Emanuel Synagogue - Tell June 2018 5778

emanuelsynagogue

Tikkun Olam

Tamuz-Elul 5778

June-August 2018

Tikkun Olam Within The

Interpersonal Realm

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

To Heal The Broken

Places

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

The Real Cost

Of Kashrut

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Behind The

Pink Triangle

Yoav Yaron

Sordid Beauty

Shira Sebban


\

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YOUR QUARTERLY JOURNAL ON SPIRITUALITY, LEARNING & COMMUNITY

Emanuel Synagogue offers a home where you can live your Judaism in a contemporary

world, drawing on our ancient teachings and traditions. We are a pluralistic community

offering a choice of services, programs and activities for the Masorti, Progressive and Renewal

movements. We do this with contemporary understanding to create a dynamic and diverse

community, welcoming you and your involvement.

PROGRESSIVE

The structure of our Progressive services

allows you to choose the type of prayer

that is most meaningful for you.

You may choose from alternate

readings in English, you may read

the Hebrew prayer (available in

both Hebrew script, and in English

transliteration), or you may choose to

take a moment of personal reflection.

Our Friday night “Shabbat Live”

service is a moving, innovative service

where prayer is enhanced with musical

instruments, beautiful melodies,

creative readings and stories.

Shabbat Live is held at

6:15pm every Friday.

The Progressive Shabbat Service begins

at 10am each Saturday morning.

MASORTI

Our Masorti (traditional) services

are run almost entirely in Hebrew,

honouring the tradition with

contemporary insights.

As with all services at Emanuel

Synagogue, men and women

participate equally and fully.

The Friday night Carlebach service

is a traditional Kabbalat Shabbat

service, featuring the well-known

melodies of Shlomo Carlebach.

The Carlebach service is held

at 6.15pm every Friday.

Our Masorti Shabbat Service begins

at 9am on Saturday mornings.

We also hold a Masorti Minyan

at 6:45am on Monday and

Thursday mornings.

RENEWAL

The Renewal movement is devoted to

personal and spiritual development,

reinvigorating modern Judaism with

Kabbalistic and musical practices.

Through our Renewal activities

you will have the opportunity to

reach a new level of awareness,

stress relief, self-development,

relaxation and inner healing.

6 July 6:15pm Kabbalat Shabbat

A Renewal-style Shabbat eve with

music, meditation and prayer.

19 August 10am-3pm

Kabbalah Art and Meditation Seminar

with David Friedman, visiting

artist from Israel.

Kabbalah Tour of Israel

October 2019

10-day tour of Israel with a

focus on Jewish Spirituality.

Led by Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff and

Israeli musicians, teachers and artists.

email: orna@emanuel.org.au

Rabbi Jeffrey B. Kamins Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth Reverand Sam Zwarenstein


{ CEO UPDATE}

CHANGING THE WORLD

Introducing Global Citizen

at Emanuel Synagogue

Suzanna Helia

It was a hot summer day in late

December, I was on Sydney Harbour

with family and friends, enjoying

boating, lunch and swimming.

My two boys being well, boys I

guess, had left their hats at home

and didn’t put on any sunblock.

As any parent would, I panicked, and

asked around if anyone would have a

spare hat or a cap as I didn’t want the

boys to get sunburnt. To my surprise,

one of the people on the boat (a friend

of a friend) passed me a hat, with a

Global Citizen logo on it. I thanked

him, and jokingly asked if he had one

more, as both my boys needed one.

And he reaches into his bag and passes

me another hat. I thank the guy as it

seems that whatever a child would need

on a boat, this guy had it! Intrigued,

I asked him, "Why do you have all

this things with you? Your children

seem to be very well equipped." He

simply answered, "I like to give".

A few weeks later I received a book

in the mail; Give and Take by Adam

Grant. It was profound. I finished

reading it in one sitting. It had so

many interesting perspectives. One

comment that I continue to dwell

on is: “it is well to remember that

the entire universe, with one trifling

exception, is composed of others” .

We are all here together and need to

look after one another, I thought.

I have always felt passionate about

innovation and the ability to make a

difference. Now I had the urge – if I

don’t try to make a difference, who

will? I go to the screening of a film

by Global Citizen in Sydney with my

three children. It is pouring with rain

and by the time we get from the car

to the Powerhouse Museum we are

soaking wet. Despite our discomfort,

by the time we finish watching the

movie, my children are inspired. They

ask me if I can help them to get this

initiative happening at their school,

and in the synagogue. My oldest,

Oscar Louis is already planning who

will be on his team; to work out how

he could get his friends' parents to

understand and support this cause

and how to get his school to work

{INSIDE THIS EDITION}

TRANSFORMATIVE

LEARNING

22

MITZVAH VS GOOD DEED

Daniel Samowitz

26

FIGHTING FOR LIFE

Donna Jacobs-Sife

24

REMEMBER THIS

Nicole Waldner

INSPIRING PRAYER

7

NEW BUILDING WINS

DESIGN AWARD

11

UNDERSTANDING TIKKUN OLAM

Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

14

THE REAL COST OF KASHRUT

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Cover art by David Friedman

See page 16 for details of the Seminar

in August featuring David


with them. My daughter Saskia is

horrified by the thought that there are

countries where children don’t have

toilets in the school, and girls of her

age can get married off. Felix chats to

the musician and discovers that you

can make an impact with music, "Hey

that is awesome!", he says. Felix loves

his piano, especially Jazz and Blues.

So, this is how it all came together.

At Emanuel Synagogue we have

a fantastic social justice program

including feeding homeless at the

Matthew Talbot Hostel, to some of us

sleeping on the street to raise funds for

St. Vincent’s De Paul, organizing food

delivery to the elderly and arranging

reading support for underprivileged

children. We bake and provide little

gifts for the elderly before Jewish

festivals, we collect needed items

and deliver to detention centers, we

organise Mitzvah days and fundraisers

for a variety of important causes. The

work is endless and rewarding but

very difficult for a child under the

age of eighteen to participate in.

We arranged for Stand Up (a social

justice program) to be included

into our curriculum to educate

youth on social justice issues and

support. This is part of their Bnei

Mitzvah program, however if we do

not provide a path for the children

to actually apply their energy and

enthusiasm to make a difference,

their excitement will fade away.

We want to create a way for children

in our community to accomplish

something meaningful, beyond their

academic or sporting achievements.

And from this, the Global Citizen

at Emanuel Synagogue Program was

born. The purpose of this initiative

is to provide young people with

the tools to influence and to make

a difference to people in need.

It will be part of the multiple social

justice initiatives that I am so proud

of, that Emanuel Synagogue supports

and leads, it is about engaging young

people after their Bnei Mitzvah

program and aligns with our

fundamental values by empowering

them to make the world a better

place. We are aiming to launch this

program very soon and I encourage

you all to join young and old,

parents, children and friends.

Two of Suzanna's children at the

Global Citizen screening

SUSTAINING THE

ENVIRONMENT &

HEALING THE WORLD

4

CHANGING THE WORLD

Suzanna Helia

6

TIKKUN OLAM WITHIN THE

INTERPERSONAL REALM

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

20

BEHIND THE PINK TRIANGLE

Yoav Yaron

25

INTRODUCING GLOBAL CITIZEN

Marina Capponi

CONNECTING WITH ISRAEL

& WORLD JEWRY

16

ART AND SPIRIT

Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

21

WORLD CONGRESS OF

LGBT JEWS IN SYDNEY

Kim Gotlieb

27

SORDID BEAUTY

Shira Sebban

30

UPJ BIENNIAL

COMMUNITY

8

TO HEAL THE BROKEN PLACES

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

19

CELEBR8!

