W W W. J C A . O R G . AU
VOL. 68 Friday, 6 Dec 2019 / 8 Kislev, 5780
IVERY L E D E M O H E
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JUMPSTART WINNERS PAGE 7
SHABBAT PROJECT WRAP UP PAGE 9
CHANUKAH SAMEACH CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS
INSIGHTS INTO CHANUKAH PAGE 14
DISTINGUISHED AWARD FOR EMANUEL PAGE 15
Emergency Preparedness at Shaare Zedek AUSTRALIAN FRIENDS OF SHAARE ZEDEK INC MIRIAM PACANOWSKI Despite the many challenges facing modern day Israel, there is a sense of vitality and growth in the country. Yet, the threats are serious and require a level of preparedness that would be unheard of in many other places around the world. As Jerusalem’s most central and dynamic hospital, Shaare Zedek Medical Centre has a profound responsibility to the citizens of Jerusalem. At Shaare Zedek, emergency preparedness needs to take many forms. In recent months the hospital has focused on a diverse range of important initiatives. Recently, the Emergency Response Teams at Shaare Zedek conducted a special drill which simulated a Toxicological Mass Casualty Event (TCME). The drill included receiving the injured, dealing with injuries from toxic materials and working in teams while adhering to specific protocol. The threat to major hospitals is not always physical. Shaare Zedek observed how the effects of a cyber attack in London in May 2017 affected 16 hospitals, some of which could not treat patients for some time. Medical centres rely heavily on complex and critical technology systems to ensure that the medical teams have accurate, up to date patient information. Shaare Zedek’s Information Systems Team has invested in protecting the integrity of the hospital’s computer systems in the event of a computer shutdown. The
Nirit arrived at Shaare Zedek\'s Department of Emergency with a knife millimetres from her spine. Every every year on the anniversary of the event she visits Shaare Zedek to thank the staff and visit patients. Information Systems specialists work closely with the hospital’s Emergency Team to conduct simulations and training for various critical scenarios. They have incorporated safety measures to protect the hospital’s computer systems to minimize the risk of a shutdown and to protect the integrity of data and enable staff to responsibly treat patients in the event of an IT shutdown. Whilst consciously preparing for these
serious possibilities, Shaare Zedek has an ongoing commitment to maintaining and running its Department of Emergency Medicine. Shaare Zedek plays a critical role in responding to terror attacks, traffic accidents and a vast range of emergency medical scenarios. Shaare Zedek’s Urgent Care Response System has significantly increased its activities and the hospital now provides the largest and fastest-growing
comprehensive emergency service in the greater Jerusalem area. Yet, despite the serious nature of the issues Shaare Zedek addresses, there is always an overarching sense of compassion, kindness and personal care in all of its activities. Recently, Dr. Ofer Merin, Director General of Shaare Zedek, joined a very special visitor to the trauma unit at Shaare Zedek. Four years ago, Nirit was brought to Shaare Zedek after a terrorist stabbed her in a grocery store in Gush Etzion. She arrived at Shaare Zedek with the knife positioned mere milometers away from her spine. Since then, every year, on the anniversary of her stabbing, she comes to Shaare Zedek to distribute gifts to patients and to thank the medical staff. Shaare Zedek is now launching a bold campaign to double the size of its ER as demand for Emergency Room services rapidly increases. In the past 15 years, the number of patients treated per annum has grown from 42,000 to almost 100,000 last year. Plans are in place to more than double the area of its emergency department with the addition of an all-new urgent-care pavilion. Dr Allan Garfield, chairman of the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek Inc says, “We are so proud of our support of this unique institution in the centre of Jerusalem. “It is characteristic of the hospital that its response to threats is a blend of intelligent planning, compassionate care and a prayer that these measures never need to be used.” www.shaarezedek.org.au
Masa Israel Journey Fostering Impactful Change YAHEL SOCIAL CHANGE FELLOWSHIP “Can a foreign volunteer actually make a difference in a service program when they don’t even speak the language?” “In a place with so much complexity, how can we, as outsiders, actually know what is needed?” These questions are very common when people chose to dedicate time to volunteering in an international setting and they are true for people who spend time volunteering in Israel as well. And yet one program has found that building strong local partnerships is one of the keys to dealing with these tensions that are part and parcel of international volunteering. The Yahel Social Change Fellowship is a 9 month service based fellowship for young adults passionate about social change. The fellowship which is in its 10th year, brings people from around the world to engage with Israel through the lens of social change and dig into some of its most pressing social issues. Based in the Ramat Eliyahu neighborhood in Rishon LeZion and the city of Lod, fellows work with many different populations such as the Ethiopian-Israeli community, Arab residents in Lod and many others. The Yahel Social Change fellowships is an accredited Masa Israel Journey program. Masa Israel Journey is a project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency of Israel and offers young Jewish adults between the age of 18 and 30 immersive, cultural and meaningful experiences in Israel through the means of volunteering, studying or interning. Masa Israel Journey also provides generous funding to all of its program participants including participants from the Yahel Social Change Fellowship program. The Zionist Federation of Australia is the local representative for Masa Israel
Journey. The fellowship is run by an Israeli nonprofit called Yahel, which specialises in service and social action programs in Israel. At the core of all Yahel programs is the belief that working in partnership with local organisations is what enables the foreign volunteers to have an impact. Sydney born Amelia Loewensohn experienced first hand the power of this model. Amelia lived in the city of Lod as part of the Yahel Fellowship. She taught English at an Arab primary school, worked with children of Eritrean refugees and worked with people with mental health disabilities. “Throughout the nine months I was able to explore Israel in such a deep and meaningful way through my placements, the amazing seminars and trips and even my relationships with fellow Yahelnikim. Yahel pushed me out of my comfort zone in so many different ways and I know I am a better person for the experience.” Between these two cities, Yahel fellows work in close to 50 different projects and placements weekly and contribute thousands of volunteer hours to the cities.
But a big emphasis is put on creating partnerships that allow the fellows to have an impact in a responsible and sustainable way. The Lod Young Adult Center is one of those examples. In the words of Lior Benisty, the Executive Director of the Center: “ working with Yahel is much more than receiving volunteers for a certain amount of hours. Yahel is a key player in the city. They give their fellows the context to understand the city and the knowledge of how to best answer local needs. Their fellows do not replace local resources. They enhance, initiate and bring energy that allows us to do more and better and they develop real relationships with local young adults that are beneficial to both sides”. This model is not only beneficial to the local communities, it also is a life lesson for the fellows, many of whom are looking to develop careers in the social sector, in policy and other capacities. Betty Soibel who lived with Amelia in Lod spoke about this aspect of the fellowship. “. I learned how to work with marginalized communities in a way that guaranteed them long term agency and thus better understood my social position in the
world as a change agent. This has proven invaluable in my ability to pursue my activism in a more nuanced and humble way.” Yahel Fellows come from different backgrounds, religions and nationalities and this years fellowship includes individuals from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Argentina, the US and Canada. The Yahel fellowship is one of Masa’s smaller and more exclusive program. It is highly selective and has room for 20 fellows yearly since it is subsidised by Masa, the local municipalities, Jewish federations, foundations and private funders. Fellows pay a US$1,000 program fee and all other in expenses are covered such as housing, a living stipend, insurance, 9 different courses offered in Hebrew and Arabic, seminars, day trips and more. For more information about the Yahel Social Change Fellowship and Masa programs in general please contact the local Masa office: firstname.lastname@example.org, 03 9272 5584
Montefiore Randwick resident Betty Zamel with staff member Aileen Geddes
Montefiore President David Freeman AM & CEO Robert Orie
Montefiore announces outstanding accreditation results MONTEFIORE Montefiore CEO Robert Orie announced recently that each of the organisation’s Residential Care campuses passed accreditation by the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission (ACQSC) for the maximum three-year term, successfully meeting all criteria following unannounced visits by ACQSC Assessors. In a separate assessment, all Montefiore catering operations recently received the highest A rating by the NSW Food Authority. “This is an outstanding result compared with a number of large aged care providers that failed to meet the accreditation
standards. Particularly in what has been a challenging year for the sector, given the Royal Commission and its findings thus far,” said Mr Orie. Mr Orie and Montefiore President David Freeman AM have expressed concern at the findings of the Commission’s recent interim report, which as expected painted a confronting picture of neglect and poor care in the broader aged care sector. The Commissioners were particularly concerned about inadequate numbers and training of care staff. Montefiore continues to operate with industry-leading staffing levels and invest heavily in education and training, as well
as being among few providers to employ more than 100 allied health professionals to ensures residential and home care consumers receive personalised care and support. The organisation remains committed to this staffing model, despite a challenging environment where Government funding has not kept pace with the rising cost of providing care. “Given the pressure that all who work in the sector are feeling as the Royal Commission continues, it is important to publicly acknowledge the compassion and commitment our staff show every day when caring for our residents and clients. This
shows in the results achieved,” said Mr Freeman. “The Board of Management stands by the fact we have resisted previous attempts to bring Montefiore’s operations in line with commercial aged care operations. As one of Sydney’s oldest Jewish notfor-profit organisations, we are proud to remain committed to reinvesting proceeds into better care and services for the older members of our community, who deserve nothing less,” concluded Mr Freeman. For more information, visit: montefiore.org.au
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Eu Grant Sheds Light On Project Rozana PROJECT ROZANA Project Rozana, an international charity dedicated to building the health capacity of Palestinian society by leveraging Israel’s world-class healthcare system has been awarded a €741,286 (A$1,193,650) grant by the European Union (EU). The funds will expand the work of the Binational School of Psychotherapy (BNSP), a unique training program based at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The BNSP was established in 2016 to train Palestinian and Israeli child psychologists in the latest strategies and techniques for dealing with children in the region suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Project Rozana was founded in Australia in 2013. Today it has affiliates in Canada, Israel and the USA. Its mission is to build bridges to better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians through health. The BNSP opened as a Project Rozana pilot program in 2016 with A$420,000 from World Vision Australia (WVA). The first cohort comprised eight Israelis and eight Palestinians (six from the West Bank and two from Gaza. The success of the pilot and the resulting professional and personal outcomes encouraged Project Rozana to submit an application for funding under the EU Peacebuiliding Initiative (EUPI). The announcement of the EU grant is a significant milestone for Project Rozana and a resounding endorsement of its approach to people-to-people relationship building. This also meets the EU’s priority for professionalized programs that offer measurable outcomes and scalable models. Tim Costello AO, the former CEO of WVA, said cross-border learning and cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian mental health
professionals is critical to enhance psychosocial health care to children and adolescents. “We have already noticed an increase in the professional interaction between Israeli and Palestinian mental health professionals as a result of their involvement in the BNSP,” Mr Costello said. “This is promoting co-existence and building mutual trust through shared experiences.” Mr Costello also said that the BNSP is contributing to women’s empowerment by ensuring that no less than 50% of students are women. The EU grant represents 80% of the funding needed for the next 40 months, with the balance to be provided by Project Rozana. It’s estimated that the funding will allow for 60 Israeli and Palestinian psychotherapists working in the field of child and adolescent mental health to complete the course. It will also fund the BNSP to undertake curriculum development and accreditation by the World Health Organization (WHO). Ron Finkel AM, founder of Project Rozana and Chair of Project Rozana International noted
that “Since 1998, the EU has been actively supporting civil society initiatives in the Middle East. There is no shortage of worthy recipients, but through its EU Peacebuilding Initiative, they have chosen to make this grant to a relatively new organisation. “Even more impressive is that it represents 7.9% of the total grant available in this funding round. I believe it’s a deep endorsement of our work, our values and the importance of building cross-border professional networks. It also recognises Project Rozana’s support for children from Israel and Palestine who are dealing with many trauma-related issues resulting from the ongoing conflict, and other issues like bullying, domestic violence and sexual abuse” John Lyndon, Executive Director of Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) said that with the Trump Administration’s decision to cut the cross-border component of USAID’s longstanding Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM) Fund, the EUPI is now the largest pot of resources available to projects with Israeli and Palestinian cooperation at their
core. “We welcome the EU’s decision to support innovative cross-border actors like Project Rozana, who are focused on providing tangible, positive outcomes for at-risk communities, while simultaneously disrupting a status quo that keeps Israelis and Palestinians apart, and an unjust status quo intact.” Understanding Project Rozana Project Rozana operates with three primary aims: the Training of Palestinian healthcare workers in Israel with the expectation that they will return and build the health capacity of Palestinian society; the free Transport of mainly Palestinian children and a care-giver from their homes in the West Bank and Gaza to the checkpoints and from there to hospital in Israel (through partnerships with other NGOs); and the Treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli hospitals when the services to deal with their complex medical needs are either unavailable or in limited supply in Palestinian hospitals.
