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  • Search For ‘Lost’ Jews

    Each year rabbis from Chabad of RARA (Rural and Regional Australia) head off the beaten track searching for ‘lost’ Jews who have settled in isolated places ranging from Alice Springs in the outback to one-pub towns on Queensland’s tropical coast • Full Article

    Australian Jewish News

    Each year rabbis from Chabad of RARA (Rural and Regional Australia) head off the beaten track searching for ‘lost’ Jews who have settled in isolated places ranging from Alice Springs in the outback to one-pub towns on Queensland’s tropical coast.

    Sharing the duties are Cairns-based Rabbi Ari Rubin and his wife Mushkie, whose territory covers north Queensland; and Melbourne-based director, Rabbi Yossi Rodal and his wife Malki, who look after the rest of Australia.

    Travelling in a brightly-colored campervan dubbed the mitzvah tank, the rabbis often encounter locals who have never met a Jew, let alone rabbis wearing black suits, hats and tzitzit.

    Whether shopping for kosher food, praying in the outback or in the center of a small town, the rabbis ensure that they are visible in the hope that anyone Jewish will come forward.

    They are also proactive, checking local phone directories and calling anyone with a Jewish-sounding surname – often with surprising results.

    For more than 10 years, Melbourne filmmaker Danny Ben-Moshe has wanted to make a documentary about Chabad of RARA’s rabbis at work, but his idea never got off the ground.

    However, when SBS announced a few years ago that it was planning a series of documentaries set around diverse communities titled Untold Australia, Ben-Moshe thought a film about Chabad of RARA rabbis could be a perfect fit.

    Ben-Moshe’s idea was one of more than 100 pitches received by SBS for the latest Untold Australia series and fortunately it ended up being shortlisted.

    After another selection process, Ben-Moshe, who runs Identity Films, was commissioned to make Outback Rabbis, one of the four documentaries in the series which premiered on SBS this month.

    Location filming took place in August last year when Ben-Moshe and a crew that included a producer, cameraman, sound recordist and director of photography followed Rabbi Rubin and his family on a two-week trip from Cairns to Magnetic Island, and Rabbi Rodal and his family a two-week 3000-kilometre trip from Melbourne to Uluru.

    “It is such a special story – I’ve always thought of it as a cross between The Frisco Kid and Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” said Ben-Moshe.

    Much of Outback Rabbis is filmed as reality-style TV as the camera follows the rabbis questioning locals in small townships over whether they know any Jews.

    In Mission Beach in Queensland Rabbi Rubin takes his quest into a pub, while in a supermarket in outback Coober Pedy Rabbi Rodal asks shoppers and the checkout lady.

    “We were concerned that we may encounter some anti-Semitism along the way, but we didn’t during filming,” said Ben-Moshe. “For the most part people were very welcoming and hospitable.”

    Ben-Moshe found filming in Central Australia to be grueling because of the vast distances that they travelled.

    “The film crew travelled in a convoy behind the mitzvah tank,” he said. “This was probably the hardest shoot that I have ever done in terms of covering territory to get the content that you need.”

    The travelling rabbis caught up with Jews that they have met before who live in Alice Springs and Magnetic Island and welcome the personal contact.

    Ben-Moshe, whose documentary films include Shalom Bollywood which was screened at last year’s Jewish International Film Festival and the award-winning 2014 film Code of Silence, is thrilled with Outback Rabbis.

    “It’s upbeat and quirky and has lots of characters,” he said. “As a director there is always the pain of what you have to leave on the cutting-room floor and I would like to make a feature-length version to screen at international film festivals.”

    SBS’s Untold Australia series started on May 16 with Lebanese Beauty Queens, followed by Outback Rabbis on May 23, Australia’s Forgotten Islands on May 30 and Behind the Blue Line on June 13. Screening time is 8.30pm.

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  • Event Calendar

  • Tuesday, Oct 27th, Wedding – Shlome Wolvovsky – CH & Rochel Leah Matusof – Madison, WI @ Oholei Torah
  • Thursday Oct 29th Wedding: Devorah Bennish – Detroit & Mordechai Rubin – London @ Royalty House, MI
  • Sunday, Oct 25th, Sholli Miller – Chicago, IL & Batya Korf – Miami Beach, FL @ Bais Rivka 310 Crown Street
  • Thursday, Oct 22 Wedding: Chaim Boruch Bar-Chaim – CH & Shoshana Pimentelli – CH/TX @ Oholei Torah
  • Thursday, Oct 22 L’Chaim: Sruli Finck – CH & Chaya Mangel – Dayton, OH @ Chovevei Torah 885 Eastern Parkway
  • Tuesday, Oct 20th Wedding: Dovid Kaminetzky – Melbourne, AU & Chaya Okunov – Crown Heights @ Oholei Torah
  • Monday Oct 19 L’Chaim: Ari (Aaron) Levertov – Crown Heights & Debby Rabinowicz – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Choivevey Torah
  • Monday, Oct 19 2015 Wedding: Mendy Zippel – Salt Lake City, UT & Fraidy Shagalov – Crown Heights @ Oholei Torah
  • Sunday 18th Oct. L’Chaim: Chananya Niassoff – CH & Tzirl Brennan – CH @ Bais Rivkah Crown St
  • Sunday Oct 18th – Wedding: Mendy Edelman – Crown Heights & Sara Lozenik – Miami, FL @ Oholei Torah
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  • Dov Chaim Ben Rivkah
  • Tzvi Hirsch Ben Guttel
  • Charna Alexandra bas Chana Esther
  • Ettie Bas Alte Miriam
  • Zissel Yehudis Bas Masha
  • Chaim Yosef Yitzchok Ben Sarah Elka
  • Devorah Bas Sarah
  • Boruch Ben Sarah
  • DovBer Ben Dina
  • Sender Ben Chaya Devorah
  • Lost and Found

  • Lost Men’s Heavy Black Winter Jacket Size Large in 770
  • Lost in 770 before Pesach, a black Bradley Jons long coat size 38R. No lining and no belt. Almost brand new! Please call zalman at 347-788-0749
  • Found black hats outside 770, behind the Hatzalah ambulance
  • lost – Chitas bearing a blessing to Shmuel from Sarge. (Sargent Zvi Fisher z..l.v) geulanow@012.net.il or +1-7869427070
  • LOST: in 770 a black Lenovo Intel core i5 laptop in a dark grey laptop bad together with a WD hard drive, if found please call Zalmy 347-788-0749
  • Found: Maroon Chitas
  • Found: Bag of Clothes
  • Found: Leather-Bound Pink Siddur
  • Lost: Box with Mini Shas from YSP
  • Lost: Rose Gold Bangle/Bracelet
  • Classifieds

  • Cook position for a local Mosad
  • Looking for a cook/kitchen manager
  • Administrator for a local Mosad Experience a must, and preferbiligual a bonus poconosmountains@gmail.com
  • Looking for a cook/kitchen manager Experience a must. poconosmountains@gmail.com
  • ‘Beis Mosiach’s’ to give away for free
  • Private Rooms for Men
  • Newly renovated Basement for rent
  • Judaica Store in Crown Heights is Looking to Hire
  • Looking for Work? Opportunity available, for a quick & efficient typist in Williamsburg. For more info: 201-800-1774
  • Lost in 770 Last Week: Transparant Bag of Tefillin, Rashi, R”T, Chitas – in black/grey 770 pouches