TELL May - July 2012 - Emanuel Synagogue

TELL May - July 2012 - Emanuel Synagogue


May-July 2012

Iyar - Tammuz 5772

Bumper 44 page edition







Artists in our




UPJ in Poland

Rabbi Kamins

More dangerous ideas


As we celebrate Shavuot, “the rejoicing of the giving of Torah” with our Third Festival

of Dangerous Ideas, we stand firmly within the tradition of our ancestors – for

the Torah itself is a festival of dangerous ideas, mostly positive, albeit a few negative

ones that provide grist to the mill of those who enjoy denigrating Scripture.

Let us turn our attention to some of our ancestor’s most dangerous ideas taught

in Torah. In all this reflection, we must remember that the Torah comes out of a

context 3,000-4,000 years ago when except for the rich and powerful of the great

empires, life was ratheå hard work for most.

That the opening story of the Torah is the story of Creation is already a radical and

dangerous idea. The Torah teaches that there is one God, the Creator of All. Our

recitation of the Shema twice daily reflects a core dangerous idea of Torah: Hear

you people of Israel, Being is our God, Being is One. (The name for God, which we pronounce Adonai in the

Shema, is a form of the Hebrew word “to be”). The implications of Being = One are enormous, still not fully

understood by humanity.

While our ancestors did not fully grasp the implication of that teaching, the notion of human dignity is stated

directly, “The human being is created in the image of God.” A thousand plus years later, our Sages said,

“This teaches that whoever destroys one life is as if they had destroyed the entire Universe; no one can say

my blood is redder than yours.” Two thousand years after our sages, we stand in the place where we can

say this teaching applies to those whose dignity may not be fully protected by the Torah and the tradition:

women, gays and lesbians, gentiles. Nevertheless, in its context, the Torah extends justice and compassion

far further than other societies of its time, “you shall not oppress the stranger, for you were strangers in the

land of Egypt” and “you shall have one standard of justice for citizen and stranger alike.”

As part of the opening story of Creation in Torah comes an even more dangerous idea: the Shabbat.

Imagine again the world in which the rich and the powerful may have many days off throughout the year,

but the average human being works from dawn to dusk, day in and day out, much like a beast of burden,

until the moment their use by date is up. Our ancestors introduced the idea of the week to humanity, a

unit of time that cannot be measured by the moon or any astronomical event in and of itself, but requires

the effort of human counting. (As evidenced in the names of the days of the week in Hebrew: day one, day

two, day three, etc.) The seventh day is not a natural unit in time, but one that in and of itself expresses

human intention.

What our ancestors taught with that intention is even more extraordinary. One day out of seven every

member of society is to stop and re-soul. As the teaching is phrased in the giving of the “ten commandments”

(at the heart of the celebration of Shavuot): “Remember to make the day of Shabbat holy. Six days

shall you labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat of Adonai your God; on it you shall

not do any work – you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your animals, or the stranger

who is among you…” Today this idea remains revolutionary, especially in light of moves in Australia to turn

all seven days of the week into times in which no business is closed and no bonus is paid for working weekends.

Forget the minutiae of Shabbat observance – can you imagine your life with one day of seven where

you just get to BE: to read, to sing, to eat and to drink, to rest, to walk, to love? That is Shabbat, and that is

a dangerous idea.

But there is more danger lurking in Torah – debts should be remitted, slaves should be freed, justice should

be applied equally for rich and poor alike ….Yes, there is danger as well in the Torah’s demand for the death

penalty for a series of crimes, including for perceived sexual transgression, but that is where we come into

the story. For the Torah is not just a scroll that has been handed down through the generations for thousands

of years, but also our living story.

One of the most dangerous ideas of the Torah is that it is for each of us to learn from it and live by it.

The teaching of God is “not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you

should say, ‘Who among us can go up to the heavens

and get it for us and impart it to us, that we

may observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that

you should say, ‘Who among us can cross to the

other side of the sea and get it for us and impart

it to us, that we may observe it? No, the thing is

very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart,

to observe it.” The Torah encourages us to live by

these teachings, countering those other passages

that indicate that we are to kill by them as well.

Which brings us to this year’s Festival of Dangerous

Ideas. Torah, with its underlying and central presumption

of the unity of God and the consequent

idea of the sanctity of life, is the most dangerous

“At Emanuel, we embrace

the essence of Torah -

challenging the status

quo to enhance human

dignity and sanctity.”

idea of all, for it challenges us to think where we

are failing as humans to unify and to sanctify. Over

thousands of years, certain notions, under the

weight of an experience of suffering, have crept

into Judaism, and I would like to explore these

years a few of those. This year my topics will be:

“Arrogance and myopia: how the story of Jacob has

been misread”; “Genocide and Judaism”; and once

again, “Torah-latry: what happened to you shall

have no other gods beside Me?” I look forward, as

always, to learning with you and to growing Emanuel

Synagogue as a community where we embrace

the essence of Torah - challenging the status quo to

enhance human dignity and sanctity.

The more questions that we ask with open hearts

and minds and good intention, the more we stretch

ourselves and give ourselves the opportunity to

connect to the wisdom of our ancestors and transmit

their beautiful core values and aspirations to

our descendants.

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

The 72nd

Annual General Meeting

of Emanuel Synagogue

will take place on

Tuesday 29 May 2012

at 7:30 pm, at

7 Ocean St, Woollahra.

All members

of the congregation

are invited to attend.

By order of the board

of Emanuel Synagogue.

N Elias

Hon Secretary


Community Events

Tu Bi’Shvat




Above: Tu Bi’Shvat Tree Meditation at Bronte Beach led by Orna Triguboff. Below: The end of Pesach

Mimuna celebration coordinated by Anat Baruch, Ofer Hirsh and Sylvy Aviv, together with a great

team of volunteers!

Rabbi Ninio

A Gratitude Movement

As I sit to write this article

the strains of Dayenu are

still ringing in my ears. I

celebrated four sedarim

and at each one we all

sang a rousing chorus of

“dayenu: it would have been

enough.” But how many of

us live our lives that way,

thinking, “it would have

been enough?” How many

of us recognise the blessings in our lives and appreciate

what we have? When do we say, “it is enough?” For the

people who joined me at any of the sedarim this year, I

asked them to participate in a moment of thanksgiving. I

asked everyone to think about something in their life for

which they were grateful. Unfortunately in our world, I

do not think that we do this often enough, to stop and

realize the incredible blessings in our lives, to, for just

a moment, shift from looking at what is wrong, and

consider what is right.

I recently read an article which quoted research saying

that we spend, on average, 45 minutes a week on

regret. We beat ourselves up and chastise ourselves

over things we did not do or things we did do. We look

for the negatives and then dwell upon them. The top

ten regrets included not saving enough money, not

working harder at school, not exercising enough, not

appreciating elderly relatives before they died, all very

human, very real circumstances. (Mamamia March 6 th

2012) And how can we be blamed for thinking this way?

Advertising and media constantly remind us of what we

don’t have, what we are missing, the ways we should

change our lives and that message filters through to us

by way of regret, we wish we had done things differently,

had more, achieved more, that if we did, life may have

turned out another way. But what if, instead of giving us

the negative message, we were given the positive one?

We were called upon to stop and recognise the blessings

in our lives, the moments for which we are grateful, to

see the good and then invited to share our thanksgiving

and gratitude with those around us? We can spend too

much time lamenting what we don’t have and perhaps

not enough recognising the beautiful blessings, the gifts.

And they do not have to be huge moments, in fact, it is

perhaps the smaller ones which are sometimes the most


I was sent a YouTube video which opens with a man

sitting on a piece of cardboard with a sign which reads “I

am blind, please help.” The video pans away and we see

people enjoying the day, some look at his sign and walk

by, a few drop a coin or two into his tin.

Then a young woman comes along and changes

the sign. After this we see many more people stopping

and placing money in his tin. The camera focuses again

on the sign, it now reads, “it’s a beautiful day and I can’t

see it.” Changing the sign caused people to stop and

consider the blessing of being able to see a beautiful day.

I have been reading about a new movement called the

gratitude movement. They did a piece of research and

asked a few hundred people to keep a diary. One group

were asked to record what happened to them every

day, another was asked to record only the negative

experiences of their day, and the third group, to write

about the things for which they were grateful in their day.

Of the three groups, the one who wrote about gratitude

were more alert, enthusiastic, optimistic, determined

and energised. They had lower levels of stress, were

more likely to exercise regularly and help others.

“At the core of Judaism is gratitude”

One of the founders of the gratitude movement claims

that acknowledging blessings, appreciating the goodness

in your life can lead to a stronger immune system and

better relationships. But he cautions: “(it is) not to say

that everything in our lives is necessarily great but it

means that we are aware of our blessings.” And that is

the key. Life is difficult, we all face challenges, struggles,

disappointments, times of pain, suffering, loneliness and

sadness, and being grateful does not ask that we negate

those feelings, that we try and pretend that times of

struggle are not happening, but rather, it challenges us

to focus, just for a few minutes every day, on something

which is positive in our lives. Sometimes that will be

easy, other times it will be difficult, but just redirecting

our thoughts, to be aware of our blessings, even in the

midst of our struggle and pain, is incredibly powerful.

Judaism is a gratitude movement. Although we joke

that it is about suffering and guilt, in fact, at its core, is

gratitude. There are so many opportunities built into our

prayer services and the rhythm of Jewish life when we are

encouraged to find and acknowledge our blessings. The

daily prayer service, the bed-time shema, the Shabbat,

all moments when we are called upon to focus on the

goodness, to pause and be grateful. Judaism realises the

importance for each of us, spiritually and psychologically,

to see the positive in our situations, to really count our


I will never forget an Oprah show I watched many years

ago. Her guest was a single father whose wife had died.

He had two children, both with severe intellectual and

physical disabilities.


Rabbi Ninio cont.

He had to give up his career and life as he once knew it,

to care for his children. The burden was incredibly heavy.

Some days he wondered how he could continue. But,

after the first weeks without his wife, spending his time

drowning in grief and despair, he somehow decided he

needed to move forward. Although there were so many

challenges he faced, so many obstacles, he reminded

himself of the blessing of his children, the souls within

them and the beauty that they brought to his life. He

was one of the most inspirational, positive people I have

ever seen.

Oprah asked him how he was able to be that way, how he

was able to be so positive and continue day after day to

cope with his situation. He answered that at first it was

difficult, he struggled to find the light, but then he began

writing a journal. He had a book for each child and at the

end of every day he wrote down something about them

which was special, some moment during the day when

he felt blessed, something positive and good. He said

that it helped to redirect his energy and his thoughts, he

went to bed every evening with gratitude in his heart,

surrounded by his blessings rather than his troubles. He

discovered on his own what the research into gratitude

has shown, what Judaism has always taught, the power

of offering thanks, of pausing in the hectic lives we lead

to focus on the good, and to see the positive.

Whether that is the more obviously special moments;

a lifecycle celebration, an achievement, an award, or

the more everyday; the sunshine on our faces, the

beauty of nature, a roof over our heads, food to eat,

we all have something for which we can be grateful, I

encourage everyone to join the gratitude movement

we call Judaism, take a few moments every day to offer

thanks and acknowledge the blessings around us, write a

thankful journal, say a prayer, just stop, think and be and

maybe then we can all see that “dayenu” what we have

is more than enough.

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio


Applications now open–Opportunity Class Year 5, 2013

The Opportunity Class (OC) provides a range of stimulating challenges

across all key learning areas to engage academically gifted students.

While students generally learn the same content as the rest of

the grade, the curriculum is compacted for OC students as they

are able to work at a faster pace. This provides gifted students with

greater opportunities to explore a wider range of issues more deeply,

encouraging higher order, analytical thinking as well as creativity.

Information night: 24 May 2012 Applications close: 4 June 2012

For further information please contact the Registrar on 8383 7333


A member of the JCA Family of Organisations

Personalised Tallitot

What does a tallit made for Bat Mitzvah look like? Today

this seems like an odd question to ask, but seven years

ago when I wanted to make my own tallit for my ‘adult

Bat Mitzvah’ there were less than a handful of women

wearing them in my congregation.

As my special day came closer I began searching for my

tallit. I went to the local Judaica store. I looked online.

Nothing I saw felt right, mostly it all looked too masculine

– heavy bold

patterns and

materials. I began

to understand that I

needed something

that would help me

enter a prayerful

state - a tallit that

could reflect my

spiritual yearnings

and be feminine.

Realising that

I needed both

spiritual and

practical guidance

I asked my Rabbi

Jacqueline Ninio,

her answer was

simple, ‘You’re an

artist, make your


‘Fine,’ I said,

‘so what makes a

tallit kosher?’ What

I learnt is that we

have tallit (Yiddish,

tallis) to be able to

fulfil the biblical

commandment of

wearing fringes

which is one way

of remembering HaShem’s commandments or mitzvoth

(see Numbers 15, 38-9). The intention is to see the

fringes and be reminded of the divine in our lives. A

kosher tallit must be:

• a rectangular garment that you can wrap yourself


• made from any fabric as long as you don’t mix wool

and linen - a commandment called ‘Sha’atnez’;

• made with four corners of 90 degrees, and a collar

called an Atarah (crown); and

• Tzitzit (fringes) in the corners that are tied in a

specific symbolic pattern depending on whether

you are Ashkenazi or Sephardi.

