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Auckland Hebrew Congregation:

For the latest news from the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, click here.

Beth Shalom - progressive Jewish congregation in Auckland:

For the latest news from Beth Shalom, click here.

Auckland and New Zealand news:

This Shabbat marks a small but significant step for the Auckland Hebrew Congregation

10 February 2023

Shavuon Yitro - 11 February 2023 / 20 Shevat 5783

This Shabbat marks a small but significant step for the Auckland Hebrew Congregation (AHC) as we transition from our familiar surroundings of 55 years in the city to our new 'green fields' site in Remuera suburb, about 6km South East of the Auckland city centre.

The last 55 years, the ways we value community, the needs of AHC members, and the secular society we live in, have changed substantially. The time was right to contemplate another move to allow us to continue to evolve as a community and individuals.

Getting us in the right location is the first of many steps to allow the community to flourish and evolve so that Judaism and our Jewishness can be catered for in ways our past location could no longer do.

As the community takes this first step I invite you personally, on behalf of your Board and our community, to take the step with us and explore what 514 Remuera Rd can offer you as a Jewish person in Auckland in 2023. The opportunities are limitless and now all possible.

Whether it be religious, educational, sporting, social or cultural stimulation you are looking for, all are literally at your doorstep.

Please join us to take the first step into our new future.

Shabbat Shalom,
Garth Cohen (Chairperson Auckland Hebrew Congregation)

Jewish Auckland - an exciting vision becomes a reality

31 January 2023

The move has commenced in creating an Auckland Jewish hub.

After 55 years the Auckland Hebrew Congregation is leaving its inner city location.

The new Jewish hub will be taking over the site of a well known and respected exclusive girl's private school. Located in the upmarket inner suburb of Remuera, the new site is well placed to be accessible by public transport and has ample parking. New extensive school facilities includes a large swimming pool and a playing field.

The move will be progressively staged from 1st February 2023.

A thriving Jewish hub
The new site will encompass the "glue" that brings all the Auckland Jewish elements together:

  • A destination for Jewish immigrants to visit from around the world.
  • Kadimah School - establish a youth education centre of excellence.
  • Religion - allow religious organisations to flourish in an environment that is focussed on spiritual fulfilment.
  • Connection and retention - launch new initiatives which anchor Jews to Auckland providing a platform for sustainable Jewish life.
  • Attraction - create an atmosphere which appeals to anyone and any organisation with a Jewish connection.
  • Social - develop organisations which create opportunities for strong social interaction.
  • A kosher cafe will cater for Aucklander's love of their morning coffee and lunch. They will also cater for special functions in a separate entertainment facility.

The Wolf Fisher Trust is funding this multimillion dollar move
Sir Wolf Fisher, past famous Jewish Auckland entrepreneur, would be delighted with the decision to move. In many ways it identifies with Sir Wolf's entrepreneurial lifestyle.

We intend to appeal to:

  • Affiliated Jews
  • Unaffiliated Jews
  • All those who chose to identify as Jews in Auckland.

Jewish investors world wide - a new way to secure New Zealand residency

Introducing the new Active Investor Plus visa category

28 July 2022

This replaces the existing Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories which have been running for more than 12 years.

The visa category will open 19 September 2022.

  • The changes are being made to better attract experienced, high value investors.
  • The new system will improve flexibility for investors by allowing them to invest over a three year period. It will also allow investors to maintain their investments up to the end of a fourth year.
  • Eligibility criteria includes a minimum $5 million investment if it is a direct investment. It also encourages greater economic benefit to New Zealand companies by capping passive investment in listed equities to 50% and excluding bonds and property.
  • Contact Auckland Jewish Immigration for more details. Email us at

Applications for the Accredited Employer Work Visa and all other work visas now open

12 July 2022

Applications are now open for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), as well as all other work visas for people outside New Zealand. Partners and dependent children of work visa applicants will also be able to apply for a visa.

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) applications can be submitted via the new enhanced Immigration NZ Online Platform.

This is the latest step in the Government's plan to reconnect New Zealand with the world and is an important milestone for New Zealand's COVID-19 recovery plan because it will significantly improve access for those wanting to work in New Zealand.