23

MAZAL TOV RUTH

29

OUR NEW BOARD MEMBERS

33

NEW MEMBERS

34

MAZAL TOV

35

WEDDING MAKES HISTORY

5


{TIKKUN OLAM WITHIN THE INTERPERSONAL REALM}

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

It has been an exciting month with the dedication of our new sanctuary - part

of the Millie Phillips Building. This building also houses our new preschool

(to be dedicated once we receive all the relevant permits allowing the children

to move there). On that special evening, I wanted to thank so many people,

but inevitably, as perfection rests only within the ultimate mysterious one we

call God, I made several omissions. Welcome to the realm of the human!

According to kabbalist thought, since

perfection only resides in the realm

of the Holy One, the creation of

the universe we inhabit necessarily

comes with imperfection and the

need to repair. This repair is known

as “Tikkun”. We often use the

phrase “Tikkun Olam”, repairing the

universe, in the sense of the social

justice work we do as individuals and

a community. However, the early

rabbinic phrase enshrined in the

prayer “Aleinu”, that concludes every

service, and features prominently on

Rosh Hashanah, speaks of “repairing

the world within the sovereignty

of God.” This means that we must

understand the work of Tikkun

not just as right action, but also

spiritual, healing work as well.

Now, right action is at the core of

what Judaism is about, and made

clear from the Torah’s injunction,

“Justice, justice you shall pursue”

(Deuteronomy 16:20). It is

reinforced by dozens and dozens of

mitzvot focusing on our acting in

all spheres of life involving justice

and equity, particularly looking after

those less privileged in economic

and social power structures. The

prophets emphasize this message in

their teachings; famously in Isaiah’s

6


teaching: “Learn to do good; devote

yourselves to justice; aid the wronged;

uphold the rights of the orphan;

defend the cause of the widow”;

and Amos’s call: “But let justice well

up like water, righteousness like an

unfailing stream.” (Isaiah 1:17 and

Amos 5:24). For thousands of years,

we have had an understanding as

a people, that because we suffered

the oppression of slavery under

the Egyptians, we are called to

alleviate and eventually end that

physical suffering for all people.

But Judaism goes further than this in

its notion of Tikkun, because when

we came out of Egypt we were called

to freedom in order to serve. That

life of service primarily calls us to

a spiritual mission as a “kingdom

of priests and a holy nation.” Our

teachings about God have been

somewhat confused because of all

the verbiage and action associated

with belief. However, stripped to its

core, as in the opening words of the

Shema, we are called to understand

that “is” is our God, and all that

“is” is one. Our rabbis taught:

“The one who saves a single life is

considered as if he or she saved the

entire universe.” All being one,

each individual is an entire universe

(olam in Hebrew) in him or herself.

Tikkun Olam requires us to heal

the wounds we have caused others.

With those thoughts in mind,

reflecting on the opening night, I

want to acknowledge that I may

have hurt certain people. Although

I did mention how co-operative our

builders have been, in particular, I

want to mention Belmadar’s Site

Manager, James Blackburne, who

has been on site daily, working with

such deep understanding of helping

build our spiritual community. I

would also like to thank Aaron

Huey, the assistant foreman, Stuart

Tan, Belmadar’s Project Manager,

Alf Marrocco, Belmadar’s Managing

Director and Geoff Finch, our Project

Manager - they have enjoyed our

full faith throughout the project.

Nor would this project have been

brought to fruition without the

sterling work of the building

committees over the last decade,

led by highly devoted volunteers

Gordon Woolf, Robert Woolf and

Alex Lehrer. Our CEO Suzanna

Helia, with tireless effort, has

ensured that the project moved

forward to success. She has had

the steadfast support of our Board,

led by Louise Thurgood Phillips,

our recently retired president.

In the rush of activity that wonderful

night, I know there were hundreds

of people I did not have the time to

recognise and greet personally. In

fact, reflecting on my last 29 years

in the rabbinate, I have

thought of so many

people with whom I have

not used my best words or

demonstrated my highest

values, and inadvertently

hurt and disappointed in

some way. It has made

me realise that life is not

long enough to truly

do “Tikkun Olam” in

terms of each individual

universe with whom we engage. We

can only hope that at the end of it

all, our personal ledgers demonstrate

that our wrongs are diminishing, and

that the requisite Tikkun Olam has

been undertaken to the best of our

ability. As our rabbis taught in Pirkei

Avot: “It is not incumbent upon

you to finish the work, but neither

are you free to desist from it.”

INSPIRING PRAYER

EMANUEL SYNAGOGUE'S

NEW BUILDING WINS

DESIGN AWARD

The new Millie Phillips Building

has just been awarded a Silver

Award in the 2018 Sydney

Design Awards. The Award

noted that the design of the

Sanctuary reflects the values of

the community and expands its

architectural heritage. It indicated

the architecture displays a concern

for transparency and connection

to the exterior environment

- natural light, fresh air.

Congratulations to Lippmann

Partnership and the design team.

7


{TO HEAL THE BROKEN PLACES}

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

The year was 1946 and the war had finally ended. Rabbi Schenk rose and spoke

passionately about the role of the synagogue, he said: “Judaism must not stand aside

when the great problems of humanity which are reborn in every new epoch, struggle in

the minds of men to gain expression, battle in the societies of mankind to find their way.

We must not as Jews, deny

ourselves to the problems of

the time, nor hide ourselves, as

Jews in the face of them; they

must not be something that

goes on outside our Judaism

in another sphere. We are Jews

also for the sake of humanity…

we must fight the Jewish fight

for the new world of men, of

God’s children, of universal

morality, justice and peace.”

For Rabbi Schenk it was not

possible to divorce the spiritual

from the religious, for one led

to the other. And so too for the

founders of Temple Emanuel,

who all saw the work for tikkun

olam, healing the world, as

fundamental to their lives, their

Judaism and their synagogue.

Judaism has always been a

religion of action; the great

prophets of our tradition exhort

us to act. They argue that the

spiritual means nothing unless

it inspires us to correct the

injustices of the world and to

heal the broken places. Rabbi

Abraham Joshua Heschel said:

“A religious man is a person

who holds God and man in

one thought at one time, at all

times. Who suffers harm done

to others, whose greatest passion

is compassion, whose greatest

strength is love and defiance of

despair.” Judaism is a religion

of the day to day, the here and

now. Our texts cry to us to

take action, to be involved.

Heschel said: “The teaching

of Judaism is the theology

of the common deed. God

is concerned with the

everydayness, the trivialities

of life… the prophets’

field of concern is not the

mysteries of heaven, the

glories of eternity but the

blights of society, the affairs

of the marketplace…

the prophet addresses

himself to those who

trample upon the needy,

increase the price of

grain, use dishonest scales

and sell the refuse of corn”

And our synagogue has a proud

history of involvement in social

action, in bold acts of tikkun

olam, healing the world. In the

founding years, the synagogue,

especially through its Board

and its Women’s Guild, worked

tirelessly in the war efforts. They

welcomed refugees coming

from Europe, cared for military

personnel far from home,

helped with soup kitchens,

trained as home nurses to offer

care to the wounded and sick.

The Women’s Guild members

made camouflage netting for

the war efforts, sitting in their

homes in the evenings and

Rabbi Max Schenk

working during the day

in Martin Place creating the

nets. The synagogue continued

to reach out and help during

the war years, and afterwards

settling new arrivals, healing

and welcoming them into

community. At the same time,

almost every member of the

congregation was working

to help others in individual

projects outside the synagogue,

something which has spanned

the generations of synagogue

members, so many contributing

to shaping a better world

either under the banner of the

synagogue or individually.

8


In the 1980s, there was a

wave of immigration from

the Former Soviet Union and

South Africa. The synagogue

made a concerted effort to

welcome the new arrivals,

especially those from the FSU.

There was a synagogue op

shop which helped to support

those in the community

who needed assistance.

There were annual collections

to help those in the broader

community including

collecting coats for the

winter and food each year

for Mazon, an organization

established together with North

Shore Temple Emanuel to

alleviate hunger. Social justice

programs were linked with

all the Jewish festivals, and

collections were made and

donations given, in line with

the themes of the festival.