Since 2004, I have gone on to design and paint silk


tallitot for many young women in Australia, USA and Canada who are inspired by our traditions. They see it as public

expression of achieving their Bat Mitzvah. When I asked Madelaine and Ella Faigen about the tallitot I made for them

they said that after meeting with me to discuss their favourite colours and important personal symbolism, they felt

special and individual.

Each sister’s designs were unique to them. In Madelaine’s, I incorporated butterflies and the significance of Jacob’s coat

of many colours from her parsha. A few years later, when it was Ella’s turn her choice was to have bluebirds and oriental

lilies, the result was very delicate and elegant.

Elizabeth Baral (opposite), whose Bat Mitzvah was last year, has commented: “I love the fact that my tallis has been

personalised and that I had a choice and input in the design and colours. It is

a material memory of my Bat-Mitzvah as I received it as a present and I chose

my favourite colours. They go with the dress I wore on the day. I like the way

the pastel shades suit the swirly pattern and give my tallis an appropriately

feminine feeling. Although I chose these colours and designs, I like to consider

my tallis as fairly traditional giving me another link to my heritage and culture.”

Elizabeth’s tallit incorporates traditional tallit stripes and free-flowing spirals.

The spiral is one of the oldest and most enigmatic sacred images known. It

seems to have a universal appeal, a mysterious resonance with our human

psyche. It is among the earliest examples of human creative expression, first

appearing some 24,000 years ago when it was found decorating statuettes of

the Mother Goddess. This suggests some kind of connection to the mysterious

and miraculous process of life which is embodied in the feminine. As millennia

passed, this image found its way into spiritual designs of nearly every society in

the ancient world.

The custom of the tallit stripes is a way of commemorating the Torah

commandment, “to attach one blue thread to the Tzitzit”. The blue colour,

“Techelet”, was made from the fluid of a sea creature called the “Chilazon”. The

secret of techelet was lost to us when the Jewish dyers went underground after the Romans (who conquered Israel in

63 BCE) seized control of its usage. Techelet is now available again. Elizabeth chose greens and purples as her colours.

These have traditionally been associated with new beginnings and royalty. They also happen to be colours used by the

suffragette women who fought for equal rights and the vote for women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries!

Alexandra Maybloom’s tallit design was based on her love of African animals, many of which occur in the Torah. The

design included zebra, giraffe, white oryx, lion and elephant.

The white oryx, in particular, is a biblical animal referred to in

the Torah. It has been linked with the mythical unicorn, and

is used as a metaphor to represent great strength, agility, and

majestic bearing (see Numbers 23:22). The zebra’s distinctive

stripes serves as protective camouflage against predators who

are often unable to pick an individual out from the herd. For

herd members, the stripe patterns, unique to each zebra, have

the opposite effect of helping to identify individual zebras.

Thus the spiritual meaning of the stripes has been linked with

the integration of opposites. This symbolism is a message of

maintaining individuality in group settings and being supportive

members of our communities. The Hebrew text that is appliquéd

as a ‘stripe’ brings the symbolism of your tallit together in a

unified thought – it is taken from Psalm 19 and translates as

‘The heavens declare the glory of G-d; the arch of the sky reveals G-d’s handiwork.’

I am thrilled to know that so many young women are proudly connecting with the mitzvah of tzitzit in a uniquely

feminine way through my efforts. For more information about tallit please see my website

Larraine J Larri



Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man*

Your eyes are lidded in prayer, old man.

You embrace the song like a man embraces his

wife, tenderly, with the want, the need, written all over

your face. A woman loves this sort of humility.

You embrace the song like a man who rises at

dawn, cocoons himself in his tallit with its blue-threaded

tzitziyot, and cries out for help. The Holy One, blessed be

He, loves this sort of humility.

You embrace the song like a man who lies down at

night and sings his Shema, in the face of his bewilderment

and failures. Life loves this sort of humility.

The Presence comes down.

All the people feel it.

Your head is covered, and your eyes are lidded in

prayer, old man.

I saw you. I saw you standing on the beach,

watching them build. I saw you waving your arms

frantically, but they wouldn’t listen. They built a wooden

tower of exotic shape, Semitic, Greek, Roman. He did not

fit it, so they cut off his manhood and threw it into the

sea. They cut off his Jewish body, and made him into a

god’s head. They made themselves into a god’s body. He

raged, stricken with grief.

And Suzanne goes on making her cups of pretend

tea while the oranges fade in her hand.

The river is frozen solid, yet still his tears are warm.

And the children leaning out for love

Are ravished without mercy.

The Presence has fled.

Maybe I’ll include razor blades when I sell the


But it could have a happy ending. As Buber says,

maybe one day we’ll be brought in from the exiles of

the religions. Maybe one day we’ll all come in from the

cold. It looks wintry out, the clouds lie low. Have another


You know, I’m beginning to understand that you

can’t have G-d without reality. You can’t make reality

up. You have to deal with the actual, or you’re embracing

self-deception, you’re kissing the hem of evil. My

Catholic upbringing made the metaphysical world realer

than real. The flesh and blood world was little more

than a shadow. Parmenides and Plato reclined on their

heavenly couch, overlooking all things. Down there, in

the City of Man, it didn’t matter if you killed a Jew, or

screwed a child. Three Hail Marys: she’ll be sweet. We

were on the way to perfection; the ideal, and only the

ideal, shimmered in our sights.

A nice, buttery, melt-in-the-mouth, crispy-on-theoutside

croissant for me. You too? Every woman has

something to get off her chest. If you listen up, and wash

the dishes, we’ll play.

I am a lioness with your balls between my teeth.


Answer me this question and I won’t eat you up. How do

you tell the difference between a real pearl and a fake


You don’t know? I’m afraid it’s all over for you.


Oh, but you, you in your animal skin, you are the

most wild thing of all. You have the South Sea Island

pearl between my breasts between your teeth. Do you

feel the gravel? A fake pearl feels smooth between the


I sold my grass-green field, and all I had.

I left beloved friends behind.

Come, let’s get dressed, my muffler please, and

walk. To be a Jew is to be the gravel, to see things, and

deal with them, as they are. And talk about them, and

irritate everyone. The voice helps. Life is all. It is all he has

given us. The wind slices me into you. Let’s slip between

the gingham curtains.

Steaming coffee fills our nostrils like frankincense,

while we sit here, in the café naked to each other; you, in

your white flannel trousers; me, my arms wrapped about

my shawl. Is that why the Presence is here? Because we

are naked, I mean. I’ve been thinking, Leonard, that the

Name is the ultimate reality, and that’s your allure. You

deal the real. In the other place, they bake it, shake, it,

make it, fake it.

But you and I are here, where the wild things are. I

smell mocha on your tongue and lust in every pore.

If you don’t desire me, the very stones will cry out.

Do you ever stand beneath a tree and look up to

see its limbs spread in ecstasy, Elcohen, Eldushka? Only

the sky gets to see. Ghost gums do it here, and maples

on the forty-ninth parallel.

The carnal Jews. The perfidious Jews.

I’ll be a carnal Jew for you. I’ll be an inter-breeder.

For you

I will be a ghetto Jew

and dance

and put white stockings

on my twisted limbs

and poison wells

across the town

For you

I will be a Dachau Jew

and lie down in lime

with twisted limbs

and bloated pain

* This prose poem weaves its way through this edition of

TELL. Written by one of our members, we share it with you

in celebration of dangerous ideas, and of the remarkable

creativity found amongst those who make up our community.

The portrait is (in part) of a particularly famous Jewish artist.

See if you can work out who it is before you get to the end of

the piece.


no mind can understand

Come, lie beneath the pecan tree

Come lie with me

Come let the blossoms fall

As we lie beneath the pecan tree.

Our skin receives the petals all

Come you, come me

Beneath the lovely pecan tree.

I smell your sweat. I touch your arm, slippery

with the olive. You take him on. For a Jew there is no

genuflecting, no salaaming; somehow or other, he

has made you his equal. You defend the people, the

loved and the loveless, like any prophet-guy would.

Wrestling partners, stripped, circling warily. With his

own compassion in your heart, you throw him to the

ground, your hands slipping on his oiled arms; your

weight is all you have against his strength. You hold him

down and look him in the eye, man to man. Of course, he

has brought you up that way. To challenge him. To resist


You’re smiling at me. Yes, I know I am using the

male pronoun and the male god-idea. It is for literary

smoothness. Be good enough to recognize the bias. For

instance, it is always Neanderthal man. We of the West

are descended from Neanderthal man. Who has ever

heard of Neanderthal woman? Neanderthal woman

covered the steppes of Russia in the Paleolithic Age. Have

you ever fantasized about a Neanderthal woman?

The Catholic dogma of my upbringing asserts that

all three persons in the one god are male. The creative

force unaided by any female principle! Let’s call it the

Hairy God Fallacy. The thatch is slightly mitigated in the

Eastern churches; they marry, and allow for a somewhat

feminine Holy Ghost.

The female being is your ikon. It takes you into the

Presence. Old Rabbi Akiva said that the Shekhinah comes

down in two instances: when a man studies Torah, and

when he embraces his wife. My long hair cocoons you

in your skin. Shall I anoint your feet, and dry them with

my mermaid’s tresses before you drown? Is that what

happened to the Galilean? At that moment did he drown

in ecstasy?

Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone!

He made them in His image.

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One!

You and me on the unmade bed. Your fingertips

on my skin speak of shipwreck and screwing up, of pain

and falling darkness. With each caress, from me to you,

from you to me, the depression lifts. You are absolved in

the blessedness of my understanding. I get you.

Do you get me? I fled from Rome and unreality

(my Iraqi friend, Murshid, calls me a new Jew). I fled

from the seven veils of silence. Belief and silence and

obedience and not looking and not listening and having

every mercy on yourself and no mercy on the mummies

and daddies of the little sacrificial lambs, pray for us, is

the Roman litany against a collision with the actual. The

veil of the temple must never be rent.

I suspended belief. I was found after wandering

the desert for forty years. The G-d of Israel happened to

be passing. He beckoned. Abraham Heschel and Martin

Buber and Professor Vermes took me in, then and there.

They folded me in their flowing garments, and from their

souls flowed honey and milk, dilating my parched heart;

their skin was warm, and the hairs on their arms smelt of

resins and myrrh.

I loved them with the love of Ruth for Naomi.

Your people will be my people, and your G-d will

be my G-d too.

So look into my Jewish woman’s eyes and see me.

Hold my breasts in your palms as the pomegranates

ripen. Smell the fig and the mandrake, come into my


With each caress, from you to me, from me to

you, the fear lifts. I am absolved in the bliss of your

understanding. You get me. A thousand kisses deep.

You sat beneath the Holy Tree

While Buddha’s words flowed over thee

Came forth from cave and sky and sea

I saw you then, you looked at me.

I saw a man, old as the sun

His face serene,

His race well run.

I want your sort

Ancient, full

You show me how to be and be.

You hold a stick,

And strum some strings

They come to see

They come to hear and be with thee

To join your shul

And join the one

Who hums and hums

Who eats a fig

And lies in peace

Knowing all, and knowing least.

Humming beneath the Holy Tree.

Beneath the holy pecan tree.

Your little shul

Attracts them now,

Abandon church and holy cow

No longer sacrifice the son, they come

From Book of Common Prayer

To deeper meaning, from despair.

You say you know the least of all

As petals fall, as petals fall

There is no meaning, anyhow

You show the way, but don’t know how.

Continued on page 30.


Rabbi Triguboff

The Omer Period and Personal Refinement

What is the Omer?

For thousands of years it has been part of Jewish practice to count the 49 days from the

second day of Pesach to the day before the festival of Shavuot. It is a commandment that

comes from the Torah – Leviticus 23:15 “You shall count…from the day that you brought the

omer as a wave offering…” An omer is a measure of about 1.5 kg. The Israelites brought an

omer of barley as an afternoon sacrifice on the second day of Pesach and after that counted

49 days till Shavuot – a time of harvest. Shavuot is also celebrated as the day of the receiving

of the Torah on Mt. Sinai.

Even after the destruction of the Second Temple, when barley was no longer brought

as a sacrifice, the counting of the Omer continued. Each evening after sunset from the

second day of Pesach a blessing is said to mark the progression of days throught out the

Omer period. This has the effect of linking the festivals of Pesach and Shavuot, it gives a

sense of anticipation to Shavuot, and an opportunity for self reflection. Symbolically, we

move from slavery to physical freedom on Pesach and seven weeks later we receive the possibility of spiritiual freedom

- via the giving of the Torah - on Shavuot.

The Omer – a daily spiritual practice

In the 16 th century in the city of Tsfat, in the Galilee, the Omer period was given a new dimension of religious/spiritual

practice. Each day of the Omer was seen as being connected to a different aspect of a person’s character. And each day

of the Omer was seen as an opportunity for self-improvement.

According to this Kabbalistic practice, each week is dedicated to a particular attribute: compassion, strength, love,

endurance, humility, bonding, leadership. The names for the seven attributes are derived from a verse in the Tanach and

each one describes an aspect of the personality that can be improved and refined during the Omer. These attributes are

connected to the holy spark within each person. With each week it is hoped that there is a level of self-refinement that

will allow us to “receiving the Torah” on Shavuot in a new way each year.

In the following few paragraphs there are some suggestions for daily awareness practices for the Omer. Of course

there are plenty of other ideas that will be sparked by these. As each person is unique, their journey through the Omer

is unique.

