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Friday, July 14, 2006

Double simcha for Byron Bay

LORIN BLUMENTHAL

IN a rare double simcha, the Byron Shire Jewish community last weekend celebrated a bar mitzvah and the donation of a Sefer Torah to Chabad of the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers, Byron Shire.

Used at the bar mitzvah ceremony of Jonathan Nakash on rosh chodesh Tammuz last week, the Torah was donated in the memory of the late Shlomo Zalman and Chana Ester Josefsberg.

Rabbi Mosheh Serebryanski, who commutes to Byron from the Gold Coast twice weekly, said the community is “happy that we now have our own Sefer Torah that can be used for all special occasions, including yahrzeits, Shabbat and simchas”.

Rabbi Serebryanski said he has conducted five b’nei mitzvah in Byron Shire over the past two years. The Sefer Torah will be kept at Gold Coast Chabad to be used for simchas at both locations.

The bar mitzvah party took place last Sunday on the property of Karni and David Nakash in Mullumbimby with more than 150 guests.

Byron Bay’s Rainbow Kehillah already has one Sefer Torah. “The vast majority of Jews in this area are not religiously identified but those Jews who are comfortable with Chabad will be very happy with the new Sefer Torah,” Byron Shire resident Dawn Cohen said.

There are believed to be around 1000 Jews in Byron Shire, out of a total population of 30,000.

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