The Sydney Jewish Report - February 2019

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W W W. J C A . O R G . AU



VOL. 47 Friday, 8 February VOL. 382019 / 5 Adar I, 5779

Fostering aa closer closer Jewish Jewish community community Fostering





jewish learning


W W W. J C A . O R G . AU


VOL. 47 Friday, 8 February 2019 / 5 Adar I, 5779

Fostering a closer Jewish community

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“By leaving a 2% bequest, you will enable JCA to future-proof this community for generations to come.”





Stephen Chipkin, JCA President






February 2019

Gandel Philanthropy grant continues to foster Jewish connections ZIONIST FEDERATION OF AUSTRALIA STACY HAYMAN Last month Gandel Philanthropy announced a significant grant to the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), continuing their longstanding support of the Taglit- Birthright Israel program, which the ZFA manages in Australia. Taglit-Birthright Israel is a visionary global program that provides a gift of a 10-day educational tour of Israel for young Jewish adults aged 18-26 who have not previously participated in a post school peer-group Israel trip. Birthright motivates young adults to explore their Jewish identity and heritage through first-hand educational experiences. The Birthright Israel trip is a journey through both Jewish history and the contemporary Israel, accompanied by Israeli peers (“the Mifgash”) who join the trips as colleagues and friends. Taglit- Birthright Israel is committed to a culture of open discussion and dialogue about all issues: identity, geopolitics, religion, and Jewish life. The ZFA is proud to represent the Australian Jewish community as the local partner in this unique project, which is championed by Gandel Philanthropy as the Principal Australian Supporter. The $150,000 Gandel Philanthropy commitment will enable 120 young adults across three groups – many of whom are currently unaffiliated with the Australian Jewish community and have never visited Israel – to experience Taglit-Birthright Israel in 2019. The aim of the grant is to help foster Jewish identity and continuity. Mr John Gandel AC, Chairman of Gandel Philanthropy the

Principal Australian Supporter of Taglit Birthright Israel said, “The evidence shows that Taglit-Birthright Israel program has been a major contributor to strengthening Jewish continuity right around the world and we are very proud to be associated with it”. The ZFA are grateful for Gandel Philanthropy’s ongoing financial commitment which supported 80 participants in the past year alone and has directly enabled over 1140 young adults to participate in these transformative trips since 2011. ZFA President Jeremy Leibler welcomed Gandel Philanthropy’s renewal of support. “I acknowledge the remarkable generosity and foresight of Gandel Philanthropy. Since 2011, Mr John Gandel AC and Mrs

Disconnect to Connect


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Pauline Gandel have contributed over a million dollars towards Australian Birthright programs, and have contributed not only to the Jewish futures of those who participated directly in the programs, but also to a stronger and more connected Australian Jewish community” Reflecting on her Taglit-Birthright Israel experience earlier this year, program alumnus Jen Doig said: “This trip was probably one of the biggest turning points in my life. The biggest insight for me was something that our amazing guide said on the first day: there are 14 million Jews, and there are 14 million ways of practicing Judaism. On the trip I made lifelong friends, learned about my culture, learned more about who I

am and where I’ve come from. Growing up, I’ve never really felt like I fitted in. I didn’t grow up in a Jewish community, and always felt a bit different to everyone else. But going on Birthright, you’re thrown into a group of people who feel exactly the same way that you do! “ “It is remarkable that a 10-day trip to Israel can change not only a person’s future but that of the Jewish people. The outcomes of the program for the participants are priceless in terms of Jewish continuity and Jewish and Zionist identity, and successive research studies have demonstrated the positive impact of Taglit-Birthright Israel on future engagement with the Jewish community, with Israel and in reducing rates of intermarriage.” said Ginette Searle, ZFA CEO. Research conducted by the Cohen Centre of Brandeis University indicates that participation in Birthright Israel positively alters participants’ trajectory of Jewish engagement and connection to Israel. 72% of Taglit-Birthright participants marry someone Jewish as opposed to 51% of non-participants and participants are also 35% more likely than non-participants to feel confident in explaining the situation in Israel. Registration for this FREE July 2019 trip opens at 10AM EST on 28 January 2019. The program is overwhelmed by demand every year and there is a long list of participants waiting to receive their gift. To register and for more information on the eligibility criteria and program dates, visit or call 03 9272 5644.

Guest Speakers for ZDVO


ZDVO Beit Halochem Australia is eagerly awaiting the arrival of their 2 special guest speakers both with incredible inspirational stories to share. Dr Alon Dahan was in the Golani Infantry Brigade when during a training exercise, the young driver transporting Alon’s team fell asleep at the wheel and the vehicle drove into a minefield and crashed into a booby-trapped wall, leaving him paralysed from the chest down. Today, he is the current Chairman of Beit Halochem Jerusalem and inspires other injured soldiers and victims of terror. After successfully completing his service in the prestigious Duvdevan unit, Or Porat joined the Ministry of Defence and continued to fight terrorists. During an operation to thwart an attack on innocent civilians in Jerusalem, Or was injured when a bomb was thrown on him from a rooftop. Both Alon and Or receive regular treatment at Beit Halochem which has provided them physical, emotional and social support. ZDVO Beit Halochem Australia is devoted to helping the 51,000 brave men and women injured whilst serving the State of Israel as well as innocent victims of terror. Every time a soldier is wounded ZDVO is there with them on their road to recovery, helping them come to terms with traumatic injuries and psychological trauma. ZDVO’s state of the art Beit Halochem Centres located in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Be’er Sheva boast an array of exceptional rehabilitative services and activities including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, sports programs and competitions, specialized equipment, family-oriented programs, and cultural activities. Beit Halochem is the ‘home away from home’ for the injured and their families who gain the physical and emotional strength needed to

rebuild their shattered lives. With an emphasis on sport as a method of rehabilitation, many members go on to become elite sportsmen and sportswomen representing Israel in events such as wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, swimming and wheelchair dancing at the international level including the Paralympics. Money raised in Australia is sent to Israel to fund items such as specialised sports equipment and machinery, academic and sports scholarships, wheelchairs, computers and therapeutic services. Construction of a much needed fifth Beit Halochem commenced in February 2018 in Ashdod. Don’t miss the chance to hear from Alon and Or at ZDVO’s movie premiere on Sunday 17th February from 5.15pm. Two amazing movies will be screened. The first is Hummus! The movie, a delicious story about the best hummus in Israel and the second is Heading Home, a stirring story about Jewish identity. For tickets please go to or call 83322614.


February 2019


JCA launches 2% Bequest Program JCA What will our local Jewish community look like in the next 20 or 30 years? Will it continue to provide the same sense of belonging and connection we enjoy today? Ensuring continuity is the driving force behind JCA’s new 2% Bequest Program announced by JCA President, Stephen Chipkin. “For more than 50 years, JCA has been at the heart of our community, with each of our 23 member organisations delivering vital services to every corner of our community – providing care for the disadvantaged and the elderly, the Jewish education of our children, preserving Holocaust memory and keeping our community safe.” The JCA 2% Bequest Program aims to ensure that this same vibrancy, strength and security is available for generations to come. “The idea is simple,” said Chipkin, “we’re asking people to consider including in their Wills a small portion of their estate, say 2%, to the Community Future Fund established by JCA.” “If everyone in our community did that, over time those bequests would provide a pool of funds to help ensure that all those things we value about our community would be secure for generations to come The program makes provision for

bequests to be directed to the general JCA fund or for all or part of the gift to be directed to specific pillars for: Aged & Community Care; Culture, Engagement & Outreach; Holocaust, History & Heritage; Jewish Education; or Security & Advocacy. All funds will be invested, under the guidance of JCA’s Investment Committee, for at least 25 years. If people prefer to make a bequest directly to JCA member organisations, they are encouraged to do so. Legacy gifts to the general JCA fund will provide the greatest flexibility to address the needs of the future, said Chipkin. “We can’t be sure what the future needs of our community will be, but we do know that for more than 50 years, JCA has been able to respond to its changing needs. So, by leaving a 2% bequest, you will enable JCA to future-proof this community for generations to come.” JCA acknowledges that bequests are a very personal issue and recommends involving your family in your decision. Decisions about Wills and bequests should also be made in consultation with legal and financial professionals. For more information about the JCA 2% Bequest Program, you can call JCA on 9360-2344, email them at, or visit their website at

“By leaving a 2% bequest, you will enable JCA to future-proof this community for generations to come.” – Stephen Chipkin, JCA President

2% to JCA Bequest Program

Your legacy gift will ensure a strong local Jewish community for generations to come

For more than 50 years JCA member organisations have cared for the elderly and disadvantaged in our community, helped provide Jewish education for our children, advocated for our safety and security, and kept the memory of the Holocaust alive. By leaving just 2% in your Will to JCA, you’ll help ensure our community remains strong, vibrant and secure for our children, grandchildren and generations to come. Join the JCA 2% Bequest Program build a legacy for the future. Please contact JCA to discuss how you can leave a bequest in your Will. Call 9360 2344, email or visit Lorem ipsum



February 2019

Family-Friendly Options Added to UIA NSW 2019 Campaign UNITED ISRAEL APPEAL UIA NSW is excited to announce it will offer new inclusive and family-friendly events and options during its 2019 Campaign. UIA will host a Fun Run and Picnic with Ziv Shilon - Former IDF Captain and Iron Man competitor on Sunday 10 March in the Eastern Suburbs. All ages are welcome, so bring your family and friends for a Fun Run or Ride with bikes, scooters and prams. Enjoy a picnic after the run or ride, with hampers available for pre-purchase or bring along your own. Ziv Shilon was severely wounded during his last operational mission in the Gaza Strip in 2012. Undergoing over 14 surgeries and intensive rehabilitation, the story of his injury and recovery is a heroic and remarkable tale of the strength of one’s spirit and the ability to overcome challenges. Due to his immense motivation and willpower, he succeeded to rise above physical hurdles including those he thought were impossible. Shilon completed the Berlin Marathon and is now training for the Iron Man competition. Following the success of the childminding service offered at last year’s General Division event, UIA will be offering this once again at the 2019 General Division event on Sunday 24 February, headlined by David Cameron - Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2010-2016). The professional service will be available for children aged 3-10, at $15 per child. They will enjoy a movie, activities, along with kosher pizza and snacks. Parents will be

seated nearby the childminding location at the venue. UIA NSW CEO Yair Miller said: “For a few years now, UIA NSW has been looking for innovative ways to ensure that parents with young children can still be connected to Israel through the UIA. As the Australian arm of the Global Keren Hayesod-UIA family, we recognise how critical it is for us to ensure the next generation of your family knows what it feels like to be part of the global Jewish

collective.” FUN RUN AND PICNIC WITH ZIV SHILON: Sunday 10 March, 8.30am. $5 per person. To book and for venue enquiries visit or contact 9361 4273, GENERAL DIVISION EVENT CHILDMINDING SERVICE:

Places are limited. To book or make enquiries about the childminding service at the General Division Event, contact or 9361 4273. To book for the General Division event with David Cameron visit or contact 9361 4273,

More than just a membership – WIZO Women change lives! WIZO NSW DIANE SYMONDS 50 Federations around the world: 250,000 active members worldwide all impacting the lives of 4 million Israelis. Those are the numbers. And yes, while they are impressive, they don‘t truly explain what it means to be a WIZO woman. Being a part of the WIZO family is a truly unique kind of membership. WIZO is a non party/apolitical international movement dedicated to the advancement of the status of women, welfare for all sectors of Israeli society. Made up of women just like you, WIZO connects you to other women around the world all striving to realise the same goal – to help disadvantaged women and children in Israel. And it’s this connection – or sisterhood if you like – that makes WIZO one of a kind. So the question is, who are these women who make all this happen? WIZO women come from all walks of life. They are mothers and daughters; they are corporate executives and community leaders. There is no one WIZO woman. Bertha Milner a long standing member says: “It is not even a decision! It’s a priority to be a member. Apart from the life-changing work that WIZO does in Israel, the bonds and friendships you make through WIZO are life-changing too.” Michelle Spiro has been a member since 1988: “When I think of WIZO, a few words come to mind: women, power, community, possibility, potential, opportunity. “ Nicky Ryba says: “WIZO is important today because while we live here in Australia and enjoy a relatively carefree life, there are so many that still live in poverty in Israel. There is a great deal of work that needs to be done to help to provide better lives for so many that are

disadvantaged. “ Each day WIZO NSW is bringing new members into it’s fold. Mimi Weiss is 22 years old and currently studying Interior Architecture at UTS. Mimi joined WIZO a few months ago after her Buba, Nelly Weiss OAM, a WIZO Matriarch passed away. ”I was very moved to hear in her eulogy that she had rescued and saved lives with her WIZO projects and I was inspired to continue her legacy and take over where she left off. Being a member should not solely be about fundraising. To me, being a member is more about learning/raising awareness about the problems many face in Israel. It is also finding our own identity within our own Jewish community.” Is it time you became a WIZO woman too? Build your connection to Jewish women across the world and together improve the lives of many in Israel. Women with the shared goal of supporting Israel founded WIZO almost 100 years ago. Today, vibrant, talented women like you can continue to support Israel’s women and children and express their Jewish values in ways that are most meaningful to them. To become a WIZO member simply call 9387 366 or visit