For many years, Emanuel

has had a connection with

the Exodus Foundation,

cooking and serving Easter

Lunch for the clients. On

a number of occasions

volunteers were invited to

speak at the Easter service.

Emanuel Synagogue’s social

justice group has been

involved with refugees and

asylum seekers, young people’s

literacy programs, feeding the

hungry and homeless, as well

as collecting items to assist in

many areas of the community.

They also provide a forum for

information about issues which

face the community, from

the environmental concerns

and mental health, to asylum

seeker policies and

distribution of wealth.

Interfaith dialogue

was a feature of the

synagogue as well,

something which has

continued through the

80 years - reaching out

to other communities,

building bridges of

understanding and

working on shared projects.

COMMUNITY

Our congregation has a proud

history of involvement in

projects which help to shape

a better world. Inspired by

the teachings of our tradition,

impelled by the words of the

prophets, our congregation has

always held as an imperative

the need to do acts of tikkun

olam. And we do so because

we are Jews. The synagogue

should not only be a place

Volunteers serving meals at Matthew Talbot Hostel

9


of spiritual uplift, but also a

place where we confront the

challenges of the world, and

be inspired to shape a better

tomorrow because the spiritual

leads to the practical. The Torah

is a political document; it sends

us back into the world to care

as God does, about suffering,

prejudice, poverty and war.

The foundational document

of Judaism calls upon us to

speak, to act and to care, and

the inspiration for such deeds

can also come from the pulpit.

Sometimes we need to be

challenged; we need to hear

opinions which are different

from our own; we need to

find the space for respectful

dialogue and discussion. But

this must always be grounded

in the spiritual, inspired from

a place of love and concern

for the world and for one

another. There must be room

for both politics and spirit in

the synagogue, for there is a

need for religious voices to be

heard promoting peace, justice

and compassion. Otherwise

we risk the religious agenda

being hijacked by extremist

voices who do not speak for

us, who do not represent

our understanding of our

traditions and teachings.

Religion and politics are interwoven,

and it is our sacred duty

to have our voices heard, not

just as concerned citizens but as

people of faith; people who are

inspired to action by the words

of our holy texts. Grounded

in our tradition and our

experience, we must speak, we

must care, and along with our

mouths, our feet, our hands,

our bodies are called to pray, in

word and in deed. Together we

can bring a sense of the holy to

politics, and ensure that religion

is the foundation for making

positive changes in the world.

JOIN OUR MORNING MASORTI MINYAN

MONDAYS & THURSDAY AT 6.45AM

SUNDAYS FROM 9AM

1. Temple Emanuel first AGM, 1946

2. Abraham Joshua Heschel

God in search of Man

3. Abraham Joshua Heschel

“The White Man on Trial” in

Waskow “Theology and Politics

in Abraham Joshua Heschel”

Conservative Judaism Spring 1998

SHABBAT

LIVE

A spiritual, meaningful and

musical Shabbat experience

every Friday at 6:15pm

1020


{UNDERSTANDING TIKKUN OLAM}

Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

Tikkun Olam is a ubiquitous term that has become so common

place that the original meaning has been lost.

If we dig a little beneath the surface,

we realise very quickly that it is

not as simple as “fixing the world,”

but a powerful amalgamation

of concepts. It has evolved to

encompass several distinct ideas

apart from the conception of today.

Probably the earliest usage of the

term comes from the Aleinu prayer,

first written for use during Rosh

Hashanah, most likely in the 2nd

century. The term there refers to

an idea “to establish/fix the world

under the kingdom of God”, or

“perfecting earth by Your (God’s)

kingship.” Different prayer books

translate that line in a variety of ways,

probably reflecting our modern-day

discomfort with the concept of one

religion reigning supreme over all

the others. The concept is generally

understood to mean a cleansing of

the world of all impurities (read

idolatry) that will allow the full

manifestation of God’s presence.

There is also a reference in the

Midrash roughly contemporary

with the Aleinu being written. In

the Midrash, the rabbis use the term

Tikkun Olam to mean the work

of creating a sustainable world fit

for habitation. In one particular

Midrash, God uses rain to establish

the world (l’taken olam) and

sustain it. This reading is concerned

solely with the physical world.

Around the same time that Aleinu

was being written, the Mishnah was

being codified. In it, there are several

references to the term Tikkun Olam,

however in the case of the Mishnah,

the reference is an entirely different

concept. Here it is almost always

justifying the creation of a legal

loophole to protect the marginalised

and less fortunate. The purpose

in these cases refers to a notion of

preserving a system as a whole.

Finally, many hundreds of years

later, during the rise of the Kabbalist

movement, Tikkun Olam came

to be used to refer to the idea of

realising a divine perfection in the

world, where the original state of the

universe would be restored through

our human performance of mitzvot,

both ritual and ethical. It was a

radical idea that humans could have

a direct impact on the cosmos. Jews

had to look beyond a specific act,

and look at the larger picture to see

what impact that act might have.

It is only in the last 40 years or so

that the term Tikkun Olam came

to be a catchall term that signified

acts of social justice. As with many

concepts in our tradition, the term

obviously has evolved. In fact, it is

possible to see elements of each of

the concepts reflected in our current

understanding of the

term Tikkun Olam.

Whether one is

engaged in providing

for the homeless and

refugees; or political

activism, environmental

causes, aiming to

rid the world of evil,

creating a sustainable

world, protecting

the marginalised; or

positively affecting the planet around

us to bring the divine presence

among us – then that is truly a

repair of our world. The work is

grounded in a divinely inspired

idea to create a world rid of evil,

that is sustainable and accessible to

everyone, and that brings us closer

to the original state of creation when

all was in a state of harmony.

Volunteers Adam Carpenter and Bob Tribetz help on Mitzvah Day

INSPIRING PRAYER

11


MASORTI MINYAN

TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS

6:45AM

HELP SPONSOR OUR NEW MACHZORIM

The existing machzor, Gates of Repentance, is old, out-of-date and written for North American

congregations. A new machzor, Mishkan T’shuvah has been developed and edited by a team

of UPJ rabbis and cantors to reflect the practices, culture and language of our region.

We are looking to our congregation to help sponsor the 1200 copies of Mishkan T’shuvah

required for our Progressive service. The books will be available for use in 2019 Holy Days.

The current price per copy is $80. All donations will be tax deductible. Donors over

$5000 will be acknowledged in the books; we will contact you to discuss.

We also ask people to let us know if they want to order books for their use in order for us to order

the correct amount. The books will be available for sale once delivered in 2019. This is a limited offer

so we encourage you to order now. Purchase of the books for personal use is not tax deductible.

This machzor is likely to be

used for more than 20 years.

Sponsoring the machzor is a

meaningful and significant way to

keep the memory of your loved

one alive while really making a

difference for our community.

To donate towards this need, please

email accounts@emanuel.org.au.

12


Women’s

Rosh Chodesh Group

NEED A CELEBRANT?

Jon Green

Civil Marriage Celebrant

WEDDINGS

RENEWAL OF VOWS

BABY NAMINGS

CALL JON ON:

0414 872 199

8:00PM - 10:00PM

July 12, August 12,

October 9, November 8

Why a Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group?

There is a legend told that when the Israelites

came to create the golden calf, the men asked the

women to give them all their jewellery and gold to

be melted down for the calf. The women refused

to supply their jewels and as a reward a special

festival was given to them: the festival of Rosh

Chodesh, the celebration of the new moon.

Please call the Emanuel Synagogue

office before the meeting to find out

the location on 9389 6444.

Call the office or email

info@emanuel.org.au for details

including location.

302 Oxford Street Bondi Junction

Phone (02) 9389 3499

302 enquiries@waltercarter.com.au

Oxford Street Bondi Junction

Phone www.waltercarter.com.au

(02) 9389 3499

enquiries@waltercarter.com.au

www.waltercarter.com.au

Funeral Directors onsite

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Funeral Directors onsite

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Looking after families in the

Eastern suburbs for over

Looking after families in the

120 years.

