On the road with NORA

February 22, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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The New Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia is hitting the road with interim president Sydney-based Rabbi Selwyn Franklin preparing for visits to Melbourne and Perth.

Rabbi Selwyn Franklin

Rabbi Selwyn Franklin

Rabbi Franklin has announced that all positions in NORA are vacant following the resignation of former president Rabbi Meir Kluwgant in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

A Membership committee under Rabbi Franklin’s chairmanship would be constituted to formalize criteria for membership in NORA. Chaverim are invited to apply for membership in NORA.

To effect the establishment of NORA which replaces the now defunct ORA [Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, a steering committee has been created consisting of Rabbis Selwyn Franklin [Sydney], Chaim Ingram [Sydney] , Paul Lewin [Sydney], Daniel Rabin [Melbourne] and Marcus Solomon [Perth]. The name NORA itself is a temporary measure and the new organisation will be renamed by its incoming executive.

Invitations have been extended to a limited number of other Rabbis to become  members of the steering committee.

The steering committee intends to sign up members during the next two months once criteria have been formulated with a general meeting of all members in the pipeline for the first week of June to adopt a constitution which will govern the affairs of NORA and to deal with the matter of community redress in the event of Rabbinic moral failure.

Elections will likewise be held for positions in the reconstituted national Rabbinic body. In addition, an appropriate permanent name of the organization will be agreed upon.

Rabbi Selwyn Franklin told J-Wire: “I intend to consult widely and would welcome the insights and views of chaverim across Australia and New Zealand.
To this end, I will be visiting Melbourne this coming Tuesday (24 February) and holding meetings with various interested parties. In particular I’m grateful to Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick who is setting up a meeting with the RCV executive around midday and I would be delighted if any other interested Chaver would come along.
I will also be visiting Perth on Friday 6 March and will be similarly holding meetings with Chaverim there. I will continue to liaise with them and with other Rabbis in the smaller communities.

It’s early days and we are all still reeling from the aftermath of the Royal Commission. I am deeply mindful of the deep-seated suffering of the victims of child abuse under our charge and vehemently condemn the attempts to cover up the abuse. It’s very important to record that any one responsible for the abuse or the cover up will not be entitled to be a member of NORA.

Reconciliation and healing has begun.”


6 Responses to “On the road with NORA”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Schneur probably means ‘affiliations’, Otto, although ‘afflictions’ might be a Freudian slip.

  2. Schneur Naji says:

    Ben Gershon your contribution is cynical and there of little value.
    Each Rabbi should be judged on his own merit, his afflictions Mizrachi Chabad, Adass or Sephardi etc is irrelevant.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Schneur, do you know what “affliction” means, never mind the rest of the stuff you’re on about !!!

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    In regard to the steering committee, why are there three Rabbis from Sydney to one from Melbourne and one from Perth? I realise size of Jewish communities in the various cities is pertinent to representation, however Brisbane’s nowhere to be seen where Perth does feature, and Melbourne is not exactly insignificant but only has one Rabbi involved. Perhaps other Rabbis approached, as yet unnamed, will ultimately balance this out.

    The aims of a new constitution to be devised, as outlined by Rabbi Franklin, sound excellent.
    As a chavera, I would like to suggest that thought be given not only to the excellence of Judaic qualification, but also any other tertiary education achieved, as well as life experience that could enhance a Rabbi’s capacity to deal with human issues.

    The speed with which all this is taking place is to be commended. All the best to you and the steering committee, Rabbi Selwyn Franklin.

  4. harry rich says:

    This issue of J wire filled me with joy and hope.
    It is the first one , in a long time, which bears good news almost exclusively.

  5. ben gershon says:

    any rabbi applying needs 100 points made up of where the smichah obtained, any other qualifications,the type of contract with his community ,etc

    chubbad rabbis will start with -50 points

    thus we will restore credibility to the system



    good luck to Rabbi Selwyn Franklin

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