February 2019


Counting Down Until UIA 2019 Campaign UNITED ISRAEL APPEAL With only a few weeks to go, UIA NSW is gearing up for another impressive Campaign season. We pride ourselves on bringing the community the most relevant and diverse speakers. Our General Division event on Sunday 24 February will launch our 2019 Campaign, to be headlined by David Cameron - Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2010-2016). Regarded a true Zionist and friend of Israel, Cameron was seen as the most proactive British Prime Minister in his support for Israel. His unwavering commitment translated into policy change, developing a foreign policy addressing the new challenges of the Arab Spring. This ensured Britain’s strong stance on globally combatting ISIS. Cameron’s support for Israel was also demonstrated through his strong view on the BDS campaign and Israel’s right to defend herself. He believed in modern compassionate conservatism, and his leadership was underpinned by social justice and social action, increasing the rights of ethnic minorities and women. Rising to power at a time of economic crisis, Cameron significantly transformed the British economy. Deficit and unemployment rates reduced, with Britain becoming the fastest growing major advanced economy in the world. Joining Cameron is UIA success story Nataly Zagaya. Born in Israel to Ethiopian parents who made Aliyah as part of Operation Moses in 1984, Nataly participated in UIA’s flagship project Net@. By empowering youth from Israel’s peripheries, this reputable

program turns high risk into hi-tech, thus enabling her to join elite units in the IDF. Nataly represents one of the thousands of youth from disadvantaged populations living in the geographic and social periphery that Keren Hayesod-UIA, together with you as our partners, support. Through technological education, personal development and social activism, Net@ creates new opportunities for disadvantaged

children in years 5 to 12 and increases prospects for social mobility. The program currently operates in 21 locations serving thousands of children annually. Our 2019 Campaign will once again focus on support for the most vulnerable people on the periphery in Israel. The General Division event will be a unique opportunity for the Jewish Community to come together and make a contribution


in what should be one of Sydney’s largest gatherings celebrating the People of Israel in 2019. The 2019 Campaign will be Andrew Boyarsky’s first Campaign as NSW President. Andrew stated that: “Once again the UIA, as part of our commitment to deliver outstanding performance with our events and programs, will engage our entire community during this Campaign. With our revolutionary childminding service at our Gala event to our seniors Israel updates, we genuinely cover the entire community. The scope and scale of our Campaign enables us to ensure we are completely inclusive and continue to be an unwavering partner For the People of Israel.” UIA CEO Yair Miller OAM said: “Our Campaign this year will further cement our unwavering partnership with the People of Israel. It is timely to have an incredible line up of speakers for this year. We are bringing relevant, powerful and inspiring speakers who can inform and entertain our donors, as we continue to empower and enable our beneficiaries. Our events will remind us of the truly amazing scope and scale of the global UIA family, and deepen understanding of our outstanding programs across Israel.” This event will sell out and seating is limited. Follow UIA on Facebook for updates on our 2019 Campaign: To book for UIA NSW General Division event and other Campaign events, visit



February 2019

18 Palm trees planted for MDA lifesavers AUSTRALIAN FRIENDS OF MAGEN DAVID ADOM

In a heart-warming Tu B’Shvat tribute, 18 palm trees were planted in honour of the MDA team who saved Yossi Gal’s life. About five months ago, Yossi Gal, 64, a resident of Moshav Tomer, a farm in the Jordan Valley, collapsed at home after suffering a severe heart attack. MDA was contacted and the team arrived in a mobile Intensive Care Unit, a MICU. After assessing the severity of the situation, the MDA helicopter was called arriving within minutes enabling paramedics to expedite lifesaving medical treatment. Whilst treating the critically ill Yossi, team members were in touch with the medical teams at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital apprising them of the severity of his condition so when the helicopter landed at the hospital, he was directly transferred to the catheterization unit. Thanks to the speed of MDA’s actions, Yossi was able to be sent home four days later with a fully functioning heart. Since then, Yossi had wanted to find a way to express his deep gratitude to the paramedics who saved his life. He decided to do it on Tu B’Shvat – to invite the MDA team that saved his life to join him in planting 18 palm trees on his Moshav. 18 for his “life” saved. The MDA paramedics together with forty MDA youth volunteers were warmly greeted by a smiling, healthy Yossi who took them to a special place on the farm to plant 18 date palm trees. A plaque was unveiled with

the inscription: “To the Lifesaving People of MDA, with Gratitude.” Speaking to the assembled group afterwards, the MDA helicopter paramedic said, \”In the condition you were in, every minute was critical. It was vital for us to bring you as quickly as possible to hospital. This helped us to save not just your life, but your quality of life. Usually, after we evacuate patients to hospital, we don’t know what happens to them later on. It is heartwarming to meet you today and see you

standing here, so fit and well.” Another MDA Paramedic said that seeing Yossi looking so well and surrounded by his family, was the main reason he had chosen to become a paramedic, to be able to help people, to save their lives. Before everyone left, Yossi made an emotional speech, “I asked everyone to come today to say \”thank you\” for what you did for me. I am only one case, but I know in the course of a year you handle thousands of cases. You have been to my village a

number of times and I know that you have saved other lives too. We are here today where I almost lost my life, to give new life through these palm trees which will bear fruit for many years to come.” Addressing the MDA youth, Yossi said, “thank you for what you do every day in your volunteer work, saving lives. My home is always open to you all.” For more details about MDA please refer to: or phone the office on 02 9358 2521.

Cure Cancer Celebrates the Successes of their Class of 2018 Researchers! CURE CANCER As we enter into the new year, cancer research charity Cure Cancer take the opportunity to celebrate some of the successes of their 2018 funded researchers, all of which were made possible thanks to the generosity of their supporters and donors. Researcher of the Year 2018: A/Prof Jyotsna Batra - Prostate Cancer Researcher, QUT Cure Cancer Researcher of the Year Jyotsna Batra has been working on examining the DNA sequences of around 140,000 men of European descent in the world’s largest prostate cancer study ever. With this data, she and her team were able to identify 63 new genetic markers which predispose men to prostate cancer. Using new and known risk variants, an estimated 28 percent of familial prostate cancer risk can now be accounted for. These findings enable the identification of which men should have early and regular screenings and may eventually inform treatment decisions. Dr Kate Van Dyke - Blood Cancer Researcher, University of Adelaide Kate specialises in multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer which is diagnosed in approximately 140,000 people around the world each year. Many patients find the disease progresses rapidly after treatment because of its ability to spread throughout the body. Kate’s project was focused on a particular protein which is found in cancer cells in more than half of all myeloma patients. With the funding from Cure Cancer, Kate and her team found that this protein is a key driver

of the spread of tumour cells throughout the body. One of the major findings from 2018 was using a drug that targets this protein to block the spread of tumour cells in a mouse model of myeloma. This is a promising finding, as it could mean that this drug could be used to slow the progression of disease. Dr Orazio Vittorio Childhood Cancer Researcher, CCI Neuroblastoma claims more lives of children under the age of 5 than any other cancer. The survival rate for high-risk neuroblastoma is about 50% and the rate for the most aggressive form can be as low as 15%. Last year, Orazio and his research team found that the antioxidant, Catechin (found in

green tea amongst other foods), significantly reduces the capacity of a neuroblastoma tumour to accumulate copper from the blood. Copper is an emerging target for the treatment of cancers, and Orazio’s paper (published in the journal Theranostics) is the first in the world that demonstrates how PET imaging techniques can be used to reveal elevated copper levels in neuroblastoma and to monitor tumour response to therapies. Dr Esther Lim Skin Cancer Researcher, Macquarie University Esther’s project last year investigated means of stimulating the immune system as a form of therapy for patients with advanced melanoma, an aggressive type of

skin cancer. Her work entails looking at the genomic and protein profiles of these patients to identify who will benefit from this treatment and anticipate whether patients will develop life-threatening side effects due to treatment. This research may take the medical community a step closer to personalising effective therapies with greatest benefit and lowest risk of adverse effects. Congratulations to all these researchers on their inspiring work. Thanks to them, we are one step closer to making this the last generation to die from cancer. If you’d like to support inspiring, innovative cancer research from our brightest young minds, head to



February 2019

Aussie research interns get a career head start in the Arava ZIONIST FEDERATION OF AUSTRALIA STACY HAYMAN The Australia Arava Partnership (AAP) has selected two Melbourne science graduates to participate in a unique research internship at the world-class Research & Development Centre in the Central Arava. Now in its second year, the program, which is sponsored by the AAP, offers successful candidates the opportunity to expand their scientific research skills through an intensive hands-on laboratory experience working with a team of scientists to further their professional skills and benefit from an immersive scientific experience through research projects. “We have designed this program to foster the next generation of research scientists and are delighted to offer both Jenna Topolansky and Josh Rachbuch the opportunity to work with world-renowned scientists on incredible projects, whilst living in the majestic surrounds of the Arava. An internship in the Central Arava R&D Centre will enable them to participate in the exciting, cutting-edge research taking place there, all in a stimulating intellectual environment while being mentored by distinguished scientists,” said Tamara Bruce, Chairman of the AAP. Surrounded by a unique ecosystem, the R&D Centre strives to increase and broaden the desert-related research being undertaken. To a community living in the desert, it is of utmost importance to reveal its uncovered secrets in order to promote

Jenna Topolansky, Josh Rachbuch sustainability and co-existence. Studies into the natural surroundings form the basis for all environmental and ecological developments. Jenna holds a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) degree from Monash University and is excited to return to Israel with fond memories of her Birthright Hagshama trip in 2014. “I am extremely honoured and proud to be provided with this opportunity to conduct aquaculture research in a state-of-the-art facility in the Arava. I am very passionate about zoology and look forward to expanding my skill set and knowledge base in relation to the scientific field,” said Jenna. Josh, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degrees from Monash University, will work

on ALS research with Dr Niva Blum and her team. He is looking forward to returning to Israel where he spent 10 months on IBC Australia during his gap year in 2014. “This is a once-is-a-lifetime opportunity to further my education and apply everything I learnt at university in a real-world setting. Living in the Arava is certainly stepping out of my comfort zone but will no doubt augment my experience,” said Josh. Ginette Searle, Chief Executive Officer, Zionist Federation of Australia said “We are pleased to see two of our Israel Program alumni returning to Israel to continue their journey of exploring their connection to Israel and their Jewish identity. There’s no better place than the Arava to foster meaningful connections with the

people, the land and the unique innovative culture of Israel.” During their free time the interns will enjoy moshav life in the heart of the desert, as well as additional activities such as; tours, encounters with people from the Arava community and daily life with their adoptive families. The project serves to enhance the connection between Australia and the Arava, which is the key objective of the partnership. Partnership2gether (P2G) is the global living bridge project of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Zionist Federation of Australia aimed at connecting Israeli communities with Diaspora communities. The Central Arava region was “adopted” by Australia as our partnership community in 1995, and the relationships and joint projects which have emerged from the partnership have been varied, broad and deep, said Stacy Hayman, AAP Co-ordinator. Over the years, the Australia Arava Partnership has facilitated various delegations between the communities, including youth and students, to professional and special interest groups. Each of these visits has strengthened the bonds between people, created personal relationships and enriched the respective communities’ cultures. The AAP is currently recruiting madrichim to lead on a summer camp in the Central Arava in July 2019. To register your interest email or call Stacy Hayman on +61 3 9272 5531.



