Zaki Tamir, Chairman of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, was asked the following question:
“Is it not true by your meeting with chanin who tied a string to the check stating he must be a third signer on the vaad’s bank account? did we also elect him, i know i never saw his name on the ballot, and i voted for you….”
Shmuel Chanin will in fact be a signatory on the account, together with the members of the Vaad. The account requires 3 signatures on any payment issued. Therefore, any check that is cut would require the majority of Vaad members to sign anyway.
Here was Tamir’s answer:
Are there strings attached to the money? Not quite. Here are the facts:
Shmuel Chanin’s company is being retained to manage the finances of the Vaad, in order to turn it in to an efficient and “profitable” mossad (he is actually donating the staff and services).
Shmuel himself was instrumental in raising the $100,000 the Vaad needed in order to bring Rabbi Braun. He is continuing to fundraise for the Vaad Hakohol and the rabbonim.
Over the next six months, Shmuel is technically employed as the Executive Director of the Vaad Hakohol.
I appreciate that the community elected me, Yossi and Fishel to manage community affairs as the Vaad Hakohol. There should be no doubt that we jointly make the decisions that affect this community. We unanimously decided to bring Shmuel Chanin on board because of his unrivaled business management skills. He does not take any salary, and does not have the ability to spend money without the knowledge or consent of the Vaad.
Is he demanding to be a signatory on the account? You better believe it! He has the burden of rebuilding the Vaad Hakohol from the ground up, including the fundraising, including the Vaad Hakashrus – and wants to make sure that he’s not shut out of the financial decisions. But remember, Shmuel runs a number of successful businesses, and is independently wealthy, kein ayin hora. Until he showed up, the Vaad resources were just about nil.
I realize that many people in Crown Heights have learned to be very suspicious of the community leadership. That’s the result of years of fighting, egos and broken trust. It’s something that the Vaad is trying to change. Bear with us!