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October 27, 2011

The Chabad Rebbetzin In The Short Skirt

Wolff citizenship-ceremony-2011-Levi-350The wife of a Chabad ordained rabbi is photographed wearing a skirt that is too short according to normative halakha. The photo appears in a Jewish publication and the Chabad blog COLLive pics up the related story and runs the picture – but only after cropping it to hide the rebbetzin's immodest dress.

Levi Wolff is the rabbi of Sydney, Australia's Central Synagogue. His wife Chana apparently favors short skirts.

The uncensored photo as it appeared in Jwire:

Wolff citizenship-ceremony-2011-Levi-350
Chana Wolff, Alan Vidor, Rabbi Levi Wolff and Malcolm Turnbull. In front Leah and Efraim Wolff

The photo as it was reproduced on COLLive. Note the crop to cut out the bottom of the photo showing her short dress:

Wolff Citizenship COLLive crop

Screenshot from ColLive showing the photo in context:

Wolff Citizenship COLLive crop screenshot

  And here's a screenshot from Jwire showing the photo in context:

Wolff Citizenship Jwire Screenshot

Here's the text of the entire article as it appeared on Jwire and COLLive:

New Aussie Rabbis

Sydney’s Central Synagogue’s charismatic Rabbi Levi Wolff and Emanuel Synagogue’s popular Rabbi Paul Jacobson have become Aussies.

Together with his wife Chana and their two eldest children Mushka, 14  and Mendel 12, Rabbi Wolff joined Emanuel Synagogue’s Rabbi Paul Jacobson at JewishCare’s Fischl House in Woollahra for the sixth citizenship ceremony held by the organisation. The Wolff children were unable to attend and their siblings 10-yr-old Leah and Efraim, 7, stood in for them.

A total of 14 members of the community received their citizenship certificates from local Federal M.P. Malcolm Turnbull.

The new Aussies hail from seven different countries on four continents.

Rabbi Wolff told J-Wire: “There could not be a more proud Australian than I am today. My family deems it a great honour to be members of such an open society and citizens of such a wonderful country. No-one could ever forget how Australia proved to become a haven for those seeking a new life after the horrors of the Second World War. And now, you have to excuse me as it’s time to throw another schnitzel on the barbie.”

Rabbi Wolff and his family have lived in Sydney for over ten years.

Rabbi Paul Jacobson has lived in Sydney for over five years..the last three with his Australian born wife,  Lisa. The New Jersey born rabbi told J-Wire: “This is something I really wanted to do. It is very important to me to be able to participate fully in the society in which I live and now I have the right to vote. I am a very proud Aussie.”

President of JewishCare, Alan Vidor, said: “ This is the first JewishCare citizenship ceremony I have attended and I reflect on how fitting it is that during JewishCare’s 75th year we are able to offers this unique annual community event that has become an important part of our communal calendar.

In 1936 JewishCare or Australian Jewish Welfare Society as it was then called was established to help Jews find new safe homes and a new start away from Nazi ravaged Europe and over the intervening period our community has flourished as a result of migration of people from around the world.  You might like to know that the 14 conferees today come from a total of 4 continents and 7 countries.

Today’s ceremony marks the first time that our ceremony has had the honour of conferring citizenship on a rabbi and not just one rabbi but in fact two, one from Central and one from the Emanuel Synagogue (both sides of the Jewish religious spectrum if you like).

It is also the first time we have held the ceremony during the festival of Sukkot, a time regarded as one for general thanksgiving for the year that had passed. And we have much to be thankful for and especially for the opportunity to live in a country that provides the freedom and stability of Australia.

We are fortunate to live in such an accepting country but it is the responsibility of every citizen to ensure future generations will have the same opportunities to live a country which celebrates and encourages the contribution of every citizen regardless of their place of birth or religious beliefs.

Your decision to accept the rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship is one important step in continuing our community’s ongoing contribution and commitment to Australia.

As Australia’s newest citizens you each have your own unique stories, your hopes and dreams. You represent another group of outstanding new Australians who will, like previous generations, make your own unique mark on your adopted country.

That fact that you have chosen to take the monumental step of becoming citizens is something that makes me proud, both personally and as President of JewishCare.

I wish all new citizens Mazaltov.”


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dark stocking, the skirt is not really short

Wow The crap you find, and feel the need to report

They didn't just crop it, they have apparently extended the length of the dress. Because in the first photo, the hem falls right where the bottom of her daughter's hand is, but in the second picture, you can see the dress extending several inches below her hand.

However, because the hem of the dress is at an angle, I'm thinking maybe it is pulled up due to being caught on something and would otherwise hang all the way to her knees. (The lower side does appear to be about at her knee.)