February 2019

People with disabilities walk tall at Hadassah HADASSAH The beginning of the construction of a new state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre at Hadassah Hospital’s Mt Scopus campus is the culmination of a dream to provide a pathway to independence for people of all ages dealing with neurological problems. The new rehabilitation centre will address an urgent and growing need in Jerusalem and will service a catchment area of more than one million people. The Israeli government has underwritten 25% of the cost of the $100,000,000 facility. Since its establishment at the turn of last century, the Jerusalem-based hospital has been an internationally-acclaimed innovator in medicine and science. It is also the largest recipient of hospital-based patents in Israel, being issued more than all other hospitals combined. But it is also an organisation willing to embrace new and exciting technologies from third parties. During the ground breaking ceremony for the new centre in January, Hadassah announced that it had acquired a key rehabilitation device developed by Swiss medical technology company Hocoma. The Lokomat advanced robotic walking system provides functional gait therapy for paralysed patients. It was donated to Hadassah by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. The machine is designed to help individuals suffering from movement disorders caused by stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple

sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases and injuries. Dr Isabella Schwartz, director of Rehabilitative Services at Hadassah Mount Scopus, said that most of the patients her department treats come in wheelchairs, and there is an incredible sense of achievement when they are able to walk out. This is why the Lokomat system is such an important addition to

Melton creates continuity in 2019 MELTON For many Jews in Sydney a hot topic is Jewish Continuity. “Will my grandchildren be Jewish?” is the question of the hour. While the answer about the future of Judaism is complex, one thing is certain. Jewish continuity depends of the Jewish education of adults as well as children! Jewish identity cannot be passed along without some understanding of the Jewish faith. There is such richness in the Jewish tradition. We study the latest breakthroughs in science and participate in innovative entrepreneurial opportunities, so we deserve a sophisticated Judaism as well. If we are empowered and educated about our faith, we are better placed to inspire our youth. If you ask anyone in Sydney: ‘Where can I study about Judaism in a way that is both sophisticated yet accessible?’ The answer is always Melton. The Melton program has courses that are designed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem so they are University level and informed by academic best practice. They are administered by the University of Sydney’s Centre for Continuing Education so they are open to all and truly pluralistic. There is no homework or tests so a student can engage as much as they want with the course material. The teachers are all superb educators who excel at making the content come alive. The courses themselves cover a variety of topics. For those interested in the basics, Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton will be teaching about Jewish holy days, festivities, and religious practice which uses Jewish texts from diverse sources to explore Jewish festivals and rituals. This is a fifteen-week course that will be held at The Great Synagogue on Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm beginning on February 27. There is even a TGS parking deal for evening parking in the city! Medical Ethics are a contested topic in

our 21st century world. The advances in medicine are so great and sometimes seem at odd with our millennia old tradition. Join the conversation between medicine and Judaism in the newest Melton course taught by Prof. Bernie Tuch. Conveniently located at JewishCare, just minutes from Bondi Junction, the course commences on 28 February and runs for ten weeks, 6:30-8pm. If you are looking for something more historic, The Star and The Crescent will be taught by Prof. Suzanne Rutland. This course explores the long relationship between Judaism and Islam. The course covers the commonalities and differences in the sacred texts and looks at how the two faiths have interacted throughout history. Held on Tuesday evenings from 7-8:30pm beginning on 12 March, this course will take place at Cremorne Synagogue. For those afraid of crossing the bridge, I can assure you it is a mere 16 minutes from Bondi Junction! The cornerstone of the Jewish tradition is the Bible. Too often, the stories are told with simplistic explanations and lessons. In the Shiviim Panim curriculum, that is no longer the case. The biblical course on the first Jewish family explores these timeless tales and asks essential questions about the human condition. Tracey Sareff expertly offers a variety of perspectives on the texts and provokes thoughtful discussion. This course will be held from 10:30am-12pm on Tuesdays beginning on 12 March at Beth WIZO in Woollahra. There is something for everyone with Melton. Everyone is welcome, and diversity of background and perspective is valued for the richness it brings to the study of Judaism. Check out all that Melton has to offer at

her department’s services. “Whatever patients cannot do, such as lifting their legs, is done by the Lokomat system,” she said. “It simulates the natural flow of movement and provides feedback on the progress of training, adjusting the regimen to move the patient ahead.” “The computer-aided electric motors are attached to the patients’ legs and stabilise

them. Sensors record the exertion and the independent movements of the patient. Robotic support and weight relief can be reduced to promote or extend existing residual movements.” Ron Finkel AM, President of Hadassah Australia, said that in a world in which people talk about ‘branding’, there is no greater ‘brand’ for healing than Hadassah. “The hospital has a long and proud history of helping people from all walks of life and from every background to get back their ability to walk,” he said. “We take our ability to walk for granted until we lose it. People who find themselves in that situation can imagine no greater outcome than the ability to walk independently, and the Lokomat system provides them with that opportunity.” There are currently more than 300 Lokomat systems in operation in some 50 countries, assisting approximately 45,000 neurological patients. This is the first system of its kind in Israel. The new rehabilitation centre will address the growth in the city’s population, including the longer life spans of Israeli citizens. The modular design by architect Arthur Spector harmonises with the campus’s desert landscape and, with its enlarged pools and training areas, provides adequate space for patients and therapists. To donate to Hadassah Hospital, please go to

The Seniors Festival that never ends! COA SYDNEY

The NSW Seniors Festival, held annually, celebrates seniors by delivering activities and special events from a huge range of service providers and councils to engage, educate, and honour our senior citizens. COA relishes getting involved with the Festival, as it mirrors our own philosophy of ageing, that no one is too old to learn something new, try something different, or provide valuable lessons and services to their peers. For many people retirement can mean the end of an active life – because so many of us are so dedicated to the routines of our jobs that we cannot see a future past the last pay check. But COA insists that retirement is the start of a new life. For us the Seniors Festival is not limited to one fortnight per year; every week is a festival of events, activities, and volunteer opportunities, with people to meet and things to do. But like all providers, the Festival allows us to present special events to the wider audience of retirees in Sydney. For the 2019 festival we have a number of events planned. On the first day of the festival, Wednesday 13th February, we are offering a special Seniors Festival Meditation, presented by Rabbi Dr Orna Trigaboff from 11:30-12, followed by lunch, and at 12:45 come and dance at our Valentine’s Day concert. Due to popular demand, COA is once again organising a Seniors Festival Cruise on Tuesday the 19th. This is a joyful event, with a delicious kosher lunch, live music, and all the fun of a cruise around Sydney’s stunning

harbour! The event will be held on a Captain Cook Cruise boat which has recently been upgraded to provide a wheelchair accessible toilet, so mobility restricted seniors can be comfortably included. COA will also be holding an Open Day on Wednesday 20th February. The day will follow our usual Wednesday program, with the addition of information on COA’s range of services, an opportunity to tastetest some of the food we deliver through our Kosher Meals-on-Wheels program, and a great Jewish and European Klezmer Concert from 12:45. So take this opportunity to get involved, join our events, book for the cruise, meet your peers, and start enjoying the rest of your life.

February 2019



Aubrey Krawitz: Fundraiser and People Raiser Extraordinaire PETER WISE As 2018 drew to a close, our community lost one of its most charismatic and dynamic personalities. Aubrey Krawitz was a fundraiser extraordinaire, but he was also way more than just that – he was a magnet to people and using his charm and drive he cajoled and attracted a new era of communal leadership to come forward. I first met Aubrey in early 1995 when he responded to a JCA advertisement seeking a fulltime professional fundraiser. At that time, I was JCA Appeal Chairman and still a relatively new Sydney resident. We had big plans to drive JCA forward; and we knew we needed help. When Aubrey came into my office for his interview, I took an immediate liking to him. He was fresh and open. He was erudite. He had a twinkle in his eye. He exuded confidence. And through all of that I recognised a rare characteristic that none of the other candidates seemed to have in the same measure – he had Yiddishkeit and an understanding and love of community in his kishkes. And it showed. In my report to The JCA Board of Governors in March 1995 I said: “I am pleased to advise that we have been successful in attracting Mr Aubrey Krawitz to the JCA in responses to our recent advertisements for a fulltime fundraiser. Aubrey comes to us with an impressive CV and a strong record of communal involvement which will be most valuable to us. His employment will involve direct fundraising, relationship building and donor development – all integral parts of the Appeal Executive’s plans to move JCA forward rapidly in the next few years”. Those words proved to be prophetic. When Aubrey came aboard, the 1995 campaign plans were already locked and loaded and held tremendous promise with Professor Alan Dershowitz as our keynote speaker. It

was a seminal moment for JCA and Aubrey recognised it for what it was – a turning point for JCA; and using this as his springboard, he propelled himself and JCA forward with unbridled vigour and enthusiasm. Email was not yet in vogue, so in the beginning our communications were by telephone and fax. My diary and notes of that time are full of references to Aubrey – the one-on-one meetings he was organising with donors; the select luncheons for influential donors with big potential; the welcome functions he was organising for new immigrants; the names of people he thought would make good JCA workers; ideas for how we could do things better – and so the list went on. His mantra was “JCA is not just about raising funds – it’s also about raising people”. The theory was that if the people came, the money would follow, and he certainly proved this right. Within a year or two, people like Barry Smorgon and Peter Ivany had joined the JCA ranks and together with others were destined to be hugely instrumental in the growth of JCA. Aubrey took

them under his wing and helped to ease them into their crucial roles. More than that, Aubrey had the bit between his teeth and he was determined to prove to all who would listen to him that JCA was the hub around which the communal wheel turns. With grit and determination – and with a fair dose of chutzpah as well – he was instrumental in driving up the number of donors, and with it the dollars. The campaign graph kept growing, helped along the way by the introduction of a corporate sponsorship program that was his baby. He also played a role in getting a more formalised JCA bequest program under way. Over the years that Aubrey was a JCA professional, he enjoyed the respect of the myriads of volunteers who came and went through the various committee structures. To be sure, he rankled a few by his direct and forthright manner; but he showed us all that you can’t be an effective fundraiser if you don’t ask the hard questions. Everyone who worked with him in either a lay or professional capacity understood that Aubrey was driven, not by personal aspirations, but by what he believed the community needed. Aubrey and I chatted often and after more than a decade of working closely with him, it was to him that I turned to for guidance on when he thought it was time for me to pass on the JCA President’s baton. With a mix of sentiment and practicality he helped me through that transition at the end of 2005. And then he went on to serve under new Presidents; new Appeal Chairmen; new CEO’s and a host of new volunteers, many of whom he had been cultivating for years. And he kept working the donor lists; increasing the pledges; increasing the donor numbers. Even when the time came for Aubrey himself to retire as a JCA professional, he kept going in a voluntary capacity with his wife Dorit at his side. How do you value dedication like that?

The list of Aubrey’s achievements for and on behalf of the Jewish Communal Appeal is long and varied. As we start 2019, I am reflecting on Aubrey’s accomplishments and how his influence will continue in his absence. In organisations like JCA, people come and go, but there are not many who leave behind a legacy that will live on. Aubrey’s legacy goes beyond JCA and our community. He leaves a personal legacy of great value too - his family. Aubrey enjoyed a lifelong partnership with his wife Dorit and together they built a family based on strong Jewish and community values. Their three children Nicole, Barbara, and Antony and their families in turn all walk in Aubrey’s footsteps. JCA and our community need more people like Aubrey Krawitz. We need professionals and lay leaders who intrinsically understand what makes our community tick; who understand how to motivate others; who are not afraid to tell it as it is; and above all, who are not afraid to ask people to put their hands in their own pocket for the betterment of our community as a whole. We are a community with tremendous potential; a community with the capacity to be even more generous than we already are; and we are a community that can do great things. Aubrey told us all of this way back then – and it still holds true today. Aubrey Krawitz was one of a kind. He was a mensch. Our community is poorer without him, but he will not be forgotten. In coming months, the JCA Board of Governors will be asked to approve a communal award in his honour. I have no doubt that it will be approved unanimously by all the Presidents of the JCA constituent organisations who have all benefitted from JCA’s success. It’s a full circle. As Aubrey always said, you get back what you give.


holocaust rememberance day


On 27 January the world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a date on which every member nation of the U.N. will honour the memory of Holocaust victims and encourages the development of educational programs about Holocaust history. Growing up in Melbourne, which is home to the largest number of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel, the Holocaust was never far from my childhood and my Jewish experiences. My childhood was filled with proclamations of gratitude that thanked the wonderful country of Australia for allowing us to live as Jewish people freely and without oppression. My grandfather, Mr Yossi Kaltmann was a Holocaust survivor who survived six concentration camps and lost almost his entire family, including his grandparents, parents, sister and brother. Like so many in Melbourne, the Holocaust is deeply personal and does not relate to a vague ‘six million’ but rather, thousands of Bubbas, Zaidas, Uncles, Aunties and relatives that were killed from our immediate family. As the years go on and the number of Holocaust survivors amongst us diminishes, the question as to how to remember such atrocities so that they never occur again, anywhere in the world, is something we grapple with. A few years ago, to commemorate Yom Hashoah, Israel’s official Holocaust Memorial Day, an image was widely released to try to provide some context which contextualises the current reality of Holocaust memorial (the image accompanies this article). The powerful image depicted an elderly Holocaust survivor standing alone with a walking aid and reflected in the shadows were his family which were deceased during the Shoah. In addition, the

shadow of the Holocaust survivor in the image depicted a little boy, showing that he was a child survivor who had now grown old. As these survivors pass from our world on to the next, we on earth are left with the important mission of “Zachor! (Remember!)” The older I become, the more I reflect on the difficult challenges that people faced. While in theory one can learn about the tough decisions that people fleeing persecution made, whether the stay with the mistaken belief that things would get better, or to flee the unknown, the choices that people faced were exceedingly difficult. Who knows if in the same situation, I would have chosen to uproot my life, wife, children and move away from my family to flee to the great unknown? Hindsight provides us with amazing clarity, once the outcome has already happened and we know the end result. I recently read the book “Who will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto and the Oyneg Shabbos Arvchive” written by historian Samuel Kassow and which was recently released in a documentary style film. The book delves into the activities of the Oyneg Shabbos Archive who operated in the Warsaw Ghetto and its leader, esteemed historian Dr Emmanuel Ringelblum. Dr Ringelblum gathered a group of persons in the ghetto who were dedicated to recording their daily life during the German occupation. This group, including historians, writers, rabbis, social workers, men and women from a variety of backgrounds, recorded information such as essays, diaries, wall posters, daily records of ghetto activities, final wills, photographs and manuscripts of the Jews living in the Warsaw ghetto. Buried in three troves, two were discovered after the war and contained over 6,000 documents (about 35,000 pages) and are

housed in the Jewish historical Institute in Warsaw. One is yet to still be recovered. The importance of these documents and the history they record are globally recognised and are included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World register. They record the suffering, the kindness, the good, the bad, the terror and the humanity of people in the ghetto. As 19 year old Dawid Graber recorded in 1942 in the archive: What we were unable to cry and shriek out to the world we buried in the ground….I would love to see the moment in which the great treasure will be dug up and scream the truth at the world. So the world may know ….We would be the fathers, the teachers and educators of

