The Rabbinical Council of of Australia and New Zealand

June 9, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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A new umbrella organisation has been established covering to represent the orthodox rabbinate in Australia and New Zealand.

Rabbis of Australia and New Zealand

Rabbis of Australia and New Zealand

A broad cross-section of Rabbis from Australia and New Zealand met  in Melbourne for frank discussions and deliberations around the future of the Orthodox Rabbinate.  Over the course of a two-day gathering last week, the Rabbis benefitted greatly from the professional support of the conference hosts, the Sir Zelman Cowan Centre of Victoria University. The primary goal of these discussions was to begin the important task of strengthening the Rabbinate in light of issues and challenges facing Orthodox communities around Australia.

The collective body of Rabbis resolved to reformulate the representative organisation of Rabbis in Australia and New Zealand in a manner that will

1.      Provide continuing professional development and education of Rabbis to face the challenges of the modern rabbinate,

2.     Develop criteria for accepting membership applications, and develop a Code of Conduct to which all members will be expected to adhere;

3.      Represent Orthodoxy and Orthodox Rabbis to the broader community.

The body, to be known as the Rabbinic Council of Australia and New Zealand, will work closely with state based rabbinic councils, lay leadership bodies, and professional organisations including the staff at the Sir Zelman Cowan Centre to complete these aims.

The body of Rabbis formally nominated and confirmed a new executive leadership to develop a robust and detailed plan of action and report back to the body of rabbis at a special general meeting in November, where formal institutional changes will be confirmed and enacted.  Until such time, any matters of rabbinic policy should be directed to state based rabbinic councils for comment.

The Organising committee:

Rabbi Paul Lewin (President), North Shore Synagogue, Sydney,

Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn OAM Melbourne (Vice President),

Rabbi  Ian Goodhardt, Blake Street Hebrew congregation, Melbourne,

Rabbi Alon Meltzer, ACT Jewish Community, Canberra,

Rabbi Shamir Caplan, Beit Aaron Synagogue in Melbourne,

Rabbi Nathanel Friedler, Auckland Hebrew Congregation, NZ,

Rabbi Daniel Rabin,  North Eastern Jewish Centre in Melbourne,

Rabbi Yisroel Greenwald, Kollel Beth Hatalmud, Melbourne.


9 Responses to “The Rabbinical Council of of Australia and New Zealand”
  1. Eli says:

    hi i am living in south africa , i have smaicha and some varied Rabbi experience . am looking for a Rabbi job in Australia , i am willling to work in a smalll town / community. i am also a very proficent Leiner / Baal Tefillah . any suggestions for me

  2. Martin Lonky says:

    Does the Council has on the agenda to discuss the price of a 200gm lamb rack?
    A tiny piece of 4 cutlets bound together at $47.00NZD? How many more Ferraris and Lamborghinis do we have to finance for our meat suppliers? Would the council rule for an exemption to pick them up at $7.00 from the local supermarket?

  3. Esther Efron says:

    Hopefully a new transparent and accountable Beth Din that returns phone calls, has a published list of fees and gives receipts for payments and treats all parties including women with respect is on the agenda.

  4. Judith Grant says:

    I would like to be positive and hope that the Jewish communities in Australia and New Zealand will be happy with “a new broom sweeping clean”. I am interested to know if any of the organising committee belong to Chabad and will Chabad recognize this organization? Bst wishes to the organizing committee,there is a hard road ahead.

    • Avigael says:

      First the elephant in the room must be determined. Does chabad even meet the requirements of Orthodox Judaism ? Many Torah Scholars in Israel say they do not. We look forward to a ruling on this from the Rabbinate, its well overdue that this “Scandal of Orthodox Indifference” is addressed, as was so adaptly pointed out in Dr David Bergers book and other english Torah Scholars such as Rav Keller in his expose on “identifying chabad”.

  5. Vivien Resofsky says:

    1. A recent opinion piece in the Washington Jewish Week by Barbara Zakheim praised her Orthodox congregation (the National Synagogue in Washington, DC) for hiring a Maharat, a female spiritual leader.
    What is the opinion of the Rabbinical Council in relation to Orthodox shules hiring a Maharat? I ask this question because at the Royal Commission we saw that women did not have a voice in determining how children were protected. Rabbis determined policies. I believe that women should be involved in certain areas.

    2. We saw at the Royal Commission that Chabad/Lubavitch doctrine differs to other Orthodox groups. How does the Rabbinical Council plan to deal with this?

  6. ben gershon says:

    what is the criteria for membership?

    what is the criteria for dismissible?



  7. Avigael says:

    So when will this new body deal with the backlog of cases that the previous leadership have destroyed?

    What is the public email address and contact numbers for this new group?

    Will the buck stop with them or will it just be another stone wall for all of the issues that go unaddressed in the community?

  8. Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

    A good restart, it will evolve to be fully representative in time.

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