The Sydney Jewish Report - November 2022

Page 1 Support our local Jewish community Fostering a closer Jewish community FREE VOL. 91 Tuesday, 15 Nov, 2022 / 21 Cheshvan 5783 VISITING HEBREW U PROFESSOR p5 OUTRAGED AT THE OUTRAGE p8 LIES AND CONSEQUENCES p8 BABKA – POP CULTURE PASTRY p14 From the documentary Drefus Drei p4




CP Sushi Seasoning

BREAD Sauer’s Bakehouse

CP Sourdough Aroma Rye 600g (sliced or unsliced)

CP Long Sourdough Aroma Rye 900g (unsliced)


All The Things

CP Raw Vegan Turmeric Butter 140g


Food For Health

CP Digestive Restore Muesli Orgran

*k Aust, Melbourne logo *Nut Free *

Dairy Free *Gluten Free

CP Cocoa Puffs 300g

White Wings

CP Instant Porridge Oats

CP Natural Muesli

CP Quick Oats

CP Rolled Oats

CP Toasted Muesli


All The Things

CP Vegan Fresh Almond Ricotta with Lemon Myrtle

CP Vegan Fresh Almond Ricotta with Truffle



*Gluten Free * Vegan * Made in Germany *No logo required

CP Bittermints

CP Mint Crisps Cadbury

D Caramilk 12 Mini Bars Deavas


CD Hot Chocolate Drops


CP Noble Choice 100% Dairy Free Dark Chocolate with raspberries Mars

CD Honeycomb Flavour with Salted Caramel Mars Bar

Soul Gourmet Protein Balls

CP Berry Balls

CP Chocolate

CP Lemon & Coconut

CP Red Velvet

CP Salty Caramel Fudge



CD Cold Press Slow-Brew Coffee

Grinders Coffee Roasters

CP Crema Ground Coffee



CP G Active Electrolytes & Vitamins

Berry 600ml

CP G Active Electrolytes & Vitamins Grape 600ml

CP G Active Electrolytes & Vitamins

Orange 600ml

CP Berry Chill 600ml

CP Lemon-Lime 600ml

CP Lemon-Lime Electrolytes Sports Drink Powder 560g (scoop included)

CP No Sugar Electrolytes Berry 600ml

CP No Sugar Electrolytes Glacier Freeze 600ml

CP No Sugar Electrolytes Orange

CP Orange Ice 600ml

CP Watermelon 600ml Mrs Toddy’s

CP Chill Out – Maui Bliss Juniper Berry, Camomile, Lemon 250ml

CP Glow Tonic – Kauai Glow Hibiscus Collagen Lemon 250ml

CP Immunity Tonic – Uluwatu Lemongrass Clove Ginger 250ml

CP Recovery Tonic – *Anti Inflammatory Ubud Jamu Tumeric, Ginger, Lemon 250ml

DRINKS – ICE TEA Lipton CP No Sugar Lemon Flavour Ice Tea 1.5L CP No Sugar Peach Flavour Ice Tea 1.5L CP Tropical Passionfruit Flavour Ice Tea 1.5L


CP Kombucha Activated Scrumptious Summer Berry CP Kombucha Soda with Probiotic Fibre Berry Blitz 250ml (can) CP Kombucha Soda with probiotic fibre Tropical Twirl 250ml (can) DRINKS

CD Cookies and Cream Choc Top Aussie Oat Bars

Nature Valley

*Made in Spain

KP Crunchy Oats & Berries Purabon

CD Wholefood Bar Raspberry Double Choc *No Added Sugar Quest Protein Bar


CD Birthday Cake Flavour

CD Caramel Chocolate Chunk Flavour *20g Protein 4g Carbs

CD Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Flavour

CD Cookies & Cream Flavour *21g


CD White Chocolate Raspberry Flavour * 20g Protein Quest Protein Cookie *OU-D *15g Protein

CD Cookie Chocolate Chip CD Double Chocolate Chip CD Peanut Butter Cups


Peter’s Icy Poles

CP-DV Pineapple and Raspberry are Kosher and Pareve in Dairy Vessels however Pineapple & Raspberry are NOT ACCEPTABLE



CP Nourish Mango & Coconut 6 Pack *85 Calories per Stick

The Cashew Creamery *Dairy, Soy & Gluten Free *Vegan

CP Chocolate Cashew Bar 50g

CP Chocolate Cashew Frozen Dessert Bars

CP Chocolate/Vanilla 6 Multi Pack

CP Chocolate Frozen Dessert 473ml (tub)

CP Mint Cashew Bar 50g

CP Mint Cashew 4 pack

CP Mint Choc Chip Frozen Dessert 473ml (tub)

CP No Added Sugar Chocolate Frozen Dessert 473ml (tub)

CP Strawberry Bars

CP Strawberry Frozen Dessert 473ml (tub)

CP Strawberry/Mint Multipack - 6 CP Vanilla 4 pack

Proud & Punch

CP-DV Pining for Lime: Coconut Cream, Apple, Real Queensland Pineapple, Lime & Lemon Myrtle Weis

*Requires KA-DE logo.*Dairy Free CP-DV Blood Orange & Dark Chocolate Bars*Gluten Free



CP Immunity Cranberry Juice Blend

CP Immunity Orange Juice Blend



CP Real Aioli

CP Vegan Mayonnaise Nando’s

*OU (Made in the Netherlands)

CP Perinaise Garlic Peri-Peri Mayonnaise Medium 265g

CP Perinaise Peri-Peri Mayonnaise Hot 265g

CP Vegan Perinaise Peri-Peri Mayo *Egg-Free 265g, 465g



CP Real Mayonnaise 2.4kg jar , 10kg pail

CP Real Mayonnaise Gluten Free 20Kg pail

CP Real Aioli 10kg, 2.35kg



CP Iced Coffee Arabica & Robusta Cafè Latte Oat Milk 330ml



*OK-P *Gluten Free

CP Organic Roasted Chestnuts Shelled and Ready to Eat 100g Wang

*Star-K Kosher Certification

CP Organic Roasted Peeled Chestnut (60g x 5 packs)


Chef’s Choice

*No Symbol required

CP Grapeseed Oil

Cobram Estate

CP Chilli and Coriander Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil



CP Conquillettes Gluten Free 400g

CP Fusilli Gluten Free 400g

CP Lasagne Gluten Free

CP Lasagne Gluten Free BA 10oz

CP Penne Gluten Free 400g

CP Penne Regatta 400g

CP Spaghetti Gluten Free

CP Tortiglioni Gluten Free 400g

Prega Buddies

*Requires T, N or R following use by date

CP Pasta For Kids – Dinosaur 220g

CP Pasta for Kids – Teddy 220g San Remo

*Produced in Italy *Gluten Free

CP Fibre Fest: Pasta with Prebiotic Fibre - Penne

CP Pasta Pro Multigrain Protein Pasta - Penne *25% Less Carbs

CP Active Fibre Enriched Vegeroni Spirals


CP Smart Pasta – Fibre Spaghetti Zafarelli

CP Liscio Piccolo

CP Pennette Rigati (18)



CP Onions

CP Pickles

CP Sauerkraut Pickle Subscriptions and information Email:

CP Peri-Peri Sauce Medium 125g, 250g, 1L


La Tortilleria

CP White Corn Totopos

Cassava Republic & Roots Co.

