Author Archive

Weekly Message – Shabbat 17/18th Feb

Posted on: February 15th, 2017 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

I have already received some challenging questions for this week’s “Stump the Rabbi” session that will replace my sermon this upcoming Shabbat morning (at about 11am). I will give preference to the questions submitted in advance. If you haven’t thought of a question yet, you can still send one in before Shabbat. The earlier the better!  Remember that I’m happy to respond anonymously. We will do this session once a month.

I want to thank Michael Visontay for a fantastic talk he gave this past Sunday on the important topic of sexual abuse. There was very positive feedback. The talk was captivating and very informative. I look forward to the music evening that Michael is helping to arrange in a week from Sunday. (26th Feb)
We have just purchased 10 transliterated Siddurim (prayer books).  This Siddur enables you to follow along and read the prayers even if you are not able to read Hebrew. It will maker it easier for everyone to join in the Friday night songs or the different paragraphs of the prayers. Subject to demand, we will buy more.
This is one step in a series of initiatives to make everyone feel comfortable in the Synagogue regardless of their fluency or familiarity with the service.
I thank Rod and Caroline Hyman for this initiative and for donating these Siddurim!
Dina and I wish you a restful Shabbos.

Weekly Message 22nd December 2016

Posted on: December 22nd, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

The year is coming to a close, the streets are quieter and there is a relaxed atmosphere in the air. Parents (or grandparents) with young children will be challenged with keeping them busy, I hope you can turn the challenge into enjoying the precious extra time with them in good spirits.

The festival of Chanukah begins this Saturday evening at nightfall and we open the festival with the lighting of the first candle of the Chanukah Menorah after 8:51 pm. Stare at the light/s every night for a few moments and think of how you will bring more light and positivity into your life and to those around you. Light represents those acts which light up our daily schedule and bring clarity and direction even if they take a few moments of our time.
On the first night of Chanukah (or the first time you light the Menorah) we make three blessings:
1) Baruch ata  A-d-o-n-a-i   E-lo-h-e-i-n-u   melech ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner Chanukah.

2) Baruch ata  A-d-o-n-a-i   E-lo-h-e-i-n-u   melech ha’olam Sheasa nisim la’avoteinu bayamim hahem bazman haze.
3) Baruch ata  A-d-o-n-a-i   E-lo-h-e-i-n-u   melech ha’olam Shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigiyanu lazman haze
1) Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
2) Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
3) Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.
Every other night you omit the third blessing of Shehechayanu.
We will be celebrating Chanukah in full style on Wednesday the 28th at the Synagogue (4-6pm) with an exciting event for all, Doughnuts, Latkes, Canukah lighting and live music! See you there!
Shabbat Shalom and enjoy the holidays!
Rabbi Chaim and Dina

Weekly message 25th August 2016

Posted on: August 25th, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski
The theme of this upcoming weekend is gratitude.
The Cremorne family is dedicating a Kiddush in honour of our immediate past president Garry and Maedinah Hyman as well as to our current president John Gallo and Jane Wolfers.
Whenever we begin doing something challenging that we have seen others doing for many years, we often think to ourselves: "How did they manage all this time...?" " I didn't realise how difficult it was for them..." " much sacrifice and dedication it involved...". The reason we have this epiphany is because it is very hard to appreciate how challenging something is without having done it ourselves. Only when WE give it a try, we learn about all the details, about the theories that work or don't work and the creativity that is necessary to make things succeed.

This Shabbat will be our opportunity to involve ourselves and appreciate the sacrifice made by Garry and Maedinah over the past four years in managing our Shul. Let us also appreciate the leap made by John and Jane in taking on this central role.
Come and say Le'chaim, enjoy a special Kiddush and give positive feedback that will surely go a long way!

Dina and I wish you a restful Shabbos!
Rabbi Chaim and Dina Koncelpolski

Weekly Message July 29 2016

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

Dear Congregants,

We have arranged a Shabbat lunch with a high profile speakers from our community. This is a rare opportunity to hear from Anthony Dickman and Jill Pleban who are in very specialized positions and they will share with us some of the unique things they do and about the highlights of their journey making it there.
I encourage everyone to join this exciting afternoon.

