Wellington Jewish Community Centre Directory
A wide range of Jewish community organisations use the Wellington Jewish Community Centre. This directory lists them and contact details if you need to get in touch.
Please email requests for directory updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wellington Jewish Community Centre Directory
- Religious services
- Jewish education
- Social support and philanthropic
- Culture and history
We are home to Wellington’s only Orthodox congregation. We hold regular services for Shabbat, chagim, and Monday morning minyanim, as well as catering for all life cycle events from bris milah, to bar/bat mitzvah, to weddings, and burial.
The congregation is affiliated with the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth and follows Ashkenazi customs but has a diverse membership including Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and Mizrachim from throughout the Jewish world.
We hold services for Shabbat and chagim as well as additional minyanim. Service times are explained in our news section.
Beth El Synagogue
Beth El Synagogue is home to our Orthodox congregation, adopting the name of our long-standing synagogue on The Terrace, which had to make way for motorway construction in the 1970s.
The main sanctuary and the smaller sanctuary in the neighbouring Van Staveren Room (named for our longest serving rabbi, Rabbi Herman Van Staveren) are used for services.
Rabbi and Rebbitzin
Our current rabbi and rebbitzin can be contacted at the email addresses below:
If you’re interested in past rabbis, check out our list of our rabbis and congregational leaders since our first service in 1843.
Our mikva is available free for members or by donation to visitors. Contact the Rabbi or Rebbetzin to book the mikva.
We maintain a Chevra Kadisha to assist with funerals and to maintain Jewish cemeteries in the region. Our Chevra Kadisha can assist with funeral arrangements (including tahara) in Wellington and elsewhere around the country if needed. Contact our office if you need the urgent services of the Chevra in the event of a bereavement.
We offer kosher certification services for Kosher Kiwi (a partnership between the Wellington Jewish Community Centre and the Auckland Hebrew Congregation and New Zealand’s only orthodox certification) and for OU (Orthodox Union), one of the most widely recognised kosher certification agencies in the world.
Kosher consumer information
See our kosher updates for the latest Kosher Kiwi guides and product lists.
There is also a useful community-maintained Facebook group, Kosher Kiwis, for sharing kosher products and queries. (Note that this is a private group for shomer kashrut (or kashrut curious) members of the community. It is not officially associated with any Jewish organisation.)
Our Kosher Co-op sells a range of hard-to-find kosher products, including meat and cheese. The Co-op also arranges supplies of kosher l’Pesach supplies for Pesach.
You can find the Co-op tucked away under the Centre through the carpark, accessed from the Webb Street driveway. The driveway gate will be open during Co-op opening hours.
The Co-op is only open part time so check our news feed for current hours (especially around holidays or Jewish festivals) or contact us on:
Moriah Kindergarten is an award-winning Jewish kindergarten based at the Centre. It is a warm and friendly community kindergarten popular with both Jewish and non-Jewish parents.
The Centre runs a Jewish education programme for ages 6 and upwards anchored around children’s services during Torah services on Shabbat and chagim and Orot, a weekly after school programme based at the Centre. Non members are welcome but they are also free to members.
Members also receive free support for children preparing for bar or bat mitzvah.
AUJS is a network of over 20 clubs on tertiary campuses around Australasia, including an active branch at Victoria University of Wellington.
Bnei Akiva | בני עקיבא
Bnei Akiva New Zealand is a youth movement for ages 8-15 with the goal of educating Jewish youth with the values of Torah ve’Avodah – combining a deeply rooted association with Israel together with day-to-day life in accordance with traditional Jewish values.
Habonim Dror Aotearoa New Zealand is a Jewish, Zionist and socialist youth movement run by young adults for children from school years 3 – 13.
We run a range of adult education programmes, including:
Weekly parasha hashavua study group
The Rabbi leads a half-hour study group on the parasha hashavua before Shabbat morning services. Visitors to services are welcome to attend by prior arrangement (to arrange access) when registering to visit.
Talmud study group
The Rabbi leads a weekly Talmud study group meeting on Monday mornings after the shacharit minyan. Visitors to shacharit minyan are welcome to stay behind and learn with the group.
Midweek daytime study group
The Rabbi leads an interactive study group midweek in the middle of the workday in the CBD. Ideally suited to workers and students based in the CBD during the day, the classes cover business and workplace related halachic issues. Contact our office for more information.
Midweek evening study group
The Rabbi leads a weekly evening study session on Sefer HaKuzari. The classes are also livestreamed in our member Facebook group so if those who cannot make it to the class can still participate in real time or afterwards. Contact our office for more information.
Social support and philanthropic
Council of Jewish Women
We’re currently updating our entry on the Council of Jewish Women – in the meantime contact our office to get in touch.
Community Safety Group
Our Community Safety Group volunteers assist community groups with security and emergency preparedness advice. The group works closely with local emergency services and other similar groups elsewhere.
The group also collects details of antisemitic hate speech and attacks. Please report any antisemitic hate speech or attacks to email@example.com. In an emergency always call 111 first.
A general purpose gemach Facebook group for the New Zealand Jewish community. A buy, sell, swap group with a focus on those in need or those with something they’d like to donate to someone in need.
Jewish Care of the Aged
We’re currently updating our entry on Jewish Care of the Aged – in the meantime contact our office to get in touch.
Jewish National Fund (JNF) | קרן קימת לישראל
We’re currently updating our entry on the Jewish National Fund – in the meantime contact our office to get in touch.
Funds originally contributed in the 1930s by Annie and Max Deckston were used first to maintain an orphanage for European refugee children. The funds have since been used for an Old Age Home and a Jewish primary school. They now support the education programmes run by the Wellington Jewish Community Centre for pre-school, school-age children and adults. The Trust can be conatcted through our office.
Wellington Jewish Philanthropic Society
The Wellington Jewish Philanthropic Society provides financial support to local Jewish families in hardship. The Society can be conatcted through our office.
Wellington Regional Jewish Council
The Wellington Jewish Community Centre and many of the organisations active at the Centre are members of the Wellington Regional Jewish Council, a body representing the region’s Jewish community. The Council’s current president is David Zwartz.
Yid’n with Kid’n is a Facebook group for Jewish parents of all backgrounds in Wellington.
Culture and history
B’nai B’rith, the oldest Jewish service organisation in the world, has a Wellington unit which often meets at the Centre.
The Centre houses the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, which aims through testimony and experience to inspire and empower individuals to stand against prejudice and apathy.
New Zealand Jewish Archives
The Centre houses the New Zealand Jewish Archives, a collection of New Zealand Jewish community records and artifacts collected and managed by Michael Clements MNZM.