CP Amazing Orange Sweet Potato Chips

CP Amazing Purple Sweet Potato Chips - Sea Salt

CP Cassava Chips-Sea Salt Cobs

CP Naked Corn Chips with Ancient Grains Quinoa, Chia & Sorghum By The Sea Salt

CP Natural Ancient Grain Corn Chips - Sea Salt

CP Pop’d Chips – Super-Crunch Blend : Potato, Rice & Corn -Salt of the Sea

CP Pop’d Chips – Super Crunch Blend - Potato, Rice & Corn - Salt & Vinegar *Gluten Free

Coney Island Classics


CP Butter Me Up Kettle Corn with Himalayan Pink Salt SunRice

*Gluten Free

CP Mini Bites Surfin’ Sea Salt

CP Wholegrain Brown Rice Mini Bites - Spooky Original

Vegan Rob’s

*OU *Gluten Free

CP Potato and Sorghum Cauli Crisps with Probiotics


Gourmet Garden

CP Chives Lightly Dried

CP Garlic Lightly Dried

CP Mint Lightly Dried

CP Oregano Lightly Dried



CP PERi-PERi RUB Medium 25g CP PERi-PERi Bag & Bake Medium (bag included) CP PERi-PERi Bag & Bake Lemon & Herb Extra Mild (bag included) Table of Plenty CP Lemon & Herb Dukkah with Almond Nut & Spice Blend


2 the sydney jewish report | November 2022
*Sugar Free CP Sugar Fix’d Berry Refreshing Raspberry & Apple Cordial Concentrate 300ml CP Sugar Fix’d Citrus Burst Blood Orange & Lime Cordial Concentrate 300ml CP
Fix’d Tropical Paradise
CP Pepsi
bottles) FISH – PICKLED & MARINATED FISH Eskal Deli *K Aust logo CP American Style Pickled Herrings FISH – SMOKED Ocean Blue *Chof K logo CP Sliced Smoked Salmon Cracked Pepper Il Pescatore *OU Product of Norway CP Smoked Steelhead Salmon slices FRUIT – POUCHES SPC *4x90g pouches CP Fruit Powerz Apple & Banana Puree * CP Apple & Mango Puree* CP Fruit Powerz Apple & Strawberry Purée* HEALTH BARS & MUESLI BARS Carman’s CD Berries & Yoghurt Aussie Oat Bars
Max Lemon *No Sugar (cans &
Pato Brand *KSA
Hot Chili Peppers 340g CP Jalapeño Wheels 340g
Heat & Serve Napolitana Pasta Sauce 700g *when top line of inkjet code on neck of bottle ends with BIL Kikkoman
Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce AllPurpose Seasoning (all sizes) *Made in Singapore only Nando’s *OU
*25% more protein CP Protein
CP Protein
Key: C = Kosher Certified Mehadrin K = Mehadrin – not certified but stringent level of Kashrut maintained P = Pareve (not Mehadrin unless prefixed with a C or K) F = Meat (Fleishig) D = Dairy (Chalav Stam) D/CY = Dairy Chalav Yisrael P/DV = pareve food prepared in dairy vessels P/FV = pareve food prepared using meat vessels FISH = product contains fish ingredients and should not be used with meat NLP = No longer produced X = NOT ACCEPTABLE
Peanut Spread Crunchy
Peanut Spread Smooth
Strawberry Dreams
Wild Cowboy
Passionfruit Coconut Yoghurt and Mango Coconut Yoghurt CO YO Vanilla Bean Dairy Free Ice Cream, Cookies, Cream Dairy Free Ice Cream & Chocolate Ripple Dairy Free Ice Cream Weis Raspberry, Pomegranate, Davidson Plum & Ice Cream Bars Benchmark Coldpress Coffee

When the ancient Israelites were slaves in Egypt, they assimilated into Egyptian society – with three key exceptions. They never lost their distinctive Jewish mode of dress, they maintained their Jewish names and they kept their Jewish language. These three features enabled them to just barely hold on to their Jewish identity.

Scattered far and wide, Jewish communities have carved out distinctive languages, keeping them somewhat apart from the larger non-Jewish communities surrounding them. Dr Mary Connertey, Teaching Professor Emeritus at Penn State Behrend, explained that “anywhere we (Jews) have lived we created our own language”. Sometimes these “Jewish” languages are very similar to the dominant language around them, yet Jewish forms of languages contain clearly distinct elements.

Hebrew words, quotes from Jewish prayers and elements from other languages picked up in the Jewish diaspora mark “Jewish” minority languages. The history of exile is etched into Jewish languages. Here are six Jewish languages, spoken amongst Jews, as a way of preserving their communities through the years.


Yiddish evolved among Jewish communities in Slavic and Germanicspeaking lands in the Middle Ages. Incorporating German, Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic and other language elements, Yiddish is written using Hebrew letters. It was widely spoken in central and eastern

Six little-known Jewish languages

European communities from the early Middle Ages until the decimation of Jewish communities in the Holocaust and continues to be spoken in some Jewish communities in Europe, Israel and in North and South America today.

In time, a number of different Yiddish dialects arose in Jewish communities throughout eastern Europe.

“In each new setting, elements from local vernaculars have been absorbed, modified to suit the Yiddish idiom,” noted historians Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog. “Whoever knows Yiddish can understand the Yiddish of anyone else, even though some of the words may be incomprehensible.

Yet each region has its own accent and idioms, which can be recognised and identified.” (Quoted in Life is With People: The Culture of the Shtetl by Mark Borowsky and Elizabeth Herzog, Schocken Press: 1952.)


Ladino – sometimes variously called Judeo-Spanish, Judezmo, Judio, Jidio or Spanyolit – is a language written with Hebrew characters that has been spoken by Sephardi Jews around the world for generations. It has its origins in Medieval Spain where the country’s large, vibrant Jewish community developed a unique way of speaking, blending Hebrew and even some Arabic words with Medieval Spanish. Facing persecution from Islamic rulers in Spain, some Spanish Jews moved to North Africa in the 1300s and 1400s, bringing Ladino with them, establishing Ladino-speaking communities in Morocco.

When Spain was unified under Catholic rule in 1492, the monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella marked the milestone

by forbidding any Jews to live in the country on pain of death. 200,000 Jews fled the country, bringing Ladino with them.

Ladino-speaking Jewish communities existed for hundreds of years in North Africa, Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt and the Land of Israel. Through the years, local variants incorporated new linguistic elements from Turkish, French, Arabic and Italian. Today, Ladino is still spoken by thousands of Jews, many of them elderly.

Yevanic Jews living in the northern regions of Greece developed their own language called Yevanic, also known as JudeoGreek. The area was home to Romaniote Jews. Professor Mary Connerty explains “they weren’t Sephardi nor Ashkenazi” but a separate group of Jews who traced their origin to Jews from the ancient Byzantine empire. Romaniote Jews developed their own dialect of the local Greek language. Professor Connerty believes that became more distinct and changed into Yevanic during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. “Beginning with the Ottoman invasion (the Ottoman empire captured Athens in 1458), the language started changing,” Professor Connerty explains. The local Jewish dialect evolved into something that was unintelligible to non-Jewish Greek speakers. The name Yevanic derives from the Hebrew word for Greece: Yavan.

Yevanic contained many Greek words and also incorporated Hebrew, Arabic and Italian. It was traditionally written using Hebrew letters, though some Jews began to switch to writing the language using Greek letters in the 1800s. Romaniote Jews prayed from Jewish prayer books written in Yevanic. There were also some small

communities of Yevanic speakers in Turkey. The Constantinople Pentateuch (Jewish Bible) is one of the oldest surviving books written in Yevanic, dating from 1547.

“There is still a tiny population of Yevanic speakers in Turkey,” Professor Connerty explains “and a few still in Iran”. She estimates that only a few hundred people speak Yevanic today. In northern Greece, there were about 10,000 Yevanic speakers on the eve of World War II. After the Holocaust, just 149 Yevanic speakers had survived. Today, the language is kept alive by a few families in Jerusalem and New York – and by scholars who continue to research Yevanic and other small Jewish languages.


For generations, Bukharian Jews lived in scattered communities across Central Asia, primarily in present day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. They trace their history back to Biblical times, when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia conquered ancient Israel, destroying the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 587 BCE and exiled many Jews north into Babylonia. Although many Jews soon returned to Jerusalem and other Jewish lands, some Jews remained in exile, migrating even further north, into Central Asia.

These Jews were sometimes known as Bukharian Jews because many lived under the reign of the Emir of Bukhara. Jews often called themselves Isro-il (Israelites) or Yahudi (Jews). They developed a distinct dialect of the local Tajik language, which incorporated many Hebrew words, as well as language elements from elsewhere in Central Asia and became known as JudeoTajik. It is also known as Bukhori or Bukharian.

Searching for answers Eat, drink and be happy


Two documentaries about war, estrangement and Jewish identity will be screened together for the first time at the Ritz Cinemas in Randwick at 6pm on Monday, 5th December.

The event will mark the Australian premiere of Sharon Ryba-Kahn’s fulllength feature Displaced.

It will be preceded by Ella Dreyfus’ 30-minute film Dreyfus Drei.

To be hosted by the Goethe Institute and the German Consulate General, the evening will be moderated by film producer Rod Freedman, who will host a Q & A with both directors after the screening.

Dreyfus and Ryba-Kahn are second and third generation Holocaust survivors. Their documentaries look at the longterm impact of the Shoah and what the past can teach us about the present.

For bookings, go to https://www.


