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jewish learning


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


VOL. 48 Friday, 1 March 2019 / 24 Adar I, 5779

Fostering a closer Jewish community

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March 2019

New Holocaust education program for Adelaide Schools ADELAIDE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM AND STEINER EDUCATION CENTRE SUE DRENTH With the continuing support of the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Steiner Education Centre’s (AHMSEC) principal funding partner, Gandel Philanthropy, the fit out of the AHMSEC museum is now underway and will be a dynamic multi-media space housing the permanent Holocaust exhibition, artefacts, travelling exhibitions and the stories of South Australian Holocaust survivors. As part of the AHMSEC development and with the support of South Australian Minister for Education, John Gardner, the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Steiner Education Centre Inc (AHMSEC) is also delighted to announce a recent grant of $50,000 from the Department of Education that will enable a Holocaust education program to be developed and trialled across 12 Adelaide metropolitan secondary schools, targeting Year 10 History students and aligning with the national curriculum. Commencing in February, the education program will provide consistent and topic specific information, encouraging students to critically analyse themes from the Holocaust and understand their continuing relevance to contemporary social issues. Kerryn Langman, an Educator and Gandel Scholar will develop and deliver the pilot program with input from a Community of Practice group, comprised of History teachers and relevant

Fennescey House - new home of AHMSEC

stakeholders. An external evaluation will

Adelaide following its official opening later

provide recommendations for the ongoing

in the year. With the rise of anti-semitism around

development of the program. At the conclusion of the pilot project,

the world and increasingly in Australia, the

the education program will be delivered

AHMSEC Holocaust education program

“in house” at the museum’s CBD location,

has a unique and important role in educating


young South Australians about the history




An EXHIBITION of one of the largest Holocaust related letter collections discovered.

Letters of Loss and Refuge: an exhibition at the B’nai B’rith Centre B’NAI B’RITH

17 March 14 April 2019 B’nai B’rith Centre Barker Street , Kensington, UNSW (opp McDonald’s)

How the bonds of family and friendship survived the destruction of the Holocaust. Open: Mon to Thurs 10am - 4pm & Sundays 10am - 2pm For bookings contact: B’nai B’rith Office 9321 6315 e: (Group bookings welcome)

Bargain Bazaar

of the Holocaust and the lessons to be taken from that in terms of encouraging a kinder and more compassionate society. All enquiries about the AHMSEC project or to make a donation should be directed to Sue Drenth, Project Manager at: or via phone 0419 486 476.

On the 17 March the exhibition “ opens at the B’nai B’rith Centre in Kensington. The exhibition, procured from the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town was curated and written by Professor Shirli Gilbert (professor of modern History and director of the Parkes Institute for Jewish/Non Jewish Relations at the University of South Hampton) is based on her book From Things Lost. After an accidental fire in the Johannesburg at the home of Norman and Carol Schwab in 1986, a large wooden trunk that had lain unopened for years in the garage was discovered. In it lay a treasure trove of correspondence between Norman’s father Rudolf Schwab and relatives and friends during the Holocaust years and later. Rudolf Schwab had fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on the advice of a German school friend, Karl Kipfer and found sanctuary in South Africa in 1936. His family had lived in the small city of Hanau in Germany since the 1600s and were prominent and well known for their

community involvement. His collection of letters written to family and friends covers 4 decades, 5 continents and includes both sides of the correspondence, (Rudolf kept carbon copies of his own letters as well as those he received). This invaluable collection gives us insight into his life, his struggle as a refugee, his displacement, his loss of family and his reconnection with those who survived, also strangely with his friend Karl.” The exhibition will be open at the B’nai B’rith Centre, Barker Street, Kensington, UNSW from 17 March to 14 April 2019. Opening times Mon to Thurs 10am – 4pm, Sundays 10am – 2pm For bookings contact the B’nai B’rith office on 9321 6315 email: We invite you to make time to visit this enthralling exhibition, we promise to have a cup of tea and a biscuit ready for you.

March 2019



A Toast to UIA NSW Women’s Division 2019 Campaign Event UNITED ISRAEL APPEAL UIA NSW Women’s Division is excited to announce the complete line up of outstanding speakers for its 2019 Champagne Breakfast on Sunday 24 March, including The Honourable Julie Bishop MP - Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Arielle Di Porto - Acting Director Aliyah & Absorption at The Jewish Agency. Julie Bishop - Former Minister of Foreign Affairs is a staunch and enduring supporter of Israel, and was Australia’s first female Minister for Foreign Affairs serving from 2013 to 2018. She has been at the forefront of Australia’s determination to quash resolutions in international forums that condemn Israel; ensuring only ‘balanced’ UN resolutions receive its support. In her role, Bishop has overseen the single largest expansion of Australia’s overseas diplomatic presence in 40 years. Supporters will also hear from Arielle Di Porto, who was born in Morocco and been involved with The Jewish Agency for over 30 years. She currently promotes and processes Aliyah around the world (except the former Soviet Union), and has brought her expertise and well-honed skills to effectively manage critical, often clandestine missions from Iran, Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunis, Yemen and Venezuela. Di Porto also managed the Ethiopian immigration when there were no direct flights from Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv. She was responsible for the Aliyah of the Albanian

Jewish community - approximately 350 people, and the ‘From the Ends of Yemen’ operation, which secretly brought 50 Yemenite Jews to Israel in 2016. The Women’s Division 2019 Campaign will focus its support on ‘Family Matters’, a violence prevention program for Ethiopian immigrants. Domestic violence in the Ethiopian-Israeli community is a growing concern following the tragic deaths of several women at the hands of their husbands. Family Matters is a family wellness program conducted during the absorption process, which works to prevent domestic violence amongst Ethiopian olim struggling to adapt to modern gender and societal norms in Israel. The Champagne Breakfast will be a unique opportunity for women of all ages from the Sydney Jewish Community to come together and make a contribution to the People of Israel in 2019. UIA NSW Women’s Division President Caroline Bolot said: “I am so excited to connect the younger generation of Sydney Jewish women to the global UIA family so that they can join with their mothers and grandmothers in empowering the People of Israel. It makes me so proud that the NSW Women’s Division is recognised globally as an outstanding performer in their continued support for Israel’s most vulnerable for nearly 50 years. Some younger women aren’t aware of our proud history or may not understand yet how they fit into Women’s Division’s exciting future. Attending our 2019

Champagne Breakfast can be their first step in reconnecting to Israel through UIA.” or contact 9361 4273,

To book for the Women’s Division Champagne Breakfast on Sunday 24 March visit :

Join the UIA NSW Women’s Division Facebook group for updates on our 2019 Campaign: uianswwomensdivision

THE HON JULIE BISHOP MP A staunch and enduring supporter of Israel, Ms Bishop was Australia’s first female Minister for Foreign Affairs serving from 2013 to 2018. She has been at the forefront of Australia’s determination to quash resolutions in international forums that condemn Israel ensuring only “balanced” UN resolutions receive its support.

For e People of Israel


COA Open house

COA Valentines Day


March 2019

COA Senior Cruise

March 2019



A World of Education at Shaare Zedek The ethical challenges raised by many new medical innovations are profound.   Shaare Zedek operates within a framework of Jewish ethics and its Medical Ethics Unit is headed by Prof Rabbi Avraham Steinberg, Shaare Zedek Medical Centre is no ordinary author of the Encyclopaedia of Jewish hospital, and the concept of education at Medical Ethics.  These responses to modern Shaare Zedek has global implications.  For medical challenges are applied in many well over a century, the hospital in Jerusalem diverse and complex scenarios.  has offered compassionate care and the Shaare Zedek’s commitment to education best in emerging medical innovations.  Its is having a tangible effect on our local culture of inquiry and education has real Australian Community too.  Shaare Zedek’s benefits that are far reaching and profound.   Medical Genetics Unit is actively involved For young patients who don’t want to with studies surrounding the increased risk of fall behind at school, Shaare Zedek offers certain cancers in people who carry the BRCA the Lincoln David Abraham Educational 1 and 2 genetic mutations.  This knowledge Institute.  This school within the hospital is has formed the basis of fully equipped and is registered with Israel’s au, a research project currently under way in Ministry of Education.  Compassionate and Sydney and Melbourne which is offering free fully qualified teachers liaise with the child’s genetic testing to our community.  school to help young patients keep up with In the spirit of commitment to education schoolwork wherever possible.  Innovative and improving the health of our community, educational approaches at Shaare Zedek’s the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek school include pet therapy and clown There are many forms of education at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre including Inc is closely involved with promoting this therapy. research project. Education at Shaare Zedek takes on pregnancy and childbirth classes. Dr Allan Garfield, Chairman of AFSZ Inc many other forms as well.  Shaare Zedek Shaare Zedek is committed to empowering positioned with an unmatched perspective has a profound sense of responsibility to the them to have the best experience possible of the ethnic and cultural groups it treats.   notes, “In Jewish life, education is a lifelong population it serves and works to educate and offers regular public educational The hospital\’s research and development pursuit.  The Australian Friends of Shaare company, Mada’it (Scientific) enables Zedek are so proud of the fact that Shaare specific groups about relevant medical programs for pregnancy and childbirth. Shaare Zedek also runs “Healthy Friday” Shaare Zedek to conduct research and Zedek fuses the best of modern medicine issues.  An example of this is in pregnancy and lecture series where leading experts from turn medical innovations into marketable with a strong commitment to education.  childbirth education.  Shaare Zedek is one of the hospital educate the public about the products that benefit people everywhere.   Shaare Zedek is having a direct and positive Many of these innovative discoveries are effect on the health and wellbeing of people the busiest maternity hospitals in the world.  latest in medical innovations. Yet another dimension of Shaare Zedek’s showcased at Shaare Zedek’s biannual around the world.” Last year, 22,748 babies were born at the   hospital’s two campuses.  Women and their crucial role in offering education is its role research conference which is attended by families come from all ethnic groups and in developing and promoting new medical hundreds of health professionals and is all walks of life to give birth at the hospital.  discoveries.  Shaare Zedek is uniquely widely reported around the world. AUSTRALIAN FRIENDS OF SHAARE ZEDEK INC MIRIAM PACANOWSKI



March 2019

Celebrating 25 years of Stand Up’s Impact STAND UP DR ARNOLD SHMERLING & RIC BENJAMIN As Paul Kelly famously sang, “from little things big things grow”, and so it has been for social justice organisation, Stand Up. On 29th July 1994, the Australian Jewish News reported on the launch of a community appeal to support the survivors of the Rwandan genocide, called “Keshet”. When describing what had motivated the establishment of Keshet, spokesperson Dr Mark Baker said, “Jews understand all too well what Elie Wiesel means when he says the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference”. This new organisation aimed to give expression to the Jewish ethic of active tzedek(justice) by providing an ongoing fund for humanitarian relief. And so Keshet which would later be known as Jewish Aid Australia, and today as Stand Up - was created! In the early years the organisation focused on fundraising for international emergencies. Man-made disasters in Rwanda, East Timor, and Kosovo, resulted in refugee crises that resonated deeply within the Australian Jewish community. Natural disasters caused by flood, drought and earthquake also prompted relief efforts that were generously supported by theJewish community. During the first six years, Stand Up also established ‘Annual Programs’ - including Homeless Youth (1995), Koori Education (1996) and Breaking the Isolation of the Elderly (1999) - as well as a homework club for homeless people and families in crisis at Hanover Welfare Services (2000). As a result of these local activities, Stand Up’s volunteer base expanded swiftly and began to include groups of Jewish university students who provided weekly mentoring to people in need. In 2000, Stand Up’s founders decided that the organisation could create a greater impact on the communities it engaged with, and its own volunteers, by focusing on building deeper and more long-term partnerships. That year, the organisation also took on the challenge of creating a food rescue program.  Melbourne City Harvest was established and Stand Up volunteers began picking up left over food from ‘simcha’ celebrations and delivering it to Hanover Welfare Services and the Salvation Army to distribute. The program and its reputation grew rapidly. By 2002, Melbourne City Harvest had merged with another food rescue start up called One Umbrella.  This organisation is now called Fareshare, an entity that has also grown, and today delivers over 2.5 million meals annually to Melbourne and Brisbane’s hungry and homeless. In 2002 Keshet changed its name to Jewish Aid Australia, and in 2004 employed its first (and still going) employee, Lisa Buchner (Stand Up’s Refugee Programs Director). In 2004, strong ties also began to be forged with the Sudanese refugee communities in Melbourne and Sydney. In 2005, Shalom in Sydney began a holiday

program in a remote Aboriginal community in northern NSW called ‘Derech Eretz’ (Way of the Land). These original community partnerships continue to thrive today through Stand Up’s Refugee Support Department and Aboriginal Partnership Programs. Stand Up has also built a vibrant education department that today delivers innovative programs for youth and young adults on a range of contemporary global issues including Stand Up ABC, a popular social justice education program for Bnei Mitzvah aged students, and the Stand Up Fellowship, a social impact journey for emerging leaders aged 24 – 32. After being granted DGR status, the board raised funds to appoint the first CEO in 2009. Gary Samowitz moved down from Sydney and enthusiastically embraced the challenge of being Stand Up’s first CEO. Since then he has grown the organisation’s impact to new levels through his energy, compassion and drive. “Stand Up is proud to have been a catalyst for social change over the last quarter of a century”, he reflects. “We are looking forward to celebrating our 25th Birthday with our supporters, donors and volunteers; past, present and future. We also encourage the Australian Jewish community to show their support by getting involved in our ‘25 Challenge’, a fundraising initiative to help us meet the organisation’s future challenges and possibilities”. Over the last 25 years Stand Up has been a transformative organisation for the Jewish community, turning skeptics into believers, and believers into doers. It has mobilized hundreds of volunteers to create a meaningful difference in disadvantaged communities. Its volunteers reflect the diversity of the Jewish community; in age, gender, skills, and religious affiliation, including those who feel they are on the ‘fringes’ of the community. Stand Up strives to break down commonly held stereotypes by connecting people from diverse backgrounds and allowing them to share special moments. Through these connections Jewish Australians have the opportunity to learn more about Australia’s diverse communities. And reciprocally, Jewish Australians have the chance to share their history and experiences with those who may never have met or befriended a Jew before. In 2019, Stand Up is proud to be running 18 different social justice programs with over 150 active volunteers, supported by 14 staff in Melbourne and 5 in Sydney - all of this is fuelled by over 1000 generous donors.  Stand Up has mobilised the Australian Jewish community to be Upstanders, not Bystanders, and the organisation is looking forward to its next chapter of growth and pursuing social justice. For more information about Stand Up and to get involved in the ‘25 Challenge’ visit:

