FRANK Lowy, along with some of the biggest hitters in the Sydney Jewish community, has come out in support of the Montefiore renewal ticket, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with the current executive of the aged-care home since announcing it would stand at the upcoming election this Sunday.
In a rare foray into communal politics, Lowy has led the charge and signed the letter backing a change of president at the Montefiore Home.
He has been joined by United Israel Appeal (UIA) national president Harold Finger, UIA NSW president Lance Rosenberg, former JCA president David Balkin, Shalom Institute immediate past president Ilona Lee, Kesser Torah College president Meir Moss, aged-care provider Peter Wohl, property developer Allen Linz, Vibe Hotels and Medina apartments boss Ervin Vidor, businessman Bruce Solomon and communal leaders Robert Gavshon and Bruce Fink.
Another 16 high-profile people also signed the letter in support of the new ticket, headed by communal heavyweights Jonathan Shteinman and Richard Scheinberg.
They are running against current president David Freeman, who has been president for 10 years, as well as vice-president Gary Inberg.
The letter states that the Montefiore Home is a vital organisation, but for continued success the board needs renewal and succession planning.
“This is a universally accepted principle of good governance for communal organisations, and one the Monte renewal team intends to implement,” the letter states.
“The Monte renewal team is committed to introducing maximum term limits for board members (including the executive) to remain in step with other communal organisations.
“Accordingly, we the undersigned support the election of the Monte renewal team.”
Shteinman said he is humbled by the support.
“I am respectful of the responsibility and challenges this task entails,” he told The AJN.
“Our agenda is to provide the best care to the residents, create a positive work environment and a sustainable and well-managed Monte for the future.
“The Monte renewal team is comprised of community-minded individuals who offer their time and effort to provide some fresh thought and renewal to the Monte board.”
Shteinman said there is no chance for renewal at the board under Freeman.
He said that in June he asked Montefiore CEO Robert Orie when Freeman plans to retire, and Orie allegedly said: “Oh he wants to, it is just that he believes there is no one on the current board good enough or willing to step up”.
Orie and Freeman didn’t answer questions relating to the conversation when asked by The AJN this week.
Frank Lowy is calling for change at the Montefiore Home.