By COLlive.com reporter
Zaki Tamir, Chairman of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council (CHJCC), said Thursday the third elected member of the neighborhood’s Bais Din (Badatz) Rabbi Yossi Braun will be inaugurated in the near future, even after a scheduling error and some opposition.
A ceremony for Rabbi Braun was planned for this Motzoei Shabbos, Yud Shvat, but the only available flight to fit the schedule would still be in air on Shabbos, COLlive.com was told, so Rabbi Braun’s trip had to be postponed.
“We delayed it only for that reason,” Tamir said in an interview Thursday. He said the new dates that are being considered are this coming Monday, Thursday or the following Motzoei Shabbos.
Disapproval of Rabbi Braun’s mandate, which was cemented by a “Zabla Bais Din” as legitimate despite worries about his credentials and experience, was made public by a letter from three respected educational figures in Crown Heights.
Rabbis Yoel Kahn, Avrohom Gerlitzky and Berel Levin challenged the authority of the Zabla Bais Din, headed by Monsey Rabbi Avrohom Rosenberg. “The ruling is completely out of the range of the deliberations that took place in front of your court,” they stated.
Tamir told COLlive.com it was not his concern.
“When you have a psak din there will always be people who will not be happy. I see this opposition as 100% freedom of speech. As the CHJCC we are committed to the psak – whatever it might be.”
He said that Badatz member Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba, who backed Braun’s opponent in the September election, is planning to attend the “hachtara” crowning ceremony.
“Rabbi Osdoba understands that we can only expect from a Rov to show us an example of listening to a psak of a Bais Din,” Tamir said, noting that “if it is overturned and appealed – even in a year from now – we will listen to the psak.”
Another area of concern is how the CHJCC (or Vaad Hakohol) will pay the new rabbi’s salary when they owe close to $150,000 to each of the current members of Badatz – Rabbi Osdoba and Rabbi Yaakov Schwei.
Tamir said there has been a “rabbonim committee” created for that purpose and that they have already deposited $50,000 to the Vaad Hakohol this past Monday. He said the names of the 20 member committee will be publicized once the formation is finalized.
He said the committee gathered the first amount from some 50 Crown Heights residents “from all parties,” and that the money and future funds will be used to pay all 3 rabbis, including Rabbi Shlomo Segal, a dayan in the Bais Din.
The rabbonim won’t know where the money is coming from and the donors won’t be able to use it as leverage or bribery, Tamir pointed out.
To restore the budget of the CHJCC, Crown Heights-born entrepreneur Sam Chanin has agreed to conduct a full financial review for the coming 6 months.
Tamir said the “rabbonim committee” asked for assurances for their money and this was the best solution since the Netzigim (body of representatives of local shuls in charge of oversight of CHJCC financials) remains inactive.
“We are very thankful to Mulle Chanin for agreeing to do this,” Tamir said. “From my work with him in the past I’ve seen how be was able to help companies emerge from debt. With his help we will be able to have proper income from the Kashrus, simches, promotional events and donations.”
He added: “Chanin is seen as a major security blanket for all sides involved. He has met with Rabbi Osdoba who expressed his appreciation for his involvement.”
Tamir said a contract will be signed with Rabbi Braun at the inauguration ceremony. The Braun family will be arriving at a later date.
UPDATE (Friday, Jan 14, 11:08 AM):
The Vaad Hakohol notified that the hachtora of Rabbi Yosef Yeshaya Braun will take place on Sunday, 11 Shvat 5771 – Jan 16 2011 at 9:00 PM in the main shul of 770 Eastern Parkway.