Eastern suburbs for over

120 Traditional years. Values.

Contemporary Choices.

Traditional Values.

Contemporary Choices.


{THE REAL COST OF KASHRUT}

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

This very sore topic is often debated and it isn’t going away any time

soon. The cost of keeping kosher, especially when it comes to purchasing

meat and other specifically hechshered (certified) products, is very

scary, and in many cases, bordering on being prohibitive.

You only have to pay

a visit to the kosher

section in your

local supermarket,

or head on in to a

kosher establishment

(restaurant, butcher,

etc.), and you say; “Here

we go again”. You can’t

help but feel as though

you’re being ripped off

and taken advantage of.

It would not be fair to

place any of the blame

on the establishments

themselves, as they

are caught up in the

same big (kosher)

hamster wheel that

we are, i.e. they

charge the prices they do because they

are lumbered with unfair costs and

somewhat ridiculous hindrances.

In March 2012 (six years ago), Rabbi

Meir Rabi of Kosher VeYosher wrote an

article called “The Cost of Kosher”, in

which he delivered a scathing attack on

the kashrut authorities (operating then),

and the inexplicable cost variations

levied upon the Jews of Australia.

In his article, he wrote:

“Kosher has been made unnecessarily

difficult, and unjustifiably expensive.

We do not, and many believe that

we cannot, explain and justify that

the costs are fair and not extortive.

Kosher has been made to look silly

and political. That’s the consequence

of insisting that a kitchen must

be Koshered after being used by

a Kosher caterer supervised by a

different Kosher organisation.

14

Kosher has been made to look

trivial. That’s the consequence of

knowing that the products on the

Kosher list are not Kosher enough

for the rabbi who endorses the list.

Kosher has been made to look petty.

That’s the consequence of accepting as

Kosher the same food in one state of

Australia but not in another state.”

Some of these issues are not limited

to the Australian scene, and there are

many communities around the world

where some of the same absurdities are

rife. Where is the sense of community

cohesiveness and responsibility that one

would expect from such authorities?

What happened to the notion of

making kashrut accessible to the masses,

affordable to all who desire to keep

kosher, and treating the community not

only with respect, but also promoting

the values associated

with keeping kosher?

We all know about the

2014/2015 Kashrut

Commission of Inquiry,

which highlighted a

number of issues within

the NSW Kashrut

Authority, and eventually

resulted in the formation

of a second authority

in NSW (Community

Kashrut or CK).

It took a formal

commission and an

enormous amount of

community engagement

to get to this result.

Why? Well, that can be

debated at length on

many levels. I will however, state that

I believe it is because of unwillingness

of the “authorities” to engage in

change, as well as the audacity of some

people in positions of power. These

people think they know what’s best

for us at all times in these matters,

and that we should continue to trust

their judgement and their decrees.

When you place yourself on a pedestal,

and you determine the matters that

Rabbi Meir wrote about to be the

absolute truth, and the only way

to (in this case) keep kosher, then

you build unrealistic expectations

for those who strive to live by the

laws of kashrut. Effectively, you are

hindering, rather than facilitating a

community’s ability to keep kosher.

Instead of helping to keep the price of

kosher goods and services in line with

reasonable expectations, you help to


drive prices through the roof. Instead

of building a community-focused

environment for those who choose

to keep kosher, you put stumbling

blocks for all concerned. For instance,

insisting that a kitchen used by a

caterer supervised by another kashrut

authority be re-kashered, because that

caterer is not under your supervision.

Similarly, products determined to

be kosher for everyone else, are not

necessarily “kosher enough” for the

rabbinic authority who endorsed

the kashrut of that product.

Then there’s the absurd notion

that food can be kosher in one

geographical region, but as soon as

it is taken to another area it may no

longer be kosher. So, food coming

from Melbourne, for instance, may

be deemed kosher, but take that

same food to Sydney, and it may

no longer be considered kosher.

Maintaining that level of absurdity

will only end up in tears- in fact, it

already has. Think about the number of

Jewish families who are trying to keep

kosher. Think about the many people

who have undertaken the life-changing

decision to convert to Judaism. In their

interview with the Beit Din, we asked

them to affirm their commitment to a

Jewish life and its ideals, which includes

the principles of kashrut, and how we

respect and live by those principles.

We tell everyone that keeping kosher

is a level we should strive towards,

and that the principles of kashrut are

amongst the holiest and most noble in

Judaism. Then we engage in ridiculous

acts of hypocrisy, contradiction and

superiority. Where is the holiness and

sanctity of kashrut, if we allow the rules

and conditions to reach this level?

We now have another kashrut

authority in NSW, the aforementioned

Community Kashrut (CK). This has

provided some alternatives and more

competition, which certainly in this

case, will be good. It’s still early days,

but more establishments and caterers

are being endorsed through the CK.

This is also leading to better results

under the KA as well, with more

establishments obtaining approval

under their authority as well. I’m not

mentioning any names, but getting four

challot for $10 is a refreshing change.

Kashrut however, is bigger than all of

this - believe it or not. In spite of all

these contentious issues, kashrut remains

an ideal of our culture and religion.

It is one of several key elements that

defines what it means to be Jewish.

Keeping kosher is not only about

buying approved and supervised

items, despite what one would think

after reading the above examples. It

also entails a level of responsibility,

a commitment to the animals and

the environment we find ourselves

entrenched in, and taking advantage of.

We have a responsibility to acknowledge

that the delicious roast served up for

dinner didn’t just appear on the plate,

and it isn’t a coincidence that we find

it (almost) ready for our use in the

supermarket/ butchery. It came from a

living being, and had to be slaughtered,

cut, and prepared, according to the laws

of kashrut. Similarly, the eggs we eat or

use for baking didn’t just appear out of

thin air. They are part of an ecosystem,

and kashrut teaches us that we should

act responsibly when interacting with

and taking from that ecosystem. A

deeper level of kashrut also teaches us

respect for (in this case) the chickens

that laid those eggs. We should consider

how are they have been treated. We

should strive to buy free-range eggs, so

that we are supporting the right ideals

and ensuring the right behaviour.

Although I’ve dedicated a smaller portion

of this article to the greater responsibility

of kashrut (i.e. a commitment to not

only do the right thing through the

laws of kashrut, but also the social

responsibility of kashrut), I abhor the

focus placed by some members of our

wider community that keeping kosher

relates solely to maintaining control and

creating an environment where they

don’t even treat fellow Jews

with respect, let alone the

environment and all

that lives within it.

Promoting kashrut is

an essential goal of any

Jewish community,

but it has to match

the ideals of, and

reasons for keeping

kosher. It is our

religious and cultural

duty to endorse

kashrut, to continue learning

and to help others understand

what it means to keep kosher.

INSPIRING PRAYER

There is no question that we must always

strive to live by these ideals, and seek to

improve the levels of kashrut. Having

said that, that focus cannot be limited to

the concerns raised above, even though

they are extremely important and must

be part of the overall approach. In order

to provide long term sustainability of

kashrut and its ideals, our plans and

actions must also focus on the deeper

levels of kashrut, on being part of a

greater picture, and acknowledging that

we have a bigger responsibility than just

overseeing day to day operations and

worrying about why we think somebody

else’s kashrut is not as good as ours.

Let’s start by changing the way

we approach kashrut, and taking

responsibility for our role in the overall

picture. That way, we allow ourselves

to strive to the true ideals of tikkun

olam, by changing ourselves, then

our community, and then the world.

Along the way we’ll dispense with

the trivialities and the politics, and

make ourselves and others proud of

our commitment to kashrut.

