The formal induction of Rabbi Don Levy took place at Temple Shalom Gold Coast on Shabbat Chukkat, 30 June. Rabbi Don took up the position at the end of May, having come from Colorado Springs, USA.
Executive Director of the Union for Progressive Judaism, Steve Denenberg, came from Sydney and presented a drash following the Torah service. The congregation was delighted that Steve also brought greetings from UPJ President, David Robinson, and the Chair of the Moetzah, Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky. Temple Shalom President, Andrew Abrahamson, also spoke. Andrew conveyed our best wishes to the rabbi for the safety of his friends back in Colorado Springs, where there had been loss of life and considerable loss of property in the disastrous wildfires being experienced over the previous few days. We were pleased to hear that Rabbi Don’s home in Colorado Springs was safe. Rabbi Don responded to the presentations that were made. This response can be found on his blog http://rabbidoninoz.blogspot.com.au. There is also a link to the blog from Temple Shalom’s website www.templeshalomgoldcoast.org.au.
Over seventy were present for the Shacharit Torah service incorporating the ceremony of installation. This included responsive readings between the congregation and Rabbi Levy and the roles and responsibilities of each party. A celebratory kiddush followed. This was the usual Shabbat when the congregation enjoys a Shabbat meal together following the service. The animated buzz coming from a room-full of people who seemed reluctant to leave - gave good indication of a congregation looking forward to good times ahead.
The Temple Shalom Gold Coast congregation has warmly welcomed Rabbi Don and his wife, Clara, into their midst. Their two teenaged children, Eyal and Ma’ayan, have joined their parents for a few months - enjoying their summer school holidays on the Gold Coast.