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.

Do you keep old newspapers?


Have a look at this clipping from 1977, when four young rabbis jumped into a motorhome and visited Jewish people across the country.

This was the very first "RARA trip" ever.

Well, 46 years later, and we are still at it! Melways may have tuned into the GPS, but that same love for another and genuine care for other people's wellbeing is what drives us (literally!) today around this sunburnt land.



The Shtick


Rabbi Menachem Aron was recently featured on Henry Greener's famous "The Shtick" channel.


Check out the lively interview here, you'll be sure to have a laugh!


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Anyone up for some chicken soup near Margaret River, WA?


Our rabbis will be making a Shabbat dinner there this Friday night, and would love to have guests.


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Rabbi Elozor and Miri Gestetner


Rabbi Elozor and Miri Gestetner from Sydney recently visited Uluru. While they had a very special encounter in the nearby town, Yulara, with the only Jewish resident there. Below is an excerpt from the Coogee Synagogue Newsletter, written by Rabbi Gestetner.

Think Again- Jewish sparks in Uluru

An amazing organistaion , bringing the flavor of Judaism to Rural and Regional Australia. Groups of Bachurim (yeshivah students) travel to every corner of this huge continent, every city, town, village, every outback ranch and remote farm has been contacted searching for Jewish sparks everywhere on this vast landscape.

RARA is funded by that great philanthropist Solly Spiegler of Melbourne who funds these great big caravan homes on wheels which he calls Jewish tanks that travel throughout every state and territory of Australia. His reach extends everywhere you find Telstra and more.

So I call Menachem, he searches his data base and advises that there may be one Jew living in the township of Uluru, called Yalara, his name is Dwain Beeson, all we really have is his mobile number, we have not been in contact for many years.

So after settling in at our Uluru Hotel, Garden of the Desert, I call Dwain and introduce myself as a visiting rabbi from Coogee Synagogue and would he mind a drink in the bar. He responds in the biggest Aussie drawl I have ever heard “Naaaah mate, just too busy, I do a show every day, work’n too hard, aint any time to socialise”.

Well job done, call made and I leave it at that.

So Miri and I wander down next morning to the town plaza, I see this entertainer instructing enthusiastically on the intricacies, art, history and deep culture of the didgeridoo (Aboriginal Shofar). He is totally animated and excited in his presentation; he expends a lot of energy and oomph in his teaching and blowing. You can see he is completely absorbed by its culture, almost spiritual, in fact for him it is holy work and only those with permission are privileged to learn the art of the different notes and sounds that emerge from this earthy instrument. The entertainer constantly refers to himself in the third person well “Dwain this and Dwain that”.

I’m intrigued, is this Jewish Dwain, the only Jew of Uluru. So following his entertaining presentation, I saunter up to him and introduce myself.

He responds “yeah mate me Mum was Jewish I was born in Tawoomba, but its too busy for me, I prefer the outback, here in central Australia, this is me-home together on the commune with the indigenous”.

I could not believe that I had found my Jewish spark so easily. I show him pictures of a Jewish shofar. I show him a picture of a Cohen blowing the shofar in Jerusalem at the Western Wall and tell him about sacrifice, Rosh Hashanah the deep significance of the shofar, its varied sounds and musical cantelations.

He responds and tells me” I have always wanted to visit Jerusalem, to see the place – maybe I will see you in Jerusalem” and that was how we left it, Next Year in Jerusalem.

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RARA Rabbi's in Fremantle WA


Rabbis Mendel and Mendel spent last week visiting Jewish people around the Fremantle area, in Western Australia.

On Friday, they headed back into the Jewish suburb, (a place that just happens to be called Menora - no kidding, look it up yourself!) to pick up some Kosher food for Shabbat.

They were lucky enough to bump into these three fine people, former IDF soldiers that are spending some time travelling around this sunburnt land.

great time together, taking a great interest in the RARA Mobile Library and Mitzva Tank. You see, these guys were well trained at driving a very different type of "tank".

Instead if mortars, they pulled books from the shelves of the Mobile Library, and were fascinated to hear about the rabbis 4-day drive across the Nullarbor.

Friday was a busy day, with Shabbat begning quite early. But not busy to stop for a few minutes and cultivate some great friendships!

