Shidduch in Perth

January 12, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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With no funds available to pay a rabbi, the Northern Suburbs Hebrew Congregation in Perth has solved its problem by joining forces with Chabad…making a rebbetzin very happy.

The Northern Suburbs Hebrew Congregation

The synagogue, spiritual home to 200 families, has operated without a rabbi for six months and its financial future looked bleak if it had to employ one.

But a deal done between the synagogue and the Chabad of Western Australia will see Rabbi Shalom White merge his congregation with the ailing NS kehilah which is geographically very close to him…and for Rebbetzin Odaya White, whose home has housed the Chabad congregation, it will mean a much quieter environment in which to bring up her five children.

Drama started for Northern Suburbs president Lemmy Hadassin when the synagogue’s previous rabbi left in July last year. Rabbi Yehuda Brown had been told that his contract would not be renewed in 2012.

Rabbi Sholem and Rebbetzin Odaya White and their family

Lemmy Hadassin, the shule’s president for the last three years, told J-Wire: “At a meeting of concerned members it was agreed almost 100% to merge with Chabad. As yet the new entity does not have a name. We have applied to the City of Bayswater to have the necessary transfers implemented.”

Life for the Noranda community has not been easy. Simchas have been difficult to organise without a rabbi…and they had to hire the services of Sydney-based rabbonim for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Changes are happening swiftly for this section of the Perth community. Rabbi White, educated at Sydney’s Moriah College, has already implemented summer programs for the congregation’s children.

And for Rebbetzin Odaya White her home, at which members of the community are always welcome, will become the focal point of the White family and not the community.


2 Responses to “Shidduch in Perth”
  1. History Repeats says:

    This happened once before in 1998 when Levi Wolf came to Perth and presided over a merger.
    In that case, it was an absolute disaster! The Chabad house community had struggled to stay open and keep running, and the minute they get a new rabbi, he comes to town and shuts down the chabad house.
    Yes, he shut down the chabad house, and it remained inactive until Mordy Gutnick came to town.
    Levi Wolf doesn’t even cite Chabad WA as one of his previous communities of engagement, his bio simply states that he was the senior minister at the prestigious NSHC.
    Let’s not make the same mistakes as last time.
    I’m not saying no to the merger…I’m saying let’s do it right…not like last time.

  2. Rabbi Eli Feldman says:


    Mazaltov to both the Noranda Shul and the White family.
    Rabbi Shalom White is a fantastic Rabbi and an amazing human being! 🙂
    May this merger bring blessing to both the Chabad and Noranda communities and may they go from strength to strength in all areas, physically & Spiritually!

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