Rabbi and Dina Koncepolski


Welcome to the page of Rabbi Chaim, where you can learn more about him, his wife Dina and their wonderful family. You can also read all of his weekly messages.

About our Rabbi

Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski was born in Sydney and moved to Israel with his family when he was 8 years old. After returning to Sydney for a short time around age 12, he completed his education at a Yeshiva in Israel, where his two older brothers were studying. When he was 20 he travelled to Brazil, where his brother was located, to be a shaliach at the Yeshiva. In his second year there he completed his Rabbinic ordination, and the following year he assisted with strengthening smaller Jewish communities in Brazil. With a strong passion for music, he was hired as cantor for a number of synagogues around the world for high holidays including Brazil, Florida, Russia and Central Synagogue Sydney. He is competent in Hebrew, Yiddish, Portuguese and English.

Rabbi Koncepolski’s wife Dina, the daughter of a rabbi, was born in Manchester, England, where she studied in an orthodox primary and high school. She then spent two years in Montreal studying at a seminary, while also volunteering in the local community and high school. This was followed by two years as a shaliach, one in Liverpool, England, working on community programs, the other in Israel, where she was a madricha. Dina was in New York for three years, working for one year with a friendship circle, which provided support for children with special needs. Rabbi Koncepolski went to New York to study where he met Dina and they married in January 2009.

Following further study, Rabbi Koncepolski and Dina took up a position in Jerusalem, where Chaim’s role was to inspire and support young Jewish men from English-speaking countries around the world, who felt alienated and had turned away from Judaism. Chaim supported them and encouraged them to regain trust in teachers, authority and Judaism, and to regain a positive self-image.

Rabbi Koncepolski and Dina have seven children, Yitzchak, Zalman, Chava, Toba, Mendy, Levi and Yehuda.

Rabbi and family

Weekly Message

  • Honouring your parents and treating them with a special respect is one of the most important mitzvahs, and according to the Talmud this responsibility extends to the extreme.

    The Talmud shares that the sage Rabbi Tarfon’s mother lost her shoes so he placed his hands under her feet so they won’t get dirty. When this episode was shared with the sages in the house of study they said that this act, great as it was, doesn’t even reach half of the honour due to one’s parents.

    Why is this Mitzvah so important?

    Two general reasons are given:

    1) Gratitude is paramount – your parents raised you, fed you clothed and sheltered you, nurtured you, educated you etc especially at an age when you couldn’t do it yourself, therefore you must show your ongoing appreciation.

    2) Recognise your source: your parents together with God – as partners – brought you into existence. You must recognise the origin of your life.

    The Ramban cites the second reason above and says that when you honour your parents you are mostly honouring God, because the parents’ input into creating a child is quite minimal, God does most of it. Husband and wife get together and after nine months a child is born! The outcome doesn’t match the effort. 

    According to this second reason, even if your parents didn’t nurture you the way parents should, you must still honour and respect them because they still brought you into the world and you owe them your existence.

    Parents who cause ongoing harm to their children may be an exception to the rule.

    Shabbat Shalom!

    Chaim & Dina 

  • There are three types of creatures. Ones that we see their benefit to our lives, some that are dangerous to us, and neutral creatures which we may even question why they are necessary.
    These three types of creatures were part of the ten plagues in Egypt and they represent three attitudes; ‘for’, ‘against’, and ‘apathetic’.
    You can be for God, against God or not care about God. Pharaoh wasn’t against the idea of God but he demonstrated apathy, he thought God had nothing to do with him. He said ‘I don’t know him’ and I’m not interested in what he has to say.

    Apathy is toxic and is a difficult attitude to change because it means you don’t care whether something is good or bad. Even if someone shows you the benefits you won’t be persuaded, unless you decide to care, or if it becomes too painful like in Pharaoh’s case.

    In relationships apathy is particularly hurtful. If you call or text someone and they don’t care to respond and just ignore you, you feel lowly because they showed no interest in you whatsoever. You would prefer they respond even if the response wasn’t what you wanted to hear.

    Warmth and engagement is a prerequisite for a meaningful life and healthy relationships.

    Shabbat Shalom!

  • In the lead up to our Chanukah event at Gore Hill a few things went wrong with a few of the suppliers. It happened close to the event which caused us stress in having to find replacements. In the end, the alternative arrangements ended up being much better for us. 

    When your original plan falls through, or even harder, when someone wrongs you, or mistreats you, in business, family or community, and you instinctively get stressed or hurt, it is hard to compose yourself and think that this may be for your benefit. But if you open yourself up to it better things come your way.

    The great master of this approach was Josef.

    Despite his brothers wanting to kill him and ultimately selling him as a slave he didn’t see it that way. He saw what his brothers did to him as part of a divine plan for him to become the ruler of Egypt and in order for that to happen he had to go through something unusual in order to make his way into Pharaoh’s palace.

    Sometimes a blessing comes into our life directly, without hurdles or obstructions, and at other times it only comes after overcoming a tense situation with good faith.

    Our positive perspective allows those obstructed blessings to come through.

    Shabbat Shalom!

