Celebrating Judaism all over the world

Dirshu's Rabbi Hofstedter visits Jewish communities all over the world, says he's 'impressed' with devotion of Jewish students worldwide.

Tags: Dirshu
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Hofstedter and Yair Miller
Rabbi Hofstedter and Yair Miller

Dirshu Founder and President Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter traveled across the world from his home in Toronto, Canada to show support to the Jewish communities of Hong Kong as well as Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.

Dirshu is a widespread global Jewish education initiative, offering participants a unique program of study, including Daf Yomi and other study goals. Participants can be of any age, and can study with the program at a physical school or through independent study groups. All students are given the same tests on the same material and stipends are given to students with the highest scores. A growing number of Israelis have registered at Dirshu and continue studying for years.

“I am always impressed with the devotion to study Jewish students have no matter where in the world I travel,” Rabbi Hofstedter remarked during his visit to Hong Kong last Thursday.

Rabbi Hofstedter also met with the chairman of the Israeli chamber of commerce, Rafael Aharoni, who is involved with both the Jewish and secular community. In addition, he met with Dirshu students to whom he gave a halakhic lecture.

Meeting a Chinese Jew who converted five years ago, Rabbi Hofstedter said he was intrigued to learn about his journey to becoming a Jew. Although the community of Jews in Hong Kong is not a large one, it is an active, and Rabbi Hofstedter visited their JCC and meeting with local rabbis.

On Friday night, the rabbi spoke at a Chabad synagogue about the importance of persistence in study and prayer and then as soon as Shabbat (the Sabbath) ended, was off to Melbourne, Australia. There Rabbi Hofstedter was one of approximately 500 people (including 50 women), attending a siyum to celebrate the end of the study of Tamudic Tractate Nezikin, the portion of the Talmud related to damages.

Melbourne is a city with a large observant community and the siyum was held at the biggest kosher venue in the city.

“I was elated to see the enthusiasm of the community there and enjoyed visiting the Dirshu students,” Rabbi Hofstedter said.

One of the highlights of the trip was talking with Rosh Kollel of Beth HaTalmud, Rabbi Binyamin Wurzburger, who was Rabbi Hofstedter's study partner in the US over 40 years ago.

Concluding his trip, Rabbi Hofstedter visited with the Jewish community of Sydney, giving a lecture to a heterogeneous group of Jews, both men and women, who came to hear him speak at the Tzemach Tzebeck Community Center about the centrality of Torah study in Jewish life.

He also visited the kollel and met with Rabbi Ben Klein, offering a halakhic discourse to advanced students and then touring the Moriah school, a very modern facility, which has a heterogeneous group of 1800 students.

His trip ended with a meeting with Yair Miller, CEO of the UIA NSW and immediate past president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. He is on the board of trustees of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, a director of the NSW Council for Jewish Communal Security and honorary secretary of Kehillat Masada.

"I am happy to see that no matter where Jews reside, through the Dirshu program they can study at the highest level and then can pass on that information to future generations," Rabbi Hofstedter concluded.