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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 3 Apr 2020 06:52 PM and ends Sat 4 Apr 2020 07:50 PM

Update & pictures of Rabbi and Rachel Trugman’s visit

י"ז תמוז ה' אלפים תשס"ט



Although it is just a week since Rabbi and Rachel Trugman left Australia, their positive impact on the community is still being felt. It is estimated that in their 3 week tour of Australia they presented to over 2,000 people in our community.

In our first update, was made reference to the forthcoming Shabbaton at Kew Shule. We are pleased to advise that this was most successful with 60 people attending the Friday night Shabbaton and a slightly lesser number the Shabat luncheon.

Rabbi Trugman spoke on “living in divine space (secrets of Jewish meditation) ” and on “men, women and sexuality” and “psychology and Torah – a fascinating inner  journey”, in respect of which topics, Rachel also contributed.
A Melava Malka/Jam Session followed and the Trugmans stayed overnight in Kew in order to participate in Sunday morning davening and breakfast where Rabbi Trugman also delivered a Shiur.

During their time at Kew, Rachel also was able to provide counselling in response to 2 requests for same.

Sunday 21 June 2009 consisted of an evening of music and discussion with Rabbi speaking on rconsisted of an evening of music and discussion with Rabbi speaking on recreating Jewish community in the 21st century and playing the dulcima.  This was held at the Sassoon Yehuda Sephardi Synagogue and over 50 people enjoyed the session.

Monday 22 June 2009 consisted of the first of 3 visits to Yavneh College and in the evening, Rachel Trugman spoke at the Elsternwick Jewish Community Ladies Rosh Chodesh Club.  Her topic was emotional management and some 40 women listened to a lively discussion with plenty of interesting questions following.  

Tuesday 23 June 2009 was an extremely busy day and evening for the Trugmans consisting of a visit to Yavneh (Year 7-10) and a discussion on making Tefillah relevant.  The session included a “Calebach Hallel” and this was followed by a visit to the Jewish Student Network at Brighton Secondary College which consisted largely of a musical session.  Later on in the afternoon, the Trugmans visited the UJEB Centre at Caulfield Junior College and in the evening, Rachel spoke at HaMayan with Rabbi Trugman speaking at Chabad Glen Eira on “Secrets of the Star of David”.    This session had comparatively fewer people in attendance but was highly regarded based on the feedback we obtained. 

The following day (Wednesday) was also very busy commencing with a lunch and learn session at the Tifferet Institute in William Street, Melbourne.  Rabbi spoke on Torah and Cosmology (Evolution) with approximately 15 participants with a number of other men then coming for Minchah and staying for a discussion afterwards.  In the afternoon, the Trugmans were back at Yavneh speaking on the holiness of the State of Israel and at that session, thanks were extended to the Trugmans for their participation at Yavneh, which was very well received.  Later that night, the Trugmans spoke on Love and Relationships at Caulfield Shule with over 40 people in attendance and positive feedback was received for this function as well. 


Thursday 25 June 2009 consisted of a UJEB session at Central Shule for much younger children than Rabbi is used to dealing with but with the assistance of his Dulcima, he had the kids singing and with gusto.  Rabbi then addressed Central’s Father/Son Barmitzvah Club, speaking to 12 pairs of families and gave a strong message to the fathers as to leading by example in respect of the matter of responsibility each person has to himself, his family, the Jewish nation, Israel and the world.  That evening, Rabbi spoke at the Mizrachi Bet Midrash on the mystical matrix of reincarnation with approximately 40 people in attendance. 


The Shabbat 26/6/ - 27/6/2009 commenced at St. Kilda Shule  with a Friday night Shabbaton and with Rabbi Trugman speaking on love and relationships and the mystical meaning of dreams.  Over 100 people participated and for the first time in living memory, people were dancing in Shule for Lecha Dodi in true Calebach style aided by great harmony from the St. Kilda Shule Choir.  Shabbat morning, the Trugmans were at the Elsternwick Jewish Community Shule with Rabbi davening musaf and also delivering a drosha on the Parsha.    There was dancing in Shule after Anim Zmirot and 70 people enjoyed lunch and the topic for discussion – the role of money and business in Jewish life.   In the afternoon, Rachel spoke at an Emunah function on Perek Shira (the song of creation).  There were 40 people in attendance and this function was also very well received.  Rabbi spoke at Mizrachi during Seuda Shlishit on the mystical power of music and ended S.S. with the meditative Krakow Mizmor L’David Nigun which was embraced enthusiastically.  That Saturday evening, a Melava Malka was held for young adults at the home of Rochi & Yirmi Kramer and again some 40 young adults were treated to discussions, stories and music. 

Sunday 28 June 2009 began with a breakfast and Shiur at Elwood Shule with Rabbi speaking on the mystical meaning of dreams.  Sunday evening saw Rachel speaking at Mizrachi on Psychology and Torah and Rabbi returned to the Sassoon Yehuda Synagogue to participate in an Iraqi music and food night in which he then formed a duet with a musician playing the Ude.  This was a great thrill for Rabbi Trugman who had not done something like this before and for the 60 people in attendance, it was a magical moment and unexpected.

On Monday evening 29 June 2009 Rabbi spoke to the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation at the home of Rabbi Rubinfeld, the topic being “Body Mind & Soul, a Jewish view of Healing”.  There were over 30 people in attendance and the evening went quite late because of the number of questions asked.    After spending Tuesday 30 June 2009 on the Great Ocean Road, the Trugmans returned to Melbourne Hebrew Congregation that night in order for Rabbi Trugman to speak on Love and Relationships. 

All in all, the programme went over much better than expected by both the Trugmans and us.  There was very good feedback in respect of most of the functions in what was an extremely busy Schedule and in the above summary, I have not mentioned the other school visits including Beth Rivkah or the other counselling sessions that Rachel, in particular, gave. 

In the final session the Executive had with the Trugmans a number of suggestions were made as to how to build on the 3 week programme including organising Shabbtonim, Thursday “Choolant” nights, Maleva Malkas etc. and these hopefully will be followed up.

Because of the strong connections the Trugmans made with quite a number of people, we will explore the possibility of utilising their services again and it may be that one avenue to best exploit their special qualities will be a weekend retreat which will combine a holiday, a full Shabbaton and time to develop topics further, which often could not be done in the limited times made available for the various discussion evenings that took place.






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