Different Dave, same opinion. Slow news day at FM.

Wow, embarrassing any one and everyone at every level seems to make you happy. I'm glad I don't live near you

The real problem is not the skirt its a so called Chasidic rabbi participating in a ceremony with a non Orthodox jewish cleric. This is something most MO rabbis in the uS would avoid as well. But for Chabad ?

wow shmarya really needs to get laid, or just get a life. now he's stalking col for women.

The real scandal is that she and her daughter are in the picture at all!

The real problem is not the skirt its a so called Chasidic rabbi participating in a ceremony with a non Orthodox jewish cleric. This is something most MO rabbis in the uS would avoid as well. But for Chabad ?

Posted by: Zalman Alpert | October 27, 2011 at 09:13 AM

The tragedy is that there was a time in which MO and non-O rabbis served together on committee, taught at one another's schools, etc. Then the black hats arrived and put a stop to it. They've so intimidated the MO that they've spent the past five decades looking backward over their collective shoulder, afraid to step out of line.

The thing that I find hard to understand is that there are, apparently, "rebels" within Chabad who don't agree with official policy, but remain affiliated. Even our own "ca" (chabadnik attorney) has told me he doesn't approve of much of what's gone on in Chabad over the past thirty years. Yet they remain.

I guess I understand remaining, especially if you grew up in that environment and it's all you know - but I don't understand how it doesn't seem to bother them much. It would be eating me up alive. I'd be screaming about it to anyone who'd listen - "Those idiots told my wife her skirt was too short, even though her legs were covered!"

I don't get it - but I'm not a very community-oriented guy.

listen, shmarya is absolutely right over here.

Why does COL and the groiseh machers in Chabad give a person like this (the honorable rabbi and his tzatkeh) the time of day when what they are doing goes against the principles that Chabad stands for.

Why will a cool Rabbi like this become the next speaker at the Shluchims convention while in the schools they are teaching (supposedly) the importance of tznius and being committed to Chassidic principles.

It's full of hypocrisy. Where are the Kotlarsky's to open their mouths.

I bet the next time there is any $$$ opportunity, kotlarsky and the rest of the vultures will be there whether the skirt is too short or not.

I don't know you personally Mr. Rosenberg but the fact that you bother to waste even YOUR time to make a stink about this, is perhaps indicative that you need to change therapists or up your meds.

That said, many Orthodox and Chassidic women including young rebitzens should take a lesson in the normative halachot of tzniyut, especially if that's what they are preaching.

She looks nice, so what's the problem (rhetorical question for us non-frums but obviously a big deal to the frums)? Can't tell if she's pregnant, but if so, then that would make her dress appear shorter.

all chabad house are selling the "rebitzens" sexiness!!!!
did you just figure this out?

Cor Blimey!!!! She's a bit of alright!

You really need to get out more mate....

never mind the short skirt.what is going on with this rubashkin accross america ? fund raising once again to pay more and ever more fees to the lewins. it seems in new york A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE EASILY PARTED....maydoff is a case in point and the lewins also run after the so called mighty dollae as if their lives depended upon it, fleecing the public by bullshit applications to the appeal court. etc etc .the more i read the more i am amazed at the foolisness of it all.the hardei are a strange bunch wholve mostly in lala land.

Those who critize the Rabbi's wife
for her attire are jealous they don't
look good in a short skirt.

And the low neck isn't a problem???
If you knew these people....

definitely not your bubbe's tzniyus

If anything, the plunging neckline (by chassidic standards) is a more serious violation of tznius than the short hemline.

Just to give you an idea of how wide a gulf exists between Chabad and the rest of the frum world when it comes to tznius, here's a photo taken only a few days ago of a Chabad rabbi sitting on a couch right beside a blonde shiksa, and COLLive didn't even see fit to crop it.


Hot Chanie!

Dumbest FM post ever.

This is *not* a dumb post. This is a major example of the continuing erosion and decay of Chabad Lubavitch. This is a HUGE move away from what is now normative Orthodoxy. According to the Halakhik standards that Chabad professes, this rabbi and his wife should have been relieved of their positions within the meshulakh system. Instead, they cropped the incriminating photo and this Wolff held up as a model of Hasidic pride. This is a new example of the hypocrisy and false Judaism of the failed messiah that was the megalomaniacal delusional and socially-maladapted fraud Menachem-Mendel ben Levi-Yitchak Schneerson.

seriously? non-news. good for her if it was a conscious decision.

It's another Holocaust.

It's not news that an intelligent orthodox or Chabad woman dressed fashionably with tznius and did so with ease.

