At the annual conference of Chabad community leaders of Australia, scores of Chabad representatives from across New South Wales convened in Sydney to focus on the South African Jewish experience.
With so many South African Jews moving to Australia, Rabbi Dovid Masinter, from Johannesburg, was invited as scholar in residence.
Masinter placed emphasis on welcoming new South African immigrants into the community and making them feel at home, though he maintained that Chabad Shluchim have every intention of staying put.
“The Lubavitcher Rebbe was very optimistic about South Africa’s future”, said Rabbi Masinter. “And his predictions on so many things were uncannily accurate. So although we may be going through a rough patch at the moment, we are certain that South Africa will transform into a prosperous and safe nation as per the Rebbe’s assurances. The Chabad leadership in South Africa has therefore been discouraging emigration”
Rabbi Masinter added that although he discourages it, “Because emigration is a fact, and many South African Jews are coming to Sydney, they have to be welcomed with open arms and provided the spiritual nourishment they need in their new country.”