New Rabbi for Cremorne

April 29, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski has been appointed the new spiritual leader of Sydney’s Cremorne Synagogue.

Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski and family

Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski and family

Rabbi Koncepolski was born in Sydney and moved to Israel with his family when he was 8 years old. After returning to Sydney for a short time around age 12, he completed his education at a Yeshiva in Israel, where his two older brothers were studying. When he was 20 he travelled to Brazil, where his brother was located, to be a shaliach at the Yeshiva. In his second year there he completed his Rabbinic ordination, and the following year he assisted with strengthening smaller Jewish communities in Brazil. With a strong passion for music, he was hired as cantor for a number of synagogues around the world for high holidays including Brazil, Florida, Russia and Central Synagogue Sydney. He is competent in Hebrew, Yiddish, Portuguese and English.

Rabbi Koncepolski’s wife Dina, the daughter of a rabbi, was born in Manchester, England, where she studied in an orthodox primary and high school. She then spent two years in Montreal studying at a seminary, while also volunteering in the local community and high school. This was followed by two years as a shaliach, one in Liverpool, England, working on community programs, the other in Israel, where she was a madricha. Dina was in New York for three years, working for one year with a friendship circle, which provided support for children with special needs. Rabbi Koncepolski went to New York to study where he met Dina and they married in January 2009.

Following further study, Rabbi Koncepolski and Dina took up a position in Jerusalem, where Chaim’s role was to inspire and support young Jewish men from English-speaking countries around the world, who felt alienated and had turned away from Judaism. Chaim supported them and encouraged them to regain trust in teachers, authority and Judaism, and to regain a positive self-image.

Cremorne Synagogue President, Garry Hyman said the Board was delighted with the appointment of Rabbi Koncepolski and his wife Dina. They are the ideal couple to continue the good work that Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman started just under three years ago. Over that time, the Cremorne community has grown by some 20% and membership now stands at a record level of 120 families with many younger members together with young married couples who have moved into the area.

Rabbi Koncepolski said he looked forward to working with the Board and serving the community as he had heard so many positive things about the shul. He has many new ideas to bring to the shul and is hoping to meet and entertain the whole community as he settles in on the lower north shore. He follows his brother, Ne’ach who was appointed as chazan at Kehillat Masada in 2014, on the north shore of Sydney.

Rabbi Koncepolski and Dina have three children, Yitzchak, Zalman and Chava. They returned to Australia 8 months ago, despite their love for Israel, as they had a strong desire to contribute to the Sydney community. Chaim feels he has much to offer from his experience with young people and with teaching. They are very excited to be coming to Cremorne and feel that they have “come home”.

Rabbi Koncepolski has been appointed for an initial term of three years commencing in the first week of June 2015.

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