Chesed – Compassion and Loving kindness - Week 1 of the Omer till sunset, 14 April

During this week one can reflect on the aspect of compassion in one’s life. During the day there is an invitation to notice

when you feel compassion, when people act with kindness towards you, in which situations it is harder for you to feel

compassion…are there times of the day when compassion is easier to feel?

Symbols connected to the aspect of chesed are:

The colour white, the angel Michael, the qualities of: opening, giving, generosity and empathy.

Gevurah – Strength and justice - Week 2 of the Omer – till sunset, 21 April

Each quality is more than just one word. Some associations traditionally given to Gevurah are: the colour red, the angel

Gavriel, the qualities of: strength, courage, restraint, discernment, boundary setting and a sense of social justice.

During this week one could notice when issues concerning boundaries arise. Also you could notice situations

when courage and strength are needed and how you react to those situations. In the spirit of Gevurah you might decide

to tidy a messy drawer during this week!

Tiferet – Beauty and Love - Week 3 of the Omer – till sunset, 28 April

Symbols associated with Tiferet are the colour green, the symbol of the Star of David, the angel Uriel, the qualities of

beauty, love, open-heartedness. Tiferet is a balance of Chesed and Gevurah so it is connected to the ability to balance

giving and receiving in one’s life. During this week you might choose to notice the flow of giving and receiving that takes

place on many levels with each activity to do.

Netsach – Endurance - Week 4 of the Omer – till sunset, 5 May

The qualities connected to Netsach are the ability to persevere, optimism and ambition. During this week one might

sit down and write one’s ambitions – short term, mid term and long term. This is an exercise that helps see one’s life in

perspective. You might explore which things in your life enhance your vitality and which drain you. Notice each time you

feel optimistic and be aware of how it feel as well as what you are optimistic about.

Hod – Humility and Splendour - Week 5 of the Omer – till sunset, 12 May

The quality of Hod is often connected to Aharon the High Priest. It is the part of each person that is able to set the Ego

aside and feel humility and connection. This quality is also connected to sacrifice. During this week you might choose to

notice when you do things for others – a sacrifice of sorts. During the week notice when you are humble and when you

are not.


Rabbi Triguboff

Yesod – Foundation and Bonding - Week 6 of the

Omer – till sunset 19 May

Yesod has many associations – it literally means

foundation, thus it is a good time to look at one’s

foundations in one’s life. It is a good time to ask oneself

what are the things that are REALLY important to me?

What are my core values, my foundation? Yesod is also

the quality of bonding and thus it is a week of noticing

our connection with others – with family, friends, work

associates and community. As you go through the week,

notice your connections with different people and

groups. What does each connection give you and what

do you give?

Malchut – Leadership - Week 7 of the Omer – till

sunset 26 May

The last week of the Omer is dedicated to the quality of

Malchut-kingdom or leadership. It is a week of exploring

your role as a leader and how you relate to authority

in your life in the various situations you come to. As

your week unfolds notice which situations call on your

leadership skills and how you react. This quality is also

called Shekhinah – divine presence and so it is a week

during which you are invited to notice holiness in yourself

and in your environment.

Journalling and meditation

Besides using the Omer as an opportunity for daily

awareness practice one might choose to journal one’s

experience each day before saying the blessing for the

next day of the Omer. Sitting in quiet meditation as part

of the Omer practice is also beneficial.


The other aspect of the Omer practice is to find a

spiritual friend who is also engaged in this process.

It is like a traditional “yeshiva chevruta” or “learning

partner” however in this case there is a weekly sharing

about the quality of the week rather than discussing a

Talmudic legal issue. The idea is to share, once a week,

your Omer process and listen to the experiences of your

chevruta. (the term chevruta comes from the Hebrew

chaver, meaning ‘friend’.)

Courses on the Omer

There are many resources that will help you make this

period a fruitful one. You can find information on Rabbi

Simon Jacobson’s website – “Towards a Meaningful Life”.

Also, here at Emanuel Synagogue we offer an electronic

course throughout the 7 weeks. Each week you can

receive an email with guidelines for meditation and

things to be aware of during the course of your daily

activities connected to the “quality of the week”. If you

would like to be part of the course, please email info@

Rabbi Orna Triguboff



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Shimon Magil (1944-2012)

Shimon Ya’akov ben Avraham v’Sarah

Shimon Jacob Magil was born on the 9 th of August 1944 in Sydney, the eighth of nine children born to Philomena and

Jack Magil. With six years elapsing between Shimon’s birth and the birth of his younger sister Christine, Shimon’s

mother had some extra time to care for him as a baby and look after him. This was no easy feat for her. As a homemaker,

looking after nine children in the post-depression era, resources and time were scarce. Philomena used the little

money that she had to insure that all of her children were well nourished and educated in Catholic schools. She was

unbelievable in the amount of preparation that she went to for her family. Before attending mass on a Sunday, she

would make ice cream, bake two cakes and prepare a Sunday roast – enough food to feed her family and any other

person in the community who happened to be in need.

It might be said that the care that Shimon received from his mother

went a long way toward shaping the Shimon that many of us came to know

and love. From an early age, Shimon had a special ability with regards to

caring for other people. Within a few minutes of talking with him, people

would be able to open up. He would listen to their stories, and respond to

their needs attentively and selflessly.

But it took Shimon a little bit of time to find himself and to align

himself with his soul’s journey through life. Over time, Shimon held many

positions in a variety of fields. He studied law at university and as an

associate of the Department of Main Roads, Shimon worked on a number

of projects pertaining to the legalities of the cuttings of the expressways.

He even worked at Grace Brothers for a period of time where everyone who

worked with him loved him. And he joined Qantas, where he served as a

flight attendant for fifteen years. When he retired as a steward, he had, in

his own words, “walked to London one thousand times.” But it wasn’t so

much the length of the flights as the nature of the work that inspired him

to change career paths. He had become so good at his profession that he

had moved into serving first class customers. Because of the level of care

and customer service that he was providing to what he regarded as “self-obsessed customers,” Shimon came to the

realisation that he should go and genuinely help people in need.

Leaving Qantas, Shimon pursued a career in nursing and also studied social work. He participated in some courses in

Katoomba and in Sydney Tech in order to earn his qualifications and he demonstrated an inspirational commitment

to his work, including an internship placement at the Burger Centre. Ultimately, Shimon’s training as a nurse helped

prepare him to become Emanuel Synagogue’s Director of Pastoral Care. He never knew that Pastoral Care was a field

that he was interested in, but such a development was a natural progression.

It had taken Shimon some time to carve his own religious identity. He had always held incredible faith in God. Growing

up as a Catholic he was always a seeker and a searcher, but he eventually came to find a home in the Jewish community.

His first exposure to the Jewish community came through David Cross, a well-respected Melbourne barrister, who was

Shimon’s partner for ten years, and whom Shimon would later nurse when David was terminally ill. A Holocaust survivor

living in the same block as David, coupled with a trip to Europe where Shimon visited a concentration camp, sparked

Shimon’s interest in both the Holocaust and the Jewish community. He studied in the Melton programme, participated

in a tour of Israel, and learned about Jewish tradition at both Emanuel and The Great Synagogue, eventually converting

to Judaism through Emanuel Synagogue.

Shimon had never been happier and had finally reached some peace with himself. He practiced Judaism admirably,

joining us for our weekday morning minyan and attending Shabbat services regularly, always wanting to learn more

about the sacred traditions of our people. He loved reading Psalms, and in the later stages of his own terminal illness,

it was the words of Psalms that brought him great comfort.

Shimon’s Jewish identity and the obligations of his faith informed his practice first as a nurse and later as a pastoral

caregiver. Shimon was a caring person who simply felt that he needed to give back to others. He displayed considerable

empathy with people both older and younger than himself and would look after them with great kindness and love.


He was never interested in talking about himself. He

just wanted to listen – to find out, in great depth, about

another person’s story. Immaculately presented in his

crisp, white shirt and tie, he looked very professional.

Shimon took great pride in his work, representing

the Synagogue to so many hospital patients and their


By listening to patients and comforting them, and

supporting families in moments of crisis, Shimon left

an indelibly positive impression on so many people.

Day after day he just wanted to go to the hospital and

do what he believed to be important. In this way, as a

gentle, humble and incredibly gifted listener, Shimon

was able to care for others selflessly. A person could be

in dire straits at one moment, and Shimon would offer

them his presence, an opportunity to open up, to share

their feelings. He was the right person, in the right place,

at the right time.

As Shimon endured his final illness, the evidence

of his deep-seated faith shone forward. Many times, he

would simply respond to an enquiry about his health by

saying, Baruch Hashem, “Blessed is God’s name,” or “God

is great.” It would be easy to take such a comment as a

sign of resignation, but for Shimon, these words were a

heartfelt belief. His experience in hospitals and hospices

informed his own wishes – to die at home, surrounded by

loved ones. Because he was so clear in what he wanted,

his final days were filled with love, respect, dignity, and

the presence of so many people who came to Shimon’s

home to say goodbye.

James supported Shimon lovingly – in many of

the same ways that Shimon had cared for David, and

countless others selflessly. James said that what he

learned from Shimon was that life is not about putting

ourselves forward, it is about putting the needs of other

people in front of our own. His relationship with Shimon

taught him how to love and care for other people – an

incredibly beautiful sentiment.

We recall the words of Psalm 73, “Yet I am always

with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide

me with your counsel and afterward you will take me

into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And the

earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and

my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart

and my portion forever” (73:23-26). God was truly the

strength of Shimon’s life, and he shared that strength

with every person who had the honour and privilege of

knowing him. We will miss the warmth of his presence,

the playfulness of his personality, and most especially,

the seemingly endless fountain of selfless love that

emanated from every fibre of his being. Zeicher tzaddik

livracha, may the memory of the righteous truly be for a


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Statement from the Board of Emanuel Synagogue - 22 March 2012 / 27 Adar 5772


In 2010 Emanuel Synagogue obtained development consent for a major redevelopment of our Woollahra site,

including the creation of a new second sanctuary, preschool, education spaces, and an administration and office

building, all surrounded by beautiful and flexible outdoor spaces. The Synagogue launched the fundraising for this

project at the 2011 High Holy Days, which consists of tax deductible donations and “seat sales”. The community has

responded generously so far. We are thrilled to announce that we are more than half way to our target.

The main sanctuary is not being replaced or extensively renovated. However new, comfortable, seats have

been selected, ordered and will be in place for the High Holy Days this year. Seats are available for purchase, and

current seatholders have priority until 31 May 2012. Membership fees are unaffected by the decision about whether

to purchase seats. There will be plenty of unallocated seating for all members attending the High Holy Days.

Contingent on continued strong support from all members in the next few months, the board has decided to

commence retaining the professional consultants and contractors necessary to head towards commencement of

construction in early 2013. The board wishes to emphasise that each step of the way will be subject to available funds,

so we reiterate that the decision to proceed will be reviewed regularly and the project remains dependent on that

continued support.

The first phase of the redevelopment will affect the rear of the site, including demolition of parts of the Preschool.

It is expected that the construction will take at least 12 months. During the construction period the Preschool and its

staff will continue to provide its superb educational programme to our children. The Synagogue and the Preschool

stand as one to achieve this outcome and have been working together to ensure the best possible outcome for the

Preschool during the construction period and beyond. The Preschool will continue to operate on the synagogue site (in

a portion which will not be affected by this first phase of the construction) during the construction period. It is intended

that the main sanctuary and the Neuweg sanctuary, as well as the office, will also continue to operate as usual during

the first phase of construction.

Any questions should be addressed to board members or to Sam Zwarenstein or Natalie Levy at the Synagogue

office on 9328 7833, or at Questions about the preschool should be addressed by

email to Keren Miller, President of the Board of Emanuel Woollahra Preschool, care of


From the President

We are very excited about the building project. We are more than half way to our

target, but we really need everyone to be involved to guarantee success. Our children and

grandchildren will be the beneficiaries.

We hope that members will be interested in learning more about the project and what

stage we are up to in both fundraising and building planning. We have set aside a number

of weekday and weekend times in May when we will provide further

details and you can ask questions to determine how you would like

to support this endeavour. In Emanuel style, we are not having one

extravagant fundraising function, but simple gatherings in congregant’s

homes or in our boardroom.

Part of the fundraising that will be required to transform the

campus will involve the allocation of some new seats, in both the existing sanctuary and the

one to be built. We are asking members to consider pledges to be met either upfront or over

the next three or five years. As part of the egalitarian ethos of the synagogue, no more than

half the new seats in each sanctuary will be allocated, and seats will generally be allocated on

a 2 rows on, 2 rows off basis.

If you do not choose to take this opportunity, there will be room for everyone in the

expanded facilities. Membership fees will be unaffected as the entire development will be

funded from donations. If every one of our 1500 member families gave $20 a week (equivalent

to a coffee a day) for 5 years ($1000 pa), we would exceed our target.

The seats for the current main sanctuary have been ordered and will be installed by the High Holy Days this year.

Current seatholders have priority to purchase seats close to their present location, until 31 May 2012.

Rabbi Kamins and a board member will be holding information sessions every

Thursday in May in the boardroom at 6:00 -7:00pm. In addition, the following dates

and times are also available (sessions lasting no more than 1½ hours).

