Latest RARA News

Welcome to the Chabad of RARA News page.

Here you'll find all the latest posts from our on-the-road volunteers.

Come join Chabad Malvern this Shabbat!


 If you are around, come join Chabad Malvern this Shabbat! 


Rabbi Pinchos Sudak and and Rabbi Yaacov Brooks


Welcome Rabbi Pinchos Sudak (left) and Rabbi Yaacov Brooks. Both hailing from the United Kingdom, they have just arrived in Australia and will be traveling through regional Victoria and South Australia to visit people in those beautiful areas.




Around 150 Jewish people are living in Darwin, a tiny semi-tropical city that lies north of Australia’s expansive Simpson Desert.

Yet on Friday afternoon on the foreshore of the Arafura Sea, the community held a protest calling for the immediate, and unconditional release of all hostages, particularly the children.

“It's ridiculous that there are a whole bunch of kids who are stuck in a dark tunnel, away from their family, and loved ones,” said Rabbi Menachem Aron.

After over a month of the children being held hostage, the community felt that a public display was critical, and could no longer remain silent.

“The Northern Territory is Australia’s equivalent of the Wild West, so we had no idea how people would respond.  There are the cowboys to the west, bikie gangs to the south,”  Rabbi said.

As people wandered by, many stopped momentarily to look at the faces of the children in the posters.

Not one poster was ripped, there was no abuse, the police didn’t have to be called to help. The only comments were to show support for the release of the hostages taken by Hamas terrorists and their families.

The Darwin Jewish community is a small community that meet a few times a year to celebrate Jewish festivals and other celebrations. There is no synagogue, no permanent Rabbi, and absolutely no resources. Without a community structure, the Government wouldn't have approved permission to hold the protest. 

Thankfully the Zionist Federation of Australia came to the rescue sponsoring the event.  They offered to organize security even though only a handful of people were expected to turn up.

"Darwin Radio 1049Mix gave their time to interview me about the event.  We were amazed as people drove from the other side of town to show support.", Rabbi said.

Support came from members of a local church, and a First Nations woman whose grandfather was Jewish. She said she felt very connected to the Jewish people and held the Israeli flag high for all to see.

“For the people of Israel, from the outback of the Northern Territory of Australia we send our love,”  said Marilynne, an American, British Jewish Australian.


Well done to the local Darwin community for putting this incredible display of support together!

Pictured: Members of the Darwin Jewish community stand near a display of posters depicting children that are being held hostage in Gaza











Which one is it?

And is it a menorah, or a chanukiah?

Either way, it's time to get ready for the festival of lights, which begins on Thursday evening, 7 December 2023.

Let us know if you need some candles or a Menorah and we'll pop them in the mail for you.



Where will you be celebrating?



  We will light the first Chanuka candle in three weeks from tonight!

Rara at the Chabad gathering in New York



At the recent Chabad gathering in New York, Rabbi Menachem Aron spoke to a reporter at the JTA about Jewish people in rural Australia wanting to connect even more during these times. 

Read it here: 

The RARA Mitzvah Mobile at one of the Israel rallies in Melbourne



Photo: Pinni Biber 

The RARA Mitzvah Mobile was present at one of the Israel rallies in Melbourne, helping attendees put on Tefillin and do a Mitzva for Israel. 

Pictured here is Rabbi Menachem Aron with his brother Akiva, in between Tefillins. 

Every Mitzva (=positive action) we do is a great merit for those on the front lines.

Join us for Shabbat


Anyone in Bowral NSW want to join a Shabbat meal tonight with our Rabbis?

You'll have a great time!

Officeworks is not just for office supplies!




Our Rabbis were delighted to bump into Josh earlier today and catch up very quickly.

You never know where your next Jewish encounter might be! 


United for Israel



Spread the word! Join the largest virtual Challah bake for Israel with Australia and New Zealand this Thursday evening (TONIGHT!) at 6:30pm.

