Beth Din set to hear mikveh pleas

By Simon Rocker, October 10, 2008

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 permission 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 fellow-trustees 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


Last updated: 1:13pm, October 8 2008