WIZO- Standing up for the rights of Women WIZO DIANE SYMONDS - PRESIDENT WIZO NSW Recently WIZO (Women's International Zionist Organization) participated at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference. At this Conference World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky spoke about the escalating number of incidents of violence towards women. She emphasized that the issue of domestic violence concerns men and women alike, from all sectors of Israeli society. “This is about the character of the entire Israeli society,” she said. “Give us the tools and power to break out of the cycle of violence in which we are trapped” Prof. Rivka Lazovsky stressed the importance of WIZO, which will be marking its100th Anniversary in July 2020. WIZO is the main agent of change for women, children and youth in Israel, promoting security and equality for women, nurturing and educating preschool children, and providing education and direction for youth. “We have been here from the early days until today,” she said, “to remind and to advocate, to talk to women and men, about women and on behalf of women.” Prof. Lazovsky lamented the growing violence against women in Israeli society, stating that while rockets and terror attacks generate headlines, violent attacks against women are rarely given comparable attention. In 2018, for example, 12 Israelis were murdered in terrorist attacks. During that same year, 22 women lost their lives to domestic violence. Yet, domestic violence is rarely the lead story on the news. “In order to be a strong society, women must be made full partners – empowered instead of disadvantaged.” Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO of the Jerusalem Post Group, presented Prof. Lazovsky with a special award honouring WIZO for standing up against violence in Israeli society. The award recognizes WIZO's vital contribution to the State of Israel and its people in education and women's empowerment
towards an equal society for the last 100 years. Since its inception WIZO has stood for women’s rights and helped in all echelons of society. Adapting to emergent needs, our social efforts today specifically target women living with violence, single mothers and teenage girls at risk all while developing young vibrant social women leaders. It is estimated that there are 200,000 battered women and 600,000 children who are exposed to domestic violence in Israel. WIZO runs programs for single mothers, battered women and girls at risk in difficult situations. These programs empower them to lead independent and stable lives. WIZO runs two battered women’s shelters in a protected and secluded environment for women and their children and prepares them for independent and violence free lives. WIZO also operates Centres for the prevention of violence where families come for treatment while staying together and a help line for violent men seeking assistance. WIZO’s main goals are: • To empower women across Israel • To raise the number of women in positions of power and influence • To promote policies and legislation that aim to achieve gender equality • To reduce violence in Israeli society Women for women - the heart of WIZO www.wizonsw.org.au Tel: 9387 3666
Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal at 100: looking back and forward UIA NSW “Without Keren Hayesod there would have been no State of Israel” President Reuven Rivlin (2018) 3D printed homes. Undersea cities. These are just a few of the things that futurists are predicting for 100 years from now. Sounds unbelievable? No less than the idea of a powerful Jewish state in the Land of Israel seemed a century ago. In 1920, Mandatory Palestine was a backward, desolate place. Centuries of neglect had left the land depleted. Deadly diseases were rampant and the rate of infant mortality staggering. 60,000 Jews were desperately trying to make a living while defending themselves against a violent Arab population. The situation of world Jewry was also dire. “Two-thirds of the Jewish race is at this moment living under conditions of unendurable anguish,” read the Keren Hayesod Manifesto. “[U]prooted from their homes, butchered without mercy, exposed to such an outburst of unrestrained savagery as Europe has not witnessed for four hundred years, entire communities are being relentlessly exterminated…” The Land of Israel offered a potential haven, a chance for ‘normalisation’ and the ability to control their own destiny. The Balfour Declaration, issued in 1917, had recognised the right of the Jews to a homeland in Palestine. The Jewish leaders who met in London understood the need to establish an organised framework to turn the age-old dream of the return to Zion into a feasible reality. Keren Hayesod-UIA (KH-UIA) embarked on a mission of national revival, the likes of which had not been undertaken in 2,500 years. It galvanised the Jews of the Diaspora, who, compelled by concern for the future of their people, gave generously of their money, time and energy to the new organisation. Yet
the challenge of creating a sovereign state out of nothing and the sheer scope of this venture was mind-boggling. KH-UIA brought and resettled hundreds of thousands of immigrants and created physical, social and educational infrastructures for the state in progress. It helped build hundreds of kibbutzim and establish a defense force. It paved roads, drained swampland and reforested arid lands. It provided housing and jobs, and helped set up the education system, Hebrew University, health care system, banking system, El Al Airlines and many other institutions that became the backbone of Israeli society. It worked feverishly to bring Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe and to strengthen the settlement enterprise. By 1948, a Jewish state was no longer a utopian dream. Yet, tiny newborn Israel, which lost one percent of its population in its War of Independence, faced the huge task of
absorbing hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors and refugees from Arab countries. From its inception, KH-UIA’s mission was mutual responsibility and the need to be there for the People of Israel. With the support of its worldwide donors, who at every juncture in history rallied to Israel’s side, KH-UIA helped build hundreds of border settlements and development towns. There was barely an aspect of life that it wasn’t involved in from Youth Aliyah and rescue, to setting up absorption centres and Hebrew language ulpanim, youth villages, kindergartens and hospitals. Fast forward 72 years: despite the heavy human and financial toll taken by the many wars that Israel was forced to fight, it brought over 3,500,000 olim - oppressed Soviet Jews, Ethiopian Jews who had been cut off from mainstream Jewry for thousands
of years, Jews from distressed countries and others - back home and facilitated their integration so that Israel today is the spiritual, cultural and population centre of the Jewish people. The inventiveness and ingenuity that characterised the young country has made it a global leader in security, agriculture, science, technology, medicine and other fields. All these achievements were made possible with the help of KH-UIA donors, who serve as a bridge linking world Jewry and the State of Israel. On to the next 100 years: the same perseverance and passion that fired KH-UIA’s founders continues to drive our worldwide family. A Jewish state is a vibrant, flourishing reality. Yet, immense challenges remain. In Israel, at-risk youth, vulnerable populations, Holocaust survivors and other elderly people are in desperate need of support. A sustained campaign of terror and attacks on our borders continue to undermine our national safety. Around the globe, particularly in Europe, the flames of antisemitism are once again burning. Where do we go from here? It is our responsibility to safeguard the future of the Jewish state and Jewish People worldwide. We must bestow our children and grandchildren the gift of belonging to something greater than themselves, the security of being part of a family that connects them to their past and links them to their future. Keren Hayesod-UIA - For the People of Israel: For the past century, KH-UIA supporters have demonstrated that ‘all of Israel is responsible one for the other’, reflecting their unconditional love for the Jewish People and homeland. This spirit will continue to inform the global KH-UIA family for the next 100 years, as they address contemporary challenges and strengthen the State of Israel as a safeguard for Jews around the world. KH-UIA was, and will continue to be ‘For the People of Israel’.
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Annual MDA Movie Night Draws A Good Crowd AUSTRALIAN FRIENDS OF MAGEN DAVID ADOM A successful movie night was held at the Randwick Ritz in conjunction with the Jewish Film Festival on November 21 this year raising funds for the new Blood Services Centre currently under construction in Israel. Tony Ziegler welcomed everyone giving a brief overview of MDA Israel’s initiatives either under construction or already completed: the world’s first underground blood bank and processing centre, the first Mothers Milk Bank in Israel for premature and ill babies and the Driver Training Simulator Centre which helps train ambulance drivers for difficult and dangerous situations. The appointment of MDA’s new CEO, Eric Roozendaal was also announced. Eric is commencing in the role on November 25. We thank sponsors who contributed to the raffle prizes and snacks for patrons to make it a fun evening. Sponsors included: Len Milner – The Sak, Michael Gordon – Wild One, Glen Lees – Bondi Pizza, David Carr – David Carr Locksmiths & Security, Lani Kay, artwork, Tony & Carolyn Ziegler – Dreambaby, Adina Krausz Jacobs – STM Goods, Hedley & Zara Gordon – Book Review, St Ives. Looking forward to seeing everyone again next year! For more information please refer to the website www.magendavidadom.org.au.
Gandel Young Leader Award Winner Shares her Love of Dance STAND UP JACQUI DUBS Congratulations to Jenna Rock, the 2019 winner of the NSW Gandel Young Leader Award. Gandel Philanthropy awards a Stand Up B’nei Mitzvah child for going above and beyond with their social justice action project! Jenna, a Mt Sinai College student, won for using her passion for dance to support kids in need. Jenna was motivated to take action after completing the Stand Up ABC social justice program as part of her Bat Mitzvah year. Inspired by what she had learned, Jenna created her own ‘action project’ to benefit kids who love to dance but can’t afford to buy new shoes and costumes. With the support of her family, friends and school network, Jenna collected secondhand dance shoes and costumes to be recycled and reused through ‘Dance for All\', a South African charity for students living in challenging socio-economic circumstances. Jenna said, “Stand Up ABC made me realise that there are people in the world who are less fortunate than I am and that I need to help them. Your Bat Mitzvah prepares you to be an adult and take on responsibility and so my Stand Up ABC project was a great way to practice that”. Jenna continued, “It’s good to choose a project that supports a cause that you’re passionate about. If it’s something you really care about, you’ll stick with it and do some good”. Nicole Brittain, Grant Manager for Gandel Philanthropy’s Jewish and Israel programs said: “Each year we continue to see the positive impact the Stand Up ABC B’nei Mitzvah Program is having on these young participants. The engagement they develop and the personal growth they experience is quite amazing. Through the program these young students witness what is happening outside their own world. The program also
Jenna and Diane Rock allows them to learn and explore social justice, understand the importance of having a strong moral compass and importantly make a difference through their own ‘Social Justice Action Project’. On behalf of Gandel Philanthropy, I would like to congratulate Jenna for her outstanding contribution to making the world we live in, a better place.” Through the generous support of Gandel Philanthropy over the past six years, the Stand Up ABC program has flourished in Victoria and NSW, attracting hundreds of boys and girls from Jewish and non-Jewish schools. Jo Silver, Stand Up CEO said “It’s exciting to see Bnei Mitzvah kids find their voice on important social issues and feel empowered to take action. Jenna has shown great determination to help others through her heartfelt gift. I’m sure her example will inspire other young people to stand up as well. Well done!” Registrations for Stand Up ABC 2020 in Sydney and Melbourne are now open. Visit www.standup.org.au/abc email: email@example.com or tel: (03) 9500 2206.