That's what role models do.

It is newsworthy that the frumma fanatics found this offensive enough to censor and Photoshop.

Wow The crap you find, and feel the need to report

Posted by: Dave | October 27, 2011 at 08:15 AM

He really needs a real job. Not one that needs a "Help This Blog" button. A high tech form of holding out a hat collecting charity.

What a desperate post ... Shmarya leave these good people alone. They have done more good work in bringing people closer to g-d than many other "long skirt" wearing rebetzins in sydney.

Gdhxf, I don't think Shmarya is criticizing this rebbetzin.

He is criticizing the Collive shmucks who found her picture offensive and found it necessary to censor and Photoshop it.

BTW, on any given Sunday there are plenty of hasidic couples in Central Park and other recreational places in Manhattan, and the husband has black hat/beard with payos/long black coat, and the woman is dressed just like this rebbetzin, or with the hemline at or just below the knee, and sleeves pulled up to the elbows.
I guess for them it's like a day away from the insane asylum.

FM sinks to all new low.

If they weren't looking at her legs in the first place they wouldn't have been offended. All those years of study and they don't even learn to avert their eyes?????

There is definitely some photoshopping in the bottom right corner of the dress in the cropped picture. Not only cropped but someone went in and added some smudgy looking skirt...

He really needs a real job. Not one that needs a "Help This Blog" button. A high tech form of holding out a hat collecting charity.
Posted by: p | October 27, 2011 at 01:39 PM

Idiot, Shmarya is a news purveyor, he is giving us a service, and we are willing to pay, but you are a cheap asshole, who wants everything handed to you free.

CoLLive is probably censoring the pictures because of the right wing shift in orthodoxy in general. I was around in the early 1970's you should have seen how high the rebbitzins skirts were then

I think the point is hypocrisy. A group that says one thing about modesty, but where their own rebbitzin dress in a maner that is contrary to that standard.

That said - I personally find her attire to be quite appropriate, and not at ll provocative. Kudos to the particular rabbinic family for exercising common sense.

The sad part about this post is that the drift to the right in orthodox Judaism is about "enforcing" standards and worse conformity within Judaism and Chabad which historically never existed as it does today in the age of the internet.
I'm quite happy that she dresses as she wants to and that the "oficial" chabad site chose not to highlight how she dresses so as not to lay here open to criticism like the attention on this site will.
She probably will see this post and will no longer be free to dress as she wants to - there are enough people in chabad who will now point this out to her and we will be one tiny step closer to chareidi Judaism whatever that is

I was around in the early 70s as well, and the rebbitzens' skirts were NOT short, even when everybody else's were.

Gevezener maybe I was just fantasizing.

Look at that skirt. And she calls herself frum? I don't think so.

Next Yom Kippur, she will be moaning in ecstacy as she gets shagged by an uncircumcised goy and then, still nude, she and the goy will dine on pork chops marinated in her menstrual blood.

"Look at that skirt. And she calls herself frum? I don't think so.

Next Yom Kippur, she will be moaning in ecstacy as she gets shagged by an uncircumcised goy and then, still nude, she and the goy will dine on pork chops marinated in her menstrual blood."

Rob, that is disgusting and odd for someone to say such a thing.

So noone here thought about giving this woman the benefit of the doubt? Is there a possibility that her dress crept up caused by static cling from her tights? While we're exiting summer and entering winter, the folks down under are exiting winter, the static cling time of year. Embarrassingly enough it's happened to me, but lucky for me I wasn't caught on camera. If I was, I'd hope to be given the benefit of the doubt.

Remember the song by "Cake":

I want a girl with a short skirt and a lonnnng jacket......

The picture is not the problem - the short skirt and low neckline is. The Rebbe often spoke of the importance of modest dress and this couple represent him? It's hypocritical to say the least.

She looks nice, so what's the problem (rhetorical question for us non-frums but obviously a big deal to the frums)? Can't tell if she's pregnant, but if so, then that would make her dress appear shorter.

Posted by: Maple Bacon | October 27, 2011 at 10:25 AM

i think you are onto something. it's certainly not a skirt, a dress maybe. or a maternity type shirt? could be she preggers, has morning sickness, and is wearing those shades to hide her bloodshot eyes from praying to the porcelain god. in any case, she's got that big sweater on to hide her lady bumps. you ever seen a young lass in a sun dress walking towards you, sun rays peeking through from behind, tracing every gorgeous feature in silhouette? truly a thing of beauty, but i think looking at that eclipse of the sun unprotected like that has burned the image on my retina. i can still see her like it was yesterday.

