The Leo Baeck Centre has been led for the past 20 years by Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black who retired from the full-time role at the end of January 2023. Since early 2023, we have been supported by Rabbi Fred Morgan for ritual and services, and Rabbi Aviva Kipen for pastoral care for our members.
An LBC Search Group dedicated to filling the rabbi role left vacant by Rabbi Keren-Black, has received responses from several potential applicants and is conducting interviews, organising short term visits and liaising with the community with the view to appointing our next Leo Baeck rabbi.
During this interim phase LBC is supported by employed staff, members of our Committee of Management and the many volunteers dedicated to the thriving life of our community.
Our Emeritus Rabbi
At his retirement from LBC in January 2023 Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black was appointed as Emeritus Rabbi. This appointment followed years of dedicated service to various Jewish communities.
Rabbi Jonathan was accepted into rabbinic training at the Leo Baeck College in London, which included nine months study in Jerusalem and six months working at North Shore Temple Emanuel in Sydney, Australia.
On being ordained in 1988, Rabbi Jonathan took up a position at the Hertsmere Progressive Synagogue, in Elstree near London, where he remained prior to moving in 2003 with his family to our synagogue in Melbourne.
In his position at LBC Rabbi Jonathan was instrumental in establishing the Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia, a thriving organisation which runs residential conferences, schools’ programs and other events.
Rabbi Jonathan was and remains deeply committed to environmental work. During his time of appointment to our shul we have removed the gas supply and installed solar panels and water tanks.
As the team leader on the Mishkan T’filah World Union Edition Prayer book launched in 2010, Rabbi Jonathan was a key player in the production of all the current liturgy used by LBC and throughout the Progressive communities of Australasia and South Africa, and subsequently worked on the Netzer Siddur and the Weekday Evening Prayer book versions. Following this, he led the development of the Mishkan T’shuvah High Holy Day Machzor Prayer Books introduced across our region in 2019.
LBC is enormously grateful for the dedicated leadership Rabbi Jonathan provided to our community over his 20 years of service.