Serious does not equal sad, and reflective does not equal solemn. Certain times require deliberation and focus even though they are very happy times, for example at the height of a wedding ceremony.

King Solomon said: “Everything has it’s time, there is a time to rejoice and a time to cry..”. If we feel free to cry at the the appropriate time, then our joy will be complete at a time of happiness.

In the Jewish calendar we are now in the midst of a mourning and reflection period called “The 3 weeks.” We mourn over the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, as well as the Jewish settlement in Israel (around 70 CE). Nowadays this period has a happy twist to it because we are back in Israel with an ever growing and developing country.

The social strife and attitudes among the Jewish nation which led to this destruction have changed. In the lead up to these tragic events when we needed each other the most, we were not there for each other. Nowadays when times gets tough we are very much keen to help others, however there is always room for improvement. How do we behave when times are not tough, when we are not under threat? Do we get irritated with people who feel different, who think different, who act different, who are not “Our type of person..”?

If you reflect on how you can be tolerant towards someone whom naturally you don’t feel like you can, you have taken full advantage of this 3 week period, and have played a big part in reversing the damage that was done during those difficult times. This will also ensure enduring happiness for ourselves and others.

Special mentions of the week:

Mazeltov to Barbara and Mark Rosman on the birth of their granddaughter.

Mazeltov to David Shnider on the birth of a grandson.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Chaim and Dina Koncelposki

Weekly Message July 14th 2016

Posted on: July 14th, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

One of our long-standing members Ilona Eidus passed away this past Sunday.

Ilona was a proud Jewish woman who was full of life. She will be be dearly missed.

Dina and I wish Robert Eidus and the entire Eidus family much strength and comfort at this difficult time. May your mother’s memory be a blessing.



We would like to bring an interactive learning course to our Shul created by a worldwide institute called “The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute.

This course is carried out in hundreds of communities around the world simultaneously, including various communities in Sydney with great success.

It runs throughout the year with three different independent courses.

The course provides booklets to follow along, and is delivered with a power point presentation. It is stimulating and interactive.

The topics for the courses for the upcoming year are: “How Success Thinks”, “Survival of a Nation” (6 day war), and “Talmud Interactive”.

Each course is taught for six successive weeks, once a week.

There is enrolment for each of the three courses independently with a charge.

We will only bring the course to our Shul if we receive feedback with interest.

Please send me an email if you might be interested.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Chaim and Dina Koncelpolski

Weekly Message July 7th 2016

Posted on: July 7th, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

Last week I reported about an opportunity for women to take part in saying Kaddish at times of mourning and Yahrzeit. I also encourage you to let me know if I can hep you in rehearsing the Kaddish so that you are comfortable reciting it during Davening at Shul.

I also wish to remind everyone that I have uploaded a recording of the Kaddish to the Shul website if you would like to practise on your own.

We have some exciting social events coming up soon and I encourage you to share it with your friends and invite them to come along!

We have a top class Whiskey night on the 21st of July conducted by “The World of Whiskey,” the best in the field!

On the 6th of August we will run our first “Faces of our Community” Shabbat lunch. This will be a series of lunches with different speakers from our community, each one with a fascinating life story and personal achievements to share.

In this weeks Torah portion we read about the damage of Spiritual anarchy and lack of boundaries.

This failed strategy of spirituality without boundaries was promoted by none other than Moses’ first cousin. He was a clever guy but with a misguided ideology.

Using clever arguments for a misguided purpose is something that most of us fall for at some stage, which is why it is so crucial to have a mentor to discuss the important things in our life with.

We will discuss more about this on Saturday at Shul.

Dina and I are excited for the special celebration this Shabbat and we look forward to sharing it with you!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Chaim and Dina Koncelpolski

Weekly Message 30th June 2016

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

A hearty Mazal Tov to Garry Hyman on his Bar-Mitzvah anniversary!

