5/26/2013 10:27:19 PM)
what's with Smicha?
As a bochur who leaned smicha in Melbourne, I can say that rabbi Feitel Levin is truly one of a kind, and it would be a tremendous loss for Lubavitch were it to close down
(5/26/2013 10:35:28 PM)
to #6
I can only agree
(5/26/2013 10:41:52 PM)
I heard that Frankston Chabad maybe looking to open one up
(5/26/2013 11:26:31 PM)
and why should I care
why is this news?....
(5/26/2013 11:32:07 PM)
good move but worth it?
good move on yossels part now he can have his gelt but is it really worth it, living in exile?
(5/26/2013 11:53:39 PM)
Good Idea!
How about donating some money to Beis Rivkah and Lubnavitch Yeshiva on Crown so parents don't have to drown in debt to pay for tuition even after scholarship reductions?
(5/26/2013 11:59:26 PM)
Political Implications
High taxes cause the people who earn the most money to leave , causing a net loss in taxes . #ArthurLaffer #TheLafferCurve
(5/27/2013 12:44:45 AM)
Why can't you walk down the streets of Melbourne at 1:00 AM? I live in Melbourne & it's one of the safest places in the world today and neither have I experienced anti semitism.
(5/27/2013 12:59:39 AM)
Bracha V'Hatzlcha & Hatzlacha Raba On Shlichus :) !
Thought once on Shlichus ALWAYS on Shlichus. Your position in Shlichus may change over time. May you grow MayCHIAL AL CHIAL bringing Yiddin Closer to TORAH and making Hashem and The Rebbe HAPPY :):):)! May Hash
(5/27/2013 2:54:13 AM)
not good article
he is only living in singapore for 6 months a year for a few years.
his kids still live in melbourne.
he comes to visit often.
(5/27/2013 3:57:33 AM)
Best Smicha
Can't believe that it's closing down, what a shame. It's unfortunate.
(5/27/2013 7:01:38 AM)
Weeping at the loss of the smicha program
am exceptional program in Lubavitch
I hope it reopens/stays open.
(5/27/2013 7:40:01 AM)
What a shame!
The most incredible and oldest smicha program Lubavitch has to offer closing just like that...
(5/27/2013 9:04:10 AM)
He also sold some buildin in Israel.
(5/27/2013 9:25:32 AM)
Holiness never stops
Reb Yossel is a great Chossid!!
For 18 years he has produced a great level of Rabbis who have impacted the entire world!!
If he wants to find diamonds he should continue this great program
(5/27/2013 9:36:31 AM)
Please help!
Help Rabbi Feitel Levin find someone who will continue his holy work!
(5/27/2013 10:22:33 AM)

is the beginning of many good things to come.
(5/27/2013 11:10:16 AM)
Can I come with mine?
Looking for a community to join you?
(5/27/2013 11:12:00 AM)
If this smicha program doesn't continue ......
This Smicha program was the best in the entire world of Lubavitch!!!!
Reb Yossel you are the Rebbe's Cohen who advances the Rebbe's agenda - the diamonds on your Yurim Vetumim need to continue being the smicha program and then I and all of Lubavitch promise that Hashem will not be a bal chov to you and pay you with diamonds !!!!!!!
(5/27/2013 11:56:11 AM)
The Rebbe told Reb Yossel to tell Geula Cohen.......
When Reb Yossel was the Rebbe's shaliach to make a coalition government The Rebbe told Yossel to remind Geula Cohen of her sincerity of 1948. Reb Yossel please remember the beautiful mesiras nefesh you had 18 years ago and you will find diamonds] All of Lubavitch appreciates you!!
(5/27/2013 11:59:57 AM)
nicky j
he wants to make BILLIONS to honour the Rebbe's legacy? i personally would settle for millions...
(5/27/2013 12:21:05 PM)
if you have a business and plan making millons, consider to relocate to Singapore
,free taxes first 100k
only 8% from 100 k to 300K
above 300k, just 17% flat. and there are many other deduxtions
taxes are going to keep decreasing
Money talks
(5/27/2013 1:08:22 PM)
Smicha alumnus
As an alumnus of the smicha program, which was the best year of my life (no other program has such incredible in depth learning with an emphasis on the real world - probably because there are very few people like rabbi Feitel Levin in the Frum world), I am incredibly saddened. If it indeed closes, it is a loss for klal Yisroel, nor just Lubavitch. Many litvishe people I know are very impressed (and pleasantly surprised, due to their unfortunate misconceptions about Lubavitch and our ability to excel in "niglah") when they hear the high level of learning at the smicha program; it rivals the best there is anywhere in the Frum world.
(5/27/2013 2:18:48 PM)
R Yossel! you have created a diamond mine 18 years ago!!
Perhaps the smicha program IS the diamond mine. The diamonds are flowing out of your smicha program and brightening the world. You have the invaluable resource of the best diamond cutter - R Feitel Shlita.
(5/27/2013 3:49:18 PM)
Rabbi Levin?
What is Rabbi Levin going to do?