Applicants still need to meet New Zealand's health border settings, including being fully vaccinated and completing a New Zealand Traveller Declaration.

For more information, please visit these Immigration New Zealand web pages:

Several ways are open to you when trying to secure a job offer. They are all well worth pursuing.
  1. Search the internet for businesses in your occupational field, looking to hire skilled staff. Keep in mind that there is an acute shortage of skilled workers currently in New Zealand.

  2. Look for New Zealand recruitment firms in your occupational field and become listed with them. You will need to send your CV.

  3. Find out and contact the NZ Registered Board of your occupation (all major occupations have Boards to assist their members). Don’t be shy to phone them and ask what is the best way and who to contact regarding a job.

  4. Contact us if a job offer arises, so we post it on your Auckland Jewish Immigration (AJI) file. This will allow you to refer to your file any time. If you want the AJI to be contacted regarding a job offer it’s important that your new New Zealand contact is given your personal AJI file code.

  5. The visitor’s visa enables you to visit and explore job opportunities on a one-to-one basis and possibly personally secure a job offer.

As we go through 2022 stay connected with the AJI's website and office. We expect many more changes are on the way to make it easier for skilled workers to secure a work visa and later obtain residency. Please stay connected with Stan and our AJI website.

The AJI has two committees: 1 – the immigration process, and 2 – settlement issues. We are here to help you immigrate to New Zealand.

Your first point of contact should be Stan Rose (Chairman of the AJI). With his skilled team they can point you in the right direction.

Global tech giant Amazon Web Services is investing $7.5 billion in Auckland

5 October 2021

They intend building a cluster of huge data centres in Auckland to open in 2024 creating 1000 new jobs. An estimated $10.8 billion will add to New Zealand's economy over the next decade.

We expect that the sheer size of Amazon's investment means for intending migrants, employment opportunities will become available that the local Auckland labour market may find difficult to meet.

Amazon is the second major global tech provider to invest heavily in establishing a Cloud Region in New Zealand bringing with it new jobs, exciting new opportunities for the digital sector, and further acceleration to our economic recovery from Covid-19. This will also create job opportunities for industries like our construction sector.

This investment demonstrates the high level of confidence the international business community has in backing New Zealand's economy.

Auckland is the world's most liveable city

11 June 2021

Auckland has topped the global rankings of liveability, rising 11 places to take the top spot.

The survey, commissioned by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), gives mathematical weight to such a claim. New Zealand's world-leading response to the spread of Covid-19 has been cited as one of the leading factors in the significant jump in rankings.

The EIU's index rates the living conditions and comprises 30 factors grouped into five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

Launch of www.jewishlives.nz

23 April 2021

This new website will provide a platform for people to learn about the contribution made by New Zealand Jews, increase tolerance and understanding and combat anti-Semitism.

The theme of the Jewish Lives website is 'past-present-future'.

Past - Focus on our past, our history and learn for the present.

Present - Helping to strengthen the community of the present, to bring the community together by posting information about what is going on in the wider community and things that are of interest and affect us. Sharing stories about people who are alive today, by understanding more about the community and helping non-Jewish people to understand more about the community, to promote tolerance and understanding.

Future - Getting younger people interested in being part of the community. To feel that they are a part of something bigger. We intend to be the 'go to' website for those who want to know what is happening in the community.
People will be encouraged to share their stories with us.

Visit this new website here.

The government is now partly reopening the working holiday scheme for those holding this type of visa in Australia

19 April 2021

If you are on a working holiday in Australia, you can come to New Zealand and will be issued new visas if you are from the following list of countries:

United Kingdom, USA, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden.

Normal previous pre Covid 19 visa conditions apply including an age limit up to 30 years.

Stay up to 12 months in New Zealand or 23 months if you are from Britain or Canada.

Slowly the doors are beginning to open to immigrate to New Zealand

15 September 2020

This website will progressively alert you to other alternative occupations that come up under ESSENTIAL SKILLS WORKER.

This is our first opportunity covering Health workers in essential occupations. See list of occupations below.
It covers health workers in selected occupations.

Essential Skills work visa

WK3.20 Requirements for applicants

a. Suitably qualified by training and experience to do the work offered
b. The Essential Skills work visa applied for is based on employment paid below the median wage.