A Night of Inspiration, Innovation and Ignition JCA JCA’s annual Jumpstart Shark Tank event continued its sell-out run last Wednesday night. Close to 500 people filled the room at the Intercontinental Hotel, Double Bay, to hear five incredible pitches from social entrepreneurs looking to kick start their social enterprises transform their dreams into reality. But first they had to win over the judges, featuring returning sharks, Andrew Banks and Peter Ivany, and two first-timers, Noga Edelstein and Peter Harkham. And win they did! It takes true belief in yourself and what you are trying to achieve as well as a real measure of courage to get up in front of a packed room and an impressive and intimidating panel of Sharks and pitch your social enterprise. Each pitch was in equal measures brave, eloquent and inspirational, and tugged at the heart strings of the rapt audience. From HSC schoolboy, Brendan Pilman, whose idea was so obviously brilliant that Noga Edelstein, said it begged the question of why it didn’t already exist, to Margaret Price who is single-handedly keeping alive the Jewish heritage of Broken Hill and compelled Richie Harkham to go up to the stage and give her a hug, every pitch created a palpable buzz in the room. But the big winners of well-deserved funding were two enterprises driven by the passion of personal pain transformed into solutions that offer hope to many in the community and, potentially, millions of people around the world. First prize of $30,000 was awarded to Melissa Levi and her start-up, Age Well with Mel. Melissa, a clinical psychologist with more than a decade of experience working in geriatrics, shared her vision to create a one-stop platform to guide anyone navigating the daunting path of aged care and dementia. Melissa and her family were faced with the heartbreaking challenge of dealing with her late grandfather’s descent into dementia. She is determined to revolutionise the way we deal with aged care and dementia. Age Well with Mel is an online platform to answer questions, and provide support and integrated information to empower those experiencing ageing and dementia. Melissa’s win comes on the back of an offer to publish a book on ageing and her freemium website model will be able to reach people around the globe as our population rapidly ages. As part of her pitch, Melissa noted that the funding from Shark Tank would allow unlock $25,000 of matched government funding, so her win was doubly sweet. Second prize of $15,000 was won by Danny Hui whose son, Monty, who suffers from a rare neurological condition. Monty’s team includes 37 doctors, support workers, therapists and family members, none of whom could easily communicate with each other. Danny realised that in order to achieve the best outcome for Monty and others like him, his team needed to collaborate. He founded Sameview, an online platform that provides one place to connect and share information between therapists, educators, support workers, and families. Sameview aims to be there for families from the outset of diagnosis providing a holistic approach for the
best outcomes. Richie Harkham commended Danny on taking one of the worst things that could happen to a person and turning it into something so positive. Danny’s funding was topped up by also winning the People’s Choice Award of $10,000, voted on by the audience. The prize was introduced by 14-year-old Sienna Rosmarin on behalf of the award’s sponsor, the All In Giving Circle, a collective of nine families who have pooled their giving to effect real change in the causes they support. Sienna encouraged other families to consider forming a giving circle and her presence served as a great example of the spirit of philanthropy that is vital to the community’s future. In a further surprise for the first and second place winners, Andrew and Taryn Boyarsky, on behalf of their JCA The Choice Foundation, presented additional cheques of $5,000 to both Age Well with Mel and Sameview for their work in the disability sector. By the end of the night, everyone was a winner. Third prize of $5,000 was awarded to Harry Rosen, one of the founders of YouthHear. Youth HEAR (Holocaust Education and Remembrance) is an organisation that connects Australian youth, both Jewish and non-Jewish, with the memory of the holocaust. Margaret Price had met with Norman Seligman from the Sydney Jewish Museum to help her with her dream of establishing a Jewish museum in Broken Hill. The final surprise for the night was reserved for 17-year-old Brendan Pilman and his social enterprise, Braille Elements. Not only does Brendan restore any faith we had lost in the mobile native Gen Z, he proves that age and stage are no barrier to making a difference and creating a positive change in the world. Two years ago Brendan encountered an elderly woman on the street who was in tears. He stopped to help her and noticed that she had a cane and mismatched shoe. She was upset and embarrassed lamenting that she never knew what she was wearing. Brendan was so moved, that he decided to find a way to alleviate this daily problem for the visually impaired. Braille Elements is a vinyl label that identifies colour, fabric, garment care and description in Braille for clothing items. Brendan designed a prototype for his HSC major work and has another concept where NFC chips can be integrated into garment labels for those that cannot read Braille. In a sterling example of our community’s generous spirit, Phil Green of Alceon a major funder of Jumpstart over the years, stood up and announced that he would ensure that Brendan received the funding that he needed to bring Braille Elements to fruition. Ultimately, the real winner on the night was the local Jewish community. JCA Jumpstart’s Shark Tank never fails to showcase the best that the community has to offer, inspiring us to support those making a difference and hopefully to bring our own positive changes to our community and the world.
Andrew Banks , Peter Ivany, Noga Edelstein, Tarryn Boyarsky , Danny Hui , Andrew Boyarsky, Melissa Levi , Ritchie Harkham
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The Palestinian Refugee AJA ALLAN ELLISON
There are actually very few real Palestinian refugees. How is it possible that while other refugee populations shrink, the Palestinian refugees only grow in number exponentially? Because it is big business, a scam. The Palestinian refugees are the only refugees in the world to inherit refugee status, and are not actual refugees fleeing conflict, expelled, fleeing famine, or natural disasters. They can become citizens of other countries; they could be living in Gaza itself they could be fourth generation – but as long as their ancestors (may have) lived in Mandated Palestine for a two year period from 1946-1948 and left their home, they are refugees – and their descendants remain refugees forever. After Israel gained its independence in May of 1948, it was attacked by the surrounding Arab nations. About 700,000 Arabs living in Israel fled. They were told by the attacking Arab leaders to leave the Jewish areas. The idea was that they would return once the Jewish state had been destroyed. Khalid Al-Azm, the Syrian Prime Minister in his memoir wrote: ‘Since 1948, we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave.’ That’s how the Arab, later re-named Palestine, refugee crisis was created. In 1949 the United Nations formed UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees following the failure of the Arab war against Israel’s independence. Seventy years later it still exists tending to the children and
grandchildren of the original refugees. In a recent speech Dumisani Washington said, over 850,000 Jews were expelled or fled from the Middle East and North Africa after the Arab countries’ attack on Israel. Around 650,000 of these fled to Israel and the remainder to the United States. They came with nothing, most had been forced to leave their homes, possessions and businesses behind. Why are these facts never spoken of and why was no united nations relief fund set up for Jewish refugees of the same war? They did not remain refugees for long as the countries’ that took them in also took
responsibility for their rehabilitation. UNRWA on the other hand depends on the refugee problem for funding which it extracts from other countries. It has no motivation to resolve the Palestinian refugee problem, since this would render it obsolete. The agency not only perpetuates the refugee problem, but has, in many ways, exacerbated it. In doing so, it has made Israeli-Palestinian peace all but impossible. Any country or organisation which provides money to UNRWA is funding hatred and assisting in facilitating terrorism. UNRWA schools in Israel have recently been closed
down when it was discovered that their text books were encouraging Arab children to want to kill Jews. These schools were shown to have links to Hamas who were recruiting young terrorists directly from the schools and also hiding weapons within the schools. AJA is at present lobbying the Australian government to remove all funding to UNRWA. Acknowledging Dumisani Washington, Nat’l Diversity Outreach Coordinator for Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Director of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI).
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A Record-Breaking Shabbat Over 1 million Jews in over 1,685 cities around the world participated in the global celebration of Shabbat that is The Shabbat Project. Sydney was no exception with some extraordinary events and achievements and 85 programs produced by more than 50 communal organisations. Keeping things fresh with new and innovative events, The Shabbat Project and UIA executed a sensational Shabbat Shuk on Thursday 14 November in the heart of Double Bay’s Kiaora shopping precinct. Local kosher suppliers got involved to create a curated kosher shopping experience inspired by Machane Yehuda, including graffiti backdrops, live music and a palpable positive energy. More than 3,500 came down to shop for Shabbat, grab a kosher snack and chat to friends at the Shabbat
Shuk. The Golden Sheaf were on board too with a kosher pop-up in the laneway called Bazaar Bar, where patrons enjoyed a drink or bought a bottle or two of Harkham wine to enjoy at home over Shabbat. While the Shuk was in full swing, something truly remarkable was happening across town at Maroubra Synagogue: JNF together with Grandma Moses attempted to break the Guinness Book World Record for longest braided loaf of bread. The record had been set in Brooklyn in 2016 with a twenty foot (approx. 6m) challah. The attempt was successful and they baked a 10m long challah that took 12 hours to bake and a whopping 70kg of dough. Local Jewish Day schools were present throughout the day to assist. News of this feat have even reached Israeli papers.
When the stars came out on Saturday night, the party was just getting started at Dover Heights Shule with havdallah immediately followed by the soulful and uplifting music of internationally acclaimed Moshav Band. Over 600 danced and sang along late into the night. A perfect way to cap off a wonderful Shabbat. What is very heartening is the commendable effort of local shuls, schools and other organisations who supported the Shabbat Project with challah bakes, Shabbat meals, special services and a range of other supporting activities to ensure that there was something on offer for anyone in the community who wished to participate. Forming connections and a feeling of community is core to the mission of the Project.
Daniel Sekers chairman of the Shabbat Project said “For some, this is their first experience, for others it’s a weekly recurrence, but for all the power of Shabbat to our community is both electrifying and unifying. We see Jews from all walks of life, young and old, from across the spectrum of affiliation, experience the magic, joy and connection of Shabbat.” The Shabbat Project Sydney is proudly brought to life with the support of our Partners. In 2019 we would like to acknowledge the generosity of our Strategic partner Jewish Communal Appeal (JCA), presenting partner United Israel Appeal, Communal partners; Moriah College, Emanuel School, Mount Sinai College, JNF, Shalom, Wolper Hospital and the generosity of private donors.
The Shabbat Project Shuk Double Bay
We thank all our customers for their continued support and wish all families
Shabbat Project: Challah Bake
Moshav Dover Heights
2019 Jewish House Gala Dinner
The 2019 Jewish House Gala Dinner was a beautiful evening, as close to 1000 people came together in celebration and support of the work we do and our continued growth. Our MC, Gretel Killeen captivated the crowd, as our keynote speaker, Olympic swimmer Ian Thrope MP, captured the hearts of our guests with his inspiring story. The NSW Police band surprised everyone with their incredible marching performance! All monies raised on the night will allow us to help even more individuals and families in times of need and crisis, through vital programs for vulnerable people in our local community.
Emunah Australia’s Mission to Israel EMUNAH AUSTRALIA NICOLE KOHN During an eye-opening week in November, twelve participants on the Emunah Australia mission to Israel, enjoyed a journey of discovery into the transformative work Emunah does every day to improve Israeli society through its many projects. Emunah runs five Children’s Homes across Israel which provide residential and afternoon care and are a safe haven for hundreds of abused and neglected children who are unable to live with their families. Emunah changes lives by aiming to break the cycle of disadvantage and empower these vulnerable children to build their own stable and fulfilling lives. The warmth, love and patience of the staff who dedicate themselves to improving the prospects of children who have faced unimaginable hardship in their young lives is incredible to see. Alongside providing a range of therapies to support the children, Emunah works hard to provide them with a real home life – comfortable living spaces, a room filled with toys where they can choose their own birthday present, the opportunity to go shopping for clothes, the option of learning a musical instrument and of course attending school. Emunah makes a remarkable impact on the children under their care. We met Manny, who came to an Emunah home as a troubled child and now works there, helping other children in need. Together with his pastry chef wife Chen, he runs a patisserie where the children learn how to bake and are exposed to the running of a business through selling their
creations. His own children are growing up in a secure and loving home – the cycle has been broken. At Emunah high schools, colleges, multidisciplinary daycare centres and family counselling centres, we met with inspirational professionals who impressed us with their passion for improving the lives of the families, women and children in their care. Therapy services are provided at a subsidy to ensure that they are accessible to anyone who needs them and the daycare centres provide intensive support for mothers and children in need of guidance to overcome personal challenges. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the Emunah Sarah Ronson Family Counselling Centre in Sderot which provides professional support for the residents of the area who live with the constant existential threat of attack. The first day of the mission coincided with an escalation of rocket attacks. As we stepped off the plane, we were met with the news that sirens were sounded in Tel Aviv and schools and work places were closed. The uncertainty created a sense of panic I had never felt before. These were only brief moments of fear. However, for the people of Southern Israel, the counselling centre is a lifeline for the many children and adults suffering trauma induced by the ever-present threat of harm in the area. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks explains that the word emunah is wrongly translated as faith. It should really be understood as faithfulness, loyalty, not walking away even when the going gets tough. This is exactly what Emunah does across its diverse projects in Israel every day.
