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Kehilat Nitzan was formed in March 1999 by Professor John Rosenberg together with a small group of people interested in establishing a ​​Masorti community in Melbourne. John had been an active participant in the Masorti minyan at the Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney and was interested in developing a Masorti chavurah when he moved to Melbourne. That initial meeting drew 41 participants, and was the start of our community.

We held services in the Kadimah Cultural Centre, then B'nai Brith House, and then back to Kadimah before moving into our own building on Hawthorn Road in Caulfield North in July 2013. For the first six years, we operated on a lay-leadership model, and were blessed to have help and guidance from a number of Masorti rabbis from North America and Israel who visited us for short periods. See Our Rabbinic History for information about out past rabbinic leadership.

70% of our members are drawn from mainstream Orthodoxy, 20% from the Progressive movement and the rest were previously unaffiliated. Nitzan means 'a bud,' and we have now grown to a self-sustaining kehillah of approximately 250 families. Our congregation planted the first seeds of Masorti Judaism in Melbourne and we are continuing to blossom.

Our Rabbi

Rabbi Yonatan Sadoff, who came to us in May 2018 from Congregation Magen Avraham in Omer, Israel, near Beersheva, received his ordination from the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem. He also served as the assistant rabbi at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka, Minnesota (near where he grew up). Rabbi Sadoff is joined  by his wife Merav, their two daughters Tiferet Tehilla and Maayan Tekhelet and their Melbourne born son Oz Lev.

See From Our Rabbi for links to messages and videos from Rabbi Yonatan Sadoff.

Our Rabbinic History

Starting in January 2006, Rabbi Ehud Bandel from Jerusalem, a recognized leader in the world Masorti movement, served as our rabbi and emissary to the community during the formative years of our congregation. It was a pleasure to have him, his wife Avital, and their children Hadas and Ro'i as part of our close-knit community. Rabbi Bandel and his family returned to Israel in September 2010. After the arrival of Rabbi Bandel, we saw a steady rise in membership with nearly 600 people attending services on the high holidays.

Rabbi Adam Stein received his ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He was appointed in August 2011, after Rabbi Bandel's return to Israel. Before coming to Kehilat Nitzan, Rabbi Stein was the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in Kansas City, Missouri. We enjoyed having him, his wife Tamar, and their children Eli and Gabriel (both born during their time with us) as part of our community until they left in May 2016.

Sat, 18 May 2024 10 Iyyar 5784