AFTER nearly four decades of service, Rabbi David Rogut has retired from the Sydney Beth Din, with Rabbi Michael Chriqui appointed as associate dayan as part of a series of changes and expansions at the rabbinic court.
“It has been my privilege to serve the Australian community through the Beth Din,” Rabbi Rogut, one of the Beth Din’s longest serving dayanim, told The AJN.
Rabbi Rogut also announced his retirement from the Kashrut Authority, but said he would continue in his position as spiritual dean of the Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home.
In a statement, the Beth Din said it is with “sadness and a touch of nostalgia” that it announced Rabbi Rogut’s retirement, and awarded him the title of emeritus dayan.
“Words simply are inadequate and cannot describe the invaluable contribution that Rabbi Rogut has made to the Beth Din and the entire Sydney community,” the statement read.
Welcoming Rabbi Chriqui as associate dayan, the Beth Din said his appointment represents a return to the tradition of the Sydney Beth Din having as one of its dayanim the spiritual leader of the NSW Association of Sephardim and the Sephardi Synagogue.
Rabbi Chriqui said his appointment comes at the encouragement and request of both the current and past Sephardi Chief Rabbis of Israel.
“They see it complementary to the Beth Din that one of the dayanim will represent and further the customs, traditions and interests of Sephardi Jewry in addition to the necessary functions of the Beth Din,” he said.
“I have set as my goal to focus on the individual and assist them as much as I can, to show them love, respect and compassion. This goal I believe is the strength of any institution and is its ultimate role.”
Rabbi Chriqui will receive specific training in Beth Din-related halachah over the next three years, culminating in ordination as a full dayan.
The Beth Din has also appointed Rabbi Chaim Perez, former chief minister of Maroubra Synagogue, as rabbinic associate. “Rabbi Perez will bring with him years of experience in the Sydney Jewish community and will assist the Beth Din in many rabbinic matters,” the Beth Din said.
Rabbi David Rogut has announced his retirement from the Sydney Beth Din.