Political Leaders: Stand Up And Be Counted ISI LIEBLER There is an ever-increasing likelihood that we may be forced into a third election. This would be an abominable reflection on Israel’s political leaders and could have disastrous consequences. If the reason for this demoralizing situation were attributable to ideological differences, that would be at least partially understandable. But the reality is that the country today is more united on basic foreign policy and defense issues than at any time since the failed Oslo Accords, nearly three decades ago. Aside from a reaction against coercion by the haredi politicians, there has been no meaningful debate during the past two elections on any issue other than personalities. There is a consensus among most Israelis, who wish ultimately to separate themselves from the Palestinians but currently oppose a Palestinian state which would become a terrorist entity and launching pad for the Iranians. There is also a broad consensus that the major settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley should be annexed to the Jewish state. Despite minor differences, Likud, Blue and White, and Yisrael Beytenu share these objectives and with the exception of the extreme Left, the smaller parties, like most Israelis, also support a unity government. The only reason we have ongoing
governmental paralysis is simply due to the burning personal ambition of the leaders of the two large parties to head the government and their inability to reach a compromise. History will surely judge our leaders adversely for behaving in such an irresponsible manner at this critical time. We are told by politicians and defense officials alike that there are serious threats of military confrontation on two fronts. The first term of the Trump administration is drawing to a close and, from being blessed with the most pro-
Israel US administration, in a little over a year we could have a reverse situation. If one of the current leading contenders of the Democratic Party becomes president, we might face the most hostile US administration we have ever encountered – one that would make even the hostility of the European nations pale by comparison. Although there has been considerable concern over the manner in which Trump abandoned the Kurds, he still remains publicly committed to backing Israel. Besides, his evangelical allies who represent his base would terminate their
support of him if he acted otherwise. Due to the current impasse in Israel, Trump has been forced to suspend the release of his peace plan. Although most analysts predict it will contain some recommendations that will displease Israel, overall it is likely to be a positive step forward and will take account of Israel’s security requirements and may even include recommendations endorsing Israel’s determination to annex the major settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley. It is highly unlikely that Israel will ever have a more opportune time to pursue a sustainable regional settlement with its neighbors. But alas, this opportunity will be lost if our political leaders cannot get their act together. There is little doubt that under normal circumstances, many Israelis, including those who dislike him personally, would prefer the politically experienced Benjamin Netanyahu to the political neophyte Benjamin Gantz to lead the nation over the next 12 months. Aside from Netanyahu’s friendship with the US president, he enjoys a unique relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and other Asian, Latin American and African leaders. On a purely practical level, one would assume that it would be in Gantz’s interest to have 12 months to work with CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
Chief Rabbi: Corbyn ‘sanctioning a new poison’ in the Labour Party JEWISH NEWS Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has accused Jeremy Corbyn and his allies of “sanctioning a new poison” in the Labour party. Writing in The Times today, Mirvis made the comments just two weeks before Britons vote in the general election. Writing “with a heavy heart,” Mirvis accused Corbyn of being “complicit in prejudice,” adding that Labour “can no longer claim to be the party of diversity, equality and anti-racism… This is the Labour Party in name only”. Mirvis said “the overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety” at the prospect of Corbyn becoming prime minister, and argued that the problem was one of culture, rather than process. “The party leadership have never understood that their failure is not just one of procedure, which can be remedied with additional staff or new processes. It is a failure to see this as a human problem rather than a political one,” said Mirvis. “It is a failure of culture. It is a failure of leadership. A new poison – sanctioned from the very top – has taken root in the Labour Party.” Mirvis acknowledged that a Chief
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has launched a scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of being “complicit in prejudice,” adding that Labour “can no longer claim to be the party of diversity, equality and anti-racism…" Rabbi should stay out of party politics, but countered that “challenging racism in all its forms is not a matter of politics, it goes well beyond that”. He said Corbyn’s assertion during an ITV debate that Labour had investigated all outstanding cases was a “mendacious fiction,” before asking:
“What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labour Party forms the next government? This anxiety is understandable and justified.” He added that “raising concerns about anti-Jewish racism in the context of a general election ranks amongst the most painful moments I have experienced since
taking office,” saying he did not wish to influence people how to vote but urged them to “vote with their conscience”. It is the first time Mirvis has written a piece attacking Corbyn and Labour over antisemitism, although he has made his views known before. May 2016, he accused Labour of “political posturing and empty promises” and in August 2016, he accused the Labour leader of making “offensive” comments at the launch of Shami Chakrabarti’s report into antisemitism in the party. In 2018, he said Corbyn had shown “contempt” for British Jews by not adopting a new definition of antisemitism, and in January of this year, he told BBC Radio 5 Live he was “still waiting to see” Labour taking antisemitism “seriously enough”. In July, following a BBC Panorama programme, he tweeted: “This is no longer a question of the leadership’s inability to deal with… antisemitism, but of its direct complicity in it. The cloud of hatred and acrimony that this creates must be lifted.” This comes as Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis strongly criticised Labour in a piece for the times on Monday, claiming “a new poison sanctioned from the very top” has taken root in Jeremy Corbyn’s party.
Enter Michael Bloomberg … and his draw for Jewish votes THANE ROSENBAUM With Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that he will be running for president as a Democrat, the former New York mayor may have given American Jews a reason not to decamp for the GOP en masse. Yes, I realize that the Democratic Party has been home to American Jews since the New Deal. So cozy has this domestic arrangement been that nearly 80 percent self-identify as Democrats. Even proIsrael Republican presidents—the current incumbent, especially—have been exasperated by this staunch party solidarity. But apparently, American Jews are not a single-issue constituency. The party that American Jews have been calling home for decades now has some restrictive covenants—a new welcome mat adorned with progressive engraving and fine print. And soon, Jews may no longer feel so welcome. The progressives—or Democratic Socialists, who some bluntly call themselves—are setting the agenda for the party on issues such as universal health care, free college tuition, aggressive taxation, climate change, open immigration and even Israel. Why Israel became a foreign-policy priority can only be imagined, but three of the candidates—Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor of South Bend, Ind. Pete Buttigieg—recently announced that military aid should be conditioned on Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.
Where do the other Democratic candidates stand on Israel? Find out at this week’s debate. Israel will surely be a talking point, and not a friendly one. It will be blamed for the impasse in peace and the use of excessive military force. Palestinian terrorism, of course, will go unmentioned. Congress, too, is showing less love for Jews. The so-called “Squad” of four freshmen congresswomen, buttressed by the Black Caucus, has sounded dog whistles that anti-Semites hear clearly. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez described Israel’s defense of its southern border as a “massacre.” Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar accused Jewish-Americans of dual loyalty and suggested that U.S. foreign policy is directed by Jewish money that demands support for Israel. The new inhospitality has even infected female empowerment. Ask the Jewish women who founded the Women’s March. They found themselves lectured on how Jews funded the slave trade and that, as white privileged women, they should defer to those who deserve to lead a progressive movement. That leadership, repulsively, included the embrace of Louis Farrakhan. Meanwhile, Sanders’ candidate whisperer, Linda Sarsour, proclaimed that feminists can’t be Zionists. On college campuses, gay Jewish students, Jewish feminists, and Jewish ecoand social-warriors have been booted from the intersectional freight train that rolls over anyone with a kind word to say about Israel or a critical one about Palestinian violence.
Being honest to others is the best way of being honest to ourselves (Thought for the Day) JONATHAN SACKS This morning a ComRes survey for the BBC was published into “What We Think is Right and Wrong” in Britain in 2019, based on interviews with more than three and a half thousand adults aged 16 and over. In many respects, it’s uplifting. The majority of people say they have a strong sense of right and wrong. 70% say it’s important to have a moral framework for your life. And we’re tolerant. Almost 70% say people should be free to live their lives as they want so long as they don’t harm others. There are, for me, some worrying signs. Younger people have a weaker sense of nationhood than older adults and are less likely to be proud of British history. People care about the environment but seem unwilling to make major lifestyle changes to protect it, by changing their mode of transport or stopping using disposable cutlery, cups and plates. But what really stood out for me in the survey was the gap between principle and practice. A fifth of people interviewed said they had been unfaithful to their partner, but of those, 60 per cent said it was wrong to do so. Of the people who admitted taking illegal drugs, 43 per cent said it was wrong. Half of those who’ve lied to cover up their own mistakes condemned
their own behaviour. How can you know something is wrong and yet do it anyway? Plato thought it was impossible. But Aristotle thought otherwise. He called it akrasia, weakness of will. The Bible begins with the most famous of all stories on this theme. Adam and Eve knew the fruit was forbidden yet they went ahead and ate it anyway. Their reaction when they heard God approaching was to hide, forgetting, as we still do, that when it comes to bad behaviour, you can’t hide forever. Sooner or later you’ll be found out. That’s how paradise was lost. People, sometimes very intelligent people, can throw away their whole lives, their careers, their reputation, their future happiness, because they can’t resist temptation, and because they think they can hide, they can cover up what they’ve done. They start by deceiving others; but they end by deceiving themselves. Which is why morality matters and why we should always heed the inner voice we call conscience. It’s there to guide us from principle to practice. It’s our satellite navigation system as we chart our course through the wilderness of time. Being honest to others is the best way of being honest to ourselves.
Don’t be surprised if some Jews won’t take the hint, even though there is no subtlety to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. They are decidedly direct. That won’t divert the thinking of some liberal Jews, however, who care about only one thing: defeating Donald Trump. Enter Michael Bloomberg. In a crowded field of candidates, some playing to the cheap seats of the Democratic left, he represents a resolute centrist of independent mind with a proven record on the environment, public health, gun control and even a tax policy designed to narrow the inequality gap. The latter is the central issue of our time. After all, in 10 years, “Occupy Wall Street” went from tent show to main event. Yes, Bloomberg is a white billionaire, making him a pinata for progressives. But he is self-made, and a proven chief executive in both the private and public spheres. What’s more, he has no history of shady deals, “Access Hollywood” tapes, hush-money payments to porn stars or insults to war heroes, women or the handicapped. His tax returns won’t be declared a state secret. And since his campaign will be self-financed, he won’t be beholden to anyone—foreign dictators included. A Democratic Party headed by Bloomberg will offer progressives a choice without sacrificing a chance at regaining the White House. He’s the best candidate to take on Donald Trump. Compared to everyone else, he’s the only adult in the room. Of course, Trump is not without some appeal to American Jews. After all, during
his first term, he has played Santa in the Holy Land, bestowing Israel with many gifts that arguably no one else would have ever granted. Where’s the gratitude, even if you find him repugnant? While that’s true, his policies have been more impulsive than ideological, guided by an unscripted worldview that favors chaos and despots, and disdains coherent strategy. How else to explain his flirtations with the altright from a man with Jewish grandchildren? Meanwhile, during Israel’s last war in Gaza in 2014, with Hamas rockets lighting up the sky and former President Barack Obama announcing a federal ban on travel to Israel, Bloomberg, at the time mayor of New York City, flew on his private jet to Israel for no reason other than to be there. As for their eternal domicile in the Democratic
heading the ticket in 2020, Jews might find themselves heading for the exits at a convention where they’ve just been evicted. Of course, knowing the perseverance of Jews and social justice, some will choose to stay, anyway. Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro College, where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society. He can be reached via his website.
Political Leaders ... FROM PAGE 14
Netanyahu at the helm of a national unity government so that he would be far more equipped to assume the role of prime minister. The demand of Blue and White that Netanyahu abandon his right-wing bloc of 55 MKs is disingenuous. All those who voted for this bloc effectively also voted for Netanyahu. Likud therefore has every right to insist on retaining the bloc because to do otherwise would be political suicide for it. The right-wing bloc is really no different from the composition of Blue and White, which comprises three distinctly different groups that only joined together for political expediency, with their sole common agenda being the ousting of Netanyahu. At least the right-wing bloc of 55 can agree on their preferred candidate for prime minister. That cannot be said for the Blue and White MKs, many of whom are not overly enamored with their candidate, Gantz. The legal issues facing Netanyahu may drag on in the courts for a year or more. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit should determine whether he proposes to indict the prime minister as soon as possible and this could have an influence on the formation of the next government. But even now, weeks after the hearing in which Netanyahu’s lawyer submitted evidence to rebut the allegations against him, Mendelblit appears unlikely to make
a decision before the time allotted for forming a new government expires. During these stressful times, when the prime minister will be obliged to make critical decisions, it will be very problematic if his mind is distracted with defending himself in court and facing an ongoing flow of scandalous leaks and rumors promoted by the media. Irrespective of whether he makes the right call, many will allege he was motivated by personal interests rather than the national interest. If we are faced with new elections, a government will not be formed before April at the earliest, when the US will be in full election mode. There is every possibility that Trump would simply delay the release of his peace plan with no guarantee that he would be re-elected or that he would revert to the plan after the election. Should that happen, we may miss a heaven-sent opportunity of possibly annexing the major settlement blocs and securing American support of our security requirements. That would be a self-inflicted disaster. It is therefore incumbent on both Netanyahu and Gantz to stand up and be accountable to the nation. They must act responsibly, suspend their personal ambitions and reach a compromise that will achieve a unity government able to move forward to serve the country that elected them. This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom
The Glue That Binds Us SUE ZIMMERMAN
There is a mysterious something that unites Jews in a deep, bonding way, but what is it? I know that I seem to have a heightened awareness of this when attending a wedding, barmitvah or batmitzvah on the one hand and a funeral or minyan on the other. These are different occasions but are all accompanied by a strong sense of closeness to fellow Jews. Without a doubt we know that the Jew sitting or standing next to us and all the Jews in attendance are feeling much the same as we do. There are other occasions as well. Attending shul on Shabbat and Yomtov, even walking in the street and wishing people who we don’t necessarily know, ‘Good Shabbos’ or ‘Good Yomtov’ gives rise to a strong feeling of belonging. Other examples are sitting at a Seder with family, or walking the streets of Jerusalem. There is simchah (joy) in these moments or alternatively nachamu (comfort) when attending a funeral or minyan. There is also something more that goes beyond a sense of belonging and a feeling of unity or kinship with other Jews, although these are precious gifts that we all cherish in our hearts. What is this other element that gently binds us together? This mysterious something is worth discovering because it provides us with a deep sense of well-being and peace. It comes from somewhere far beyond us and our earthly world. We may well be sitting alone meditating on the calm beauty of the Chanukah lights and feel a connection to this something far beyond us.
