Caulfield Shule has a strong team of Rabbis lead by our Senior Rabbi, Ralph Genende, who conduct our spiritual services, support families through their lifecycle events, and deliver pastoral care to CHC members and congregants.
Rabbi Ralph Genende
Born in Zimbabwe, raised in South Africa, Rabbi Ralph Genende is a well-known and popular Modern Orthodox Rabbi in Melbourne with down-to-earth pastoral and communication skills. Ralph was Senior Rabbi in Auckland, New Zealand’s Jewish community for ten years. He held the executive position of College Rabbi at Mount Scopus Memorial College, Melbourne where he successfully ran religious, educational and development programs for students and parents for ten years.
Currently Rabbi Genende is Senior Rabbi of Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, one of Melbourne’s largest Modern Orthodox congregations which he has served for the past seven years. He is also Senior Rabbi to the Australian Defence Force, Chair of the Religious Advisory Council to the Minister of Defence (RACS), and formerly chaplain to the South African Defence Force, Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV), board member of the AIJAC (Australian/Israel Jewish Affairs Council) and member of the Premier’s Multifaith Advisory Group.
Rabbi Genende is a trained counsellor with a Masters degree from Auckland University. He is especially interested in youth development and connecting to GenY. He is also a passionate advocate for the involvement of women in the orthodox Jewish community and in leadership roles. Rabbi Genende is a founder of Yad B’Yad, a group which promotes pre-marriage education and has the portfolio of Professional Development for the RCV.
Rabbi Genende is married to Caron a clinical psychologist and they have three adult children Eyal, Daniella and Yonatan.
Rabbi Mottel Krasnjanski
Rabbi Mottel and Rebbetzin Yehudis Krasnjanski were sent here by the Lubavitcher Rebbe 31 years ago to join the Yeshiva Kollel. They were warmly and very quickly accepted into the wider community. They became the Rabbi and Rebbetzin of Or Chadash over 30 years ago and are the longest serving couple in the same Shule currently in Melbourne. Yehudis comes from Detroit USA, followed by Antwerp, Belgium where her father is Chief Rabbi. Mottel comes from New York where he was also ordained in the Lubavitcher Yeshiva.
They have 4 children; Chana Keila who is now married with 4 children of her own, Hindy, Mendel who is also married and Yossi.
Mottel gives many Shiurim in the wider community as well as teaching in Yeshiva College, Ohel Chana Girls Seminary and runs a business. Mottel says that his most enjoyable Shiur is the Wednesday night Shiur when many members of Or Chadash and even men and women from other Shules come to his house, as they have been doing for over 25 years. This is the most dynamic and interactive Shiur one could possibly attend and enjoy. Mottel and Yehudis say that they feel fortunate to have been associated with Or Chadash and Caulfield Shule for so many years. The people are very warm, accepting and they developed wonderful relationships with their congregants. In Mottel’s words we are like one large family.
Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn OAM
Rabbi Heilbrunn began his distinguished Rabbinic and Cantorial calling in 1968 in South Africa. In 1979 Rabbi, his wife Pnina and two elder daughters migrated to Australia and Sydney’s North Shore Synagogue for a highly successful term.
The family moved to Adelaide in October1982 where they enjoyed six glorious years up-building the Congregation and South Australia Community.
Rabbi was called to become Chief Minister of the celebrated St Kilda Synagogue in 1988. After a splendid quarter of a century Rabbi Heilbrunn became Chief Minister Emeritus of St Kilda Shule and accepted an invitation from Caulfield Shule to enhance its pastoral services, support its Rabbis and Ministers (on a part time basis) and to lead High Holy Day services in its Sukiert Hall.
Rabbi Heilbrunn has been at the cutting edge of rabbinic leadership since his arrival in Australia, served on ORA’s executive for over 30 years and as President for eight. He became the first Patron of the RCV in 2011.
Rabbi Heilbrunn was awarded an OAM in 2011 for services to the Jewish Community and Cantorial music through his davening, concerts and as co-founder, principal soloist and President for 13 years of the celebrated Melbourne Jewish Male Voice Choir.
Rabbi Sholom Gutnick