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.

The visit with Mr Henri and Lorraine Bader


On Sunday, Rabbi Menachem Aron and family were up in northern NSW and made a special stop.

The visit was with Mr Henri and Lorraine Bader, a couple of great accomplishment and inspiration. You see, 23 years ago, Henri's employer told him that he would be made redundant. At the time, Henri was 70 years old.

His job was terminated, and he found himself out of work. But he was nowhere ready to retire. So, he looked around, and purchased a large farm near Lennox Head, NSW. Well, it wasn't exactly a farm, more of just a peice a land.

Henri started to study, and learnt agriculture from the ground up, quiet literally. He sewed the fields and planted some 6,000 macadamia trees.

23 years later, and having featured in many TV shows and articles, Henri is going strong. His farm outputs enormous quantities of Australia's only native nut, and Henri is not stopping any time soon.

We discussed Henri's rich past, thay began with growing up in a tight-nit Jewish community in Springs, South Africa, a town 60 kilometres from Johannesburg.

Henri recalled going to Cheder every day, and has memories of the local Shochet that was in town.

Today, Henri makes sure to don a very special pair of Tefillin every morning - they are the very same Tefillin that Henri's father used, many years ago. And every Friday night, Henri's wife Lorraine lights the Shabbat candles, and Henri is sure to say the Kabalat Shabbay prayers, which he has been saying weekly for over 80 years.

He has been through tough times and through better times, but Henri still has a twinkle in his eye as he leans back and speaks about having the right perspective and values in life.

It is never too late to start something new, and give it another chance.

The visit was truly an inspiring one, and we look forward to visiting Henri and Lorraine again in the near future.




And that's a wrap!


Thank you to Rabbis Menachem Palace (right) and Mendel Spritzer (left) who have just arrived back in Melbourne this morning.

They spent 5 weeks and 6,000 kilometres on the road visiting families all over Vic and NSW.

Well done an an incredible trip that made a difference to so many. From Virginia in Berrigan to Shirley in Tamworth and many in between, the rabbis spent hours in conversation and connection, truly ensuring that no Jew be left behind.

Stay tuned as we continue to publish the stories from their trip over the coming weeks!

Did you meet Mendel and Menachem, or perhaps a different RARA team in the past? Please share your experiences here, we'd love to hear all about it!


Mazal Tov!


This past Thursday was a very special occasion in the Sunshine Coast, QLD.

Rabbi Oshy and Liba Goodman, directors of the Chabad center there, had been blessed with a baby boy, and the Bris Milah ceremony took place on Thursday, exactly 8 days after the baby was born.

We were privileged to fly up from Melbourne to join in the happy occasion.

The baby was named Menachem Mendel, certainly a very appropriate Chabad name!

Jewish life is certainly booming in the Sunny Coast. Every week, more and more people are joining the Jewish community.

If you are in the area, be sure to stop by our affiliates, the Chabad Sunshine Coast!

Mazal Tov!

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Chabad of RARA in Lightning Ridge, NSW, Australia.


Any Jewish people here?


Good Shabbos from Dubbo NSW!


The Jews of Dubbo will be gathering for a Shabbat meal with the RARA rabbis this evening.

Wherever you are, have a great Shabbos!


Can you guess which city they are in?


Our dedicated roving rabbis, Mendel (the shorter guy) and Menachem (the taller guy) stop for a fantastic picture with Hashem's natural beauty.

They are holding a set of Tefillin, the Jewish prayer ritual which they have offered to people that they meet. It gives them a moment to disconnect from the noise and connect with their soul.

The rabbis have been on the road for 4 weeks, and have had countless meaningful encounters with people of all colours and stripes.


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Discovering My Jewish Soul


What do you do if you're living regional, but approaching a significant Jewish milestone?

For two families in regional Queensland, this was a problem they faced as their daughters were approaching 12 years old, the age of Bat Mitzvah.

Rachel, in Ipswich, wanted her daughter to learn about Judaism and what it means to be an adult. And Gabriela, in Gladstone, knew how important the traditions are to her family, and wanted to make sure that her daughter would be able to carry that on.

So, after getting in touch with Chabad of RARA, the "Discovering My Jewish Soul" Bat Mitzvah course was inaugurated!

