Never too old for a Bar Mitzvah .

MacKay – Queensland – Whilst traditionally a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah typically features a row of proud grandparents in the congregation doing what is known in Yiddish as kvelling (swelling with pride), instead Dean Waring, was surrounded by his wife and children as he had his barmitzvah. 

Dean lives in MacKay which is a city in Queensland, on Australia’s east coast.  Just off the coast is a section of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Six months ago, 52-yr-old Dean found out from his mother that he was Jewish. Interestingly, he had always been interested in Judaism, he had been studying the Kabbalah for ten years before discovering he was Jewish. He studies the weekly Torah portion and learns from the Zohar daily.

Rabbi Ari with the Bar Mitzvah ‘boy’.

In Cairns, a ten-hour drive from MacKay, Rabbi Ari Rubin of Chabad of North Queensland has been in contact with him since he found out about his identity, guiding and helping him.

After a while, Rabbi Ari brought up the option of having a bar mitzvah to make up for never receiving one at the proper age.

Dean was thrilled at the idea and at the next visit of Rabbi Ari, they arranged a small ceremony for the family.

“Today has been one of the best days of my life!”

wrote Dean in a text sent later that day,

“Just trying to put together some words to describe how I feel but there is none. I am emotionally different and altered, anyway, it’s just what I needed. I have been pushed to the very edge in life and I’ve only just been able to function properly since we put in the tefillin!!!”

Rabbi Rubin said,

“Most bar mitzvah boys need nudging to learn for their bar mitzvah and some don’t even want one.  It has been such a pleasure to help Dean and those others who come to us searching.  He was so excited about the bar mitzvah.”

“We are thrilled that Dean was able to celebrate this moment with us here. Becoming a bar mitzvah is not so much about the ceremony; rather it is an inner, spiritual state of being. We are excited for Dean for he now knows where he came from and where he belongs, as part of the Jew”.


Chabad-RARA of North Queensland is part of the world-wide Jewish Chabad movement with a two century old religious philosophical system. Considered to be the most dynamic force in Jewish life today, the organization consists of over 3,500 institutions worldwide directed by over 4,000 full-time emissaries and a workforce that numbers in the tens of thousands.
Dedicated to the spiritual and material welfare of the Jewish people and motivated by respect and affection for each individual, the movement has set into motion an astounding array of innovative programs, services and institutions to serve the needs of Jews everywhere. More information on Chabad RARA of FNQ is available at


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