Rabbinical Council Members
The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) was formed in 1967 as an association representing Victoria’s congregational rabbis. One of the core purposes of the RCV was to provide a forum for the rabbis to share their views on matters affecting both the Rabbinate and the community as a whole.
The founding President of the RCV was Rabbi Chaim Gutnick z”l and it is fair to say that for several decades the RCV and its operation broadly reflected Rabbi Gutnick’s personality and style. As the years progressed the RCV began to assert itself as a prominent communal organisation and tackled issues of concern to the Jewish community both locally and internationally.
Over the past decade, the RCV has expanded its membership to include not only rabbis of long-standing and established congregations, but also rabbis of newly-created shtiblech, shules and Chabad Houses. This expansion injected a new dynamism into the RCV and paved the way for the Council to play a greater and more recognized role within the community. An example of the RCV’s contribution to communal stability is the pivotal role it played in the formation of the reconstituted Melbourne Beth Din in 2002.
Until his passing in 2003, Rabbi Chaim Gutnick had been the only President of the RCV. Following his passing, the Presidency has been respectively held by Rabbi Gideon Fox, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, Rabbi Yaakov Glasman, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant again, Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick, Rabbi Daniel Rabin and currently by Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn OAM.
In recent years the RCV has undergone a period of unprecedented development. Some of the RCV’s major achievements include the revamping of the council’s Constitution, the formation of a closer relationship with government and community organisations and the engagement in 2008 of professional consultants to compile a Strategic Plan and Review of the RCV. As a result of the review, which was funded by a grant from the State of Victoria via the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), the RCV commenced planning a number of projects to benefit both members of the Victorian rabbinate and the Jewish and wider communities as a whole.
In 2011, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria is now recognized as a vibrant and formidable organisation within the Victorian Jewish Community. Its strong relationship with government is underscored by the significant support received from the VMC in the way of financial grants and is reflected in annual meetings held with the Premier of Victoria and other government officials.
In over half a century, the RCV has transformed itself from a largely inward looking forum to an outward looking and active participant in the community. Support received from both government and the community, as well as the appointment of an Executive Director, have further enabled the RCV to increase its level of activity and to enhance its leadership profile. It is hoped that the next decades see continued growth for the RCV and ongoing support from and service to the community.
THE HISTORY OF RCV
Rabbinical Council Victoria