TWO of the world’s most prominent Lubavitch rabbis visited Melbourne this week to share in the wedding celebrations of Chana Gutnick and Ari Herzog.
Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky and Rabbi Binyomin Klein, two of the three secretaries of Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, were invited by Gutnick’s father, Rabbi Joseph Gutnick. The visiting rabbis praised the warmth and growth of the local community.
Rabbi Krinsky, whose youngest son married Rabbi Gutnick’s eldest daughter in 1994, has visited Australia on various occasions for family reasons.
“I find the Jewish community of Melbourne extraordinary. There is this feeling of camaraderie, of warmth, helping one another whenever necessary, whatever the time. There is a sense of togetherness and inclusivity [that] I find really remarkable.”
Rabbi Klein, who lived in Australia for two years in the early 1960s, has personally seen the community grow and change over four decades of visits.
“I saw it in the beginning and I see it here now and it is very different. It is growing, and growing and growing,” Rabbi Klein said. “Once in Balaclava Road [in Melbourne] there was one kosher store, now there is a whole street. Everything everywhere has grown and it’s very nice.”
Together with Rabbi Leibel Groner – brother of Melbourne’s Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, who passed away last year – Rabbi Krinsky and Rabbi Klein still hold the position of secretariat of Chabad headquarters in Crown Heights, New York, even though the Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away in 1994.
As well as being the late Lubavitcher Rebbe’s assistant, Rabbi Krinsky was also his chief spokesperson, and he is currently the chairman of the educational and social services arms of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.