The inaugural Jewish Food and Farm Festival will be held at Adamana Farm (Randwick Sustainability Hub) between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, 27th November. Entry is $5 for adults and

free for children under 12. If you would care to, you can also attend special workshops and lectures, which range in price from $10 to $20 (and that includes entry to the Festival).

For bookings, go to https://www. food_festival

4 the sydney jewish report | November 2022
An art installation by Ella Dreyfus from the documentary Dreyfus Drei

In the next few weeks Professor Koby Nahmias, the founding director of Hebrew University’s Grass Center for Bioengineering, will be in Sydney to tell us how his technology mimics human physiology.

Professor Nahmias and his team have developed a cancer drug without testing it on animals by using a chip that simulates the human body.

The chip contains tissue with microscopic sensors to precisely monitor the response of the human body – kidney, liver and heart –to specific drug treatments.

While the idea of organ-on-chip technology is not new, the Israeli team is believed to be the first in the world to successfully create a new treatment using a chip’s capabilities to eliminate animal testing.

Their success was reported recently in the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine.

Professor Nahmias says what the team has done not only circumvents animal experimentation, but “could lead to faster, safer and more effective drug development”.

“Getting a drug to the point of clinical trials normally takes four to six years, hundreds of animals and costs millions of dollars. We’ve done it in eight months, without a single animal and at a fraction of the cost,” the Professor says.

Professor Nahmias and his team set out to solve the problem that the commonly

World leader to share his breakthrough

up of fat in human kidneys. He reported that when he “fed” cisplatin to his chip along with the diabetes drug empagliflozin, which is designed to limit the absorption of sugar in the kidneys, it became clear that the diabetes drug reduced the build-up of fat.

He looked to see if there was any realworld data that backed up his finding and found that cancer patients receiving cisplatin who also take empagliflozin for diabetes are less prone to the build-up of fat in their kidneys.

This emerged as a clear pattern among 247 patients.

Nahmias has likened his breakthrough to the development of the first self-diagnosing cars that report their problems and suggest solutions via a garage computer.

“Today, we can easily tell if our car has a flat tire or an oil leak. Our dashboard lights up because we placed sensors in all places that can go wrong in a car,” he says.

“When our car fails, we simply connect it to a computer that can tell us what is wrong. Imagine doing the same thing, but for the human body. Suddenly this seems realistic.”

Professor Nahmias says that as chips have the potential to mimic the human body far more accurately than animals, the technology could raise the accuracy of drug development in an ethical and more cost-effective manner.

Professor Nahmias will address a public function in Sydney on 4th December.

For details and more information, please contact the AUSTFHU National office on 9389-2825 or email

5 the sydney jewish report | November 2022
AUSTRALIAN FRIENDS OF THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY AROUND THE COMMUNITY a “meating of minds" PROFESSOR YAAKOV "KOBY" NAHMIAS SUNDAY 4TH DECEMBER Meet the Man Paving the Way of the Future, Global Innovator and Changemaker 6:30 PM HORIZONS @ SOUTH MAROUBRA SURF CLUB (in person) In Support of the new Centre for Computational Medicine at the Hebrew University www austfhu org au (02) 9389 2825 E T H I C A L D R U G D E V E L O P M E N T H e a r a b o u t R E D U C I N G G L O B A L W A R M I N G S U S T A I N A B L E M E A T P R O D U C T I O N DON'TMISSOUT BOOKNOW
Australian Friends of The Hebrew University Our passion for progress Professor Koby Nahmias

Six little-known Jewish languages


Bukharian became the first language for many Jewish communities in the area. Even when they were living in areas where their non-Jewish neighbours spoke Uzbek, not Tajik (which was much more similar to Bukharian), Bukharian Jews would communicate among themselves using Judeo-Tajik or Bukharian.

In the late 1800s, many Bukharian Jews began immigrating to Israel. The Bukharian Quarter in Jerusalem became a thriving centre of Bukharian culture. Rabbi Shimon Hakham, a Central Asian-born Bukharian Jew living in Jerusalem, translated many works into Bukharian and sent them back to his co-religionists in Asia. The Bukharian language, which had been primarily oral for centuries, began to develop a literary character in the Jewish state.

Between 1910 and 1916, a Bukharianlanguage newspaper called Rahamim was published, first in the town of Skobelev and then in Kokand, both in Uzbekistan. Another Bukharian language newspaper called Roshani (“Light”) ran from 1920 to 1930; in 1930 it changed its name to Bajroqi Minat (“Life of the Workers”) and continued running until 1938. During this period, Jewish schools in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan taught students in Bukharian, using Bukharianlanguage schoolbooks.

This period also saw a transition from using Hebrew letters to write Bukharian texts to using Latin or Cyrillic letters instead. Today, there are over 200,000 Bukharian Jews: many live in Israel and the United States. While Bukharian is no longer widely spoken, many older Bukharian Jews continue to

remember and speak this distinctive Jewish language.


Distinct forms of Arabic spoken by Jewish communities in the Middle East began to evolve as early as the 8th century, according to New York University Professor Benjamin Hary. He described various versions of JudeoArabic as a “language variety” rather than a fully distinct language. “I consider JudeoArabic in general a language variety that has its own history and variety all the way from the 8th century until today – and in the past two to three hundred years local varieties have developed in Yemen, the Maghreb, Iraq and Egypt that are unique to this local variety.”

One of the most distinctive aspects of all these diverse Judeo-Arabic dialects is the use of Hebrew letters – rather than Arabic – to write many Judeo-Arabic texts. Another difference from non-Jewish forms of Arabic is pronunciation. Professor Hary gives the example of Egyptian JudeoArabic: Jewish speakers use a long “oo” vowel sound whereas standard Egyptian pronunciation would say “i”. In Yemen, Judeo-Arabic dialects sounded even more distinct from the language spoken by nonJews, at times employing radically different pronunciation from that of local non-Jewish Arabic speakers. Judeo-Arabic dialects also incorporate Hebrew and Aramaic words, as well, sometimes, as older Arabic words that have fallen out of use in the wider non-Jewish population.

Professor Hary notes that some of the most notable works of Jewish literature were written in Judeo-Arabic. Judah Halevi (1075-1141), for instance, “composed his 12th-century classic work, The Kuzari (Kitab al-Xazari), in a part of the Iberian Peninsula

that had recently been re-conquered by Christians, but he nonetheless wrote it in Judeo-Arabic, the language of the educated Jewish classes.” Maimonides’ wrote his classic Jewish work Guide for the Perplexed in Judeo-Arabic while he was living in in the late 1100s, Professor Hary notes; the name in Judeo-Arabic was Dalalat al-Ha’irin.


In the Middle Ages, Italian Jews developed a unique mode of speaking, known by scholars today as Judeo-Italian. Written in Hebrew letters, Judeo-Italian flourished after Jews were confined to small ghettos: all-Jewish neighbourhoods in Italian towns where Jews were forced to live. Professor Sandra Debenedetti Stow, who retired after a career teaching at Israel’s Bar Ilan University, recently shared her research into this distinctive language.

Since Italian Jews were so confined in the Middle Ages, the language traditions they developed were intensely local. “What the Jews spoke and wrote was mainly the dialect spoken in their places of residence, so we speak of Judeo-Roman, JudeoPiedmontese, Judeo-Venetian and so forth,” Professor Stow explains. Italian Jews incorporated “Italian archaic terms and ... the presence of Italianised Hebrew terms”.

Judeo-Italian used “verbs like ‘achlare’ (to eat), from the Hebrew leechol and the verbal ending -are, ‘lechtire’ (to go) from the Hebrew lalechet and the ending ire, ‘dabberare’ (to speak), from the Hebrew ledaber, adjectives like ‘ammazzallato’ (lucky) from the Hebrew mazal,” Professor Stow explains. Some Hebrew terms became adapted to Italian linguistic components too. Professor Stow notes that talledde was a Judeo-Italian form of the Hebrew word

tallit (prayer shawl). Some Judeo-Italian words were interesting syntheses of Italian and Hebrew terms. Sone meant anti-Semite in Judeo Italian: it came from the Hebrew word sone (hater). Marorre meant an ugly thing in Judeo Italian; it was derived from the Hebrew word for bitter, maror.

Beginning in the Renaissance, Judaic languages in Italian became more Italianised; soon they were simply dialects of local forms of Italian. “Today there are no genuine speakers of Judeo-Italian dialects left inside Italy,” Professor Stow notes “and to the best of my knowledge there aren’t any speakers outside Italy”. However, in Rome today there is movement among some younger Jews to revive Judeo-Italian and its traditions.