15


{ART AND SPIRIT}

David Friedman visiting from Tsfat

Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

To warm our winter, the mystic and artist, David Friedman, will be presenting

his art and teaching Jewish meditation at Emanuel Synagogue. To get a

sense of who David is, I interviewed him and here is what he said:

I was born in Denver, Colorado

and raised in a Modern Orthodox

family. I developed a talent for art

at an early age, and started to get

serious about art as a teenager. I

liked the artwork of album covers

of 60’s and early 70’s music, which

was an early inspiration for me. I

was also inspired by mandala art of

The Star of David by David Friedman

16

India. I attended the Rhode Island

School of Design in Providence for

a year, and then left to study Torah

and Jewish mysticism in Denver,

with the late Rabbi B. C. S. Twerski.

I emigrated to Israel in 1977 at

the age of 20, and spent two years

studying Torah in Jerusalem, where

I met my wife, Miriam. We got

married in 1979 and moved to

Tsfat. In Tsfat, I mostly immersed

myself in Talmud study and other

classic texts of Judaism as well as

Kabbalah, but I continued to make

art at night. As early as 1980, I

began to produce artwork that

was based on Torah concepts in

an attempt to integrate Torah and

art. I felt that I could make Jewish

mandalas. The first piece I produced

as a print (The Orchard of the

Torah) is based on the design of a

Tibetan mandala, and continues

to be a top-selling print for me.

After a bout with cancer in 1987

(advanced-stage Hodgkin’s disease,

which I received eight months

of aggressive chemotherapy), I

started practising meditation, and

discovered that there was such a

thing as Jewish Meditation. The

books of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

showed me how meditation is

an important part of Kabbalah,

that has been quite hidden until

recently. I started practising yoga,

developed healthy eating habits

thanks to my wife Miriam, and

focused primarily on the study of

Kabbalah. This combination of

Kabbalah, meditation, and modern

conceptual art produced a large

series of kabbalistic/meditative

paintings, most of which I executed

in watercolors and pen-and-ink.

I developed my own original

system of translating kabbalistic

concepts into graphic shapes and

colours, based mostly on Sefer

Yetzirah (the Book of Creation),

but also inspired from other texts.

I have exhibited in North America


and Israel, and my works can be found in many

homes and art collections around the world.

I often lecture on Kabbalah and Jewish Meditation

to groups of teenagers and adults, whether tourists,

students or spiritual seekers from around the

world. These groups usually find my presentations

enjoyable and educational as I use my art to

simplify and clarify profound kabbalistic ideas - as

they say, 'a picture is worth a thousand words'.

Although I have studied many classical Torah Texts

(both conventional and esoteric) I am primarily selftaught,

and I prefer the way of the mystic to be as

independent and non-denominational as possible.

Two of my main influences in the realm of Kabbalah,

whose texts I frequently teach, are the great 18th

Century kabbalist, Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzzatto,

and the early 20th Century mystic, Rabbi Abraham

Isaac Hakohen Kook. I continue to live, work

and teach in Tsfat, Israel, with my wife Miriam.

MYSTICAL ART

Let’s have a look at a few of David’s

paintings and how he explains them:

Kabbalah inspired artwork by David Friedman

David Friedman

QUESTION: WHAT IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING

OF THE STAR OF DAVID?

I connect it with a teaching from the ancient Jewish

text: Sefer Yetzirah, Book of Creation: It talks about

space having 6 directions (up, down, left, right, front

and back) and there being a place in the centre of

them which it calls “the Holy Palace” precisely in

the centre, and it is the essence of them all. It relates

it to the holiness of the Shabbat, the 7th day.

So, when you look at the magen david, each point

symbolises one of the 6 directions of space, and

the centre of the star is a holy palace, a

place of harmony. In this image I was

inspired by the artist M. C Escher.

QUESTION: YOU SEEM TO BE

FASCINATED BY LETTERS, CAN YOU

TELL US ABOUT THIS IMAGE? (left)

This is a painting of 3 key letters:

the Shin ש is red, the Mem ‏,מ blue

and Aleph א in yellow. (see left)

The Shin, stands for fire (aish in

Hebrew) and rises like red hot fire; the

Mem, which stands for water (mayim

in Hebrew), flows downward like water. They

are opposites - the outward hissing sound of

Shhh, and the inward humming of Mmmm.

CONNECTION WITH ISRAEL &

WORLD JEWRY

א The yellow which surrounds them represents Aleph

– the first Hebrew letter. It symbolises a breath of air or

light (the Hebrew words for light and air are similar).

Aleph stands for the One that includes the Two – just

as one breath of air includes the exhale and the inhale.

17


These three letters are known in the Sefer Yetzirah

“Book of Creation” as the Three Mother letters,

and are the subject of many of my paintings.

QUESTION: DO YOU TEACH

MEDITATIONS BASED ON THIS?

Yes, the Jewish meditations I teach are based

on Kabbalah. For example I have a meditation

I teach based on the letters: Shin ש is red,

the Mem ‏,מ blue and Aleph ‏.א It is a breath

meditation, as well as sounding the letters.

My art is also like a meditative piece of art that

can inspire people just by looking at it. Having the

art on a wall can help people relax and focus.

I’m really looking forward to visiting the

Emanuel Synagogue community in August.

See you then.

ART KABBALAH AND

MEDITATION SEMINAR

with

RABBI DR ORNA TRIGUBOFF

and visiting Artist from Tzfat, Israel

DAVID FRIEDMAN

Kabbalist, Artist and Meditation Teacher

SUNDAY 19TH AUGUST

10:30am-3pm

email: orna@emanuel.org.au

A 10-day tour of Israel

with a focus on Jewish

Spirituality. We explore

ancient sites, learn

with the best kabbalah

teachers in the world

and experience authentic

inspiring tikun olam

projects, getting to know

the people involved.

KABBALAH TOUR

OF ISRAEL

OCTOBER 2019

LED BY RABBI DR.

ORNA TRIGUBOFF

AND ISRAELI

MUSICIANS,

TEACHERS AND

ARTISTS.

For more information,

please email

orna@emanuel.org.au

18


{CELEBR8}

Photos from the Opening of our new Sanctuary

COMMUNITY

Photos by Bob Trijbetz

19


{BEHIND THE PINK TRIANGLE}

Yoav Yaron

Why Gay history matters when remembering the Holocaust

The future of Holocaust

remembrance has become a growing

concern for Jewish communities

worldwide. As a third-generation

descendant of Holocaust survivors,

I almost consider it my privilege to

be able to see and listen to survivors’

memories and stories from early

childhood through to adulthood

– many of which I can still vividly

recall. These living memories, often

of members of the Kibbutz I grew

up in, were the building blocks

of my Holocaust education.

They inspired an enduring interest

not just for me, but for many others.

Projects like 'Zikaron BaSalon', draw

dozens of listeners to thousands of

Holocaust commemorations services

every year. It seeks to strengthen

one's personal connection to the

Holocaust, through survivors'

stories and testimonies. Yet with

regards to future generations,

there remains a pressing question:

How can we keep the memory

alive without a living memory?

An ongoing debate in the Israeli

Holocaust Education discourse deals

with the question of 'the lesson(s)

learned'. On one hand, many choose

to stress the significance of Israel as

a Jewish homeland, and the anti-

Semitism that is still raging in many

countries. Other educators emphasise

what they see as the humanistic

lessons that stem from the Holocaust,

warning against xenophobia, racism,

and other forms of oppression.

In the age of identity politics and

individual expressionism, I believe

future generations will find the latter

far more relatable and potent. Other

stories by those who were subject to

persecution may also be instructive.

After all, while the mass-murder

of the Jewish people was the most

20

disastrous, the Nazis also murdered

and persecuted a large number of

other 'Untermenschen' (‘under’,

or in other words ‘inferior’,

people) which they considered

undesirable under their racial

policy. The disabled, for instance,

were amongst the first victims to

be killed in gas chambers as early as

1939. Non-Aryans who interfered

with the concept of the German

'Living Space' were exterminated

by Nazi troops, and Europeans of

African descent were persecuted

for contaminating the race.

Among these stories, the Gay

and Lesbian story of persecution

has won less attention in research

and Holocaust-related discourses.