The aura of the Chanukah flame is of immense Holiness. We may not necessarily be aware of its mysterious power but nevertheless it is transporting our souls beyond here and now; first back to the Mishkan in the desert, then to the Temple built by Solomon, then the Temple built by Herod and finally to the third Temple of the future to be built by Mashiach (Messiah). Pause in your thoughts for a moment after the candles are lit and feel your soul suddenly grow wings as it flies back and then forward in time. The Chanukiah (Candelabrum) has eight cups with an extra one known as the shamas (the lighting flame) whereas the Menorah of old has seven cups. Chanukah commemorates a miracle that happened
2100 years ago after a small band of faithful Jews (the Hasmoneans) succeeded in driving out a mighty army of SyrianGreeks who had defiled the second Temple. Seeking to re-dedicate the Temple, the Jews wished to relight the Menorah but found only a single cruse of pure olive oil that had not been contaminated. This was enough for only one day but it burned for eight days until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity. According to Kabbalah the seven cups of the Menorah are symbols of the seven kinds of Jewish souls or the seven emotional attributes within the Jewish soul. The Menorah also signifies our anticipation of the Mashiach who will build the third Holy
Temple and rekindle the Menorah. In the observance of our customs and traditions we forge pathways towards the Divine and are bound together through something that is explained best by the basic tenant of our faith ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is One.’ As Yidden we are truly blessed to have pathways hued by Tradition, Torah and Time that lead us directly to the Creator of everything. We don’t need intermediaries. The essence of the glue that binds Jews to one another and for all eternity is G-d. Susan Sara Feiga Zimmerman published author of two books ‘Journal of Disability to Ability’ and ‘Like Streams in the Negev’.
Psychological Insights into Chanukah
ZIPPORAH OLIVER O.A.M. M.A.P.S.
Every day of the eight days of Chanukah we successively increase the number of candles that we light. There is a powerful message here for us: that which was sufficient yesterday, is not enough today. To be optimally functioning individuals we need to be constantly moving forward, increasing the light that shines within us, around us and from us. As Jews, our focus is on increasing light. The lights of the Menorah are modest single candle flames, ever increasing. The subject of growth is reflected in the observance of the lighting of the Menorah. Growth underpins much work done in therapy, where the client seeks to move forward, developing a steadily increasing capacity to deal with challenging situations. What was enough yesterday may not be enough today. Clients who present with feelings of depression are often enveloped in a sense of darkness, feeling that there is little hope for the future. Part of the psychological intervention will introduce the idea of the possibility of change and growth, and hence a future no longer surrounded by darkness, but of light. Many psychological conditions including depression and anxiety may involve significant feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The miracle of Chanukah brings a message of hope, declaring that even when we are in the darkness of life there is the possibility for a positive outcome. This is an uplifting message to us as a people
and to each of us in our individual lives. Chanukah showcases our goal to gradually and steadily grow, to increase the light in our lives, which simultaneously diminishes the darkness. It is not a dramatic moving forward; rather, a consistent positive increasing of light, which can often be seen as similar to the therapeutic goal of moving forward positively, gradually and consistently. By way of example, a client who presented with anxiety associated with his recent diagnosis of Diabetes II was able to move through to a gradual acceptance and management of the diagnosis. The therapy included psychoeducation and explorations of various treatment options. As a result of the therapy, the client adopted a number of significant lifestyle changes and exhibited an openness to develop positive approaches to health. He was able to decrease his need for diabetic medication, eventually not requiring medication at all. The relaxation
and meditation techniques which the client learned in therapy also contributed to lowering his symptoms of anxiety. Chanukah is a manifestation of optimism. The Maccabees lit the tiny bottle of pure oil demonstrating a commitment to doing the most that they could in their situation. Their positive and proactive approach was rewarded when the available quantity of oil, enough for one day, burned for eight days. Fostering a positive outlook towards the future can assist clients in becoming more motivated to move through their current challenges. Therapy may appear to the untrained eye as “chatting”, but it is in fact a process that can facilitate client insight and change, which leads to healing. As the observance of Chanukah centres around the lighting of the candles of the Menorah, the flame of the candle is compared to the human soul, the ‘Neshama’. The flame brings light and warmth into darkness and
it is by nature always striving upwards. In some ways the candle flame is an intangible substance – more spiritual than physical. When you spread a physical substance it becomes thin, however when you spread spirituality it multiplies and grows. When you use a physical substance it decreases in volume. The spiritual however, is not diminished by use, it increases. Hence as we use the ‘Shamash’ to light the candles of the Menorah we see that it is in no way diminished by giving light. On the contrary, it remains shining bright, and the volume of light becomes multiplied. A recurring theme in therapy is the fear of giving, a fear of not having enough, and a fear of being emotionally starved, which is connected to our primitive programming for survival as a species. Difficulty in sharing and caring undermines the capacity for healthy stable relationships. This is a very complex area; suffice it to say that one helpful message to distil from the lighting of the Menorah is that when we cultivate our capacity to give light and warmth to others, in an appropriate manner, we need not fear being diminished. Zipporah Oliver O.A.M. has over 24 years of experience in the field and is committed to applying her skills to help clients achieve the optimum outcome. She brings to her practice her personal dedication to integrity and a lifetime commitment to helping people cope with life challenges. In 2006 Zipporah was awarded the Order of Australia for her honorary work in disability and for her broad-spectrum community service. If you would like to contact Zipporah, feel free to call on 0438 345 770 or visit www.zoliver.com.au.
schools and shuls
Emanuel School recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative schools
Emanuel School is honoured to be recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative schools by The Educator Magazine, a publication that advises senior education professionals and decision makers on education policy and practice. Emanuel is one of only eleven schools in NSW and 48 schools Australia-wide to make this year’s prestigious List of Innovative Schools “making the most profound and exciting impact in K-12 education today”. Adam Majsay, Deputy Principal (Teaching and Learning) K–12 attributes Emanuel’s excellence in innovation to a number of key initiatives that encourage creativity, personal development and independent thinking among students. Some of these innovation programs include: Hands-on digital technologies – Education in digital systems, visual programming, computational and systems thinking commencing from primary school Annual Innovation Festival – a showcase of creative solutions in areas of sustainability, renewable energy, ethical eating and space exploration Imaginarium After Hours Program – a research-informed initiative launched in
2019 to foster the interest, confidence and aspirations of Year 4-5 students in STEM learning, through engagement in projects with a strong social impact Years 9-10 STEAM Elective – students engage in collaborative problem-solving as they develop practical and innovative solutions to real-world dilemmas through a rich design thinking process Business Creators Program – an entrepreneurship program enabling students to connect with industry in an extended ‘brand development’ project that builds critical, creative and innovative thinking Mr Majsay believes part of Emanuel’s success in fostering a culture of innovation is its decision to make innovation a focus for teachers as well as students: “Teacher professional learning at Emanuel is handson, collaborative, exploratory and designed to shape the role of our teachers as ‘architects of learning’”. Andrew Watt, Emanuel School Principal, is thrilled that the School has been recognised as one of the most innovative in the country: “Our vision is to be a place ‘where the individual excels’. A futurefocused teaching approach does just this, equipping our students with the capabilities to thrive for life.”
ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS: YEARS 7, 9 AND 11 IN 2021 Emanuel School is delighted to offer a number of Academic Scholarships. Applicants must participate in the ACER testing at Emanuel School. Students in Years 5, 7 or 9 in 2019 are eligible.
MUSIC SCHOLARSHIPS: YEARS 7 AND 9 IN 2021 We also invite students with an aptitude for music to participate in the ACER testing prior to an interview, audition and music theory test at a later date. Students in Years 5 and 7 in 2019 are eligible. Applications close for both scholarships on Wednesday 5 February 2020. To apply, please visit www.emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au For further information, please contact our Enrolments Manager, Gail MacKenzie, on 8383 7333 or email@example.com Emanuel School is a member of the JCA Family of Organisations
schools / shuls
Could this be the beginning of the end of the HSC and ATAR as we know it?
In May 2018, the NSW Government announced a comprehensive review of the NSW school curriculum from Years K to 12, the first in 20 years. The review was commissioned in response to the Gonski review of Australia’s schooling and was designed to ensure that the NSW education system is properly preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. The optimistically titled interim report was recently released by the NSW Education Standard Authority (NESA) with the invitation for public consultation to close on 13 December. The final report is scheduled to be delivered in early 2020; however, given the scale and complexity of the changes proposed, these very exciting proposed changes are going to take time to implement. Professor Geoff Masters AO (Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research) led the review and he acknowledges that the committee was encouraged by many to be bold, to put forward recommendations that would address the key criticisms of our current system, the overcrowded curriculum, the lockstep nature of the curriculum with prescribed content and mandated hours, particularly in Years 7-10 and the overemphasis on examination preparation and university entrance in Years 11 and 12. REFORMING THE CONTENT OF THE CURRICULUM During the initial public consultation, there was significant support for a concentration on core basic skills and competencies such as literacy and numeracy in the Primary School years. The report speaks of a ‘common entitlement’ specifying what every student is entitled and expected to learn while at school.
The changes proposed would preference deeper conceptual understanding, identifying the key ‘big ideas’ that are essential in each subject. Technology now provides students ready access to information. Students actually need to focus on depth rather than breadth, developing the skills needed to manipulate information and apply disciplinary thinking. Deep understanding allows students to recognise opportunities to apply what they have learnt in different contexts. Students need sufficient time to work on projects that support the development of critical and creative thinking, skills in communicating, collaborating and using technologies to interpret information and data. REFORMING THE STRUCTURE OF THE CURRICULUM To give more flexibility to the curriculum, the report has recommended the development of clear sequences of ‘attainment’ in each area of learning as a frame of reference for monitoring and tracking learning progress. This would allow teachers the opportunity to establish where individual students are at in their learning in each subject area, very much as we are doing with our current use of Rubrics in Years 7-10. Students could then be provided with well-targeted and appropriately challenging teaching. Rather than grading each student’s performance against the same Year level syllabus expectations, information would be provided about the highest attainment level that a student achieved in each subject at any given time and the progress made toward the achievement of the next level.
REFORMING THE SENIOR SCHOOL CURRICULUM The most significant changes proposed are
those that relate to curriculum delivery and assessment in Years 11 and 12. The report recommends the development of a more integrated approach to learning based on a smaller number of rigorous, high quality, advanced courses with an appropriate mix of theory and application. Coursework would be modularised, structured so that students could work their way through modules based on increasingly sophisticated attainment levels. The schoolbased component of course assessments would involve tracking student achievement against these attainment levels. Teachers would assess each student’s current level of knowledge, understanding and skill, making an ‘on-balance’ judgement while also providing a detailed diagnostic analysis of the gaps in learning and appropriate next steps. This would be supplemented by an external assessment of attainment, not necessarily in the form of a final written exam. It is envisaged that students would be able to commence advanced study once proficient in a discipline potentially commencing more advanced studies during Year 10. The highest attainment levels would need to include content usually contained in tertiary courses with these modules potentially contributing to higher education or vocational qualifications. The aim is to reduce the academic/vocational distinction and to provide new opportunities for partnerships with universities, vocational education providers and industries. The review is also proposing the introduction of a single ‘major project’ as a standalone component of the senior certificate. Students would have choice of the learning area to be studied. Projects would be interdisciplinary in nature focused on a meaningful real-world problem or challenge. It is proposed that
students should have the opportunity to work as part of a project team and involve the application of advanced subject knowledge and understanding. While a major project is already a component of other Australian senior secondary qualifications and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program, it is proposed that the major project would make up two of the 10 required units for the HSC. The ‘negative’ impact of the ATAR was also considered. Many submissions to the review referenced concerns about the status of the ATAR as the single measure of educational attainment following 13 years of schooling. The opportunity to bypass the ATAR in determining university entrance for specific courses seems a very encouraging step. While the press place great emphasis on the ATAR, many in the community do not appreciate that currently students are admitted to courses based on a ‘Selection Rank’ which is calculated separately for each course. Various ‘adjustment factors’ (bonus points) are currently used at the discretion of individual universities. What is being proposed is a more transparent process with students receiving multiple Selection Ranks with transparency around the number of places available in each course that they are interested in studying. Technically, this process is entirely possible. If it were to be introduced it would obviate the need to report the ATAR but would give Year 12 students much more clarity about their options when applying for university admission. While some of the changes proposed could be implemented relatively quickly, some will require significant time for detailed planning, trialing, testing and implementation. We look forward to hearing the outcome of the public consultation process.