February 2019

the future….May the treasure fall into good hands, may it last into better times, may it alarm and alert the world to what happened… in the twentieth century….May history attest for us.” As historian Smauel Kassow notes in the introduction to his book about Dr Ringelblum’s purpose in recording all aspects of ghetto experience for future generations: “….Ringelblum also wanted to cast a ‘stone under history’s wheel.’ He was absolutely convinced that the story of Jewish suffering, no matter how terrible, was a universal, not just a Jewish story. And evil, no matter how great, could not be placed outside history. The archive could … become a weapon in the struggle for a better future. Even though he … knew that most Polish Jews would not survive, he … continued the Oyneg Shabes…. One of his most important goals was to explain for future historians the behavior of the “Jewish masses” during the war….” And so, as we enter into this period of reflection leading into International Holocaust Remembrance Day, educate yourself and those around you. If one forgets history, it is doomed to repeat itself. We have an obligation to ensure that the memory of those who were killed are not forgotten and that those who are amongst us ensure that the world does not repeat itself and again subject any people of any nation to such atrocities. Take an extra minute to learn something new that you did not previously know about the Holocaust and teach it to someone else, so that the memories of those who are deceased is not forgotten, even after the Holocaust survivors who help us to understand the magnitude of the Shoah are no longer amongst us.

Lily Widner, 97, survived the Holocaust and much more. Why does Poland say she’s dead?


(JTA) — Lily Widner has cheated death too many times to remember each close call. The 97-year-old Jewish Floridian survived starvation in the ghetto of her native Polish city of Lodz, two Nazi death camps and one of humanity’s worst aerial bombardments. By the end of World War II, she was the sole living member of her nuclear family of six. Widner’s remarkable ability to survive is one reason that her family was outraged to learn recently that Polish authorities in 2010 issued a death certificate for her. She not only is alive but actively fighting in Polish courts for restitution of her family’s assets in Lodz. After issuing the death certificate, authorities also declared that Widner has no heirs, voiding her restitution claims. This despite the fact that she has a son whose existence was made known to Polish authorities, documents seen by JTA indicate. “I think it’s a travesty,” Mark Widner, Lily’s son, told JTA about the curious pronouncement of his mother’s death by Lodz city authorities. “I don’t think it was an honest mistake.” He cited an ongoing restitution trial that dates back to decades-long efforts by his mother to retrieve family property. The City of Lodz and Poland’s Interior Ministry have not replied to JTA’s requests for comment on the case. As with many claims, part of the problem may have been that Widner, nee Miriam Goldring, had changed her name (Polish authorities have been made aware of that). But to some activists seeking restitution for Jewish property in Poland, Widner’s case is indicative of systemic failures in the Polish restitution process. Its critics say it is Kafkaesque, ineffective and insensitive to survivors. Widner’s case is “not atypical” of others in Poland, Gideon Taylor, the chairman of operations of the World Jewish Restitution

Organization, told JTA. “The bigger picture is that the Polish court system does not act in the interest of justice,” said Brian Kramer, a Florida-based lawyer who is representing Widner and specializes in restitution claims in Poland. Despite pledges to compensate Holocaust survivors for property that was first stolen by the Nazis and then confiscated by Polish authorities, post-communist governments in Poland “have constantly been putting hurdles before claimants, and Mrs. Widner’s case epitomizes this,” he said. Restitution is a painful subject across Europe, but Poland is often singled out for criticism because it is the only major country in the former communist bloc that has “not passed any comprehensive legislation to return private property confiscated by the Nazis or nationalized” by the communists, Taylor said. Hania Rosenberg, an 84-year-old Polandborn survivor from Sweden, has been fighting for years for restitution for her family’s property in Ledziny, near Krakow. She described her fight as a “carousel.” “You go around and around and around and around,” she told The New York Times in 2017. “You have to produce the documents that they need, and then it’s not enough. There are always more documents you need to provide.” Even families with the required documents, like that of Yoram Sztykgold in Israel, are waiting indefinitely until Polish authorities agree to accept their claims. It’s a policy with large-scale implications for restitution in a country that had 3.3 million Jews before the Holocaust – by far the largest Jewish population on the continent. The magnitude of property stolen — estimated in the billions of dollars — is among the reasons that the issue of restitution is divisive and frightening to many in Poland, which is one of the European Union’s poorest nations. It also raises considerable resistance in a nation where 3 million non-Jews died in

Brian Kramer, shown in Warsaw in 2016, is the Florida-based lawyer representing Lily Widner in her restitution case. (Courtesy of Kramer) World War II and whose nationalist government defiantly rejects any notion of local culpability for the fate of Jews. And, finally, acknowledging that Jews have a case for restitution risks setting a precedent for other populations and groups whose property was stolen, principally churches and the Polish nobility. Notwithstanding, pressure on Poland is mounting. Last year, President Donald Trump signed the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today Act, which requires the State Department to monitor the activities of European countries on the subject and report their progress to Congress. Last year, 59 U.S. senators signed a letter protesting proposed legislation in Poland that would have made it even more difficult for most survivors to claim property. The bill eventually was withdrawn. In 2014, 50 British lawmakers protested in a

letter how “Poland stands out in its failure to fulfill – or even recognize – its responsibility to victims.” Only six months to act In 2016, as part of legislation that was trying to close old moribund claims in Warsaw, the municipality was required to announce that there were still pending claims, many of which dated to the immediate postwar period. This related to 2,613 properties that had been claimed in the past but where the procedure was never completed. Once the city announces a claim’s reopening, claimants have only six months to act. Taylor of the Claims Conference says it’s an unreasonably short period of time for claimants and heirs to meet the requirements for original and notarized documents for assets lost decades ago to people who are often no longer alive. Only about 300 cases have been opened, resulting in no compensation for any claimant. The city recently stopped reopening cases. In Warsaw, some claimants now have hope of following a restitution procedure – however flawed it may be – but outside the capital “there are no means to recover property,” Taylor said, except for a handful of cases where claimants can prove that the original process of confiscation was somehow technically flawed. That’s bad for countless claimants and for Polish-Jewish relations, which last year deteriorated because of government legislation that made it a crime to blame the Polish nation for what happened to its Jews in the Holocaust. Taylor argues it’s also harmful for Poland itself. “For any society, not resolving major property issues and having them remain open for decades into this era, that’s not a positive place to be,” he said. “The problem isn’t going away, and the question that Polish governments need to ask themselves is whether they want to continue having long-term ownership challenges going into the future.”

holocaust rememberance day

February 2019

100 year-old Holocaust survivor reflects on the duty to remember SYDNEY JEWISH MUSEUM


groups. More than 60 Holocaust survivors living in Australia established the Museum

On the 31st of January 2019, Holocaust survivor Lena Goldstein (nee Midler) turned 100. Lena was born in 1919 in Lublin, Poland. She was confined in the Warsaw Ghetto, from which she eventually escaped in April 1943. Lena was recruited by the resistance movement in the Warsaw Ghetto to fight against the Germans and assisted fellow Jews in the struggle for survival. Lena stole uniforms and lightbulbs, which were filled with kerosene and used as Molotov cocktails. Following her escape from the ghetto in 1943, Lena was hidden by a Polish caretaker for 18 months. Later, her hiding spot was an underground bunker, cramped together with eight others. Lena set to writing a satirical newsletter for her companions in the bunker, “just to put some humour into the tragic life that we were living in the bunker.” Lena’s outward humour during this time was masking her actual anxieties. Lena’s satirical ‘Bunker Weekly’ and her personal diary entries from this time are now held in the Sydney Jewish Museum’s collection for safekeeping. Lena was liberated in January 1945 after spending 6 months in the bunker. She married Alexander Goldstein and immigrated to Australia in 1949. Since 2007, Lena has volunteered her time at the Sydney Jewish Museum, delivering her testimony and talking to visiting student

as a repository for their stories and artefacts, and a centre for educating the community and the broader public on the dark period of history that they experienced. The Sydney Jewish Museum has been centrally important to Lena for more than a decade, and she is adamant that the Museum’s existence is crucial well into the future, so that “the future generations know what we had to go through.” “I pass my baton – that is what I went through – to the next generation, and their duty is to pass it to the next one and the next one, so it will never be forgotten.” – Lena Goldstein, 2017 Donations from supporters of the Sydney Jewish Museum will ensure the hopes of Lena and other Holocaust survivors are perpetuated well into the future. Support the Sydney Jewish Museum by donating online at, or calling the Museum on 9360 7999. A biography of Lena Goldstein’s life written by author Barbara Miller, If I Survive, will be launched at the Sydney Jewish Museum on Sunday 10 February, 2.30pm. To book your place, email or call 9360 7999.

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February 2019

Australia Day awards for Shaare Zedek


The recent Australia Day awards were especially significant for the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek Inc. Dr. Nathan Isaac Cherny was appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his significant service to medicine, and to education, in the fields of palliative care and medical oncology. Dr Cherny serves as the Norman Levan Chair for Humanistic Medicine and the Director of the Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine Services at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre Jerusalem He is a well-known personality in the Australian Jewish Community. Nathan was born in Australia and both his father and brother are highly respected medical professionals. Nathan is a graduate of Mount Scopus and he completed his medical training at Monash University. He made Aliya over 30 years ago and regularly visits his friends and family in Australia. Among his many achievements, he established the undergraduate training programme in palliative care at Monash University while completing his fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians with specialist recognition in oncology and palliative medicine. Since 2007, Dr Cherny has served as Norman Levan Chair of Humanistic Medicine at Shaare Zedek Medical Center. As a medical oncologist he was the co-

founder of the Integrated Oncology and Palliative Medicine Department and Director of the Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine Service at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre since 1994. Dr Cherny is recognised as a world authority in his field. His awards and recognition include: Recipient, Honorary Doctorate of Laws (Honoris Causa), Monash University, 2017. Recipient, Danielle Foundation Award, 2017 (for outstanding humanism in care). Recipient, Medical Book Awards, British Medical Association, 2016. Recipient, Policy Development Award, European Association for Palliative Care, 2016. Recipient, European Society for Medical Oncology Award, 2015 (for contribution to the development of oncology in Europe). In another Australia Day award that was a source of much pride for the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek Inc. Mr Tom May, Board Member of AFSZ was awarded OAM for Service to the Law. Tom has been a director of the Law Institute of Victoria. His communal work in addition to his involvement with AFSZ Inc includes the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, The Melbourne Chevra Kadisha and The Melbourne Eruv.