Sunday 6 May at 3.00 pm or 6.00pm

Monday 7 May 2012 at 7.30pm

Sunday 13 May at 5.00pm

Monday 14 May at 7.30pm

Monday 21 May at 7.30pm

Tuesday 22 May 2012 at 12.00pm and 7:30pm

We look forward to discussing these matters with you over the next few months and

we hope you will email: or call the office on

9328 7833 and select one of the times above so we can meet with you in person and

discuss this once in a generation undertaking. When you contact the office we will

notify you of the venue of the information session. Alternatively if you prefer, the office can post you a pledge form

and/or provide details of the cost of the seats and payment options.

The tax deductibility of donations, and the prices of seats, are fixed until 30 June 2012. Please help us close

the campaign at the High Holy Days and get the building underway in early 2013.




All members are invited to

drop into the boardroom on

Thursdays in May and June

from 6:00 - 7:00pm to hear

about the redevelopment –

how we are going, where are

we up to, what is happening.

Rabbi Kamins and Board

members will be there to

explain the project and

answer all your questions.


Our new seats are coming....

Buy a few old ones

and feel like you have

a synagogue at home!

Please phone the office

for more information.

so it’s time for a sale!

To prepare for the arrival and installation of our brand new seats in the Main

Sanctuary, Emanuel Synagogue is selling the pews that were installed in the

sanctuary in the 1940’s, when the Synagogue was built (in the downstairs

section), as well as the pews that were installed when the upstairs section

was built. These pews are made of solid wood (Light Maple), and carry

virtually all of the Synagogue’s history with them.

There are two categories of pew lengths, shorter pews (around 3.8m), and

longer pews (around 7.8m). Shorter pews will be sold for $200, longer pews

for $250.

Pews will be made available to the following entities in the order they appear


• Current Emanuel Synagogue congregants (from 1 May 2012 - with

exclusivity until 31 May 2012)

• Other UPJ congregations (from 1 June 2012)

• Other communities - synagogues, churches, etc. (from 20 June 2012)

The pews will be sold on the following basis:

• Payment must be made before collection. Pews are sold on a firstcome,

first-served basis, and are only reserved for that buyer once

payment is made in full.

• Pews are sold as is, no returns.

Buyers can inspect the pews on site before committing to a purchase.

Viewing can be arranged Monday to Thursday from 09:00 – 17:00,

except for chagim and public holidays.

• If you would like to purchase a pew with your name or a family

member’s name on the back of the pew, please note that we will

need to know this by 30 June 2012 at the latest, so that these name

plates remain on the requested pews. All other name plates will be

removed. This is only offered to Emanuel Synagogue congregants

who were past seat holders or are direct family members of past seat


• The buyer must arrange to have the pew(s) collected from Emanuel

Synagogue and transported off site.

• Pews must be collected from Emanuel Synagogue in early August

2012, the exact date will be communicated to each buyer, as soon as

it is confirmed.


Rabbi Jacobson

An open letter to our community


Over the six years of my involvement with the Emanuel community I have celebrated my

induction as a rabbi, Lisa and I have gotten engaged and married, and we have celebrated the

birth of our two daughters Hannah and Emily. I came to Emanuel as a newly minted rabbi, and

in addition to the opportunities that Lisa and I have had (and will continue to have) in helping

members of our community, we also recognise the beautiful ways in which our synagogue has

touched our lives. We want our relationship with the Emanuel community to continue to grow,

and we want to continue nurturing relationships with members and prospective members of

our community.

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to learn about the impending redevelopment

of the synagogue campus as a rabbi and a member of staff. I can attest that there has been great

positive energy in and amongst the staff and the Board with regards to such a significant project.

But as I write these comments for Tell, I recognise that I write not as a rabbi and not as a staff

member, but as a husband and a father of two young girls.

Lisa and I have been speaking at length with regards to our donation to the synagogue redevelopment. We believe

that by making a contribution to the synagogue redevelopment we are making a commitment not just to the future

of Emanuel Synagogue, but to the future of our synagogue. We see this synagogue as a place where Hannah and

Emily will grow and thrive, will learn about their timeless Jewish heritage and where, one day in the future, they will

celebrate becoming Bat Mitzvah, and perhaps, also celebrate getting married. Emanuel is not only our synagogue, but

Hannah’s synagogue and Emily’s synagogue too.

In fact, we see Emanuel as the synagogue for the future of all of our children, and their children after them. Emanuel

represents something enormously special – a place where Judaism can be practiced in a contemporarily relevant way,

a place where women can participate equally in services and read from the Torah, a place where the ancient practices

of our ancestors are upheld and respected, and where creativity and innovation are cherished too.

We believe in the power of community and we believe in the power and strength of this community.

And now is the time for us to look toward the future. For in the context of community, joy is enhanced, and sorrow

can be shared. Although we all may practice Judaism differently, the bond of community is sacred. We are stronger

and we flourish; Judaism is stronger and flourishes when we join together as a community.

In making a financial commitment to the redevelopment of the synagogue, we believe that we are building the

synagogue for our children and for their children after them. We believe that we are supporting the future of

egalitarian Judaism in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, creating a beautiful space where our beautiful religion and culture

may thrive. We believe that we are creating a place for learning, for prayer, for play, for the joy of being together, and

to benefit from comfort when needed.

We encourage you to look toward the future too. We

invite you to acknowledge the positive ways in which

our synagogue has changed your life, and we ask your

commitment in helping to make the vision of the

synagogue leadership a reality. We know there are

many charities and much need in the world, but we

are the only ones who can accept the responsibility

for creating a spiritual home for our children. We

recognize the value of the statement that “charity

begins at home.” Or to paraphrase Rabbi Hillel, “If we

are not for ourselves, who will be for us? And if not

now, when?” Now is the time when we must come

together with a unified vision for the future of our

very special community.

Rabbi Paul Jacobson

Adult Education


A choice of classes:

Beginners or Siddur reading.

Thursdays, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Cost: $150 / term

Register: 9328 7833


UPJ & ARZA establish Religious Action Centre

The Union for Progressive Judaism, in partnership with ARZA (the Australian Reform Zionist Association), has created

a unit to speak out on a wide range of social and human rights issues – both locally and in Israel. The Jewish Religious

Action & Advocacy Centre has already commenced work and will be officially opened in May.

“It has become increasingly clear to us that this is an area where the opinions of Progressive Jews differ

significantly from the views expressed by Orthodox groups ‘on behalf of mainstream Jewry’ said UPJ Executive Director,

Steve Denenberg “and there is no better example of this than the current debate regarding Marriage Equality. It is our

belief that the majority of our Progressive community are in favour of legislation that makes same sex marriage legal

and we were pleased to make submissions to this effect to the two Parliamentary enquiries currently underway. At the

same time the Rabbinical Council of NSW and the Organisation of (Orthodox) Rabbis of Australia made submissions

totally opposing this move. While we respect their views we believe that it is vital that alternative opinions within our

community are heard loud and clear by our community and by the wider community.”

“At the same time we have produced a statement on Slavery to coincide with Pesach. It criticises the United

Nations for wasting time and resources on criticising Israel while doing little to prevent the growing trade in human life

around the world. The statement also calls on Israel to amend the current legislation called the “Slavery Laws” by the

Supreme Court, which relate to migrant workers and non-Jewish asylum seekers,” said Denenberg.

He added “Over the coming weeks and months we will be producing statements on a wide range of topics –

including the recent series of anti-democratic laws presented to the Knesset; the attempted changes to the Law of

Return; and on the crucial need for Israel to break the stranglehold of the Orthodox rabbinate on the religious life

of the country. We are also developing policy statements on local issues including Climate Change; the treatment of

Asylum Seekers; and the need to develop new and creative ways of assisting the Indigenous community.”

The Centre is currently run as part of the UPJ and ARZA administration with 2 Netzer graduates employed parttime

to research the topics and prepare draft statements that go to an independent Advisory committee for comment

and approval.

The official launch of the Centre will take place on May 21 at the UPJ-sponsored Centre for Living Judaism, located in

Melbourne, with internet link-ups with Anat Hoffman in the Israel Religious Action Centre in Jerusalem, Rabbi David

Saperstein in the Religious Action Centre in Washington, D.C. and similar centres in other parts of the world.



What’s On


Emanuel aims to offer a diverse and stimulating spectrum of events. The calendars on pages 22 to 24 list all of our

programmes, but for your convenience we’ve selected a few of the highlights across the next few months and presented

them briefly below. You can find more details about all of these on our website


Israel Through the Generations Thursday 3 May, 7:30 - 9:00pm Come hear from a range

of fascinating speakers whose personal histories converged with the history of the State of


Emanuel’s Celebration in Song! Wednesday 9 May, 7:30pm Lag B’Omer musical

experience featuring the Stars of Emanuel School and Synagogue.

The Quiet Revolutionary: Yehuda Amichai: Lunch and Learn with Immanuel Suttner.

Saturday 12 May Yehuda Amichai is one of Israel’s most beloved poets, and his work has been

translated into more than 20 languages. His poetry has been set to music, read at gravesides,

and at the inductions of Israeli leaders. Yet his early work created a furore when it first emerged.

Immanuel, a poet and translator of Amichai, will discuss Amichai’s impact.

Learn Torah Trope with our Shaliach Tzibbur Martin Yafe. Tuesday 15 May, 4:15 – 5:45pm and every Tuesday thereafter

until June 26 th . Join us during these 7 classes and never ask for a CD with a Torah recording again! First we will learn the meaning

and history of the symbols that give intonation to our most sacred text. And then, we will learn how to chant them (according to

the traditional Ashkenazi cantilation system) providing you the knowledge to read any part of the Torah you like whenever you

want! For more information please contact Martin:

Sunday Cinema – Yom Yerushalayim screening of the film “Promises” (Havtachot) Sunday 20 May, 4:00 -6:00pm

With a subtle mixture of emotion and humour, this moving documentary film tracks seven Israeli and Palestinian children who

live in Jerusalem and its surrounding areas. Released in in 2001, this Oscar nominated and Emmy award winning film has lost

none of its relevance or timeliness.

Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group Wednesday 22nd May, 8:00pm

Shavuot evening (Leyl Shavuot) Saturday 26 May, 6:15pm celebrate receiving the Torah (and the first harvest in

Israel). Service, beginning at 6:15pm, includes traditional baby blessing. Straight after the service we begin our third annual

Festival of Dangerous Ideas – 10 minute presentations on controversial issues. A light supper will be shared.

Shavuot Children’s service Sunday 27 May, 10:00am .

A service for families focusing on the themes of giving the Torah, stories, songs and ice-cream.

Also on Shavuot the Masorti service at 9:00am, and Jewish Renewal service and meditation at 10am. This prayer

service will include meditation, chant accompanied by musical instruments, movement and discussion.

72 nd Emanuel Synagogue Annual General Meeting Tuesday 29 May, 7:30pm


Shabbat Tot - a lively service for children aged 2-5 Friday 1 June, 4:00-5:00pm. Songs, stories, craft and more.

Lunch and Learn with Anat Baruch: “Can Israel survive Post Zionism?” Saturday 9 June

Don’t miss one of the last opportunities to engage with our dynamic shlicha before she returns to Israel.

B’nei Mitzvah Shabbaton Saturday 16 June 2012, 9:00-5:30pm

All students celebrating Bar or Bat Mitzvah between Rosh Hashanah 2012 and Rosh Hashanah 2013 are invited to get together at Emanuel for

an afternoon of fun, food, games and other surprises! Join us for services and stay for an awesome afternoon.

How to celebrate Shabbat with your kids Tuesday 19 June 7:45 -9:15pm. “Keruv: celebrating with your Jewish

What’s On

children” a course designed for non-Jewish parents raising Jewish children and anyone who wants to bring meaningful and

creative practices into your homes. “Tuesday June 19th: Workshop 2: how to have fun on Shabbat and make it special.” details

on the web.

Shabbat’s Greatest Hits Friday 22 June, 5:00-6:00pm. A one hour Shabbat experience for primary aged children and their

parents. Join us for games, food, craft, songs, stories and fun as we explore a different prayer from the Shabbat service each


Harbourview Shabbat Dinner for young adults Friday 22 June. Come and connect with other people your age in a warm

and nurturing environment.

Young Adult Retreat in the Blue Mountains Friday 22 June to Sunday 24 June If you are in your early 20’s join our Young

Adult retreat in the Blue Mountains. Highlights: Communal Shabbat service and meals (which we will prepare together). Thought

provoking educational session with Anat Baruch, community shlicha; Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival; half day abseil and

chilling with friends around the fire place.

Communal Shabbat Dinner Friday 29 June. Following Shabbat Live all are welcome to join us for a Shabbat dinner

celebrating our youth and farewelling Netzer as they head off to camp.


Tea, Toast and TV on Tuesdays 7:30 - 9:00pm all Tuesdays in July. Join us to watch the wonderful Israeli TV series “Srugim”

which deals with the lives of modern orthodox Jewish singles in Jerusalem. Its “Friends” meets “Gossip Girls” meets “Modern


Shabbat Tot - a lively service for children aged 2-5 Friday 6 July, 4:00-5:00pm. Songs, stories, craft and more.

Machaneh Monster: Netzer Winter camp 3-8 July. For more details

“Spiritual Secrets of the Amidah”: Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Paul Jacobson. Saturday 14 July

Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group Thursday 19 July, 8:00pm

Harbourview Shabbat Dinner for Young Adults Friday 20 July. Come and connect with other people your age in a

warm and nurturing environment.

