Shalom, haere mai, and welcome to the Canterbury Hebrew Congregation, serving the Jewish community in Christchurch and in the wider Canterbury region. Our synagogue Beth-El is situated in central Christchurch. We are an unaffiliated synagogue and hold both Progressive and traditional services. Jewish people of all backgrounds are warmly welcomed. Beth-El Canterbury forms the lively centre of Jewish spiritual and cultural activity for our community.
We offer regular services for Shabbat, the High Holy Days, and Festivals, and provide Jewish children’s education events along with a number of social activities.
Visitors are welcome, whether from Canterbury or further afield, staying for a few days or a few years. If you’re intending to join us for services, please let us know you’re coming at least a week beforehand. We’ll need your:
- Full name
- Address (back home and where you’re staying in New Zealand)
- Email address
- Phone contact number (while you’re in New Zealand)
- Photo or scan of photo ID (which you’ll need to bring when visiting)
You may be asked to show photo ID and show the contents of any bags on arrival.
For Jewish visitors from abroad, with advance notice, we may be able to arrange hosting for Shabbat and Festival meals with local congregants. And for any Jewish clergy visiting Canterbury, with advanced notice we would be honoured if you would consider leading a service or educational event.
Although Christchurch does not have Kosher food stores or restaurants, there is a list of kosher products that are available in New Zealand. Please check the website of the Auckland Jewish Community for Kosher Kiwi products (Kosher Kiwi Directory)
Are you considering moving to Christchurch for work, study, or play? Christchurch, as New Zealand’s second largest city and the centre of the beautiful South Island, has much to offer and the CHC community eagerly welcomes any Jews looking to make a new home here. Please reach out if you are looking to make this move; we are happy to help with general advice about Christchurch and can help when you arrive but are not able to provide legal or immigration advice.