The Progressive Movement began in earnest in Australia more than 75 years ago with the formation of a synagogue in Melbourne which is now Temple Beth Israel. With the establishment of Temple Emanuel, and later the North Shore Temple Emanuel in Sydney, the Australian Union for Progressive Judaism was formed.
The Union for Progressive Judaism is the roof body that resources 27 congregations, schools, youth groups and communal organizations across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, serving about one fifth of the region’s affiliated Jewish community. Their role is to support and develop Progressive Judaism in the region so that their congregations and affiliates are best able to maintain and increase their strength and vitality.
It is a roof body promoting a pluralistic progressive outlook in today’s Jewish world. They provide consultation, support, programs and educational opportunities to all of their affiliated bodies from a wide geographic area.
The Moetzah, Progressive Rabbinical Council, an affiliate of the UPJ, is a viable support group for rabbis in our region. The rabbis are available to congregations where there is no rabbinic presence, particularly for life-cycle events and conversions. They serve as the link for 19 progressive congregations; 2 day schools, The King David School in Melbourne and The Emanuel School in Sydney; a progressive Zionist youth movement, Netzer; and a progressive Zionist organization ARZA.