Learner’s Minyan Beginning Sunday 22 July, 9:00 - 10:00am Join Rabbi Jacobson to learn more about the daily service

and the importance of building time into your day for personal reflection. Topics include: How to get the most out of your time in

shul, what to do when you get an aliya (call up to the Torah) and learning to lead prayer.

Israel Day. Sunday 22 July, 1:00 - 5:00pm. Come learn, debate, play and breath Israel for an entire day. For those above

13, we offer workshops and speakers from Australia and Israel. Topics include Israeli society, Australian-Israeli relations, and

teaching Israel in the Diaspora. Kids under 13 will enjoy fun activities about Israel with our educators. Short and full length

movies about Israel will run during the entire day. An opportunity that shouldn’t be missed!

Tisha B’Av Saturday 28 July - Fast begins 5:12pm, services 6:15pm

followed by a discussion on “The Transformation of Trauma” led by Anna

Hueneke. Eicha or the Book of Lamentations provides a model for the

expression and hence transformation of trauma. Dr Hueneke will speak about

this process of transformation through symbolic and poetic expression with

reference to her own and other Jewish artists’ work.

Tisha B’Av Services Sunday 29 July. Shacharit 9:00 am, Jewish Renewal

10am in the Education Centre (upstairs). Mincha /Maariv will be at 4:45pm.

Shabbat Dinner to Farewell Anat. Friday 27 July after services. Join us for

a communal dinner and chance to farewell our amazing shlicha Anat Baruch

before she returns to Israel.

‘Bird from the Sea’ 150 X 230cm

watercolour, 2002, by Anna Hueneke



Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

1 (Omer 24) 9 Iyyar 2 (Omer 25) 10 Iyyar 3 (Omer 26) 11 Iyyar 4 (Omer 27) 12 Iyyar 5 (Omer 28) 13 Iyyar

6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Acharei Mot

8:00am Kabbalah Meditation 4:00pm Shabbat tot Kedoshim

4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:53pm 9:00am Masorti service

4:10pm Beit Midrash

6:00pm Redevelopment 6:15pm Shabbat Live BM Jade Hazan

6:00pm Shomer Achi 7:30pm Kabbalah session with the Rabbi 6:15pm Erev Shabbat 10:00am Progressive service

Meditation 6:30pm Hebrew classes Carlebach style BM Joshua Weinstein

7:30pm BJC 10:00am Yelladim

E-Course: Kabbalah, Meditation and the Omer

April 9 till May 25

A weekly email between the festivals of Pesach and Shavuot will

give you inspirations for meditation and daily awareness

practices The course will be based on Kabbalah teachings

about this 7 week period of the Omer. If you would like to be part

of this course which is both experiential and theoretical please


6 (Omer 29) 14 Iyyar 7 (Omer 30) 15 Iyyar 8 (Omer 31) 16 Iyyar 9 (Omer 32) 17 Iyyar 10 (Omer 33) 18 Iyyar 11 (Omer 34) 19 Iyyar 12 (Omer 35) 20 Iyyar

6:45am Morning Minyan Lag B’Omer celebration: Lag B’Omer 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Emor

10:00am Our Jewish Story: 7:30pm Emanuel Evening 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:00am Masorti service

Our Land, Our People of Song 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation 4:47pm BM Maya Buhrich

4:00pm Shomer Achi 4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:10pm Beit Midrash 6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Progressive service

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 6:00pm Shomer Achi 6:00pm Redevelopment 6:15pm Erev Shabbat 10:00am Yelladim

Tradition & Change session with the Rabbi Carlebach style 12:30pm Lunch ‘n’ Learn

7:30pm Melton class 6:30pm Hebrew classes

7:30pm BJC

13 (Omer 36) 21 Iyyar 14 (Omer 37) 22 Iyyar 15 (Omer 38) 23 Iyyar 16 (Omer 39) 24 Iyyar 17 (Omer 40) 25 Iyyar 18 (Omer 41) 26 Iyyar 19 (Omer 42) 27 Iyyar

6:45am Morning Minyan 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Behar Bechukotai

Mother’s Day 10:00am Our Jewish Story: 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation Wimple Decoration 9:00am Masorti service

Our Land, Our People 4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:42pm 10:00am Progressive service

4:00pm Shomer Achi 4:15pm Trope Seminar 7:30pm Kabbalah 6:00pm Redevelopment 6:15pm Shabbat Live BM Alexander Morris-Mikardo

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 6:00pm Shomer Achi Meditation session with the Rabbi 6:15pm Erev Shabbat 10:00am Yelladim

Tradition & Change 6:30pm Hebrew classes Carlebach style 6:30pm Netzer sleepover

7:30pm BJC 7:00pm Harbourview

(Young Adults)

20 (Omer 43) 28 Iyyar 21 (Omer 44) 29 Iyyar 22 (Omer 45) 1 Sivan 23 (Omer 46) 2 Sivan 24 (Omer 47) 3 Sivan 25 (Omer 48) 4 Sivan 26 (Omer 49) 5 Sivan

Yom 6:45am Morning Minyan Rosh Chodesh 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Bemidbar

Yerushalayim 10:00am Our Jewish Story: 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation 9:00am Masorti service

4:00pm Sunday Cinema Our Land, Our People 4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:38pm 10:00am Progressive service

4:00pm Shomer Achi 4:15pm Trope Seminar 6:00pm Redevelopment 6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Yelladim

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 6:00pm Shomer Achi session with the Rabbi 6:15pm Erev Shabbat Erev SHAVUOT

Tradition & Change 8:00pm Women’s Rosh 7:30pm Kabbalah 6:30pm Hebrew classes Carlebach style 6:15pm Babies blessing

Chodesh Group Meditation 7:30pm BJC 6:15pm Festival

of Dangerous Ideas

27 6 Sivan 28 7 Sivan 29 8 Sivan 30 9 Sivan 31 10 Sivan


Shavuot I Shavuot II 6:45am Morning Minyan Services

9:00am Masorti service 9:00am Masorti service 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation Spiritual

10:00am Renewal service with Yizkor 4:10pm Beit Midrash

4:10pm Beit Midrash Children’s Education

10:00am Family Service 4:15pm Trope Seminar

6:00pm Redevelopment Adult Education

6:00pm Shomer Achi 7:30pm Kabbalah session with the Rabbi Community &

7:30pm AGM Meditation 6:30pm Hebrew classes Special Events

7:30pm BJC


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

1 11 Sivan 2 12 Sivan

Services 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Naso

Spiritual Book now for 4:00pm Shabbat tot 9:00am Masorti service

Children’s Education Netzer Camp 4:36pm 10:00am Progressive service

Adult Education 3 – 8 July

6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Yelladim

Community & 6:15pm Erev Shabbat

Special Events Carlebach style

3 13 Sivan 4 14 Sivan 5 15 Sivan 6 16 Sivan 7 17 Sivan 8 18 Sivan 9 19 Sivan

6:45am Morning Minyan 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Beha’alotecha

10:00am Our Jewish Story: 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation 4:34pm 9:00am Masorti service

Our Land, Our People 4:10pm Beit Midrash 6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Progressive service

4:00pm Shomer Achi 4:10pm Beit Midrash

6:00pm Redevelopment 6:15pm Erev Shabbat BM Nick Williams

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 4:15pm Trope Seminar session with the Rabbi Carlebach style 10:00am Renewal service

Tradition & Change 6:00pm Shomer Achi 7:30pm Kabbalah 6:30pm Hebrew classes 10:00am Yelladim

Meditation 7:30pm BJC 12:30pm Lunch ‘n’ Learn

10 20 Sivan 11 21 Sivan 12 22 Sivan 13 23 Sivan 14 24 Sivan 15 25 Sivan 16 26 Sivan

Queen’s Birthday 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Sh’lach

8:00am Kabbalah Meditation 4:34pm 9:00am Masorti service

8:30am Morning Minyan 4:10pm Beit Midrash

4:10pm Beit Midrash 6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Progressive service

4:15pm Trope Seminar 7:30pm Kabbalah 6:00pm Redevelopment 6:15pm Erev Shabbat 10:00am Yelladim

(Office closed) 6:00pm Shomer Achi Meditation session with the Rabbi Carlebach style 12:00pm BM Shabbaton

6:30pm Hebrew classes

7:30pm BJC

17 27 Sivan 18 28 Sivan 19 29 Sivan 20 30 Sivan 21 1 Tamuz 22 2 Tamuz 23 3 Tamuz

1:00pm Conversations 6:45am Morning Minyan Rosh Chodesh Rosh Chodesh 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Korach

about Israel 10:00am Our Jewish Story: 4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:36pm 9:00am Masorti service

3:30pm Wedding Mark Our Land, Our People 4:15pm Trope Seminar 6:30am Morning Minyan 5:00pm Shabbat’s 10:00am Progressive service

Harris & Rachael Clark 4:00pm Shomer Achi 6:00pm Shomer Achi 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation Greatest Hits BM Alexander Rack -–

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 7:45pm Keruv workshop: 4:10pm Beit Midrash 6:15pm Shabbat Live Adult BM Reading

Tradition & Change Celebrate Shabbat with 7:30pm Kabbalah 6:00pm Redevelopment 6:15pm Erev Shabbat 10:00am Yelladim

your children Meditation session with the Rabbi Carlebach style

6:30pm Hebrew classes 7:00pm Harbourview

7:30pm BJC (Young Adults)

8:00pm Women’s Rosh

Chodesh Group

24 4 Tamuz 25 5 Tamuz 26 6 Tamuz 27 7 Tamuz 28 8 Tamuz 29 9 Tamuz 30 10 Tamuz

6:45am Morning Minyan 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Chukat

10:00am Our Jewish Story: 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation 4:38pm 9:00am Masorti service

Our Land, Our People 4:10pm Beit Midrash

4:10pm Beit Midrash 6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Progressive service

4:00pm Shomer Achi 4:15pm Trope Seminar 6:00pm Redevelopment 6:15pm Erev Shabbat BM Arkie Owen

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 6:00pm Shomer Achi 7:30pm Kabbalah session with the Rabbi Carlebach style 10:00am Yelladim

Tradition & Change Meditation 6:30pm Hebrew classes

7:30pm BJC



Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

1 11 Tamuz 2 12 Tamuz 3 13 Tamuz 4 14 Tamuz 5 15 Tamuz 6 16 Tamuz 7 17 Tamuz

6:45am Morning Minyan Netzer Winter camp starts 6:45am Morning Minyan 4:00pm Shabbat tot Parasha Balak

10:00am Our Jewish Story: (3 – 8 July) 4:41pm 9:00am Masorti service

4:00pm Sunday Cinema Our Land, Our People 6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Progressive service

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 6:15pm Erev Shabbat BM Amelia Baral

Tradition & Change 7:30pm Tea, Toast & Carlebach 10:00am Yelladim

TV on Tuesdays

8 18 Tamuz 9 19 Tamuz 10 20 Tamuz 11 21 Tamuz 12 22 Tamuz 13 23 Tamuz 14 24 Tamuz

6:45am Morning Minyan 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Pinchas

10:00am Our Jewish Story: 4:45 pm 9:00am Masorti service

Our Land, Our People 6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Progressive service

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 7:30pm Tea, Toast & 6:15pm Erev Shabbat 10:00am Yelladim

Tradition & Change TV on Tuesdays Carlebach 12:30pm Lunch ’n’ Learn

15 25 Tamuz 16 26 Tamuz 17 27 Tamuz 18 28 Tamuz 19 29 Tamuz 20 1 Av 21 2 Av

6:45am Morning Minyan 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Matot Masei

10:00am Our Jewish Story: 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation Rosh Chodesh 9:00am Masorti service

Our Land, Our People 4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:10pm Beit Midrash 10:00am Progressive service

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 7:30pm Tea, Toast & 6:30pm Hebrew classes 4:49pm 10:00am Yelladim

Tradition & Change TV on Tuesdays 7:30pm BJC 6:15pm Shabbat Live

7:30pm Kabbalah 8:00pm Women’s Rosh 6:15pm Erev Shabbat

Meditation Chodesh Group Carlebach

7:00pm Harbourview

(Young Adults)

22 3 Av 23 4 Av 24 5 Av 25 6 Av 26 7 Av 27 8 Av 28 9 Av

9:00am Learner’s Minyan 6:45am Morning Minyan 6:45am Morning Minyan 9:30am MyPlaySpace Parasha Devarim Chazon

10:00am Our Jewish Story: 8:00am Kabbalah Meditation 4:54pm 9:00am Masorti service

1:00pm Israel Day Our Land, Our People 4:10pm Beit Midrash 4:10pm Beit Midrash 6:15pm Shabbat Live 10:00am Progressive service

6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 7:30pm Tea, Toast & 6:30pm Hebrew classes 6:15pm Erev Shabbat 10:00am Yelladim

Tradition & Change TV on Tuesdays 7:30pm Kabbalah 7:30pm BJC Carlebach 6:15pm Erev Tisha B’Av

Meditation Communal Shabbat Dinner Service

farewell to Anat 8:00pm Presentation by

Dr Anna Hueneke

29 10 Av 30 11 Av 31 12 Av

Tisha B’Av 6:45am Morning Minyan Services

9:00am Masorti service 10:00am Our Jewish Story: Spiritual

10:00am Renewal service Our Land, Our People 4:10pm Beit Midrash Children’s Education

4:45pm Mincha service service 6:00pm Our Jewish Story: 7:30pm Tea, Toast & Adult Education

Tradition & Change TV on Tuesdays Community &

Special Events


These unique, one-off, hand made

chamsot are made from recycled glass,

ceramics, and other found objects.

