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Gutnick

GUTNICK

GUTNICK , family of Australian rabbis. Rabbi chaim gutnick (1921–2003) was probably the best-known Orthodox rabbi in Australia during the last third of the 20th century. Born in Palestine, Gutnick's family fled to England after the 1929 riots, and then lived in Eastern Europe, managing to escape to Australia during World War ii. Gutnick was for many years head of the Elwood Orthodox synagogue in Melbourne and was president of the Orthodox Rabbinical Association of Australia. He was close to the Lubavitcher movement, although never directly associated with a Lubavitcher synagogue. Several of his relatives became well-known Australian rabbis, including Sholem Gutnick, head of the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne. Gutnick's last years were marked by a dispute over the Melbourne Orthodox Beth Din and demands for its reconstitution. Chaim Gutnick's younger son joseph (1953– ), also an Orthodox rabbi, became internationally prominent in the 1990s after amassing a fortune in diamond mining. Joseph Gutnick appeared in the annual Australian "Rich Lists" from the 1990s, being credited with a fortune of A$100 million (U.S. $60 million) in 2000. He became noted for his generous donations to Israel's *Likud political party and, most unusually, was also president of the Melbourne Australian Rules Football club. In the early 2000s he was widely publicized in the Australian Jewish and general press when he sued his sister and brother-in-law, the heads of Sydney's Yeshiva College, to recover funds he allegedly lent them.

bibliography:

D.H. Bernstein, Diamonds and Demons: The Joseph Gutnick Story (2000).

[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]

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