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Our rabbis had a lovely Shabbat in Broome, WA

They setup camp at the local caravan park, and what do you know - the next site over had a Jewish couple that was on a road trip. So they were able to light the shabbat candles together and have some company over Shabbat.

It's a very small world indeed!


Where's Wally?


Over the past two days, Chabad Rabbis from all over Australia and New Zealand got together for a leadership conference.

They discussed, chatted, argued, and came through with the very best ways to continue serving their communities, and bringing the inspiration that the Rebbe has charged them with to their communities.

Gathering was fitting with the "Hakhel" - "Gathering" year that 5783 coincides with.

Can you spot the RARA Rabbis in this photo?



Jewish Discovery Weekend 2022


This time last year, a very special gathering took place in Melbourne. It was the annual Jewish Discovery Weekend, that saw people from all over Australia come to Melbourne to experience a Shabbat within the community.

We asked participants what their most meaningful moment of the weekend was.

Hadassah (Nicole) came from Gladstone with her young son, and was joined by her aunt Susan from Hobart.

“Being able to ask so many questions and connecting with other Jews. I also loved the mikvah. I absolutely loved the weekend and feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to attend. Everyone was so welcoming and generous. I didn’t want the weekend to end.”

The good news is, the weekend is taking place again, in late August. Registration has just opened, available on the RARA website.

Pictured here is Mrs Timmy Rubin (back to camera) giving an overview of the Mikva in Melbourne to participants of the weekend, last year. 

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Chabad of RARA in Robe, SA

Not too much to see here, right? Especially with freezing temperatures and driving rain!

Well, RARA certainly has what to do here! Yesterday, Rabbi Menachem Aron and family made it to Robe, some 600 kilometres from Melbourne.

We met with Ophir, an individual who has lived in Robe for over 20 years. Ophir instantly switched to his mother tongue, Hebrew when the rabbi walked in the door.

It may be two decades since Ophir lived in Melbourne, but he still had fond recollections of the community there, and remembered many people by name.

Before parting ways, Rabbi Menachem helped Ophir lay the Tefillin, and pray for a moment.

It may have been raining all day in Robe, but this encounter was a true ray of sunshine.


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Rabbi Menachem Aaron and family in Warrnambool


We are in the midst of one of the busiest seasons ever, with 4 groups currently on the road, and a fifth group joining next week.

Rabbis Mendel Lipskier and Mendel Shmotkin have emabrked on a trip to Western Australia, where they will be heading south of Perth and visiting towns along the coast.

Rabbis Mendle Junik and Menachem Manssouri are currently up in Darwin. They will be hosting a Shabbat meal tonight for the locals, and have spent the last few days making visits around the Top End.

Rabbis Mendel Zarchi and Yaakov Zarchi have already been on the road for 3 weeks. This weekend, they will be in Bundaberg, after which they will continue north to Gladstone, Rockhampton and beyond.

Rabbi Menachem Aron and family spent a few nights in Warrnambool, and have now headed over the South Australian border, where they will be spending Shabbat in Mount Gambier.

A big thank you goes to our tireless volunteers that are dedicating their time to reach out to people living in isolated areas.

We wish them much success on their trips!

Be sure to look out for the roving rabbis, bringing connection to one person at a time around rural and regional Australia.


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Halfway Across Australia


This week, our dedicated volunteers drove the RARA Mobile from Melbourne to Perth. Thats 3,426 kilometres on the road!

They are looking forward to visiting isolated Jewish people in regional and remote locations across Western Australia.

Shabbat Shalom!

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In memory of Tzvi and Itty


This week, we commemorated the Yahrtzeit (anniversary of passing) of two very special people, Tzvi and Itty Ainsworth, who passed away two years ago.

Tzvi and Itty were well know for the remarkable, and quiet, kindness and assistance to many people.

They were taken well before their time in the tragic building collapse that took place in Surfside, Florida in 2021.

In their merit, a very special pair of Tefillin was recently donated to Chabad of RARA by their sons, Zalman and Nussen Ainsworth.

The Tefillin have been used for a few moments of prayer by many people in regional Queensland, on a trip that is currently under way.

Rabbis Mendel Zarchi and Yaakov Zarchi have offered this special Mitzva to people that they have met, and so many have been moved by hearing about Tzvi and Itty.

May the memory of Tzvi and Itty be a blessing.



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