Homophobia it seems, persisted

after the war, and it was not until

the 1980's that this story was

acknowledged. In fact, a German

apology, for those who consider

these apologies a matter of moral

importance, was only made in 2002.

It wasn't until recent decades that

characters such as Freddy Hirsch, a

Jewish educator, 'reclaimed' his sexual

identity, even though it was known

to many in both Theresienstadt

and Birkenau, where he helped

thousands of Jewish children.

His sexuality, in fact, may be the

reason that he was overlooked from

collective commemorations. Or the

incredible love affair between Nazi

commander Anneliese Kohlmann

and the Czech-Jewish prisoner Lotte

Rosner. This story was adapted into

the play 'Under the Skin' by the

Israeli playwright Yonatan Calderon,

and premièred in London's Old

Red Lion Theatre in 2018. Beyond

these figures, which have become

internationally acclaimed in today's

research, there must be thousands

Mug shot of homosexual Auschwitz prisoner: August Pfeiffer, servant, born Aug. 8, 1895,

in Weferlingen, arrived to Auschwitz Nov. 1, 1941, and died there Dec. 28, 1941.

of other stories that have never,

and perhaps, could never be told.

For the inmates of the Nazi

concentration camps, it may not have

mattered what colour triangle they

wore on their badge. However, it

apparently was common knowledge

that homosexuals suffered an unusual

degree of cruelty by their captors,

and were subjected to even more

abuse than their fellow inmates. This

category of prisoners, relatively small

in number (estimated to be around

15,000 gay men were imprisoned in

camps), represents only a small, most

unfortunate fraction of a thriving gay


and lesbian community. These people

were forced to go underground,

flee and often marry a partner of

the other sex, to avoid being sent to

the concentration camps. From an

historical perspective, the incitement

of Nazi anti-gay propaganda and

acts of violence, such as the purging

of gay clubs, and the breaking

into the Institute of Sex Research,

that ended in the public burning

of its libraries, paved the way for

Nazi brutality which was later

turned against the Jewish people.

These belatedly-told Holocaust

stories seem to be instructive even

to our own generations, let alone

generations to come. Together with

histories of other groups persecuted

by the Nazis, we begin to see the

political developments and increase

in brutality as it gradually and

systematically grew; it became the

well-organized and brutal violence

carried out against the Jews on all

fronts of Europe. On the other

hand, in these histories there lies a

stark reminder for us and for future

generations; i.e. in no version of

Martin Niemöller's famous poem

'First they came for...' (arguably

the most used, however ill-read, by

Holocaust educators) do the Jews

appear to be the first to be called for.

This is by no means a call to abandon

the Jewish Holocaust history, and

its particularity. It is an invitation

to revisit the deadliest catastrophe

in our people's history through

its large totalitarian context, and

to learn and teach some of the

inevitable human lessons therein.

These completing histories of

persecution and suffering should

not be detached from our own.

Yoav Yaron is the NSW

Shaliach Australasian Union

of Jewish Students | AUJS

{THE WORLD CONGRESS OF LGBT

JEWS IN SYDNEY}

March 21-24, 2019

Dayenu, Sydney’s Jewish LGBT+ Group is proud to

announce they were successful in securing the bid for the

2019 Conference in Sydney in March next year.

The World Congress held its last

conference in Rome, and previously

in Paris as well as many destinations

around the globe. Since Sydney is

further away for most delegates, it

was challenging to inspire them to

come Downunder, but Dayenu is

very excited to step up to the work at

hand.

Emanuel Synagogue has already

shown considerable support for

staging the Conference, which will

be able to utilise the state-of-theart

technology built into the new

Synagogue, where many of the

activities will take place.

The Congress is keen to live-stream

many aspects of the Conference, for

which the new shule is ideally suited.

It would be wonderful if there

were some members of Emanuel

Synagogue, who would be willing

to host one or two delegates in their

home, over that weekend. Contact

Kim Gotlieb on kim@kimgotlieb.

com for further details.

Dayenu President and World

Congress Co-ordinator, Kim

Gotlieb said, “We are so excited to

be hosting this event. There is so

much emerging from the broader

Jewish community in support of the

LGBT+ community. Our aim is to

maximise the interface both within

the Jewish sphere and in relationship

Delegates address the previous World Congress in Rome

SUSTAINING THE ENVIRONMENT

& HEALING THE WORLD

with the generalised queer

community.”

Beyond the Conference

itself, there will be a range of

opportunities for everyone to engage

in this momentous happening.

Watch for details or email Kim

(kim@kimgotlieb.com) to show your

support or to get involved.

21


{MITZVAH VS GOOD DEED}

By Daniel Samowitz

A father came up to me recently and said “Daniel I don’t think my son is learning

in Bar mitzvah class.” I smiled at him and said “Yeah, I’ve heard that before!”

A lot of educational institutions

value knowing the facts, value

having the right answer, place

the highest emphasis on knowing

what happened, whereas we

want the students to seek to

understand. At Emanuel we value

the education of the character, and

the nurturing of a curious spirit”.

I further explained that in our

programs we delve into the Jewish

narrative and my educational priority

is for our students to grow a love for

learning, to grow a love for turning

up, to increase their excitement

for class, and ultimately to grow

a love for community. I want this

educational hub on Ocean Street to

be a second home and a safe space.

A space they can feel unique and

connected to previous generations.

thing we do? And then we played

this game in class and it was so fun

and in the game I had to act out

a mitzvah and then... and then...

and the story went on and on.

“And then I disagreed so I ran to

Rabbi Kaiserbluth and he said what

a mitzvah is and I was so sure the

week before Rabbi Kamins said

something different, so Samo (our

teacher) stopped the class and let

the class run up to Rabbi Kamins’

At Emanuel, our education is

about connecting our students to

their Jewish story, and encouraging

a generation that have a million

things to do on a weekday and

a million channels and apps to

engage with, to WANT to come

to synagogue. Finding meaningful

and powerful ways for them to

choose to engage with a dilemma

and create and express their opinion

about something the Jewish people

The father looked at me confused

and with many more questions. I

asked him next time he sees his son

to ask him the difference between

a good deed and a Mitzvah. This

was a concept with which we had

dealt the day before in class. He

asked “why”? I said “don’t focus on

your son’s answer, which will be

correct, but look into your sons’

face and see the excitement, see

the joyful engagement shine out

when he gives you his answer.

The father called me the next

day. “What have you done to my

son?” he exclaimed. “I couldn’t get

him to stop talking … He said:

“It’s so annoying how when people

say you’re doing a mitzvah they

are saying the wrong thing and at

first I thought the wrong thing too

because I thought it was just a nice

22

Bnei Mitzvah students take a close look at a torah

desk in the middle of class to ask

him the definition of a mitzvah….”

This was just one Thursday

afternoon of many: a whole cohort

of students running around the

synagogue campus, playing,

laughing, disagreeing with the

Rabbis and the teachers, in their

safe space, their second home

and not for a second did any of

them think they were learning.

have been struggling with for

generations. Connecting hearts

and minds with their Jewishness.

In my parents’ generation B’nei

mitzvah class was sitting in the

chair and learning the aleph bet

for hours. Some of them loved it

some of them did not. One thing

for sure is they could remember the

aleph bet. With this new tech savy,

hyperactive, constantly questioning

generation, we need to educate


differently. That is why we engage

their Jewish character, we ignite their

internal desire, a desire for more,

to understand, to connect to his or

her community, his or her story.

The father I spoke to saw that his

son’s attitude towards what it means

to be Jewish had changed by virtue

of the journey his son had been on

in the B’nei mitzvah course. His son

had dealt with his own ideas of what

it means to be Jewish in 2018 and

what his answers were going to be.

