Exciting news about our new Senior Rabbi

The Board of Temple Beth Israel are thrilled to announce the appointment of Rabbi Allison Conyer as our Senior Rabbi and Spiritual Leader.

A distinguished and globally recognised rabbi, Rabbi Conyer brings extensive experience in Jewish education, interfaith dialogue, social action and a deep commitment to Israel and community engagement. Her remarkable journey and dedication to the values of Progressive Judaism are qualities that will enrich our congregation.

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. With a background in Psychology, along with French and Italian Literature, she immersed herself in various Jewish traditions, culminating in her ordination as a Reform rabbi from
the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1998.

Rabbi Conyer’s extensive Jewish community experience includes roles such as the first female rabbi in New South Wales.  Rabbi Conyer served as the Associate Rabbi at North Shore Temple Emanuel, Sydney, where she prioritised education, engagement, social action and interfaith dialogue. Following her time at North Shore she returned to the United States to take up the position of Executive Director of Santa Barbara Hillel, fostering Jewish connections among a diverse group of University of California students.  During her time in both Melbourne and Sydney she taught high school students at King David and Emmanuel Schools. Her most recent appointment, as many of you would know, has been to lead our sister congregation – Etz Chayim Progressive Synagogue in Bentleigh. During her time at Etz Chayim, she was awarded a Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

Etz Chayim President Pam Spiegel said at the time, “This incredible achievement is a testament to her unwavering commitment, wisdom and guidance over the years.”

Rabbi Conyer’s appointment brings with it a promise of renewal within our congregation. With her extensive training in psychology (attaining her Master of Professional Psychology from the esteemed Carinmiller Institute in Melbourne) and her commitment to community engagement, Rabbi Conyer is poised to bring her expertise and warmth, creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.
She is committed to preparing our congregation for the challenges of the future and nurturing the next generation. We welcome Rabbi Conyer’s continued interaction with the Etz Chayim community. We also look forward to her compassionate leadership, guiding us toward a harmonious and thriving future.

Cantor Michel Laloum looks forward to welcoming Rabbi Conyer to the congregation. “I have great respect for her leadership and vision and I’m keen to build a wonderful future for our congregation alongside her.” The Board of TBI extends its appreciation to the Cantor for his leadership and work in the interim.

Married to Dr. Bryan Conyer and a proud mother of four children Rabbi Conyer is excited to share her knowledge, enthusiasm and new ideas, promoting diverse perspectives and practices within our congregation to reach differing interests and demographics. Her arrival marks a new chapter for Temple Beth Israel as we eagerly anticipate the profound impact of her leadership and guidance.

Please join us in welcoming Rabbi Allison Conyer to our congregation, as we embark on a journey of spiritual growth, communal engagement, and inclusive dialogue under her dynamic leadership. Rabbi Conyer will take up the position of Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in early March 2024.

​​​​​​​From your Board of Governance.