Today, most of these Jewish languages – and other even smaller and lesserknown Jewish languages – are considered endangered, their native speakers aging and dwindling. In part, this abandonment of traditional Jewish languages reflects the robust state of Israel as the homeland of the world’s Jewish communities.

As Jews have moved to Israel from across the globe, their children grow up conversing in Hebrew. In some cases, Jews have abandoned their traditional languages as anti-Semitism decreased and Jews were allowed to socialise and educate their children in their countries’ dominant languages.

These Jewish languages reflect the history of our ancestors around the world. The poetry, songs, sayings and writings in Jewish languages are a crucial record of how our ancestors lived; they are a tribute to the rich Jewish lives that our forbearers led.

Eating “kosher style”

Keeping kosher today can be difficult. More and more we hear the term “kosher style” creeping into the language of local community event facilitators and service providers.

But what exactly does it mean for food to be kosher style?

As the name implies, kosher style food is food that does not come up to the same standards as we would expect from strictly kosher food. But this is all we can infer because there are numerous interpretations of what kosher style means.

One interpretation is that the term refers to foods traditionally eaten by Jews – bagels, chicken noodle soup, chopped herring etc. – but made without ensuring strictly kosher ingredients.

Another interpretation is that kosher style food contains ingredients that in theory could be kosher but have not in fact been certified kosher. In other words, a chicken noodle soup made with a bird that was not butchered by a kosher slaughterer, but does not contain any milk derived ingredients. According to either of these definitions one would not expect a

dish containing both milk and meat to be considered kosher style food, because these two ingredients simply cannot be combined to produce a strictly kosher meal. Still, some people interpret kosher style to mean that there is no shellfish or pork products included in the food, but meat and milk may be mixed.

And in a final interpretation people referring to kosher style may actually be referring to foods which Jewish people are “known” to eat. For example, sausages are a popular food with Jews, so even if the sausage contains obviously non-kosher ingredients such as pork, it could still be labelled kosher style.

So, clearly, kosher style is not categorically defined and can be used to represent all types of food that do not follow the laws of kashrut. If you want to be sure that the food you eat, which you have not prepared yourself, is in fact fully kosher you have two workable options.

Either look for the KA symbol on the products the person preparing your food has used or order your meals with a known provider of fully kosher food delivered at subsidised rates to your door. In other words, order your meals through COA, because it has taken the role of ensuring the food it delivers is fully, halachically kosher and produced under Kashrut Authority supervision.

6 the sydney jewish report | November 2022
COA Some of COA’s kosher baking team – Steffanie Brem, Eve Fridman, Sonya Gourney and Evelyn Perets

In November 2020, UIA Australia held a Giving Day using Charidy’s online platform. In 24 hours, 250 volunteers raised $2.4 million, which, at the time, broke Charidy's record the highest amount of money raised and highest number of donors (more than 2,500) for a Jewish organisation in Australia.

Funds raised supported the construction of a new Amigour Home in Ashkelon, southern Israel, providing a home for Holocaust survivors and the vulnerable elderly.

UIA Australia is extremely proud to see this vision become a reality. The Ashkelon location is one of the 57 sheltered housing facilities operated by Amigour, Israel’s leading operator of public and sheltered housing for the elderly. Today, in excess of 7,500 disadvantaged seniors across the country enjoy affordable housing and independent living.

The situation is particularly severe for Holocaust survivors and immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who lack financial resources and an adequate network of family and friends. Following the horrors these people endured, they arrived in Israel and were finally – possibly for the first time in their lives – able to live without fear.

There are approximately 180,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel. One in three live below the poverty line.

Overlooking the Mediterranean coast, 50 kilometres south of Tel Aviv and just 13 kilometres north of the Gaza Strip, Ashkelon is the largest Amigour public

has two emergency staircases and each apartment has a “safe room”. There is also a social club, funded by Australian donors, at the centre of the complex. Residents participate in Hebrew and English language classes, exercise sessions, lectures on health and nutrition, handicrafts’ workshops, choral groups, computer classes and more. These provide intellectual and cultural stimulation along with social interaction.

Trips around Israel, visits to museums and the theatre, and holiday celebrations offer the opportunity for personal enrichment. Dedicated on-site staff include social workers, diversional therapists and caregivers helping residents, ensuring all their needs are met.

The Israeli government matched funds raised by UIA from Australian donors.

This served to emphasise the strong partnership Keren Hayesod-UIA has with the government and The Jewish Agency for Israel, working together to support Israel’s national priorities. A donor recognition wall has been erected to acknowledge the generosity of donors.

UIA Australia CEO Yair Miller OAM says an undertaking of this scale reinforces the vital part UIA Australia plays in the global UIA family. “We thank all the matchers, donors, leadership, professional staff and volunteers for their role in bringing

7 the sydney jewish report | November 2022
Two years on: Amigour Ashkelon opens UIA SYDNEY AROUND THE COMMUNITY YOM HA'ATZMAUT ISRAEL EXPERIENCE 25 April 4 May 2023 CELEBRATE ISRAEL'S 75TH WITH UIA. Enquires: Philippa missions@uiansw org au (02) 9361 4273 Recognition wall for UIA Australia donors at the new social club at Amigour Ashkelon CANDLE LIGHTING TIMES Friday, Nov 18, 2022 7:21 pm Shabbat ends, Nov 19, 2022 8:21 pm Friday, Nov 25, 2022 7:27 pm Shabbat ends, Nov 26, 2022 8:29 pm Friday, Dec 2, 2022 7:34 pm Shabbat ends, Dec 3, 2022 8:36 pm Friday, Dec 9, 2022 7:40 pm Shabbat ends, Dec 10, 2022 8:42 pm Friday, Dec 16, 2022 7:45 pm Shabbat ends, Dec 17, 2022 8:47 pm Friday,
2022 7:48 pm
ends, Dec 24, 2022 8:51 pm
2022 7:51 pm
ends, Dec 31, 2022 8:53 pm
2023 7:52 pm
ends, Jan 7, 2023 8:53 pm
13, 2023 7:51 pm Shabbat ends, Jan 14, 2023 8:52 pm
Dec 23,
Friday, Dec 30,
Friday, Jan 6,
Friday, Jan


I am asked regularly, what is the value of reading the Bible. My answer is always – we read the Bible for the same reason that we study history, enjoy fine literature and keep abreast of current affairs. In each case we discover underlying truths about the human psyche.

For example, it is one of the great mysteries of life why we lie, but lie we do. According to research undertaken by Jerry Jellison, a psychologist at the University of Southern California, the average person can lie two hundred times in just one day.

Shakespeare in All’s Well that Ends Well noted that ‘no legacy is so rich as honesty’ yet as we go through childhood we learn skills of deception. Psychologist, Evelyne Debey found that the frequency of lying peaks in adolescence, and then lying rates decline as people move into adulthood.

Shakespeare reflected this in many of his plays – but rarely with such tragic consequences as in Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet feigns her own death. Romeo assumes that she is dead and kills himself; Juliet awakens to this tragedy and takes her own life.

As to what motivated Shakespeare to return again and again to themes related to deception is an

Lies and consequences

Jacob we come away with a significant message about life, that lies have consequences.

The narrative makes clear that Jacob paid a terrible price for his readiness to cheat his brother and dupe his father. Unlike his father and grandfather, it is said that the years of Jacob’s life were few and hard (Genesis 47:9). As Levi Meier suggests in his book Ancient Secrets, Jacob pays dearly for his lapse of conscience. Although he has the blessing, he hardly has a chance to enjoy it.

He is forced to flee his brother, he is tricked into marrying the wrong woman, he is confronted by a demonic force that leaves him lame, his only daughter is violated, his beloved Rachel dies in childbirth and then his own sons deceive him in regard to Joseph, who is not dead, but sold as a slave.

interesting question, but perhaps it is no coincidence that for many in the Elizabethan Age deception was a way of life. If one held political or religious views at variance to those authorised, one’s life would certainly be in danger. For example, Catholics were forced to conceal their identity, religious services were held in secret, houses contained secret doors and passageways to hide Roman Catholic priests – for if caught they faced the most hideous and grotesque punishment. Then of course there was the depiction of women, for it was culturally unacceptable for a woman to appear on stage – hence the use of men to play the female roles. It

was illegal for women to act on stage in England until 1661.

All of this brings me to the Bible. The Torah does not attempt to conceal, for example, the duplicitous behaviour of Jacob. Jacob is portrayed as having acquired the birthright by a series of deceptions practiced upon his aged and blind father.