Stand Up’s pivotal volunteers. Ric Benjamin, Sandra Dudakov OAM, Ronit Prawer, Dr Arnold Shmerling, Ros Loff

The first Derech Eretz Aboriginal youth program in Toomelah and Boggabilla (2005)

Stand Up Board members together with Elders from Toomelah and Bobbagilla (2018)

JNF’s New Look Blue Box JNF In Kesser Torah school assembly, year 8 student Aryeh Berkovits was presented with the new JNF NSW Blue Box, adorned with his design. Earlier last year, JNF NSW invited the community to take part in designing the next Blue Box. The JNF ‘Design Our Next Blue Box Competition’ gave participants the opportunity to have their design produced as the 2019 Blue Box. For over a century, money raised in Blue Boxes has assisted Zionist pioneers in their efforts to build the infrastructure of a modern, thriving state. The Blue Box is a symbol of JNF’s efforts to develop the land, plant forests, create parks, prepare soil for agriculture and settlement, carve out new roads, build water reservoirs, and help establish new communities. But the Blue Box is more than just a fundraising device. From the beginning,

it has been used as an important educational vehicle, forging the bond between the Jewish People and their ancient homeland. It’s placement in every Jewish home, school, restaurant and synagogue is a powerful symbol of Jewish unity, and a reminder of the part every Jew can play in strengthening Eretz Israel. The competition allowed the community to be educated on the symbolism and importance of the Blue Box, its history in helping to establish the state of Israel, and the value in giving, all playing a part in continuing to strengthen Israel for years to come. “The design a Blue Box competition was a wonderful vehicle for our youth to engage and connect with Israel” said Gabbie Budai, JNF Executive Director. Aryeh Berkovits’s winning design has been produced on the JNF NSW Blue Box and will be distributed state wide.

Kesser Torah Principal Roy Steinman, Aryeh Berkovitz, and JNF Jerusalem Emissary Yossi Eshed

March 2019



Inspiring Young Changemakers in the Holidays STAND UP JACQUI DUBS Stand Up ABC combines the fun and adventure kids want during their school holidays, with an enriching experience showing Bnei Mitzvah aged boys and girls how they can make a positive impact on the world. Highlights of the program in Melbourne and Sydney include the opportunity to hear firsthand the moving personal story of a recently arrived refugee, as well as the chance to walk with an Aboriginal Elder, and uncover the ancient history and cultural meaning behind local landmarks. “Our daughter was particularly moved by Mohsen’s story and really wanted to tell me about it and debrief about it herself afterwards”,reflected ABC parent Melanie, after the group met with an asylum seeker from Iran. “It was an excellent opportunity for our kids to see the human face of asylum seeker policy and develop compassion for and awareness of others in need. Thanks for giving them that opportunity”. Stand Up is a community led non-profit that has been dedicated to working with disadvantaged communities in Australia, and inspiring the next generation of Jewish changemakers, over the last 25 years. Using this knowledge, Stand Up’s team of passionate and experienced informal educators have designed the Stand Up ABC holiday program to be an interactive and stimulating experience for Bnei Mitzvah youth. In small friendly groups, participants explore the Jewish values of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Tzedek (justice) and Chessed (kindness), and how to apply these principles as they reach young adulthood. For many 11 to 13 year olds, the program marks their first step towards understanding the important social justice responsibilities in Jewish life. As part of this journey, participants also delve into contemporary social justice issues, such as homelessness, Indigenous

reconciliation, poverty and the protection of human rights. Each group has approximately 12 students, allowing every child’s voice to be heard, friendships to form, and the opportunity for each individual to generate their own ideas for making a positive and tangible difference in the community. In the words of Stand Up ABC participant, Claudia,“I really enjoyed Stand Up ABC and it taught me so much. I am now way more encouraged to help in my community and make a difference. I enjoyed doing the living on $2 a day challenge because it made me think about everyone who is less fortunate than us”. The program includes a finale celebration where participants use their leadership skills to take their family and friends on an interactive journey through what they have learned. Every child that completes Stand Up ABC is also eligible to receive the Gandel Young Leader Award, which honours the achievements of an outstanding participant from Melbourne and Sydney annually. “Stand Up ABC was a wonderful experience. It taught me that sometimes we take our privileged lives for granted, and we lose sight of how lucky we are”,said Ariella, a past Gandel Young Leader Award winner. Stand Up ABC runs programs during each school term, as well as the April and October holiday breaks. Through the generous support of Gandel Philanthropy and The All in Giving Circle, Stand Up ABC is offered at a discounted rate, and aims to be inclusive of everyone irrespective of financial circumstances. Over 740 Bnei Mitzvah youth have completed this dynamiccourse in Melbourne and Sydney over the last 7 years. Register for the Stand Up ABC Holiday Program (15 - 17 April) in MELBOURNE & SYDNEY at  For more information contact:, (03) 9500 2206

Stand Up ABC kids hearing the story of a Sudanese refugee in Melbourne.

Stand Up ABC kids meeting hearing the story of an Iranian asylum seeker in Sydney

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March 2019

Language of independence building MICHAEL GROSE Families always develop shared language around the values that have strong meaning for them. If independence and self-sufficiency are important then it will be reflected in your family’s proprietary language. In fact, it’s through shared language that culture exists. If you are looking to building a culture of independence in your family (or in your classroom) then creating your proprietary language around independence is a great way to start. The following twelve examples of independence-building language and principles behind them that will help you create your own family’s language. 1. “Never regularly do for a child the things a child can do for him or herself” Goal: Independence This is perhaps the original parentingfor-independence manifesto, and it’s a philosophy that guides many teachers and parents today. In effect, this sentence means that wherever possible we give children the skills and competencies to look after themselves physically and emotionally. It requires a great deal of patience, time and courage from parents and teachers as the sentence is easier to say than put to put into practice. But it’s a worthy guiding principle that leads to self-sufficiency in children, and ultimately redundancy as parents.  2. “Is this something you can do?” Goal: Self-help Independence takes many forms but perhaps the most common is the development of self-help skills. The confidence, pride and, for most, sheer pleasure that kids doing the simple things for themselves such a toddler tying his shoelaces or a child making his own lunch is immeasurable. Yet it is so easily denied by well-meaning parents and adults who see it as their job to do everything for children. Independence begins at home with the development of self-help skills. 3. “Have you checked the help roster today?” Goal: Contribution A great way to develop a sense of independence is to give kids opportunities to help out at home. There is no need to overburden children with jobs, but a sensible allocation of chores according to their age and study requirements is not only a great help to you, but fantastic training for them. It also builds accountability and a work ethic, both highly valued characteristics for continuing success at school and later in life. 4. “Which of these two would you prefer?” Goal: Decision-making Parents as wise leaders need to call the shots on how the family life is conducted and health and welfare issues such as appropriate bed and bath times. Some things are not up for negotiation. But there are areas where parents can rightfully hand autonomy to children and say, ‘It’s your call!’ Choice of clothes, how they keep their bedroom, what they eat and who they play with are the types of decisions they can make. Naturally, this is age-related and you do need to have some influence on their choices.

5. “How can you make this happen?” Goal: Problem-solving Kids get used to bringing their problems to parents to solve. If you keeping solving them, they’ll keep bringing them. A problemsolving approach relies on asking good questions, which can be challenging if you are used to solving your child’s problems. The first question when a child brings you a problem should be: ‘Can you handle this on your own?’ Next should be, ‘What do you want me to do to help you solve the problem?’ These questions are not meant to deter children from coming to you; rather, to encourage and teach them to start working through their own concerns themselves. 6. “We rely on you to do this?” Goal: Reliability Reliability is closely connected to responsibility and other aspects of independence. Every child over the age of five, at the eldest, should do something that someone else relies on whether it’s looking after a pet, clearing the meal table or emptying the garbage on a regular basis. Having others rely on you has its challenges is a learning curve. They’ll inevitably forget to put the rubbish bins out on garbage night, meaning your bin will be overflowing for the next week. They’ll need to be reminded about feeding the pet or clearing the table. Kids inevitably won’t get things right, but that doesn’t mean we should stop giving them responsibilities. 7. “What can you learn for next time?” Goal: Self-sufficiency Learning from mistakes is part of the independence-building process for children. Often adult impatience or unwillingness to put up with errors prevents us from giving kids the chance to do things for themselves or take real responsibilities. If independence is to be a major part of your family’s culture then it’s imperative that we help kids learn from their mistakes whether social,

behavioural or just messing up while helping out at home. 8. “How do you feel about this?” Goal: Emotional intelligence An often over-looked aspect of independence is the ability to self-manage your emotional state. Emotional selfmanagement starts with the recognition of how you feel about a particular event or action and then labelling that feeling. If possible prompt to identify their emotions before they act on them. You can also revisit events and ask children about the feelings that may have lead to a certain behaviour such as hurting or yelling at a sibling. 9. “When you muck up, you make up?” Goal: Accountability Kids of all ages will make mistakes. In fact, mucking up is part of the learning process. But kids will just repeat their mistakes unless they experience the consequences of their decisions. The use of behavioural consequences is a way of teaching children to take greater responsibility for their lives and to learn to make smarter choices. 10.“How will you fix this?” Goal: Restoring relationships Independent kids are usually sociallysmart kids who don’t operate in a bubble. They know that their behaviour impacts on others they are mindful of the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of others. They also make amends or restore relationships when their behaviour impacts negatively on others. Relationship restoration is a lifelong skill and involves the following: swallowing your pride, making up, giving something back, not holding a grudge and moving on.  11.“You need to do what’s right, not what’s easy.” Goal: Integrity A sense of integrity is important for a child’s independence because it’s the basis of reasoned and socially focused self-control and self-management. The job of parents is to move their children from ‘Me’ to ‘We’.

Integrity is the great socialising agent for a child. They may get by without courage, endurance and grit but they won’t get far socially without integrity. 12.“Let’s find a way to make this happen.” Goal: positive risk-taking One of the ways to develop independence is to work with them to build their skills and abilities to safely navigate an everbroadening environment outside of the relative safe confines of their home. Ideas include adults and kids doing things together such as catching public transport until they are ready to go it alone or with friends; and giving kids smaller freedoms that lead to bigger liberties such as allowing a young child to walk part of the way to school on their own and then extending the distance as they get more experience and feel more confident. Independence-building is vitally important for parents. It’s the pathway to children’s competency, confidence and creativity and the short cut to resilience and real learning. We’ve gradually retreated from this approach over recent generations much to our children’s detriment. It’s time to help kids reclaim their independence. Getting our language right is a good place to start as family change always begins with shared language. Michael Grose Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s the author of 10 books for parents including Thriving! and the best-selling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It, and his latest release Spoonfed Generation: How to raise independent children.



March 2019

Share your Bar/Bat Mitzvah with WIZO WIZO DIANE SYMONDS

A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a significant and memorable milestone in any Jewish child’s life. Unfortunately, thousands of Israelis are affected by poverty or family crisis making it financially impossible to afford the lessons and celebration of this wonderful occasion. WIZO’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program gives boys and girls from families living in poverty an opportunity to celebrate this milestone. Participation strengthens their ties with their parents and their Jewish heritage. It also empowers children with a sense of moral and social responsibility towards their family and Israel. Ami was born in England and moved to Israel with his father and siblings when he was 9 years old, after his parents divorced. “In the beginning, it was the worst thing in life. My dad had no job. There was not much money and it was very hard. If my friends asked to go to a movie, I could not go. We were alone when my Dad started work and there was no one to take care of us” At age 11 Ami went to WIZO Gan Vanof, a residential youth village for disadvantaged children. “Here everything was green, there were lots of kids like me who had been through tough times and I made many new friends. When I was 13, I was told that they were going to do a Bar Mitzvah for me. We were going to Jerusalem, to the Western Wall! I was so excited. To do a Bar Mitzvah with all my friends. It was the best thing possible and I thought - Wow, I am finally

going to do it, it’s going to be my turn. I was so happy that I was going to be up there, reading from the Torah. I felt so proud and promised myself that I would read as loud as I could so everyone would be able to hear me.” Ami had tears in his eyes on his special day as he danced and sang with his friends and teachers at the Kotel. “It was terrific. I could never have asked for anything better than that. It was really the best day of my life. WIZO is really special that they care for us.