Our students walk out of our B’nei

mitzvah course understanding

community, building a life of

meaning and how being Jewish

is a way to enhance and grow

these ideals. I am not interested in

trying to attract the students by

entertaining them. Having a Bar

and/or Bat mitzvah or coming to

Kef kids (Emanuel Synagogue's

Hebrew School) is not an attractive

extra mural activity in competition

with gymnastics and swimming. I

want our students to have the right

answers and to be able to recite the

prayers but I really want to instill in

them a questioning, a love of learning

and a thirst for more, a wanting

to be a part of something bigger

than themselves. I want them to

feel responsible for their

community and I want

them to understand being

Jewish is not a burden -

“something I have to do”

- but an aspect of who

they are and something

they need more tools

to explore. There is no

better way than coming

to our educational

programs and gaining the tools to

build their own authentic Jewish

mission statement one that envisions

and builds an authentic personal

and collective Jewish future.

TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING

{MAZAL TOV RUTH!}

Special Mazal Tov to Ruth Rack,

our wonderful, long-standing

member of Emanuel Synagogue,

champion of choral music and

stalwart of the Emanuel choir,

who celebrated her 90th birthday

this year on the 3rd April.

By pure serendipity Ruth’s

birthday coincides with other

personal anniversaries including

her 52-year association with the

Emanuel choir. In addition,

her birthday celebration falls in

line with the 80th Anniversary

of the founding of her beloved

Emanuel Synagogue, at which

she celebrated the opening of

Stage 1 of the long-awaited

redevelopment of the new

Synagogue campus.

Ruth’s dedication to the Emanuel

community through her Jewish

practice continues on many

levels including her ongoing

support of our musicians and

singers. Her indefatigable energy

is currently being channelled

into creating an archive of

the history of the Synagogue

choir and its important

Online

Kabbalah

Text Study & Meditation

Tuesday evenings in August 8:00pm

We will explore the 13th Century Kabbalah of Rabbi

Avraham Abulafia, his ideas about language, sound,

healing, developing focus and connection to self.

For info email: orna@emanuel.org.au

role in the cantorial and musical

life of the community.

Her greatest pride is her family

including her six grandchildren

and three great-grandchildren.

She is a long-standing committee

member of the Child Holocaust

Survivors Association and

member of the Sydney Jewish

Museum. In 2000 Ruth wrote

and published an account of her

experiences. The Book of Ruth

is now entering its 2nd edition.

To all who know Ruth well will

testify to her zest for life, her

positivity, and her capacity for

friendships. She continues to

be an inspiration to so many,

and a blessing to us all.

23


{REMEMBER THIS}

Nicole Waldner

I can’t write music, so I’ve always composed my songs by whistling. I play piano with

one hand only, the left one, ‘cause with my right hand I keep time. I conduct myself.

As for my singing, my boss puts it this

way, “Little Seress, you’ve got a voice,

you just can’t sing.” They call me Little

Seress because when I sit down behind

the piano I pretty much disappear

behind it. I’ve been making music for

43 years. I include the four years in

forced labour camp and the eight years

the Communists banned me from

playing. I include them because even

then I had all of my songs inside me.

The very first time I sat down behind a

piano I knew I was home. This is what

I wanted. What amazes me most after

all these years - even now in 1966 when

my music’s not exactly the fashion any

more - is that I managed to pull it off.

People still remember Gloomy Sunday.

That was my song. Billie Holiday

had a big hit with it in 1941. Louis

Armstrong sang it. Bing Crosby,

Frank Sinatra, Josephine Baker, Sarah

Vaughn, Ray Charles. They sang it

all over Europe too. They recorded it

in China and Japan, even somewhere

in Africa. 28 languages it’s been

translated into, at least. People came

from all over the world to hear me

play. Toscanini and Visconti from Italy,

Otto Klemperer from Berlin. Louis

Armstrong! Even Spencer Tracy and

John Steinbeck came from Hollywood.

All this because of one song. All this

from the old ghetto of Budapest.

I think what made Gloomy Sunday such

a big hit was the times we were living in.

I wrote it in 1933. The Nazis had just

come to power. We were all recovering

from one world war and already we

could smell another one coming. The

chords at the start, they really set the

tone. I work those high octave keys

for emotion. As for the words, I didn’t

write them. I mean I did, originally, but

mine were considered too bleak. You

can’t tell people, “Love is dead”. You

can’t say, “The world has ended”. You

can’t take away people’s hope. It isn’t

right. Maybe the doctors can, or the

Nazis, but not the musicians, not the

poets. People come to us for hope, for

relief. So we went with Jávor’s lyrics. I

wouldn’t go so far as to call his version

optimistic, it was still my song after all,

but he made it more personal. People

could relate to it because everyone’s had

a broken heart before, and everyone

loves a love song, ‘cause even when

it’s love gone wrong, it’s still love.

No one in Hungary has ever had an

international hit like me. Not Feri Lehár

and not Feri Liszt either. They invited

me to Paris and New York. I didn’t

go. Even before the war I wasn’t big

on traveling, but after the war I didn’t

want to go anywhere. I just wanted

my piano, my audience. It’s not just

all the unknowns when you travel, it’s

the trains and aeroplanes which scare

the hell outta me. Boats are the pits.

After I’ve been on one of those Danube

barges my bed rocks for days. I don’t

even like buses or trams, that kind of

bone shake I can do without. I never

take the metro because the thought

of being underground sends me into

a spin. I rarely even go to Buda. This

is where I wrote my songs, so this is

home. Kispipa is only two blocks away.

The food is best not spoken about and

they don’t clean the place too often,

but every night that’s where I play.

The royalties never quite panned out.

Maybe I should have gone to New

York? But to hell with the money,

everyone’s poor here. What really gets

me though is that I’m going to be

defined by that song, and its ugly wake

too. When it started getting attention

in the ‘30s and ‘40s there were all

these stories in the papers about people

who committed suicide clutching the

score to Gloomy, supposedly. Then the

Americans dubbed it “The Hungarian

Suicide Song”. Personally, I blame Ray

Ventura. He was the one that started

this whole business. They say that in

Paris, in ’36, every night before he

played my song, he’d read out all these

lies to the audience. How many people

died in Reykjavik when they heard my

song and how many in Rome. Then,

24


as if that wasn’t enough, after the first

verse, the drummer would get up and

shoot himself in the head with a starter

pistol! Talk about a bunch of posers!

The thing is no one can control what

happens to their songs. Music travels,

and don’t I know it, but rumours, once

they get started, they travel more.

I used to print up song lists and hand

them out to the audience so that

they’d know I’d written other songs

too, but they always wanted Gloomy

Sunday. I guess that without meaning

to or wanting to it seems I captured

what they call the spirit of the times.

Gloom. Doom. Lost love. Love I don’t

mind, even lost love I don’t mind. But

that kind of love, the kind that kills

you and you kill yourself for, I don’t

want to be remembered for that.

The other night someone in the

audience asked me what my favourite

song is and I said, Let’s Love Each

Other Peeps. Hands down. That was

a big hit for me too. I wrote it the

year before Gloomy, in 1932, and

that year the whole country sang it.

Let’s love each other peeps,

the heart is the greatest treasure.

In all the wide world,

Love is the grandest pleasure.

The melody is sweet as a good liqueur,

the words too, most of them anyway.

It’s the sense of urgency that makes it

so timeless. Let’s love each

other right now, ‘cause it’s

all so damn fleeting. I’ve

started opening and closing

every set with Let’s Love

Each Other Peeps. I like to

sing it on my way to work

and on my way back home.

I whisper it to myself like a

prayer, as if it mattered. As

if the right song really could

change something. Remember this.

If you would like to read more

of Nicole’s work please visit

www.nicolewaldner.com

TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING

INTRODUCING GLOBAL CITIZEN

At Emanuel Synagogue, we have the vision to empower young people to

change the world through entrepreneurial learning and thinking.

This empowerment starts with our B'nei

Mitzvah program which encompasses

a social justice element that forms an

important part of the curriculum.

However, post-B'nei Mitzvah how do

we inspire young people to become

agencies of change or to care about

their social impact on the world?

