By COLlive reporter
The Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia held its national conference this week in Melbourne, Australia, and elected a Chabad rabbi as its new chairman.
More than 70 of 115 members of the organization attended the conference over the two days, where a range of topics were discussed and deliberated.
Key agenda items included a national halachic organ donation policy, a national registry for religious marriages, the One Shabbat Project and a child protection policy initiative.
Featured speakers at the conference dinner included Joe Tucci, Director of the Australian Childhood foundation and Ian Neil SC who spoke on the topic of the interface between secular law and Jewish law.
Romy Leibler, President of Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Australia (COSA) and Dr. Danny Lamm, President of Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) both addressed the conference dinner which was also attended by Member of Parliment David Southwick.
Outgoing President, Rabbi Moshe Gutnick spoke of organization’s role in a number of key areas including tackling child abuse and also in particular presenting the voice of Judaism to government.
He congratulated the incoming president and handed the baton over to Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant who was elected unopposed as the new president of the organization.
This post is the most senior rabbinic post in Australia, and Rabbi Gutnick commented that Rabbi Kluwgant is full of drive and enthusiasm and is well placed to lead the organisation into the future.
His enormous success in previously leading the Rabbinical Council of Victoria augur well for future success at the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia.
Rabbi Kluwgant outlined his vision and plans for the organisation which were shared by his colleagues on the newly formed executive.
The new executive team comprises:
President Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant
Senior Vice President Rabbi Yoram Ulman
Vice President Rabbi Yaakov Glasman
Vice President Rabbi Paul Lewin
Immediate Past President Rabbi Moshe D Gutnick
Secretary Rabbi Chaim Ingram
Treasurer Rabbi Ian Goodhardt
Committee Member Rabbi Shmuel Feldman (ACT)
Committee Member Rabbi Menachem Mendel Goldstein (NZ)
Committee Member Rabbi Nir Gurevich (QLD)
The Executive will also be looking to co-opt members from Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia onto the Committee.
Rabbi Kluwgant said he was both honored and humbled to have been nominated and elected to this position and looks forward to working with the new team to bring honor and respect to the religious leadership of the Australasian Jewish community and to everything that it stands for.