I feel like I’m part of the WIZO family. WIZO is for us and everyone feels a part of WIZO. There is no one alone.” Every year WIZO provides an unforgettable Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony for more than 2,000 underprivileged children in Israel. With your help, WIZO can give more children the opportunity to celebrate this significant event. For $600 you will give a child the opportunity to participate in the WIZO program which includes Jewish heritage

classes, observing Shabbat traditions, a trip to Jerusalem and the Kotel. The child will be taught the importance of Tikun Olam through community volunteering culminating in a festive family celebration and a gift. For as little as $180 you will give a child a memorable ceremony at the Kotel as well as a special gift they can treasure forever. All donations to WIZO over $2 are tax deductible : Contact WIZO on 9387 3666 or email or go to

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 100% in the top band Chemistry 100% in the top two bands English (Advanced) 100% in the top two bands Mathematics 50% in the top two bands Mathematics Extension 1 100% in the top two bands Mathematics Extension 2 100% in the top two bands Mathematics General 2 35% in the top two bands Modern Hebrew Continuers 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

Pre-School and Primary Open Days Discover why Emanuel School is small enough to know your child and big enough to make a difference Meet our staff, take a tour, visit classes and enjoy displays Pre-School Open Day: Wednesday 6 March 2019 Primary School Open Day: Wednesday 27 March 2019 Both from 9.30 am - 11.00am Bookings can be made at For further information contact Gail MacKenzie on 8383 7333 or

Emanuel School is a member of the JCA Family of Organisations



March 2019

Reclaiming Service: Planting the Seeds of Jewish Values RABBI BENJI LEVY In our fast-paced interconnected world, it can be so hard to do a good deed in a truly selfless way. When we run a marathon for charity and post about it on social media in order to encourage donations, we are all too often more interested in counting the ‘likes’ from friends than the money we’re raising for the cause. This behavior leads me to believe that perhaps the closest we can come to achieving true selflessness is through focusing on the good we leave behind for future generations. Such a legacy will allow them to reap the benefits of our actions long after we have passed on, and long after we stand to benefit in any way from the benevolence of our act – the ultimate demonstration of altruism. With Tu B’Shvat (the New Year for Trees) still on my mind, I am reminded of the well-known Talmudic tale about the encounter between the sage Choni HaMa’agel (the ‘Circle-Maker’) and a young man planting a tree (Ta’anit 23b). As the young man secures the sapling in the ground, Choni looks on curiously, wondering why he is making such an effort for this type of tree, which will take around 70 years to bear fruit. “How can you be sure that you will live another 70 years, long enough to derive benefit from this tree?” inquires Choni. Without skipping a beat, the man replies: “Just as my ancestors planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my descendants. Everyone should merit being born into a world full of trees.” This story highlights the importance of thoughtfulness, forward thinking and generosity. At the same time, it underscores the very essence of Jewish continuity.  Traditionally, Jewish continuity has been viewed through the lens of the family unit, defined primarily by one’s commitment to raise a Jewish family. This narrow scope, however, negates the transcendental echo left by the indelible impression we leave on everyone that we encounter. To connect our present to both our past and collective future, we must ensure that we leave behind a world that our descendants will be

proud to inherit. Westheimer and Kahne, two American-born 20th century academics known for their works on citizenship education, suggest three core components to participatory civic typology – responsibility towards the personal, communal and societal realm (‘The Politics of Educating for Democracy,’ 2004).  With all that is broken in our world, there is no shortage of opportunities to roll up our sleeves and get to work in all three realms.  Service, charity, volunteer work, and other selfless acts comprise the ethical element of our gift to the next generation. In fact, acts of service and benevolence embody core Jewish values that can be traced all the way back to Abraham and Sarah. Our forefather Abraham personifies the three components of Westheimer’s and Kahne’s approach to civic typology: assuming personal responsibility (acts of chesed or loving-kindness, like welcoming visitors to his tent), participation in communal efforts (acts of  tzedakahor charity, such as the designation of wells to be used by all who need), and social justice oriented activism (acts of tzedek, including lobbying for the righteous citizens of Sodom).  His natural ability to exemplify these acts of inherent goodness was the very basis upon which he was chosen to be the progenitor of our People. Working diligently to improve our world is an unmistakable hallmark of the Jewish way of life and a contribution that we bestow upon every new generation. Over the last few decades, record numbers of young Jewish men and women have picked up the mantle of service, giving of their time, talents and energies in order to make a positive impact on the world, both in the shortand long-term. These positive acts are often motivated by that same sense of responsibility that has characterized the Jewish people since time immemorial. Data gathered from several surveys conducted by service organizations has revealed that the vast majority of Jewish volunteers do not mind whether the framework through which they volunteer is Jewish (‘Volunteering and Values,’

A Melbourne based Jewish after school program, Hebrew Gems of Chabad Glen Eira is making waves around the globe with its new Hebrew alphabet curriculum, Adventure with Alef. The curriculum was developed to help children who don’t receive a daily Jewish education and attend a weekly Jewish afterschool program to easy learn and remember the Hebrew Alphabet at a similar pace to those in Jewish day schools. Adventure with Alef uses smart mnemonics, along with vibrant and engaging illustrations that brings the Hebrew Alphabet to life. These methods allow students to easily recall the letters while enjoying Alef’s exciting adventures too. With Hebrew Gems international staff, word quickly spread of the incredible results it was achieving with its students and requests we’re made to make it available abroad. In 2018 Adventure with Alef was born as a US based educational distributor took the reins in making it available to other Jewish Schools abroad. Today, there are hundreds of Hebrew schools with thousands of students across the globe enjoying Alef’s weekly adventures. Hebrew Gems didn’t want to stop there, their final vision was to make learning the Hebrew Alphabet as engaging and as exciting as some of today’s applications children interact with, which led to the

creation of the Adventure with Alef App. It’s a first-class app that captivates children, allowing them (and adults) to learn the Hebrew alphabet through digital flash cards and fun engaging games, it currently has 15,000 downloads. Hebrew Gems is looking forward to rolling out the Adventure with Alef program for its foundation class this year.

For more information Adventure with Alef, please

As they take part in a range of worthy causes, from natural disaster relief projects and housing construction drives to food distribution initiatives and refugee work, young Jews should feel an explicit sense of Jewish rootedness and belonging through the assistance they provide. With the right education and guidance, through giving, they can receive a deeper understanding of who they are and forge a connection with the generations of givers who came before and will come after.  After all, it’s one thing to become an agent of change, but another thing entirely to discover that you are part of an intergenerational story of social activists. By reframing service initiatives through the Jewish lens, we can give young Jews, who may be hoping to become part of something ‘bigger than themselves’, the greatest gift of all: a reminder that they already are. We are living in auspicious times. With Tu B’Shvat still on our minds, we reflect on the long and arduous journey that a seed travels until it becomes a fruit – a lesson also learned from the Talmudic tale of Choni HaMa’agel, where we see that the germination process may take as long as 70 years. That makes this year, the 70th since the establishment of the modern State of Israel, the perfect opportunity to reap what was sown by previous generations and continue to plant. We must now expand the definition of Jewish continuity and highlight the importance of our ethical legacy by reclaiming service as a core Jewish value.   Rabbi Benji Levy is the CEO of Mosaic United, a partnership between the State of Israel and the global Jewish community dedicated to addressing wide-ranging approaches to Jewish engagement and raising the playing field to ensure a stronger Jewish future. A recent Oleh from Australia, he previously served as the Dean of one of the largest Jewish schools in the world, Moriah College.

A little bit about literacy…

Adventure with Alef is born HEBREW GEMS, CHABAD GLEN EIRA

Repair the World, June 2011). This service is, of course, impactful for the wider world, but our inability to connect these participants to their Jewish identities through their own passionate benevolent pursuits represents thousands of missed opportunities. The world of volunteerism and service encapsulates a myriad of entranceways back into the organized Jewish world, for those hovering on its fringes. Helping them harness and re-channel their passion, energy and sense of communal and societal responsibility is a vital step in reconnecting these young adults with their heritage. As such, contextualizing their service as an inherently Jewish value and as an inseparable part of what it means to be a Jew in the world today could serve as a transformative catalyst for strengthening our collective Jewish future. The Torah tells us that a person is like “a tree in the field” (Deut. 20:19). Much like a tree, a person needs proper sustenance to grow and thrive. Values anchor us to our moral inheritance and provide us with the nourishment that allows us to reach our potential and eventually bear fruits that may be shared with the global family of nations.  At a time when identity ties are generally weakening among young people, linking their moral values to our shared destiny could assist in allowing their Jewish identity to flourish. What’s more, Jewish identity is not owned or monopolized by any one particular age, stage or generation. Indeed, needs, perspectives and attitudes change and differ from one group to the next. As such, in each epoch, we must find our own unique conduit for connecting with Jewish values. Ultimately however, these values are eternal with no specific allegiance to one era or another. In addition to healing the fractured world around us, service experiences can be an essential component in making Jewish identity more relevant to this generation. But it won’t truly take root unless we plant the seeds of Jewish values within the initiatives themselves throughout programming as well as through preparatory and follow-up reflections and engagement.   

on visit

For more information on Hebrew Gems, please visit hebrewgems


Many children are commonly referred to speech pathologists by parents and teachers for concerns with literacy. This can include challenges with phonological awareness skills (rhyming and sound identification), reading, spelling, oral comprehension and written comprehension. DID YOU KNOW... The building blocks of language and literacy form in the first three years of a child’s life? Early exposure to books has a direct effect on how children learn to read and write. So for those of you who have toddlers, please read to them! Engage them in fun books with lots of pictures, textures, and narrate in silly tones. These early moments will spark a love of learning and wanting to read more in order to learn even more! Much of the early foundational skills for literacy, including print awareness, rhyming, blending and segmenting sounds, and changing sounds to make new words, are learnt between 3-6 years of age. Children who have strong phonological awareness skills go on to be efficient, accurate and fluent readers. Reading and spelling occurs across two pathways - phonemic route (sound out the word, vowel rules) and sight words (words with no rules that need to memorised). In order to be a strong reader and speller, both pathways need to be working sufficiently. So many skills are required to be a proficient reader and speller, here’s just a few: strong knowledge of sounds and their matching letters, memory to recall the sounds, letter shapes, rules and high frequency words, knowing how to form the letter shapes, and

a good vocabulary! Next to develop is our ability to comprehend what we read, to paraphrase it into our own words and put our own spin on it, and also to create stories - both oral and written into exciting and engaging masterpieces. Visual comprehension - understanding the story based on the pictures, is the first step to developing strong comprehension skills. Chatting about and describing pictures in books is the best way to do this. Talking about what they can see, and asking questions like ‘what do you think will happen next?’ helps to build the visual image of the story line in their head. These skills support the later developing inferencing, predicting and evaluating skills that are necessary for critical thinking and creative writing. DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE...​ • Difficulty learning letter names • Difficulty learning letter sounds • Difficulty sounding out words • Avoidance of sounding out words or frequently guesses words when reading • A dislike of reading • Difficulty reading fluently • Poor comprehension/difficulty recalling information from the text • Difficulty spelling • Difficulty writing • Difficulty planning sentences or paragraphs • Difficulty with problem solving in maths If you or your child’s teacher have any concerns about how their literacy skills are developing, a speech pathologist can investigate these areas further to determine if any weaknesses are present and provide strategies for strengthening your child’s literacy skills.

March 2019



Parents, we need your help to look after our teachers MORIAH COLLEGE ROBERTA GOOT OAM Ask our teachers about the best part of their jobs and most will say how much they love working with children, watching them discover and learn and making a positive difference in their lives. Ask about the most demanding parts of their jobs and most will say an increased workload, the impact on their personal lives and the challenges of dealing with students and parents who show a lack of respect.  As a result, good teachers are leaving the profession. It’s not unique to Moriah or indeed to Australia. According to a recent article in Education Matters magazine, together with America and Britain, we are experiencing a worldwide epidemic with 20 percent of teachers leaving the profession in their first three years and up to 50 percent within five years.  Teacher wellbeing at Moriah Happy teachers make students feel wonderful about learning, school and themselves. They inspire, enlighten and encourage students to learn, regardless of the subject matter. With a focus on teacher wellbeing, Moriah is introducing a number of initiatives to nurture and sustain our educators and help create vibrant and joyful learning environments. 

These include: • providing more faculty time so that teachers have more opportunities to share outstanding practice, plan and create teaching and learning activities that provide academic rigour and work on assessment design; • creating more flexibility for staff members around their professional learning requirements, • planning professional learning across the year that is linked to wellbeing; • encouraging improved behaviour from students and parents and; • reviewing the role of our Teacher Mentors so that we are in a position to support all our teachers to facilitate great learning with their students.   What is the role of parents? It’s all about encouraging relationships built on honest and mutual respect and developing genuine partnerships to support students, in which everyone is treated fairly.  Parents are more involved than ever in their children’s education, which is a good thing, as parents should definitely take an active interest in how their children are doing at school. Parents are searching for the good teachers, teachers are looking for the supportive parents – who will partner with them and have a sense of perspective, patience and are focused on the kind of dialogue which builds

supportive and productive alliances. Professional trust and respect Increasingly, parents seem to forget that teachers are professionals and show a lack of trust in the ability of teachers to do the job they have trained and gained qualifications for. It is important to remember that just because everyone has gone to school, it doesn’t mean everyone is an expert in teaching. Just as parents have a right to have information communicated to them about their children, teachers and other staff members have a right to be treated in a respectful and courteous manner in their workplace. As parents, we need to recognise that we are the most significant influences in our children’s lives and we are responsible for instilling good and respectful behaviour. Our children imitate our behaviour and follow the examples we set for them. When we contradict teachers in front of our children, we’re sending the message that a teacher’s authority is not to be respected and that it’s ‘OK’ to question their professionalism. On the other hand, when we encourage our children to think positively and foster enriching connections with their teachers, we’re positioning them to succeed. Underestimating a teacher’s workload Teaching is far more taxing than people

often realise. The pace of a teacher’s day can be relentless with constant switching from class to class under the pressure of a bell and the enormous amount of emotional energy that’s required to do the job well. Outside of school hours, there is lesson preparation, administration and marking demands. In exit surveys conducted by Moriah, teachers often cite issues with parents’ unreasonable expectations. Emailing at night and on the weekends and expecting an immediate response or wanting their child’s work marked before the rest of the class, are examples. Building relationships There’s so much more to learning at school than academic matters. Our children also learn about life and how to conduct themselves in the world. We can’t teach them those important life lessons without positive partnerships with parents. As educators, we teach because we love working with children. We want them to succeed, just as parents do. Building relationships, knowing that parents trust that we’re doing the right thing by our students and having conversations with a shared goal is the only way to get results. We are on the same side.