The artist, Helen Segal, lives in San Diego,

will be visiting Sydney at end June. If

you’d like to preorder a chamsa contact

her on

You can see view high resolution images

of her work at:

302 Oxford Street Bondi Junction

Phone (02) 9389 3499

Funeral Directors onsite

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Looking after families

in the eastern suburbs

for 125 years.

Traditional Values

Contemporary Choices



Yom HaAtzmaut - Shlicha article

Whenever we talk, read and

hear about Israel we usually

have some strong emotion

in our hearts. We are either

concerned or worried,

sometimes horrified and

sometimes extremely proud.

As the community Shlicha

(now here for 2.5 years) the

number one question I am

asked is: “What’s going to

happen with Israel”. Whether

it’s Iran, social justice protests, missiles on Sderot or

segregated buses. Sometimes I feel like explaining that

I’m a community Shlicha not a community prophet, but

then I usually smile and try saying something comforting.

Yom Haatzmaut is the opportunity for me to ask

myself: Why I am proud to be an Israeli and to bring

Israel to the Jewish community. Here is a summary of a

few things to smile about:

Israeli Cinema

It is no secret that something good has happened

to Israeli cinema in recent years. Israeli films star regularly

at prestigious film festivals and win important prizes. The

international public is highly intrigued by Israeli cinema,

after having cold-shouldered it for many years.

Many Israeli films deal extensively with burning

issues characterizing life in Israel, e.g.multiculturalism,

politics, national identity, Holocaust, the Arab-Israeli

conflict, wars etc. As a sweeping generalization it can be

said that the renewed success of Israeli cinema derives

from finding the appropriate voice for the period: the

cinema stopped trying to tell that one, central “Israeli

story” (the story of Zionism, the State of Israel, the melting

pot, the consensus),

and began to look

inwards, into the

details making up

the whole.

Oscar nominated

Israeli films in

recent years:

2008 – Beaufort

2009 - Waltz with


2010 – Ajami

2011 – Footnote


Still from Waltz with Bashir

Tel Aviv - “The City That Never Sleeps”

In 2011 “Lonely Planet” travel guide magazine ranked Tel

Aviv third place (after New York and Berlin) in the list of

cities worth visiting in the coming year. The news of Tel

Aviv’s nightlife has spread across the globe, and a large

number of European youngsters have arrived to check

out the scene.

Tel Aviv is the cultural capital of Israel. The city is

home to the country’s greatest concentration of artists,

intellectuals, media and entertainment people. To a

great extent, Tel Aviv is the centre of modern Hebrew


Tel Aviv has a dynamic and influential LGBT

(lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community,

with prominent representation in the cultural life,

nightlife, and municipal political scene. The creation of

this community was made possible thanks to Tel Aviv’s

tolerant and open nature and respect for one-sex couples.

The city attracts thousands of young homosexuals and

lesbians from Israel and abroad.

In 2003 Tel Aviv received international recognition

from UNESCO as a world heritage site because of its

important architectural heritage: in Tel Aviv the Bauhaus

international style of building was uniquely successful in

the 1920s and 1930s, this combined with appropriate

and exceptional urban planning made the city an

international success. This urban texture and collection

of houses earned the city the title of “White City”.

Medicine and Wellness

Israel is one of the leading countries in the world in the

field of medicine. The studies, the doctors and the drugs

developed in Israel have global impact! Here are a few


In 1998 the Israeli Given Imaging Company

developed the PillCam capsule. These patient-friendly

video capsules can be swallowed and allows the doctor

to explore the digestive system. The company received

the European Union “Grand Prix” award in 2003 for the

“invention with the highest impact on human life”.

The President of the Technion, Prof. Peretz Lavie

and Robert Schnall developed an innovative technology

for diagnosis of respiratory disorders during sleep by

recording the blood flow in the finger.

A transfusion needle that locates the vein itself

- Israeli scientists have developed a sensor that beeps

when the transfusion needle has successfully entered

the vein. This significantly reduces the “jabbing” in the

veins of the arms, which causes haemorrhages and

suffering for the patient.

Israel’s great scientific and technological


Israel allocates more funds to research and development

than any other developed country, except for Sweden.

Because of this, Israel is a technological and scientific

leader. Here are a few things you probably didn’t even

know were invented in Israel:

1955: Solar water heater. After David Ben-Gurion asked

Israeli scientists to find solutions to maximise Israel’s

scant resources, Prof. Zvi Tabor developed the solar

water heater. Today it is used in most Israeli homes and

provides approximately 4% of energy consumption in the

State. (In animated conversations on the environment


you can mention that

Israel devoted efforts

to this important

issue over fifty years


1977: Digital colour

printing. Israeli

company Scitex

became a world

leader in processing digital colour pictures and at least

40 countries have marketed its products. After resigning

from management of the corporation, in 1989 its

founder, Efi Arazi founded “EFI” (Electronics for Imaging)

which, working with Xerox, Kodak and Canon brought

the colour printer into many homes.

1985: First electronic hair removal. Two kibbutz

members, Yair Dar and Shimon Yahav, register a patent

on “Epilady” - and the device became a dizzying success

in Israel and worldwide.

Israel has the highest number of startup companies

per capita in the world: 3,850 - a company for every

1,844 residents. Every year more startup companies are

created in Israel than in any European country. Israeli

start-ups that changed the world of technology and

placed us on the high-tech map are presented below.

ICQ, Mirabilis: In the mid-1990s, four young

Israelis had a brilliant idea: to develop instant messaging

software that would connect friends and allow them to

chat over the Internet. Their innovations allowed friends

to find each other, connect directly, receive a notice

when another friend connected, and have a conversation

at any time and from any computer.

Disk-on-Key, Dov Moran’s M-Systems: The

brainchild of Israeli entrepreneur Dov Moran was simple

but ingenious: a small drive that connects to the USB

socket, The sale of the Disk-on-Key, or USB flash drive

as it is now known, began in the year 2000, and has

become an obligatory item on every key ring, although

it too is likely to be eclipsed by newer technologies, such

as Dropbox, also an Israeli technology.

Babylon: It can be annoying when we find a

foreign word that we don’t understand on the Internet,

and then we have to look it up in a dictionary, look for

the word - and then to go back and carry on reading.

This is what we used to do until Amnon Ovadia arrived

with Babylon and changed everything. Now we merely

click on a word we do not understand with the mouse,

and a pop-up window appears and translates the word

for us, without interrupting the reading flow. This began

with translations from English into Hebrew, and today

Babylon supports 75 languages, and continues to grow.

Agriculture and Food Security

Israel is considered an arid country. It has low

rainfall, and few groundwater reserves. Over half the

area of the State, within the Green Line borders, is

mountainous and unsuitable for agriculture. Out of

approximately 21,000 km² of the area of Israel within

the Green Line (i.e. 1967) borders, only 20% is suitable

for agricultural cultivation. To this must be added the

lack of any agricultural experience of most of the new

immigrants who arrived in Israel with the establishment

of the State, and their difficulties in adapting to the

climatic and soil conditions. Yet development of unique

irrigation methods, obtaining of bumper harvests in

many crops, acclimatization and adapting of new crops,

development of diversified agricultural exports and

promotion of environmental quality, have become the

symbol of renewed Israeli agriculture.

The dearth of water from natural resources is a permanent

reality in Israel yet nevertheless, Israel is the only

country in the world that has more trees at the beginning

of the twenty-first century than it had at the beginning

of the twentieth century.

Israeli cows produce approximately 80% less

methane gas than Western European cows. The reduced

emission is important to the quality of the environment,

as it is considered one of the main causes of global


The use of water for irrigation in Israel is one of the

most efficient in the world, thanks to the drip irrigation

system developed in Israel and adopted by many

countries. Research has led to a saving of 15% in irrigation

water, without a reduction in crops. Drip irrigation has

become the commercial symbol of Israeli agriculture,

and has been


by many


across the



is one of

the leading

countries in

the world in

production of

seeds and the nurturing of fruit and vegetable varieties.

Israel’s cotton yield is one of the highest in

the world, with an average of 550 kg per acre. After

prolonged research cotton has become a very popular

field crop. Today the crop covers an area of 300,000

acres, and the exports total over $100 million.

Flower growing for export is a thriving industry,

and today constitutes about a third of fresh agricultural

exports from Israel. Until about 30 years ago several

acres of flowers were grown in Israel for the local market

Yearly new varieties and strains are introduced, which

enriches the choice of flowers for export. Israel is thus

considered today as the third largest flower exporter in

the world.


many years of brilliant achievement and contribution

to the world we are living in.

Anat Baruch




Survey Results

With the help of well known pollster Sol Lebovic, a survey was conducted in August / September 2011 among members

of Emanuel Synagogue. We now report on the outcome.


Methodology used was both

online by email invitation and

by self-completion mail out

questionnaire. We got a very

respectable response rate of


This survey was

predominantly conducted

online. The online survey

was conducted by inviting

respondents by email to

participate in the survey

by clicking on a link to the

questionnaire which was hosted

by and used SurveyMonkey

software. (

In order to reflect the

total membership a hard copy

of the questionnaire was also mailed to members for whom Emanuel Synagogue did not have an email address or

where the member had requested not to receive emails from Emanuel Synagogue.

Respondents were asked to provide only one response per household and for the online respondents the

software only allowed one response per computer or ISP address.

The sampling error for the total sample of this survey is plus or minus 5.1% at the 95% confidence level. This

means that there is a 95% chance that responses from the survey fall within a range of plus or minus 5.1% of the actual

response if all members of Emanuel Synagogue had been interviewed.


The respondents to the survey showed a skew to people aged 50 years and over. Seventy one per cent are 50

years or over compared to only 35% of the adult population in the Eastern Suburbs of this age. This could reflect the

age of the membership base or the age of people who undertook the survey or perhaps both.

In terms of sex, the balance is more like the general population, 54% female and 46% male.

About half the membership have children living at home with the children more likely to be older than 4 years.

Also in line with the older age profile, the vast majority, 59%, have been members of Emanuel Synagogue for 10

years or more.

Most households, 54%, have two adult members of Emanuel Synagogue however a significant minority, 26%,

have only one member.

General questions about Emanuel Synagogue

General feelings are very positive with the

strongest support for ‘it keeps you well informed

of its activities’, 80% strongly agreeing, and ‘it

provides a wide range of religious activities’,


Communication vehicles

The most often read publication is Tell, followed

by the Weekly Bulletin sent by email, 43%, and

then Shabbat Bulletin, 29%. Emanuel Synagogue

website is less well used at present.

It keeps you well informed

It provides a wide range of religious activities

It has a welcoming feeling

Its office staff provide a good service

It provides a wide range of social activities

It looks after its members

High Holydays B/Mitzvah Friday Yahrzeit Saturday Festivals Other

Rosh Hashanah Wedding, nights mornings

Yom Kippur etc


Services at Emanuel Synagogue

It is not surprising that the type of service attended by

the most members is ‘High Holydays, Rosh Hashanah

and / or Yom Kippur’ with nine out of ten, 90%, generally


The next most frequented service is ‘special

occasions like Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, etc’ with

61% saying they generally attend. Friday night and for

Yahrzeit is attended by just over 50% with Saturday

morning and festivals other than High Holy Days generally

attended by just under 40% of members.

In line with their more frequent attendance

younger members aged 50 years or younger are more

likely to attend Friday night services and Festivals other

than High Holy Days.

The most popular type of service is Progressive

with 77% frequenting this service at least sometimes,

with 43% for Masorti and 14% for Renewal.

About a third of you want more use of the choir.

About a quarter would like more ‘instrumental music’,

17% more ‘use of English’.

Tell Magazine Weekly Bulletin Shabbat Bulletin

sent by email

For many of you ‘attending services more often is

not a priority’. Our challenge is to persuade you to the


Learning and Study groups

There is generally quite widespread support for

attending learning sessions or learning more about many

of the areas offered in the survey.

Topping the list in the learning sessions are Jewish

history, 73%, Jewish values, 70%, and Israel, 64%.

In terms of learning more about topics, Israeli

themes rather than different forms of Judaism are

more popular. - ’Israeli politics and current affairs’ of

interest to 75%, ‘Israeli history’ 74% and Israeli culture’

61% . Interest in learning more about different forms

of Judaism follows the rank order of attendance levels

of the types of services with 56% interested in learning

more about Progressive Judaism, Masorti Judaism 46%

and Renewal Judaism 31%.

Weekday nights and Sundays are the most popular

times for these learning sessions with the majority

indicating these times are at least ‘somewhat suitable’.

The most popular way of conducting these learning

sessions is ‘in small groups as a seminar’ with 50% saying

this method is ‘very suitable’ and a further 31% saying

it is ‘somewhat suitable’. ‘Face to face sessions’ and ‘in

larger groups as a lecture’ are also popular with more

than 70% saying they are suitable. Perhaps reflecting

the older profile of the sample, ‘by using social media

such as, Facebook or Skype’ is far less popular with only

28% saying it is suitable.

