Gay ex-principal sues Australian Jewish school for millions

By Anna Sheinman, November 13, 2012

One of Australia’s largest Jewish schools is being sued for millions of dollars by its former principal.

Joseph Gerassi was principal of Melbourne’s Bialik College and was believed to be the first openly gay principal of a Jewish school in Australia. He is suing his former employer for unfair dismissal, the Australian newspaper The Age has reported.

Mr Gerassi was told in August last year that the school board had unanimously decided it had “lost confidence in his ability to lead the school”. He was told to resign or he would be fired within an hour. Mr Gerassi claims his dismissal contravened Australia’s Fair Work Act and was a breach of his contract. He is suing for “for loss of income, shock, distress, humiliation and damage to his reputation and professional standing”, The Age reported.

In a letter sent to parents of the 1,000 pupils, school principal Graham Goldsmith said: “There is no suggestion whatsoever of any impropriety or misconduct on Joseph's part.”

Mr Gerassi moved to Bialik College in 2009 from the King David School in Johannesburg, and was believed to have earned over $300,000 AUS per year in his role as principal.

Last updated: 10:02pm, November 14 2012