ז' תמוז ה' אלפים תשס"ז
Melbourne Beth Din # reads: 83
Perhaps the most significant achievement of the COSV has been the revitalisation the Melbourne Beth Din.
Subsequent to the retirement in 2002 of Rabbi Sholem Gutnick from his position as Av Beth Din, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) and the COSV worked together to constitute a new and transparent Beth Din.
Following an establishment phase during which all the necessary legal, statutory and practical matters were finalised, new arrangements for the administration of the Melbourne Beth Din came into effect on the 1st December 2004.
In the relatively short period since its restructure, through the very hard work of Romy Leibler and others, the Melbourne Beth Din has been revitalized and transformed into an important Communal asset intended to meet the contemporary needs of Victorian Jewry in the Twenty First Century.
Whilst the RCV assumes responsibility for Halachic aspects, the COSV takes responsibility for the administering and funding of the Melbourne Beth Din and it now operates in the area of Gittin (divorces) and Geirut (conversions).
Operating out of the Adele Southwick Centre at the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation's premises in Charnwood Avenue, the administration of the Beth Din is headed by Peter Kloot and calls upon the services of a number of voluntary lay people including Professor Louis Waller, Max Casen, Romy Leibler, Yossi Loebenstein and Ian Waller. Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant represents the Rabbinical Council of Victoria on the Management Committee.
Rabbinical staff include Rabbis Yaakov Barber, Yehuda Brown, Mordechai Gutnick, Philip Heilbrunn, Avraham Kievman, Mendel Raskin and Mendel Shusterman.
Subject to the availability of funds, it is intended to appoint a permanent Av Beth Din to expand the jurisdiction of the Beth Din into the areas of Kashrut, Commercial and Private Dispute Resolution, Mediation and other services more properly suited to a fully functioning and effective Beth Din in a modern society.