Joseph Gutnick Challenges Melbourne Yeshivah Leadership Over “Yechi” Sign


gutnickOne of Melbourne Chabad’s most influential figures, Joseph Gutnick, has signed a petition challenging the leadership of the Yeshivah Centre there.

Rabbi Gutnick is among a group of yeshivah members calling on the leadership to remove a controversial sign at the back of the shul. These members want to see the center, led by Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner – the son-in-law of the late Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner – be run more along the lines of a democracy. The sign has the words of Yechi, which has been used by the more messianic elements of the group to signify the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, as Moshiach.

 “I feel very strongly that it should be removed,” Rabbi Gutnick told The AJN.

The Yechi sign has been up in the shul for a number of years with little controversy, but the matter came to a head last month when Rabbi Telsner ostracized the “Moshiach Men” from Melbourne’s Chabad community.

The group comprises a few families who are convinced the Lubavitcher Rebbe is Moshiach and are vocal in spreading their message. The Moshiach Men raised the ire of the Chabad community when they circulated footage of themselves feasting on a fast day, claiming that because Moshiach had come, the fast was no longer necessary.

“[These men] started at the yeshivah and this sign is part of it,” said Rabbi Gutnick, who has davened at the shul for 18 years.

The petition has been circulated by yeshivah shul members Yudi New and Menachem Vorchheimer.

Vorchheimer told The AJN he believes the sign, and its associated fringe supporters, are “divisive and damaging” to the Yeshivah Center.

When asked if he thought the petition would work, Vorchheimer replied: “In a democracy it would work, but the Yeshivah Centre has been hijacked.”

The current Yeshivah leadership was not elected, but includes men believed to have been appointed by Rabbi Groner before his passing.

The group comprises Rabbi Binyomin Cohen, Rabbi Avrohom Glick, Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner, Shmuel Gurewicz, Rabbi Telsner and Rabbi Shimshon Yurkowicz.

{ Newscenter}


  1. Last year, a supposedly mainstream chabad rabbi publicly declared that the Rebbe runs the world in lieu of Hashem. Where was the protest then? At this point, such a protest is a dollar short and a say late.

  2. Rabbi Gutnick is headed in the right direction.
    More people should follow suit.

    This sort of superstition is against the
    Torah. It drives people away from Yiddishkeit.

    History is replete with such unfortunate ideologies. It is a serious
    issue. It is up to Chabad to purge its movement
    of such unsavory elements.