Melbourne News

Rabbi John Levi receives ACU’s highest honour

Thursday 21 May 2015
Peter Byrne, Media & Communications Office 

WE congratulate Rabbi John Levi!

Earlier this month, interfaith leader John Levi was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from Australian Catholic University. As his citation acknowledged, Rabbi John’s ‘giant mind, immense curiosity and ability to share knowledge make him a natural born teacher’. In a ceremony held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, John Levi’s talents as teacher, historian, writer, Jewish broadcaster and interfaith leader were publicly acknowledged and applauded, before his degree was bestowed upon him.

Rabbi Levi served almost 40 years at Progressive Judaism’s flagship synagogue in Australia, Melbourne’s Temple Beth Israel, which was his home congregation, as well as teaching courses at Catholic Theological College and Yarra Theological Union. John was also keenly involved in interfaith activities at Australian Catholic University.

As well as his decades of service with his own congregation (he’s now Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Beth Israel), John has been heavily involved in establishing ethnic broadcasting in Melbourne, along with his massive contribution to interfaith religious dialogue in Australia. In fact, in 1981 he was awarded Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his 'services to religion.'
He is also a recipient of the Centenary Medal.

Monash University too awarded John the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) for his contribution to the community and to Australian Jewish history in 2006.

With no plans to slow his workload, Rabbi John was amused by the gift of prayer books sent to his congregation recently with the inscription 'on the occasion of his retirement' – an event, as he says, that is by no means imminent!

Catholic Archdiocese Melbourne salutes Rabbi John Levi on his life, his achievements, and on his receiving the highest honour Australian Catholic University can confer - Doctor of the University (honoris causa),  in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Jewish-Christian relations and interfaith dialogue and to the building of a robust multicultural Australian society, one in which each faith community is able to thrive and contribute to the well-being of all and the common good.

Photo courtesy Australian Catholic University.
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