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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Canberra to get first mikvah

The small Jewish community in the Australian capital of Canberra is building a mikvah.

Aharon Serebryanski, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi from Melbourne, has pledged to fund Canberra’s first Jewish ritual bath. Approximately 600 Jews live in Canberra, whose lay-led community has no rabbi or kosher butcher. Orthodox and liberal Jews share prayer facilities at a Jewish center.

The motion in favor of building the ritual bath was passed Monday by a 61-14 vote at a general meeting of the community at Canberra’s National Jewish Memorial Center.

"The majority of younger women are very excited at the prospect," Anita Shroot, one of the leaders of the mikvah project, told the Australian Jewish News. "I think a mikvah is a starting point. I honestly feel that once we've achieved that, we will manage to get an educator, hopefully a rabbi and the community will thrive, and that is why we have pursued this so strongly."

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