RABBI SHMUEL & REBBETZIN RIVKI KARNOWSKY
After serving Elwood Shule for 15 years, we are excited to have Rabbi Shmuel and Rivki leading our wonderful Shule. Rabbi Shmuel also served as Youth Director at Central Shule in 2004/2005 so it’s sort of like he has come home to Central.
Born and raised in London, England, Rabbi Shmuel undertook his studies at Rabbinical Colleges in London, Israel and America. He received his Smicha (Rabbinical ordination) in 2004 from the West Coast Rabbinical Seminary in Los Angeles, California.
In addition to his position of Rabbi, Shmuel serves as a Chaplain for Victoria Police, is a Hatzolah responder and a Committee member of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria. Rabbi Shmuel is a keen runner, ran a full marathon in 2021 and is also passionate and outspoken about mental health and wellbeing.
Rabbi Shmuel and Rebbetzin Rivki met in California, married in 2004 and are blessed with 5 wonderful children – Yaakov, Mendy, Reuvi, Shaina and Menucha.
Rivki is a warm, outgoing and dedicated, wife, mother, friend and educator. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, she grew up in a home which was always open and welcoming. She completed her studies at Beth Rivkah and advanced her studies in Israel.
Rivki facilitates our women’s programs, Bat Mitzvah classes, guides brides in preparation for their wedding and offers a listening ear and support to those in need.
In addition to her position of Rebbetzin, Rivki is a much-loved Prep teacher at Yeshivah College.
Together, Rabbi Shmuel and Rivki and their beautiful children have brought an invigorating sense of excitement, warmth and energy to our Shule community.
You can watch their induction video by clicking on the image on the left.
RABBI YITZHOK ISAAC RIESENBERG
Emeritus Rabbi Yitzhok Isaac Riesenberg was the founding Rabbi of Central Shule in 1998 and his leadership saw phenomenal growth, from a fledgling community of a handful of South African immigrants to becoming one the largest and most vibrant Shules in Australia.
Together with Rebbetzin Sheyna they served the community with wisdom, compassion and devotion from 1998 to 2022. In 2022 they handed over the position of Senior Rabbi & Rebbetzin to Rabbi Shmuel & Rivki Karnowsky.
In recent years Rabbi Riesenberg has established The Lantern Foundation, an organisation committed to building bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews and the promotion of tolerance through the dissemination of core biblical values.