Special Events & Activities

Student reports about our recent extra curricular activities and programs.

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Chodesh Adar
By Bassie B.

Adar arrived, and with it numerous programs and exciting events to add to the joy and happiness of this busy month. We were privileged to pay a visit to the home of Mrs Werdiger, where she educated us on the proper etiquette and way to set a Shabbos table. The visit continued where we had the unique opportunity to view her collection of various Judaica items, including many pieces hundreds of years old. We all thoroughly enjoyed admiring the centuries old ketubahs, a beautifully decorated megillah, and various other works of art. It was a truly incredible opportunity to view such unique pieces of work. In preparation for the in Shabbos, we had Simmy’s grandfather, Mr R Kremnizer from Sydney as a guest speaker, who spoke on the very relevant topic of Simcha, and how to reach this state. This led us straight to our beautiful in Shabbos, filled with delicious food and inspiration. Being as it was the month of Adar, the theme of the in Shabbos was Simcha, which was represented through the décor and the entertaining Friday night meal and farbrengen we had with Rabbi and Mrs Y Lieder, in which they shared some incredible stories with us. The Shabbos continued with a lovely Shabbos Seuda, complete with Divrei Torah and an entertaining game.

The festive weekend continued with a special zayin adar picnic in the botanical gardens, hosted by our very own dorm counsellors. The beautiful weather made it a very pleasant afternoon filled with food and fun. That night we were privileged to hear from a recent returnee from the Kinus Hashluchos, Mrs Dina Kahn, who fabregened with us on some of the insights, ideas and stories she heard at the Kinus. Later that week, we heard from one of the first people in Melbourne to put on a shaitel, Mrs Assia New, and her communication with the Rebbe on this topic. As it was leading up to Purim, we were all very busy cooking, baking and preparing for our numerous Purim functions and commitments.

Purim was an incredible experience, where we were kept busy running from function to function. We started off with a high school function on a boat on Purim night, where we heard the megillah, ate delicious food and danced the night away. After a fun filled night we had to wake up early the next morning to attend the megillah reading in the Werdiger hall, and get a chance to see our Bnos girls all dressed up in their beautiful costumes. The whole OC dressed up as where’s wally, and made quite a splash walking all over town in our red and white stripes. Another highlight of the day was when we visited Emmy Monash, where we sang for the residents accompanied by Chavi on the guitar, where we were able to bring the Simcha of Purim to them. finally, we all headed off to our respective seudas, only to join back later for our final Purim program, a double decker party bus! It was the perfect end to fun filled day.

The learning and events of the month continued with a farbrengen by our very own teacher, Rabbi Telsner, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Our weeks were packed with many guest speakers including Rabbi Kaltmann from Ohio, who spoke about his shlichus on campus and shared some incredible stories from his experience. We were privileged to hear from Dr Yetta Krinsky, who spoke about her fascinating journey to yiddishkeit. In conjunction with the topic of fundraising we were learning in Rabbi Blesofsky’s shlichus class, we heard from a local shliach, Rabbi Menachem Stern, and some practical tips on the topic. Our next international speaker, Chavi’s grandfather, Rabbi Kahn from Israel, inspired us with his wisdom and Divrei torah.

In honour of Chof Hey Adar, the Rebbetzions birthday, we had many incredible programs. Starting with a dorm program on Wednesday night, where the High school shluchot joined us and ran a workshop on what everyone can contribute to the world. We were lucky enough to have a delicious barbeque and program at Mrs Groners the next day, where we were divided into groups by our birthdays, and each presented a story of the Rebbetzin. There were some very creative presentations including a puppet show and a song. Our final program of the day was a farbrengen by Mrs M Krasnjanski, who spoke about the significance of the day.

