Sarah Bendetsky is a Melbourne-based writer, journalist and community activist who moved to Australia from New York, where she moved from Montreal, where she moved from Pittsburgh, where she moved from Moscow.
For many years, Sarah has been involved with voluntary work including informal Jewish education, Chabad outreach programs, aged care assistance and community development.
She has a BA in English & Communications and Masters & Publishing and Communications.
Inspired by the success of The Shabbat Project in 2014, together with her husband Avi and a group of friends, Sarah started a volunteer-driven organisation Subbotnik in April 2015.
Subbotnik aims to share the joy of Shabbat and Judaism with the Russian Jewish community around the world in the most inclusive way by organising events and programs ‘where Russian culture meets Jewish tradition’.
To this day, over 550 people participated in the Subbotnik events in Melbourne and Sydney including Shabbat and Havdalah Dinners, challah making nights and Jewish holiday functions. Among the plans of the organisation is the establishment of a kosher soup kitchen and Youth Leadership Program in 2016.
Subbotnik events are held at community centres and synagogues to unite families and singles, children and seniors, religious and secular people, and everyone else in between. What makes Subbotnik functions special is the involvement of volunteers who create a heimish feeling by planning, shopping, cooking, decorating the venues, facilitating events and entertaining guests. Everyone belongs and everyone matters, and everyone has something valuable to add to the experience.
Sarah believes that each person can make the world a better, happier place full of smiles, kindness… and chocolate.