Beth Din set to hear mikveh pleas

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY SI­MON ROCKER

THE LON­DON Beth Din has agreed to hear a dis­pute into the build­ing of a mikveh in Cam­bridge which has split the trustees of the char­ity set up to sup­port it.

David Gilin­sky, of the Cam­bridge Com­mu­nity Mik­vah Char­i­ta­ble Trust, has filed a com­plaint against his fel­low trustees over al­leged de­lays in plans to build the city’s first rit­ual bath.

Three years ago, Mr Gilin­sky and his wife Ofra ob­tained plan­ning per- mis­sion to con­vert an out­house into a mikveh on a lo­cal prop­erty they run as the “Cam­bridge and Suf­folk Jewish Com­mu­nity”. But the city’s Lubav­itch cen­tre is also pur­su­ing plans to open a mikveh in the city.

The Beth Din has no­ti­fied the other trustees — Rabbi Abra­ham Gub­bay, An­drew Gra­ham, and Char­lotte Hot­ter — of a sched­uled hear­ing at the rab­bini­cal court in De­cem­ber.

Mrs Hot­ter has since ten­dered her res­ig­na­tion as a trus­tee fol­low­ing her re­cent re­mar­riage.

She ex­plained in an email to fel­lowtrustees that she could no longer af­ford the time, for fam­ily and pro­fes­sional rea­sons.

In a let­ter sent to the trustees at the end of last month, David Frei, the reg­is­trar of the Beth Din, said Mr Gilin­sky al­leged that “de­spite the fact that the CCMC was set up some years ago and col­lected sub­stan­tial sums of money for the spe­cific pur­pose of build­ing a mikveh in Cam­bridge, no such mikveh has been built. He re­gards this pro­cras­ti­na­tion as un­ac­cept­able, bear­ing in mind the avail­abil­ity of both funds and a suit­able site with plan­ning per­mis­sion”.

Mr Gilin­sky also al­leged that his fel­low trustees had “em­bar­rassed and shamed” him in com­ments to the Jewish press, Mr Frei wrote.

Rabbi Gub­bay said he did not wish to com­ment on the al­le­ga­tions, but he ac­knowl­edged his pref­er­ence for the Lubav­itch pro­posal.

“The Chabad will be on site to su­per­vise the mikveh be­cause a mikveh needs su­per­vi­sion,” he said.

“We are happy to abide by any de­ci­sion of the Beth Din.”

Mr Gilin­sky said he looked for­ward to a “speedy res­o­lu­tion of the mat­ter”.

The CCMC trust has as­sets of more than £185,000, ac­cord­ing to its last avail­able ac­counts on­line in 2003.

Ac­cord­ing to Barry Landy, a se­nior mem­ber of the Cam­bridge Tra­di­tional Jewish Con­gre­ga­tion, the lo­cal com­mu­nity favours the Lubav­itch pro­posal.

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