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.

Supporting RARA


The Financial Year might be ending, but a new trip is just begining. Today, Rabbis Menachem Manssouri and Mendel Junik arrived in Australia.

They are pictured here standing next to the Chabad of RARA Mitzva Tank and mobile library.

They'll be heading off to Darwin, and then Western Australia, and will connect with locals there.

You can take a part of this and off the financial year by making a difference.

 Visit and make a donation to support those that need it most.



Chabad of RARA in Cecil Plains, QLD, Australia


Australia is one of the biggest cotton producers in the world. And what you might not know is that 40% of Australia's cotton comes from Queensland.


The Rother family arrived in Australia in the 1960's, and for many years have been involved in the cotton industry. Yesterday our volunteer Rabbis spent the afternoon out in the cotton fields.


They met with Howard and his family, and got a full tour of their farm, even managing to lay the Tefillin amongst the endless sea of freshly grown cotton.


No matter where, no matter the industry, you can always stay connected to your heritage!


Pictured here is Rabbis Mendel and Yaakov Zarchi with Howard Rother, as well as with the next two generations of the Rother family, Jamie, and his baby son Leo.



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Eretz Yisrael. Israel. The Holy Land.


The Holy Land.

The heart and soul of every Jew, and the homeland of the Jewish people.

We read, watch and hear about it all the time.

But we need to experience it. To visit its holy sites, to touch its holy ground, and to hear from its inhabitants.

For the first time ever, Chabad organizations around Australia will be coordinating an Israel trip for Jewish teenagers in grades 9 to 12 (2023).

Taking place in December, and running for three weeks, this special trip will be sure to provide your child with memories and experiences that they will cherish forever.

Get in touch today to learn more about this exciting opportunity.



Rabbi's Mendel Zarchi and Yaakov Zarchi


Rabbis (and cousins!) Mendel Zarchi (standing), from Brooklyn, New York, and Yaakov Zarchi (seated) from San Francisco, California, arrived on our shores last week.

Tomorrow, they'll be heading up to Queensland, where they will spend 5 weeks on the road, visiting regional communities and providing connection and support to those living further away.

In this picture they are pouring over the trip notes from our previous volunteers that have visited Central Queensland in the past.

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Did you say the Shema today?


Laying the Tefillin with Ralph in Wentworth Falls, NSW earlier last month.


Rabbis Mani Holzman and Menachem Amar visiting Illawarra region in NSW.


Rabbis Mani Holzman and Menachem Amar recently spent 5 weeks visiting families in the Illawarra region in NSW. Here is one of there many visits:

Ivan and Carol, originally from South Africa, have lived in Wollongong for many years.

Coming from very traditional families, they are familiar with all the Yomim Tovim and the Jewish calendar.

Ivan and Carol had been quite a while since the last time that Ivan and Carol had the RARA rabbis over for a visit, so they were very eager for another one!

Ivan had a special surprise to show the Chabad rabbis when they came to visit. He pulled out a photo album from a drawer, and flipped through it, opening to a number of photographs that had been taken in New York, many years ago.

Ivan and Carol had been to visit the Rebbe, and had even received a dollar to give to charity as well. Ivan recalls that the Rebbe had given him and his wife a blessing for Parnassah (livelihood) at the time.

After spending a good part of the afternoon in discussion, it was soon time to part ways. But there would be one more Mitzva for the day - although Ivan and Carol had a Mezuzah on their front door, they also wanted one for the bedroom. So up it went, with Ivan proudly giving the new Mezuzah a kiss.

May Ivan be granted a speedy recovery - Yitzchak Nasan ben Hetti - Amen!


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As told by Les Margulis from the Blue Mountains, NSW (Formerly of New York, New York)

My life has been nomadic, and I freely admit that I have been searching for a place and a space to “belong” for many years.

It was that search which brought me to an ever so slightly run down house perched perilously on the side of a mountain, where I and a handful of others partook (over a period of time) in very special religious ceremonies.

 So, how did these ex-patriots come to be wrapped in a tallit and tefillin, nearly crying with emotion after hearing the RARA Rabbi read from the Book of Esther?It’s a long story.

Each of us has his or her own winding tale of grandparents fleeing the pogroms or the Holocaust. Some of the Mountain Diaspora left Europe with no more than a day or two to spare and with diamonds sewed into the inner lining of bubbe’s skirt.

Many of our generation didn’t want to be identified as being Jewish. We were always — to be clear — proud of being Jewish and never, ever tried to hide it in any way, but we never felt religious and we didn’t want to be identified as obviously, Jewish. Our Anglicized surnames hid our heritage.

My family was, in many ways, typically American — in a melting pot sort of way.

Both sets of grandparents traveled in steerage for weeks to land in the Lower East Side with neither a mastery of English nor enough money to last the month. Yiddish was the de facto tongue spoken in the streets and in the shops.

I was the first in my family to complete university and to top it off with a Masters in Communication. 

I learned the hard way to get what I wanted— not in a loud, demanding way, but in a quieter, persuasive, effective way.

Yet, there was no spiritual connection. Hashem had left me devoid of emotion. I was a success in commerce but a failure in life.

At that time, I was living in Moscow and running a large communication company. One day, I saw an ad in the English language newspaper inviting all Jews in Moscow to rediscover their spirituality at the time of Passover. The Rabbi was Chabad from Chicago and his sincerity and openness allowed me to reconnect and become re-rooted in my Jewish heritage.

I felt that for years I had a spiritual hole that needed to be filled. And when I came to the Mountains, I found RARA, also by chance, or perhaps by luck. RARA gives me hope.

I’m a pretty optimistic person. Partly because the world isn’t changed by pessimists: I say that it is time for people that stand up for what they believe in.

I believe in being Jewish. Jews have never looked for a fight. But, that being said, we have always believed in fighting for what we believed in.

There is no other way.

Photo by D-Mo: The Chabad of RARA Chanuka gathering in Katoomba in late 2022. Les is seated on the left.

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