Determining that an applicant is suitably qualified

a. When assessing whether an applicant is suitably qualified by training and experience to do the work offered, immigration officers will consider the qualifications and work experience required by the occupation in the ANZSCO which substantially matches the applicant’s proposed employment.

b. Immigration officers must consider whether:

  1. i the applicant holds a relevant qualification that is comparable to the qualification described for that occupation in the ANZSCO; or
  2. ii. the applicant has the relevant work experience that the ANZSCO indicates may substitute for the required qualification; or
  3. iii. the employment is in an occupation included on the Essential Skills in Demand Lists and the applicant meets the relevant requirements specified for that occupation.

c. Immigration officers must be satisfied that the qualifications and/or work experience provided by the applicant are relevant to their proposed employment in New Zealand.

Assessment that employment matches an ANZSCO occupation

a. When assessing whether an offer of employment substantially matches a particular occupation in the ANZSCO, an immigration officer must be satisfied that the duties and responsibilities in the employment offer match the description of that occupation as set out in the ANZSCO.

WK3.20.7 Essential Health Worker Occupations - The occupations referred to in WK3.20.6 are:

  • Medical Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Psychologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Technical and support staff working in:
    o Theatre
    o Laboratory
    o Radiology
    o Cardiology Blood service
    o Nuclear medicine
    o Oncology
    o Haematology
    o Pathology
    o Hyperbaric medicine
    o Mortuary
    o Research Staff
  • People employed in the following sectors:
    o Aged care
    o Palliative/hospice care
    o Mental health
    o Child health
    o Forensic care workers

WK3.20.10 Determining an Essential Skills work visa application where an applicant is awaiting a Skilled Migrant Category visa decision.

An applicant may be granted an Essential Skills work visa, valid for 1 year without an immigration officer being satisfied that there are no New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders available to do the work offered if:

  1. they currently hold a temporary work visa; and
  2. they have applied for an Essential Skills work visa to continue working in the role they currently hold; and
  3. they meet all other requirements of Essential Skills work visa instructions; and
  4. they have been issued an Invitation to Apply under the Skilled Migrant Category and retain the ability to apply or have made an application for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and that application has not yet been completed.
  5. Their Expression of Interest was selected in part on the basis of points claimed for skilled employment in the role they currently hold.

One further Essential Skills work visa, valid for six months, may be granted in exceptional circumstances to b.an applicant who continues to meet the requirements of (a) above.

Contact the AJI to explain what ANZSCO is.

Government reveals easing of border restrictions for some resident work visa holders, partners of Kiwis

9 September 2020

Some temporary visa holders who are overseas will be allowed back into New Zealand, as will some partners of Kiwi citizens and residents.

The Government announced today a new border exemption policy for people with visas who have "strong, ongoing links to New Zealand".

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said it would apply to visa holders "who must have retained their job or business in New Zealand".

"Plus their partners and dependent children, will be able to apply for this exception from early October when the new category opens".

“Many of these visa holders and their families have lived in New Zealand for years and have built lives here with the hope and expectation that they would be able to stay longer-term in New Zealand," Faafoi said.

"It is only fair to let these visa holders return given their long-standing and ongoing connections to this country."
It was also revealed the Australia partners of New Zealanders, as well as those from 61 visa-waiver countries, may be granted an exception to travel here.

Read more here...

From A Dark Cave: A journey to find home in New Zealand

Mustafa Darbandi was forced to flee Kurdistan but along the way he was threatened by mercenaries, security forces, landmines and wild wolves. He arrived in New Zealand 22 years ago and works as a writer and hairdresser on Auckland's North Shore. His memoir is a remarkable tale of survival and finding home.

When I set foot on New Zealand soil, I felt born again. After I'd been uprooted from my town and village in Kurdistan, New Zealand became the bedrock of my security, offering me an opportunity to become "who I am". Being a multicultural society, New Zealand has become a place in which thousands of uprooted individuals like me can realise their dreams. What came first and foremost for me was security and dignity, which New Zealand obviously offered, helping me enjoy these rights as inalienable human values respected universally.

