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AJN 27/7


Islam from the Inside:

An in-depth public discussion with Rabbi Gad Krebs of Kehillat Masada

and Islamic Scholar Mahsheed Ansari

29 June 2018

“As an Islamic spirituality teacher, Jihad is intricate part of my faith that has been hijacked,” said Mahsheed Ansari, an Afghanistan-born university lecturer who was raised in Sydney, and who gave an insightful and in-depth understanding to the engaged crowd about the origins of Jihad and what it means to her. But Jihad was just one of the complex and confronting concepts that Ansari dealt with at the most recent debate conducted by Rabbi Gad Krebs from Kehillat Masada. 

Over the last six months, Rabbi Krebs has invited a guest from outside of our “general” community framework; someone who’s beliefs, values or religion may bother or even offend us, but with whom the rabbi feels we have to acknowledge and understand as part of a wider community. Although Krebs has previously invited an Imam to address the community, many left feeling that questions about issues like Fatwa, terrorism, Sharia law and what it’s like for non-Muslims living in a Muslim state, were left unanswered. And so these questions were posed to Ansari, who dealt with them in an intellectual and yet understanding and embracing demeanor. 

“After an overwhelmingly successful Adult Education Program conducted over for the first half of 2018, we are excited to be continuing our series "THEM" - confronting challenging ideas as well as people. We are further introducing a range of online, live streaming and Whatsapp

micro-shiurim covering a variety of topics,” says Rabbi Krebs. “I look forward to seeing you both in person, as well as online as we "venture into the grey" together.”


Healthy Mind, Body and Soul: Ladies Rosh Chodesh Evening at Kehillat Masada

23 May 2018


This month’s ladies Rosh Chodesh evening at Kehillat Masada was all about replenishment. With welcome smoothies at the door and gifts of Pilates mats and healthy snack packs, the ladies of our community were treated to a night where they could relax, learn and rejuvenate minds, bodies and souls.

Rebbetzin Rachel Cohen started the evening with some insightful words on the Jewish perspective to nurturing both body and soul, explaining that our bodies are a reflection of the Divine and that taking care of our physical selves is therefore an integral part of our spiritual growth as a well as an expression of “Hakarat HaTov”- gratitude for all we have been given.

Guest speaker Yvette Collins then took us on her journey of transformation, explaining how she lost 60 kilos in 18 months. It turns out that Yvette has no mind-blowing secret to shedding the pounds. Instead, she did it through hard work, exercise and changing the way she thought of herself and her body. Besides taking us through her journey to becoming healthy and fit, Yvette also explained the difference between emotional and physical eating and presented simple ways to stay motivated along the journey.

Finally, it was time to put our words into action as qualified Pilates instructor Robyn Goldin recharged tired muscles with an energizing Pilates class.

While our raffle winners walked away with prizes, every lady left the room feeling inspired to replenish mind, body and soul - just in time for Shabbat!

Messiahs, men and mortals

Perspectives, ideologies and even whole communities are challenged in another session of “THEM”: a series of public discussions at Kehillat Masada.

19 April 2018

“The Rabbi's openness to the debate was appreciated. The topic could have been “us versus them”; but instead it showed me that we are more similar than different.” This sentiment by community member Jason Winderbaum was probably echoed by the approximately 80 people that came to listen to the third debate in a series of similar forums initiated by Rabbi Gad Krebs of Kehillat Masada, on the North Shore. Like the two sessions that came before, Rabbi Krebs sat down with someone outside of the “general framework” of our community- this time it was Rabbi Eli Cohen, the spiritual leader of the Newtown synagogue, director of the Sydney branch of Jews for Judaism and an active member of the Chabad movement. Armed with pre- prepared questions that Rabbi Cohen had been privy to, Rabbi Krebs once again made sure there were no “sacred cows” so to speak, as no critical, direct or thought-provoking question was left out of the discussion that was nevertheless respectful, engaging and even playful at times, with both rabbis acknowledging the folly and humour that often go hand in hand with religion-inspired human behaviour. Questions about deifying a human being, the influence of tzadik in the physical worlds after his death and, of course, of messianic realities were expounded upon and debated. And while both Rabbis agreed to disagree on their ideologies, they acknowledged that their focus and that of the debate should only have one outcome- to bring people closer to Judaism.


As seen in AJN 11/5/18

Lavi KM's new Youth Movement

Australian Jewish News 29/3/18



Australian Jewish News 15/2/18

Wed, 20 February 2019 15 Adar I 5779