I'm sure someone will open a new smicha program
(5/27/2013 3:50:49 PM)
wishing much harztlacha to rabbi levin there is no doubt this great program will continue. Thank you for all your hard work patients and care and the simicha I received.
(5/27/2013 4:55:22 PM)
Smicha program in Boca Raton
The Boca Raton Smicha program is the place to go. Rabbi Berel Gurary is truly a great teacher and director. Try it and you will see for your self.
(5/27/2013 5:08:21 PM)
A member of Melbourne
I walk in melbourne at 1am?? Why is it dangerous??
(5/27/2013 6:21:47 PM)
We all need to appreciate
Yossel's generosity but this is the BEST investment he ever made !!
Its not our money but if I was Yossel and needed Hashem and the Rebbes nevua I would increase the smicha program not stop it
(5/27/2013 6:41:08 PM)
Torah increase not Chas Veshalom the opposite
Please Reb Yossel reconsider because we all want you to be successful. If you can't do this then how can any of us succeed in running a Smicha program
(5/27/2013 6:43:17 PM)
Bochurim need this
Reb Yossel our future leaders of Lubavitch need you to keep the doors of Rabanus open and with distinction,
you were given berochas by the Rebbe so please keep the smicha program alive!
(5/27/2013 6:47:31 PM)
I walk in melbourne at 1am
It's probably the same as everywhere if you walk BeShem Hashem.
(5/27/2013 7:10:37 PM)
gevalt , you get berochas by adding
We can't tell this Chossid anything but I know that when we break our boundaries then Hashem breaks open the ground and reveals diamonds
(5/27/2013 7:52:09 PM)
As a talmid from Harav Hago'en Feitel Levin, I truly hope and pray that someone will sponsor his continues teaching.
Melbourne was the best semicha program that's to R' Yossel Gutnick having the true vision to use R' Feitel and actually paying the expenses of the Yeshiva.
(5/28/2013 12:01:26 AM)
Melbourne friend of Yossel
Remember the Rebbe hinted to you that you will only find diamonds if you have a smicha program, by closing down smicha you are shooting yourself in the leg. For your own sake please keep smicha opened and the Rebbe will keep his promise to you to find diamonds.
(5/28/2013 1:27:25 AM)
Btw smicha is happening next year
(5/28/2013 2:13:22 AM)
- forever grateful Bochurim of Melbourne Smicha '73
(5/28/2013 2:13:23 AM)
Smicha program
will move to Singapoure
(5/28/2013 3:52:56 AM)
Thank you smicha
Smicha was my best year of learning. Thank you to Rabbi Levin and Dovid Leib. My appreciation has only increased over the last three years.
(5/28/2013 4:23:42 AM)
Mochon CHAIM
It must be very expensive and time-consuming, but wouldn't a mosod named after a father be the last thing to close. especially, a mosed of such high caliber! Chabad's first and leading Smicha program.
(5/28/2013 4:25:59 AM)
reb Yossel loves yidden
I bet you if Reb yossel knew how much his program makes such a tremendous impact he would keep it open.
(5/28/2013 6:09:35 AM)
Member of Anash
Great to hear the news that the Smicha Program is now continuing!!!! Hatzlachah Rabbah!!!!!
(5/28/2013 7:27:40 AM)
Best decision in all of his big ones
Yossel - ur a mentch!
you did the right thing, and i bless you to only reap from thr brochos that you will be getting - in the zechus of all this Torah learning.
(5/28/2013 12:15:48 PM)
good news. is the beginning of many good things to come
(5/28/2013 12:52:11 PM)
I got through this amazing program because...
Rabbi Gutnick , I am a successful shaliach who is respected in my community because everyone knows that I can pasken well . This is completely because of your program. The smicha program is the crown jewel not just of Melbourne but all of Lubavitch. Rabbi Dovid Leib Shmerling spent countless hours tutoring me and Rabbi Levin concern for me is what helps me every single day in my shlichus ! Thank you so much Rabbi Gutnick - YOU ARE THE DIAMOND -that makes Lubavitch sparkle
(5/28/2013 4:48:27 PM)
Rabbi Levin - diamond of humility!
Rabbi Levin is truly a mentch and has the best approach when dealing with Yossel. He knows what Yossel needs and gives him all the kovod he seeks, while asking for nothing for himself.
It is absolutely to his credit that the Bochurim were able to focus on the real gem and learn in spite of all that went on there and say "tov li toras picha mealfei ZAHAV VOCHESEF"
(5/28/2013 6:20:29 PM)
Thank you Yossel
One of the best and most important decisions of your life
(5/28/2013 10:02:44 PM)
I miss you
I miss you all.
Rabbi Levin, thanks for your sensitivity and sharing of your Torah.
Thank you Dovid Leib for your warmth and getting me through it.
And yes, I miss you Kimberley. There's something unique about the place.
(5/28/2013 10:04:51 PM)
Definitely "unique" ;)
(5/28/2013 11:53:44 PM)
Dont forget about the courses
In Melb besides the learning, you get coached in public speaking by a top professional for 2 days, plus a marriage/ communication course from Dovid Leib
(5/29/2013 12:38:33 AM)
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