Of four activities offered, ‘attending an address by

an Israeli visitor (ie politicians, ambassadors, scholars’) is

the most popular with 74% interested. Also with majority

interest is ‘attending communal events on Israel’. Again,

possibly reflecting the age profile of responders, ‘taking

part in blogs and e-conversations” is not well supported.

Social activities

Interest in attending a list of ten social activities

was tested. The top four activities are:

Movies, plays or concerts

on Jewish themes 72%

Israeli films 66%

Movies, plays or concerts on

general themes 58%

Shabbat dinners 54%

The most popular frequency for these kinds of

functions is about every two to three months,

supported by 42% followed by once a month at


Sunday nights, weekday nights and

Sundays during the day are the most popular

times for these kinds of social activities with

59%, 56% and 54% respectively saying these are

either very or somewhat suitable.

Social Issues

The majority of members surveyed are concerned

about each of the seven social issues tested. The areas

with the greatest number very concerned are, ‘care

for the elderly’, 49%, ‘poverty’, 46%, mental illness and

depression, 44% and homelessness, 41%.


We will use this valuable information in our programming

decisions and strategic plan. Giving members the services

and programmes they want and need is a priority. Please

contact us if you have further suggestions or would to

join a “members committee” to help us with that task.


From the Director of Education

The UPJ mission to Poland and Israel, flew out of Australia,

bound for Warsaw. The purpose of the journey – to learn

of our rich and vibrant past and to confront the evils of


The delegation at Mila 18

A contingent of 15 people of various shapes, sizes and

functions, joined in a journey that would shape and change

our lives.

During the first leg of the journey, we visited Warsaw,

Lublin and Krakow, all once vibrant Jewish communities

and centres of great learning. We shared our thoughts and

had animated discussions in “Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin”

- a building that once housed one of the greatest schools

of Talmud. A place where students would study one page

of Talmud a day, completing the entire Talmud in seven

years. In all the cities visited, one thing in common – the

Jewish populations which were the foundation and centre of

Jewish life around the world are now almost memories. We

have met with remarkable people along the way who are

dedicating their lives to unearth the remnants of the past

and to restore the majesty of the synagogues and meeting

places of Jewish life.

After seeing the faded marks of mezuzot that have been

removed from the doorposts, and trying to picture the life

that was. We were amazed to see the regrowth of the

communities in Warsaw and to experience the warmth and

welcome of a wonderful Progressive community in Krakow.

Shabbat morning saw us experiencing a service in the

Tempel in Krakow together with students from the Emanuel

School who had completed the March of the Living Journey

and with hundreds of Jewish people who had experienced a

similar experience from all over the world.

In Poland, we have searched for traces of a world that is

no more. We discovered that of the hundreds of Jewish

schools, synagogues and institutions that existed before the

war, only a handful remain today. We leave Poland having

caught a glimpse of the glorius past and wondering how it

was possible for the near destruction of a people to occur.

Sandy Hollis


Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

continued from page 9.


The meaning to the question

Eludes our minds, our hands

Our grasp:

How did we and he unclasp

Six million hands, and more, and more

And leave them touching

Dachau’s door?

How do we knead the bitter doug

Between the silver birch trees,

And glaze with egg and spangled salt

And bake that loaf that was their stroke

Of understanding?

Gentile and Jew, there is no wall

we own the question, one and all

The answer is the question.

keep it near, come day, come night

It is to be within your sight.

Keep that question coming.

For if we ask it faithfully,

No longer Gypsy, Slav or thee

Will starve beneath the Holy Tree

The Tree of Life, denying thee

The Killer and the killed.

Choose life! You cry

Choose life, choose me,

Choose every life, choose he and she.

Choose orphan, sinner and the blest

And choose the refugee.

Clasp and grap the falling ones

Our song will lift the seething throng

Sing and touch the Holy Tree

And call the One to sing to thee

and lie beneath the pecan tree

Hallelujah breathing over thee

beneath the holy pecan tree.

In the foyer the women come and go, talking of


Block of marble, talking of

El Greco’s

Jar of paint, in the distance your voice:

Don’t wait for a miracle, don’t wait till

The Pietà looks up, stares into your eyes, and says

Be still,

What the Goddess wants is mercy, not sacrifice.

You, old one, sing your song with the tenderness of

a man cradling his sleeping child. Praise Ya, praise

Yahweh. The band on your arm gently tells us you

are in mourning. Praise Ya, praise Yahweh. Your left

hand lies under her head, your right hand embraces


Continued on page 39

Community Notices

Note: 10% discount from Mila’s Catering

for all Emanuel Synagogue orders.

Need a Celebrant?

Jon Green

Civil Marriage Celebrant


Renewal of Vows

Call Jon on:-

Baby Namings

0414 872 199

emanuel synagogue


social networking for the under 4s

A great

opportunity to

get to know

other new

parents and

their families.

A space for our


children and their

carers to meet, talk

and play.

Children 0 - 3

9:30 - 11:30 am

$5 non-members,

gold coin donation




during school



Youth Programs


“Shomer Achi”, our new teenage Social Justice Groups

With the beginning of the year came the beginning of a new project: Emanuel Synagogue’s own

youth activities. Aligned with our strategic goal of offering a space for the entire community,

I approached some of our younger members and asked them what they would be mostly

interested in. The response seemed almost unanimous: There was a sincere interest and

eagerness to participate in social justice activities. To my surprise given their youthfulness

(13 to 16 years old) they said that life had generally been good to them, and that they felt the

need to help others who’s lives had not been as comfortable. Others added that a personal

experience (such as a conversation with a homeless person or a very close friend with a certain disease) had marked

them so much that they felt the need to do something to help them.

And this is how we created “Shomer Achi” (Hebrew for “my brother’s guardian”), a social justice group led by the

teenagers of our community. The history of the name goes all the way back to the beginning of the book of Genesis.

Our Torah tells us that once Cain had killed Abel, G’d asked Cain “where is your brother?”. Cain hid the reality and

responded: “how should I know? Am I my brother’s guardian?” (Hashomer achi anochi?)

The goal of the Shomer Achi group is to do exactly the opposite. We believe it is necessary to open our eyes to inequity

and injustice. We believe each one of us can make a real difference, not by hiding the parts of the reality that seem

unpleasant, but by understanding them and working “hands on” to improve them. We believe there is not much we

need to say, but a lot that needs to be done to better the world.

Last but not least, Shomer Achi is also a place to have fun and enjoy. Every week we meet to plan and research different

projects that we might get involved in (hopefully by the time you are reading this we will already be participating in a

few of them), we play some games and laugh a lot, and we’ve established a very healthy challenge: Every week, for the

last part of our meeting, I have to bring a different and tasty meal without repeating it more than twice. So we started

with sushi, moved to Mexican, Indian, and for the second term I have already planned some cool new ideas! So as you

can see, Shomer Achi is not only about helping others, but having fun, establishing relationships and sharing a good


If you are interested in participating, please contact me at We currently have two

Shomer Achi groups, one on Mondays from 4:00pm to 5:30pm and another on Tuesdays from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

There is space for anyone who wishes to participate, and no cost is involved. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Martin Yafe – Youth Director

PURE MAGIC! Fay Sussman has just

released a new album of Yiddish songs

with her band ‘Klezmer Divas.’

Klezmer Divas is one of the most exciting new Klezmer

bands in Australia. Their intoxicating combination of

music takes you through the 1930’s swing era of jazz,

tango and waltz, all done with a Yiddish flavour.

The sound of FAY SUSSMAN’s soulful and emotive

singing is comparable to the Berlin cabaret of Marlene

Dietrich. The beautiful voice and violin playing of

LARA GOODRIDGE is haunting and sexy, PHIL MARKS

on piano is beautiful and sensitive. while Gypsy/jazz


clarinet, PHILIPPE WITTWER on accordion and MARK HARRRIS on bass all add richness and depth.

Their music will take you on a journey of all the emotions of life!

CD’S for sale for $25.00 from Fay Sussman 0425 294786 or email

CDs also for sale at Emanuel Synagogue - just ask at reception


In Nisan (Pesach Time) Netzer Australia launched an

attempt to get back in touch with its bogrim reaching as

far back as those who went on the Shnat program in 1977!

The reaction has been remarkable.

As part of the venture the past bogrim have filled

out an online form in which they let us know what they

do today, whether they married their Netzer love (many

have!) and if Netzer has impacted their post-movement

life. We have had truly memorable responses, and I

wanted to share just a few of them with you.

Evan Lever who went on Shnat in 1995 and

subsequently made aliyah wrote: Through my time in

Netzer I gained valuable leadership and life skills that I use

daily in my working life as a CEO and in my family life with

my kids. Oh yeah, also made Aliyah which I suppose has

has the most major influence on my post movement life!

A little closer to home, the outstanding Kim

Rubenstein who went on Shnat in 1983 wrote:

“I am now President of the ACT Jewish Community

and Netzer and my experience in Israel was foundational

to my community involvement from then onwards!”

When asked if Netzer had a significant influence on her

post movement life, Aliza Denenberg (Shnat 2001) said:

Yes! I would not be where I am today or who I am today

without Netzer. I think I am in my job way more because

of the skills I learnt through Netzer than what I learnt at


These are just a few of many entries that have been

streaming in over the last few weeks. The message is clear;

our movement experiences and the self-development it


Home-Made Moroccan Cookies

Inspired by her Moroccan background and her lifelong love of baking for

others, Sylvy took to the kitchen to create a range of exquisitely home-made

cakes, cookies and biscuits.

The recipes for these Moroccan cookies are authentic as they have been

passed down from many generations and have been recreated in Sylvy’s

kitchen using the finest ingredients, themed around the times when people

gather together

The intricate shapes and flavours of each cookie and biscuit are unique and

the taste tells the story of one special lady that takes great pleasure in

perfecting her art and having others enjoy it.

Perfect for parties, baby showers, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries,

Corporate events and other special occasions.

A large variety of Gluten free cookies is available.

For orders call Sylvy on

02 9386 1403 | 0405 122 625


stimulates are enduring and profound. From fresh out of high school students to university lecturers, doctors, graphic

designers and importantly mothers and fathers, the lessons and friendships made stay with us.

Maddi Aghion, Netzer Metaemet




If you’re a keen NETZERNIK or

even someone who just wants to

have LOADS of fun, in years 3-8.

Then COME ALONG to Netzer’s

EPIC sleepover! For a night of crazy

activities, awesome games and not

much sleep!!

When:19th and 20th of May

Where: Years 3-6 @ North Shore Temple Emanuel.

Years 7-8 @ Emanuel Woolahra Synagogue

What Time: 6:30 pm Start

How Much: $15

Questions and queries? Contact: Maddi (years 3-6):

Alice (years7-8):


Are you in years 9-12 and LOVE hanging out with

your friends over the weekend? We at NETZER have the

answer! Why not come along to our Senior sleepover?!

Coinciding with the AWESOME festival of Shavuot we

have an fun-filled, jam-packed night planned for some

good memory-making material!

When? 26th and 27th of May

Where? North Shore Temple Emanuel

What Time? 7pm Start. 6pm pick-up (27th)

How Much? $15


So after almost three months, the unfortunate ones,

looking enviously on back at home, continue to hear

great reports from our Netzer Shnatties over in the land

of Israel! We hear of their progress in learning, making

friends and discovering all those exotic and exciting

traditions and cultures of Jerusalem! The following

report allows for you to gain insight into “The life of a

Shnattie”. We hope you enjoy!

Shnat Report from Shoshana Booth at Machon (The

Institute for Leadership and learning, Kiryat Moriah)

We have just reached the end of the fourth week of

Machon, which was busier, colder and then warmer and

more exciting than any week yet.

Snow unfortunately turned to rain on Thursday meaning

that our volunteering options in the afternoon (running

a Purim carnival for a youth centre or community

gardening) were cancelled. The combination of the rain

and the snow was pretty unpleasant, and we spent the

day running from the cafeteria for hot chocolate to classes

and back. However, all was forgiven when we awoke on

Friday morning for the first day of Shabbat Machon to

the shrieks of naked South Africans running outside in

the snow. It snowed properly this time, and there was

something incredibly magical about looking out of the

dorm windows and seeing the campus covered in fat

white snowflakes.

The Netzer Chocolate Seder - led by Netzer chocolate maddies, who wrote a truly funny and original take on the Haggadah - was

held on Sunday 8th April, the third night of Pesach, and a sweet and chocolatey time was had by all.



Shabbat had been planned by the Machon Tzevet and everyone was staying at Kiryat Moriah for both Friday and

Saturday to participate in the activities. We had free time on Friday morning, so most of us slept in and ran various

errands. Some of us went on a walk to the Kotel and the Old City in the snow, which was stunning. In the afternoon

we had a Kabbalat Shabbat service as a Machzor, and then we were billeted out to various (very hospitable) Englishspeaking

host families around the neighbourhood. Also some of us had more trouble finding the houses in the rain

than others, most people really enjoyed having a home-cooked Shabbat dinner and meeting different people. The

conversations were particularly interesting, and most of the families were quite religious and had made Aliyah, so there

was a lot to discuss. By the time we returned later in the evening the snow had begun to fall again, and those who

got back earlier joined an impromptu ruach session/snowball fight with the rest of the Machzor. Saturday morning we

had our choice of shules to attend, as well as cultural services here at Machon. A few of us went to Shira Hadasha, an

egalitarian orthodox synagogue where women lead the services as well and Mizmor leDavid, a synagogue known for

its dancing and singing. Seudah Shlishit and lunch were had together with the rest of Machon, and several programs

in the afternoon until the Havdalah service where we finished the Shabbat altogether. It was a really lovely evening; it

was great to see how Machon could have an intimate vibe with such a large group.