If you believe in nurturing a child’s sense of wonder, creating a passion for learning and embracing the power of community, your family belongs at the Moriah & Mt Zion Early Learning Centres. Welcoming 2-5 year olds Apply now for 2020 Open days 17 & 18 March 2019 Visit to register

Queens Park Road, Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia Tel: (02) 9375 1600 | Fax: (02) 9387 3490 Email: |



March 2019

Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues RAISEDGOOD.COM When my Dad was growing up he had one jumper each winter. One. Total. He remembers how vigilantly he cared for his jumper. If the elbows got holes in them my Grandma patched them back together. If he lost his jumper he’d recount his steps to find it again. He guarded it like the precious gift it was. He had everything he needed and not a lot more. The only rule was to be home by dinner time. My Grandma rarely knew exactly where her kids were. They were off building forts, making bows and arrows, collecting bruises and bloody knees and having the time of their lives. They were immersed in childhood. But the world has moved on since then. We’ve become more sophisticated. And entered a unique period in which, rather than struggling to provide enough parents are unable to resist providing too much. In doing so, we’re unknowingly creating an environment in which mental health issues flourish. When I read Kim John Payne’s book, Simplicity Parenting one message leapt off the page. Normal personality quirks combined with the stress of “too much” can propel children into the realm of disorder. A child who is systematic may be pushed into obsessive behaviours. A dreamy child may lose the ability to focus. Payne conducted a study in which he simplified the lives of children with attention deficit disorder. Within four short months 68% went from being clinically dysfunctional to clinically functional. The children also displayed a 37% increase in academic and cognitive aptitude, an effect not seen with commonly prescribed drugs like Ritalin. As a new parent I find this both empowering and terrifying. We officially have a massive opportunity and responsibility to provide an

environment in which our children can thrive physically, emotionally and mentally. So, what are we getting wrong and how can we fix it? THE BURDEN OF TOO MUCH Early in his career, Payne volunteered in refugee camps in Jakarta, where children were dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. He describes them as, “jumpy, nervous, and hyper-vigilant, wary of anything novel or new.” Years later Payne ran a private practice in England, where he recognized many affluent English children were displaying the same behavioural tendencies as the children living in war zones half a world away. Why would these children living perfectly safe lives show similar symptoms? Payne explains that although they were physically safe, mentally they were also living in a war zone of sorts, “Privy to their parents’ fears, drives, ambitions, and the very fast pace of their lives, the children were busy trying to construct their own boundaries, their own level of safety in behaviours that weren’t ultimately helpful.” Suffering with a “cumulative stress reaction” as a result of the snowballing effect of too much, children develop their own coping strategies to feel safe. Parents and society are conscious of the need to protect our children physically. We legislate car seats, bike helmets and hover in playgrounds. But protecting mental health is more But, sadly, we are messing up. Modern day children are exposed to a constant flood of information which they can’t process or rationalise. They’re growing up faster as we put them into adult roles and increase our expectations of them. So, they look for other aspects of their life they can control.obscure. THE FOUR PILLARS OF EXCESS Naturally as parents we want to provide our kids with the best start in life. If a little is good,

we think more is better, or is it? We enrol them in endless activities. Soccer. Music. Martial arts. Gymnastics. Ballet. We schedule play dates with precision. And we fill every space in their rooms with educational books, devices and toys. The average western child has in excess of 150 toys each and receives an additional 70 toys per year. With so much stuff children become blinded and overwhelmed with choice. Simplicity Parenting encourages parents to keep fewer toys so children can engage more deeply with the ones they have. Payne describes the four pillars of excess as having too much stuff, too many choices, too much information and too much speed. When children are overwhelmed they lose the precious down time they need to explore, play and release tension. Too many choices erodes happiness, robbing kids of the gift of boredom which encourages creativity and selfdirected learning. And most importantly “too much” steals precious time. PROTECTING CHILDHOOD Similar to the anecdote of the heat slowly being turned up and boiling the unsuspecting frog, so too has society slowly chipped away at the unique wonder of childhood, redefining it and leaving our kid’s immature brains drowning trying to keep up. Many refer to this as a “war on childhood”. Developmental Psychologist David Elkind reports kids have lost more than 12 hours of free time per week in the last two decades meaning the opportunity for free play is scarce. Even preschools and kindergartens have become more intellectually-oriented. And many schools have eliminated recess so children have more time to learn. The time children spend playing in organized sports has been shown to significantly lower creativity as young adults, whereas time spent playing informal sports was significantly related

to more creativity. It’s not the organized sports themselves that destroy creativity but the lack of down time. Even two hours per week of unstructured play boosted children’s creativity to above-average levels. PARENTS TAKE CHARGE So, how do we as parents protect our kids in this new “normal” society has created? Simple, we say no. We protect our kids and say no, so we can create space for them to be kids. No, Sam can’t make the birthday party on Saturday. No, Sophie can’t make soccer practice this week. And we recreate regular down time providing a sense of calm and solace in their otherwise chaotic worlds. It provides a release of tension children know they can rely on and allows children to recover and grow, serving a vital purpose in child development. We filter unnecessary busyness and simplify their lives. We don’t talk about global warming at the dinner table with a seven year old. We watch the news after our kids are asleep. We remove excessive toys and games from our toddler’s room when they’re sleeping. We recreate and honour childhood. Our children have their whole lives to be adults and to deal with the complexities of life, but only a fleetingly short time in which they can be kids. Silly, fun loving kids. Childhood serves a very real purpose. It’s not something to “get through”. It’s there to protect and develop young minds so they can grow into healthy and happy adults. When society messes too much with childhood, young brains react. By providing a sense of balance and actively protecting childhood we’re giving our children the greatest gift they’ll ever receive.

Future Leaders at Emanuel School EMANUEL SCHOOL Teaching leadership is a valuable resource to help future-proof our students. However, it’s the application of these skills that help develop effective, emotionally intelligent leaders. Emanuel School students are encouraged to become ‘everyday leaders’ – to consciously think about the way they act as role models every day in all facets of life. By providing opportunities for practical application, along with theoretical learning in Primary School, we lay the foundation for the transfer of these essential skills into High School and beyond. Primary students at Emanuel School learn about and use Covey’s 7 Habits as a framework to help guide their actions and planning. Every Year 6 student has a different leadership portfolio based on their interests and skills including Madrichim (Prefects), House Captains, Jewish Life, tzedakkah, IT, art, environment and as buddies for Years K-2 students, amongst many others. Primary staff nominate as a Portfolio Mentor to help guide the students along their leadership path. Hugo Adrian, the Year 6 IT Leadership Mentor commented: “Seeing the exhilaration of the student leaders after being involved in an initiative they have planned and delivered is amazing to see. Their energy is great to be a part of.” Throughout the year, the Primary leaders develop their leadership skills and apply them at various events such as helping run the Years K-2 Swimming Carnival, assisting with assemblies, building school spirit and

arranging competitions in their interest area such as organising the Emanuel Cup – a debating competition for their fellow students. These experiences provide opportunities to develop life-long skills such as organisation, time management, decision making and building connections with others. Natanya Milner, Head of Primary at Emanuel School and Mentor to the Mardrichim, is a strong advocate for developing leadership at a young age.

“We believe in providing opportunities for the children to contribute to the success and vibrancy of the School by working in teams to plan ways to give back in their portfolio areas. Not only does this enhance the Year 6 children’s confidence, leadership and collaborative skills, it also provides an excellent example to younger students, adds to the relationship building and breadth of experiences on offer in the Primary School.” Students were asked to write a

statement about how they would like to be remembered after their year as a Year 6 Leader. Showing exceptional insight Jethro Igra said: “An environmental changer of Emanuel,” while Chelsea Opit commented: “As a good leader that people looked up to and trusted.” With such valuable insights at such a young age, our leaders of the future are well placed to make a real difference to our world as community and Global citizens.

We shine brightest

when we support each other NATIONAL JEWISH MEMORIAL CENTRE

Supporting 24 organisations in our community



March 2019

Children need routines and rituals MOUNT SINAI COLLEGE PHIL ROBERTS Children need routines and rituals I read a book by Mason Currey last year entitled Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work. He makes mention of many figures past and present one of whom was Beethoven who rose each morning at dawn and made himself coffee made with 60 beans he counted out. He would compose to 2pm or 3pm and go for a long walk. Each night after supper he’d have a beer, smoke a pipe and go to bed at 10pm. Mozart ensured his hair was always done by 6am and by 7am and he was fully dressed. He then composed until 9am. From 9am to 1pm he gave lessons. Meanwhile, Japan’s greatest contemporary novelist, Haruki Murakami wakes at 4am every morning and works for 5 to 6 hours straight. In the afternoon, he runs or swims, reads and listens to music. Bedtime is 9pm. “I keep to this routine every day without variation” he said in interview. “The repetition itself becomes the important thing – it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerise myself to reach a deeper state of mind”. Currey’s point is simple. Most productive, creative people have daily rituals. These form the soil in which the seeds of their invention grow. Novelists, artists, religious leaders, sportsmen and women all have their routines and rituals which drive them. There are the daily rituals and then there are the milestone rituals but both serve a purpose and give meaning to

kids’ lives. No culture and few individuals live without ritual. Rituals exists on many levels - the inaugurations of presidents, student graduations, Bar and Batmitzvahs, the rituals of temples, mosques and synagogues, rituals when we lose someone or something that is close to us. While large, public rituals might be vulnerable to commercialisation, tedium or cynicism, they can also be freighted with significance. Ritual can be spiritually-centred or secular in nature. Daily ritual or routine can be synonymous with a level of self-control. A recent Scientific American article suggests that many of our most vexing problems, from overeating to not saving enough for retirement to not exercising enough have something in common: lack of self-control. Self-control is what gives us the capacity to say no to choices that are immediately gratifying but costly in the long term—that piece of chocolate cake (instead of an apple), that afternoon in front of the couch (instead of a visit to the gym). Despite our best intentions, we often fail to meet our lofty goals. Disciplined routines can assist in developing self-control. Daily rituals and routines can assist with motivation and become self-fulfilling. Footballers for example, often go through their own ritual before a game. Self-motivation theory is concerned with supporting our natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways. People are centrally concerned with motivation — how to move themselves

Teaching professional ethics through the lens of the Holocaust SYDNEY JEWISH MUSEUM Learning is a skill that does not end with formal education, but a pursuit that one continues to grow with throughout their life. The Sydney Jewish Museum sees lifelong education as an incredible way to support professionals, build personal character and improve job performance. Over 20 years, the Museum’s Educators have developed a customisable program for the continuing education of professionals from a range of fields, such as healthcare, law enforcement, interfaith and corporate businesses. Taking the lessons from the Holocaust on ethics, responsible leadership and good decision making, program participants are presented with directly relevant and applicable concepts and skills to inform their civil and professional responsibilities, and duties to their clients, patients, employees

and communities. Professionals who attend the Museum’s programs are encouraged to reflect on and discuss the critical factors that influence choices people make and our actions in complex environments. Teaching through the lens of the Holocaust enables program participants to raise difficult ethical questions and find sources of motivation, resilience and identity in a supportive space. Participants also hear testimony from a Holocaust survivor as part of their seminar. This brings a human element to history for those who did not live through it themselves. Whilst the stories of the Holocaust evoke very personal emotions for the participants, the Museum’s Educators also find they have an overwhelming power to affect change.   To give your staff a soul-stirring experience with relevant and practical outcomes, contact Sandy Hollis on or 9360 7999.

Photograph by Giselle Haber

or others to act. Everywhere, parents, teachers, coaches, and managers struggle with how to motivate those that they mentor, and individuals struggle to find energy, mobilize effort and persist at the tasks of life and work. People are often moved by external factors such as reward systems, grades, evaluations, or the opinions they fear others might have of them. Yet, just as frequently, people are motivated from within, by interests, curiosity, care or abiding values. These intrinsic motivations are not necessarily externally rewarded or supported, but nonetheless they can sustain passions, creativity, and sustained efforts. The interplay between the extrinsic forces acting on persons and the intrinsic motives and needs inherent in human nature is the territory of Self-Determination Theory and it may well be that rituals form a part of those who have better intrinsic motivation. The saying is famous – genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration. The paradigm-shifting scientific discovery, the path-breaking research, the wildly successful new product, the brilliant novel, the award-winning film, the medal winning performance - are almost always the result of many years of long hours of ritualised practice and attention to detail. And developing routine and rituals helps in all of this development. Being creative - being good at one what does - involves extraordinary hard work and hard work needs to be ritualised. The people who

change the world, or their own lives for the better, whether in small or epic ways, are those who turn a great idea, a transformative thought, a glimpse of a project into daily routines, who know that the details matter, and who have developed the discipline of hard work, sustained over time. In terms of growing up, we sure need milestone rituals for our mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. While there has been a move away from some religious ceremonies, people still need milestone rituals to mark major points in their life. Ceremonies are an expression of culture - mechanisms which express and generate love, forge and declare the bond between individuals, and establish and identify community. According to psychiatrist and author Abigail Brenner, “The simple act of participating actively in our own lives is a giant step toward taking back personal responsibility for how we choose to live, with who we choose to share our experiences and for how we choose to define ourselves in our community and in our world.” Rituals brings families together, to celebrate our histories and customs, to eat and share foods that remind us of our heritage, they usher us into adulthood and simply bring joy. Daily routines give kids the discipline they need to meet the daily challenges and makes them realise that endeavour and hard work equals outcome. And that’s no bad thing!

