A new rabbi for the ACT Jewish community

January 23, 2018 by Yvette Goode
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Rabbi Shimon Eddi has been appointed the new Rabbi for the ACT Jewish Community.

The Eddi family

Rebbitzen Skye (Aviva) Eddi and their six boys, aged from 3 to 11 years, will accompany him. The Eddi family met with members of the ACTJC over the weekend of 8-9 December and greatly enjoyed their visit to Canberra. As a result, they are now in the process of making the move to Canberra, with Rabbi Eddi commencing his duties this week,

Rabbi Eddi is originally from New York, where he gained smicha, and where he met and married Skye, originally from Wagga, NSW. Prior to their move to Canberra, the Eddi family lived in Sydney for over twelve years. He and his whole family are enthusiastic about joining such a welcoming, active, vibrant and diverse community.

Rabbi Eddi not only has rabbinic qualifications and experience, but also has degrees in Aeronautical Science and in Accounting.  He has practised as an accountant in Sydney and has provided rabbinic services for the Dover Heights Sephardic Congregation, the Or Chadash congregation, Newtown Synagogue and the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation. Skye Eddi is a high school teacher specialising in English and History studies.

The ACTJC President, Yael Cass, says it is critical to the mission of the ACT Jewish Community to have a spiritual, educational and communal leader actively engaged in key activities.  In close cooperation with the Board and together with the community’s wonderful Shlichim, Rabbi Eddi will direct the children’s education and youth programs.

Rabbi Eddi had originally planned on remaining in New York after his marriage, thinking it had a stronger Jewish community.  However, it proved to be too vast, with various groups isolating themselves into their own enclaves, separate from other Jewish groups, and all the more so from the non-Jewish world.  This was not the life the Eddis had envisioned, nor did it fit in with their perception of what being Jewish should be.

Rabbi Eddi says that in his experience he often found that Jewish communities viewed modern life and Judaism as antagonistic to one another, that one must be jettisoned in favour of the other or, at the least, kept separate from one another.  His belief is that Judaism must be approached through the lens of rationality and thoroughly incorporated into, rather than being separate from, modern life.  His goal is to blend modern understanding with ancient wisdom seamlessly and to show that being a good Jew and a good Australian (and a good citizen of the wider global community) are not contradictory, but complementary.

Rabbi Eddi says he is humbled by the opportunity granted to him to lead and to serve in a rabbinic capacity for the ACTJC.

Chairman of Chabad ACT and spiritual leader of the Northern Canberra Synagogue and Jewish Community, Rabbi Shmueli Feldman welcomed the news of the appointment to the South Canberran National Jewish Memorial Centre: Rabbi Shmueli told J-Wire: “I congratulate Mrs Yael Cass and her community on the new appointment and I wish every success to the Eddis for their tenure in Canberra, in continuing on the good work of the Meltzers before them.”


2 Responses to “A new rabbi for the ACT Jewish community”
  1. Natan O'keef says:

    Sounds like there are 2 communities in ACT. For such a small place why can’t the two merge and become one Chabad ACTJC? I understand if it were a city like Sydney or Melbourne but for canberra it is very confusing.

  2. Athol Morris says:

    Whilst it is gratifying to have the local Chabad rabbi’s support, I would respectfully point out that the ACT Jewish Community is the Jewish Community for the whole of the ACT, possibly excepting the small Chabad group which chooses to maintain its exclusivity. Rabbi Eddi is the ACTJC rabbi for the whole of the ACT, not south Caberra

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