Yitzchok Dovid Groner

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Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner (18 April 1925 – 7 July 2008) was the most senior Chabad rabbi in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and the director of the Yeshivah Centre.


Born in New York, United States to a Hassidic family (his brother Leib Groner was one of the secretaries to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson), he arrived in Melbourne, Australia for the first time in 1953 at the bidding of the prior Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, and began his position officially in 1958.

He has been referred to as one of the pioneers and builders of the Melbourne Jewish community. He was also known for his Talmudic erudition, his sermons and rousing High Holiday cantorial services (chazzanut) in the Yeshivah synagogue, specifically Ne'ilah.

He had numerous children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who live both in Australia and overseas.

In May 2007, he appointed Rabbi Tzvi Telsner, his son-in-law, as assistant rabbi and Dayan of the Melbourne Chabad community.[1]

On 18 May 2008, he explained at a Shabbat gathering that he was the forerunner and organiser of the Lag B'Omer Parade in 1942 and personally arranged the event as a request from Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson spoke for the first time in a public fashion at that gathering and Rabbi Groner suggested that somebody should take notes. In fact, the entire talk is available today thanks to Rabbi Groner.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, then-Prime Minister John Howard said

He died on the morning of Monday, 7 July 2008, aged 83;[2] and was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

In February 2015, during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, it was reviled that Rabbi Yitzchok Groner did not respond to complains of his students and their parents and was central in cover up of allegations of sexual abuse of employees of Yeshivah.[3] His 5 children who live in Melbourne apologized to one of the victims, Manny Waks,[4] after the public hearing of the Royal Commission and resignations of few of the rabbis involved.


He was survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Devorah, and his children:

  • Rabbi Sholom Ber Groner (South Africa)
  • Rebbitzen Miriam Telsner
  • Rebbitzen Shterna Zirkind (Crown Heights, New York)
  • Rabbi Yossi Groner
  • Rebbitzen Chaya Haller (South Africa)
  • Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner
  • Rebbitzen Rivkah Yurkowicz
  • Rabbi Mendy Groner


  1. ^ New rabbi for Yeshivah AJN 2 May 2007
  2. ^ a b Rabbi Yitzchok Groner dies, aged 83 AJN 7 July 2008
  3. ^ [1] Royal Commission
  4. ^ [2]

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