I Probably Should Have GLOBAL AMBASSADOR, MORIAH COLLEGE & CEO, MOSAIC UNITED RABBI BENJI LEVY Parshat Vayeitzei begins with Jacob, a lonely wanderer, falling into a deep slumber after arranging the ground for a fitting place to sleep. Isolated in the wilderness, Jacob dreams of ‘a ladder grounded in the earth, with its head reaching the heavens and behold; angels of God are ascending and descending.’ This intense prophecy brought Jacob to the realisation of the sanctity of the ground in which he was located – Mount Moriah. Jacob awoke and said, ‘Indeed Hashem is in this place and I did not know!’ What does Jacob mean when he professes to not having known that God was in this place? Does Jacob, the forefather of faith, lack faith here? Jacob was fatigued at the time; physically from travel and emotionally after having duped his father and angered his brother. He was roaming from his painful past into his arduous future where he would have to dedicate over a decade of his life to a deceiving father in law. But in this moment of tranquilly, his body craves sleep. Rashi explained that if Jacob had known he was in such a holy place, he would not have slept. The Netziv extends this to explain that Jacob was sorry that he slept in the same place where he encountered the Divine presence when he could have stayed awake to pray. Essentially Jacob, it
seems, bemoaned the fact that he had the opportunity of a lifetime, in this localised period of calmness in his life on holiest site on earth, to pour his heart out to his Creator. And instead, he escapes reality and falls asleep. Regret can be a gut-wrenching sentiment. It is terrible when an opportunity passes us by and in retrospect we know we could and would have done it differently. We review what we have done and realise it is simply ‘a twisted thing that cannot be made straight, a lack that cannot be made good.’ Often we live in the moment, for the moment, within the parameters of the moment. This means that much of the significance of our acts and their effects on others is hidden from view. What was Jacob’s dream? A dream is
a set of thoughts taking place in the mind without connection to the outside reality. In that sense, a great deal of our waking life is like a dream. Dreams are forethoughts that occur while we are making other plans, focused on other goals. We sleep walk through life, too busy with our past or future to truly live in the present. In response to this the Rambam states, ‘awake sleepers from your sleep; rouse yourselves, slumberers from your slumber…’ We can all recall people we wished we spent more time with or activities we wished we invested more in. Retrospect works to our detriment when thought of in terms of regret and we use the common phrase: ‘I probably should have.’ But it can also propel us forward if we learn for the future rather than dwelling on the past. The Torah
brings the example of Jacob’s realisation, to awaken within us the understanding that the seemingly insignificant moments in life are often the most important and that the greatest opportunities are sometimes right beneath our nose. 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 and now is their global ambassador.
schools and shul
Mount Sinai College Bat Mitzvah ceremony MOUNT SINAI COLLEGE A hearty Mazal Tov to the Mount Sinai College (MSC) Year 6 girls who participated in the Mount Sinai B’not Mitzvah Presentation last Sunday at Maroubra Shule. These impressive young women did themselves, their families, their teachers and their school community proud. The Dvar Torah titled “Naaseh Ve Nishma” (our school motto), was borne of their Year 6 Jewish Studies curriculum. Each student articulated an area of Jewish “learning for life” that was of personal significance with confidence
and conviction. Their memorable and melodious singing touched our hearts and they conducted themselves with style and pride. The event oozed “ruach”. A favourite moment was the spontaneous dancing of a “hora” on the Bimah at its conclusion. The class of 2019 have secured themselves a place in our MSC archives as the inaugural group for this event. A huge thank you to all our girls for their participation. We wish them continued “ground breaking” success into the future. AMEN! Photo credit: Ofer Levy
Musical Friday at Kehillat Kadimah KEHILLAT KADIMAH 600 people came together at Kehillat Kadimah to enjoy an incredible Musical Friday Night Live for The Shabbat Project. A big todah rabah to the amazing
band, talented choir, people in the kitchen preparing the kiddush and all the organisers. Special thanks to the musical Ryan Snoyman, Avichai Berkowitz, Haim Ayalon, Boruch Kluwgant and Ricky Schlessinger.
FROM ELC TO YEAR 12
Offer your children an exceptional education today which will give them the EDGE they need for tomorrow
ELC-Yr 12 College Campus: 9-15 Link Road, St Ives To enrol email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9449 3744
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Masada College doing their bit for catastrophic fires in NSW
Recently, Years 3-6 baked challah which were donated to firefighters at the Kuring-gai and Gordon stations as well as volunteers
in our community. Students also wrote messages of thanks and appreciation. In addition, our Junior SRC members took it upon themselves to raise funds for injured koalas.
Masada College student wins NAJEX Award MASADA COLLEGE Mazeltov to Ori Lewin (Year 11) on receiving the NAJEX ( NSW Association of Jewish Service & Ex-Service Men &
Women) Youth Leadership Award for 2019! Ori recently received this award from the Governor of NSW, Mrs Margaret Beazley, at the Jewish Museum.
Mr Darryl Dorfan (President of the Board), Martin Tait (College Principal) along with School Prefects, Tyla Aronson and Ori Lewin attended the NAJEX Remembrance Day Ceremony
Special Kiddush for Harry Cohen SOUTHERN SYDNEY SYNAGOGUE. Southern Sydney Synagogue held a special Shabbat Kiddush recently for stalwart member, Harry Cohen, who will shortly be taking up residence at the Montefiore Home, Randwick. Harry, ninety seven, is known for his metronome attendance at synagogue over the long span of his membership. He is a former board member who has served on many committees. In a speech honouring Harry, Synagogue President, Dr. George Foster, thanked him for “his wise and sage council regarding synagogue matters over the years.” Synagogue Minister Tzuri Avila also offered a special address to Harry. Harry has enjoyed a long and productive life and lived in many countries. He was born on September 2nd, 1922 in Manchester, UK to parents Zarita (Sarah) and Shentob who were from Morocco. He attended primary school until he was 12 and went to a private Cheder on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. He then went to Clifton College in Bristol, a top private school where he lived in the Jewish boarding house. Harry became the Head of House in his last year. At 18, Harry went on to Cambridge University to study Modern Languages. But in 1940 war cut into his studies. He was seconded to the 11th East African Division and was sent to Kenya, via Cape Town, South Africa, where he met Ethel, his wife to be. While in Kenya he learned Kiswahili, which proved useful for the courses he ran. From Kenya he was sent to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India.
His role was in training, particularly in motor vehicle operations and Field Intelligence in these countries. At the end of his war, Harry was demobbed with the rank of Honorary Major. He married Ethel on 8th January, 1947. Their daughter, Carol, was born in 1948. Harry joined his father in his cotton converter business.These fabrics were exported to the family business in Morocco. In 1952, Harry and Ethel settled in Cape Town. Carol emigrated to Australia and, in 1984, Harry and Ethel followed and settled in, Allawah, near what was then the Illawarra Synagogue. Harry embraced the computer age and in 1990 became the IT manager for his son-in-law, Gerry Goldberg’s business. He retired from this full time position of 27 years at the age of 94! Having survived his wife Ethel and daughter Carol, Harry continued to occupy his home in Sans Souci, where he immaculately maintained his villa, cooked healthy meals, and turned out cakes and slices. His passion is cabinet making and he has made many of the items in his home. In an E-mail to the congregation President Dr. George Foster informed the community that elder statesman Harry Cohen was moving into Montefiore Home in Randwick “He will be missed greatly both as a true and devoted member of our congregation and as a regular attender of Synagogue services and social functions.” Dr. Foster wrote. The President invited congregation members “to attend and show their respect and thanks to this wonderful man who has added so much to Southern Sydney Synagogue community.”
Friendship Scores A Win BTJ
Fourteen Year 11 boys from Sydney’s Moriah College now in Jerusalem on an Israel Study Tour (IST) program took to the basketball court for an impromptu match with students at the Boys Town Jerusalem school. During their visit to the school, the Australian contingent also joined their new Israeli friends in packing Chanukah treats to be delivered over the holiday to children in hospital. “The Boys Town Jerusalem students were delighted to meet, greet and even compete with the Moriah kids,” reports
fellow Sydney native and Moriah alumna Ilana Kaplan, who now lives in Israel and serves as Australian Development Coordinator for the school. “Israelis and Aussies alike managed to communicate well in English and Hebrew, but the action on the basketball court brought out the best in them all. We invite Australian visitors to Jerusalem of all ages to come meet and interact with our students on a wide range of future projects.” For further information contact Ilana Kaplan at email@example.com
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Moriah College’s Innovative Plans Are On Public Exhibition MORIAH COLLEGE Students at Moriah College in Queens Park are one step closer to accessing innovative new learning facilities with the lodgement of a State Significant Development Application (SSDA) proposing new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) facilities, and an Independent Learning Centre (ILC) for High School
Artist’s impression of the new STEAM building viewed from Baronga Avenue looking south- west
students. “Moriah College aims to become a more transformative place of learning with improved facilities and flexible, technology-rich spaces,” said College President, Stephen Jankelowitz. “This will allow us to teach the skills required for our thinkers, innovators, change agents and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.” The proposal also includes upgrades to the Early Learning Centre (ELC), as well
as expanded open, green spaces to allow for greater social interaction, collaborative learning, and changes to traffic and parking locations. “A key objective of the proposal is to provide an opportunity to relocate the main entry of Moriah College away from Queens Park Road onto Baronga Avenue and York Road, minimising traffic impacts for near neighbours in Queens Park,” Stephen Jankelowitz explained.
The application commenced public exhibition on Thursday, 21 November 2019 with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). Moriah College undertook an open and detailed consultation process with nearby neighbours and stakeholders throughout the pre-lodgement process, including holding a community consultation session at the school in October 2019. Source: FJMT Architects.
New children's book celebrating friendship and diversity! When choosing a friend, look for kindness and laughter. You'll find that your life's full of joy ever after. A baby rhino and a billy goat form an unlikely friendship. Working together they overcome adversity and the scorn of their animal peers. Their friendship eventually is put to the test as they use their unique skills to help each other, and the other animals, get to safety when a flood washes their homes away. Inspired by a true story of unlikely animal friends, this story shows young readers how unlikely friends can be the best friends of all. With a soothing and smooth rhyme parents can read to kids over and over again, Unlikely Friends is a timeless story of friendship to inspire every child. GIVING BACK TO HELP WILDLIFE It is a sad fact that animals often
befriend animals of other species because they are orphaned, which can occur as a result of poaching and loss of natural habitat. As a small part in trying to help slow this unfortunate trend, a portion of all book royalties will be donated to wildlife
conservation. The Author, Susan Banki has been working with refugees for nearly 20 years, inspired by her father, a refugee himself. She has visited and run creative workshops for children in refugee camps across the globe to teach about friendship and inclusiveness, to much acclaim. ‘Unlikely Friends’ is Susan’s first children book. When not writing and working with refugees Susan enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh, their two children, friends and traveling the globe looking for adventure. Josh McConnel, the Illustrator has been drawing and doodling since early childhood. Prior to illustrating ‘Unlikely Friends’, his first child’s book, Josh worked with NASA designing robots to look for life on Mars. Currently, Josh works
as a business consultant where he gets to use fancy words like synergy, bandwidth and best practice with a straight face (and sometimes a few groans). When not illustrating and working Josh enjoys spending time with his wife, Susan, their two children, and taking an excessive number of pictures, which are still waiting to be sorted. On Sunday 8 December from 4pm5:30pm, Emanuel Synagogue is hosting a Book reading with Susan Banki (author) & Josh McConnell (illustrator). The book is suitable for children aged 2-6 and this is a free event for children and their families. ‘Unlikely Friends’ can be found on Amazon.