I look forward to hearing his reading of the Haftorah on Shabbat, and celebrating over a Lachaim!
Women saying Kaddish
Kaddish is a short declaration and prayer that is powerful and comforting. Saying Kaddish is far more than just reciting words, it is a deeply moving experience and this experience belongs not only to men, but to women as well. I am keen to involve all of the women in our community who have lost loved ones in the Kaddish experience. Over the past year, the chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, compiled an informative booklet about the meaning of Kaddish, with an emphasis on informing women about their involvement. Please read it and share it with your friends.

Dina and I wish everyone a restful and peaceful Shabbat.
Rabbi Chaim and Dina Koncelpolski

Weekly Message 16th June 2016

Posted on: June 16th, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

Dina and wish to thank all of you for the outpouring of love and support since the birth of our daughter Toba and before!
You have been truly caring and we appreciate it very much.
Dina has returned home today and hopes to get some recovery time in the peace and quiet of our home :):):).

We wish everyone Shabbat Shalom and we look forward to celebrating in full style very soon!

Rabbi Chaim & Dina Koncelpolski

Weekly Message 9th June 2016

Posted on: June 9th, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

This past Monday we bid farewell to Walter Dohan. Walter was a unique person with a unique mind. He contributed immensely to our Shul in his capacity as President, Treasurer and as a supporting member. He will be dearly missed!

Dina and I wish long life to Hellen Dohan, to Jack and Jeanette, Simon and Leesa Abrams and their entire family.


Tomorrow is the start of a long weekend in Australia as well as for the Jewish community.

SHAVUOT begins this Saturday evening, immediately following Shabbat, and ends on Monday evening.

There will be services on Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings at 9am as well as on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 6pm.

On Sunday morning, there will be a reading of the 10 commandments at 10am followed by an ICE-CREAM PARTY for all!

I encourage everyone to come and bring your children and/or your grandchildren!

This Sunday (6th Sivan), 3328 years ago, every single Jewish person had a direct conversation with G-D at Mt Sinai. During this conversation G-d shared His love for every person, and His care for every detail of our lives. Those who had this experience shared it with their children who were not present, who shared it with their children, and so on…

This Sunday we have the opportunity to share this experience with our children so they can share it with theirs.

Dina and I wish everyone Shabbat Shalom and Chag Same’ach!

Rabbi Chaim and Dina Koncelpolski

Weekly Message 2nd June 2016

Posted on: June 2nd, 2016 by Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski

This past Saturday we received the very sad news of the passing of Stella Udovitch the mother of Zina Conway.

Stella was a very special lady who brought joy to everyone around her. She will be dearly missed.

Dina and I wish a blessing of long and healthy life to Zina and Paul Conway and their entire family.

We will be performing the traditional welcoming of the mourners to Shul this Friday night.


This past Sunday was a big day for our community.

Garry and Maedinah Hyman, who served as President and first lady of our community for the past 4 years have officially concluded their term of Presidency.

Garry and Maedinah have done an incredible service for Cremorne Synagogue throughout this period with unlimited efforts to improve and enhance every area of our community.

They have gone well beyond the call of duty, and all with a smile and generous attitude.

On behalf of the community, I thank them dearly for their service and wish them a restful time ahead!

On a personal note, Dina and I thank them for all their support since we joined one year ago.

The newly elected President and first lady are John Gallo & Jane Wolfers. They are very kind, talented and ambitious. Dina and I look forward to working together with them and the newly elected board.

Simon Kotz has concluded his term as Treasurer. Simon has done an incredible job managing the Shul finances in a very generous and efficient way. We thank you, Simon for your service!

Colin Yamey is our new Treasurer. We thank him for taking on this position and we wish him success ahead!

A few young professionals have joined the board too. This is very exciting for our community especially since they have done so with with a full heart and motivation to bring in fresh and innovative ideas.

Let us congratulate them all and wish our community much Haztlacha (success)!
Rabbi Chaim and Dina Koncelpolski