Shabbat @ ARK Centre

Since our earliest beginnings over ten years ago, Shabbat at ARK Centre has been a central drawcard for so many different people, often those who without ARK wouldn’t go to shule on a regular Shabbat at all. We are proud of the reputation we have built for providing a warm, fun, and highly inclusive Kabbalat Shabbat service.

On an average Friday evening, you can find scores of people of all ages gathering together to eat, drink, schmooze, enjoy a L’Chaim and bring in the Shabbat with much joy and singing.

With the advent of Covid-19, we couldn’t come together in person anymore, so we had to get creative. Despite not being able to gather together, we took advantage of social media and moved Kabbalat Shabbat to Facebook Live. It’s not the same but it is a great way to start Shabbat and connect with others in the community – it just required our members to provide their own scotch and herring this way.

Until the lockdown, ARK Centre had the pleasure of a number of our members and friends taking a more active role in services. We thank all those who lead the davening, delivered an occasional drosha (sermon), undertook the leining (reading from the Torah) and Haftorah. We look forward to the resumption of services and invite those interested in taking part in our services to contact the Rabbi.


We love having guests and bringing communities together. Welcoming guests on a Friday night allows us to show off the ruach (spirit) that is synonymous with ARK Centre and gives them an insight into what Orthodox Judaism can be all about.

September 2019

Viv Nguyen, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, spoke about the differences and similarities between the Vietnamese and Jewish communities.

October 2019

Professor Shachar Richter from the Faculty of Engineering and Centre for Nanoscience and  Nanotechnology spoke about this fascinating topic, making it just a little bit more comprehensible for those non-tech people in the room (most of us).

November 2019

Michael O’Brien MP, Opposition Leader in the Victorian Parliament, and David Southwick MP, Member for Caulfield, joined us for an enlightening discussion about state and federal politics.

December 2019

We hosted our annual Indigenous Cross Communal Kabbalat Shabbat, which has become an important event in our calendar. This year it was our honour to host Shane Charles and some of his friends and family. Hearing the didgeridoo accompanying the Rabbi, Chazzan and the kids on the bimah for Lecha Dodi was extraordinary. With Rabbi Gabi on the shofar and Shane Charles on the didgeridoo, it was a sight – and sound – to remember for the ages.

January 2020

Multicultural Liaison Officer John Branagan from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) joined us to speak about the bushfire situation how funds that were being raised were being used. It was a true  pleasure to host him, particularly in the light of what transpired over the terrible summer of fire, and the overwhelming support from the Jewish community.

February 2020

Our TuBishvat Kabbalat Shabbat was a joyous event celebrating the traditional New Year of the Trees and the great relief that the shattering fire season seemed to be diminishing in its ferocity. Our thanks to one member family for their donation of seedlings that everyone was able to take home to plant in their own gardens.


A few times during the year Rabbi Gabi leads a vibrant Youth Shabbat to engage kids in the Shabbat morning service no matter how often they typically come to shule. He explains the service, not just the details of how and what we pray for but gives everyone a feeling for the joy of Shabbat and how much it means to those who are there.


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