Call for history gifts to shul

Posted: 9 November 2017

Daniel Albert, the long-time former president of the shul, has been appointed to a new honorary position as the congregation’s first archivist.

In the new role, he will be managing all materials relevant to the history of the shul and the Tasmanian Jewish community generally.

These materials can include both documents and objects, whether they’re already in our possession or are donated in the future.

Daniel will start by sorting out material that’s been stored and sometimes hidden away in various places around the synagogue building, but also has the task of responding to enquiries concerning the shul’s history that are generated from the synagogue’s website.

He’s hoping that some of those enquiries will involve possible donations to the shul’s historical collection.

Anyone who’s thinking of contributing materials of historical interest to the shul can reach Daniel by leaving a message here. Please include the words Archivist Contact in the subject line.

“I’m interested in any old documents and other items of historical significance, not just about the congregation, but the Jewish community in Tasmania as well,” he says.

Daniel served as President of the congregation for 10 years from 2006, and was a Board member both before and afterwards.

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.