Rachel and Ariel Tal
Wellington, New Zealand
Ariel and Rachel have been serving as the Rabbi and Rebbetzin of the Wellington Jewish Community Center for almost two years. Prior to that, they were youth coordinators in Vancouver, Canada (one year), and teachers and director of special programs at Netivot HaTorah School in Toronto, Canada (3 years).
Nechama – 12
Shlomit – 9
Emunah – 6
Aliza – 3
Tell us about the position you’re in:
We are the core of Jewish life in Wellington ranging from responsibility for shchita (ritual slaughter), giving kosher certification to factories and overseeing the centre’s kitchen, conducting prayer services, classes, school for children, youth programs, burial, visiting the sick and more.
What did you receive from the Straus-Amiel Educational Emissary Training Progam and the Claudia Cohen Women Educator Institute?
So much! The training, the perspective on managing a Jewish life abroad compared to in Israel, professional training, halakhic training and most of all, the personal and constant accompaniment that we receive while we’re on shlichut, which is a great asset to us and the community in general!
What message would you like to impart regarding shlichut?
Emissary work is a long-term decision and it is also a family decision. While it is possible to be shlichim for several years and then return to Israel, the more significant impact is to be in a position as a community leader for ten years or more, to be an integral part of the community, lead community processes and stabilize the rabbinic role within the community.