News & Developments

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A Word from the Mivtzoim Coordinator

Chanukah Outreach

Dear Friend,

We are privileged to run one of the largest Jewish outreach programs in the Melbourne Community. One of the many operations we conduct, aside from weekly and other festival programs, is the Chanukah Outreach Campaign. This involves distributing all one’s Chanukah needs; including Menorah kits, fresh doughnuts, Chanukah Gelt, holiday guides, and most importantly … the warmth and light of Chanukah!

We reached thousands of Jews over the greater Melbourne area who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to celebrate Chanukah on their own.

We thank our sponsors for all their assistance in making this year’s Chanukah Mivtzoim a reality. For more information about Mivtzoim, or to participate in our programs, feel free to contact

May the many lights and mitzvos that illuminated homes all over Melbourne this Chanukah bring about the ultimate illumination of the darkness in our world, with the coming of Moshiach now!

Mordechai Rubin
Mivtzoim-Outreach Coordinator

875 Jewish Homes Visited
1150 Hours Volunteered
1200 Menorah Kits
40 Car Menorahs
2200 Doughnuts

A Window of Opportunity!

Miracle Candles

With Yeshivah Gedolah Students Motti Rubin, Mendel Stock & Tzali Reicher

It was the last night of Chanukah. We set out on a home visit, with the aim of inspiring a family in the outer suburbs of Melbourne who had specifically requested our presence in order to help them celebrate the final days of Chanukah in a genuine and meaningful manner. It turned out to be a night full of Hashgocha Protis –seeing Hashem’s plan in every step of our experience. We hope you enjoy hearing the story. It is just one of the many stories that occurred on Chanukah Mivtzoim this year.

This is how it all started: Earlier on in Chanukah, two bochurim visited a home where a young couple happily greeted them. They said, “Last year, Mordechai and Mendel visited us; we have such great memories! This year, our little three-year-old son was waiting all the while for them to come back!” After lighting the Menorah, the couple begged the bochurim to please ask Mordechai and Mendel to come and visit them again in order to celebrate Chanukah with the little boy who remembered them so well from last year.

Although we were very busy spreading the light of Chanukah in other areas, we went out of our way to visit this family on the last night of Chanukah. It was the obvious thing to do, after hearing that the boy remembered us and how much he wanted to see us. We put tefillin on the father and celebrated Chanukah with the overjoyed family.

As the visit concluded, we went back to our original plan. We returned to the leafy suburb of Caulfield and began looking for an appropriate street in which to start our work. There were so many options to choose from owing to the fact that this part of town is full of Jewish people craving an authentic Jewish experience. Our car slowly rolled forward as we looked for a signal, a place to start.

A middle-aged couple was taking their daily stroll, talking animatedly as they walked. We saw the opportunity and rolled down the window.

“Excuse me! Are you Jewish by any chance? Happy Chanukah!” The couple looked up, surprised, and affirmed that they were indeed Jewish.

We asked, “Do you have a Menorah for Chanukah?” They responded, “We do, thank you for asking.”

So the couple continued walking and we continued looking for a place to start our work. After much debate, we hopped out of the car, but we still had not decided exactly where to begin. So there we were, three bochurim in hats and jackets, with two sets of tefillin and three bulging Mivtzoim bags full of Menorahs, doughnuts, dreidels and other assorted Chanukah paraphernalia.

“Excuse me, rabbis!” We turned around to see the man we had just met breathlessly running towards us. “I have this question every year. Do we light from left to right or right to left?” We explained to our new friend that we light from left to right, but we set up the Menorah with the oldest candle first, from right to left.

Then we asked him: “Have you put on tefillin yet today?”

“I did – last Friday”, he answered.

“There’s still forty minutes to sundown, and it will take just two minutes. Let’s do it!”

The Mivtzoim machine ran smoothly: One Bochur unpacked the tefillin, another held the bags and took pictures, while the third rolled up the sleeve of the gentleman who introduced himself as Richard, or Reuven Adam.

He knew most of the Shema and seemed comfortable around us as we spoke about Chanukah in relation to the tragic incidents of the previous week in Sydney. His wife ambled up to us, wondering with whom her husband was talking. She told us that although they had two sons – one over Bar Mitzvah – they were already in pyjamas, and they wouldn’t want to come out and meet us in the street. Before we could even ask, she also told us that her boys would definitely feel very uncomfortable if we came into the house for a visit.

They walked away, and as we turned to wave our goodbyes, we noticed a woman standing at her front window across the road. She was waving at us, trying to attract our attention, in order to invite us in. We entered the home of Ray and Debbie who were about to light the Chanukah Menorah, and who ‘by coincidence’ had heard us saying Shema with Richard across the road through the open window. Ray and Debbie were also hosting Debbie’s mother and sister, and with their two young children, all were very excited to greet us.

Two Menorahs were pulled out of our bags and set up for the children. However, before we could start the ‘ceremony’, a knock was heard at the door. It was Richard and his two sons!

Despite being neighbours, Ray and Richard had never met before. As they introduced themselves to each other, Richard’s son (aged sixteen) put tefillin on for the first time since his Bar Mitzvah, using his very own pair which he retrieved from wherever they had been hiding for the past three years.

Twelve people were now assembled in the dining room by the window. After a brief explanation about the history and significance of Chanukah and its relevance today, the Menorahs were lit just as the sun began to set over Melbourne. The Mivtzoim Men’s Choir then made their debut, singing Haneiros Hallolu as everyone assembled clapped and sang along.

Everyone then settled onto the couches in the living area. A Dreidel was pulled out along with chocolate coins, and a lively game ensued. Doughnuts were served and the applicable blessings were recited. Soon enough, it was time for us to go, but not before contact details were exchanged and we assured each other that we would continue to keep in touch.

Chanukah 5775 Outreach Photos

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

Rabbinical College Chanukah 5775

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