Last week, the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia (O.R.A.) gathered in Sydney's Yeshiva Centre at their biannual Rabbinic conference for two intense days of discussions in contemporary Halachic issues ranging from Trauma counseling to abortion and organ donation.
Over seventy Rabbis from the majority of Orthodox congregations in Australia and New Zealand were in attendance.
Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick of Melbourne Victoria, Immediate Past President of O.R.A., noted that, "with the recent passing of Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, the longest serving Rabbi in Australasia is currently Rabbi Pinchus Feldman OAM, Dean & Spiritual Leader of Sydney's Yeshiva Centre and Head of Chabad in NSW."
Rabbi Dovid Freilech of Perth, Western Australia and the newly elected President of O.R.A. proposed the following resolution which was passed unanimously:
"This conference resolves that Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, dean and spiritual leader of the Yeshiva Centre, Sydney, be conferred the title "Patron of ORA" in recognition of his forty years of devoted and dedicated service to the Australian Jewish community and for his outstanding contribution to Torah-true Jewish education within the Australian Jewish community."
This is the first time in the history of the Organisation that such an honour has been conferred upon one of its members.
At the main banquet, guest speaker Michael Danby MP from Melbourne spoke about the new Federal Government and its warm relationship with Australian Jewry and Israel.
Mr Danby stressed the importance of the Rabbinate maintaining close contacts with Government officials, and applauded our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's close friendship with Rabbi Feldman.
Rabbi Feldman was awarded the NSW Premier's Award for community service in 1995, The Order of Australia in 2002 and Honorary Life Presidency of the Rabbinical Council of NSW in 2006.