The gift of the game ANDY KILOV, SPEECH PATHOLOGIST School is back and our children are returning to their school routines, extra curricular activities, and homework commitments. While a focused mood sets in as Term 1 unfolds, the fun fair from holidays does not need to end. In the words of Roald Dahl, “life is more fun if you play games”, and indeed, the entertainment and enjoyment of playing games certainly does make life more fun. What’s even better, is that whilst playing games and having fun, children and adults can also be enriching social activity, cognitive growth, and taking up opportunities to acquire new knowledge and hone new skills. Playing games with other people offers opportunities to be social. Whilst some games can be played solo, most games rely on a pair or a group of other players. The beauty of interactive games lies in the sequence of turn taking, adherence to shared rules, and social dialogue that occurs whilst the game is in motion. Players take turns to make a move or decision in response to a set of rules and options. As players make decisions and proceed with turns, the game invites cheers of victory, banter, and opinions from opponents, which revolve around a set of core phrases and game- specific vocabulary. So, in addition to facilitating social interaction, games also offer opportunities to extend our ability to learn new words, use new phrases, and justify or challenge our position in the game through vocalisations, gestures, or complex articulation sequences. And yet, when communication or other barriers

exist, we can still find ways to be inclusive in a game because after all… players are able to create new rules and adapt to new conditions of play. The scope of cognitive benefits offered through playing games is tremendous. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that playing games improves brain health and brain function (Fissler, et al, 2015). When we play games, we are required to learn and remember a set of rules, and then act on these rules whilst the game unfolds in a (mostly) unpredictable manner. Players are continuously planning and evaluating outcomes of the game, and strategizing how to score the most points or simply ‘stay ahead’. This requires extensive use of concentration and memory, multitasking and problem solving, and activation of mental arithmetic, linguistic, and visual perception skills. As the game progresses, the demands and utilisation of these processes varies so that by the end of the game, cognitive strengthening has occurred incidentally whilst players reap social, emotional, and educational benefits of being a part of the game. There is a substantial assortment of games available in the classroom, on the sport field, using technology, and set up on the table top at home. Each game brings a unique set of rules, educational outcomes, cognitive challenges and social opportunity for any player… no matter how often the game is (or not) played! A game always has a gift to give, even when you don’t intend to indulge… so the next time you are watching or playing a game, take a few moments to consider what gifts have been bestowed upon you!



March 2019

Parents play a pivotal role Y2I Parents of Year 10 students not enrolled in a Jewish day school are being encouraged to keep an open mind and appreciate the value of attending a free Information Night about the upcoming year 10 BJE Israel program. Youth 2 Israel (Y2i) is acutely aware of the anxiety and concerns many have about just coming to this free night, even though registering does not commit you to anything. Jeremy Dunkel is the Board Chair of Y2i, the organisation responsible for making a $5,000 voucher available to every student who participates in an approved program. “Making time to attend an Information Night might seem to be inconsequential, but the impact can be transformative because it will open your child up to possibilities you may otherwise easily dismiss. We know many are worried they will not know anyone else there and the prospect of five weeks in Israel can feel intimidating. All these things are addressed on the night.� Thurza Getzler’s son Rueben (who attends the Conservatorium High School) has just returned from the 2018 BJE Israel program. She makes the point, “Our son was very worried about going on a 5-week program with a bunch of strangers. He assumed a lot of them would already know each other, and he’d be the odd one out. We worked hard to persuade him to go, and he had a fantastic time and now has a whole new social circle of Jewish friends and a stronger Jewish identity.� Ryleigh Markey attends Kuringai

High School, and she recalls before the Information Night being “very anxious about going overseas and scared to meet all the new people.� By the end of the night, Ryleigh says, “I met quite a large number of people who I was excited to go away with.� Y2i is encouraging parents to give their child an extra nudge to attend the information night. Past experience shows this one night can make a real difference because suddenly a new community can open up, where friendships are often life-long. While consistently there have been groups of participants from schools like Rose Bay Secondary College and Reddam House School, increasingly students are coming from other public and private schools all over Sydney, as well as from further afield. Sydney Grammar student David Caplan

recalls he was dreading the night. “I thought it would be boring and awkward.� After his family helped convince him to go on the trip, he says, “Like most people who went on the trip, I really really did not want to go. I dreaded it all year and worried about how bad it might be and what I might be missing out on at home...going to the airport I was so nervous. A year ago, I could not in my wildest dreams foresee how much I would enjoy it - but I went and had the best time.� Owen Dyne also from Sydney Grammar says, “By the end of the info night I had met a lot of new people who I instantly connected with. Now, having been to Israel with them, I can confidently say I’ve made life long friends.� Brian and Samantha Rogut’s daughter Sophie attends PLC Sydney, a school where

it’s rare to find a Jewish student. “The program had far-reaching effects on our family. The trip allowed our daughter to revel in all things Jewish, to hear Hebrew spoken in the street, to experience Shabbat at the Kotel, to listen to Israeli pop music, eat Israeli street food, climb Masada and to do all this while in the company of other young Jewish people. She regales us daily with anecdotes, it was the experience of a lifetime.� Jeremy Dunkel adds, “For any parents who are concerned about the costs of the program, we will share details on the night about the Y2i Assistance Fund which provides additional financial support, where required. We have attempted to remove all the obstacles to make Year 10 Israel programs accessible for as many children as possible. The only qualification is having at least one parent who is Jewish. All we ask is for you to register and bring your child along to the Information Night to listen and gain a better sense of the value this program has already delivered to over 1000 students.� Register online now for the BJE Information Night on Wednesday 3 April so Y2i can share additional information including the final venue details with you. Y2i asks that if you are concerned you may not be able to make the night because of other commitments, please still register and someone will be in touch with you after the event. or call 02 8353 1612.

-week Israel program

Register Year 10 Students from all public and private schools*

Pre-School and Primary Open Days Discover why Emanuel School is small enough to know your child and big enough to make a difference


"13*- | register for 5*.&venue details

Meet our staff, take a tour, visit classes and enjoy displays Pre-School Open Day: Wednesday 6 March 2019 Primary School Open Day: Wednesday 27 March 2019 Both from 9.30 am - 11.00am Bookings can be made at For further information contact Gail MacKenzie on 8383 7333 or

Emanuel School is a member of the JCA Family of Organisations

$5,000 Vouchers granted to all 2019 Students

register now! or call 02 8353 1612 * This event is available to all public and private school students with a Jewish parent, excluding Emanuel, Kesser Torah, Masada & Moriah who are supported through their own programs.


Are Jewish Teachers Becoming Extinct?


After more than 38 years in Jewish Education (25 of them as Principal of four Jewish Day Schools, in Australia and in South Africa) I can say with confidence that the most important factor in determining the successful education of our children, is the classroom teacher. And today, more than ever before, the teacher is an “endangered species” - along with the panda bear and the white rhino. It is the teacher who can and will impact the students in our schools in ways that will reverberate into each child’s future, well into adulthood - indeed, in many cases for the rest of that child’s life. For Jewish education to be successful - even transformational - more than state - of - the - art buildings, resources and “smart” technology, we need to ensure that those who teach our children, both in General Studies and even more so, in Jewish Studies, are passionate, highly skilled and intensely dedicated educators. It was Henry Adams who said that “a teacher affects eternity. You never know where his/her influence really stops”. When I stand in front of a class of Jewish children, whether at assembly, or in my English class, I don’t just see them – I see their grandchildren. We teach, not just for the present, but for the future. Certainly, when I reflect on the very successful results of our Jewish Day School graduates, I am more touched by the inspirational letters and cards that Year 12 students write to their teachers, thanking them, not only for helping and motivating them to achieve the excellent


results they did in the HSC, but thanking them for those life lessons they were taught that transcended the classroom. Inspiring teachers don’t just motivate – they transform. They guide and nurture their students out of their comfort zones by helping them discover greater dimensions of themselves. The greatest challenge to Jewish education, I believe, is not “affordability issues” even though this is certainly something that as a community we need to address in a proactive, creative and bold manner. While the cost of Jewish education needs to be very much on the communal agenda if we are serious about issues like continuity; Jewish identity and assimilation, the crisis in recruiting Jewish teachers (and not just anybody - but passionate, knowledgeable and inspired Jewish teachers) is the single most critical factor in our ability to provide the kind of education needed to transcend the present and impact the future. While each school needs to clarify for itself those specific “Jewish outcomes” that need to be achieved, in order to produce a certain minimum standard of “Jewish literacy, knowledge, skills and experience”, however, as Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz once said: “There is a critical body of knowledge that needs to be learnt. If less than that is taught, it is as if nothing has been taught.” Moreover, we need to find creative and innovative solutions, to improve both our recruitment and our retention of Jewish teachers who will “make the difference” to our children both inside and beyond the classroom.

March 2019

One never stops learning THE NORTH SHORE SYNAGOGUE We have a choice in life, we have goals and ambition. We hold expectations for ourselves and our family members. What paths will we follow from formal education to informal learning? At many points in our life we reaffirm the decision to live as Jews. We hope that as our children grow their Jewish identity will develop and that they will share our values. First come the brit or naming ceremony as the child is welcomed home into an environment surrounded by Jewish symbolism, home practices and rituals. Jewish holidays are celebrated. As the child approaches Bar and Bat Mitzvah this is a significant learning phase. A study program set by the Rabbi provides an understanding of religious practices and synagogue protocols. One becomes a

member of a community. As the years roll by, formal learning leads to a career until a prospective marriage partner appears on the scene. Then under Rabbi’s guidance the responsibilities towards the partner is discussed as are the traditional wedding practices. The opportunities to expand our knowledge, learning for pleasure is ongoing. The Rev. Katz Library holds a large selection of wonderful books which cater for many tastes and interests, from Jewish religious topics to culinary interests or fiction by Jewish writers. Weekly shiurim lead to interesting discussions. Equally guest speakers are invited. They may appear as sole presenters who may address a wide range of topics or may participate as a member of a panel. One never stops learning.

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March 2019

Masada College: A HIVE of Potential MASADA COLLEGE

In partnership with the Department of Hebrew, Biblical & Jewish Studies

At Masada College, our educational mission is to raise responsible individual thinkers with a strong sense of social justice and confidence in their ability to determine their own future. For this reason, in the Senior School, our Jewish Life department will be commencing “Community and Me�: an exploration of each of the organisations under the umbrella of the JCA and a one day work experience in an organisation of the student’s choice. “This is a wonderful way to acknowledge the work and support of the JCA as well as encouraging our students to think about their role in and contribution to their community as young adults,� says Morah Carolyn Steinman, Head of Jewish Life and Hebrew, ELC to Year 12. In addition, a new Israel Advocacy course will equip our students with the knowledge and skills to combat the challenges they will face on international university campuses in the years to come. Recently, Morah Adi Halevi was appointed co-ordinator of Ivrit from years 3 to 12. With her passion for Israel and Ivrit, her wealth of experience and consistently outstanding HSC results, we look forward to furthering our children’s learning and love for this subject. In addition, our Torah Stream program has been has extended to the Senior School, and we now have a year 7 and 8 class taught by Rabbi Noah Kunin and Morah Megan Rosettenstein. We are also delighted that a number of new students have opted into the Torah Stream, with a total of 70 students taking part in this innovative curriculum.

Other pioneering highlights in the College’s 53-year trajectory as a pillar of the North Shore Jewish community, is our Culture of Thinking, Leader in Me as well as our High Potential Learners’ Program. “At its core, a Culture of Thinking is about developing dispositions to apply thinking skills while making use of routines to encourage this way of learning,� says Ryan Gill, Head of Learning and Teaching in years 7 to 12 and teacher in the HSIE Department. In the classroom, this means that teachers

Melton Courses 2019 Melton Courses - Semester 1 Jewish Culture Course: Holy Days, Festivities and Religious Practice Jewish Medical Ethics Course: A 21st Century Discussion Jewish Culture Course: Bereshit Course II (Genesis) – The Story of the First Jewish Family

are encouraged to create environments where students make their own connections and conclusions and most importantly, feel safe doing so; where they become an active part of the learning process, realising that learning doesn’t happen to us, but rather, it happens with us. Our High Potential Learners’ (HPL) Program, which has recently been introduced into the Senior School after two years of success in the Junior School, offers accelerated learning opportunities to

students. These in-depth classes, that cover complex ideas that are not ordinarily covered in class, are currently offered to year 5, 6 and 7 students in English and Maths. While it’s not surprising to us that our graduates win scholarships and awards and embark on a diverse range of career paths, our real success stories are not the ones published in the league tables. They are those students who exceed their own expectations thanks to the individual attention they receive here. “Every student is cared for - that’s what sets this school apart from others,� says Ingrid Ross, who leads the Learning Support Team from years k to 6. “Following Stephen Covey’s The Leader in MeŽ program, we teach students to “think win-win� which helps them look at challenges from two perspectives: theirs and the other person’s. And the inclusive learning support model we offer at Masada College is a win-win situation for both teachers and students with varying capabilities,� says Mrs. Ross. As one mum recently wrote in an email to the school about her daughters who “speak of the warmth and the nurturing that is the heart and the soul of Masada,� - “They communicate a sense of a Jewish-soul that is absorbed without them even knowing it ...all with a sense of being held, looked after and contained by present, warm, available and dedicated teachers.� This is of course a credit to the whole Masada team, says College Principal Martin Tait. “The journey of our students’ education at Masada is heartening to witness. I have the most rewarding job in the world.

