Chabad RARA of North Queensland in the press

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Hamodia Newspaper, August 2018

"The MC for the event was ‘Outback’ Rabbi Ari Rubin, Shliach of the Rebbe to North Queensland, who was among the many honored guests who converged upon Brisbane, to enhance the evening, from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne and Sydney. "


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 Australian Jewish News, September 28, 2017

J-Wire September 27, 2017

140 Jews of all backgrounds come together  at the Pacific International Hotel Cairns to celebrate the Jewish New Year.

Joining some of the regulars from the community were tourists from all over the world and some new faces who had not known of the existence of Chabad RARA of North Queensland.

This number was a huge record for the small Jewish Community in Cairns. Chabad RARA is dedicated to removing entry barriers and ensuring that all who wish to participate in a meaningful celebration of the Jewish New Year may do so.

By providing free Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in a warm and inclusive setting, Chabad RARA of North Queensland hopes to accommodate those who may otherwise not be celebrating the holiday. Chabad’s “user-friendly” services make for an enjoyable and meaningful experience for both the beginner and the advanced. Song, commentary and the use of English-Hebrew prayer-books invite individuals of all levels to become active participants in the service.

“According to Jewish tradition, the gates of Heaven are open on the New Year, and G‑d accepts prayers from everyone,” said Rabbi Ari Rubin , of Chabad RARA “That serves as our inspiration to keep our doors open as well to the entire community.”

Ari continued, “The Lubavitcher Rebbe–Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory–insisted that Judaism be made accessible to all Jews. During the High Holidays, accessibility can translate into different factors for different people, such as a nonjudgmental atmosphere, affordability of the services or the ability for a beginner to follow along. Our goal is to lower the barriers of entry, and encourage each and every Jew to actively participate in these most holy and introspective days.”

This year brings added significance as the Jewish world marks 50 years since the Rebbe initiated the Mitzvah Campaigns, a historic undertaking that took Jewish observance to the streets.

For decades, Chabad-Lubavitch–an international Jewish organization that firmly believes Jewish traditions and customs are the birthright of every Jew, and that every Jew should have access to them–has made High Holiday services available free of charge, a model other synagogues and organizations around the world are aiming to replicate.

The services will continue for Yom Kippur, which begins this year at sundown on Friday, September 29 and extends until nightfall on Saturday, September 30.

For more information about Ari’s services or to reserve a space, visit

Australian Jewish News, September 21, 2017 

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The Australian Jewish News, SYD, August 10, 2017


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The Cairns Post, August 2nd 2017


See also the Mercury 

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The Australian Jewish News, July 28th, 2017 


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The Cairns Sun Feb  7, 2017

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J-Wire - Sukkot in Cairns 2016

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news-logo-data.pngMelbourne Rabbi sets up first centre for Jewish life in far north Queensland

ABC Far North By Mark Rigby Posted Fri 10 Jun 2016, 11:26am

ari.jpgPHOTO: Rabbi Rubin left a large Jewish community in Melbourne and moved his family to Cairns, in far north Queensland. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)

Far from the thriving Jewish community found in Melbourne, Rabbi Ari Rubin and his family have set up a base in far north Queensland.

The family hopes to serve the needs of the growing Jewish community living between Cooktown and Mackay and as far inland as Mount Isa in western Queensland.

Covering an area larger than the entire state of Victoria will not be without its challenges, particularly when observing Shabbat.

"The problem is we can't drive or use any electricity on the day so we can only be limited to one area," Rabbi Rubin said.

"We would love to go to other cities, but we can only spend the one day in one area so we can only reach the Jews in the area at the time."

cheese.jpgPHOTO: Rabbi Rubin and his wife have been busy preparing kosher foods for Shavuot celebrations this weekend. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby) Rabbi Rubin said before moving to Cairns he was given the contact details of about 500 Jews in the area.
"Since we moved here we've found at least 30 or 40 more and we expect that to grow," he said.
"As well, there are a lot of Jewish tourists that come here that have been coming for a while.

"[But] there's actually another 500 Jews we estimate to be in the rest of the region."

Judaism in the tropics

Wearing rabbinical robes in the midst of a far north Queensland summer is not something Rabbi Rubin is looking forward to, but it is not the most pressing issue on his mind.

More troubling is the limited availability of kosher food.

"There is a selection in supermarkets up here but it's not very big and it doesn't cover many of the things that we need," Rabbi Rubin said.

The family often ships food from Melbourne or ask visitors to bring supplies with them.
An even bigger problem is obtaining Jewish artefacts used during traditional celebrations, rituals and ceremonies.

sforim.jpgPHOTO: Hundreds of rabbinical texts line the bookshelves in Rabbi Rubin's Kewarra Beach home, north of Cairns. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)
"If we need a mezuzah for the door or a tefillin for the arm, or if we need some Jewish books or other Jewish artefacts we

need to have them shipped up here (from Melbourne)," Rabbi Rubin said.

"Sometimes it's even cheaper to get them straight from Israel than to get them from Melbourne because of the cost of shipping."

Despite its challenges, life in far north Queensland is proving fruitful for Rabbi Rubin and his family.
This weekend, they will be joined by other members of the region's Jewish community to celebrate Shavuot. "It's basically a time to celebrate being Jewish and what Judaism offers the world," Rabbi Rubin said.


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