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Australian Chabad Community Celebrates 100 Years Down Under

Melbourne, Australia

(lubavitch.com) Chabad representatives of every state in Australia were joined by Member of Federal Parliament Mr. Michael Danby M.P., and Mr. Mordechai Feiglin, Sunday, October 17, at a gala celebrating the centennial year of Chabad in Australia.

Reb Moishe Zalman and Bere Feiglin were the first Chabad Chasidim who arrived in Melbourne one hundred years ago.

More than 400 people filled the Werdiger Hall at the Yeshivah campus in Melbourne, where they enjoyed a retrospective on a century of Chabad activities in Australia.

Historian Mr. Yossi Aron observed that the Feiglin family are “unique in the world in that all nine of Reb Moshe Zalmen’s children and descendants, although brought up in the early years without the benefits of reinforced Jewish schooling,” retained their uncompromised Jewish identity.  

Reb Moshe Zalmen Feiglin has been given the title of “Avraham Avinu of Australia” by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

A video presentation by Chaim Mehlman documented the development of Chabad in Australia with film footage from the 50’s and photos from decades earlier.

In honor of the event, a new Torah scroll, commissioned in Israel by Mordechai and Esther Feiglin and family was completed and dedicated to a Melbourne synagogue.

Hundreds participated in the street parade that set began at Mr. and Mrs. Shmuel Feiglin’s house, winding its way through Green Meadow’s Park and into Beis Chabad Ohel Devorah, where the Torah was installed alongside others—one of them being Moishe Zalmen’s Torah from Shepperton and another known as Yisroel Eliyahu Szydlo’s (another Feiglin grandfather) Sefer Torah that he had personally saved from a burning Shul in Berlin in 1939.

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