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Jewish Life Centre- LIVE

New Torah for the JLC

Hachnosas Sefer Torah Levy Rubin.pngOne of the greatest simchos for a community is to receive a new Torah. 

Thanks to the generosity of Brett & Mark Levy and Steven, Evan & Ilan Rubin and families, we will PG welcome a brand new Torah from Israel to our community on Sunday, 18th February.

One unique aspect of this Torah's journey is that a number of people battling various illnesses have had the chance to write a letter in the Torah. The donors wanted to give people the chance to bring additional brocha into their lives through the Torah, and we hope these brochos will be fulfilled. 

We'll start the event with the writing of the final letters of the Torah at the home of Dean & Sara Abro at 4pm. We'll then proceed by foot, accompanied by music, up Gayre road to the Shul. 

Upon arrival, we bring out the existing Torahs to welcome the new Torah. We continue with a Simchas Torah-style celebration, with a live band. We'll have snacks and kids' entertainment.

It is a big deal to kiss a new Torah on the day it is inducted into a Shul, so make sure to have a chance to do just that. 

New Talmud class for men

At the Jewish Life Centre, we pride ourselves in offering a diverse and exciting range of Torah classes.

On any given week, we offer over 30 classes that range from Talmud to practical parenting to personal development.

We are now excited to welcome Rabbi Aron Grinshtein to our teaching staff. Rabbi Grinshtein is young, dynamic and has been teaching and inspiring for a decade.

Rabbi Grinshtein will join our men's afternoon learning programme. He will teach Talmud in a unique fashion- sharing the concepts, rather than wading through the text. 

Rabbo Grinshtein's new class starts on the 5th February and will run on Mondays and Thursdays at 4:30pm.

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Chai for Chabad Strathavon

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“We’re not a kichel and herring Shul,” Rabbi Ari Shishler told the crowd of 300 at Chabad of Strathavon’s 18th anniversary dinner, “Our vision is to translate Judaism into the 21st Century; to provide Judaism that is relevant, meaningful and welcoming for every Jew”.

Chabad of Strathavon started as a typical shtibel in the Shishler’s garage in 1999. At the time, many felt skeptical of the Shul’s chances of growing in an area that then had a limited Jewish population.

But, with the boom of the Sandton CBD, the rabbi’s vision proved correct and Jewish families began streaming into the area to live close to the business hub. The community began to grow and, with it, the rabbi and rebbetzin’s appetite for making a difference.

By 2009, the community had far outgrown the garage. Rather than simply renovate, Rabbi Shishler built a far larger building and launched the Jewish Life Centre. His vision included a place centre of experiential learning, a social Jewish hub and a hive of children’s activities. Today, the Jewish Life  Centre hosts over 30 classes a week and boasts a buzzing function hall and one of Sandton’s most popular playgrounds.

This past Wednesday night, the community celebrated its 18th birthday with a gala dinner, held at the centre. Popular actor and comedian, Harry Sideropoulous compered the evening, tickling the crowd with hilarious, yet powerful insights into the uniqueness of our Jewish community. Chief Rabbi Goldstein and head of Chabad South Africa, Rabbi Mendel Lipskar each lauded the Chabad of Strathavon community on pioneering a modern approach to Jewish activity and education in Sandton. The evening was both a celebration of growth and community-building, as it was a rousing call to engage every Jew in Sandton in a meaningful experience of Judaism. Rabbi Shishler highlighted that the dinner, like the Shul’s High Holiday services, did not have assigned seating, because the centre aims to provide a warm and inclusive experience of Judaism.

Laibl Wolf at Strathavon

Please join us for a weekend of mindfulness and spiritual exploration with renowned mystic, Rabbi Dr Laibl Wolf. 

Booking details here. 

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Creative Chaos!

One of the most successful branches of the Jewish Life Centre is our Women's Circle. Always creative, always exciting, the Women's Circle never fails to amaze with its slick, engaging and meaningful programmes. 

