The Perth Jewish Community
Most Carmel School families identify with and support Perth’s vibrant Jewish community. In particular, students and graduates engage through Maccabi, the Zionist Youth movements, the Shules, and also through the very strong Jewish student organisations based within Perth's four major University campuses.
With a population of close to 10,000, Perth's Jewish Community is an active, warm and welcoming community which sustains the full scope of Jewish institutions, organisations and religious facilities within an extensive eiruv. The extraordinary growth of the Perth Jewish Community in the last 10 to 15 years means that Perth now offers a fully satisfying life and environment for all, including the Shomer Shabbat family. In addition, community members have access to a full range of social, cultural, and sporting resources and activities.
Perth has a number of synagogues that represent the breadth of observance, including modern Orthodox, Chabad and Reform. On grounds adjacent to Carmel School lies the Jewish Centre - home to many organisations such as JNF, UIA, WIZO, National Council of Jewish Women, the Holocaust Institute of WA, Jewish Care and Menora Charity. These agencies provide activities and services for Jewish people of all ages and backgrounds. Many community members are involved with these and other organisations. On an ongoing basis, Perth hosts events of interest including Jewish musical evenings, talks given by guest speakers from all over the world, fetes and theatrical performances.
Also based in the Jewish Centre is the Community Shaliach from Israel. The Shaliach helps to enrich communal life by organising a wide variety of cultural, educational and social activities. He also works closely with Perth's thriving youth groups, Habonim Dror and B'nei Akiva.
The Maurice Zeffert Memorial Centre for the Aged is a state-of-the-art complex, providing excellent support for elderly members of the community and a variety of accommodation options from independent self-care units to nursed care and a specialised purpose-built Dementia wing.
From a sporting perspective, the community is fortunate enough to have its own professionally-run club. Western Australia Maccabi promotes the unity and welfare of the Jewish community in general. Sporting clubs and social activities for all ages are available throughout the year, and young people participate strongly in Australian Maccabi Carnivals as well as global Maccabiah events. Children participate at home or interstate in a variety of sports and cultivate lifelong friendships with other children from around Australia and New Zealand.
The Perth Community has a kosher shop selling fresh bread and bagels, cakes and a full range of Kosher meat. There are also a number of kosher caterers available to cater for any function.
Following school, young members of the Perth Jewish community are encouraged to continue their connection to their faith and culture through either the Bnei Akiva or Habonim Dror youth groups, both of which are very active within Perth and have links to other chapters around Australia.
“The centrality of the school coupled with a strong ‘One Community’ culture make the Perth Jewish Community one of the most unique in the world; for everything from vibrant, engaging Jewish learning to meaningful and authentic Jewish experiences” – Rav Ari Posner, Rabbi Dianella Shule
“The buzz in the student’s eyes when they interact with the youth movements is phenomenal.” Simon Lawrence, Director of Jewish Studies
“I don’t think we had a Shabbat meal at home for the first year that we were in Perth. Everybody was inviting us over and making us feel welcome.” – Shula Lazar, Principal
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