Council of Christians and Jews: A Panel Discussion on Voluntary Assisted Dying (Sunday 29 October 2017)

On Sunday 29 October 2017, approximately 50 people gathered at the Eva Besen Centre in Caulfield (home of the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia - Victoria) to hear presentations from four speakers on the topic of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide. This was a timely discussion as the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 has been passed by the lower house of the Victorian Parliament and is about to be debated in the Upper house this week.

 The four speakers were:

David Brooker is currently Senior Minister at Southern Community Church of Christ in Cheltenham, an active and diverse community of faith that has a long and strong heritage of engagement with the local community, a reflection of David’s passion for people of faith to be agents of transformation and harmony within their local communities.  David has served as an ordained minister for 36 years, most of them in various local church contexts, but he also spent seven years as State Minister with the Churches of Christ in South Australia & Northern Territory and has exercised a number of leadership roles within Boards and agencies of Churches of Christ in Victoria & Tasmania.  At present, David is Chair of the City of Kingston Interfaith Advisory Committee, a role which he finds energising and educative. 

Raphael Dascalu is a native of Sydney, currently residing in Melbourne. He completed his BA in Philosophy, Religious Studies and Classical Hebrew at the University of Sydney; his MA in Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; and his PhD at the University of Chicago, focusing on medieval Jewish history and philosophy.  In addition to his academic training, he has a broad background in the traditional study of rabbinic literature and law.  Raphael has spent time studying in yeshiva at Yeshivat Hakibbutz Hadati (Ein Tzurim), in the kolel of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, in the beit midrash of the Shalom Hartman Institute and in the Havruta beit midrash program at the Hebrew University.  He is currently an Adjunct Research Associate at Monash University and works in translation and editing.

Rev. Associate Professor John Dupuche is a Priest of the Archdiocese of Melbourne.  He is Associate Professor at the University of Divinity and an Honorary Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and chair of the Catholic Interfaith Committee of the Archdiocese. 

Rabbi Kim Ettlinger was ordained at Hebrew Union College (HUC) where she earned two Master of Arts Degrees, in Jewish Education and in Hebrew Letters.  In 1997 she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology from Murdoch University in Perth.  She joined Temple Beth Israel in 2010 and has served the congregation since then and currently oversees Education and Religious Life at TBI.  Rabbi Ettlinger is passionate about liturgy, contemporary issues and how they interact with Rabbinic Judaism throughout Jewish history.

Click here to download an audio recording of the event. 
Fr John has kindly made his presentation available. Click hereto download a copy.

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