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February 2019



Right-wing killings eclipsed all other extremist-related murders in 2018. The numbers don’t lie JTA NEW YORK (JTA) — Every year, extremism takes a deadly toll around the world. No region is immune — not the Middle East, not Europe, and not the United States. In 2018, there were at least 50 Americans killed by extremists from different movements. Many of the victims were Jews. Eleven members of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh lost their lives in October at the hands of a vicious white supremacist convinced that Jews were engineering mass immigration of nonwhites into the U.S. Blaze Bernstein, a young gay Jewish man, was murdered in California last January by a former classmate who allegedly was a member of a violent neo-Nazi group. And five of the 17 victims of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, a budding white supremacist, were Jewish. But Jews were hardly the only victims of deadly extremist violence in 2018. A white supremacist at a Veterans Affairs home in Tennessee allegedly set his African-American roommate on fire, then boasted about it to a white supremacist group. Just months before the Tree of Life shooting, another Pittsburgh white supremacist was charged with stabbing an African-American man to death while on a quest to visit bars and repeat the “n-word” until being kicked out. In November, Scott Beierle opened fire at a Florida yoga studio, killing two and wounding four others in an apparent spree of misogynistic violence. In 17 different incidents across the country last year, people lost their lives to extremists. Some attacks were ideological in nature, others personal; for a few, the motivation remains murky. The 50 deaths topped the 37 individuals killed by extremists in 2017 and made 2018 the fourthdeadliest year on record for domestic extremistrelated killings since 1970. Largely absent from this list of killers were extremists motivated by radical interpretations

Protesters and counterprotesters clash during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017. (Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images) of Islam. Only one of the 50 murders had any connection to Islamist extremism — and even then the perpetrator had ties to white supremacy. In 2018, the U.S. was thankfully spared the mass murders by Islamist extremists we’ve seen in recent years. To be clear, there were Islamist-inspired terrorist plots and people arrested on charges such as providing support to such individuals. And we have seen real challenges from this type of violence abroad. However, it is a reminder about the unfairness of peddling anti-Muslim bias or making hysterical claims about faith-based extremists grounded in fiction rather than fact. And yet these statistics communicate a clear message that the U.S. must pay more attention to

dangers posed by domestic right-wing extremism — without neglecting the genuine need to prevent all forms of extremist violence. There are more than a dozen active right-wing extremist movements in the U.S. that are violent, such as white supremacists, anti-government sovereign citizens and militias, and anti-Muslim and antiimmigrant extremists. The fact is right-wing extremists collectively have been responsible for more than 70 percent of the 427 extremist-related killings over the past 10 years, far outnumbering those committed by leftwing extremists or domestic Islamist extremists — even with the sharp rise of Islamist-extremist killings in the past five years. These murder statistics send us a clear

message: Right-wing extremist violence needs to be addressed. It will not go away on its own. Indeed, as our Center on Extremism has documented, the white supremacist movement is growing. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October was a reminder of what can happen when anti-Semitism, a key ingredient of white supremacist bile, is left unchecked. If we want a safe society for Jews and all Americans, we must address this problem. Extremist, right-wing violence is a problem that can be addressed. Congress should ensure that the executive branch is tracking and focusing on domestic terrorism through legislation like the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act. The federal government should collect data on domestic terrorism and provide for training for law enforcement on best practices. Hate crimes laws can also be improved. Five states still don’t even have a hate crimes law on their books. Many other states have significant gaps or weaknesses in their laws. We also need to address our broken hate crimes reporting system because it is woeful. Hate crimes are significantly underreported to the FBI because of victims not coming forward or by law enforcement agencies failing to report hate crimes. This, too, must be addressed. We can and must do more to counter this growing threat of extremism. We can promote anti-bias and civic education programs. We can promote programs within communities to counter extremist propaganda and recruiting. We can help educate the technology sector about the need to combat hate and extremism on its platforms. We can’t solve extremism. But there is so much more we should do to make sure the people who died at the hands of extremists in 2018 — and those who died before them — did not perish in vain. We can do better.

The wisdom behind Israel’s crazy multi-party system JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli politics looks like a big mess right now. In the past few weeks, three new parties have been launched and one party has kicked out a former partner. More changes are likely, too. It probably will get messier still if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted before national elections are held on April 9. The latest polls show 12 to 14 parties entering the new Knesset, many with the bare minimum of four seats. (The Knesset has 120 seats.) That would be up from 10 in the recently dissolved parliament. But expect those early tallies to change. The polls diverge widely in their counts, and more political surprises are surely in store. For Brits and especially Americans, who are used to two-party politics, this fluid situation may seem like a weakness of Israeli democracy, but it is actually a sign of its strength. As they say in the tech world, Israel’s political condition is a feature not a bug. Why is that? The games of musical chairs, with parties breaking away and others being fired, are not only being driven by political egos. That’s not to say no egos are in play. But the emergence of new parties and the shrinking of older ones are based on the notion that the Israeli voter is “woke” and caring. Voters have demands, opinions and desires, and the country’s politicians are trying to find out what they want. Hardly any voters are in the back pockets of politicos, who cannot take anyone for granted. Most Israelis no longer vote based on family traditions, ethnic loyalty or rabbinic directives. They change their minds every campaign. Old and influential Zionist movements like Labor and the

Miki Zohar, center, chairman of the House Committee of the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, chairs a vote on the split of Ayelet Shaked, Naftali Bennett and Shuli Muallem from the Jewish Home party to form a new party called The New Right, Dec. 30, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) National Religious Party are losing ground politically, even though people still believe in the ideologies. Voters are making specific demands of their leaders and will not be loyal to a politician just because he or she heads a particular party. These continuing splits have also shattered the traditional support networks of the old-line parties. Labor cannot count on the support that its “ground troops” from the Histadrut labor unions and kibbutzim used to provide. The religious parties used to be able to count on their B’nei Akiva youth groups and yeshiva students. Such networks

are less important in an era of internet campaigning, and that traditional support is certainly not showing up on Election Day. Not even the haredi Orthodox vote en bloc anymore. You would have thought that in a right-wing government they would get what they want. But they didn’t and in the end, there will be army conscription of young haredi men, even in a right-wing coalition. Overall, the haredim hold fewer seats than their demographics would suggest. It is even possible that the Sephardic haredi party Shas won’t receive enough votes to gain Knesset seats. With right-wingers Naftali

Bennett and Ayelet Shaked exiting the Jewish Home party, its remnants, primarily the old National Religious Party, also may not exceed the electoral threshold of four seats. Other examples of such fracturing abound. Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party doesn’t represent Russian Israelis anymore. The Arab political parties are a more complicated matter, but on numbers alone, one would think they could hold more than 20 seats in the 120-member Knesset, as Arab Israelis represent 20 percent of the country’s population. But they are stuck in the low double digits. By my estimates, only 20-25 percent of voters cast their ballots according to tradition, and they are clustered in the Likud and haredi parties. That is not a large enough percentage to be a game changer. The game changer is the other 75 percent. The Israeli political map in the 2019 election is different from 2015’s, which was different from those in 2012 and 2009. This is not a sign of chaos. Rather it is a sign of a mature democracy and shows voters’ critical thinking about politics. They say, “I won’t vote for you just because I voted for you last time or because I was raised in your educational system.” There are no loyalties. This direct influence of the individual citizen on politics is the real check and balance in our political system, especially as we don’t have a constitution and the courts are under attack. Even Benjamin Netanyahu, a great CONTINUED ON PAGE 15



February 2019

Is Our Criminal Justice System Fair? CHABAD

In the coming weeks and months, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth will offer Crime and Consequence, a new six-session course by the acclaimed Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) exploring 3000 years of Jewish perspective on conviction, sentencing, and criminal rehabilitation. Participants in the course will challenge their thinking, ponder the implications of ancient Talmudic wisdom for complex modern cases, and get to the heart of the most pressing injustices facing our criminal justice system today. “DNA testing is proving that we’ve been convicting innocent people. When we incarcerate first-time offenders, we’re turning them into hardened criminals. Known murderers are able to walk free on a technicality. How can we stand by and remain silent to these serious flaws in our criminal justice system? Participants in the course will ponder foundational questions: What is the goal of criminal punishment—to gain retribution for the victim, to keep criminals off the streets and safeguard from future crime, to set an example and instil the fear of law, or to rehabilitate the criminal and reintroduce him to society? Should we consider testimonies given in exchange for a reduced sentence as reliable evidence? The course also boldly addresses society’s most serious sentencing questions: Is lifewithout-parole a justifiable penalty? Is the

death penalty acceptable? When may such options be warranted? Is there a better way? “Crime and Consequence is for people who care deeply about humanity, who are enraged at injustice, and who are fascinated by real-life catch-22 scenarios,” remarked Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI’s Brooklyn, New York headquarters. “Participants in the course will uncover the humanity within all people—including criminals, question judicial practices that seem unethical and unfair, and explore effective crime deterrents.” “It is a profound irony that the United States is a true beacon of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law while it imprisons more of its own citizenry than any other country,” wrote Professor Alan Dershowitz, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Law School, in his endorsement of the course. “Crime and Consequence . . . brings rigorous legal analysis, statistical data on incarceration and rehabilitation, and case studies into a uniquely profound dialogue with the values undergirding our entire political tradition.” JLI, the adult education branch of ChabadLubavitch, offers programs in more than 1000 locations across the world, including Australia. The course commences in February, March and May in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. For more information, please contact the Australian Regional JLI office at: info@ or call 0294889548 for locations, dates and booking information.

Crime And Consequence A new six-session course from the ROHR Jewish Learning Institute

A Jewish exploration of conviction, sentencing & criminal rehabilitation.


Hi, I’m David*, the designer of this flyer. I’m incarcerated at Borallon Training & Correctional Centre in Queensland, Australia. Unlike most of the world’s prisoners, I get a chance to practice and keep my graphic design skills sharp and stay on top of the game by working at a company called Barbed Design. I spend my days designing emails such as this one even as I sit behind bars. I hope this will ensure an easier transition back into society once I get out.


I invite you to join JLI’s Crime and Consequence to learn about new and effective approaches to criminal rehabilitation. *My name has been changed to protect my identity.

Endorsed by:


In Crime and Consequence, we explore 3000 years of Jewish wisdom concerning criminal convictions, sentencing, crime prevention, and rehabilitation. We challenge our thinking, pondering the application of Talmudic principles to real and complex, modern-day cases. Should we consider testimonies given in exchange for a reduced sentence as reliable evidence? What is the goal of punishing criminals? Is it to gain retribution for the victim, keep criminals off the streets and safeguard from future crime, set an example and instill the fear of law, or to rehabilitate the criminal and reintroduce him to society?



Is life-without-parole a justifiable penalty? Is it within our right to sentence a man to death? When would these be warranted? Is there a better way? In Crime and Consequence, we learn to discover and recover the humanity within criminals, we question practices that seem unethical and unfair, and we explore ways to prevent crime from ever taking place. Crime and Consequence is for people who care deeply about humanity, are enraged at injustice, are fascinated by difficult-to-solve real-life scenarios, and are committed to seeing a system that is just and fair to all.

Fairness in justice simply cannot be left to chance

cour se is offered in Sy dne y, Brisba ne and P er t h Sydney:

North Shore Chabad, commencing March 5, 2019: For more information and online bookings go to: WWW.CHABADHOUSE.ORG.AU Eastern Suburbs Dover Heights Shul, commencing May 8, 2019: For more information contact Rabbi Motti at: or call 0404008572


Brisbane City or Carindale (South East), commencing February 11, 2019: for more information or online bookings got to: WWW.CHABADBRISBANE.COM


Noranda, commencing Feb 11, 2019: For more information contact Rabbi White at: or call 0892753500



February 2019

New Rabbi helps membership thrive at Kehillat Kadimah KEHILLAT KADIMAH

A very famous Jewish comedian once said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Groucho Marx was actually referring to a tennis club from which he wished to escape, but perhaps unwittingly you have been influenced by this feeling and resisted the idea of joining a shul. But resist no more. Things are beginning to happen at Kehillat Kadimah, the Orthodox shul in the heart of Rose Bay. In December, Rabbi Dovy Rapoport joined Kehillat Kadimah as Communal Rabbi, together with his wife Rikvah and children Ella (5) and Nissi (3). In a short space of time they have brought a new energy and fresh way of thinking to the community’s multigenerational congregation, and in doing so, are attracting more members through their approachable, relevant and relatable personalities. Importantly, they are committed to helping grow the presence of youth and young families in the shul together with all other age groups, while simultaneously nurturing existing members. “We are hoping that 2019 will be a year in which we can inspire the community and create a vibrant spirit of excitement, unity and connectivity to Orthodox Zionist Judaism,” Rabbi Dovy Rapoport commented. “We know a lot of young families in Rose Bay and the surrounding suburbs who want to connect with a shul, but have not yet found the right home.

We want Kehillat Kadimah to be part of their Jewish home.” So what does this mean for someone considering becoming part of our vibrant community? On 1st February, Kehillat Kadimah launched a new membership initiative aimed at those under the age of 40 (also known as Gen Y and Millennials). Under the limited offer, the first 50 membership applications from people who have not previously been members of Kehillat Kadimah will receive two years of membership for the price of one. The regular annual cost of $1,380 will cover membership until 31 December 2020 (24 months instead of 12 months), and includes a seat for two sets of High Holy Day periods. This initiative will run until end of March, or until all allotments have been filled. Benefits of membership includes a lower cost of holding a simcha at Kehillat Kadimah, such as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, as well as a lower cost to attend inspirational and educational shiurim and lectures. It will also include lower priced use of the halls and facilities which will all be helpful to young families who have upcoming family simchas. Importantly, this is an opportunity for those who haven’t found “their shul” to become part of a community. To take advantage of this offer, or for more information, please contact Kehillat Kadimah’s General Manager, Mervyn Katz: 9371 7300 or gm@

The wisdom behind Israel’s crazy multi-party system FROM PAGE 13 politician, has to seesaw back and forth among differing ideas. You cannot fool Israelis, and he knows it. The argument that most of Israel’s Jewish population is right wing is a fact, but it’s a result of the current situation. It wasn’t like that always, and it won’t always be like that. Bibi won’t be here forever. Even though Likud looks as if it is the last of the old-line parties to retain its deep core intact, the day that Netanyahu goes – and that day will come – Likud will implode as its historic rivals and partners have. He’s the only one holding the Likud together. A governing coalition with many small parties is a problem. But I prefer a fragile system that is sensitive to the different opinions in society than strong leadership like a presidential system. Israel’s politics may seem chaotic, but it gets things done. Innovative legislation of cannabis exports, child vaccinations and cigarette labeling made it through the system before the Knesset dissolved. The two-party, presidential system in the U.S. has ground to a halt, the result of a polarized electorate and differing parties running the two houses of the Congress. America’s founders wanted governing to be difficult, but they also wanted consensus of a sort — seemingly impossible in a system that demands a stark choice between two sides of a

divide. Unlike Donald Trump, Netanyahu cannot just play to his “base.” The forming and reforming of factions means he is always in danger. You can argue that danger paralyzes him from acting, but it also demands more caution. In a society with a lot of friction, it gives more representative power to different parts of society, which is what democracy is about. I prefer that to some kind of political tyranny or a democracy that grinds to a halt. A democracy is not tested by the power of a ruler but by the constraints it imposes on power. A prime minister in a parliamentary system must be open and listen. He or she has to make concessions, even to small parties. There will always be people who are unhappy, and here, virtually every political group is both happy and unhappy, depending on the moment. One of the proofs of this is our high voter turnout. Nearly 72 percent of Israel’s eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2015 election, compared to 58 percent in the United States in 2016, a presidential year, and less than 50 percent in 2018 — itself the highest midterms turnout since 1914. Either Israelis are naive – they are not – or they think the system is working. Elections in Israel are an example of the trust people have in the political system, and the greater the noise and chaos, the greater the involvement and engagement.