Monday was the start of our final week before pesach break, and we began to say goodbye to the girls returning home for Yom tov. We were treated to a thank you breakfast from Chabad youth, in appreciation of our hard work throughout the term. In preparation for pesach, we had a special week of classes devoted solely to ideas for Yom tov. From Haggadah insights, to question and answers about halachos of pesach, to the history of the Haggadah, the week was filled with many insightful and fascinating classes. We were privileged to hear from Rabbi Telsner about his experiences at the Rebbe’s Seder, and the various minhagim the Rebbe would adhere to by his Seder. We enjoyed a bais Nissan farbrengen by Rabbi Blesofsky, where we heard stories of the Rebbe Rashab and learned about Tomchei Temmimim. All in all, it was a month full of learning, inspiration and a lot of Simcha and fun. After a packed term, we are all excited to take a little break to recharge our batteries, and look forward to our final term after pesach.

Chodesh Shevat
By Hadassah C.

This month of Shvat has been very eventful in Ohel Chana. We kicked it off on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh with a beautiful ‘in-shabbos’ to welcome all the locals as they moved into the dorm. Kalman and Timmy Rubin inspired us with their stories on Friday night and Timmy kept us entertained later into the early morning hours with her exciting stories and bubbly personality. We then had a first orientation meeting on Sunday night to explain everything to the newcomers which was very informative and exciting. We were fortunate enough to visit one of Melbourne’s top attractions and went on the Great Ocean Road where we were shown beautiful sites like the 12 apostles, everyone was in awe of the beauty this city has to offer. We had fun in the bus singing and getting to know each other throughout the day.

That Friday we were treated to a very special talk by Rabbi Laibl Groner and heard amazing stories of the Rebbe and were able to ask personal queries on things that have boggled our minds and were given clarity by Rabbi Groner who was at the Rebbes side all the years of the Rebbes leadership on these matters which was incredible. Yud Shvat came around and Rabbi Lange Farbrenged with us, following a full day of speakers and events which was all filled with inspiring concepts, stories and ideas. Rabbi Weiss from Manchester came in to speak to us as well as one of the girl’s parents, Rabbi and Mrs. Rosenfeld from Miami. The following Sunday Moshe and Dina Kahn as a thank you for doing camp for them over the summer break hosted us for a  BBQ, we really enjoyed that. Mrs. R New paid us a visit from Atlanta who spoke about how meaningful her work is in Friendship Circle and how fulfilling her shlichus is.

To start our momentous Chof Beis Shvat weekend we had an intense Farbrengen with Rabbi Wolf on Thursday night until 2 AM, as we delved into various topics about Yiddishkeit. Friday morning arrived and we were off on our shabbaton to Warrata Bay with Mrs. Groner and her children, Rabbi and Mrs. Lisker. Our many farbrengens with Rabbi and Mrs Lisker were spiritually stimulating and thought provoking and we had a blast by the beach, which was across the road and we bonded with each other and really enjoyed the many activities and programs over the full weekend.  On our return home Sunday evening, we hosted Beth Rivka mothers and daughters for a night of inspirational learning. Later that week Rabbi and Mrs. Goldschmidt from Dallas were here to give us a full report of their life on shlichus which was extremely eye-opening.

We then had a beautiful Farbrengen with Josh Goldhirsch about the Rebbe and his personal experiences with the Rebbe over the years and were shown an amazing video which left us all speechless. To end of our month on a high note, Avraham Fried came to talk to us on Friday about his life as a singer and his connection to the Rebbe through his singing and how he remains true in his Chassidishkeit and epitomizes that through his songs. We rejoiced in a modest way at his concert celebrating the start of an amazing Rosh Chodesh Adar a prefect beginning to a month of Simcha!

Rabbi Groner Inspires in Australia
from collive.com
Photos: Shaina Krinsky

The Rebbe's Mazkir Rabbi Leibel Groner inspired the students of Ohel Chana Seminary -Werdiger Learning Institute in the lead up to Yud Shevat.

Rabbi Leibel Groner, the Rebbe's Mazkir, spoke at Ohel Chana Seminary -Werdiger Learning Institute on Friday morning, Zayin Shevat. 

Rabbi Groner spoke about his experiences and interaction with the Rebbe over the many years he served as one of the Rebbe's personal secretaries. 

He also shared many stories and words of inspiration in the lead up to Yud Shevat.

