Early opening for Chabad House Auckland

January 5, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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A new Chabad House in Auckland has been opened ahead of schedule to meet heavy demand from Israeli backpackers and Jewish travelers.

Chabad House Auckland and the Sarfati family

With Chabad emissaries Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Sarfati and his wife Rebbetzin Shoshanah due to arrive soon in the North Island city, demand has prompted an early opening organised by Rabbi Mendel Goldstein, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of New Zealand.

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky of Lubatvitch World Headquarters told Chabad.org: “In the aftermath of the earthquakes and their devastation, this appointment is part of our ongoing efforts and commitment to Jewish outreach, education and community life in New Zealand.”

Chabad.org reported that many of the artifacts rescued from the Chabad House in Christchurch following the earthquake last February will be moved to the new Auckland facility. Three young Israelis lost their lives in the Christchurch earthquake.

Rabbi Goldstein told J-Wire:”The need for an Israeli backpackers Chabad House here in Auckland became abundantly clear following an increase in inquiries from the ever increasing number of Jewish travelers…”

“I really feel at home” said Shachar Shmilovitch 23, who came to New Zealand as a backpacker, and now volunteers in the Chabad House’s kitchen helping to serve hundreds of meals each week. “I was in the old Chabad House in Christchurch during the weeks leading up to the February quake. I abruptly returned to Israel, as most Israelis did… but I could not settle. I never felt so much  at home as I did in the Chabad House… so I came back as a volunteer. In the Chabad House we really feel we all are family”
She added: “It is so heart-warming to see and feel the spirit of Judaism and Israel inside the Chabad House, where thousands of life-long friendships have been made”.
New Zealand is a popular for destination for young Israelis who have completed their army service.
Following last year’s earthquake in Christchurch, Rabbi Mendel Goldstein and his family moved to Auckland.
Chabad House Auckland is at 74 Upper Queen St

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