Construction begins on FREE shule

From left: Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, Rabbi Mendy Ulman and Rabbi Eli Schlanger on site. Photos: Shane Desiatnik

WITHIN two years, Sydney’s Russian-speaking Jewish community will have a new permanent home.

Construction of a new synagogue, community centre and 32 residential units in Wellington Street, Bondi has commenced after a DA, which was approved for Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (FREE) on June 27 last year, was activated.

It follows a lengthy process of seeking approval that began in 2006.

“With thanks to the Almighty and with the blessings and guidance of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, it is with great pleasure that we announce the activation of the DA of 105 Wellington Street,” FREE co-founder and spiritual leader Rabbi Yehoram Ulman said. 

“After long-awaited anticipation and with many miracles from G-d we will now start the development of a new and magnificent synagogue and community centre. The new centre will host and bring a wide range of services, facilities, and amenities to all ages of the Jewish community.”

Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin is an active member of the Russian Jewish community. 

Speaking in a personal capacity, he told The AJN, “As someone who has marked many life events at Rabbi Ulman’s synagogue and has seen first-hand the impact that his dedication and service has had on Jewish continuity and revival in the Russian-speaking community, I am personally delighted that this important community will soon have a place of worship and a hub that befits the history, pride and bright future of the Russian-speaking Jews of Sydney.”

He added, “The prospect of having a permanent home in which to mark future smachot and the chagim with my friends and family in the Russian Jewish community is an exciting one.

“I wish to congratulate Rabbi Ulman and everyone at FREE and beyond who have worked with unwavering devotion to make this dream a reality.”