Rabbi Groner, along with his wife, are in Australia visiting the many Chabad mosdos in lead up to Yud Shevat and inspiring the entire Melbourne Jewish community.

Second Half Chodesh Teves
By Raizel S.

The jam packed summer program was a great way to begin the second semester and allow the Australians and South Africans to adjust and form relationships with the former Ohel Chana girls. During summer program we had the privilege to participate in enriching sessions with a range of experienced teachers. Each one of these teachers had something else to offer on various interesting topics that are not included in the usual Ohel Chana learning schedule.


We had an inspiring Farbrengen with Rabbi Tenenbaum, in honour of Chof Daled Teves. During this Farbrengen we were all encouraged to take on something extra in honour of the Alter Rebbes Yahrzeit, as well as discussed the power the Rebbe has and how He notices and cares about every individual. Following this we learnt the Maamar of Basi Legani in depth in preparation for Yud Shevat, this is done in honour of the Freidiker Rebbes yahrzeit. Rabbi Winner taught the Maamar with practical examples, contagious enthusiasm and with a well-rounded amount of background information. It was a great experience and we really understood why this Maamar is so holy and how it plays a vital role in Chabad. In addition to this we are also participating in an incredible Hachana program created by the amazing dorm counselors in a further anticipation for the auspicious day.


During these two weeks, Rabbi Shapiro gave over a magnificent JLI course full of in depth understanding in the areas of Halacha and where it is derived from. The class gave a full understanding of which parts of Torah are what and helped clarify where Torah She Baal Peh comes in.  In addition, we had a kosher shiur on kosher conundrums where Rabbi Baskin gave us an understanding on how foods are checked and how much work goes on behind the scenes ensuring that the food we eat is in fact Kosher. We also had a fascinating class with Rabbi Haller on the ideas behind Techiyas Hamasim focusing on the question if death is a negative aspect of the world and what caused death to become the natural cycle of the world. Mr Joel Gerschman gave over a practical and interesting session on Effective communication which we all enjoyed.


Over the course of these two weeks we went on two trips including Arthur’s Seat and Great Ocean Road. We thoroughly enjoyed making our way through the ropes courses, enchanted mazes and sliding down the alpine slides. We also enjoyed a full day trip to Great Ocean Road where we were able to see the beautiful nature of Melbourne- swimming in waterfalls, hiking up to beautiful lookouts and eating prepared delicious lunches and dinner at parks along the way.

Overall, the past 2 weeks have been an incredible experience and an amazing orientation for all the Australians and South Africans of what is in store for these upcoming months in OC.

Summer Camp Primary Division
By Hindy D.

Wow! Camp was so incredible! So much chayus that just blew us away! With staff like no other and Dina Kahn as our director, we just knew camp would be epic and unforgettable. The theme of camp was army, where it was our chance to FIGHT FOR LIGHT. We were able to show the campers how to spread yidishkeit, fight for what we believe in and stand strong as soldiers in the Rebbes army. Every day was an experience with so much happening. With theme activity every day to flying fox, rock climbing, sports, archery, swimming, canoeing, adventure park, roller skating, water tubing, and we can't forget about the giant swing! Every morning was started off with breakfast game that really woke us up! And to end off our fun filled day we were always entertained by the most amazing night activities! The learning, shiurim and farbrengens kept us inspired for months after camp.


Each individual day of camp was focused on another part of the army and how we can serve in it. We explained throughout the summer how a soldier must improve themselves and work very hard to achieve their goal. In our own lives, we as Jews and the Rebbes children, must use the tools we were given to be the best Bas Chabads that we can be. As much as our campers gained from the summer, us as counselors took away double. Months of preparation were put into CGI Melbourne and it payed off in every way. We were able to really put in all our effort and use our time to make Summer 5777 the greatest year yet. Without a doubt this opportunity we were given to work on camp and be involved in our amazing community, effected all of us and allowed us to grow in a fun environment. Overall, the summer camp experience we were a part of was unlike any other and we are sure that summer 5777 will one that will not be forgotten.

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