I am well-travelled, having experienced diverse lifestyles worldwide. But in comparison with other places in the world, New Zealand comes at the top of the list in terms of acceptance and tolerance of multiculturalism. I have done a variety of jobs and have come across many New Zealanders from many social and cultural backgrounds. I have chosen New Zealand as my permanent home, a place where I feel sufficiently comfortable to live the rest of my life.

The decision to make New Zealand my home is based on my experiences in Kurdistan and in the Middle East, where people die seeking the very basic rights we enjoy in New Zealand and the West. There is so much to appreciate about New Zealand and the achievements that it has made in the last century or so. As my experience clearly shows, New Zealand's place in the world extends beyond its mere geographical location.

The first thing I learned about New Zealand is the beauty and serenity of its natural landscape. This encouraged me to read about the country's history and its diverse society. And being the first country in the world to give women the vote, New Zealand obviously represents a very positive direction in the evolution of the liberal state in the last century. It presents an unprecedented role model for the rest of the world to follow, not only in the West but in the world at large.

Since I experienced my formative years under dictatorship, I do understand and appreciate the great value of New Zealand's liberal democracy. I think many Kiwi young people take New Zealand's achievements for granted. Perhaps the time is ripe for New Zealand citizens to appreciate the country's achievements and to be more willing to enrich them with cultural input from newcomers from other cultures who are ready to integrate into the mainstream culture. This would contribute to the betterment of New Zealand life in every respect. I would like to add that integration is by no means easy.

To integrate successfully, one has to psychologically enable oneself to engage creatively in a genuine give-and-take process. While some aspects of New Zealand cultural life were not strange as far as I was concerned, other cultural mores and norms were definitely unfamiliar. To make myself acquainted with New Zealand cultural life, I had to engage myself in a transformative process in which I learned more about myself and about collective New Zealand values. This helped me naturalise.

Of course, enjoying the beauty of New Zealand's multicultural lifestyle would not be possible if there was not a solid institutional culture in which citizens respect the rule of law. This was rare in the Middle East where I grew up and joined the Kurdish freedom movement. Experiencing New Zealand liberty has taught me to be who I am. But in no way do I praise New Zealand blindly.

While some aspects of New Zealand lifestyle might be challenging for immigrants, many aspects of New Zealand's mainstream cultural values are reflected in the United Nations Charter. This is a great leap towards a just, fair and freedom-loving human culture. Without such tolerant and amenable institutions, I would never have been able to make New Zealand my permanent home.

As I learned from my Kurdish forefathers, making a place a permanent home has a deep underlying meaning. The concept of a permanent home in the mainstream culture refers to the significance of each person's sense of place and thus the spiritual connection of the individual person to that place. This is clearly embodied in traditional New Zealand culture, especially among New Zealand Maori.

In the culture inherited from our forefathers, when one makes a place a permanent home then one is morally bound to contribute to it. I have learned in New Zealand over the years that the concept of place is deeply embedded in New Zealand's national culture. The very same cultural traditions are represented in the ancient Kurdish culture that has been transmitted over five millennia down to the modern generation. There is clearly a strong connection between New Zealand's cultural fabric and that of the ancient Kurdish nation.

When my family was uprooted from its birthplace by a political regime that had no respect for its own citizens, I found safety and respect as a citizen in New Zealand.

Displacement from home is more than a mere physical displacement – it involves a huge psychological undertaking to turn towards the unknown. With displacement comes a psychological conflict between the world one was born into and the world one seeks to be integrated into, along with the challenge of becoming part of it. For people like myself, New Zealand is a heaven. Here I can have a sense of security and be who I am.

Extract: From a Dark Cave to New Zealand: My Story of a Long Journey as a Kurdish Refugee, by Mustafa Darbandi ($30)

Self contained cottages available to new immigrants for short term rental

Shalom Court is an award winning Aged Care facility located in the sought after suburb of St Johns, Auckland.

We have one-bedroom self-contained cottages available to the community and new immigrants for short term rental (subject to availability). Cottages are available at NZ$65 per day or NZ$75 per day for two people and come complete with ensuite bathroom, lounge and kitchenette.

Shalom Court is within walking distance to Meadowbank Shopping Centre and the Raye Freedman Library where Shabbat Services are held.

Bus stops to and from the city centre are outside the facility.