According to one commentary Jacob’s involvement in his mother’s conspiracy was half-hearted. But even if this were the case, the Torah still makes a moral judgment on his collusion. Instead of trying to explain why Jacob lied to his father, the Torah chose to give us a lesson in ethics. If we analyse the life of

Outraged at the outrage

The Torah portions of this month describe the life of Abraham and Sara. They describe the eternal covenant between G-d and the Jewish People and His promise to Abraham that the Land of Israel is the everlasting inheritance of the Jewish People. As a sign of that pact, the Torah records the purchase by Abraham of the Cave of Machpela – the Cave of the Patriarchs - with 400 shekels. An actual purchase of land that is irreversible.

In fact, the first Rashi commentary on the Torah explains that the entire narrative from the time of Adam, including all of the Book of Genesis and the lives of our forefathers and mothers, was for one reason only: to outline that a time will come when the nations of the world will say the Jews have stolen the land and they are occupiers. To that we should respond that the Land of Israel was part of G-d’s creation and He gave it to other nations when He so chose, and now He has given it to us.

Rashi wrote this during the Crusades when either the Muslims ruled in Israel or the Christians ruled in Israel. It was unthinkable that Jews would ever be in a position to take control of any part of the Holy Land. So who was Rashi referring to? When in our history has it been recorded that the nations of the world

said that we are thieves and occupiers?

When did nations ever get together to say anything?

Rashi is talking to us. To you and me. He is talking to our time when the United Nations passed resolution after resolution denying our right to our own land.

To date, so many nations of the world call us illegal occupiers of our own land. Whether it is Jerusalem or Hebron we are enforcing an illegal occupation not recognised by so many within the international community. Who is this international community anyway? The

same community containing segments that watched idly by as we suffered through the Holocaust? The same international community that in 1948, 1967 and 1973 was ready to watch us go down and if not for Hashem’s overt miracles – where would we be?

If we have learnt anything, it is that we can rely on no one other than ourselves and our Father in Heaven.

The State of Israel is ours not because of the kindness of other nations and certainly not because of our neighbours, it is because of our own strength and

The biographical details of Jacob’s life, wrote Nahum Sarna in Understanding Genesis, read like a catalogue of misfortunes. All of Jacob’s later life makes clear Scripture’s condemnation of Jacob’s moral lapse when young. In fact, an explicit condemnation, wrote Sarna, could hardly have been more effective or more scathing than this unhappy biography.

Honesty, or rather lack of it, is at the heart of this Biblical story and the implications are clear for all to see; whatever our fears and trepidations, it is always better to speak the truth than practice even the most noble deception – and then at some future time carry the consequences of dishonesty.

the Hand of G-d. As a believer, that all sounds reasonable to me. I believe in G-d. I believe in the destiny of the Jewish people. With Hashem's help, I believe the time has come that we must rely on no one and exhibit strength, advocating for what is in the best interests of the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

Given this, when I read media reports after the recent Israeli election I was outraged – at the outrage! So many articles described those who maintain my beliefs as right wing fanatics, as Jewish supremacists; as a veritable danger to not only democracy but to the very fabric of the Jewish State. The accusation brought forward was that they do not reflect true Jewish values; when that is precisely and exactly what they represent.

I know it may be challenging for many to be tolerant of those who believe. But isn’t that what democracy is all about?

By definition, it means that when you are tolerant, you have to be accepting of those who believe differently than you. And certainly you may not distort our beliefs, and ignore our principles of justice and morality, to further your own cause.

As for me, I want to only channel koach, strength, to the People of Israel, strength to the State of Israel and strength to the IDF. May Hashem give us all strength, for it is through strength we will also have peace.

8 the sydney jewish report | November 2022

Rabbi David Freedman has once again compiled a comprehensive and creative Judaica quiz for our Sydney Jewish Report readers.

Topics are many and varied – we’re talking geographical; biblical; cultural and more and yes, allthings-Jewish in between too!

Enjoy with family and friends around the Shabbat table.

1. In the Christian Bible, the Book of Ruth follows that of Judges – in the Tanakh (The Hebrew Scriptures) which Biblical book precedes Ruth?

2. On a Hebrew keyboard is the letter known as a FINAL MEM found among the bottom row of letters, the middle row of letters or the top row of letters?

3. According to Judaism Fast Facts, CNN Editorial Research updated August 2020, which country, after Israel and the USA, has the largest Jewish population?

4. Who was Ernst vom Rath?

5. Which married couple had the following conversation: “You only hate me, you do not love me; you have put a riddle to my countrymen, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to


her, “Behold, I have not told my father or my mother, should I tell you?”

6. Why, in Mishna Yoma, does Rabbi Yehuda rule that the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) should have a reserve wife prepared for him in the lead up to Yom Kippur?

7. Tom Okker of Holland won the 1973 French Open men's doubles title with John Newcombe. What was his

What is the more common Israeli name for this location?

10. Achat, Shtyim, Shalosh, Arba. In Hebrew, are these ordinal numbers or cardinal numbers?

11. When and where was the Weitzmann Institute founded?

12. Is Daniel Barenboim a famous violinist, cellist or pianist? Where was he born?

was said to have been composed by Amnon of Mainz?

17. How many of King David’s sons are mentioned by name in the Bible i) 7, ii) 14, iii) 19?

18. Whose names are inscribed within the text of a ketubah and who signs at the bottom of the document?

19. Which French Jew founded a car manufacturing business, giving his name to the company?

20. In September 1940, 2542 ‘enemy aliens’ from Britain disembarked in Melbourne and Sydney. Most were Jewish refugees who had fled Nazi persecution in Germany and Austria. They were interned in camps near Hay and Orange in NSW and Tatura in Victoria. What was the name of the ship that brought them to Australia?

21. In the Haggadah we sing the song Dayyenu. What does the word Dayyenu mean?


8. Name two of the six letters in the most recent 2008 Hebrew version of Scrabble that have a value of 8 points, the maximum value for any letter in this version of Scrabble. (NB No final letters were included in the game.)

9. The Book of Samuel describes how Saul took three thousand men to find David.

The text says that he went to look for David near the Crags of the Wild Goats.

13. What was the Cairo Genizah?

14. What custom on Yom Kippur is associated with the following verse from Isaiah 1:18 “Though your sins are like crimson, they shall be as white as snow.”

15. Teddy Kollek, Ehud Olmert and currently Moshe Lion have all held what position in Israel?

16. Which famous prayer recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

22. Why were the Samaritans so called?

23. Why is the surname Kaplan often an indicator of Kohanim (i.e. Jewish priests descended from Aaron)?

24. The Carmel Winery, Somek Estate Winery and the Amphorae Winery are all close to which Israeli coastal town?

25. Name the international parent company that owns the Israeli company, Osem.

ANSWERS PAGE 12 Good luck. Enjoy. Hopefully, learn something new about your Jewish heritage and tradition.
JUDAICA QUIZ 9 the sydney jewish report | November 2022 Here is a list of some common words (Yes, we know there are more words in the dictionary that can work, but these words are the most common): ANSWERS PAGE 12 How many common words of five or more letters can you spell using the letters in the hive? Every answer must use the centre letter at least once. Letters may be reused in a word. At least one Jewish word will use all seven letters. Proper names and hyphenated words are not allowed. Score 1 point for each answer and 3 points for a Jewish word that uses all 7 letters. Rating: 20=Good; 24= Excellent; 27= Genius Yoni Glatt has published more than 1,000 crossword puzzles worldwide, from the LA Times and Boston Globe to The Jerusalem Post. He has also published two Jewish puzzle books: "Kosher Crosswords" and the sequel "More Kosher Crosswords and Word Games". Sydney Jewish Report Disclaimer: Except where expressly stated otherwise, content in The Sydney Jewish Report is provided as general informations only. The articles
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Nomi Kaltmann talks with Moti Kahana, whose extraordinary success in organising the rescue of people trapped in dangerous Middle Eastern countries has made him a figure of legend

When Moti Kahana describes himself as a “humble American-Israeli farmer living a quiet life in New Jersey”, you almost believe him. As he speaks to me on the phone while walking his dog Lafayette in Randolph, New Jersey, at times interrupting our conversation to yell at his dog not to chase the chickens, his claim is almost plausible.

However, as a result of the multitude of stories written about extraordinary rescues he has coordinated over the years – from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan – Kahana’s description of himself seems unlikely.