✨Pray for the safety of our Chayalim and the safe return of our hostages. ✨Register for Zoom event, make Challah, and do the mitzvah as one. Recording available if you can't attend live. ✨Let’s stand together in unity. Am Yisrael Chai! 


Who would you like to spend your Shabbat dinner with?

If you could have two Jewish people from all of history at your dinner table this Shabbat, who would you choose?

Anyone up for a Visit?


Our Rabbi volunteers would love to visit Jewish residents between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla.

Know anyone?

Beautiful Shabbat at Batemans Bay NSW



Rabbis Avremi Rapoport and Yoeli Minkowicz just concluded a beautiful Shabbat in Batemans Bay, NSW.

They hosted some of the locals for a great Friday night meal.

And check this out: 95% of the food they served was sourced locally, and is 100% Kosher!

Keeping kosher in the regional areas can be more accessible than your think.

Have a blessed week ahead!

2023 Wollongong Jewish Cemetery Consecration


Yesterday, a very rare Jewish ceremony took place in Wollongong, NSW.

It took place in a cemetery, but no-one was in mourning.

How does that happen? Well, read on!

Over the years, Jewish families in the area have come together for various events and occasions in the area, which is just over an hours' drive south of Sydney. Many of the families were of Israeli origin, or had lived and worked in Israel in the past. Eventually, a group was formed, and given the name KEVA, which stands for "Kibbutz Ex Volunteer Association". (It seems like regional Jewish groups like 4-letter acronyms!)

Jumping to 2023, it became apparent that there was a real need for a Jewish burial ground for people living in the Illawarra region, an areas that encompasses Wollongong, Shellharbour, and Kiama.

Dr Yoke Berry, who has been the facilitator of the KEVA group, spearheaded this initiative, and was in extensive contact with the local council to arrange the burial grounds. The council was very responsive, and eager to help with this important development.

Yesterday, after many months of hard work, the burial grounds at the Wollongong Lawn Cemetery, located in Kembla Grange were finally ready for dedication.

Members of the Sydney Beth Din, the Sydney Chevra Kadisha, and Chabad of RARA, as well as various members of the Jewish communities in the area, came together for the cemetery consecration ceremony. The consecration is performed by walking around the designated burial area 7 times, and sounding the Shofar between each circuit. Special verses pertaining to life and death are recited while walking around.

This new cemetery section ensures that the locals can have easy access to Jewish burial, a very important Mitzvah.

Thank you to all those that helped make this happen! 



Dedication and consecration of a new Jewish burial ground at the Wollongong Lawn Cemetery.


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     Rabbi Ulman leads the consecration ceremony. In his hand is a Shofar, which is used during the ceremony.

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Members of the Jewish community circle the burial grounds as part of the consecration of a new Jewish burial at the Wollongong cemetery.



Rabbi Menachem Aron helps Paul Rybak lay the Tefillin and say the Shema. 


Members of the community at the consecration service of the new Jewish burial ground in Wollongong. 



Members of the community at the consecration service of the new Jewish burial ground in Wollongong.  

Today, the ultimate kindness was fulfilled.



A name amongst many, a phone unanswered. For whatever reason, over the years, we were not able to get in touch with this individual. We never had a chance to meet them, and they did not meet us.

But when we were made aware that this person had passed away recently, we had to be there for the very last time.

Through patches of rain on an otherwise sunny day, exactly ten cars turned up at the Melbourne Chevra Kadisha's Lyndhurst Cemetery this afternoon. A minyan was formed, and our un-met friend was given a Jewish funeral and an appropriate send-off.

Those assembled did not meet her during her life on earth. But they did meet her as she crossed over to the eternal life.

May her soul be bound up in eternal life, and may her dear soul rest in peace.

Much gratitude is extended to the Melbourne Chevra Kadisha for facilitating today's Jewish funeral, and for all the volunteers that came out today to form a minyan so that the Kaddish could be said. 


Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.