03.jpgThis month, the Women's Circle invited art counselor, Andy Cohen to run her "Creative Chaos" workshop. Andy began the evening by sharing her struggle to cope with the premature loss of her father, and how she discovered that her spontaneous art was extremely therapeutic. 

Calling on her experience, Andy has developed a fascinating workshop that helps people acknowledge that life is unpredictable and that we need to find the positive in everything.

Andy teamed the women up to produce artwork, but had a few surprises up her sleeve. By the end of the evening, each woman walked out with a personal gift that included some of her own art, as well as a meaningful life-lesson on staying positive during the tough times.  

(For more photos, click here)

Beautiful book boost for Learning Centre

Bookshelves.jpgOne of the primary goals of the Jewish Life Centre is to create Sandton's most dynamic Jewish Learning Centre. That's why we almost 30 Torah classes a week, as well as a host of one-on-one learning opportunities. 

All that learning needs a substantial library, and this week we installed the first phase of the Jewish Life Centre library. Michael Levy, an expert craftsman, hand-fashioned two magnificent bookshelves and completed installation at the begining of the week. These bookshelves, the first two of a dozen, carry almot 1000 volumes.

Now that we have somewhere to put them, we've hauled out hundreds of books we've collected and held in storage over the last couple of years. Included in the new library are two compelete sets of the Artscroll Talmud, discourses from the various Chabad Rebbes, Parsha commentators, the Shulchan Aruch and a wide range of English publications. 

All we need now is for you to come and use these valuable resources. Check our Shiur schedule or pop in to study with a partner or simply browse a Jewish book.

If you would like to sponsor books or bookshelves for our library, please contact Rabbi Shishler

Israel, Radical Islam & Antisemitism

 The war Israel cant win 01.jpgWhy is Israel villified more than any other country? 

Why does the world seem to remain blind to growing antisemitism?

How did Radical Islam become so big so quickly?

Explore ancient spiritual secrets that pinpoint the spiritual nature of the frightening times we are living through. Discover spiritual tools we should use to overcome these challenges.

Rabbi Ari Shishler, Chabad of Strathavon Jewish Life Centre, Wednesday 18th February, 8PM.

R50 per couple.

Book here

Welcome to our new teachers

This year, we are very pleased to welcome some new talent to our teaching staff.

Braun.jpgRabbi Kevin Braun has already been teaching at Strathavon for a year, but is now starting a new Chumash Shiur for men.
Rabbi Braun studied at Ohr Somayach locally and in Israel and taught for ten years at Yeshiva Maharsha school.
He is a pilot and is involved in business.
Rabbi Braun has a knack for discovering Jewish lessons in everyday life.

 

Youngworth.jpgBrigitte Youngworth was born in Rhodesia to a non-religious Jewish family. They lived in the Belgian Congo and moved to South Africa in 1975. She matriculated at King David VP and studied a BA(English) at the University of Cape Town. She sought spiritual fulfilment in many different religions and philosophies, believing that she would not find it in Judaism. All that changed when she was exposed to Chabad Chassidus, where she discovered the great positivity, warmth and spiritual depth of Judaism. Today she and her husband, Robert have five children and are both ba’alei teshuva. She teaches mikvah lessons to Jewish brides, has written several children’s books and talks on ChaiFM radio on Friday mornings with Mashi Lipskar.
Brigitte will be teaching "Connected Living" for young married women. 

 

2015 learning programme launches

General learning promo 2015.JPGOur new and improved learning programmes launches in February PG. It includes some very exciting new classes and series' and you will surely gain a fortune from participating.

As the year progresses, we look forward to PG adding more innovative and meaningful elements to our already dynamic learning programme, so watch this space for details.

Here's a great opportunity: If you have some time in the afternoons, we'll PG have some young guys available to study with you on Mondays to Thursdays.

We're also launching our new Hebrew course, so watch out for that one too!

Tuesday nights are our women's learning night, with a new shiur by Brigitte Youngworth and our Night Sem, which begins its third year.

Thursday evenings are "Yeshivah night" at Strathavon. If you have ever wanted to study Talmud, join Rabbi Finkelstein on Thursday nights for as he and his team begin their fourth tractate!

