MERCAZ Australia

City: Victoria
Name of contact person: Eric Lundberg (President, Mercaz-Masorti Australasia)
Phone:
Address: Kehilat Nitzan:
PO Box 2313 | Caulfield Junction | 3161 | Victoria, Australia

Link to website: http://masortiaustralia.blogspot.com/

We are thrilled to give you this report about our newest chapter – MERCAZ Australia.  Australia is either the world’s largest Island or the smallest continent. In land mass Australia is about the same size as USA without Canada or Mexico. Australian population is about 20 million with most people living in the coastal regions of the East coast of Australia. The Total Jewish Population is about 110,000 mostly in Sydney and Melbourne.The community ranges between traditional orthodox and progressive. Kehilat Nitzan, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, is the first one of two independent Conservative/Masorti Congregations in Australia. The employment of our first rabbi, Rabbi Ehud Bandel, in January 2006, has brought with it newly heightened visibility and interest in our Kehila. This can be shown by the fact that over the past 3 years we have experienced annual membership growth of approximately 20% per year. Another Masorti group in Australia is the Conservative Minyan within Sydney’s Emanuel Synagogue which has multiple affiliations with the Progressive, Conservative and Renewal movements.MERCAZ Australia was incorporated in December 2008 by members of Kehilat Nitzan. . The purpose of the organization is to promote and support Zionist education, Israel programs and Aliyah and to serve the political aims of our movement by, representing the interests of Masorti Judaism within the Zionist Federations of Australia. Our aim is initially to have a say within the ZFA so that when the WZO elections take place, we may be able to provide extra delegates to help MERCAZ Olami.We are as the accountants say “work in progress”. We have had contact with the Sydney group, and we believe that we will soon have a group of members from there joining MERCAZ Australia. Our aim is to be fully operational before the end of this year. John Furstenberg is coordinating this effort, and once it is up and active we will find others to take on management roles in the future.