In a joyous ceremony last week Wednesday, following the Jewish New Year, Canberra’s first Kosher Shop opened to serve the local Jewish community and the many visitors to the Nation’s Capital.
Mr. Michael Danby MP who is one of a few Jewish members of the Australian parliament cut the opening ribbon to the shop located in Chabad ACT’s headquarters in front of a crowd of Jewish community members and supporters who came for the occasion.
Mr. Danby said “today is an exciting day not just for Canberra but the entire Jewish community of Australia. This shop is a wonderful addition to the critical infrastructure and services that Chabad ACT already provide to the Jewish and wider community. On a personal level my wife Amira Malka and I feel relieved that we will no longer need to schlep food with us from Melbourne when coming up to Canberra, as the range provided in this shop is more than we could have wished for and carries some of our favorite foods.”
‘Canberra Kosher’ which operates under the auspices of Chabad ACT has informally been providing Canberra’s kosher community with basic Kosher necessities including chicken and meat. It has now expanded to a full range of kosher and Judaica products and prepared kosher meals in a designated shop which the community and guests alike have excitedly embraced. As Canberra’s only licensed Kosher caterer, Canberra Kosher also regularly caters ready kosher meals all throughout the ACT and region making keeping kosher possible for locals and visitors including members of parliament, their staff, Government contractors and international diplomats.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was preceded by a dinner attended by Chabad ACT board members and some key supporters. Among them was Melbourne based philanthropist Mottel Feiglin and his wife Esther. Mr. Feiglin spoke of how proud he was to contribute to the important work of Chabad in Canberra that has given him so much nachas and thanked the community members for their continued support for a thriving Jewish community hub in Canberra.
Mr. Theo Menachemson CFA(SA); AFAIM, honorary secretary and Mr. Harry Chaim Oppermann, both directors of Chabad ACT spoke of the sensational achievements and growth of the community under the caring leadership of Rabbi Shmueli and Chasia Feldman and praised them for their efforts.
Chabad in the Australian Capital Territory was established in 2008 by Rabbi Aharon Serebryanski and seed funded through the generosity of philanthropist Mr. Eliezer Kornhauser, both of Melbourne. Mr. Oppermann added “Now in addition to a synagogue, Mikvah, preschool, adult and children educational programs, chaplaincy and support services, the goodness and kindness charity division including the food and clothes banks, having a kosher shop completes the basic requirements necessary for a strong and vibrant Jewish community.”
Rabbi Feldman, chairman of Chabad ACT, blessed those present and said that “this is natural progression for our beautiful community. Food for the body is as equally important as the food for the spirit that Chabad aims to provide. We need to accommodate for the needs of the growing numbers of Jewish families moving to our community in increasingly making Canberra more of a viable, fully equipped and attractive destination for Jewish families who will prefer a peaceful and affordable Canberra option over the more expensive Sydney or Melbourne. I am thankful to G-d Almighty for us meriting to see this vision coming to fruition.”