This week Chabad of New Zealand welcomed its largest group of Shluchim ever.
Seven young Yeshivah graduates will be spending the year in the country’s South Island, where they will be running the Chabad House in the regional Capital of CHCH.
They will be working under the directorship of Berri Spitetzki, a bochur who was recently appointed to oversee the development of Chabad’s activities in the area.
While the Chabad House is prominently located in CHCH’s city center, and not far from the local Shul, most of its visitors are Israeli backpackers.
“Some 20,000 former Israeli soldiers travel through the South Island each year,” relates Mrs. Sara Goldstein, co-director of Chabad of New Zealand. Many of them refer to the Chabad House as their home away from home.
“On a regular Shabbos we can expect well over a hundred guests,” says Spitetzki.
Throughout the week the Chabad House serves as a warm meeting place for these young men and women, to catch up with friends, to call home, put on Tefilin, or join Minyonim and Torah classes. For Yomim Tovim the young Rabbis travel throughout the country, conducting services and coordinating communal celebrations.
There is something unique about this group of young Rabbis, most of whom are certified Shochtim (ritual slaughterers) as well as certified sofrim (Torah Scribes), possessing skills which will come to good use in this remote land.
“Making the kosher lifestyle affordable is imperative,” says Rabbi Goldstein. “G-d willing, this will be the next step in making it happen. This is the first time in the country’s history that so many shochtim and sofrim are here at once.”
Support for Chabad of New Zealand comes almost entirely from outside sources. Recent support has come from: Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky-Vice Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, The Rohr Family Foundation, R’ Mottel Feiglin, R’ Avremi Raskin, R’ Eliezer Kornhauser, R’ Chaim Moss and Family, R’ Dovid Deetz and Family, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Feldman and Family, Rabbi Levi Wolf, as well as many others over the past year, primarily fellow members of Anash in Melbourne, Australia.