WHAT EDUCATORS AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT SPECIALISTS ARE SAYING I love the message of friendship – Pre-K Teacher I can definitely recommend this one; the story is in a delightful rhyme and the cheerful pictures come together to give a strong message about inclusiveness – Child Development Professional, New York As an educator, I love how this story teaches a lesson about being brave
enough to venture outside the umbrella of those we view as ‘just like me’ and finding friends that may be different but bring something extraordinary in our lives. A great story and lesson about the importance of diversity! – Public School Teacher, Houston When Susan came to my Kindergarten class and read the book to us, my first reaction was of tears of joy! I thought
this book painted a very moving picture of today’s life where inclusiveness is not easily achieved but very much needed and doable! Thank you Susan and Josh for introducing a very powerful message to young, developing minds. – Pre-K Teacher, Boston The rhyming is cute and catchy and the art is beautifully done. As a parent of young children and an educator, I appreciate the
timely messages that we should not feel confined by our herd, should appreciate others for who they are and should step up and help others in need. – Private School Teacher, Boston Unlikely Friends is told in a delightful rhyme with exquisite, rich vocabulary! My students were enchanted by the story and the vivid, fun illustrations! It is a treasure of a read! – Public School Teacher, Boston
Shout Out If You've Never Heard Of Schindler THE SAVIOUR FLLM LINDA ROYAL Linda Royal (nee: Margolin) only recently discovered her father and grandparents were saved by a Righteous Gentile. They fled Nazi-occupied Poland to Lithuania and were saved with 6,000 other Jewish refugees in 1940 by the Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara. At great personal risk and defying his government’s strict orders not to, he illegally issued them transit visas to Japan, saving them from extermination. She discovered, sadly, that although Yad Vashem had honoured him in 1985 as a Righteous Among The Nations, few had heard of him. Being a writer her first instinct was to honour this brave individual by perpetuating his memory in film, like Spielberg did with Schindler. Because she is alive, as are her children and siblings, because of him. And so, she partnered with esteemed writer, Nico Lathouris (co-writer of Mad Max, Fury Road) and talented young writer/editor Joshua Lundberg to develop a feature film - The Saviour, inspired by the true story of Sugihara's selfless act of bravery. Set in 1968, the story deals with antisemitism, the psychological trauma carried through life by survivors, the struggle refugees face and the impact on the next generation. "With the Charlie Hebdo massacre,
Pittsburgh attack, the Yom kippur murders in Germany recently etc, we can't ignore the worldwide escalation in anti-semitism" she says. "Our goal is to educate a gobal audience with the reach that only cinema can achieve so that we and the world never forget." The bottom line is Hollywood-stye drama is more attractive to the man on the street than a documentary; and unlike museums which need people to walk into them, cinema flows out to small communities and tiny villages whose inhabitants would otherwise not have accessibility to museums, or the impetus to seek one out. She has just received approval from the Australian Cultural Fund to assist her in raising finance, which, under their umbrella, attracts tax deductbility for donations. She also has a Kickstrater campaign up and running. Fellow descendant Ziva Moss kindly hosted an event recently attended by the 30-strong community of Sydney Sugihara survivors to launch this initiative. "Shout out if you've ever heard of Sugihara. No? I intend to change that" she says. To help her in her quest to realise her dream, reach out to Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0410 623789. Website: thesaviourfilm.com
Mark Margolin, Michael Margolin, Felka Margolin
Sydney Sugihara Survivors and descendants
The Test of Cricket and Grief CAULFIELD HEBREW CONGREGATION RABBI RALPH GENENDE OAM MELBOURNE
I’m not a cricket tragic, but I was struck by the 16 year old Pakistani wunderkind Naseem Shah, currently playing Test cricket in Australia. By all accounts he’s an extraordinary young man and the youngest player to make his debut in Australia at the Wacca. He’s certainly challenging the Australians. Naseem has only been playing cricket for five years but his rise has been meteoric. Pakistan Captain Azahar Ali commented on the teen’s exceptional talent “What (first) impressed us most was his understanding of bowling. Sometimes bowlers show a lot of talent at a young age, but they can’t execute plans… He knows his strengths and weaknesses and knows how to read the batsman”. Naseem is obviously an individual with a poise and maturity beyond his years. Naseem is an Arabic word which means cool breeze and it’s been pointed out that his smooth bowling action and a breezelike bowling run-up make him very pleasing to the eye. He is also closely connected to his family and had only recently convinced them to move for Dir to Lahore so they could be closer to one another. Tragically on his second day’s play in Perth, his mother passed away unexpectedly. Since Muslims like Jews don’t delay funerals, Naseem would not have made it home in time for the funeral. His brothers
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suggested he stay in Australia to fulfil his mother’s dream of seeing her son play cricket for Pakistan – which he is doing as I write. Naseem has been praised for his awesome resilience in the face of loss. His team- mate Shan Masood best summed up the approval and acclaim for his decision not to return to Pakistan to grieve with his family: “… Staying here and putting his hand up…. to do well for the team, for the country, that’s commendable. That sort of attitude is what we’re looking for in all the guys. As a team, we’re trying to stick behind him.” There’s no doubt that Naseem is no ordinary teenager, but I can’t help wondering what impact this decision may have on his life and what message it sends to young men and indeed all of us. Grief is complex, it affects people in different ways; it is as subtle as it is sorrowful; as startling as it is sensible. There’s also no standard or prescribed way of mourning; people process their loss in a variety of responses. Some do it in the deep silence of their souls, quietly unpacking the layers of their loss. Others need to talk, sometimes compulsively, re-telling every details of the death of their loved one. Yet other people find little solace in words and prefer the relief of tears and strong emotions. Despite the diversity of responses, two things are for certain: nobody can escape a life without loss and nobody can escape the effect of bereavement. Grief, by its very nature, wounds and like a wound needs to be treated so that it can heal. A failure to
address the quake of death doesn’t spare you from its ongoing tremors and jolts. They may go underground but they are there, brooding and quivering and will surface sooner or later. So I worry about Naseem playing through his grief, delaying its inevitability. For now he’s brave and commendably courageous and hopefully those around him will give him the time and space in the near future to deal with his sharp and sudden loss. And I worry for the young men and women seeing Naseem as a model for mourning. I am concerned especially for the young men having the egregious trope of ‘stiff-upper lip’ and ‘man up’ reinforced. Men may well grieve differently from women but they too need to walk through the ‘dark shadow of the valley of death’ (Psalm 23). In this week’s Torah reading (Chayei Sarah), we are told “Abraham came to eulogise Sarah and to cry for her” (Gen 23:2). Abraham, man of courage and passion, warrior and politician, leader and shaker, was also a man who could cry in public; show the inchoate ache of his soul, express the loss of his covenantal partner through a noble eulogy. He, no doubt, was a model for his son, Isaac and helped him face the loss of his mother Sarah. I was fortunate to learn from my dad’s friend not to supress my grief. My father (whose name was also Isaac) was stoic through the funeral of my Zeida. It was only after, as we moved from the graveside, that a friend said to him, “Cry Isaac, let it out…”, that he let go. To this day I can see the
shuddering of his shoulders and the relief of his body as the tears flowed. The American Philosopher Henry David Thoreau put it powerfully: “Never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh”. I would suggest that Abraham’s son, Isaac, was helped by his father’s example to face his own anguish.. Abraham lets Isaac know that everybody is lessened by the loss of their loved ones: this is suggested by the small letter Kuf (“ )”כin the middle of the word to cry (Ibid) in the Torah text. Abraham felt diminished by the absence of Sarah, he felt smaller…. Abraham also recognizes that once you have mourned, the scar may remain, but you need to move on and so he seeks a partner for Isaac and a new companion for himself. Thus “Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother, he married Rebecca, she became his wife and he loved her; and he was comforted after his mother” (Ibid 24:66). The Midrash comments that a light, blessing and protective cloud returned to the tent… Isaac and Abraham regained their mojo, the light was back in their hearts after the darkness of their grief, their confidence was restored like a hopeful cloud. As Lebanese poet, Khalil Gibran put it: “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain”. Abraham and Isaac allowed the sadness to carve into their being and so were able to open themselves to a renewed and overflowing joy.
The Ugly Truth OFFICIAL SECRETS (MA) ALEX FIRST Lies. State-sanctioned lies underpin a political thriller. The lies cost as many as a million lives. The US and the UK are looking to justify starting a war in Iraq. They want to do so with or without the backing of the UN, which wasn’t forthcoming. They do so on the pretense that the Iraqis have weapons of mass destruction. On 25th February, 2004, Katharine Gunn (Keira Knightley) is brought to trial for breaching the Official Secrets Act. A year earlier, in January 2003, the USA and Britain are aggressively seeking a UN resolution to invade Iraq. With her husband Yasar (Adam Bakri), at their home in Cheltenham, England, Katharine watches news reports of British Prime Minister Tony Blair claiming “war is inevitable”. She is a Mandarin translator at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). There, she and others receive a classified e-mail, which turns out to be a US directive to spy on UN Security Council members from five countries, with a view to coercing them to sanction war in Iraq. Katharine adopts a moral stance (she is aggrieved) and takes matters into her own hands, sparking a scandal. Keira Knightley remains at the top of her game, playing intense and passionate with credibility. Around her the other key cast are also suitably vitriolic. Rhys Ifans is a standout as a slightly deranged journo – Ed Vulliamy – on a
mission. Matt Smith may be more by the book, but he is utterly credible as investigative reporter Martin Bright, who knows he is on to a huge scoop. So, too, Matthew Goode as his support, Peter Beaumont. There is an authority in both their performances. I love the old-style journalistic confrontations that underpin the dilemma faced by The Guardian editor. Also strong is the Human Rights team that takes up Gunn’s case, led by the measured but convincing Ralph Fiennes as Ben Emmerson. If you are of the belief that what the historical record deserves is the truth then you will find much to like in Official Secrets. The truth may not be pretty but when there is so much at stake the bar is raised particularly high ... as it is here. Gavin Hood, who also co-wrote the piece with Gregory and Sara Bernstein, based on a book by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell, has extracted drama and pathos from a real-life situation. Rated MA, Official Secrets scores an 8 out of 10.
HELP! Anxiety is taking Over! THE SLEEP COACH CHERYL FINGLESON Anxiety! We’ve all felt it before, sometimes it creeps up on you throughout a particularly stressful day, taking you altogether by surprise and in some cases, it’s a debilitating state of mind that can leave you physically and emotionally drained, highly strung, nervous or even completely paralysed. A recent US study has shown that anxiety is one of the leading causes of health problems in adults over the age 25; and between working, looking after a family and striking a balanced lifestyle, it seems no one is immune to it’s uncomfortable symptoms. Considering how debilitating it can be for adults, just imagine how overwhelming it can be for babies and toddlers! Separation anxiety is a particularly sensitive area for babies and toddlers and inevitably, high levels of anxiety significantly impact on a developing child’s sleep patterns; from mid-sleep disruptions to night terrors, fear of napping or simply a resistance to sleeping alone. So what can you do to ease your precious child’s sleep anxiety and establish a healthy, happy, sleep routine? Over the next 2 articles, in this special edition, I will offer you some tried and tested, gentle sleep solutions for you and your baby or toddler that may just be the key to moving through what can otherwise be a particularly challenging problem area in the establishment of an ongoing, effective sleep routine. Firstly, one of the key factors in overcoming separation or sleep anxiety at nap or bedtime is consistency. Babies and toddlers thrive on routine as it inspires a natural sense of safety, security and familiarity with both their own place of sleep and internal body clock. I can not stress enough how valuable it is to establish a consistent schedule for nap times, bedtime times. By providing your child with a carefully designed sleep routine, you can significantly decrease their level of separation anxiety as
they form a greater level of trust and security within the defined structure you provide for them. I like to think of it this way; how destabilising it can be to sleep in a completely foreign country, jet lagged! Now imagine how destabilising it is for a child to adjust to fluctuating or inconsistent bed times – quite a challenge! To further alleviate your child’s sense of sleep anxiety while establishing their sleep routine, you can help guide them through the process by creating a specific (and consistent!) routine that provides soothing cues, such as nappy changing, bed time story, prayers, cuddles, kisses, and then lights out. By being consistent with your own process, your child is able to adjust and relax into the oncoming sleep, significantly reducing their level of anxiety! This process can be a great way for you to bond with your child during bedtime routine and you can have fun being creative with the routine you establish! Now that we have outlined the foundations for alleviating sleep anxiety, next edition we are going to delve deeper, dealing with issues such as sleep disruptions and fear! Here’s to healthy, happy sleeping for you and bub (and reduced anxiety for all!) Happy Sleeping Cheryl Zzz For more sleep tips and advice, please visit www.cherylthesleepcoach.com. au Or why not like our facebook page? www.facebook.com/thesleepcoach Our Blog has gone live! Check it out at www.wordpress.com/ cherylthesleepcoach Cheryl Fingleson is a paediatric sleep consultant. As a mother of two, she very well knows the feelings of agony and desperation when you have a child that struggles to settle and sleep. She doesn’t believe in leaving babies or children to cry it out, nor in the practices of controlled crying. Her approach is to empower parents with the right tools and techniques to teach their babies and children to go to sleep calmly, happily and independently.
