Questions for Robert Goot

The AJN reported today on the appointment of Peter Wertheim as Executive Director of ECAJ. The position is paid professional, as opposed to the voluntary position of President, currently occupied by Robert Goot.

Below are some questions I’ll be emailing to Mr Goot.

1) What were the selection criteria for the position of Executive Director?

2) Were there a number of candidates for this position and if so, on what basis was the final selection made?

3) Who was responsible for the selection?

4) Was the community informed that such a position was vacant?

5) Who is funding this position? (The only available information in today’s AJN [page 3] is that the position will be funded by unnamed “ECAJ supporters”)

6) Do you believe that opacity in such funding arrangements best serves the community?

7) Why did it take 18 months to raise the funds for this executive position? How did circumstances change so that this funding is now available?
8) When you first took up your current position, you stated that you wanted to increase ECAJ’s relevance to the community. Have you achieved this aim? If so, how?

9) ECAJ wishes to be the primary representative body for all Australian Jews. By what mandate do you believe this representation is warranted?

10) Are you concerned by the recent poll conducted by the AJN in which 91% of Jews felt they were not adequately represented by their roof bodies?

11) In today’s AJN, you state that Mr Wertheim’s appointment “will enable the ECAJ to co-ordinate the community’s advocacy efforts at the national level so as to strengthen the community’s voice to government, the media, and the wider community.” What is the strategy for achieving these aims?

12) Is Mr Wertheim trained in media relations? Does ECAJ endorse his handling of the Hanan Ashrawi affair of 2003?

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8 Responses to “Questions for Robert Goot”

  1. Rhino says:

    So, what was the response?

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  2. Rhino says:

    If I was in his position, I guess I also wouldn’t respond to an anonymous email clearly looking to provoke.

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  3. Daniel Lewis says:

    Why are you so arrogant to assume he would respond to an anonymous letter from a muckraker?

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  4. Pes E Mist says:

    Daniel, as my wife says – “can you rephrase that to make it sound a bit nicer?” The meaning can still be the same.

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  5. Edders says:

    To Rhino and Daniel Lewis,

    As far as I can read, there seems to be no particular emphasis on trouble making, they all seem to be open questions.

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  6. sydyid says:

    Before one questions Peter Wertheim’s suitability and , indeed, the process by which he attained his current communal position, it would be only fair to inform the uninformed of his pedigree.
    Since about 1983, when I first encountered Peter at the Board, Peter has been working, and I really mean working, for the Jewish community almost oblivious of any other “normal” commitments, say family, office and who knows what else, in any case to a degree of passion and effectiveness not surpassed by any other in the same place. Then it’s his comprehensive knowledge of our fold, the brilliant and substantively dependable argumentative skills and, one other thing, the unique courage of appoaching issues and places/institutions with an aplomb, sincerity and devotion extremly rare amongst the otherwise comfortable Jewish proffessionals. I remember the impressive manner in which he addressed the “Thomas Moore Society” and JBD Forum on the issues of the Catholic Church and Jewry, together with Collin Tatz and none other than Cardinal Cassidy. It was very public, tough,truthful and it did ellicit a reaction from the Church rarely seen prior. And then, in the same vein, Peter’s address to the new line of anti Semitic policy within the Anglican Church, under Peter Jensen, when on national radio, Peter put forward the dissaproval of the Jewish community with the Anglican Church’s new directions. It was, again, direct, honest and impecably informed.
    Four years, as President of the Board and, subsequently, continuously active for the same cause. And all these without pay, but, sacrificing what others would not to the same extent. His appointment was foreshadowed publicly for months. Delays were, indeed, caused by the fact that money HAD to be found if Peter’s appointment had to come somehow close to his earnings as a highly paid legal proffessional. It’s only fair. Otherwise anyone interested in the position could have put his hand up and challenge. No one did and no one could have been turned down if they would have tried. The publication of the position being open is neither here nor there. The mere notion that someone of Peter’s calibre was considered and considered himself of accepting the newly formed position was received with an enthusiastic approval by all who knew Peter through his work and their work within the entire large network of the Jewish community. Peter is an asset, proven beyond doubt and his function will enhance our community beyond any other consideration.
    Mazal tov Peter and you can keep the book I lent you for another week. But then I want it back, or else….

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  7. sjeditorial says:

    Hi Rhino,

    Unsurprisingly, we haven’t received any response.

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  8. sensiblejew says:

    Good morning Pes E Mist.

    Thank you for your support.

    I must say, though, that heated language doesn’t bother me, as long as people are not endlessly repeating the same statements, or they are not writing content-free personal abuse that contributes nothing to the discussion.

    But I do thank you for your conern. It is much appreciated.

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