RARA in the Media

Over the past 50 years, Chabad of RARA has appeared in various newspapers and media outlets. Here, you can browse this updating archive of news coverage of our activities.

How a regional centenarian is celebrating Passover


Every single Friday, 100-year-old Ruth Phillips lights candles around her home while her phone rings with friends, family and rabbis wishing her a happy Shabbat.

Despite living by herself in the small northern NSW town of Gleniffer, the centenarian has found through constant communication, she is not alone.

However, every year she braves the cold and travels 1,300 kilometres from her home in Gleniffer to Melbourne to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, with her family.

"It's nice, I enjoy it. If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't come down here, because it's so cold," Ms Phillips said.



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Ms Philips is one of around 10,000 practising Jewish people who live in regional Australia, according … Read More »

RARA brings the light of Chanuka around Australia

For Jewish people living in places in Australia far from a community, celebrating Jewish holidays can be challenging. The sheer distance, coupled with low numbers, makes doing anything as a group very difficult. Australia is a massive country - roughly the same size as the United States, but with a fraction of the population, and home to approximately 150,000 Jewish people, of which most live in the bigger cities like Melbourne and Sydney.


That’s where Chabad of RARA - Rural and Regional Australia - comes in. Founded in 2000 by Saul and Beverly Spigler in Melbourne Australia, the organisation has spent close to a quarter of a century seeking to bring connection to Jewish people in far off places.

Led by Rabbi Menachem and… Read More »

How roving rabbis help the few Jews of rural Australia celebrate Rosh Hashanah


Link to original article:



Rabbi Mendel Junik prays while overlooking the rugged outback of the Pilbara region in western Australia. (Courtesy of Rabbi Menachem Aron)

MELBOURNE (JTA) — Ruth Hannah has lived in the Australian coastal town of Mallacoota for more than 30 years. The 72-year-old daughter of Holocaust survivors knows of only one other Jewish person in her town, which has a population of 1,183 people.

Known for its beautiful beaches and wildlife, Mallacoota is located near the middle of a 650-mile coastal route from Melbourne to Sydney. Along that route, there is not a single city with… Read More »

20,000 KM to Reach Every Jew in Regional Australia


Link to original article:

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Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia, famously known as “RARA,” has had a record-setting past two months, led by Rabbi Menachem and Shevi Aron. During this time, 8 Bochurim have travelled thousands of kilometers around the country, in search of Jewish people in far-flung places.

Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia, famously known as “RARA” has had a record-setting past two months. During this time, 8 Bochurim have travelled thousands of kilometers around the country, in search of Jewish people in far-flung places.

Founded in 2000 by Sauly and Beverly Spigler of Melbourne Australia, … Read More »

Miles And Miles Of Shlichus – Rabbi Yossi And Malki Rodal, Newcastle, Australia.


Link to original article:

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Shlichus in Australia is unique. Apart from Sydney, Melbourne, and a few other big cities, the rest of the population is spread out over wide areas of wilderness. That’s why RARA – Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia was started. You are essentially the shliach for hundreds of cities over thousands of miles. Much of the shlichus is done virtually, but the highlight of our work would be the month-long road trips, where we visit one or two Jewish families in each area. These are done every few months, so each area is visited once or twice a year. It’s a very… Read More »

Rabbi’s Lennox Head visit is full of heart


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Not ready to retire when he was 70 and about to be made redundant by his employer, Henri decided to purchase farmland near the town, began studying agriculture, and planted 6000 macadamia trees.





Lennox Head resident Henri Bader (left), 93, with Rabbi Menachem Aron on May 28.

Rabbi Menachem Aron and his family made a special stop on May 28 on their road trip up the northern NSW coast, on behalf of Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia (RARA).

Arriving in Lennox Head, they spent some quality time chatting to 93-year-old Henri Bader, and his wife Lorraine, and left feeling truly inspired.

Not r… Read More »

Campaign boosts regional outreach


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The campaign has so far raised $260,000 for its outreach work for isolated Jewish families and individuals across Australia, and remains open for additional donations.




A Purim celebration in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, run by Chabad of RARA earlier this month.

Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia (RARA) has expressed thanks to the almost 700 people that donated to its 2023 annual giving campaign earlier this month.

The campaign has so far raised $260,000 for its outreach work for isolated Jewish families and individuals across Australia, and remains open for additional donations.

Rabbis Menac… Read More »

In an Australian Outback Mining Town, a Lone Jew Receives His Final Honors


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Dr. Avron Moffson is laid to rest by members of Perth, Australia’s Jewish community, who traveled 14 hours for another Jew. From left, placing earth over the fresh grave: Dennis Davidoff, Marc Roth, David Ninio and Rabbi Shalom White.