CANDLE LIGHTING TIMES DATE LIGHT CANDLES Friday, Dec 6, 2019 7:37 pm Friday, Dec 13, 2019 7:42 pm Friday, Dec 20, 2019 7:47 pm Friday, Dec 27, 2019 7:50 pm Friday, Jan 3, 2020 7:52 pm Friday, Jan 10, 2020 7:52 pm Friday, Jan 17, 2020 7:51 pm Friday, Jan 24, 2020 7:48 pm Friday, Jan 31, 2020 7:44 pm Friday, Feb 7, 2020 7:38 pm
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December 2019 news
SUPPLEM INSIDE ENT
VOL. 11 Friday, 5 December 2014
/ 13 Kislev, 5775
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president Egypt’s new - what it means for Israel
The intermarriage debate
Back to healthy eating
Strength in diversity
Pick up a
AARON DAVID MILLER
is above all a matter of faith, of belief and of religion. The notion that the three Abrahamic faiths -- Islam, Christianity and Judaism -share common values concerning peace, Even back in the days when you could still social justice and humanity may well be use the term “peace process” true. But that has never with a straight been the case when face, the odds of solving the Jerusalem issue it comes to this city. History is filled with were already pretty long. Then, I would have claims, conquests, crusades, occupations, put those odds a bit north massacres and violence of impossible and in the name of a little south ofI 14, 5774 Things hopeless. possessing Jerusalem, are even 2014 / Adar not sharing it. worse now. Friday, 14 February And nowhere has the religious complexity FREE VOL. 1 I remember day eight of the Jerusalem issue of the Camp David been clearer than summit in July 2000, when on the question of who discussion turned controls and what to Jerusalem. That day, will happen to the Haram it was clear to me al-Sharif (Noble that as far Camp David Enclosure) and Har was concerned, it Habayit (Temple was game over. There Mount). That platform, were some intriguing situated within the moves on Israel’s part, walls of Jerusalem’s Old but nothing that could City, is in essence a have settled the issue. physical manifestation Indeed, Ehud Barak, of overlapping sacred but globally, too; and as Yasser Arafat and Bill the last few months space. Clinton could have but not always a result suggest, it is also fallen into the yawning of the perception a matter of security Atop activities gaps that separated sits the goldened Dome among Palestinians Tu B’Shevat of the Rock, fraught and framed now Israelis and Palestinians that including Israel is trying aNSW by an intimacy of Boardcentury Islamic seventh on this issue and to change the activities, shrine built by by the killing reflected in the never have been heard status of some slayings of Israeli and aspect of the Caliph Abd al-Malik from again. a project initiated Jerusalem. The and that houses the Palestinian teens this Fast forward a decade reason for this latest past summer and of round foundation and a half, and stone, a massive rock that figures of tensions, violence of Deputies. last week’s savage Palestinian being a part not much has changed. and ourselves on Jerusalem is still attack on a a perfect is prominently in Jewish and Islamic pride bloodletting report but synagogue in west Jerusalem. tradition. storm of We weAnd insoluble we it now seems factors that include on which news’ butand nearby there’s a site of the more explosive sense of isolationtheand communities even greater news is good then ever.inSoa what don’t pretend frustration on theandsignificance is it about Jerusalem/ that They say ‘no -- the al-Aqsa mosque part of the Palestinians be everywhere We believe PROXIMITY CAN BE started Yerushalayim/al-Quds we can’t of East Jerusalem by Caliph Abd lot DEADLY. that makes it so think differently. there is a al-Malik in the seventh who don’t have the know everything. Ben Franklin quipped that community potentiallyitcontentious to benefit of the social century.bravery, to the will proximity breeds and deadly? thriving Jewish services and economic Quran, it is reputed a story of dedication, According children, and contempt, Three things stand out: and that sharing If there’s advantages of towhich too. In this regard, be theinspires ascension point where Israelis in the west; Israel’s of good news; even further. the Prophet achievement, Jerusalem is unique in or to effort that it is one of the Mohammed expand also leadership our community inspire others. rose to heaven on his Jewish their communities and strengthen it will only places where Israelis growing Night IT’S A PERFECT STORM OF been chances are and Palestinians Jerusalem; in East Journey. a vibrant and Below you, presence COMPLEXITY. (the you’ve the platform are the remains Sydney has connected Hamas’ efforts to know. vast majority who aren’t Similarly, if Jerusalem us are is a microcosm of almost Arab citizens the flames; forgotten Let us incite and fan of both temples, which housed or Jewish but few of or all of Israel) mix and the grim the the community issues in the Israeli-Palestinian bureaucracy, every day and have realization relationships that over by the Ark of theIf Covenant there’s and the Holy almost future seems immediate packed conflict unrestricted of Holies. know. almost walked certain to be more access to one another. beyond our into While letofus The one small place that is participate. area is so the It is a the same. With marked stunning by the system, in which we by a big to a sector of sensitive to Jews that they the Israel-Gaza testament to the pragmatism be well war sub-groups were until or enjoined not campaign a over enable us history. It combines territory (who self-interest and the next round, ourto set foot on the Mount cause, throw internet a and and will the should of control West often Israelis and Palestinians Bank relatively out of fear that they could the news we areland in the east and west, not you think we -- as quiet, it’s Jerusalem be treading on that citizens’, well as the imbalance And if you community to mention that has emergedlet know. ground. the four quarters -of power -- that the as us sacred informed ‘global Jewish, city has remained the epicenter of unrest. what is happening or want to weight behind, unaware ofMuslim, Armenian, as quiet and functional down Christian -- of the It is quite completely some advice extraordinary that despite as old it has these many few Ithouses living a city). involves have a solution, years given such passions incidents community political identity (conflicting Telling of violence -- October important an to someone OVERLAPPING to bridge!). and politics. 1990, SACRED claims to the city as a your voice over the add SPACE. September 1996, September to change capital); it is driven by Things in Jerusalem would (never mind 2000 and of But it should be no us know. course one way letenough be bad (see below) involving surprise that given if stories isreligion and children what’s and debate, transpired in recent not just Jews, those shuls the perfect each other’s year --begins storm were driven weeks politics and passions Muslims and Christians new by attend different that the themselves thatmembers As the only Jerusalem area has not been a proximity as well as nationalist Report, in the Middle East, has often become scene of this. alike are opening a bloodywhen and political and strengthen flash point, often conflict. Sydney Jewish adults the and and But that inaugural enlighten was not to be. Jerusalemchapter of learning Continued on page In compiling of schools. create a newspaper 34 from this, our • Connect, Page 20
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at any one of the following outlets: COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS B’nai B’rith Retirement Village 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
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Are you drinking enough fluid? Ways to boost your water consumption!
- Drinking herbal teas (regular or green tea and coffee have caffeine so act as a mild diuretic, therefore are not as effective in hydrating the body) - Adding a slice of lime or lemon to your water may improve the taste and make you want to drink more water than you usually do. You can also drink hot water with lemon if you prefer a warmer beverage. - Sparkling water can be used in place of soft drinks to get that fizzy kick - Eating foods with a high water content such as broth soups as well as fruit and vegetables such as celery, tomatoes and melons - Order water when eating out. This will keep you hydrated and reduce calories at the same time. Happy Hydrating!
ME NUTRITION MONIQUE ETKIND
The most common response I get when asking how much water or fluid my clients drink a day is “not enough”. Drinking the recommended 2L per day is often not achieved as a result of people not understanding the importance of hydrating their bodies adequately. Since the body is approximately 60% water, drinking water is essential for so many of the most basic biologic functions. Consuming enough fluid daily is vital for maintaining every function of our bodies — from our brain to our muscles and organs, including our skin and heart. Cells need to be hydrated with water or they shrivel up and can’t do their job as efficiently. What are the benefits of drinking adequate water daily? - It delivers oxygen throughout the body since the blood is ~ 90% water - It aids the digestive system as the bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to constipation and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers. - It keeps the mouth clean and when consumed instead of sweetened beverages,
it can also reduce tooth decay. - It flushes body waste as water is needed in the processes of sweating and removal of urine and faeces. - It regulates body temperature when exercising and boosts performance in sporting events - It helps maintain blood pressure - Its aids weight loss since water has no calories compared to the high sugared soft drinks and juices. "Preloading" with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness. Often when you think you hungry, you are actually thirsty so always try drink something first before
eating. - It helps to prevent kidney damage as the kidneys are responsible for regulating fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems. It boosts skin health and beauty My recommendations on how to reach your daily fluid targets include: - Keeping a 2L water bottle with you throughout the day www.healthish.com - Carrying a water bottle with you when doing outdoor activities or running errands, especially in warmer months.
Monique is a Sydney based Dietitian (APD) and nutritionist, who believes one should eat everything in moderation. She runs a private practice in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. All her plans are individually based to ensure that they attend to the nutritional needs of both adults and children, by facilitating the processes of fat loss and management of related medical diseases.
FROM THE ARMCHAIR
Is my partner drinking too much? ARMCHAIR PSYCOLOGY AMANDA GORDON
Most of us enjoy a drink or two – to socialise with friends or at the end of the day with a loved one; or even a few more, to let our hair down and party. Many people have alcohol as part of their lives, enhancing the good times, comforting in the bad – but waking up feeling fine and getting on with the next day. However, some people waste a lot of their weekend – drinking and partying one night and spending the rest of the time in recovery. Not a good look. Not much fun to be around. But is that a sign of too much drinking, or just the endpoint of having a really good time? How can you tell? I mean it’s just what people do – get wasted – and why is there anything wrong with that? Part of the problem with deciding whether too much alcohol is affecting you or your partner is that so often we drink in groups, but recover (or suffer) in private. It’s hard to know whether everyone with whom we had a good time is now suffering just like us. And maybe it’s because your mate just holds his alcohol better than
you, rather than that you drank more? One way to determine whether someone is drinking too much is to look at the science – how much is okay? How many drinks over how many hours? Am I over the limit and not able to drive – with the understanding that that is the limit beyond which my thinking and reaction times are impaired? But that’s “just science – I’m different” – for when you are drinking, you develop a self-belief and think you are functioning normally, even if you’re not. You may worry about your partner from the scientific point of view, but they may disagree. So let’s leave the science and go for some other tests: Is your partner able to get up and go about their ordinary
activities the next day? Or is he a bit like a bear with a sore head? Does she get aggravated with me or notice all of my “irritating” qualities? Could he be bothered doing anything at all? Is his pillow his best friend? I’d blame the booze and suggest that it’s too much. Another checklist: How’s their health generally? Are they sleeping well? Snoring? How’s their diet? Are they putting on weight? Are they having to exercise harder than usual to stay fit? Ask whether they’re feeling sluggish. If so, then the excessive alcohol is probably at least partly to blame, and they need to take better responsibility for themselves. If all of your partner’s activities tend to centre around alcohol, then it is too much.
And if you always drink when you are together, then you are losing opportunities to build your relationship constructively, and increasing the likelihood of arguments and disputes. Finally, alcohol is a depressant. Initially, you may feel calmer, your anxiety may reduce, and you may loosen up and enjoy yourself more, but over time it will affect your mood and that can become the problem. That is, you don’t have to be an alcoholic to experience the negative effects of alcohol. If your partner (or indeed, you) is identifying with the picture above, it’s time to start planning a different relationship with alcohol – perhaps beginning with a cleansing week or two or three of alcoholfree living. That would be a great way to end the year – and you could bring in the new one resolved towards health and good living. If you couldn’t consider going alcoholfree, or try and find that you can’t, there may be some underlying reasons that would be worth addressing with a professional. Amanda Gordon is a psychologist and the Clinical Director of Armchair Psychology, based in Edgecliff, Sydney.
SOMETHING BIG IS COMING
MACCABIAH 2021 The Sydney Jewish Report
Maccabiah 2021 will bring together the best Jewish athletes from over 80 countries around the world to compete from 20 July 2021 to 3 August 2021. The Australian Team will be fielding teams in a range of sports in the junior, open and masters categories. Australia has a proud history of attendance at the Maccabiah games having sent a team of over 550 in 2017. Under the guidance of Barry Smorgon OAM, Head of Delegation for the games in
2021 and Simone Cohen, General Manager, the team has started to take shape. The Senior Leadership team has been inducted, with team manager and coach interviews now underway. Appointments will made in the next month. Nominations for athletes will open on 2 December 2019 and close on 30 April 2020. Visit www.revolutionise.com.au/maccabiah1 or email maccabiah@maccabi. com.au if you have any questions.
wishes everyone a safe, restful break and a Chag Chanukah Sameach We will be back in Feburary 2020!
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