Founded in 1930, Temple Beth Israel is one of the most active and creative congregations in the Australian Jewish community. TBI prides itself on bringing innovation to Jewish traditions. It offers programs for all ages and interest groups, and multiple pathways for members and friends to engage with Progressive Judaism in a way that enhances their lives through spiritual enrichment, learning and community.

Guided by principles of egalitarianism and respect for others, TBI seeks to provide a spiritual home for all who wish to embrace its values.


First gathering on 1 April 1930, the founders of TBI finally settled on the name Temple Beth Israel in 1937, the same year in which the building’s foundation stone was laid.

TBI’s first Senior Rabbi, Dr Herman Sanger, who arrived from Berlin in August 1936, revolutionised Judaism in Australia by establishing a home for German and Austrian Jewish refugees fleeing Europe in the pre- and post-War periods.

In 1938 Dr Herman Schildberger arrived and assumed the musical direction of TBI, introducing to the congregation the majestic music of Lewandowski.

In the 1950s TBI seeded new synagogues in Kew and Bentleigh, The King David School was founded in the mid-1970s, and in the early 1980s the first Israeli shaliach was brought to Melbourne to work with the newly-formed Progressive Zionist youth movement Netzer.

In more recent years, TBI has provided direction to the Jewish community of Victoria and Australia in a number of areas, including the introduction of bat mitzvah and baby naming ceremonies for girls, interfaith work with both the Christian and Muslim communities, active support for social justice issues such as Aboriginal reconciliation and refugee welfare, multicultural forums and synagogue open-house events, adult learning opportunities, community pastoral care programming, and social networking.

With its guiding vision to “meet tradition with innovation”, TBI also has a proud history of creating dynamic and imaginative ways to celebrate the Jewish festivals, appealing in particular to young families.


The magnificent windows hanging in TBI’s Herman Sanger Sanctuary, crafted by David Wright and James Thompson, embody the vision and innovative thinking of TBI’s leadership. The windows not only depict our story, our past, but also describe our present experience, and signify our hopes for the future.

As the eyes of maturity reveal knowledge, wisdom and a Life full of joy, sorrow and understanding, while the eyes of youth reveal uncertainty, possibility and the promise of hope, so the TBI windows depict the Jewish story simultaneously through both.


A distinguished and globally recognised rabbi, Rabbi Allison Conyer brings extensive experience in Jewish education, interfaith dialogue, social action and a deep commitment to Israel and community engagement.

Born in Los Angeles, Rabbi Conyer was raised in a secular Jewish family deeply committed to humanitarian values. Her curiosity about her cultural roots led her on an enriching exploration of her Jewish heritage and she was ordained as a Reform rabbi from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1998.

Rabbi Conyer’s extensive roles include being the first female rabbi in New South Wales, Associate Rabbi at North Shore Temple Emanuel – Sydney, Executive Director of Santa Barbara Hillel – California, teaching high school students at King David and Emmanuel Schools, and most recently (just prior to joining TBI), passionately leading our sister congregation Etz Chayim Progressive Synagogue -Bentleigh. During her time at Etz Chayim, she was awarded a Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

Joining TBI in March 2024, Rabbi Conyer, with her extensive training in psychology (Masters level) and her commitment to community engagement, brings her expertise and warmth, creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

Cantor Laloum was born in Belgium, and raised in Australia, with a strong Yiddishist/Bundist influence on his mother’s side, and a traditionalist Sephardic influence on his father’s. He then worked and studied for 15 years in Israel, New York and France, undertaking a Bachelors of Music performance, Bachelors of Arts in psychology and philosophy, and studies in orthodox yeshivot (seminaries) in Jerusalem’s Old City. In 2001 he was ordained as a Cantor at the Progressive Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. He also completed Rabbinic studies at the Academy for Jewish Religion, Jewish Theological Seminary and New York University.

Michel has performed and lectured extensively. He served with the World Union for Progressive Judaism, presenting workshops, lecture tours and concerts in several countries. While working in Lyon, France, Michel’s community, the Communauté Juive Liberal more than quadrupled in size, and became a major proponent of Progressive Judaism outside of Paris. His passion for interfaith dialogue also brought about closer working relationships between Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Dominicans, Buddhists, and Freemasons.

After returning to Melbourne in 2010, Michel worked with the Union for Progressive Judaism and Etz Chayim Progressive Synagogue before rejoining TBI.

Click here to contact Michel

Rabbi Fred Morgan has lived in America, England and Australia and spent extended periods in India, Hungary and Israel. For several years he was a lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Bristol in the UK, specialising in the religions of India, before entering Leo Baeck College in London to study for the rabbinate.

Ordained in 1984, Rabbi Morgan served North West Surrey Synagogue in England for 13 years before taking up the position of Senior Rabbi at TBI. He has also held a number of other positions in the Jewish and wider communities, including Hon. Associate Rabbi of Sim Shalom Congregation in Budapest, Hon. President of the Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria), and Hon. Fellow in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University.

After 16 years as Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Morgan took up the position as Emeritus Rabbi in August 2013.

Rabbi Levi was the first Australian to be ordained as a rabbi and return to work in the country. He was named Rabbi Emeritus of TBI in 1997 following 37 years of distinguished leadership.

Rabbi Levi was elected Deputy President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry in 2005 and is a Patron of the Council of Christians and Jews (Australia), an organisation he helped found in 1985. He was a Vice President of the governing body of the World Union for Progressive Judaism from 1974-1998, and was one of the founders of The King David School. He is the author of several publications including Australian Genesis (1974), Rabbi Jacob Danglow (1995), A Passover Haggadah (2002), These Are the Names (2006) and My Dear Friends: the Biography of Rabbi Dr Herman Sanger (2009).

In 2006 Monash University awarded Rabbi Levi the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) for his contribution to the community and to Australian Jewish history, in 2008 he  accepted an appointment as adjunct professor to the Australian Catholic University’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue, and, in 2021, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.



Jacky Magid CO-PRESIDENT  [email protected]
David Arkles CO-PRESIDENT  [email protected]
David Harris VICE PRESIDENT  [email protected]
Luke Wajsbrem HONORARY TREASURER  [email protected]
Muffy Hand HONORARY SECRETARY  [email protected]

To contact the whole board, please write to [email protected]


Sandy Benjamin    [email protected]
Andrew Jakobovits    [email protected]
Karen Samuel   [email protected]
Hali Halphen   [email protected]
Hannah Christensen   [email protected]
Max Gross   [email protected]
Ashira Chait   [email protected]


Michael Lawrence [email protected]


Senior Rabbi Allison Conyer
Cantor Michel Laloum
Neil Crompton, Executive Manager