“Up until a few years ago, I was involved in business my whole life and I had nothing to do with politics,” he says. “I am an Israeli. I used to vote Likud and I grew up in a poor neighbourhood in Jerusalem, where everyone was a fan of Beitar Yerushalayim [an Israeli football team].”

Kahana, now 53, served in the Israeli Air Force, before moving to the United States about 30 years ago. Like so many Israelis before him, he arrived armed with spades of Israeli chutzpah and a desire to create an American dream. Kahana says he originally went for a 10day visit, but liked it so much he decided to stay. “I am an out of the box kind of a guy and on a personal level I always need a challenge or problem to work on,” he says.

In America, Kahana founded the rent2buy car rental company, which became extremely successful. “When I started my business, I thought about how I could be better than other existing car rental companies. I created systems that recycled the gasoline. I created a novel idea of having video camera inspection systems and I started to rent cars to people under 21 years of age, to create new business opportunities.” His innovative approach paid off and the global car rental giant Hertz took note and acquired his business for an undisclosed sum.

Despite fulfilling the American dream of becoming a self-made millionaire, Kahana found that he was bored. “I always need challenges and problems in order solve them to keep myself entertained,” he says. Shortly after the sale of his company, Kahana visited Israel. “When the Arab Spring began in 2011, I had money, nothing to do and I had recently visited Yad Vashem. I empathised a lot with the people [of all nationalities] in the Middle East who were getting shot and I decided to get involved and see what I could do to help,” he says.

“Around the time I visited Israel, the Libyan civil war against Gaddafi had begun. I knew people from business who connected me with Chuck Perry [the US senator from Texas].” Perry was trying to get SIM cards and satellite

Israeli-US farmer who masterminds international rescue missions

with terrorist groups nor the payment of ransoms, Sotloff was a dual Israeli/ American citizen. Kahana waited to see if he could get tacit approval from the Israeli government to begin negotiations for Sotloff’s release.

“ISIS did not know that in addition to being American, Stephen was also Jewish and an Israeli citizen. After the Israeli government allowed me to proceed with organising Stephen’s release, I negotiated a $US5 million payment to release Stephen, along with his fellow hostages, [Brit] James Foley and [American] Kayla Mueller.”

But sadly, the rescue mission and ransom payment did not take place.

“After the $5 million ransom was negotiated, it took three days to organise the funds to transfer to the people who were holding Stephen and the others. During this time, the city of Mosul in Iraq fell to ISIS. Once ISIS had taken over [the oil-rich] Mosul, they had billions of dollars in the banks, so they decided that they no longer needed the ransom payment,” he says.

In Kahana’s mind, there is no doubt why this ransom was rebuffed. “I consider the case of Stephen Sotloff one of my biggest failures,” he says. “Once Mosul fell, ISIS needed media attention more than a $5 million ransom. They already had enough money from Mosul, so they decided to chop off Stephen’s head.” Sotloff and James Foley were publicly beheaded by ISIS in 2014. Mueller was killed in an airstrike.

wanted to upload videos to the internet showing Gaddafi shooting and killing his own people. “Chuck Perry contacted me via mutual business associates and asked me to source satellite phones with internet access for Libyans. Perry connected me to a Palestinian guy working in Libya, called Mouaz, who grew up in Damascus,” says Kahana. Together, Mouaz and Kahana were successful in delivering SIM cards and satellite phones to the Libyans.

“Right after Libya, in March 2011, the Syrian revolution started and Mouaz became involved in Syria because he had family living there,” Kahana says. Having formed a strong bond with Mouaz through their successful mission in Libya, Kahana became involved in Syria.

“After the chemical attack [on his own people by Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad], I decided that that this was the time to get more involved in the humanitarian diplomacy side,” Kahana says. At first, he was involved in smuggling passports in and out of Syria for dissidents, later moving on to missions that helped extract people from Syria and the occasional mission to bring people into Syria.

Originally, Kahana’s rescue missions were humanitarian in nature and all the people he rescued were not Jewish. But

Syrian Jewish leaders living in New Jersey, where there is a large community, began contacting him concerned about the welfare of the small number of Syrian Jews that remained in the country.

“I got a call from a rabbi in New Jersey saying that there was a Jewish Syrian man who had cancer. The rabbi asked me to help bring him to Istanbul.” Kahana obliged and took a critical role in rescuing the man and his family. “I had already been active in Syria for a few years, but after this rescue, another rabbi who had heard of my work in Syria called me to his office and said he needed help rescuing 47 Jews from Yemen.”

“I said to the rabbi, ‘I am not the Jewish Agency, I can’t do it!’ But he was very persistent.” Kahana agreed to help and after months of complicated planning, logistics and paperwork, he successfully orchestrated a rescue mission.

As his reputation and success in extracting people from inaccessible countries began to spread further, he was not overly surprised when the family of American/Israeli journalist Stephen Sotloff contacted him to ask for help. Sotloff had been captured in Syria in 2013 and was being held by ISIS, who were keen to negotiate his release for a hefty sum. While American government policy does not allow for direct negotiations

When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, Kahana was the obvious choice to try to help rescue the last Jew remaining in the country, Zevulun Simantov. Kahana says that rescue, though ultimately successful, “was very difficult”. “While the actual mission was very short, convincing Zevulun to leave Afghanistan took many sleepless days and nights on my end.”

According to Kahana, extracting someone is usually the least complicated part of the rescue. “Most complications are the people you rescue, not the enemy,” he says.

“The people you rescue, they don’t have papers, or they often have complicated family situations. The most difficult thing is actually the talking you do with them prior to the mission, where you are required to behave like a psychiatrist 90 per cent of the day, where you have to listen and reassure them.”

“Because of the mission to rescue Zevulun Simantov, I have been able to save thousands of people from Afghanistan,” says Kahana. “To this day, practically every day of the week my company [GDC Security] continues to rescue people from Afghanistan.”

When asked about his next mission, Kahana laughed down the phone. “I am no Elon Musk, but maybe getting to Mars will be harder! If you set your mind to it, you can get anywhere. I believe anything can be done.”

10 the sydney jewish report | November 2022
Moti Kahana (photo by Elliot La Mer)

Divergent: (n) a drawing apart, difference, a deviation from a standard

The human brain is an extraordinary organ. Recently, neuroscientists have developed a term – neurodiversity or neuro-divergence or neuro-variance – in order to assist us to understand people who think differently.

It refers to variations in the human brain and cognition, for instance in sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions.

Some examples of neuro-divergence include autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders, dyslexia, dyscalculia and Tourette's Syndrome.

People with these disorders or syndromes face challenges in their dayto-day lives.

If someone you know may be neurodivergent it is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Many such disorders require both psychological intervention and medication.

We can help the neuro-diverse by providing a supportive environment that can make navigating our already

Spring cycle

The divergent brain

example of this could be at a busy airport before departure, where delays are common. Preparing them for those delays – allowing extra time – will reduce anxiousness.

Those with dyslexia and ADHD are skilled problem solvers, as they are often out-of-the box thinkers with the ability to see the bigger picture. People with ASD often have superb attention to detail, which is also beneficial in the right environment.

Many with a neuro-divergent condition have the ability to hyper-focus, a strength that allows them to concentrate on something that interests them. This can aid productivity and allows individuals to engage in activities that offer enjoyment and psychological reward. Planning their time can also really help with focus.

complex world easier. Many neurodivergent people have a keen sense of curiosity. They can be most imaginative and creative. If this way of thinking can be harnessed and encouraged, they can succeed in a creative pursuit or profession.

Consider successful American singersongwriter Billie Eilish who has Tourette’s Syndrome and travels the world with her music.

It is believed that innovators Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson are or were neuro-diverse, along with Charles Darwin and Michelangelo.

Consider what it is like to know that you think and see the world differently to others. What would it be like to be in a classroom and not make sense of the letters on a page or to try to sit through a lecture without moving when that is not your natural predisposition?

Those with neuro-variance who face obstacles and setbacks can, usually with the help of a psychologist, develop coping strategies enabling them to become more resilient.

People with autism spectrum disorders or ADHD require a strict routine. They need to know what to expect. An

While it is thought that some neurodivergent individuals don’t have empathy or good social skills that isn’t the case. Rather, they may express empathy differently to a neuro-typical person and, as such, they may require social skills training.

Like other forms of diversity, it is important for all of us to learn more about people in our community with neuro-diversity.

Anne-Marie Elias is a psychologist in clinical practice for 25 years.

More than 100 members of the North Shore Jewish community last month took part in the Spring Cycle, riding as the “Go North” team.

