IN a joyous celebration drawing Jewish leaders from around Australia and internationally, Rabbi Kim Ettlinger has been inducted as the rabbi of Progressive congregation Temple David in Perth.
South African-born Rabbi Ettlinger returned to Perth and to Temple David, where she had grown up, before studying for the rabbinate, obtaining semichah, and leading congregations in the US. She was a rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne from 2010 to 2021.
A large turnout last Saturday saw Rabbi Ettlinger inducted by World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) chair Carole Sterling and Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) co-president David Knoll.
Rabbi Ettlinger reflected, “What a privilege it was and is to be installed as the rabbi of my home congregation … I could never have imagined returning to my hometown to serve my congregation and community. It was truly a moment of awe and humility.
“I look forward to working in partnership with my congregation, and her leadership, to continue to build Jewish life in Perth with the Progressive values of inclusivity and equality, with tikkun olam and social justice as our fundamental values.”
Visiting dignitaries included City of Stirling mayor Mark Irwin, Jewish Community Council of WA vice-presidents Steve Lieblich and Louise Wingens, Perth Hebrew Congregation president Dr Michael Levitt, and Carmel School principal Dr Julie Harris.
They were joined by a large contingent from Melbourne, including WUPJ vice-president Phyllis Dorey, Australian Reform Zionist Association president Helen Shardey, Progressive Judaism Victoria president Philip Bliss, and Penny Jakobovits, a UPJ past president.
On Sunday, family and friends took part in a traditional Upsherin, a haircutting ceremony, for Rabbi Ettlinger’s daughter Noa, who recently celebrated her third birthday.