Posted by: Proton Soup | October 28, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Sorry, I'm a female so I don't look at other females like that. lol But with what you just said, it is the reason why I wear lined skirts or slips. :)

Oh really now, everyone, get a life!

Will you guys stop your ragging! This is one of the most relevant and interesting articles posted here.

is the problem the skirt itself or the attempt to hide the length skirt; can anyone clarify?
i.e., is it the initial even or the subsequent cover up?

ChaBaD has low standards. I went to a ChaBaD Torah study once where a young woman was dressed with a short dress that did not go below her knees. I said something to her afterwards and there was an incident after that where the Rabbi told me not to come back to his synagogue. I do not mind if they are scantily dressed in their own affairs, but a Torah study is a place where one does not ever want to see ervah or corruption. This was just bad for the entire experience. And the rabbi did not care.
Not to mention that this rabbi shaves his side locks completely off and tells people that Leviticus is not law. I thought it was very obscene.

The rabbi told not to come back to synagogue when the girl complained that I mentioned she should wear alonger dress.

First of all she's not a Rebbetzin of a Chabad shul, maybe she's not Chabad herself and it's just her husband. At the Shul she wears very stylish hats and as far as I can tell does not dress like a Lubavitcher as such.

Secondly maybe COLlive was simply being respectful and avoiding controversy that would embarass Rabbi Wolff - apparently he HAS done a lot of good and has inspired a lot of young Jews to be more observant.

So this is not a failed Messiah story, the Rebbe is proud, er I mean "would be proud" of young Levi and his beautiful wife. :-)

The rabbi told not to come back to synagogue when the girl complained that I mentioned she should wear alonger dress.

Posted by: western jew | October 28, 2011 at 04:03 AM

Something tells me that wasn't the only reason.

Shmarya and co - you seem to misunderstand things here.

Sydney is a place where most Jews keep zero. To get the Jews back into that shul requires a certain type of rabbi/rebbetzin: young, cool, charistmatic, able to appeal to the very rich who attend that shul, and who expect a certain "look".

Fact is, most of the people who attend Central Shul would not be there at all, if not for this rabbi and his wife. They have managed to bring back hundreds of Jews to the orthodox fold.

You can criticize all you like, and perhaps some of you are shocked that a rebetzin can actually look good - beautiful even - but she is still tznius, in my definition of that word. She looks fabulous, and kol hakavod to her.

Don't judge Rabbi Wolff, he's done a great job, he is a genuine guy, they are a lovely family, and they don't deserve to be shmutzed on the internet like this.
An apology is due here Shmarya.

Apart from the fact that her skirt is not too short, it certainly doesn't look too short in the 2nd photo.... Rabbi Wolff does not get involved in machloikes, he does not lie, cheat and steal, and have his photo on the front page of newspapers for embarrassing us......and therefore he should be treated with a bit more respect.

Apart from the fact that her skirt is not too short, it certainly doesn't look too short in the 2nd photo....


The second photo is a cropped version of the first photo.

Past that, you don't even begin to understand the issue.

It doesn't matter what I think a woman should dress like. I'm actually very liberal, and I don't find the rebbitzen's dress to be immodest.

The issue is what halakha as understood by Chabad considers to be immodest.

And past that, being tzniut does not halakhicly equal being ugly.

A woman can be very beautiful and be tzniut at the same time.

His beard also must of slid up as well - is is actually really long.

Amazing only his beard does not grow - must be a Rebbe miracle.

Where is “Mendy Hecht” on this post? Bet he has nothing to fucking say.
Is this dress is line with Chabad Tzius standards?
In light of all the hand-wringing, and now escalating into accosting women in Crown Heights, and photographing women in Kfar Chabad for not wearing Tsnius clothing, is this dress becoming for a Shlucha? And if not what is Chabad doing about it?
Yes it was a website and not “official Chabad” that photo-shopped the dress, but now that we know the truth, what is Chabad doing to correct this ervah among its emissaries?
What would the man you call “The Rebbe” have said or done about the non-Halakhik behavior of his Emissaries? After all Shliach adam kimoso. “A man’s messenger is just like the man himself,” right? So this Shlucha’s behavior is as if the Rebbe MH”M is being paraded in a short dress.
Answer these questions “Mendy Hecht” if you want to be the FM spokesman for your pathetic pack of illiterates.

++Jeff | October 28, 2011 at 06:18 AM++


I can only imagine the true version of events, and whether a Restraining Order had to be issued by the Court against western jew.

dude stop looking at married women and what they wear...that is just sick sick sick. I don't care if mother Teresa was wearing a bikini!!!! Who are you to judge!

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