Centre for Continuing Education

Classes start in February and March with ten and fifteen week options available. Learn about Jewish Culture with us. Course enquiries Hinda Young 0432 567 917

The Star and the Crescent: The Long Relationship of Judaism and Islam

WIZO’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program turns dreams into realities for hundreds of boys and girls each year. Every Jewish child wants and deserves a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Sadly, not all families in Israel can afford one. A gift to WIZO’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah program will help us provide this essential Jewish experience to many more Israeli children.


Hear from specialist teachers, meet ourÇ? ʟŸ›¼›Ç?Principal an—Ç?Ă˘ĂŠĂ§Ă˜Ç?the campus.

Date: 3 April 2019 | Time: 4-6pm

ELC-Yr 12 College Campus: 9-15 Link Road, St Ives To enrol email or call 9449 3744

Learn more about our program by calling WIZO: 9387 3666 or



March 2019

Celebrations and renovations at The Kornmehl Centre Emanuel Pre-school KORNMEHL EMANUEL PRE-SCHOOL The Kornmehl Pre-school celebrates 20 years since its opening by the late Paul Kornmehl, who had the vision to purposebuild a Jewish Pre-school that would offer a quality early learning facility for children in the community. Over 55 children attend the Pre-School daily, spending many hours playing, learning, sharing and exploring. The recent refurbishment of the indoor areas of the Pre-school has given it a new and modern look, providing a beautiful and inviting environment that is rich, stimulating and nurturing. As a starting point, the flooring has been replaced with a wooden look that lifts the spaces, has longevity and ensures a visual seamless transition from room to room. This also helps create authentic, warm and homely areas, that results in an open and harmonious flow. Spaces are flexible and encourage open-ended exploration, independence, the use of natural materials and caters for the needs and strengths of all the children. The carpets and finishes were what you might use in your home, bridging the gap between home and school and allowing children to feel comfortable and relaxed in the spaces.

The newly-refurbished environment evokes imagination and inspires creativity, reflecting the interests of the children. Terry Aizen, Director of the Pre-school, was delighted with the end result: “We have created learning areas that encourage small group collaboration and independence. By providing a constant and secure environment, we encourage children to revisit activities and experiences, enabling them to learn at their own pace.” Leo Marishel (aged 4.7 years) commented: “I like the new carpets because the one in the Dream room has a pattern on it and it feels soft. I was excited to use all the new things. I could see all the tables had been changed. I liked everything.” Hannah Pellow (aged 4.9 years) said: “I felt so happy because we got to play with new things. I like to sit on the comfy ottomans and read with my Mum and Dad in the mornings.” Aizen continued: “We look forward to watching many more children being able to play, experiment, explore, discover, create, improvise and imagine in a supportive environment where they can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking.”

Mount Sinai College pioneering new educational pathways MOUNT SINAI COLLEGE MICHELLE PRICE The world is changing ever faster, and our education systems are struggling to catch up. At Mount Sinai College, we are embracing this change to pioneer a new model of education, whilst honouring and preserving the important Jewish traditions which have sustained our community for generations. Gone are the days where a teacher sits at the front of the classroom and uniformly presents to students. If we want to produce self-direct and selfmotivated scholars, then teachers must role model this in a flexible and creative environment, supported by inspirational leadership. With the construction of new classrooms and facilities in the final stages of completion, MSC teachers now have the ability to change the landscape of their learning spaces to suit the task at hand and support better immersion and learning outcomes. They can open up a space to allow for interaction, socialisation and the free flow of ideas, or close spaces to facilitate quiet and focus. Their specialist teachers - clinical psychologist, special education, speech/ occupational therapists, gifted and talented and Feuerstein mediators - work closely and intertwine with respective grade teachers with utmost respect and mutual admiration to ensure no MSC child slips through the cracks and that every child receives the individual attention, support and challenge they need.

Importantly, MSC do not have a onedimensional view of success that is just based on academics. They are a proud KidsMatter school, which is a flexible, whole-of-school approach aimed at improving children’s mental health and wellbeing. This is done through formal and informal activities. The formal includes the 6 Kinds of Best Values Programme (Kind to Others, Environment, Self, Community, Learning, Achieving), implementing ‘Bounce Back’ initiatives, lunchtime clubs and societies such as Art Club, Tech Club, Public Speaking, Israeli Dancing, Science Club, Chess. The informal initiatives include a ‘mensch bench’ for students to go find a friend if they are alone at lunch, teachers keeping abreast of any issues they see happening in the classrooms, and so on. Continuing to pioneer in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) and being acknowledged as an Apple Distinguished School for a third designation, as well as the authentic way in which they embrace and cultivate a strong Jewish identity, reaffirms how they are giving children the best foundation for a successful, community oriented and blessed life. With 1.5 hours of Hebrew studies seamlessly embedded into the curriculum and Jewish culture woven into the fabric of the students’ everyday experience means the flame of Judaism will burn brightly in the heart of every MSC child.


March 2019

Moriah Year 7 Orientation Camp

BJE 2019 classes begin with a bang! The New South Wales Board of Jewish Education (NSW BJE) has commenced the 2019 school year with its presence in about 60 Public Schools. This year, BJE Hebrew after school classes are being taught for the first time ever at Anzac Public School in Cammeray. All the BJE before and after school Hebrew centres are eligible for the Service NSW Creative Kids voucher. In addition to Hebrew Classes, BJE also offers SRE (Scripture) at various schools during the school day as a part of the NSW Government school timetable. For more information on the programs BJE has to offer at your local school, visit or call the BJE office on 9365 7900. Follow BJE on facebook: Follow BJE on Instagram: @nswbje

Classes are back at Bellevue Hill

BJE Students participate in JNF’s Green Sunday BJE On Sunday, 30 BJE students joined forces to raise money for JNF Green Sunday. Students from BJE, Masada, Kesser Torah, Bnai Akiva, Hineni, Habonim Dror, Moriah, Netzer, and Betar joined forces to rise money for JNF. It was a very successful day and BJE had the largest representation ever.




March 2019

QUICK READS: ILHAN OMAR APOLOGIZES TO JEWISH GROUPS FOR HURT CAUSED BY AIPAC TWEET JTA) — In a brief confidential conference call with Jewish organizations, Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized for any hurt caused by her tweets suggesting that AIPAC pays politicians to support Israel. “Let me reiterate my sincere apology for any actual hurt my words have caused,” Omar, a freshman Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, said on Tuesday afternoon, according to someone present on the call. “I know there are a

Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Jan. 24, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

lot of people who in the last weeks have expressed support in trying to say this isn’t anti-Semitic or this shouldn’t be looked at in that way.” Omar came under fire last week for posting successive tweets suggesting that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby, pays politicians to be pro-Israel. Democratic and Republican leaders condemned the tweets as echoing anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews, money and power. The allegation is also false, as AIPAC does not donate to candidates or endorse them. Omar subsequently apologized for the tweets. The call Tuesday included a range of centrist and liberal Jewish groups including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, the refugee resettlement agency HIAS, Americans for Peace Now and Bend the Arc. Omar kept her remarks brief but promised to meet face to face with the groups in the near future. She said the call was an opportunity “for you all to directly hear from me how I feel about my actions and for us to start the process of not only healing but building a relationship and getting to the process of politicking on our viewpoints on this.” Omar said it is up to the Jewish community to define anti-Semitism. “I do not want to give space or energy to

anyone who wants to minimize the hurt,” she said.

THOUSANDS PROTEST ANTI-SEMITISM IN MARCHES ACROSS FRANCE (JTA) — Thousands participated Tuesday in demonstrations against anti-Semitism across France. Protesters took to the streets in some 70 marches only hours after nearly 100 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in the

eastern French village of Quatzenheim were discovered vandalized with swastikas. Some protesters held posters saying “That’s Enough.” “Whoever did this is not worthy of the French republic and will be punished,” President Emmanuel Macron said at a visit to the vandalized cemetery on Tuesday. The marches follow a wave of anti-Semitic incidents in Paris, spurring 14 political parties to urge a protest rally in response. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said last week that anti-Jewish acts rose by 74 percent in 2018 over the previous year.

Protesters take part in a rally against anti-Semitism at Republique square in Paris, Feb. 19, 2019. (Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

For whom should you vote? ISI LEIBLER WORD FROM JERUSALEM Most of Israel’s previous elections have presented voters with meaningful choices, many with long-term implications on the security of the nation. The most extreme example was the dispute over the Oslo Accords, which fiercely divided the nation. To ratify the agreements, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had to bribe three opposition MKs to join him. One of them, Gonen Segev, was convicted in the early 2000s of forgery, fraud, and drug smuggling, and in 2019 was convicted in a plea bargain of espionage on behalf of Iran. Had Rabin failed to bribe these opposition members, we would have been spared the disastrous outcome of the deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization and many Israeli lives would not have been lost. That is a stark contrast to the current situation. What are the contentious issues of today that confront the nation? Aside from personalities, this is an election where, in the absence of ideological divisions, the present government and the centrist opposition are conveying basically the same message. The reality is that if a new government were to replace the current Likud-led coalition, aside from speeches heralding nonexistent changes, the current security and foreign policies would remain in place. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s successor would seek to maintain the warm personal and diplomatic links with the Trump administration and would work to retain the critical, delicate balance with Russia and strengthen burgeoning relations with India, China, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Likewise, the covert relations now emerging from the closet with the Arab states would continue to be pursued. There would be a few cordial words exchanged with the Europeans. But as long as the EU – especially the Western Europeans – continue sponsoring organizations whose principal objective is to demonize and ostracize Israel and supporting slanderous anti-Israel resolutions on the international level, the tension would continue unabated.

The policy toward the Palestinians would also remain unchanged. The consensus of most of the Jewish population is to separate from the Palestinians, reject further territorial concessions until we have a peace partner and avoid undermining our security by creating a new terrorist state. Any government would also keep confronting Iran if it continued creating bases in the region from which to attack us. And, like now, there would be minimal new settlement activity outside the existing settlement blocs. In terms of defense, any government would invest in strengthening the IDF. What, then, are these elections about? Nothing beyond personalities. In this context, the spotlight is on Netanyahu. Even his greatest adversary would concede that over the past two years he has succeeded way beyond expectations both in terms of diplomacy and defense. Despite continuous diversions to face endless corruption charges, his performance on the international level can only be described as exceptionally successful. Yet there is pressure for him to stand down for several reasons: • He is expected to be indicted on corruption charges but has made it clear that until found guilty he will not resign. Many of his followers have become so inured to the persistent daily media defamation concerning him and his wife’s alleged corrupt practices and hedonism that they no longer take the issue seriously. • Despite his gifted tongue and impressive talents, he has failed to groom a successor and derides potential leaders. It has been said that anyone of talent in Likud is likened to a moth attracted and consumed by the flame. • He has undermined the importance of cabinet responsibility by personally holding onto an unprecedented number of ministerial positions rather than fill them with appointees. • He has already served four terms as prime minister, and many say it is time for him to be replaced, especially in view of the probable indictment which would further divert him from concentrating on the challenges facing the country. He faces a new political challenge in Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the soft-spoken former military chief of staff, who has created the new Israel

Resilience Party. He was initially accused by Likud spokesmen of being left-wing but he has made great efforts to distance himself from the Left. He has partnered with Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem party, another new addition, also headed by a former chief of staff (and former defense minister) whom nobody could accuse of being a leftist. In his opening campaign speech, Gantz undertook to bolster all existing settlement blocs and pledged that Jerusalem would remain Israel’s undivided capital and that Israel’s eastern security border would remain the Jordan Valley. He declined Tzipi Livni’s offer to join him but did not rule out the possibility of serving in a government headed by Netanyahu. This is not the approach of a leftist. Current polls indicate that he could obtain up to 24 seats, a substantial vote. Together with Yesh Atid – with Yair Lapid reluctantly swallowing his pride and relinquishing his dream of becoming prime minister – the combined parties represent a formidable threat to Likud which is anticipated to get about 30 seats. Under these circumstances, Netanyahu would be obliged to overcome his personal antipathy for Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked and join forces with their new party, the New Right. Many share the hope that the smaller parties will disappear and four main blocs would emerge – the center-Right headed by Netanyahu, the centrist bloc led Gantz, the haredim and the Arab bloc. The Left has become marginal and even the Labor party, the dominant force in Zionism from the 1930s to 1977, may be eliminated. If events move in this direction, the forthcoming election would be reduced to a personality conflict between Netanyahu and Gantz. In a one-on-one contest, Netanyahu would surely win because even many who detest him would feel apprehensive about empowering an unproven leader in these trying times, especially in light of Netanyahu’s impressive track record. But Netanyahu cannot take the future for granted. The primaries elected the best team Likud has had for a long time. Despite desperate efforts, Netanyahu’s bête noire, Gideon Sa’ar, whom he considers a threat to his leadership,

finished fourth in the primaries. Netanyahu is aware that, in addition to handling the indictments facing him and satisfying his own party members, he would also be obliged to juggle and provide concessions to Bennett and the haredim who would vigorously extort their demands. In order to occupy the balance of power, he might even be obliged to satisfy additional small parties on the Right that pass the electoral threshold. In a sense, we should all be appreciative that this election has come down to a battle for personalities because, in stark contrast to the struggle over the Oslo Accords, on the crucial issues there is a broad consensus – with the exception of the fringe far Left, the New Right and the Israeli Arabs. The New Right seeks to annex all the territories, but the vast majority of Israelis would vigorously oppose an action that forced us to incorporate another 2 million Arab citizens and ultimately transform Israel from a Jewish state into a binational state at best. We should also be relieved that, despite the daily upheavals, we cannot compare our current status as a nation to that of the Americans or Europeans. Indeed, despite our noisy debates, we Jews share a greater consensus as a people than most other nations who are bitterly divided. It is therefore impossible to predict the outcome. Does it really matter for whom you vote? Not in terms of policies. But I believe most Israelis share the hope that, whatever government is formed, we elect a seasoned leader to represent us. Who, of the potential incumbents, could fill Netanyahu’s shoes and have a relationship with Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and other world leaders? As of this moment, most of us recognize that, like him or despise him, no one comes close to Netanyahu. The dream of many Israelis is for a government to be formed by the Likud together with Israel Resilience and Yesh Atid. The haredim and the New Right will be given the option to join but denied the ability to extort. Such an outcome is highly improbable but would certainly satisfy the majority and represent the best interests of Israel. This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom


jewish learning

March 2019


Why Are Rainbows Symbolic in Judaism? What’s the meaning behind the sign in the sky that God gives Noah?

