New Consulting Rabbi for shul

Posted: 19 July 2017

Rabbi Allison Conyer has started her tenure as the Progressive Consulting Rabbi in support of the congregation.

She replaces Jonathan Keren-Black, whose role as the shul’s Consulting Rabbi since 2010 came to an end when he officiated at the aufruf of Maxine Glanger and Lev Fridgant on May 6 this year.

Rabbi Conyer’s day-job—apart from helping to raise four children alongside husband Bryan—is at Etz Chayim synagogue in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh, where she became the spiritual leader at the beginning of 2014.

Allison Conyer

Allison Conyer

Originally, she hails from Los Angeles, and was ordained in New York in 1998. However, Rabbi Conyer has spent a large part of her life in Australia in two separate stints.

The first was at North Shore Temple Emanuel in Sydney, where she was the Associate Rabbi for nearly eight years as well as the first female rabbi in NSW.

After some time back in California directing a campus branch of the Hillel Jewish student organisation, she returned to Sydney in 2009 to teach at the Emanuel School. Later, she moved to Melbourne with her family to take up the post at Etz Chayim.

Progressive consulting rabbis have the task of providing support to smaller communities like Hobart’s that lack the resources to employ a rabbi of their own. They are appointed by the Moetzah, the council of Progressive Rabbis in the Asia-Pacific region, in conjunction with the host congregation.

As we know from Rabbi Keren-Black’s regular visits to Hobart, the most public duty performed by consulting rabbis is to lead services and educational sessions in their host communities over at least one frenetic weekend every year.

But they also help behind the scenes by giving advice on ritual, liturgical, and halachic questions, and by passing on their knowledge of people and resources in the wider Jewish world.

Rabbi Keren-Black was an outstanding mentor in all these areas, and was a popular visitor throughout his tenure. He is now serving as the consulting rabbi to the Progressive congregations of New Zealand.

We will shortly have a chance to welcome Rabbi Conyer to Hobart during her first stay as our Consulting Rabbi.  Dates for the visit will be announced soon.



Membership fees unchanged for third year

Posted: 17 July 2017

Membership (or more formally, seat hire) fees for the congregation covering the period 1 July 2017-30 June 2018 are now payable.

The Annual General Meeting held in August 2016 set fees for the current 2017-18 financial year at the same levels applying in 2016-17.

In fact, unusually for any organisation in today’s world, membership fees have been unchanged for the last three years:

  • Couples and Families: $280
  • Singles: $175
  • Full-Time Students: $40

Existing members should already have been issued with a renewal notice. New members receive a fee invoice once their application has been approved by the Board of the congregation.

However, any member who feels unable to pay their seat hire fee in full can apply for all or part of the fee to be waived. All applications for fee concessions are considered in the strictest confidence, and should be directed to the President or Treasurer of the congregation.

If you’re Jewish, live in Tasmania, and are interested in becoming a member of our congregation, you can find out about the benefits of joining and how to do it here.


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