Live it. Daily.

KESSER TORAH COLLEGE HSC 2018 Top Achievers – in the following subjects: Biology 50% in the top band Classical Hebrew Continuers 50% in the top band Classical Hebrew Extension Chemistry English (Advanced) Mathematics Mathematics Extension 1 Mathematics Extension 2 Mathematics General 2 Modern Hebrew Continuers

100% in the top band 100% in the top two bands 100% in the top two bands 50% in the top two bands 100% in the top two bands 100% in the top two bands 35% in the top two bands 100% in the top band

HSC Dux ATAR 99.55 – Shani Biton 36% achieved ATAR above 90 57% achieved ATAR in the top 2 bands Elite Achievers 1st in State – Classical Hebrew Extension (Ariella Rev) 4th in State – Modern Hebrew Continuers (Yehuda Eisenberg, Year 10) This list contains honours for those students who were included in the prestigious Honour Roll of Elite Achievers for all-round achievement, best in course and all Band 6/E4 results: Ariella Rev, Arielle Boskila, Chanie Gershowitz, Danielle Samama, Deborah Bui, Haim Ber Hirschowitz, Miriam Tuvel, Shani Biton, Tiferet Malka, Yehuda Eisenberg. Mazel Tov to the Class of 2018 and their teachers. Thank you for a wonderful contribution to the life of the College. “Wishing you all hatzlacha for the years ahead.” Roy Steinman, College Principal 68 BLAKE STREET DOVER HEIGHTS NSW 2030 +61 2 9301 1141 ENROLMENTS@KTC.NSW.EDU.AU



February 2019

New Year, New Leadership at Masada College MASADA COLLEGE The new school year means new opportunities for learning, growth and development. And of course, it also means new beginnings. Not only does 2019 mark the start of an exciting educational journey for many commencing and returning students at Masada College, it also brings in new leadership positions for College Principal, Mr. Martin Tait, Head of Senior School, Ms. Megan Laing and Head of Junior School, Mrs. Danielle Blumberg. College Principal, Martin Tait has both the knowledge and experience leading the school into the future as his previous role as Head of Junior School and College Deputy Principal involved overseeing and leading the entire campus. Mr Tait has also had a plethora of leadership experiences and roles in working overseas in Singapore, in Western Australia and across prominent independent schools in New South Wales. He says that one of the projects he’s excited for this year is the prospects of a collaborative, multicultural initiative that brings Masada College together with a Muslim and Christian school. The College will also be focusing on implementing SEQTA, an innovative integrative software management tool for teaching staff. “This software will help refine systems and improve communication, particularly with regard to pastoral care and teaching and learning curricula,” says Mr. Tait. Recently appointed Head of Senior School, Ms. Megan Laing, who has worked

internationally in China as a Head of School as well as in Melbourne as a Head of Middle School, feels that a new year presents the opportunity to build and cement relationships with the staff, students and parents. “I instantly connected with the warm environment and a shared passion for teaching that I felt here. I’m excited to be working with a team that’s truly invested in their students,” says Ms. Laing. Ms. Laing also plans to implement 6- weekly interim reports to inspire more conversation around school performance, as well as an early commencement program at the end of the year. For Mrs. Danielle Blumberg, Head of

Minister Praises Chabad ACT’s Early Childhood Centre CHABAD ACT ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Community Services and Facilities, Roads and City Services, Chris Steel MLA, honoured the Jewish Community with a visit to Chabad ACT HQ and Gan Yisroel Community and Childcare Centre last week. The Minister was given a tour of the centre and interacted with the children and staff. Following the tour, the Minister enjoyed a Kosher morning tea meeting with the Rabbi and senior community representatives. After the visit the Minister wrote: “I would like to thank Chabad ACT for the privilege of visiting the Gan Yisroel preschool. Over the course of my career I’ve visited many early childhood centres across Australia and Gan Yisroel stands out for its commitment to supporting a diversity of children in such a welcoming environment. Quality early childhood services like Gan Yisroel are giving children vital early learning experiences that boost their development well

into schooling. Thank you to Rabbi Shmueli Feldman and the early childhood educators at Gan Yisroel for giving the children in our community the best start.” Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, Chairman of Chabad ACT and Director of Gan Yisroel Community and Childcare Centre said: “We are grateful for the Minister’s visit and subsequent gracious message. We value Minister Steel’s ongoing friendship and support for our Jewish Community and bless him with continued success in his work”. The Minister’s visit came a month after a routine full Government audit of compliance at Canberra and Region’s only Jewish Early Learning Centre. The ACT Department of Education’s auditor completed the extensive inspection and reported: “It was great to see the centre expanding and improving continuously in all aspects. I am pleased that the centre has maintained a high level of compliance since the last audit.”

Junior School and former Head of Academic Care at Masada College, this year promises clear directions after last year with the transitions. “I’m looking forward to greater collaboration between our ELC and Junior School and we are in the process of engaging with an external group, Young Engineers to strengthen our science teaching for Years K - 6, as part of our focus on STEM education,” she says. The College also plans to bring in the URStrong social skill curriculum to complement Stephen Covey’s Leader In Me program, both of which will help Junior School students develop their interpersonal skills. Mrs. Blumberg, who introduced the

acclaimed High Potential Learners Program into the school in 2017, says this year will also see the addition of a specialist Learning Support Teacher in the Junior School, a School Counsellor as well as Psychology interns who will be implementing well-being programs across the College. Masada College certainly has a new year filled with potential. However, while there may be new faces and roles at the College, there are some facets of the school that will always remain the same - that is, a shared vision and mission of a Modern Orthodox Jewish Day School which pride s itself on inclusivity.

Ganeinu Long Day Care & Preschool As part of their celebration of Tu B’Shevat, Rabbi Nochum Schapiro was invited to assist the children at Ganeinu Long Day Care & Preschool in St Ives to plant a Mandarin tree. The children were also treated to a wide variety of fruits including the fruits unique to Israel that are customarily eaten on this day. The children found this experience memorable, making a connection between the festival of Tu B’Shevat and Rabbi Schapiro in their about the activity. Ganeinu is one of the community services of Chabad House of the North Shore, and offers education and care for children in the local community from 2 months to 6 years old.



February 2019

BJE and Bunnings Challah Board Creations


BJE partnered with Bunnings Eastgardens where children were excited to build their own Challah boards as part of the Bunnings DIY workshop, which supports local community groups. The event was a huge hit for both excited parents and their children. Parents remarked that they “loved the idea of making challah boards, which they have used every Friday night for Shabbat since the event. We are so grateful to BJE for creating such an innovative and fun event” BJE has many exciting events coming up in 2019. Please follow BJE on FB (NSWBJE) and Instagram (@nswbje) to be informed of more exciting events in 2019!


First in State Drama Genevieve Goldman ATAR: 98.00

Third in State Ancient History Brandon Kaye ATAR: 99.50

Dux and Top ATAR Aaron Ellis-Bloor ATAR 99.80

ALL-ROUND ACHIEVERS All-Round Achievers scored a Band 6/E4 result for 10 or more units

Aaron Ellis-Bloor Gina Seligsohn Sara Bortz Sonia Redman

ATAR: 99.80 ATAR: 99.15 ATAR: 98.60



ATAR 90+

ATAR 95+

STATE RANKING 45th in the State


51% of students 73% of students



February 2019

Back to school snap shots Mount Sinai College

Moriah College

Emanuel Woollahra

Hug a bub

February 2019

jewish learning

Back to school snap shots Kesser Torah College

Masada College



jewish learning

February 2019



Why do we keep the name of a baby boy a secret until his bris?

Derech Eretz (‫)דרך ארץ‬ Pronounced DEH-rech EHH-retz, this Hebrew phrase literally means “the way of the world” and is the way the ancient rabbis referred to common decency.


ome behavior must be legislated in order for society to function. We need to have tax regulations, traffic rules, bankruptcy laws, and trial procedures. But then there are things that should not need to be the subject of bylaws, statutes, or house rules: chewing gum is not to be disposed of on furniture or a floor; answering a telephone requires a pleasant demeanor; in a crowded parking lot one should park within the lines. In Hebrew, such basic, obvious consideration for others is called derech eretz, which might be translated literally as “the way of the world.” A Slippery Concept The concept of derech eretz is slippery, because it is often used to describe ideas one could have expected to remain unspoken. The term can mean “common decency,” as when the Rabbis inform us that the Torah is teaching us derech eretz when it instructs us to greet others even before they greet us, or when it instructs us not to enter another person’s home (or even one’s own) abruptly. In this usage, derech eretz is reminiscent of a rhetorical ploy adults often use on children–the firstperson plural as a veiled instruction, inculcating a sensitivity for social expectations: “We don’t do that,” “We do such-and-such this way,” implying that one is aberrant or, at least, impolite if one does otherwise. However, the phrase can also have

a sense closer to its literal meaning, something like “the way things work,” or “the way it is.” It is this sense of derech eretz that the Rabbis have in mind when they teach us to invite or allow our elders or teachers with whom we dine to take food first, or when they instruct us that we are judged in our home towns by our reputation but elsewhere by our clothing. That’s the way life works, they seem to be saying, and if you’re wise, you’ll recognize it and act accordingly. You Have to Make a Living One of the earliest senses of derech eretz is one’s livelihood. In the Mishna’s tractate of wise aphorisms, Avot, we read that Torah is good ‘im derech eretz, “along with a worldly occupation,” because engaging in both pursuits keep a person away from sin (Avot 2:2). Derech eretz refers here to how one sustains oneself in the material world. That sense, especially as it appears in the dictum that “derech eretz precedes the Torah” (Leviticus Rabbah 9 and elsewhere), underlies its most famous modern usage of the term. The 19thcentury German rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch who espoused a theology that has become associated with Modern Orthodoxy, called his religious approach “Torah with derech eretz,” using a traditional term to promote the idea that one’s learning should engage both traditional Judaism and the secular world.


know not everyone loves delayed gratification, but one of my favorite things in life is watching the crowd react to a name at a bris. I love the built-up anticipation that you can feel as everyone waits for the big moment, and I love hearing the parents talk about how they chose the name. It’s just so exciting! But waiting for eight whole days to announce a baby’s name can be hard on the parents, and on all of the well-wishers. So what gives? Well first of all, we now have the custom of giving the baby a name at the bris. According to Jewish law the bris has to take place on the eighth day after the boy is born. So that means we give baby boys their names on the eighth day. But why the secrecy? I asked Cantor Philip Sherman, who has been called “the busiest mohel in New York” why Jews keep baby boy names under wraps until the bris, and he had this to say: “Keeping the name a secret is based on superstition, i.e. not giving the Angel of Death the opportunity to identify the child and kill him before the bris. Two practical reasons for not disclosing the name until the bris are: 1. In case the parents decide

on a last minute change, they will not have painted themselves into a corner by announcing the Jewish name in advance and 2. It helps the parents avoid meddling relatives. This Angel of Death business might sound a bit scary, but it’s nothing more than a bubbe meise (a superstitious belief). It probably stems from high infant mortality rates that were the norm until quite recently. It wasn’t unusual for a mother or a baby to die shortly after a birth, and so all kinds of superstitious practices arose to try to ward off the risk of death. In the spirit of egalitarianism, some families have the tradition of waiting until the eighth day to announce girls’ names, too. Other families will announce a girl’s name at the Torah service after her birth. Because the Torah is read on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, these families don’t ever have to wait too long. In any event, there’s no real rule about this. It’s customary (and maybe just a sensible idea) to wait before broadcasting your choice to the world, but it’s not actually an obligation, so if you’re itching to tell, don’t worry about it.

