Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple AO RFD
Rabbi Apple retired in 2005 after many years as Australia’s highest-profile rabbi and a leading spokesman for Judaism.
After heading London congregations at Bayswater and Hampstead, he was senior rabbi of the Great Synagogue from 1972-2005, and was the guide and mentor of other synagogues and organisations, including the Women’s Tefillah Group.
He was born and educated in Melbourne and also studied in London. He has degrees in arts, law, history, religion and education, a Doctorate of Laws honoris causa from NSW University and is an Honorary Fellow of Sydney University.
He was an army reserve chaplain for 15 years and from 1988-2006 senior rabbi to the Australian Defence Force. He had two terms of office as chairman of the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services.
He has taught at Sydney and NSW Universities and is Master of Mandelbaum House at Sydney University. He has lectured at universities and seminaries in several countries.
For 30 years he was judge/registrar of the Sydney Beth Din. He is life rabbinic governor of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australian and New Zealand, of which he had two terms as president. He is patron and past president of the Australian Jewry and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, and has held office in many public bodies.
He has had a long involvement in inter-faith dialogue and is joint president of the Australian Council of Christians and Jews and a life member and former chairman of the NSW Council. He was a founder of the Christian-Jewish Luncheon Club in Sydney and of the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews.
In Freemasonry he is Past Junior Grand Warden and Past Grand Chaplain of the United Grand Lodge of NSW and the ACT.2
He writes the weekly Oz Torah, with a world-wide email circulation. He has written articles, academic papers and books and has frequently appeared on radio and television.
An Officer of the Order of Australia, he holds the Reserve Force Decoration, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal and the Centenary of Federation Medal.
He and his wife Marian have four adult children and a number of grandchildren.
Take a look at the new OzTorah website – http://www.oztorah.com. It contains a searchable archive of Rabbi Apple's Torah essays, "Ask the Rabbi" pieces and feature articles. We are in the process of updating the site with content from the OzTorah emails from the past ten years – join our RSS feed to view the latest updates.