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Rabbi Levi Wolff - Chief Minister & Rebbetzin Chanie Wolff

Rabbi Levi Wolff was raised in New Jersey, USA. His education encompassed many years of concentrated studies – both textual and philosophical – culminating in his rabbinical ordination in 1996 from Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung, Chief Rabbi of Canada. 

During his formative years, he travelled to visit Jewish communities across the globe volunteering his services and skills for their benefit, whilst learning from the different cultures and traditions he encountered. 

In 1997, along with his wife Chanie, Rabbi Levi moved to Western Australia, where he was appointed director of Chabad WA and senior minister of Perth’s Northern Suburbs Hebrew Congregation. 

In 2001, the Wolff family headed east, and Rabbi Levi accepted the position of chief minister of The Central Synagogue in Sydney – the largest synagogue in the Southern Hemisphere. Central, as it is commonly known, is a Modern-Orthodox spiritual hub appealing to the sensibilities of today, while remaining loyal to the timeless values of Torah-true Judaism.

Rabbi Levi masterfully juggles the delicate balancing act that the modern rabbinate requires, namely, adaptation and relevance to modern times, coupled with uncompromising fealty to authentic Torah law and spirit.

Rabbi Wolff proudly received his Australian citizenship in 2011, and this year marks almost a quarter of a century of service to thousands of congregants across Australia of all ages and stages – including respected Holocaust survivors.

Rabbi Levi is a mentor to many and leads educational life cycle courses, weekly adult education classes and more. He also leads prayer services and delivers weekly sermons to hundreds of congregants who attend Central on Shabbat. In addition, he guides and delivers sermons to thousands of congregants in synagogue over the Jewish High Holiday season. 

As a columnist for several newspapers and via social media platforms, his messages are widely circulated and enjoyed by followers around the world. 

Rabbi Levi is guided by the commandment, “Love your fellow as yourself,” striving so that all feel - not merely welcome - but elevated and embraced. 

The good work goes on.

A message from Rabbi Wolff

“As Chief Minister, I have the honour of leading services and providing support to my congregants. I have the privilege of officiating at (and joining in) many and varied celebrations. At other times, I offer assistance to those coping with life events that may require strength and fortitude of spirit.

Together with my wife, Chanie, and our beautiful children, I am truly blessed to be part of this unique and exuberant congregation. Our numbers are large by any standard, yet first and foremost, we are a mishpochah, a family, and our unified roots run deep. With committed and devoted congregants, we have continued to expand and grow. This includes, the extension of new classrooms, libraries and educational facilities, conducive to stimulation and learning. Of course, maintaining and preserving our sacred sanctuary is always top of our To Do list as well.

I pray that Hashem may grant me the wisdom and strength to always provide guidance, support, spiritual growth and comfort to those in need.

With blessings for the rebuilding of the Jewish People’s ultimate sanctuary in the Holy Land.”

Rabbi David Freedman - Pastoral Care

Rabbi Freedman entered the rabbinate in 1973 and has served various congregations with distinction in London and Sydney. Rabbi David joined our shul in 2009, primarily to help in the area of pastoral care and to assist Rabbi Wolff. He visits Jewish patients in hospitals each week and makes himself available for specific hospital or home visits as well.

In addition to his duties for The Central Synagogue, Rabbi David lectures in Medieval Jewish History at Sydney University and in Jewish Law at UNSW. Rabbi David, along with his wife, Ruth, cherish time with their children and grandchildren in both Sydney and Perth.