The AJI has found that due to the requirement when making immigration applications to secure a job offer, many potential migrants have opted to personally come to Auckland on a 3 monthly visitors visa. This allows them to engage personally with prospective employers. These cottages offer a low cost rental in a Jewish environment.

To enquire about or view a cottage, please contact Michal Aharony on +64 9 521 7325 or email office@shalomcourt.co.nz.

Expressions of interests will be considered on a case by case basis.

Click here to download an information sheet in PDF format.

Auckland Hebrew Congregation buys private school campus

The Saint Kentigern Girls' School property is a large piece of land - 1.24 hectares, equivalent to
three acres - on the northern slopes of one of Auckland's most affluent suburbs.

Auckland private school Saint Kentigern has sold its Remuera Road property to the Auckland Hebrew Congregation.

The school's board of trustees said on Monday it had reached an agreement to sell the current site of its girls' school and preschool, valued at $23 million.

The buildings, covering a land area of 1.24 hectares, included classrooms, science and technology blocks, a preschool, a two-level villa, an assembly hall, a large swimming pool with changing sheds, a tennis court and open spaces.

The buildings range in age from the original homestead in the centre of the site, built about 90 years ago, to the art block, constructed in 2001.

Saint Kentigern plans to shift its girls' school, which goes up to year eight, and co-ed preschool to new buildings within the campus of Saint Kentigern Boys' School on Shore Road in Remuera.

Those moves would be made in 2022 and early 2023 respectively.

The board said it understood the Auckland Hebrew Community would continue to use the Remuera Rd campus as an educational facility.

Board chair Dr John Kernohan said he was "particularly delighted to see that it would now continue to meet the needs of another faith-based community".

"Saint Kentigern has longstanding and warm ties with the Auckland Jewish community, making this outcome especially welcome."

Kiwi tech star on hiring spree

An Auckland based software company needs to hire 125 staff as it pushes into North America and other markets.

The cloud point-of-sale software maker currently has around 300 employees. Some 54 of the new hires will be in New Zealand.

Chief executive says there are now more than 25,000 retailers worldwide who pay to use their product.

One of the company's immediate points of focus is the North American market, where it has launched strategic partnerships with ten of the largest payment processors in North America.

For more information contact the Auckland Jewish Immigration (AJI).

For more information on Information Technology jobs click here.

Great News for all Immigrants trying to meet the required English language qualifications

Pearson PTE Academic (PTE) is an English language global teaching institution that can be accessed on their website.

Once you have qualified successfully through PTE, you can expect your English to be approved by Immigration New Zealand for all student and migration visa applications, and accepted by all New Zealand universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, and by thousands of institutions worldwide for admission purposes.

PTE utilises state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide the most accurate and objective test of academic English available.

Students and migrants prefer PTE as it is the most unbiased proof of a candidate's English skills and quickly returns their results, with 8 out of 10 test takers receiving their scores in 2 days.

The AJI welcomes this new organisation because we know how difficult it can be to reach the required levels of English to complete their immigration applications.

More information at https://pearsonpte.com

New Zealand Immigration direct contacts

Contacting Immigration New Zealand regarding a new visa application has never been so easy.

You can call the Immigration Contact Centre from 6:00am Monday to midnight on Saturday (New Zealand Time).

If you have already applied for a visa, ensure you have your client number, application number and passport number with you when you call.

You can request urgent assistance from the Immigration Contact Centre, including requests that may require a face-to-face appointment.

For more information go to the NZ Immigration contact web page.

Investor 2 Resident Visa

Experienced business people who have a minimum of NZ $3 million in available funds or assets can apply for New Zealand residence.

Before you can apply, you will need to send New Zealand Immigration an Expression of Interest telling them about your business experience and investment.

If your Expression of Interest is successful they will invite you and your partner and dependent children to apply for New Zealand residency.

More information at https://www.immigration.govt.nz

New Zealand urgently needs your Construction skills

New Zealand needs skilled tradesmen and women to address a critical shortage of skills in the construction industry. If you are a carpenter, a plumber or electrician, then we need your skills!

Jobs are available right across the industry including project managers, building inspectors, surveyors and engineers. In addition to residential construction, there are commercial construction projects including a 54 level tower to be built in Auckland.

For more information click here.

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