February 2019

Is Fitness A Jewish Value? Some of the earliest texts in the Jewish canonoffered advice for healthy living and the balancing of the physical and the spiritual. Because our bodies are receptacles of our souls, and vessels of God’s light, we must keep them healthy and consider carefully what we put into them. Traditional Jewish thought suggests that we must keep our bodies well for the sake of spiritual pursuits and in order to fulfill mitzvot.. Today however, a focus on fitness is often seen as vain or improperly secular. Balancing Torah & Physical Activity It is interesting to see how far back in our tradition concerns with our physical selves and the balancing of Torah and physical activity can be found. Already in the Talmud , Rav Huna urges his son Rabbah to study with Rav Hisda. Rabbah resists, saying that Rav Hisda focuses only on secular matters: anatomy and hygiene. Rav Huna admonishes his son, saying, “He speaks of health matters, and you call that secular!” Though some individuals in the Orthodox world may value exercise, to say that as a community we do so, either philosophically, or in an organized fashion, would be a stretch. Maimonides’ Health Tips Indeed, one finds a reluctance to focus on exercise, in part because time is so limited and time spent on sport is time not spent on Torah study or hesed (good deeds) activity. Although many of us are familiar with Maimonides‘ long discussions in the Mishneh Torah about the importance of exercise and healthy, measured eating, we rarely take the details of his many recommendations to heart. For example, Maimonides states that a person “should engage one’s body and exert oneself in a sweat-producing task each morning.” Despite Maimonides’ words, this centrality of exercise is simply not part of normative Orthodox Judaism. Many of us are also aware of the daily morning tefillah that focuses on our health and posture: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who straightens the bent.” Is this just a metaphor, or would participation in exercise that straightens our bodies so they are not hunched, stooped, bent, or subject to skeletal pain, not help us be true to the profound words of our prayer? Awaking Your Bones Martin Buber recorded a story of Rav Simhah Bunim, of Przysucha, who took very literally the words of our prayer that relate to physical awareness. According to the story, Rav Simhah arrived late for synagogue one Shabbat morning. When asked why he was so late, he quoted from Pesukei d’zimra, preliminary blessings and


jewish learning

psalms (Psalms 35:10), which he had missed reciting because of his lateness: “All my bones shall say, who is like You, God?” How then, Rav Simhah asked, could he come to pray before his bones were all awake? Most likely, we view the words of Psalms that Rav Simhah quoted in a metaphorical sense. However, anyone who has done yoga, or any type of intensive physical activity, knows that awakening our bones need not be simply a metaphorical act. It can be profoundly physical as well as mental, and these realms connect to the spiritual. Nowhere am I more mindful of how much yoga has awakened my bones, lengthened my spine, and grounded my stance than when I stand and prepare to say the Amidah. Rav Kook Connects The Physical & The Spiritual In the 20th century, Rav Kook went much further in connecting physical and spiritual health. He claimed that physical health is in itself a value in the process of repentance and that, in each human organism, there is a constant reciprocal relationship between body and spirit. Rav Kook promoted a Zionism that strove to restore health to the body of the Jewish people so that its spiritual life could flower to its fullest. He intended this restoration to occur not only on the metaphorical level in terms of the strength of the State of Israel but also with respect to the strength of every person: “Great is our physical demand. We need a healthy body. We dealt much with soulfulness; we forgot the holiness of the body. We neglected the physical health and strength; we forgot that we have holy flesh; no less than holy spirit…” He continues: “Our teshuva (repentance) will succeed only if it will be–with all its splendid spirituality–also a physical return, which produces

healthy blood, healthy flesh, mighty solid bodies, a fiery spirit radiating over powerful muscles…” A proper emphasis on physical health is linked with how and what we eat. Jewish tradition has elaborate guidelines for how we are to approach food: what we are permitted to eat, when we may eat it, how it must be prepared, and what types of blessings we are to recite over each bite that enters our mouths. Given this religious framework, one might assume that Jews would have a healthy relationship with food. “Traditional Foods” However, we fall victim to the same food fads and eating-related health problems that plague society at large. When the words “Jews and food” are mentioned together, the reverence our tradition has historically had for food is not the first thing that comes to mind. Instead, we recognize, often with humor, how linked our holidays and celebrations are with food customs and with eating. No significant date in the Jewish calendar is properly observed without either an overwhelming abundance or complete absence of food. Our celebrations are famous for fare ranging from bagels, lox, and rugelach to full-blown, allyou-can-eat smorgasbords. An examination of some of the disconnect that has developed between Jews and our ancient links with food, can help us regain a more positive and healthful attitude towards eating. While agriculture dictated the lives of our ancestors, contemporary Jews must often reference a list to learn which berakha (blessing) to say on a given piece of food. Many foods we consider “traditional” today result from the efforts of hungry people to ensure that no animal parts went to waste. Ironically, we now scour specialty food markets for exotic ingredients to prepare the “traditional” foods that were once simply the local fare of

our dispersed Diaspora ancestors, valuing the wisdom we find in a recipe over our own fresh and local ingredients. There are modern secular food movements called “slow food” (a counter to “fast” food) and “local food” which urge people to know and appreciate how food is grown and harvested, and if possible, to participate in these activities themselves. Like fitness trends, Orthodox Jews are not at the forefront of these food movements. However, one can argue that the blessings that we recite over food in our tradition promote the same type of awareness and reverence these movements encourage. Discovering The Origins of Our Food The formulation of the food blessings not only allows us to thank the Creator for something with which to fill our bellies, but also demands that we have knowledge about the origins of our food. To choose the correct blessing, we must know how a given food grows (on trees or closer to the ground, for example), what key ingredients a dish contains, and what type of processing a food has undergone before it arrives on our table. Our blessings also indicate in their wording a concern for the nutritional content of food. “Birkat hamazon“ literally means “blessing over sustenance.” The blessing ending with the words, “borei minei mezonot” gives thanks to “the One who creates sustenance.” We have a halachic obligation to give thanks to God for all the food we choose to eat, even “junk food” that can be detrimental to our health. Nevertheless, the words of our food blessing, if recited with intention, are a constant reminder to put into our bodies, God’s vessels, food that is nourishing. And a blessing said on a food eaten when truly hungry, is, in most cases, said with a level of intention far greater than a blessing mouthed over food eaten past the point of hunger. In short, Judaism has provided us with thoughtful food blessing, and these, if said with kavanah (intention), are likely to lead to more healthy eating. The questions of how and what we eat and how we treat our bodies are both physical and spiritual, and they are definitely Jewish questions. Both our tefillot (prayers) and our berakhot (blessings) would be more meaningful and our eating would be more healthful if we took the time to explore and consider these issues seriously. At the same time we should recognize that our religious traditions do give us a framework for relating properly to our physical selves. Reprinted with permission from JOFA, The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.

10 Ways to Use Leftover Pickle Juice Easy ways to put that sour pickle brine to use.

After you’ve enjoyed the last pickle in the jar, what else can you do but mourn the fact that you’re out of pickles? Faced with half a jar of chartreuse, tangy brine, I wondered if it could be repurposed. It’s just too flavorful to waste! Gordy’s Fine Brine, a pickle company based in Washington DC must feel the same way. They sell their pickle brine in sleek 4-packs, marketing them as a trendy cocktail mixer. Whether you want to purchase it for easy use or experiment with different brines of your own, pickle brine is officially trending, and there are a number of things you can do with it. Here are our favorite ways to re-purpose this sour, fermenty juice: SIMPLE HUMMUS: use brine in place of water or chickpea brine. TABBOULEH: use brine in place of lemon juice. SALAD DRESSING: swap brine for vinegar. BRINED VEGETABLES: you can toss soft veggies, like onions, garlic or canned artichokes, olives or even hard boiled eggs right into the jar, refrigerate, and a few days

later they’ll be flavorful and pickled. POTATO SALAD: add pickle brine for a special zing (in place of vinegar) DEVILED EGGS: add a few teaspoons into the whipped egg yolk filling PICKLE INFUSED VODKA : Add 3 parts vodka to1 part kosher dill pickle juice to a measuring cup. Add one pickle spear a glass juice jar with a lid or a mason jar. Seal the jar with the lid and store in a cool, dark place or the refrigerator for about 3 days. PICKLE BACK COLESLAW - Whisk a few tablespoons into the dressing DILL PICKLE SALSA - add brine to your mix for a tangy tast. You can also add pickles for extra flavour THE PICKLEBACK The Pickleback is a very interesting whiskey shot and a drink you have to experience for yourself. It’s incredibly simple—a shot of whiskey chased by a shot of pickle juice—and it is, without a doubt, one of the most popular shots ordered in bars around the world.



Sleep is important for happy babies and toddlers seven hours of sleep that they are lacking,


which can make a big difference to the

Babies and toddlers sleep a lot, but not necessarily in an unbroken block between 6.30pm and 6am the way their desperate parents want them to. By the age of two, most children have spent more time asleep than awake, and rightly so. Sleep has been proven to be equally as important as nutrition and stimulation in the nurturing of young people, and is absolutely vital for their healthy development. Most of the growing babies and children do is while they are sleeping. Sleep impacts mental and physical development, fosters comprehension, memory, alertness and wellbeing. Rested children are more alert and happier, they are able to concentrate better and are more even tempered than a sleep deprived child. Children who are well rested also have stronger immune systems compared to their classmates who are possibly not getting enough sleep. Growing brains produce growth hormones in the pituitary gland during the sleep process, and this is vital in stimulating various biological events occurring in the muscles, organs, blood and bones. Research shows that if a child doesn’t get the right amount and right quality of sleep, growth can be greatly affected, slowed or potentially even stunted. Sleep doesn’t only affect a child’s height but in some instances can also have an impact on the child’s heart and lung strength as well as their immune system. In a similar way, childhood obesity has also been linked to a lack of sleep. Both adults and children produce a hormone called ghrelin which regulates appetite and tells us when to stop eating, but when children or adults are sleep deprived, this hormone becomes ineffective and we are more likely to overeat or crave higher calorie nutrition. Many adults and carers know all too well, tiredness greatly affects a child’s behaviour, contributing to behavioural problems and mood swings. Lack of sleep can also affect emerging motor skills and concentration, making toddlers and children prone to accidents and bruises. I suggest you invest in blockout blinds if needed, in both children and adult bedrooms. If your little one is losing out on as little as one hour of sleep a night due to early morning waking or by going to bed a little too late, by the end of the week that’s an accumulated

growing mind and body.

February 2019 news









Page 37




VOL. 11 Friday, 5 December 2014

/ 13 Kislev, 5775





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Parents may feel keeping their toddler up later will mean they will wake later in the

president Egypt’s new - what it means for Israel


The intermarriage debate


Back to healthy eating

Is anything


Strength in diversity


Pick up a




is above all a matter of faith, of belief and of religion. The notion that the three Abrahamic faiths -- Islam, Christianity and Judaism -share common values concerning peace, Even back in the days when you could still social justice and humanity may well be use the term “peace process” true. But that has never with a straight been the case when face, the odds of solving the Jerusalem issue it comes to this city. History is filled with were already pretty long. Then, I would have claims, conquests, crusades, occupations, put those odds a bit north massacres and violence of impossible and in the name of a little south ofI 14, 5774 Things hopeless. possessing Jerusalem, are even 2014 / Adar not sharing it. worse now. Friday, 14 February And nowhere has the religious complexity FREE VOL. 1 I remember day eight of the Jerusalem issue of the Camp David been clearer than summit in July 2000, when on the question of who discussion turned controls and what to Jerusalem. That day, will happen to the Haram it was clear to me al-Sharif (Noble that as far Camp David Enclosure) and Har was concerned, it Habayit (Temple was game over. There Mount). That platform, were some intriguing situated within the moves on Israel’s part, walls of Jerusalem’s Old but nothing that could City, is in essence a have settled the issue. physical manifestation Indeed, Ehud Barak, of overlapping sacred but globally, too; and as Yasser Arafat and Bill the last few months space. Clinton could have but not always a result suggest, it is also fallen into the yawning of the perception a matter of security Atop activities gaps that separated sits the goldened Dome among Palestinians Tu B’Shevat of the Rock, fraught and framed now Israelis and Palestinians that including Israel is trying aNSW by an intimacy of Boardcentury Islamic seventh on this issue and to change the activities, shrine built by by the killing reflected in the never have been heard status of some slayings of Israeli and aspect of the Caliph Abd al-Malik from again. a project initiated Jerusalem. The and that houses the Palestinian teens this Fast forward a decade reason for this latest past summer and of round foundation and a half, and stone, a massive rock that figures of tensions, violence of Deputies. last week’s savage Palestinian being a part not much has changed. and ourselves on Jerusalem is still attack on a a perfect is prominently in Jewish and Islamic pride bloodletting report but synagogue in west Jerusalem. tradition. storm of We weAnd insoluble we it now seems factors that include on which news’ butand nearby there’s a site of the more explosive sense of isolationtheand communities even greater news is good then ever.inSoa what don’t pretend frustration on theandsignificance is it about Jerusalem/ that They say ‘no -- the al-Aqsa mosque part of the Palestinians be everywhere We believe PROXIMITY CAN BE started Yerushalayim/al-Quds we can’t of East Jerusalem by Caliph Abd lot DEADLY. that makes it so think differently. there is a al-Malik in the seventh who don’t have the know everything. Ben Franklin quipped that community potentiallyitcontentious to benefit of the social century.bravery, to the will proximity breeds and deadly? thriving Jewish services and economic Quran, it is reputed a story of dedication, According children, and contempt, Three things stand out: and that sharing If there’s advantages of towhich too. In this regard, be theinspires ascension point where Israelis in the west; Israel’s of good news; even further. the Prophet achievement, Jerusalem is unique in or to effort that it is one of the Mohammed expand also leadership our community inspire others. rose to heaven on his Jewish their communities and strengthen it will only places where Israelis growing Night IT’S A PERFECT STORM OF been chances are and Palestinians Jerusalem; in East Journey. a vibrant and Below you, presence COMPLEXITY. 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September 1996, September to change capital); it is driven by Things in Jerusalem would (never mind 2000 and of But it should be no us know. course one way letenough be bad (see below) involving surprise that given if stories isreligion and children what’s and debate, transpired in recent not just Jews, those shuls the perfect each other’s year --begins storm were driven weeks politics and passions Muslims and Christians new by attend different that the themselves thatmembers As the only Jerusalem area has not been a proximity as well as nationalist Report, in the Middle East, has often become scene of this. alike are opening a bloodywhen and political and strengthen flash point, often conflict. Sydney Jewish adults the and and But that inaugural enlighten was not to be. Jerusalemchapter of learning Continued on page In compiling of schools. create a newspaper 34 from this, our • Connect, Page 20



