Melbourne Synagogue Distances Itself From Vile Remarks | Star Observer

MR: Aleph Melbourne commends Caulfield Hebrew Congregation on significant LGBTIQ+ diversity reform

Aleph Melbourne commends Caulfield Hebrew Congregation on significant LGBTIQ+ diversity reform
July 12 2020

Aleph Melbourne commends the board of Caulfield Hebrew Congregation (CHC) for taking an unequivocal stance against all intolerance of LGBTIQ+ people, and accepts a sincere apology from the board for recent comments made on social media by a CHC Vice President.*

By committing to undertake diversity training, and by accepting that intolerance and vilification directed at LGBTIQ+ people is unacceptable, the CHC board sends a strong message to trans and gender diverse, same-sex attracted, and intersex people in the Jewish community that they are valued, important and worthy.

We acknowledge CHC Rabbi Ralph Genende for his decade-plus leadership in being a proponent for the acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people.

Now with Caulfield Hebrew Congregation sending a clear message that Orthodox Judaism can embrace LGBTIQ+ diversity, Aleph Melbourne calls on all Orthodox synagogues in Melbourne and across Australia to stand in solidarity on this important stance.


Michael Barnett (pronouns: he/him/his)



Caulfield Hebrew Congregation responds to the RCV statement on same sex marriage

6 September 2017
15 Elul 5777

Rabbinical Council of Victoria is out of touch

The statement released by the Rabbinical Council of Victoria on same sex marriage is wrong for many reasons. We believe the debate around same sex marriage and the associated legislation is a civil matter not a religious one. To interfere in a matter of civil law, and attempt to influence all citizens, goes beyond the scope of the RCV.

The statement has already caused deep distress to many across our community.
It is divisive and damaging and is also likely to further alienate many others from Orthodoxy, if not Judaism itself.

Caulfield Shule members can be assured that Rabbi Genende was strongly opposed to the RCV releasing a statement at all on this matter. The Rabbi has since resigned from the Executive of the RCV.

Caulfield Shule stands by its reputation of being inclusive, speaking out about injustice, building tolerance and drawing people closer to Judaism in a way that is personally meaningful.

We take this opportunity to wish all of our members a Shana Tovah and may the new year bring health and happiness to us all.

Anthony Raitman – President
Rabbi Genende – Senior Rabbi

Caulfield Hebrew Congregation responds to the RCV statement on same sex marriage

“Harry Elkus” and the Caulfield Synagogue anti-homosexuality protest

A document protesting a gay rabbi was being shared around the Melbourne Jewish community.
Intolerance of gay people is unacceptable.

Gay orthodox rabbi Steven Greenberg was billed as guest speaker at the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation on Friday June 16 2017:

Rabbi Steven Greenberg guest speaker at CHC

It came to our attention last week that a document “HERESY-CHC” was being distributed around the Melbourne Jewish community calling for concerned members of the Jewish community to protest this event:

Heresy pamphlet

The document contains the name “Harry Elkus” in the Author field of the document Properties:

Heresy document properties

It also came to our attention that some of the information in the flyer was apparently misleading:


(i just received this from a protest organiser)
Please send this out ASAP
To the Melbourne Jewish community,
Yesterday an email was disseminated to the community calling for a public protest outside Caulfield Shule during its upcoming event this Friday night.
Following consultation with leading communal Rabbonim we hereby inform the community that the planned protest has been cancelled. We discourage anyone from participating in any public protests as it will only serve to escalate the controversy surrounding the issue.
We also wish to clarify one aspect of the email distributed yesterday. Some in the community understood from the email that the (now cancelled) protest had the widespread support of the Rabbinate including, but not limited to, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) and the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ). We wish to clarify that at no point were the RCV or the RCANZ consulted about the said protest. We apologise sincerely to both Rabbinic bodies for any implication otherwise.
We maintain our view that the event at Caulfield Shule should not be under the auspices of Orthodoxy but we recognize that public protests are counter-productive.
May Hashem help us in seeing Torah true Judaism upheld in our community.


It is deeply disappointing and disturbing that some members of the Jewish community wish to use their religion to demonise and further marginalise homosexual people.  There is no room for discrimination or intolerance in the Jewish community.

Orthodox Jewish Approaches to Same-Sex Relationships @ Caulfield Hebrew Congregation

On November 22, 2012 Caulfield Hebrew Congregation will be hosting a talk entitled Orthodox Jewish Approaches to Same-sex Relationships as part of it’s iLearn series.  Ittay Flescher will be facilitating the discussion.

Admission is $10 and the talk starts at 8pm.  Download the booking form here.  Please RSVP to the CHC office on (03) 9525-9492 for further information.  It may be ok to turn up on the evening and pay at the door but best to book  in advance to avoid disappointment.