By COLlive reporter
The Great Synagogue in Sydney is the largest of its kind and one of the biggest shuls in Australia. It’s senior Rabbi, Jeremy Lawrence, is returning to London after many years, to serve as the Rabbi of the Kinloss Gardens Synagogue in Finchley, North West London.
With the coveted Sydney pulpit now vacant, any number of Rabbis will be applying for the job, some Chabad rabbis included.
In an article in last week’s Australian Jewish News, local Rabbi and principle of the Mt. Scopus School, James Kennard, wrote an article in which he argued against the synagogue considering taking a Chabad rabbi.
Though his article was written respectfully, and with high praise for the work of Chabad, he argued that the customs are different, the halachic approach is different and that the Synagogue would do better with a modern-Orthodox Rabbi.
“Those who seek an alternative Orthodox path, the dearth of non-Chabad Rabbis means that they may not find such a route or even know that one exists,” Rabbi Kennard wrote.
Kennard also decries the lack of younger born and bred Australian Rabbonim wanting to take up positions back home, insisting it is in no small measure because of the way the laity tend to treat their Rabbis.
This week, Rabbi YItzchok Schochet wrote a response at the behest of the shluchim in Sydney insisting that Chabad is the best thing that could happen to any of the modern-Orthodox Synagogues in Australia, as in the UK.
Schochet, himself a Chabad Rabbi in a prestigious modern-Orthodox Synagogue in London, argues that for many, the Rabbinate is a career and therefore with an eye always on moving on. “For Chabad, it is a passion and a way of life,” he said.