Covering all ages, Go North is a collaborative organisation comprising Jewish organisations on Sydney’s North Shore.

It is passionate about promoting the positive Jewish lifestyle available on the North Shore.

Making the most of what we have

The wicked Turnus Rufus once challenged Rabbi Akiva by asking the following: “whose actions are more beautiful, those of God or those of man?” The rabbi replied, “those of man are more beautiful …” Rabbi Akiva showed Rufus wheat and cake and said, “this (wheat) is the work of God and this (cake) is the work of man.” (Midrash Tanchuma, Parshat Tazria)

God, by definition, represents perfection and therefore traditional Greek wisdom would hold God’s end

result as superior to that of man. But Judaism believes that man is summoned to finish what God starts. Sometimes we are handed lemons with which we need to make lemonade and at other times we are provided with the raw ingredients with which to “cook up a storm”.

This underlying life philosophy is exemplified through cooking, when we literally take raw ingredients and have the ability to transform them into scrumptious delicacies. Our own bodies represent the same idea – a gift from God that we must look after through healthy nourishment and exercise (both physical and spiritual).

11 the sydney jewish report | November 2022


Once people understand that it's God's will that we protect our world, many more should be willing to embrace the environment as a worthy cause.

One of the most powerful lessons from the Torah relates to the order in which it was written, specifically in how it begins. An event that from a national or religious perspective would seem to be the penultimate event to begin the Torah would be the covenant between God and the Jewish people.

While this is certainly a topic given great prominence later on in the text, the Torah begins somewhere else altogether. The Torah begins with the creation of the world, an event of universal importance to all peoples, of all religions.

Furthermore, The Torah makes no religious distinction and writes that all humanity has been created in the image

Religion in service of climate

of God and we are all an outgrowth of Adam. The text continues with: “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creeps upon the earth.”

This is a universal commandment, not limited to any people, based on faith or belief. In so doing, the Torah makes it very clear that our original focus is on the common themes amongst all humanity and not what might divide us.

Perhaps one of the most important lessons that we can take from this is the significance of being created in the image of God with regard to our responsibility towards the world around us. This is a responsibility that is expanding because it is abundantly clear that we –as humans – are the ones who do more damage to the environment than any other living thing.

It is also we (alongside all other living things) who will bear the brunt of that

reality if our world is destroyed. I would therefore argue that religion and religious leaders must act at the centre of the effort to preserve our environment and advocate for measures that will create a more sustainable world. Religion is uniquely positioned to take on the ambitious task.

While environmental protection is, of course, motivated by universal human interests, once people understand that protecting our world is also God’s will, many more will inevitably be willing to embrace this cause.

Indeed, many of the world’s leading religions already have sustainability built into ethical codes. Judaism itself prohibits cutting down fruit trees during times of war, explained by many commentators as a general prohibition from environmental destruction. Shabbat is an additional example, for even though it presumably was not intended as an environmentally friendly institution, the very fact that we stop

travel, production, industry and other polluting activities every seven days has a definite positive effect on ecology.

Moreover, religion for the most part urges believers to abstain from overly materialistic lifestyles and favours values like spirituality, kindness and compassion over the drive for the newest, the best and the most.

Of course, religion is not always used as a champion for good and we know that many millions of people have been killed by those acting in the name of religion. It is therefore imperative that our religious leaders act responsibly to advance causes that will protect our environment, which we hope can also create a more harmonious and peaceful world.

was a German diplomat. He is remembered for his assassination in Paris in 1938 by a Polish Jewish teenager, Herschel Grynszpan, which provided a pretext for Kristallnacht.

In case his wife died. Based on Leviticus 16:6 where it says: “And he shall make atonement for himself and for his house” – the rabbis ruled that the Kohen Gadol should be married. Rabbi Yehuda was concerned that the Kohen Gadol’s wife would die just before Yom Kippur and then he would be unable to fulfil his responsibilities.

Cairo Genizah is a collection of some 400,000 Jewish manuscript fragments and Fatimid administrative documents that were kept in the genizah or storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat or Old Cairo, Egypt.

People wear white garb, also the regular Ark curtain, Bimah cover and Sefer Torah mantles are replaced with white coverings.

18. The names of the bridegroom and the bride are inscribed in the ketubah –two religious men (over Bar Mitzvah and unrelated to each other or the bride and groom) act as witnesses and sign in Hebrew at the bottom of the ketubah 19. André Citroën (1878–1935), founder of Citroën 20. HMT Dunera 21. It would be enough for us 22. Either because they thought of themselves as Shomrim i.e. Guardians/ Keepers/Watchers (of the Torah) or because they lived in Samaria. 23. In Medieval French and German the name Caplin/Caplain/Chapelain was often an occupational name for clergymen. It eventually gave rise to the English word ‘chaplain’. Jews who were kohanim i.e. priests were often given this name. 24. Zikhron Ya'akov 25. Nestlé

Spelling bee answers

Jewish Answer – SHTIKEL. Here is a list of some common words (“yes”, we know there are more words in the dictionary that can work, but these words are common to today’s vernacular): HIKES, KETTLE, KETTLES, KILLS, KILTS, KISHKE, KISHKES, KISSES, KITES, KITTIES, LEEKS, LIKELIEST, LIKES, SEEKS, SHEKEL, SHEKELS, SHEIKH, SHEIKHS, SILKIEST, SKIES, SKILL, SKILLET, SKILLETS, SKILLS, SKITS, SKITTISH, SLEEK, SLEEKEST.

Questions/comments – email Yoni at

12 the sydney jewish report | November 2022
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow is the director of the Tzohar Center for Jewish Ethics and a founder of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization in Israel.
Judaica quiz answers 1. Song of Songs (Shir Hashirim) 2. Final Mem – top row 3. France 453,000 4. He
5. Samson
7. The Flying Dutchman 8. Ayin, Gimmel, Zayin, Tet, Samech and Tsaddi 9. Ein Gedi 10. Cardinal 11. Rehovot, 1934 12. Pianist
Argentina. 13.
and Delilah
from Buenos Aires,
Mayor of Jerusalem
Unetaneh Tokef 17. iii) 19
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow (fourth from left) together with interfaith religious leaders at a recent conference


Traditional Eastern European KA-certified kosher cuisine is what this talented team has consistently offered our Sydney Jewish community – and so much more!

Mila’s Catering ensures an incredible array of options and choices are available – all delicious and delectable with a true depth of flavour. Mila’s is here to help with any event large or small and each can be smartly yet sensitively tailored to your budget.

Beyond the creative flair, beyond the perfect balance of flavours, customers consistently remain loyal and come back again and again. Why? It is such a pleasure to work with this committed crew – day in, day out!

Below you will find a treasured long held recipe, generously shared so all can enjoy this vibrant yet classic beet soup – a guaranteed winner for your next dinner!


3 medium beets, peeled and grated

4 Tbsp olive oil, divided 8 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

For Zazharka (Mirepoix – flavour base):

2 celery ribs, trimmed and finely chopped

1 small red capsicum, finely chopped, optional

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 Tbsp Ketchup or 3 Tbsp tomato sauce

Additional Flavourings:

1 can white cannellini beans with juice (280gm)

2 bay leaves

2-3 Tbsp white vinegar, or to taste

1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1 large garlic clove, pressed

3 Tbsp chopped dill


1. Peel, grate and/or slice all vegetables (keeping sliced potatoes

in cold water to prevent browning until ready to use then drain).

2. Heat a large soup pot (5 1/2 Qt or larger) over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add grated beets and sauté 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beets are softened.

3. Add 8 cups broth and 2 cups water. Add sliced potatoes and sliced carrots then cook for 10-15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

4. While potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp oil. Add chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Sauté stirring occasionally until softened and lightly golden (7-8 minutes). Add 4 Tbsp Ketchup and stir fry 30 seconds then transfer to the soup pot to continue cooking with the potatoes.

5. When potatoes and carrots reach desired softness, add 1 can of beans with juice, 2 bay leaves, 2-3 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1 pressed garlic clove, and 3 Tbsp chopped dill. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes and add more salt and vinegar to taste.

To contact Mila’s Kosher Catering for your next simcha of any size, visit www. or call 0478 297 237.

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How babka went from the shtetls of Europe to pop culture pastry

When dessert is named after grandma, you know it’s good.

Babka, lovingly named for the Eastern European Bubbes who shaped and filled the pastry for generations, has long been enjoyed by Jewish children and grandchildren the world over.