THE JEWISH RAINBOW CONNECTION RABBI NOAH ARNOW One afternoon, a few years ago, I looked out my office window and saw a rainbow. I told our synagogue’s education director, and at her wise suggestion we gathered the Hebrew school kids to see and recite the blessing over it. (Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who remembers the covenant, and is faithful to God’s covenant, and keeps God’s promise.) It was one of those perfect spontaneous educational moments that I’ll always remember. And remembering is really what a rainbow is about, at least for God. After the flood, God establishes a covenant with Noah and sets the rainbow as a sign of this covenant “between Me and the earth” (Gen. 9:13), says God: When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between Me and you and every living creature among all flesh, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Gen. 9:14-15) The rainbow, it seems, is a way for God to remember about the covenant not to destroy the earth. God, we suspect, will get angry at us humans, every so often, and perhaps desire to destroy the world again, but the rainbow is a reminder of God’s promise not to. But why is a rainbow the symbol of this covenant? And what should it mean to us? A rainbow is not just a rainbow, according to Rabbi Joseph Bechor Shor (12th-century France). Rather, it’s God showing God’s self. This is based on a verse from Ezekiel comparing God’s presence to a rainbow: Like the appearance of the bow which shines in the clouds on a day of rain… was the appearance of the semblance of the Presence of the Lord. (Ezekiel 1:28) We can assume God wouldn’t show God’s self if God intended to destroy the world, so us seeing a rainbow—the presence of God—is indeed a good sign! Actually, some say the rainbow itself isn’t the symbol, but rather, it’s the fact that the rainbow is seen in the clouds. Originally, suggests Rabbi Isaac Caro (a 15th-16th-century Sephardic scholar and uncle of Shulchan Aruch author Joseph Caro), rainbows couldn’t be seen from earth because they were obscured by thick clouds —and it was these heavy, thick clouds that produced the flood rains. But after the flood, Caro posits, God thinned out the clouds, rendering them incapable of producing floods of this magnitude, and allowing rainbows to be seen. So, the symbol is not only the rainbow and our ability to see it, but the clouds too. In another interpretation of the rainbow’s significance, Nahmanides (13th-century Spain) suggests it is a bow (as in a bow and arrow) that is no longer aimed at the earth. The flood was God taking aim at the earth, but the bow is now pointing away from earth, and it no longer has a string or  arrows. Displaying this disabled weapon, is sort of like a ceasefire — holding your weapon pointing towards yourself, away from your initial target. In this sense, a rainbow is about God setting aside

God’s anger and making peace with us. Other Jewish scholars have seen the rainbow as a different kind of peace symbol. One medieval commentator saw a rainbow as a combination of fire and water, coexisting in perfect peace in the natural world. A more modern approach from Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (19th-century Germany) suggests that each of the different colors of the rainbow represents a different kind of person. In this reading, red, the outermost ring of the rainbow, is closest to the heavens and related to Adam — the person who was created most directly and immediately in God’s image. (Adam and the Hebrew word for “red” [adom] share the same root: the letters aleph, daled and mem.) The other colors represent people and other life forms that are further and further from God’s image, but the entire spectrum together is pure white light, representing God’s purity. Thus, the rainbow becomes a symbol of unity for all life. Noticing that the rainbow is half of a circle, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin (a prominent American-born Orthodox rabbi in Israel) writes: The rainbow is a half-picture, lacking a second half to complete the circle of wholeness. God can pledge not to destroy humanity, but since God created humanity with freedom of choice, God cannot guarantee that humanity will not destroy itself. This is to say that God will take care of God’s part of the rainbow, but we have to do our part, to be God’s partners in caring for the world. I love this interpretation, because it gives us an important job, and computes with my own sense of reality, of us having freedom of choice with which God will not interfere. For me though, the rainbow is about seeing. As Kermit the Frog sang in The Muppet Movie, “Rainbows are visions, but also illusions. And rainbows have nothing to hide.” A rainbow is the refraction of light through water drops, breaking up the white light so that we can see the various colors in its visible spectrum. A rainbow allows us to see something that we cannot usually see. And we see a rainbow at the liminal moment when the rain has ended but the air is still damp with moisture, when we can sense both the rain and the sun, both danger and opportunity. We’ve all had moments in our lives when suddenly we see more clearly—when the clouds in front of our eyes are lifted, and we can see not just black and white, but many shades of color, of nuance. Maybe moral vision in the world was in black and white—good and evil, life or death, right or wrong, early in Genesis, throughout the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and his generation. Suddenly though, after the flood, the clouds lift and both God and people can see colors they had never before seen. Suddenly, they can see nuance, and people are no longer all good or all bad. Maybe this is why there are so many songs about rainbows!

WORD OF THE MONTH Pikuach Nefesh (‫)פיקוח נפש‬ Pronounced pee-KOO-ach NEH-fesh, this Hebrew phrase refers to the principle that virtually all Jewish laws are suspended when a life is at stake The preservation of human life takes precedence over all the other commandments in Judaism. The emphasizes this principle by citing the verse from Leviticus [18:5]: “You shall therefore keep my statutes…which if a man do, he shall live by them.” The rabbis add: “That he shall live by them, and not that he shall die by them.” (Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 85b) When life is involved, all Sabbath laws may be suspended to safeguard the health of the individual, the principle being pikkuah nefesh doheh Shabbat–[rescuing a] life in danger takes precedence over the Sabbath. One is not merely permitted–one is required to disregard a law that conflicts with life or health. “It is a religious precept to desecrate the Sabbath for any person afflicted with an illness that may prove dangerous;

he who is zealous is praiseworthy while he who asks questions sheds blood.” (Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayyim 328:2) This duty to ignore the law, if necessary, to safeguard health is also stressed in connection with fasting on Yom Kippur. A sick person is obliged to break the fast. Neither the patient nor those attending him need atone when performing such acts that are forbidden under normal circumstances. In spite of the virtue of observing a fast, it is not virtuous to observe laws at the risk of one’s life. Such conduct is regarded as foolish, even as sinful. The Sages described this stubbornness as a “piety of madness.” Reprinted with permission from The Language of Jewish Life (Jason Aronson).

LOOK OUT for our Purim edition nex month



March 2019

Father battles cancer, son battles career extinction In Loving memory of my father, friend and a special human being. LANCE RUBIN


es this is social media and I often focus on careers, business and learning so what does a blog dedicated to my recently deceased father have to do with this. It’s not facebook where people dedicate messages to loved ones, but this has a slightly different purpose. I learnt so much from him and the advice he gave me, even up to the last week before he passed, was so profound. I wanted to share his influence on me, so that it might help as many people as possible (including the many cancer sufferers) and his legacy of helping others can have an even greater impact. I see lots of similarities in the way he helped strangers to the way I am trying to help people through sharing my knowledge, experience and yes Excel models too. The reality is my father was such an incredible man who fought and battled cancer for over 32 years and had over 48 chemo treatments. The way he approached this death sentence when I was 11 yrs old and the way he threw me into challenges at early age shaped who I am today and I will be eternally grateful. It has shaped me as a father, husband and business owner. Never Give Up! You determine failure, nobody else. My father never got any formal education but amazingly managed to navigate a successful career solving problems relating to technology and building a family. He brought barcode scanning technology to South Africa for the Edcon group (largest SA retailer) and was also a bonsai sensei and executive for the Eastern Bonsai Society and fortunate enough to visit Japan last year (the origin of Bonsai). He also spent many days, alongside my mother, helping at Yad Aron for the poor and destitute. Not to mention helping the community security organisation manage and solve a range of logistic problems. He visited fellow cancer patients and spoke openly about his views on the subject, having beaten it multiple times. Sometimes even whilst being treated in the same hospital or treatment centre. I hope this blog post helps the many and ever increasing cancer sufferes in the world as well as those facing challenges in their careers, businesses and in life generally. WHAT HIS BATTLE WITH CANCER TAUGHT ME. My father had non-hodgkinson lymphoma, meaning his cancer was in his lymphatic system. It started in his neck 30 yrs ago and slowly progressed to other parts of his body slowly. It was treatible but not curable whilst it was a non agressive B cell. My father always said, as long as medical research continued as it was doing, he can continue to fight the battle and win. It remained as such for a long time despite spreading to his stomach and behind his eye. Whilst it appeared each time in a new place, he managed to beat it back into remission multiple times and adding years to his life between episodes. At times as much as 10 years. When it had moved from the neck to the stomach it was classified as stage 4 over 20 yrs ago. However, 18 months ago it tranformed to an aggressively growing B-cell in the kidney which was never completely iradicated. In the last month before passing it went to the spinal column and then the lung faster than anyone could believe. Towards the end his time had ran out very quickly. Whilst many believed he would beat

it again, this time I was really worried given its rapid spread into life critical organs. WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH You need to know when enough is enough, its often not that easy to pick it, but fighting no matter what might not always be the best strategy. In the last months where he was in hospital still fighting, and possibly could be elsewhere. He was determined to fight all the way and the combination of heavy chemo, lumbar punctures and heavy cortezone ultimately killed a lot of his white cells resulting him unable to fight a simple chest infection. This was his life and his battle to fight, but towards the end it wasn’t the cancer directly but the medication that killed him. Who knows how much longer he would have lived at home vs in a hospital those last few months. Giving up was never an option for him. The price you pay for constantly battling and fighting can be costly. He never knew any other way. But perhaps things could have ended differently. One never knows. POSITIVE MINDSET IS VERY POWERFUL Face a threat with a positive attitude and an opportunity to appreciate what you have. Most people see chemo and the associated nausea as a death sentence in itself. He saw it as his medicine and helping him get rid of the illness. His cancer coming back time and time again was that anyoying friend you might have. You just deal with it the same way you did the last time and it will all work out fine. Only this last time his friend came back with a different persona and more than just annoying but deadly. He was very thankful that he had 32yrs of living with the disease when many of his fellow patients and friends died from the disease much earlier. This was the amazing thing, always seeing the positive side. MANAGE YOUR STRESS AND MENTAL HEALTH VERY CAREFULLY Manage your stress levels and try not get trapped. Education and knowledge is key. He was first diagnosed with cancer at 38 following working under extreme stress, not having options in his job and career as a result of no formal qualification and having to support a young family (my two younger brothers were 8 and 2yrs old). Being the major breadwinner without options for alternative employment was stifling. He was determined for none of his sons to ever be in that situation which is why we all got formal tertiary education in a field

of our choice. I asked him what he personally thought was the cause of his cancer. There is cancer in the family so hereditary gene cannot be ignored. He feels being in the stressful position with no way out was a heavy contributor. He was not overweight, exercised and ate well in general. He hardly drank alcohol enjoying only the occasional stout beer or Guinness with me when watching rugby together. KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN, NEVER GET BOXED IN Always have options, don’t allow yourself to be trapped. It might be doing you more damage than good, it’s just a job, not a death sentence. But if you not careful it could be. He allowed me to learn how to play and embrace technology from an early age. No apps here….DOS and other games with no graphics cards as well as the early stages of Windows…Windows 95 change being my most memorable. As a result of my Dad working within technology I was fortunate enough to get exposed to many great opportunities to learn to work with it rather than avoid it or be afraid of it (especially as an accountant). 1. He assigned me the job of fixing our dial up internet modem and making calls to tech support and updating TCP/IP codes and rebooting the connection. I soon was able to solve some of them without calling the helpdesk. Those days are long gone, we all have cable or ADSL today…thanks heavens. 2. He would never give me the answer to my issues or problems but point me in the direction to find the answer. He wanted me to learn the art of problem solving. Something few education courses gave me in formal education. 3. Assigned me to be in charge of all the handheld symbol laser scanners, containing stock barcode SKU data, for uploading at his first test site for the new technology. I managed to find out how to avoid the data loss issue where others didnt and had to do recounts.The data was wiped from the devices once they failed to load. 4. He made me load. exe files and clean up disk space and move files to backups in floppy and stiffy disk drives. Way before CD and DVD burners were even invented. These storage methods are now largely obsolete with 128gig USB sticks. Back when disk space was around 20mb for the hard drive. Whilst he never taught or introduced me to

coding or Excel or anything else, the biggest thing he taught me was problem solving. Helping me to constantly realise there is no box. A skill I use every day of my life. MY KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM HIS LIFE 1) You simply cannot succeed without hard work, but too much hard work could kill you and your relationships. Having a qualification helps, but not applying it is a recipe for failure. He often brought work home and would work late at night, whilst still making an effort to attend our sporting events. 2) Never stop learning. If you don’t know the answers find someone who does. He knew the intricacies of his disease and the type of cells and medication. He was constantly on the hunt for new knowledge in any way that helped him solve problems. Perhaps compensating for the lack of formal education. His knowledge was very broad. 3) Don’t knock it till you try it. He had a more experimental mindset when it came to challenges and opportunities in life. He never studied computers or coding yet I had the opportunity to load games in DOS on portable computers the size of a large suitcase when he got home. 4) He exposed me to his world. He would take me to his work regularly. Especially when I needed a place to study for uni exams. I would have entire meeting rooms at Edgardale head office whilst studying for my degree and later CA exams. He even arranged weekend access for me once I could drive. He would take me to his bonsai events and on trips to dig out would be bonsai tree out of nature. He showed me this green screen with the alphabet along the top and numbers down the left. Little did I know that was Lotus pre Windows and Excel. 5) Never give up! His will to live life despite the dreaded disease that kills many people was unbelievable. He really epitomised the saying when the going gets tough, the tough get going. 6) Don’t live life with too high expectations of others, that way you won’t get disappointed when they don’t do what you expect. This really blew me away. He gave time not expecting anything in return, despite this he would continue to help, whilst I would have been pissed off multiple times over. I still find this very difficult to live by. 7) Do not live your life with regret. Try your best to treat every day as if it were your last. Do the right thing by others and live with a clear conscience so that you know you did everything you could do to help. No doubt he was able to pass in peace knowing he absolutely achieved this, from my perspective anyway. Too many people live life with regret. I wish I had spent more time with family. Something I am committing to fixing this year. 8) Take control of your own shit, it’s the only shit you can control. You have a choice how you face adversity, nobody else. You can’t also blame others when things don’t go the way you want, thats just life. deal with it and move onto the next challenge. CONCLUSION My father wasn’t one for big talk, just action. Talk is cheap, action is priceless. He would often say, stop talking about it and just get it done. Get started. He didn’t have the energy to share his story about fighting cancer, I know he wanted to. I even asked him to write a book but he was too busy fighting the disease and helping or supporting others he never got around to it. In one of our last conversations he said he had written his story down and I should do whatever I feel is necessary with it. Rest in Peace Dad, your light will shine on