Rabbi Kevin Braun is launching a new men's shiur in Chumash- from the beginning and Rabbi Shishler's popular Tanya is back too!  

Je Suis Juif

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Please join us as we pay tribute to the memories of those who lost their lives last week in Paris.

The best response to terrorism is to stand strong and proudly Jewish, to add more light in tha face of darkness.

The programme on Friday night begins with Mincha & Tehillim at 6:00 p.m. We will also light candles in memory of the victims.

We will have a special tribute, followed by Shabbos davening and a beautiful kiddush.

May our public dedication to our Judaism neutralise those who would wish to harm our people. 

Tanya series' with Rabbi Shishler

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Tanya offers spiritual tools to succeed in tackling life's challenges.

Rabbi Shishler's Tanya classes are extremely popular, attracting dozens of people each week.  

This year, Rabbi Shishler is offering four Thursday night Tanya courses that will cover powerful and meaningful life-insights.

 

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Rosh Hashanah was spectacular!

Yes, we all know that more people come to Shul over Rosh Hashanah than during the rest of the year. But, this year was amazing! Not only were we bursting at the seams, quite literally, on the first day of Yom Tov, but we also had a whopper crowd on the second day! 

It was heartwarming to see so many new people at Shul, and even more heartwarming to have a number of people approach me after Yom Tov to become members of the Shul.

We had a great energy in Shul as well, people were engaged throughout. 

This year, we saw great team-effort that made a significant difference to the smooth running of the services. Our security team was highly professional, our children's service was age-appropriate and good old fun and it was special to have our own members lead the services and make the announcements during Shul.

Please G-d, Yom Kippur should be as meaningful and even fuller. Most importantly, Hashem should bless us all with a great year ahead! 

Five start catering this Shabbos

Another fun development at Shul, this Shabbos: We had the chefs from the five-star Moloko hotel try their hand for the first time at making kosher foot (you know, kichel and herring etc.) 

The Rebbitzen supervised them in our kitchen and Candice Kessler ran the whole process. The result: A delicious and expertly presented kiddush!

We're still going to fine tune the formula to have their help as often as possible, but we're headed in a great direction, BH.

Special thanks to Marc Wachsberger for making the Moloko staff available to us.

Challah campaign well received

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Larry Krug and co. pulled off a highly successful challah drop off on Friday. 400 challahs packaged with a note to every Jewish family in the neighbourhood were dropped at homes with mezuzos in the Strathavon area.

Dozens of members of the Shul got to work packing and schlepping and the recipients were most grateful. The emails of thanks and wonder have already come in from our thankful neighbours. Here are some sample messages: 

Dear Rabbi.  Thank you so much for the kitkahs delivered to my townhouse today.  It is very kind of you.   Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year and perhaps a full congregation.  Yours very sincerely R. E. 

Dear Rabbi and Chabad of Strathavon Family,

Many thanks for the lovely delivery of fresh Challah to our home this afternoon.  It is appreciated as is the invitation to join your congregation for Yom Tov.

Shana Tova to you all.

Kind regards L. D.

Great AGM

Last night's AGM was well-attended, had a wonderful energy and was very contsructive. Thank you to all who participated and especially to all who gave contsructive suggestions. A special thank you to Steven Solarsh, Anthony Nathan and Shaun Levitan, who presented clearly and succinctly on the state of play and goings on at our Shul and Jewish Life Centre.

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Yoav Dogan as the new treasurer of the Shul.

One of the most important outcomes of the AGM was to have a working meeting to brainstorm various ideas and work on implementing new initiatives that we would like to develop as well as to work on areas that we need to improve in the Shul, our community and the Jewish Life Centre. 

Please diarise Tuesday, 29th July from 7-9PM for this working meeting.

The minutes of the AGM are available, if you would like to receive them, please email the rabbi.

I am feeling very encouraged by last night's meeting and very optimistic about our community's future. I hope that you will join us in making great things happen at Chabad of Strathavon. 

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