Parents of students in Oholei Torah, the community’s largest boy’s school, have been left in the dark after rumors that the new dean Rabbi Michoel Druin was ‘un-hired’.
Oholei Torah’s longtime dean, Rabbi Hershel Lustig, was set to retire at the end of the school year and the new board of Oholei Torah announced the hiring a Rabbi Michoel Druin as the new dean.
For a number of weeks Oholei Torah remained in a lurch, with their dean of 40 years – Rabbi Hershel Lustig retiring and the announcement that their 8th grade principal Rabbi Sholom Goldstein will be moving to administration.
On Lag BaOmer Rabbi Joseph Rosenfeld announced that Rabbi Michoel Druin will be replacing Rabbi Lustig as both dean and principal for the 7th and 8th grades.
The decision to hire Rabbi Druin was made by the new board of directors, which includes 14 individuals who hired in May of 2014 and were tasked with administrative decisions regarding the community’s largest boy’s school.
A massive smear campaign against the new dean ensued. Pashkivillim were distributed on social media sites and apps, threats were made and a group of unknown individuals even printed a booklet filled with supposed ‘verified information’ about the incoming dean, all cynically surrounded with Sichos of the Rebbe.
Many of the schools staff members were also concerned with the hiring of the new dean. In a meeting with the teachers many raised concerns regarding some of the new ideas that Rabbi Druin thought would benefit the school as well as other changes he wanted to institute.
This resistance culminated with Rabbi Rosenfeld summoning the entire board to a Din Torah before the Beis Din of Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba.
In the Hazmanah [summons], dated the 29th of Sivan, summoned the members of the board to a Din Torah to answer a number concerns he has regarding the operation of the school.
His primary concern was the hiring of Rabbi Druin, which he says was done inappropriately along with concerns regarding the financial management of the school as well as not bringing up issues of hiring and firing to the administration.
A number of meetings took place before the Beis Din, which also issued a restraining order against the board from hiring any dean or principal, but there has not been a conclusion to the Din Torah yet.
Sources told CrownHeights.info that Rabbi Rosenfeld overrode the board’s decision and ‘un-hired’ Rabbi Druin.
Speaking with CrownHeighs.info Rabbi Lustig said that he will be returning next year. “I am not reassuming the position or title of “dean”, but because I care about the Yeshiva, I will function in that capacity as a “minister without portfolio” for as long as required.”
Other sources told us that the board has “walked away” and will be taking a hands off approach in hopes of having this matter concludes in a peaceful manner. Sources also said that Rabbi Druin called Rabbi Rosenfeld to a Din Torah over his hiring and subsequent firing.
Rabbi Lustig further told CrownHeights.info that there are a number of positions that need to be filled including two principals, one for the 3rd and 4th grades – Rabbi Pinchos Rapoport who is returning to the classroom and one for the 7th and 8th grades, as well as a number of teachers and other staff members.
CrownHeights.info reached out to Rabbi Druin for comment, he referred all inquiries to the board. CrownHeights.info also reached out the administration as well as the board, both of whom refused comment as well.