The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) recently hosted its annual Leadership Retreat at Foothills Conference Centre in Mooroolbark.
Two separate conferences for its rabbi and rebbetzin members were held in surroundings of picturesque native trees and gardens.
Topics under discussion included the significance of kashrut at shules, conflict resolution techniques, and the value of collaborative initiatives within the community.
South Caulfield Shule’s Rabbi Mendy Ajzenszmidt said, “Attending the rabbinical retreat before the High Holy Days provided the much-needed recharge, allowing me to learn, share and connect with my colleagues.
“This experience readied me for the upcoming busy season, enabling me to better serve my community.”
Emphasis on community was a strong component of the conferences.
Improving pastoral counselling, a unique form of psychotherapy that can include spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing and growth was encouraged to better support congregants facing personal challenges.
Rabbi Reuvi Cooper, youth director at Chabad House Malvern, said, “It was truly a pleasure to gather with a diverse cross-section of the Victorian rabbinate, joining forces and empowering each other to pursue our shared goal of enriching Jewish community engagement.”
Caulfield Shule’s Rebbetzin Sarah Rabin said, “It’s been another wonderful opportunity to enjoy a precious two-day conference for RCV rebbetzins to pause, introspect and rejuvenate.”
Rebbetzin Rabin worked with the organising committee and the RCV executive director Rachel Mihalovich to provide a diverse array of sessions on the many-sided role of a rebbetzin, such as cherishing relationships, tending to family matters, and being inspired by motivational talks from international speakers.
“I am sure the rebbetzins will return to their respective communities feeling refreshed and ready to serve and support with renewed vigour,” Rebbetzin Rabin said.
The conference attendees thanked Mihalovich for 10 years’ service as RCV executive director at a small presentation that celebrated her unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to the organisation.
Over a weekend of diverse and insightful conversations, and presentations, the RCV members headed home with a renewed and lasting impact on their roles as spiritual leaders of Victoria’s Jewish community.