Australian Tycoon Rescues Chabad Headquarters

Harry Triguboff staves off funding crisis, enabling the Haredi organization to continue operations across Sydney.

Australian property tycoon Harry Triguboff has staved off a funding crisis that threatened the closure of the headquarters of Sydney's Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

Triguboff, a longstanding benefactor of the ultra-Orthodox outreach movement, purchased two Chabad buildings in Bondi on December 20 for a reported $6 million, enabling the beleaguered organization to pay off debts that threatened to cripple its ability to operate across Sydney.

Triguboff said it is "very important" that the Jewish education taught by Chabad continues in the city.

Pinchus Feldman, Chabad's chief rabbi in New South Wales, wrote to members on December 21, saying the organization had avoided the "threat of receivership." He said Triguboff's "magnificent gesture" will ensure Chabad continue its work "for future generations." Feldman added that "this $6 million donation is one of the largest single donations ever to have been made to any Jewish Australian institution."

Under the deal, the Feldman family no longer will control the buildings. Instead, Rabbi Dovid Slavin has become a director of the complex. Feldman will remain the spiritual leader of the Chabad community.

The Chabad complex includes a synagogue, school, community kitchen and numerous educational and outreach services.