  • The world cup has begun. It is an exciting time for soccer fans around the world. The Socceroos sent Aussie fans into a frenzy with an early goal against France but unfortunately it was short lived with a 4-1 loss. It is not a shame losing to the world champions.

    People often declare certain teams favourites to win but often they don’t win, because skill alone doesn’t win games. It is the energy and mindset of the players that does.

    The best team in the world can lose to the worst team in the competition if their energy is not right and they are not focused.

    Competitive sport is a great metaphor for the important things in life. The energy and mindset is everything.

    A relationship without postivie energy and a healthy mindset will become stale and even torturous.

    The same is true with your job and the same is true with Yiddishkeit, they too can become a burden. 

    The energy invested in, and felt with every Mitzvah will make all the difference between something exhilarating to something boring.

  • 5 November 2022

    When you get used to a situation you take it for granted and you lose your sense of wonder.

    Flying comfortably in the air, smart phones, and modern technology are a given in our lives despite them being  wondrous things.

    If you learn about the incredible complexity of the human eye or how a pregnancy occurs, it blows your mind and you wonder what is behind it that makes it do what it does. But our sense of wonder is still limited because we grow into this reality gradually and it feels somewhat natural.

    The Midrash says that Abraham lived in a cave for the first few years of his life so when he came out at the age of three and suddenly saw the world all at once, it was a great wonder to him and he felt that there must be a creator, and went on to search relentlessly.

    We can’t afford to get used to things or people and take them for granted. We need to ‘zoom out’ and observe everything in our life from afar so we appreciate its true value.

    Shabbat Shalom!

  • 12 November 2022

    We’re looking forward to the special Shabbat project lunch this Shabbat.


    Avraham and Sarah were effectively the first Rabbi and Rebbetzin in history.

    No one appointed them, it was organic. They just wanted to share their kindness and their beliefs with others, and they accumulated thousands of followers.

    They didn’t sit in a central location and wait for people to show up. They set themselves up in the middle of the desert highway and invited people in for food and drink and then connected with them over a discussion about faith and purpose. Many of their guests had opinions on God that were totally contrary to their own. It didn’t offend them or scare them, on the contrary, they saw it as an opportunity for a real discussion.

    Avraham and Sarah were free of ego so they had clear thinking and good judgement, so they could do things like tell God to wait and put him ‘on hold’ while they went to greet their guests. They knew it was the right decision at that moment.

    When our motives are pure and free of ego we have great clarity on how to behave, what decisions to make and where to invest our energy.

    Shabbat Shalom!

  • 10 September 2022

    Here are ten basic facts about the High Holidays:

    1. The Holidays that make up the ‘High Holidays’ are Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. By extension it applies to the days in-between as well.
    2. In Hebrew these two Chagim are called Yamim Nora’im – The days of Awe.
    3. The days in-between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur together with RH and YK are called ‘Aseret Yemei Teshuva’ – the Ten Days of Repentance.
    4. The High Holidays are observed in the Hebrew Month of Tishrei. The word Tishrei came from Babylon and it means ‘Beginning’, or immersion in water – ‘purification’.
    5. The first day of Rosh Hashana can only fall on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Shabbat.
    6. The first day of Rosh Hashana is the day the first human being, Adam, was created. This is why it is the day Hashem judges us, to assess whether we are fulfilling our life’s purpose.
    7. The central observance of Rosh Hashana is hearing the Shofar, and the central observance of Yom Kippur is afflicting yourself, which includes fasting, no bathing, no anointing with oil or creams, no leather shoes and no physical intimacy.
    8. The prayer of Yizkor – remembering close relatives is said on Yom Kippur and on Shmini Atzeret – the eighth day of Sukkot during the service.
    9. The white robe worn on Yom Kippur is called ‘Kittel’. The white represents purity and the cleansing of our sins. It also represents that we are like angels on this day, abstaining from eating and focusing on the spiritual experience of Yom Kippur.
    10. Rosh Hashana is the only festival of the year that is observed for two days world wide, including in Israel.

    Shana Tova and Shabbat Shalom!

    Chaim and Dina

  • We had a Q&A session recently with Bat Mitzvah girls and their parents. One of the girls asked a question that I thought would be hard to answer without being controversial or making people uncomfortable, but I decided that the truth is the best way forward, so I answered, albeit with sensitivity.

    To my surprise there were no issues. I made it clear that understanding something doesn’t mean agreeing to it or instantly adjusting your behaviour.

    It is common for people to shy away from sharing or thinking about uncomfortable truths. But if we don’t do it, we don’t learn and we don’t grow.

    This Sunday we begin blowing the Shofar daily. It is a beautiful time of the year that leads into Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

    Every person wants to be stronger, wiser, and deeper. We want to feel like we are achieving and making the most of our life.

    It all begins with the question; what can I do differently to what I’m doing right now?

    Am I open to growing? Am I open to change? I want to keep the good, and strengthen it, but also to add more good.

    Let us allow this special time to lift us up to greater heights.

    Ketivah Vachatima Tova!

    Shabbat Shalom