Rabbis reconnect

FREMANTLE’S Jewish community doesn’t get much of an opportunity to celebrate significant festivals together, but this Passover it’ll be getting a helping hand.

Four rabbis from the global Chabad Lubavitch movement will be in the city helping Jews reconnect to their faith.

Fremantle once had a large Jewish community with its own synagogue, but that’s long been a bogged-down redevelopmen.

Mordechai Rubin says the group will fly in from its Melbourne rabbinical college for a two-week stay to organise a Passover Seder get-together and visit people in their homes: “Chabad Lubavitch founded by the Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M Schneer-son—is unique and known for its outreach to Jews who live in far-flung places,” Rabbi Rubin told the Herald.

It’s not the first time they’ve been in the port city, and he says previous Seders have attracted up to 80. But it’s the connections they make in people’s homes that have had the most impact on him. “We met a Jewish woman who never knew she was Jewish,” he said. “Years back in England someone commented that her mother’s mannerisms were Jewish, and after inquiring, her mother confirmed. Only years down the line did she meet black hats in far-off Fremantle.

“This past year she brought her son, daughter and three-year-old grandson to the Seder for their very first Jewish connection. In just four short years, three generations of lost Jewish souls have been welcomed back into the family.”

Passover recognises the freedom of Jews from slavery and their exodus from Egypt under Moses. It starts in the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts a week.

The Passover Seder is on April 3 and is free. For more information or to join the Seder contact fremantle@passoveraustralia.com.au or 0490 050 100.


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