Bet David is looking to fill the post of senior congregational Rabbi and invites applications for the position. View the video below and learn more about Bet David, its congregants, leaders and their expectations of a Rabbi. Read the Rabbinic Search Information Leaflet for more information and contact details.
Rabbi Dr Richard Newman is the interim locum rabbi at Bet David until mid December 2020. Rabbi Newman will lead online services and Hebrew classes while at Bet David. He is looking forward to meeting congregants.
Rabbi Newman grew up in the Progressive movement in Cape Town. He lived in Israel for several years. He holds degrees from Leeds University and UNISA and received his smichah from the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, Germany. He has lectured in Yiddish and Hebrew at the University of Denver, Colorado and holds the Reform Jewish Educator award from the CCAR/ NATE.
Rabbi Adrian Michael Schell was Bet David’s rabbi from 2014 to 2020. In addition to his pulpit at Bet David, he served as a member of the SA Zionist Federation ManCom. Rabbi Schell was ordained from the Abraham Geiger College, Potsdam/Berlin in Germany.
Rabbi Hillel Avidan, Rabbi Emeritus of Bet David. He served Bet David in Sandton for 11 years from 1992 to 2003, when he retired. He is Rabbi Emeritus of Bet David. In 2005, he came out of retirement and served the Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation until April 2019. Rabbi Avidan was several times the chairperson of the SAAPR. He was formerly the national Jewish representative and chair of SAFCEI. He is on the executive of the KZN Inter-religious Council and is a patron of the Archbishop Hurley Centre in Durban.
Some stations of Rabbi Avidan’s rabbinic worklife:
1965-67 RABBI OF GLASGOW NEW SYNAGOGUE, Glasgow, Scotland (First Term).
1967-68 Teacher at Reali High School, Haifa, Israel.
1968-69 Art Dealer, Actor with Teatron Ironi, Haifa, Israel and Israeli Television.
1970 Assistant Librarian in University of Haifa, Israel.
1970-74 RABBI OF GLASGOW NEW SYNAGOGUE, Glasgow, Scotland (Second Term).
1974-81 RABBI OF WIMBLEDON & DISTRICT SYNAGOGUE, London, UK.
1982-83 RABBI OF SHAAREI SHALOM, Manchester, UK.
1983-84 Educational Consultant: Religious Adviser to Paramount Pictures.
1983-87 Lecturer NW London Evening Institute, London, UK.
1984-86 Proprietor Avidan Estate Services (landscaping), SW London, UK.
1984-87 Visiting Rabbi to Bristol & West Progressive Synagogue, UK.
1985-89 Lecturer ULPS Evening Institute, London, UK.
1985-92 RABBI OF WEST CENTRAL LIBERAL SYNAGOGUE, London, UK.
1986-92 RABBI OF EALING LIBERAL SYNAGOGUE, London, UK.
1992-2003 RABBI OF BET DAVID, Sandton, South Africa.
2003- RABBI EMERITUS OF BET DAVID
2005- 2019 RABBI OF TEMPLE DAVID, Durban, South Africa
1961-64 Founder and Director of RSGB Summer Camps.
1974-80 Director of Hebrew Studies – Merton Education Department.
1975-83 RSGB Spokesman on the Environment.
1977-79 Treasurer of Wandsworth & Merton Interfaith Group.
1978-79 Chairman of Merton Anti-Racism Campaign.
1978-80 Chairman of RSGB Assembly of Rabbis.
1978-81 Vice President of Wimbledon Council of Christians & Jews.
1985-92 ULPS Spokesman on the Environment.
1986-92 Executive of Jews Against Apartheid.
1990-92 Chairman of ULPS Rabbinic Conference.
1992- Executive of Southern African Union for Progressive Judaism.
1995-99 Chairman of Southern African Association of Progressive Rabbis.
1995-99 Executive of South African Jewish Board of Deputies.
1996-97 Chairman 1997 World Union Convention Steering Committee.
2004-08 Chairman of Southern African Associaition of Progressive Rabbis
2007 – 2008 Chairman of South African Faith Communities Environmental Institute.