The dusty plains near Kalgoorlie, a forgotten mining town deep in the Australian interior, belie the rich Jewish history of Western Australia’s Goldfields region, once home to two synagogues during the peak of the gold-rush era in the early 20th century. While Kalgoorlie—some 370 miles from Perth, t… Read More »

9000 kilometres of spirit


Link to original article:

Since forming 22 years ago, Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia’s (RARA) roaming rabbis have been on scores of road trips in this vast continent, seeking to find isolated Jewish people to help them reconnect with their faith and heritage. But a trip to the most isolated state, Western Australia, is always ‘next level’, as proven this July and August.

An Epic Journey

“I‘ve been on many road trips, but this Western Australia (WA) one was a completely different beast – because everything in Australia is just so far apart!” Rabbi Zelig Baumgarten recalled.

“According to the Rebbe’s call,… Read More »

Outreach in the Outback


Link to original article:

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In the 1970s, Melbourne businessman Sauli Spigler, then in his early 20s, rented a mobile home and traveled more than 6,000 miles with a few of his friends over a four-week period across the Australian outback.

While this could have been a typical rite-of-passage trip by young people looking for adventure, Spigler had heeded a call from the Lubavitcher rebbe in New York City to seek out Jewish people living in isolated areas, with a mission to connect them with their faith. The Australian outback, known for its red earth, unrelenting heat, and massive distances between tiny municipalities, is not exactly the pl… Read More »

Post-Covid Passover a Real Festival of Freedom Down Under Australia and New Zealand welcome a pandemic-free holiday


Link to original article:

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As the coronavirus began its deadly march across the globe a little more than a year ago, Passover was on the minds of Jews worldwide. Seder without the family? Where to obtain matzah, kosher wine and other Passover essentials? For many of the Jews “Down Under,” this magnified their usual challenges. While many of their American peers could order their supplies with two-day shipping, in Australia and New Zealand, that wasn’t an option.

Jews in the metropolitan areas could shop at the local kosher supermarkets and even some major chains, or call t… Read More »

Chabad of RARA Celebrates 20 Years


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Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia recently marked 20 years of operation, founded by Mr. and Mrs. Shaul Spigler and has four full-time couples working to reach Jewish people wherever they may be.


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Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia recently marked 20 years of operation.

Founded in June of 2000 by Mr. and Mrs. Shaul Spigler, the organization has reached out to thousands of Jewish people living in remote and rural areas around Australia. These families and individuals are far from any Jewish Center, and for most. Chabad of RARA is their only connection to Judaism.

Read More »

Celebrating 20 years of Chabad of RARA


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While official celebrations for the 20-year anniversary have been postponed due to the pandemic, a celebratory dinner in Melbourne is on the cards for a couple of months’ time.



Rabbi Izzy Adelist and Rabbi Mendel Super from Chabad of RARA visited a family in Orbost, Victoria.

IN some parts of Australia, many Jewish people only interact with other Jews once or twice a year when the rabbis from Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia (RARA) come to visit.

The occasions are always cause for celebration – and even more so this month as Chabad of RARA celebrates its 20-year anniversary.

“We’… Read More »

Mitzvah Truck Rolls in

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There was a big colourful truck getting around Lakes Entrance last week - the Mitzvah Tank.

Rabbi Mendel Super and Rabbi Izzy Adelist, who featured on Outback Rabbis on ABC television last year, visited the town.

The truck has travelled across the Nullabor, to Darwin and basically the width and breadth of Australia.

They were in northern New South Wales after the bush-fires providing support to victims of the fires. They provided food, water and in some cases financial assistance to victims, even providing a bull-dozer to one woman to help clean up after the fire.

They are now visiting remote areas to reach out to Jewish people.

They know of some people in Lakes Entrance, but would like to contact and support others.

"… Read More »

Amid Catastrophic Bushfires, Hope and Support From Australia’s Jewish Community


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Verne Dove's huband, Troy, and her son, Jaidal, survey the destruction of their home in tiny Nana Glen (population 1,055) in New South Wales’s tropical north.

The Friday before she lost her home, Verne Dove went with her family to a Shabbat dinner in Coffs Harbour, a small coastal city in New South Wales, Australia.

“It was like an apocalypse; 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and everything was orange. It was the most eerie thing I’ve ever experienced,” Dove tells “At the Shabbat dinner we had black, burn… Read More »

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