March 2019

Ashley Blaker down under


So at long last, after performing in the UK, USA, Israel and South Africa, I am about to finally arrive for my first shows on my fifth continent - Australia. And I couldn’t be more excited, mostly because I’ve spent the last couple of years answering the same question on social media again and again: ‘When are you coming to Australia?’, and I’m finally able to give a proper answer. All that’s left after this tour is South America and Antarctica, which I’m going to make happen one way or another, and those penguins are going to enjoy it. After all, they look like me; white shirt, black suit – they look Jewish! If you don’t know anything about me, no need to hang your head in shame, just fast this coming Monday and Thursday. But here’s a little about me to help get you familiarized ahead of my shows on March 23 (Sydney), 24 & 25 (Melbourne) and 26 (Perth). I am an Orthodox Jew. Some call me Charedi (aside from the Charedim, who call me Reform). Look, I wear a black hat and have payos; I have six children; and drive a minivan. If that’s not Charedi I don’t know what is. However I am definitely not the typical Orthodox Jewish man. For starters, I am a stand-up comedian, who has traveled the world performing my shows (‘Ungefiltered’, ‘Meshuga Frum’, ‘Strictly Unorthodox’ and now “Down Under’). I have my own show on the BBC – yes, the antiZionist BBC! – remarkably called ‘Ashley Blaker’s Goyish Guide To Judaism’. I also have my own production company called Black Hat Productions (see I told you, Charedi) and as a writer and producer I have worked with pretty much everyone in British comedy, including James Corden, John Oliver and Russell Brand, who used to come to our house. My wife would actually make them dinner. While I was in the house I should add.

So what can you expect from my show? Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that I have been through the show with a fine-tooth comb and every British word or phrase has been replaced. Every hello is now a G’day; and to get in character I’ve been calling my wife Sheila for months. But the good news is the subject matter hasn’t had to be translated at all. Because as I’ve discovered over the past few years, Jews are pretty much the same all over the world. In fact when videos of me performing have been posted online, many people have commented ‘wow, I thought that was just a Caulfield bagel belt thing’. That said, my show isn’t just about the universal stuff. I also talk a lot about the situations that I reckon are completely unique to me. Unless you’re also a strictly orthodox Jew working at a network like the BBC. I work in the touchy-feely world of media where everyone hugs and kisses each other and yet I don’t shake hands with anyone of the opposite sex apart from my wife. I would say that this is hugely difficult, but while it is, I am grateful that these issues have provided me with more than enough comic material to keep me going for a while. I also bet I’ve got to be the only person in the world who works in TV but doesn’t actually own a TV himself. I go to meetings and am completely clueless about the business I work in. So if I’m not trying to get out of shaking hands with women, I’m thinking how I’m going to explain why I’ve not seen the latest season of ‘Masterchef’. If it sounds completely nuts, that’s probably because it is. Let me tell you more at my shows. For ticket information have a look at

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The finer points of sleep When it comes to teenagers, sleep can

As the business and distraction of modern life and parenting intensifies, it is good to be reminded of the value of sleep and its all-encompassing role in supporting wellness, development and health. Whether you are nurturing a newborn or wrangling an adolescent, its critical to consider whether he or she is getting enough of the right quality sleep, and to be reminded of why this is so fundamental. Newborns can require around 17 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, a toddler between 10 and 14, a primary school child between 8 and 12 hours and an adolescent around 10 hours sleep a night. Every individual will have slightly varying sleep needs, but without exception all will benefit from a solid sleep routine, a clean and quiet place to sleep, a nutritious diet and learned relaxation techniques. Parents who are looking to address sleep issues should turn to a professional for help. I always stress the need to start 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 them to unwind. Avoiding over-stimulating activities right before bed is crucial, as is keeping the child’s room dark, having clean natural linens and a safe comforting sleep environment. Most of the growing babies and children do takes place during the sleep phase. Sleep impacts young people’s mental and physical development, comprehension, memory, alertness and wellbeing. Rested children are more alert and happier, they are more eventempered and they have stronger immune systems. The sleeping brain produces a growth hormone, which is vital in stimulating muscles, organs, blood and bones. Research shows that growth can be slowed or even stunted if a child does not get sufficient sleep. Some children’s sleep is affected by nightmares, I understand how disruptive this can be. In most cases though, it’s a temporary phase. Parents need to remain patient and comforting, stay with their child for a short while until the fear passes, and to remind them that the dream is not real. Repetitive, soothing verbal prompts such as ‘I’m here, its just a dream, its not real, I won’t leave you’ can be helpful, as well as offering a comfort item like a toy or a blanket, leaving the bedroom door slightly ajar and a night light on or any










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VOL. 11 Friday, 5 December 2014

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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. 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March 2019



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Meet Sid Sledge


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... 13... See page 19

ten hours of sleep optimal for their age. The plethora of personal electronics hasn’t been helping this crisis, with teachers reporting many high school students as severely sleepdeprived, with a significant impact on their school performance and general wellness. Just like with babies, I recommend turning your teen’s bedroom into a quiet place, devoid of technology. Adopt a policy of handing these in at a certain time each evening, and retreating to a cool quiet room with blackout blinds if needed. Teenagers may benefit from a hot bath before bed, essential oils, learned meditation techniques (there’s an app for that!), sleeping on natural linens or cotton as well as a caffeine-free diet. In the mornings, open their curtains to allow natural light into the room. This provides vital cues for the brain to begin the circadian rhythms of waking appropriately. It is imperative that babies, children and teenagers all get the right amount of sleep, I concluded with the most important researched fact, sleep is vital for growth, development, health and happiness. I always advise my clients’ to take control of their children’s sleep routine regardless of their age or circumstances. It’s not worth deferring, as sleep loss and poor routine 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 parents can’t do it alone, there is professional help on hand too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Wishing you peaceful nights and sweet dreams Cheryl The Sleep Coach Zzz For more sleep tips and advice, please visit, and like the facebook page. Cheryl Fingleson is a internationally certified 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, March 1, 2019 7:14pm Friday, March 8, 2019 7:05pm Friday, March 15, 2019 6:56pm

at any one of the following outlets: 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 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 The Bagel Co Golds Bookshop Krinskys Kosher supermarket Lewis Continental Kitchen Medani Bakery Pita Mix

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

Sydney Jewish Report Disclaimer:

END 8:09pm 7:59pm 7:50pm

Candle lighting times have been taken from

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



March 2019


Can you afford not to have a vendor advocate on your side? KATZ VENDOR ADVOCATES The sale of your family home may be the most important transaction you’ll ever make. How do you find an agent who understands the market, knows your area and provides a realistic assessment of your property? There is no one ‘right’ agent to sell your home, but there are many ‘wrong’ ones. Do you know an agent you can trust with your most valuable asset? Choosing the right real estate agent is the most important first step to a successful sale of your home. How do you know who is right for you? If you are not 100% confident in the process of choosing an agent, you can’t afford not to have a vendor advocate. What is a vendor advocate? This is someone who will help you select the right person to sell your home. Independent of any real estate agent, agency or group, an advocate provides unbiased advice, acts on your behalf, and supports you from agent selection through to settlement. A vendor advocate’s role is to get you the best outcome and price and it

won’t cost you a thing!

of agents based on your needs and invites up to three agents to meet with you and

How vendor advocacy works

appraise your home.

1.The advocate meets with you in your

3. Each agent recommends a sales

home. Together, you identify criteria for

approach and price expectation. The

selecting an agent.

advocate will be present and help you

2. The advocate recommends a shortlist

evaluate each presentation.

4. The vendor advocate gives you feedback and recommendations to assist you in choosing an agent. 5. The advocate negotiates the terms of the agency agreement, costs and agent’s commission on your behalf. 6. You work directly with your selected agent during the sales campaign. The advocate is available to discuss offers received during the sales campaign and auction strategies suggested by the agent, and to attend the auction. Services provided by a vendor’s advocate are free to you as the selected agent pays the advocate a standard referral fee. Working with an advocate may also save you money, as the vendor’s advocate negotiates the agent’s agreement, costs and commission on your behalf. Selling a home can be a stressful experience, but your vendor advocate is there to hold your hand every step of the way, making the process an easy and successful one. It is a simple choice to make! To learn more about vendor advocacy, or for an obligation-free discussion, contact Neville Katz at 0401 224 422, (02) 9030 0360 or visit


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26/3/18 9:43 am



State Qualifiers highlight massive weekend for Maccabi Swimming MACCABI SWIMMING NSW When Maccabi’s 24 swimmers arrived at the Metsea Junior Championships they’d already set a record – for the club’s biggest team at an official meet. But that only set the tone for a day of racing to remember – every swimmer posted at least one personal best, over 70% of the races contested ended with a new mark, and the club ended up with its youngest ever State qualifier. And 10yr old Julian Brown will count on plenty of company at next month’s NSW Junior Champioerenships. Thanks to the

massive improvements on the day, at least two relays have qualified with several others very close. Maccabi already had individual swimmers through to State: Jono Amoils and Samuel Garvin qualified some time ago. At Metsea were agonisingly close: Joe Hewins was just .05 seconds out while Jenna Marks missed by only .07 seconds. They each have more chances to qualify at the NSW Jewish Championships and the Sydney Metropolitan Championships early next month. The club is hosting the NSW Jewish Championships on March 10th at Des Renford Aquatic Centre in Randwick.

Selling property? Get a partner on the inside

Maccabi Australia Appoints New Executive Director MACCABI AUSTRALIA President of Maccabi Australia, Jeff Sher, has announced today that Ryan O’Connor has been appointed Executive Director of Maccabi Australia and will commence duty on 25th February 2019. Ryan is an outstanding leader with strong relationship building skills. He is a professional sports administrator who has had an enviable record in coordinating and delivering effective sport development programs. He is well regarded in the sports industry and has had a remarkably successful career over 20 years as an AFL player and as an administrator holding a variety of senior management roles most recently with AFL Victoria as a Region Talent Manager and at the Coburg Football Club as the General Manager. As a footballer, Ryan represented both the Essendon and Sydney Swans Football Clubs at AFL Level and will bring a wealth of sports knowledge and team development to Maccabi. As a family man, he has two wonderful children Rory and Ruby, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sports Administration. Ryan has played a role in ‘Not for Profit’ organisations and appreciates the role of the volunteer. He has been responsible for revenue raising and working with stakeholders to create sponsorship programs while fostering strong connections with the communities he has served. Jeff Sher said, “We are excited to attract a

sports administrator of Ryan’s calibre to our organisation and look forward to his passion for sport and the role he will play in leading our strategic objectives.” “Ryan will bring great enthusiasm to the role and with a strong set of humanistic values will lead from the front. He will be a strong advocate for the development of our sporting clubs. Ryan has demonstrated a great understanding of the community needs and the Maccabi strategic plan, which places particular emphasis on growing participation in sport as well as health and wellness activities.” He is well equipped to provide guidance to the development of our sports programs as well as lead the implementation of our Maccabi Life programs. With his array of skills, he will be more than able to support our members, volunteers and the greater Maccabi community across Australia.” Ryan expressed his delight in being able to work with Maccabi – “My partner Adriana and her family have been part of Maccabi for many years, and I have enjoyed my many and varied connections that I have had with the organisation over a long period of time. I am honoured to be appointed as the ED of Maccabi and to have the opportunity to work closely with a very forward-thinking and experienced Board, a highly skilled and dedicated staff and the 54 clubs spread across the length and breadth of the country. I look forward to working amongst the community to grow Maccabi to new heights.”



Vendor Advocates specialising in Eastern Suburbs real estate

Contact Neville Katz obligation free:

Our job is to provide expert, independent advice you can trust for a smoother, less stressful sales journey & a better result.


We’re on your side, from helping select the right agent & negotiating their agreement, costs & commission to guiding & advising you to a successful sale of your property at the right price – and the best part is it’s no cost to you!

March 2019




Register today and be a part of The Speedo 69th NSW Jewish Swimming Championships

Sunday 10 March 2019 Any enquiries please email : Entry Forms and meet program can be found on club website

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the sydney jewish report - march 2019  

the sydney jewish report - march 2019