Sent by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Rabbi Nochum and Rebbetzin Fruma Schapiro arrived in St Ives to establish a branch of Chabad in 1989. As a newly married couple they arrived with enthusiasm, determined to spread Yiddishkeit and have a positive effect on people's lives, setting out to enrich Jewish life and the Jewish community on the North Shore.
Rabbi Schapiro received his Rabbinic ordination and “Dayanut” (qualifying him to be a judge on a Beit Din) in New York.
Since coming to the North Shore, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Schapiro have initiated a wide range of activities and programs for all ages. Their passion for Yiddishkeit and genuine caring and love for their fellow man have served as an inspiration and shining light for the North Shore community. Their strong leadership skills and uncompromising commitment to their mission and purposes have enabled them to continue to make a huge impact on the community.
Rabbi Schapiro is well known for his dynamic and inspirational sermons and shiurim. In addition, the rabbi is "on call" at all times to attend to individual needs of community members, and his wisdom and empathy have been a source of comfort to an enormous number of Jews on the north shore and throughout Sydney. Rabbi Schapiro is the regional director of JLI, the Jewish Learning Institute in Australia, and is on its editorial board. JLI offers courses based on Kabballah, Talmud and Jewish living in 320 cities throughout the world, including Chabad North Shore, Sydney. Together with his wife, Rabbi Schapiro is the driving force behind everything that happens at Chabad.