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morning, but this is often not the case. In fact, the opposite is usually true. It may seem counter-intuitive but once a child becomes even the smallest bit overtired from late bedtimes or poor daytime naps, then this is carried forward and the whole sleep cycle can

at any one of the following outlets:

be upended with earlier wakeups and later bedtimes being the unfortunate by-product. It is imperative toddlers get the right amount of sleep. Without sleep, a child cannot function properly. For my clients who are struggling with sleep in their children and toddlers, I advise them to take control of their sleep routine straight away. It’s not worth deferring, as sleep loss has been proven to have significant impacts on the wellbeing of these precious young people. There are plenty of tools available to improve sleep and settling. And if they can’t do it alone, there is plenty of professional help on hand. I always stress the need to start at the very beginning, with a consistent and predicable bed routine. Its impossible to underestimate how important this is. It allows little people to know what’s coming next, that sleep time is near and it helps their small bodies to wind down a notch and prepare for sleep. Avoiding screens and over stimulating activities right before bed is crucial, as keeping the child’s room dark, having clean natural linens and a safe comforting sleep environment. Parents who are looking to address all these issues and develop a good routine and healthy sleep with their children, make the call and get help. Cheryl ZZZ For more sleep tips and advice, please visit Or why not like our facebook page? Cheryl Fingleson is a paediatric sleep consultant. As a mother of two, she very well knows the feelings of agony and desperation when you have a child that struggles to settle and sleep. She doesn’t believe in leaving babies or children to cry it out, nor in the practices of controlled crying. Her approach is to empower parents with the right tools and techniques to teach their babies and children to go to sleep calmly, happily and independently.

SHABBAT TIMES DATE LIGHT CANDLES Friday, February 8, 2019 7:37pm Friday, February 15, 2019 7:30pm Friday, February 22, 2019 7:23pm

Romeos Supa IGA - St Ives Savion Savta – Bondi Junction Stanley St Cafe Eden Café Stanley Street Butcher Plaster Master Fun

RETAIL OUTLETS Bianca’s Grub Store Coles Eastgate Coles - Lindfield Coles- Rose Bay Coles - Westfield, Bondi Junction Cruises and honeymoons – Bondi Junction Gaslight Pharmacy- Rose Bay Glicks - Rose Bay Golds Bookshop Krinskys Kosher supermarket Lewis Continental Kitchen Medani Bakery Pita Mix

SYNAGOGUES Central Synagogue Chabad House of the North Shore Cremorne Synagogue Dover Heights Synagogue Jewish Learning Centre (JLC) Kehillat Kadimah Kehillat Masada Synagogue Maroubra Synagogue Mizrachi Synagogue North Shore Synagogue North Shore Temple Emanuel Ohr Hatzafon Sephardi Synagogue

SCHOOLS Clyde Street Day Care Coogee Preschool Emanuel School Ganeinu Long Day Care & Preschool Hug-A-Bub - Bondi Hug-A-Bub - Rose Bay Kesser Torah College Masada College Mount Sinai College Moriah College

Sydney Jewish Report Disclaimer:

END 8:34pm 8:26pm 8:18pm

Candle lighting times have been taken from

COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS B’nai B’rith - Rose Bay The Burger Centre COA Sydney JCA JEM’S Jewishcare Kashrut Authority KM Cares NSW Jewish War Memorial Centre NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Our Big Kitchen Print 35 Shop Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish House House United Israel Appeal WIZO Wolper Hospital Ku Ring Gai council

Except where expressly stated otherwise, content in The Sydney Jewish Report is provided as general informations only. The articles in this paper have been contributed by a third party. The opinions, facts and any media content here are presented solely by the author, and The Jewish Report assumes no responsibility for them. It is not intended as advice and must not be relied upon as such. You should make your own inquiries and take independent advice tailored to your specific circumstances prior to making any decisions. We do not make any representation or warranty that any material in the papers will be reliable, accurate or complete, nor do we accept any responsibility arising in any way from errors or omissions. We will not be liable for loss resulting from any action or decision by you in reliance on the material in the papers. By reading the papers, you acknowledge that we are not responsible for, and accept no liability in relation to, any reader’s use of, access to or conduct in connection with the papers in any circumstance. Photographs submitted by individuals or organisations are assumed to be their property and are therefore not otherwise credited. All articles in this paper have received the expressed consent of the author to publish in this paper. The Jewish Report; ISSN 2204-4639 Publisher: The Jewish Report Pty Ltd (ACN 167302981) Comments or suggestions to: Article submissions to: Advertising: Stacey Potash e-mail:, Phone no: 0416 353 086 Website: Printer: Spotpress Pty Ltd


February 2019

‘The Invisibles’ tells the story of Jews who somehow survived in Nazi Berlin JTA

In May 1943, after years of killings and deportations, the Nazis declared Berlin “judenfrei,” or free of Jews. What they didn’t know was that approximately 7,000 Jews remained in hiding in the city, and not only in attics and basements — often in plain sight. “The Invisibles,” a German film, tells the story of four of these real-life Jews who hid from their oppressors in everyday Berlin society. It’s a story that has been told before — in 1982, Leonard Gross published “The Last Jews of Berlin,” a critically acclaimed best-seller that covered similar ground — but never in such a unique way. Part documentary, part cinematic re-creation, the movie weaves together footage of interviews with four of these survivors into a slightly fictionalized docudrama. For co-screenwriter and director Claus Rafle, the project started in an unlikely place: a bordello. He was shooting a documentary in 2004 about the legendary Salon Kitty, a brothel that German intelligence bugged to get dirt on high rollers, both Germans and visiting dignitaries. In the research phase, an old man told him that he had information about a young Jewish woman who was hidden by the establishment’s owner and immigrated to America after the war. Supposedly, Rafle was told, she was a subject of the popular mid-1950s Ralph Edwards documentary show “This is Your Life.” That a Jew managed to survive in Berlin during the war amazed and fascinated Rafle, and his mind filled with cinematic possibilities. With the help of historians, he tracked down and interviewed 20 or so of these survivors who stayed in Berlin. He ultimately decided to concentrate the film on two women and two men: Hanni Levy, Ruth Gumpel, Cioma Schonhaus and Eugen Friede. They hid in abandoned buildings or were hidden by righteous Germans, and all had epic

Alice Dwyer portrays German Holocaust survivor Hanni Levy in “The Invisibles.” (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment) stories. Schonhaus, for instance, forged hundreds of passports and used one of them to cross the border into Switzerland just prior to his imminent capture. Friede joined the Jewish resistance, spending much of his time handing out leaflets and hunting Jewish traitors and informants cooperating with the Nazis. “The Invisibles” is Rafle’s first theatrical film; his previous documentaries aired on German television. In part because of the bigger canvas, he decided to forego the traditional mix of headand-shoulder interviews combined with archival footage. Instead he chose to add re-creations of actual events, believing it would provide audiences a “deeper understanding” of the events. The approach has resonated. Only 55 prints of the film were made for German distribution — a comparatively small number, even for the small German film market — but over 100,000 Germans

saw it. That led to an international release: It will open Jan. 25 in New York and Los Angeles, followed by a national rollout. Rafle, 57, has a dark connection to the subject matter: His grandfather was a Nazi. “He was one of those Germans who thought the Nazi movement was one of the best things to happen to Germany,” Rafle said. “I remember when I was 13 or 14 years old, I asked him if he was in the army. He just didn’t want to talk about it.” In part because of this, Rafle was uncertain how the film would be received when it was shown in Israel in April. “I was a little bit nervous about how the people would feel about it. I’m not Jewish. The movie touches a very sensitive point of [Jewish] history,” he said. But crowds in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv liked it


very much. “The people of Israel liked it because it showed some [German] people with a heart, who wanted to do something to help,” Rafle said. “There weren’t many, but there were some. And there were people in this terrible dark age who survived in Berlin because of them.” While in Israel, he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem and was happy to find that the people who aided the four survivors in his film were all honored as Righteous Among the Nations. Feedback wasn’t all positive though: Following the film’s successful release in Germany, neoNazis responded on social media. “I didn’t get emails or anything like that because I’m not really on social media,” Rafle said. “I heard about those negative comments, but I didn’t read them.” After Hanni Levy appeared on a French television show with Rafle, she was subject to threats so potentially serious that the matter was turned over to the police. But aside from that, reaction to the film has been positive and emotional. “The Invisibles” debuted last year at the New York Jewish Film Festival, and Rafle remembers watching one of the last climactic scenes, when Russian troops capture two young men they assume are Nazis. They say they are actually Jewish, but the Russians can’t imagine Jews surviving the war in Berlin and don’t believe them. One of the Russians is Jewish, and he insists his prisoners say a Jewish prayer. So they recite the Shema. “My wife and I were standing at the side [of the auditorium] and we were watching the people, many of whom were Jewish, and some of them were moving their lips,” Rafle said. “They were saying the prayer as well.”


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February 2019

Sydney Property – What’s the outlook for 2019?

KATZ PROPERTY Is it all doom and gloom or is there light at the end of the tunnel? Depends who you listen to. The only certainty is that the experts disagree. Some say the Sydney property market will still drop further. Others say it has plateaued. Will interest rates stay constant, rise or fall? Again, the experts differ. There are many factors that affect interest rates and property prices. Sydney is a large market broken up into many sub-segments. The Eastern suburbs, Inner city, Inner West and North Shore are unique markets with distinctly different dynamics. Suburbs within these areas differ as do properties within each suburb. No two properties are exactly the same. There’s an old saying that anyone can make money out of Sydney real estate… as long as you own some. Sydney property values ebb and flow and have risen sharply

over the past few decades. If you’ve owned your home for 30 or 40 years or even 10 or five years, you’ve done very well. You must be astute (or lucky) if you’re trading or holding short term, but over the long term, as long as you didn’t buy a problem property, then you would have done well. If you read the news you’ll see lots of doom and gloom, but is this reality? If you bought a quality property, even three or four years ago, it’ll still do OK. Properties that struggle in a tough market usually have one or more drawbacks such as proximity to busy roads, lack of privacy or dated interiors. This is why presentation and advice from your agent is important. These properties are best sold in a strong or rising market when there is a shortage of supply. However, if you bought a quality property more recently, it may not be appreciating at a rate that you’d like, but it’s more than likely to sell in any market. According to local Eastern Suburbs agents, buyers returned in droves in January with numbers at open for inspections significantly higher than January 2018. Many participants are new buyers. Some properties unsold in 2018 have already found buyers in 2019, often at prices greater than those offered in 2018. Each property is unique, even if those next door to each other. An example is two recent sales in Bronte on a sought-after

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street – Yanko Avenue. Number 23 is a grand old house on a large parcel of land which sold in January for a street record between $11 and $12m. The very modern house next door - on just over one third of the size land - sold the next day for $5.5m. The older house had last sold four and a half years earlier for $6.05m (circa 70% increase) whilst the more modern one sold just under four years ago for $4.4m (25% increase). Two houses side by side with two completely different stories – different buyer groups, different views and different dynamics. No one is sure what the market will do or what 2019 will bring. If you are thinking of

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This Green Sunday, JNF is supporting children in Israel battling life-threatening medical conditions. Funds raised will be dedicated to building a green therapeutic garden and playground at a major hospital as well as granting wishes for critically ill children in the country’s South.

Please answer our calls on Sunday 10th February or donate now at


Advocates on 0401 224 422 or 9030 0360


Please join us in providing these children with the strength to face the challenges of their illness, build resilience and provide hope for their future - our future.

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