So, when did babka leave Bubbe’s kitchen and make its way to foodie main street?

Babka vendors run the gamut from Jews to non-Jews, religious to secular, mass produced to small batch specialty stores. The swirls of this flavour-filled pastry are able to unite babka connoisseurs and newbies alike – a trend that’s both heart-warming and delicious.

Perhaps the mass blogosphere frenzy surrounding Trader Joe’s tremendously beloved chocolate babka played a part. A simple Google search for “Trader Joe’s babka” sends you to an overwhelming display of the baked good obsession. Take Bridget from Bake At 350 – a Midwestern babka newbie who only knew of the pastry from an old Seinfeld episode. After taking home Trader Joe’s offering, Bridget became a babka fiend and she wasn’t alone. Trader Joe’s brought this kosher bakery special into the homes of the masses and raving five star reviews ensued.

Since 2014, kosher chocolate babka has been sold in every Trader Joe’s across the United States. In response to my questioning of the popular grocer on their colossal babka success, Trader Joe’s responded, “We believe that customers ‘vote’ on what they love and want to see in our stores with their dollars.” Hear, hear! As long as babkas keep dropping into Trader Joe’s carts, they’ll keep selling the delicious treat.

But can mass produced babka really live up to Bubbe’s confections? Enter the rise of specialty babkas and online tutorials.

Chef Shimi Aaron, an Israeli-born, LA-based chef, has made it his mission to produce artisanal babkas for a sophisticated palette. Chef Shimi’s Sephardi background (a mix of Egyptian, Iraqi and Yemenite Jewry) doesn’t lend itself to babka baking memories. While his home was always full of food and middle eastern flavours, it wasn’t until he spent extended time in London as an adult that he was exposed to babka as a popular dessert. He saw his cousin’s nanny baking the treat and was instantly hooked.

“I was really fascinated by the aesthetics of it – the taste of course too, but the technique and aesthetics is what drew me in and fascinated me. I got the recipe from her – it wasn’t great to be honest. I took it from there.” Soon after babka entered his life, Chef Shimi moved to LA and started posting his babka experiments to Instagram. Before long, his gorgeous works of art were being noticed. He ran Zoom workshops for up to 80 people at a time – inspiring his audience with the exceptional flavour and exquisite designs of his babkas. He’s been hired to create his unique babkas directly in customers’ homes to account for their special dietary needs – including vegan and kosher.

Chef Shimi has received praise for topping many of his babkas with unexpected elements like orange peels and rose petals, flavours he adapted from his humble beginnings as the child of frugal Middle Eastern immigrants. “For me these choices came naturally,” Chef Shimi explained. “I don’t like candies and artificial flavours, but as a child I used to collect orange peels from my neighbours to make orange candies with my mum. The rose petals, besides being beautiful and adding colour, remind me of my grandmother, who used rose water as perfume because they were poor.”

“I’m very proud to be able to have a piece of the success of babka in the world,” shared Chef Shimi. “It makes me very proud as an Israeli and as a Jew.”

As to what has brought babka to the wider culinary arena in recent years, Chef Shimi explained, “People love pastries and everything has its time – sourdough bread and croissants, for example. It was the right moment for babka. Everyone wanted to know how to make babka. The world is fascinated by Jewish and Israeli food!”

That fascination garnered over 7.5 million views and over 4,000 comments on Binging with Babish’s Seinfieldinspired video highlighting babka.

The comment section was alive with babka-newbies rejoicing in their fresh baked discovery.

Clearly, the second part of your life can begin when babka enters the scene.

A follow-up to Binging with Babish’s babka video reached over one million views and nearly 1,000 appreciative comments.

Don’t worry, Sue, the babka addiction hit you and about a million other Trader Joe’s customers.

Tye Sule, a pastry chef who went to online culinary school, shared his first babka exploits to his large social following.

While he wasn’t assigned babka as his weekly bake, he couldn’t help but get his hands into the dough. Good call, Tye.

His comment section too was ablaze with babka fans, new and old, declaring their mouth-watering approval.

So, while we don’t know exactly who to thank for the rise of babka, it’s safe to say appreciation is in order to: a motley line up of classic sitcom writers, quirky national grocers and creative social media influencers. But, most importantly, we’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to the baba’s behind the babkas, who likely chatted in Yiddish as they expressed the nearly universal Jewish Bubbe love language: feeding the best to their family and friends.

Bake ‘em or buy ‘em – just remember to ask each new babka taste tester to try to settle the decades old debate: cinnamon or chocolate?

14 the sydney jewish report | November 2022


One of the great Nordic mysteries, Margrete: Queen of the North is inspired by the remarkable true story of a fearless female ruler.

It is 1402 when a 50-year-old achieves what no man has managed before.

After centuries of bloody war, Margrete (Trine Dryholm) brings together Norway, Denmark and Sweden in a peaceful union.

As a woman, she is forbidden from ascending to the throne, so she governs indirectly through her adopted son, King Erik (Morte Hee Andersen).

Despite her achievement, the alliance is precarious, with the fledgling Nordic union beset by enemies.

So, she hatches a plan to secure the territory’s future and help prevent it being overrun by the Germans.

She brokers a marriage between Erik and English princess Philippa (daughter of King Henry V).

What she is not anticipating is a conspiracy within her own ranks.

One day a mysterious man (Jakob Oftebro) presents himself at the palace.

He professes to be Margrete’s dead and only biological son, thus laying claim to the throne.

Margarete is faced with an impossible dilemma, one that threatens everything that she worked for.

The power game

To say that Erik is less than pleased about the possibility of losing power is an understatement.

Subterfuge, intrigue and betrayal are in play.

Margrete: Queen of the North is the largest and most expensive production mounted in Danish film history and it shows.

It has much to commend it. I was totally absorbed. It is a superbly constructed work, with twists aplenty. Much credit

“Miracle” child?


Set in 1862, an English-based nurse, Lib Wright (Florence Pugh), travels to small town Ireland to watch an 11-year-old girl, Anna O’Donnell (Kila Lord Cassidy).

The reason for doing so soon becomes clear. Anna has not eaten in four months and yet seems to be perfectly healthy.

An august committee has been assembled, which determines that Mrs Wright and a nun will monitor Anna around the clock for a fortnight.

They are required to report their findings – independent of each other –thereafter.

Inconceivable as it is, the church is obviously hoping that Anna is, indeed, a miracle child.

When Mrs Wright, who has attended to soldiers in war, starts her assignment visitors and Anna’s family are freely able to interact with the God-fearing child.

But Mrs Wright tightens the reins and Anna’s condition quickly deteriorates, so much so that the girl faces imminent death.

And yet the committee wants Mrs Wright to see this through to the end, without intervening to save Anna’s life.

Meanwhile, a journalist from a London daily, William Byrne (Tom Burke), has been despatched to get the real story.

As it turns out, the reporter, Mrs Wright, Anna and Anna’s folks all have devastating back stories, which form important parts of the narrative.

Director and co-writer (with Alice Birch), Sebastian Lelio has created a grim drama from a book by Emma Donoghue.

It is a patriarchal society, in which power, politics and religion rule.



Trine Dryholm is magnificent in the lead role. Her confidence and authority shine through in a dominant display.

But she is far from alone in impressing.

Around Margrete, with much at stake, the schemers are plentiful.

A handful of actors bring credibility and clout to their respective characterisations.



Rated MA, Margrete: Queen of the North is well worth seeing and scores a 7½ out of 10.

And yet with the odds heavily stacked against her, Mrs Wright brings morality and humanity into the picture. Pugh is staunch and compelling in the lead.

Her characterisation is intense and carries with it a “don’t mess with me” attitude, as she continues to build on an already fine body of acting work.

A sense of dread permeates proceedings. Cinematographer Ari Wegner well captures the desolate

homestead where Anna spends most of her days.

Composer Matthew Herbert’s score aids the feeling that all is not right.

But the success of this independent movie, where the reveals come piecemeal, fundamentally gets down to Pugh’s command of her art.

Rated M, The Wonder scores a 7 out of 10 and can be seen on Netflix.

15 the sydney jewish report | November 2022
writers Jasper Fink, Maya Ilsoe and Charlotte Sieling (the latter of whom also directs). wild country serves as another character in the film, thanks to the quality cinematography by Rasmus Videbaek. tension Is up by composer Jon Ekstrand’s compelling score. church, religious beliefs and medical science have a lot to answer for in The Wonder. MARGRETE: QUEEN OF THE NORTH (MA) BY ALEX FIRST THE