By the Grace of G-d
Newtown Shul is the only synagogue in Sydney’s Inner West.  Newtown Shul’s activities are possible because of your kind generosity and we thank you for it.

Please consider becoming a member.

Should you wish to donate to Newtown Shul, you can always do so using the bank account details below. Please make sure to send an email to newtown@shul.org.au with a copy of the transaction confirmation.

Account Name: Newtown Synagogue INC, BSB: 032036, Account No: 960034

Shavuot Special Events

Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Bamidbar

Courtesy of Chabad.org

In the Sinai Desert, G‑d says to conduct a census of the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses counts 603,550 men of draftable age (20 to 60 years); the tribe of Levi, numbering 22,300 males age one month and older, is counted separately. The Levites are to serve in the Sanctuary, replacing the firstborn, whose number they approximated, who were disqualified when they participated in the worshipping of the Golden Calf. The 273 firstborn who lacked a Levite to replace them had to pay a five-shekel “ransom” to redeem themselves.

When the people broke camp, the three Levite clans dismantled and transported the Sanctuary, and reassembled it at the centre of the next encampment. They then erected their own tents around it: the Kohathites, who carried the Sanctuary’s vessels (the Ark, menorah, etc.) in their specially designed coverings on their shoulders, camped to its south; the Gershonites, in charge of its tapestries and roof coverings, to its west; and the families of Merari, who transported its wall panels and pillars, to its north. Before the Sanctuary’s entranceway, to its east, were the tents of Moses, Aaron, and Aaron’s sons.

Beyond the Levite circle, the twelve tribes camped in four groups of three tribes each. To the east were Judah(pop. 74,600), Issachar (54,400) and Zebulun (57,400); to the south, Reuben (46,500), Simeon (59,300) and Gad (45,650); to the west, Ephraim (40,500), Manasseh (32,200) and Benjamin (35,400); and to the north, Dan (62,700), Asher (41,500) and Naphtali (53,400). This formation was kept also while travelling. Each tribe had its own nassi (prince or leader), and its own flag with its tribal colour and emblem.

Newtown Shul Weekly Friday Night Dinner

The Shabbat Dinner is the traditional focal point of every Jew’s week. We at Newtown Shul, extend a warm welcome to all people to join us for a traditional Friday Night Dinner.

The Shabbat Dinner is held in the hall beside the Synagogue immediately after the 6:30pm Shabbat service.

The Shabbat Dinner is a joint project of Newtown Synagogue and Young Adult Chabad and operates by virtue of the generosity of donors and volunteers.

All of the food served at the dinner is prepared ‘by the people for the people’ with love.

There is a suggested donation of $20 per person. To make a tax-deductible donation for the Shabbat dinners, please click here.

All of the food served at the dinner is prepared ‘by the people for the people’ with love. 

Cooking at Newtown Shul is fun, friendly and needs you! You don’t need to know how to cook and you don’t need to come every week! Just a willing pair of hands whenever you are available and a smile as great as the ones in this picture!

Shabbat Schedule


Friday Night Candle Lighting Time 4:36 PM

Pre-service L’chaim in the Hall 5:30 PM

Kabbalat Shabbat Service  in the Synagogue 6:00 PM

Shabbat Dinner book online here 7:00 PM


Shabbat Morning Kabbalah Class in the Hall 9:00 AM

Shabbat morning service in the Synagogue 9:30 AM

Torah Reading 10:30 AM

Children’s Service in the Hall 11:00 AM

Rabbi’s Sermon and Choir 11:30 AM

Kiddush and Lunch in the Hall 12:30 PM

Shabbat Ends 5:35 PM

Shavuot Service Times

SHAVUOT 2ND DAY – MONDAY 10 June / 7 Sivan

9:30 am – Prayers commence
10:30 am – Torah Reading
11:30 am – Rabbi’s Sermon, Synagogue Choir & Priestly Blessing
12:30 pm – Kiddush in the Hall
5:35 pm – Shavuot Ends. Evening Prayers in the Synagogue followed by Havdalah

Thought for the Week

Desert Honeymoon

By Shimon Posner (Courtesy of Chabad.org)

I was sitting at the dining room table this week when a movement outside the window caught my eye: I looked up to see a roadrunner. For those of you not in the desert, a roadrunner is a kind of bird that looks like a cross between a woodpecker and an eagle that hasn’t eaten for a week. In its mouth this roadrunner was a holding a white lizard, which looked like a Mattel dinosaur that hadn’t been painted yet.

I ran to grab my new camera, a birthday present, a digital AK-47PX or something like that. My kids have been too busy to show me how it works and I’ve been too slow to learn.

I snapped away as the roadrunner repeatedly flung the lizard to the ground until the lizard’s neck became covered with blood. The pictures, of course didn’t come out, so no, I won’t be featured in next month’s National Geographic.

To the right of our place forty homes are going up; to the left, hundreds. The desert vistas are giving way to tract homes. Those who haven’t been to the desert are surprised when they get here; apparently they expected to see silent sand dunes baking in the sun all the way to the horizon. Those who live here think of it as hotter than Los Angeles, with better air than the Valley and less traffic than Orange County. But with the homes, golf courses, pools and malls the desert part of it is easily forgotten. Or ignored.

The desert is desolate, bare; where survival is chancy and death stares you in the face. Where without irrigation and air-conditioning you would never go, never mind go for a honeymoon. But this is where the good L-rd took us as soon as we left Egypt.

There was no food, no water, and enough sun and scorpions to kill many times over. And we went. Blindly. “Blindly” is thought of very negatively; let us call it “trustingly.”

He led and we followed and years later when the marriage went sour, He remembered our blind love and He turned a blind eye. And then we got sour with Him and we too turned a blind eye, and we settled into being an old married couple. But before we had a chance to get too grumpy, along came a Rebbe who brought a zest and a zing and everything back to the marriage so that we’re back on a honeymoon.

And for a honeymoon, there is no place better than the desert. Not because of the golf courses. The desert has its own beauty. The vastness, the emptiness, the stark majesty call to the fore something big, majestic and unchanging. Trees and grass for all their beauty and usefulness block that. Houses and fences, for all that we need them, call to mind our accomplishment. And in the face of accomplishment, the stark majesty is lost.

We go back to the desert, that state of blind love and that state of vast majesty. Our love, His majesty. His love, that majesty that pulsates somewhere inside of us. Underneath all the accomplishments.

It is the week we begin Numbers, the fourth book of the Torah five, which calls attention to “in the wilderness.” It calls attention to this state in the week of Shavuot, the holiday which commemorates when the Torah was given in the desert. At Sinai. And as our 3318th anniversary draws close, we hold His hand and are grateful that our marriage feels young.

Shabbos Chuckle

Technically, Moses was the first person with a tablet downloading data from the cloud…

Local Event

Issued June 6th, 2019

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