Led by Mrs Sheina Sufrin, the course is delivered online in 10 different units. Once a week, the girls get on a zoom class together, and discuss a specific topic, paired with a hands-on activity that has been shipped up to them in the mail.

"We are so thankful to have this opportunity to be able to participate in this course from the comfort of our home" said Gabriela, mother of Sofia who completed the course. "Sheina has connected really well with the girls. She is so bubbly and inspiring for them!"

Rachel's daughter Adeline also joined the program. She related, "We are so grateful for this program which enables us to feel like part of the community. Adeline has learnt so much about her heritage and what being a Jewish woman is all about in contemporary society."

To celebrate the conclusion of the course, in early May, Sheina and her family met up with the two families that had taken the course in the Sunshine Coast. Hosted by Chabad Sunshine Coast, the three families got to meet in person for the first time, and spent the day enjoying themselves on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

A celebratory lunch was held where the girls presented a brief speech that they had prepared, explaining what being a Jewish woman means to them.

The course is ongoing, with a new season set to begin soon.

Get in touch with us today to learn more and give your daughter the experience she deserves as she becomes an adult!




Rara Mobile Library


Somewhere in cold, quiet, and regional NSW, in the dead of the night, you can hear a low humming sound of a heater running. The RARA rabbis have retired for the night in their Mobile Library.

They spent the day visiting families across the Blue Mountains and welcoming members of the public aboard to browse, read, and borrow Jewish books.

And as the day comes to an end, the metaphoric dark night of the world has become just that little bit brighter.

As we recently learned in the Rambam (Miamonides) daily study cycle, just one good deed can be enough to TIP the scales and light up the world.

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Positivity Bias


In a world that can seem so negative, it can be difficult to discern the positivity in everything.

But the Rebbe was able to see it. In every situation, small or big, there is a light of positivity that shines through.

Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson's 400-page book on the topic of the Positivity Bias that every person has is a great read that is not too heavy duty. Full of stories and illustrations of the Rebbe's game-changing world veiw, it is sure to bring a new, upbeat perspective to your day to day life.

We've just received a box 📦 of these. Head over to the online shop to pick up your copy at the discounted introductory price today!

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Living Jewish A Handbook For Life


This is a great book that will teach any school aged Jewish child about, as the title says, Living Jewish.

It's available as part of a program that has just begun.


Come warm up by the fire and hear stories of the legendary Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.


Rabbis Mendy and Menachem and friends are sitting around the Lag B'omer fire in Emu Plains, NSW tonight.

Are you around? Come warm up by the fire and hear stories of the legendary Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Thank you to the Gabriel's for hosting!



The RARA Mobile Library is on the road again


The RARA Mobile Library is on the road again, fully stocked with intersting and exciting new titles.

Look out for the big yellow bus and be sure to hop on board and borrow some great books!

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A very special visit


Last week, as Rabbis Menachem and Mendel were making their way through New South Wales, they spent some time in the city of Wagga Wagga. Although numbering over 80,000 people in the greater region, there are just a handful of Jewish people living there.

One of them is Shoshana. She's lived in Wagga for more than half a century. It had been a few years since RARA had last visited her, and when she saw the rabbis stride into the assisted living center, her eyes lit up!

Shoshana shared her memories of Israel in 1948 during the War of Independance, where she served as a medic and provided aid to the wounded.

Although the only Jewish person at the center, Shoshana is proud of her heritage, and gladly accepted a copy of the RARA calendar, so she could keep track of the Jewish holidays


Mazal Tov Yehudah Aryeh Rodal!


It was a great merit to be present at a historic Bris Milah (ritual circumcision) at the Newcastle Synagogue yesterday!

Our colleagues, Rabbi Yossi and Malki Rodal, directors of Hunter Chabad, were blessed with the arrival of a healthy baby boy 8 days ago, and yesterday the Bris took place.

A large crowd gathered in the Shul for the frist Bris in many decades at the Shul. (Thank you to the comments here, there certainly had been Bris ceremonies at the Shul in its rich past!).

After the special blessing was made, Rabbi Yossi gave the name to the new baby - Yehudah Aryeh, named after Yehudah Aryeh Herszberg who was a pioneer of Jewish life in Sydney in the mid 1900's.

The special energy that is present at a Bris could be felt in the Shul as the new baby was welcomed into the age old covenant of the Jewish people.

Mazal Tov to the entire family!







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