Classes continued to be (on the whole) interesting and challenging this week, with electives and in-depth courses as

well as our regular classes. On Sunday night we saw a performance called the One Woman Haredi Show, which was a

truly incredible and mind-boggling play in which an Australian actress created four extreme, extremely different Jewish

women and involved us in a Q&A with each of them. It was definitely the highlight of the week! Monday night we had

a program run for us by Noam’s chavura, which Becca, Jess and Sophie were involved in. It was based on conspiracy

theories and involved some odd and quite scary running around in the dark being chased by clowns.

Tuesday we had Tnua time, so Guy ran an interesting program for both Machon and Etgar about the nature of capitalist

societies and the way we treat people within them. Today we have a tiyul around Tel Aviv and are staying there for

Purim celebrations tonight, which everyone is pretty hyped up for.

All in all, this week was a great and very packed one, but will only be topped by next week, when we go to the

Negev on Southern Tiyul!

Enduring Ties – Past to Present



Rabbi Jacobson’s address at the baby naming


How wonderful, dear Emily, it is to welcome you into our family. For the past six weeks, we have delighted in

getting to know your gentle presence, your warmth, and your smiles, watching your big blue eyes absorb so much of

the world around you. And as thrilling as it has been for us, we have also enjoyed watching your big sister Hannah Mae

begin to love you too.

This morning we have the opportunity to welcome you into our

extended family. The sanctuary that we stand in is very special to all

of us – it is where Mommy and Daddy got married, and where Hannah

received her Hebrew name too. Today we pause to give thanks to

God for your safe arrival, and to give you your Hebrew name, a name

that will carry special meaning and be with you for the rest of your

life. One of Daddy’s teachers when he was growing up always said that

someone’s Hebrew name offers them a direct challenge from God – to

live by the best attributes of their namesake.

Emily, if this teaching is true, then you will surely have a good

and engaging challenge ahead of you! When you were in the womb, we

were deciding whether to name you Emily or Mikaela. Since Hannah

was Mommy’s favourite girl’s name, we thought it would be only fair if

Daddy were able to choose his favourite girl’s name – Emily. Because

we both liked the name and the meaning of Mikaela, we thought

that it would be an appropriate name for you. Mikaela is a feminine

form of Michael, one of God’s ministering angels. Mi-cha-El is often

translated into the question, “Who is like God?” And because nothing

can compare to God’s greatness, the name Mi-cha-el, or in your

case, Mi-cha-el-a, becomes a name of humility, a name dedicated to

recognizing the brilliance of God’s presence in the world. It is also a

name of protection and advocacy, for the angel Michael is seen in both

the book of Daniel and many times in rabbinic tradition to show great support for the people of Israel. Midrash teaches

that it was the angel Michael who helped Abraham escape from the fiery furnace in one of his ten trials, prevented the

sacrifice of Isaac, and helped to save the Israelites from drowning in the Sea of Reeds. Each of these examples shows

Michael’s dedication to others and to the world around him. We know that you, Mi-cha-el-a, with your presence, your

compassion, your wit, and a hefty dose of girl-power, will share these values with our world.

Additionally, you are named for some very special people. Your first name Emily is a combination of the names

of Daddy’s great-grandmother Emma, and Mommy’s grandmother Lily. The latter, who only passed away less than a

year and a half ago, was a woman deeply devoted to her children, family and community. She worked tirelessly under

difficult circumstances to ensure that her children had opportunities to develop their talents and passions. Taking both

of their names together, and making from them the name Emily is appropriate, for the meaning of the name Emily is

“industrious,” or “hard-working,” qualities held by both women, and we are sure, qualities which you will demonstrate

too, in your own special, unique way.

Your middle name Sophia is to known to many people as a word meaning “wisdom,” and with this name we

honour three of your ancestors, Daddy’s grandmothers Fay and Sylvia, and Mommy’s grandfather Sam. Fay was a

woman who believed in the importance of quality education, and it was her foresight, drive, and dedication, working

well into her seventies, which assisted Daddy and his brother Evan in attending top American universities. Sylvia, or

Googy, as she was more commonly called, took great pride in the accomplishments of her grandchildren, and would

have been so proud of you and your big sister Hannah.

Sam, who was affectionately known as Poppy, was a man of intense character. Championing causes in the

community and the wider world he always putting himself out there, and was not afraid to speak his mind or speak

against those he felt were causing harm. Your middle name Sophia would certainly have made Poppy smile. One of the

most important lessons he taught mummy and Aunty Vicki was that knowledge is something that can never be taken

away from you. Teaching them world geography was a great priority to him and he would quiz mommy on countries

and their capital cities. He always saved his favourite question till last and with a big grin on his face would ask us “And

what is the capital of Bulgaria?” When mommy responded “Sofia” he would sit back in his chair, cross his arms, smile

and say “Ah yes, Sofia.”

To our daughter, Emily Sophia, known in the Jewish community as Mikaela, we hope that you will journey through

life bringing the gifts of your heart and soul to the world. All our love Mommy and Daddy

Our B’nei Mitzvah

NAME: Rebecca Epstein

SCHOOL: Kambala

HOBBIES:touch football,

swimming and cooking

DISLIKES: bananas, spiders


tv shows are Neighbours,

Masterchef and The Brady

Bunch. I would like to be a

teacher when I am older. I

play touch football, netball and soccer. I play the trumpet

in the stage band and JGWO orchestra at school. I like

science and art but do not like technology or history.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: In year six I was a charity prefect so I

helped to raise money for different charities for example

The Starlight Foundation.


remember my parents helping me to learn all my Hebrew

and making sure I do the best I can do. Also my Hebrew

teacher Kim for helping me become a better person and

also helping me with my Hebrew.

NAME: Asher Klein

NAME: Gabrielle (Gabi ) Stricker-Phelps

NAME: Elijah Lazarus

SCHOOL: Sydney Technical

High School

HOBBIES: Video games,

reading, softball, fencing,


DISLIKES: homework,

haters, war


favourite TV show is

Doctor Who. I’d like to

be a world designer for the video game industry in my

future career. I enjoy fencing and swimming.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: I particpated in The World’s Greatest

Shave and our household sponsors two children, one in

Brazil and one in Swaziland (where my mum is from). In

the future, I’d like to do work for the environment.


remember most about bar mitzvah prep: My awesome

tutor, Sam Zwarenstein, and the frustration of actually

getting it all done but realizing it’s all going to turn out

ok in the end.

SCHOOL: Emanuel

HOBBIES: Making Movies, Basketball, Reading Books

DISLIKES: Homework

ABOUT MYSELF: I really enjoy watching movies and my favourite TV show

is Modern Family. My idea of a future career is as an actor since I love

acting and have appeared in several productions, in and out of school.

My favourite sports are basketball and skiing. I play basketball for Maccabi

and have done so for many years now. At school my favourite subjects are

English and HSIE. But most of all I enjoy hanging out with my family.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: I have been involved in the concept of giving students a voice and have been active in the

Emanuel School SRC since Year 4 and intend to do more of this in the future.For the last 5 years, my family

and I have sponsored two children through World Vision. Firstly we sponsored a young boy in Cambodia

called Thai Thon and last year we started sponsoring a boy in China called Yuan Bao Li, who is 7. I would

love to meet them one day and see up close the vastly different life they lead to us here in Australia.

I hope to be more involved with charity projects as I get older.

REMEMBER PREPARING FOR BAR MITZVAH…. I will remember waking up each morning to practice. And even

though I didn’t like it at the time, it made me realise that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

SCHOOL: Ascham

HOBBIES: dancing, singing, acting, kayaking, swimming, playing Wii.

DISLIKES: going to bed early, fish and people who are not kind.

ABOUT MYSELF: I love learning new things, being with my family and friends. I love to

laugh but can be serious when necessary. I enjoy life.

REMEMBER PREPARING FOR BAT MITZVAH…. I will remember setting my alarm every

morning at 6am to practise for my Bat Mitzvah and I will remember the amazing

feeling when I did my Bat Mitzvah in the synagogue and my family were proud of me.


Our B’nei



NAME: Daniel Kontorovich

SCHOOL: Emanuel School

HOBBIES: Soccer, tennis, skiing


ABOUT MYSELF: I like watching

comedy and action tv shows. I’m

not sure of my future career, but

I want it to involve some sort of

science. I support Barcelona and

listen to bands like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pink Floyd.

My favourite school subject is obviously science, and I enjoy

chemistry and genetics. I also enjoy Jewish Studies because it

is very much like philosophy, and I enjoy learning new

teachings and ethics.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: I give tzedakah to many organisations via

school, such as WIZO. What concerns me most about our

world is that too many people do not have suitable living

conditions. I would like to help the homless eat and sleep.


my tutor Kim for all the work he did to help me, and when

writing my dvar torah I remembered the pesach story and

it reminded me that it only takes one to start something.

When one person stands up, others will follow with pride and


NAME: Ben Ellis-Bloor

SCHOOL: Conservatorium High


HOBBIES: Surfing, playing music,

camping and adventure sports.

PETS: Babu (cat) Yoyo (Puppy)

DISLIKES: AMEB/School exams

ABOUT MYSELF: My favourite TV

shows are Modern Family and Two

and a Half Men. My favourite school subjects are science and

history. I enjoy listening to all types of music. My favourite

activities are definitely surfing, camping and a lot of activities

in the bush. I am funny and kind and loyal to my friends.

SOCIAL JUSTICE. I decided to get involved with helping and

understanding other cultures. By this, I went and performed

music to 120 refugees at an assembly in the only intensive

English centre opposite the Villawood Detention Centre. It

was something I will never forget.


with my tutor, Kim helping me prepare for my Bar Mitzvah.

He made the lessons fun and really enjoyable whilst working

me hard.

NAME: Josh Kemeny

PETS: One dog, one cat.

DISLIKES: Getting up early.

NAME: Tom Singer


Bay Secondary

HOBBIES: Slot car

racing, going to watch

the Rugby, bike riding,

going to the beach

DISLIKES: cabbage, Microsoft Vista

ABOUT MYSELF: Future career architect because

I like to design and draw. Also like engineering

because I like seeing how things work and making

things such as a billy cart. Listening to music, my

favourites are Florence + Machine, The Script and

Art vs Science.

I enjoy looking after younger children to help their

parents. I go in the Breast Cancer walk every year. I

would like to help the environment and find more

efficient and environmentally friendly ways of

making energy.


enjoyed going to Shule and seeing all the other bar/

bat mitzvah before mine and hearing their stories.

SCHOOL: Cranbrook

High School

HOBBIES: Some of

my hobbies would be

surfing, skateboarding

and going to the beach

with my friends. I

really enjoy surfing.

ABOUT MYSELF: My favourite TV show is

probably the Simpsons. at my school I mainly

enjoy Japanese, Maths and Geography. I like the

atmosphere and what I learn about.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: I have been involved in Clean Up

Australia day and I would like to stay involved in it

to keep Australia clean.


think I will probably most remember standing at

the front of the Shule with everyone watching me

and how nervous I was.


Ashley Bierman

& D’leanne Lewis

Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

continued from page 30.

And even though it all went wrong

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing, nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.

Praise Yah, Praise Yah


The Presence comes down.

All the people feel it.

The timbre of your voice warms us through the flesh

to the bone:

Live your life as though it’s real

A thousand kisses deep.

I loved you when you opened like a lily to the heat

You see I’m just another snowman

Standing in the rain and sleet

Who loved you with his frozen love, his second hand


With all he is and all he was

A thousand kisses deep.

Your head is covered, and your eyes are lidded in

prayer, old man.

Come home, your supper is waiting for you

And it is still hot.


by Juanita Alyozha

Anna Dobkin

& Adam Muscio


Nathan & Kerry

Jacobs (Dreyer)

I have referenced numerous texts in There are several

references to Shir haShirim (The Song of Songs), from the

Hebrew Bible.

Likewise, L. Cohen’s lyrics. The lyrics/poems quoted are:

(a) “The Genius” from The Spice-Box of Earth (McClelland

and Stewart, 1961), (b) “Hallelujah” was first released on

Cohen’s studio album Various Positions (Columbia, 1985),

and (c) “A Thousand Kisses Deep” from Book of Longing.

(Ecco; First Edition edition, 2006).

There is a reference to the influence of Parmenides and

Plato on Christianity: their theory that the changing world

in which we live is an illusion and that there exists a more

real world that does not change. There are also references

to T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and his

frozen inner life (Faber and Faber Ltd, 1973). There is a

reference to Deuteronomy 30:19

Martin Buber and Abraham Heschel are Jewish religious

philosophers; Géza Vermes is an historian, famous for his

book, Jesus the Jew. And even though it all went wrong

may be paraphrased as “in spite of the Shoah.”

Finally there are references to Maurice Sendak’s Where the

Wild Things Are (The Bodley Head, 1981) and In the Night

Kitchen (HarperCollins, 1970).




A spiritual, meaningful & musical

Shabbat experience returns from

3 February 2012.

Shabbat services at Emanuel Synagogue

7 Ocean St. Woollahra @ 6:30pm

$160/Term, non-members $250/term

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