The Adelaide Progressive Jewish Congregation was formed in mid 1963. By the end of that year, the pioneers of the Liberal Movement had established a program of services, commenced religion classes for the young, and purchased burial plots in the main cemetery. The Ladies Guild raised the funds to purchase a torah scroll from England that was dedicated by Melbourne Rabbi John Levi in 1964.
In the early stages, religious services were conducted by volunteers in the basement of the Freemason building in North Terrace before moving to other temporary locations.
The first Liberal Synagogue was at Prospect, bought in 1967 for 16,000 Pounds, the loan being under-written by Ray White. It served the then small community well for nine years until membership growth made it no longer suitable.
In 1976 the Board of Management purchased its present property on Hackney Road. The Board appointed the congregations first Rabbi, Jeffrey Kahn, in 1981. During Rabbi Kahn’s tenure, the congregation built classrooms to accommodate its growing religion school. Following Rabbi Kahn’s return to the U.S., Rabbi Ian Morris was appointed and served the congregation for nine years. Rabbi Morris was deeply involved with the Council of Christians and Jews and was Chairman of the Interfaith Association.
Beit Shalom currently has 300 members and is noted for its innovative programs, including two Jewish women’s conferences in 1993 and 1994, staging an original play based on Jewish divorce laws entitled “Getting your Man”, and an annual inter-faith seder.
Rabbi Lenore Bohm, the first serving female Rabbi in Adelaide, instituted a successful outreach program during her tenure from 1997-1999. Rabbi Adam Morris took up his new appointment in August 1999.
Founding members in front of the Masonic Hall, North Terrace, 1963.
The Synagogue at Prospect, known as Temple Beth Shalom.
Religions School held at the Wayville Institute, 1964.
Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn, 1981-1986 (left) officiating at a Bat Mitzvah.
Rabbi Ian Morris, 1987-1996, officiating at a Bat Mitzvah.
Rabbi Lenore Bohm, 1997-1999, officiating at a Bar Mitzvah.
Former Presidents of the Board at the 25th anniversary of the congregation.
Guest speakers Eleanor Bourke (left) and Mona Tur (right) with then Sisterhood President, Kitty Goode, at the conference “Concerning Jewish Women” organized by the Beit Shalom Sisterhood in 1993 that received an international award for excellence.
The final wedding scene from the play “Getting your Man” presented by the Beit Shalom Sisterhood in 1997.
Characters from the annual Purim Spiel.
Decorating the succah for Succot, the harvest festival.
Rabbi Jackie Ninio, former member of Beit Shalom, currently serving Temple Emanuel congregation in Sydney.
Stained glass window “Eternal Dream” designed by Andrew Steiner.
Beit Shalom, Hackney Road.
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