And there the excitement begins….

inspired by a conversation with our

CEO Suzanna Helia about

the positive reaction of

young Australians at a recent

screening of the Global

Citizen documentary Louder

Together, hatched the idea of

Global Citizen at Emanuel.

This involves a new

programme for schoolaged

youth to allow them to

think critically and creatively

about the different ways

they could change the world

through a social purpose

lens. The programme aims

to inspire them to see how they can

develop ideas or use their advocacy

to end the world's most inhumane

problems. It empowers our youth

to take action and see themselves

as a Global Citizen. Young people

and their families who are interested

in participating in the program are

encouraged to attend an information

evening and pre-screening of the

Global Citizen documentary 'Louder

Together' narrated by Hugh Jackman

that will be announced soon.

I am so excited to be sharing with you

this fantastic launch and look forward

to meeting your families and inspiring

young minds at the event.

Marina Capponi

marina@emanuel.org.au

25


{FIGHTING FOR LIFE}

Donna Jacobs-Sife

Years ago, doctors opened my father’s chest and breast bone,

reached into his body and held his heart in their hands.

There it lay beating before them,

as they gazed upon the ungazable.

They cut his heart open and removed

the valve that was blocking his flow

of blood, and replaced it with the

valve of a pig. We made many jokes

about his unkosher heart in the build

up before the Big Day.

We went to see him, having

prepared ourselves for what

we would see. "There will be

lots of tubes" we told each

other, "and he will be very

pale". But nothing quite

prepares you for the sight

of your beloved in a state

of coma, on life support.

He looked so vulnerable,

so unfamiliar. We held his

hand, and whispered that

we loved him in his ear,

and left. We walked across

the park to the car silently,

holding each other’s hands

tightly, four abreast, marching against

the cold wind, an army - linked by

common blood and full hearts.

Across the road, I noticed that

my car door was open. "Look," I

said to my sister, "mum must have

forgotten to close the door." But as

my eyes began to focus I thought I

saw someone sitting in the passenger

seat. Disengaging from the others

I ran across the road, and saw that

indeed, a man was sitting in my car.

"Hey!" I shouted, crisp and sharp.

He jumped out, like a wild foraging

animal, disturbed by the sudden

appearance of man. "Sorry, sorry,

sorry" he babbled. "I was so desperate.

Here," he said, taking my hand, "take

it back". Two five-cent pieces and a

ten-cent piece rolled into my hand.

He was quite beautiful really, my

age, with a torn thin checked shirt

and tight black jeans. His immediate

contrition touched me. Instinctively

my fingers tightened on his and I

felt the trembling and knew that

it was more than cold, it was also

the disease of withdrawal. "Its ok,"

I said to him, "I understand." I

understood that he was cold and in

pain. I understood that he was so

Our Jewish Story: Our Land, Our People

Monday mornings from 10:00am-11:30am

Join Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins or guest speakers to examine the complex

issues facing contemporary Israel.

sorry that life had brought him to

this moment. His eyes, hooded with

shame, held mine. So vulnerable, so

familiar. For a moment, the world

stopped spinning and all that existed

were two pairs of human eyes holding

each other. Gazing upon what is so

often ungazable, in these

cold streets of Sydney. For

a moment he let me hold

his heart in my hands, and I

knew that nothing separated

us. His pain was mine. His

shame was mine. My fingers

loosened their soft grip

and as he slipped away, we

smiled. Turning back, rather

tenderly, almost fatherly he

said "lock your car in future."

That night they gave my

father morphine to numb the

pain. The man from the street

was probably was in some

seedy place, administering

to himself to numb his own pain.

My father was fighting to regain life,

to mend his heart; not so different

from that man. Both were soldiers on

the front line. The doctors removed

the blockage in my father’s heart,

and somehow I can’t help but feel

that this man and I did something

similar for each other. Something

that dwells in the mystery of a

moment, when two people allow

themselves to be seen by the other.

As I drove away, I saw that man

standing at the lights. I noticed he was

standing tall with his head up against

the lightpole, looking at the stars.

I knew how he felt, my heart was

hopeful too. I beeped. We waved.

26


{SORDID BEAUTY}

Shira Sebban

Garishly painted faces leered at Naomi as she scurried nervously down Jaffa’s

dark, unpaved lanes. She shuddered as strange, shadowy figures darted

urgently past the workshops, factories, stores and out-door cafes, where the

smoke of nargilehs mingled with a heady aroma of spice and perfume.

Police seemed to be on

guard everywhere.

Passing a police car, she noticed

some prostitutes sitting in the back,

mostly young girls in skimpy clothes.

“They were waiting to be taken to

the station and charged,” she would

later note in her diary. She had

known of course that prostitutes,

both Jewish and Arabic, had

long been plying their trade in

brothels on the roads between

Tel Aviv and Jaffa, but this

was the first time she had been

so close to the action and her

discomfort was evident.

“Let’s go!” she urged

her companions.

Reluctantly, Aliza nudged

Motke, raised her eyebrows

and shrugged wryly. “You’re

not much of a Sabra

anymore, are you?”

The evening had not been

meant to end this way. Aliza,

fun loving and capricious as

ever, had been keen to hear

Aris San, a 17-year-old, short

Greek singer, who had recently

arrived from Athens and was

already making quite a name

for himself. Motke had been

only too happy to oblige,

driving the women to the wellknown

Arianna nightclub.

The sharp metallic sounds of

the bouzouki wafted through the

thick, sweltering May night air

as they approached the Salonican

Jewish-owned Arianna, the bastion

of Greek popular music in Israel.

Constructed on the ruins of an

Arab building, it was not far from

Jaffa’s old central bathhouse, which

had been converted into another

nightclub known as the Hamam.

“The Arianna looks very ordinary

from the outside,” Naomi would

subsequently record, “but is situated

in beautiful surroundings near the

sea and close to mosques, towers and

ruins of a house – charming indeed”.

A few years later, by the 1960s,

the Arianna would have become a

favorite haunt for army officers and

members of the Mapai Government,

the forerunner of Israel’s Labor

Party. The crowds, which would

line up around the Jaffa Clock

Tower to get in, included such

luminaries as Chief of Staff, Major-

General Moshe Dayan and his wife

Ruth, who would go there to dance

on a Friday or Saturday night.

For Naomi, however, the spell was

broken. The chaotic commotion of

Jaffa was too much for her. Perhaps

Aliza was right… she had

become too Australian.

At any rate, she preferred

Jaffa by day. Hadn’t she and

her cousin Miriam battled

through the bustling maze

of winding, dirty alleys just

over a month ago to visit

the home of the late War of

Independence hero Yitzhak

Sadeh? She recalled stopping

at the end of the street

now known

as Zichron

Kedoshim to see

the house that

had belonged

to the first

commander of

the Palmach, the

elite strike force

of the pre-state

underground

Jewish army,

the Haganah.

CONNECTION WITH ISRAEL &

WORLD JEWRY

Perched near cliffs, with

panoramic views, it had

been easy to picture the

charismatic Major-Generalturned

writer, nicknamed HaZaken

(The Old Man) while still only in

his fifties, hosting his disciples and

fellow warriors, Yigal Allon and

Yitzhak Rabin, in the enormous,

blossoming garden, with stairs

27


leading down to the sea. Naomi

could even visualize the goat that

Sadeh had kept tethered to a tree in

defiance of then new Israeli laws.

His room was just as he had left it in

1952 – a modest bed and wooden

desk, books and photographs,

many of him in action against

the Egyptians, a collection of

military maps and guns, swords

and daggers amassed during his

military exploits – all as you would

expect of one of the founders

of the Israel Defense Forces.

That had been a wonderful

afternoon, Naomi thought,

remembering how they had

earlier visited Tamar, lingering

over tea and luxuriating in

the stunning surrounds.

Tamar had been most hospitable,

and the large garden around her

Arab limestone villa overlooking the

azure sea far below was exquisite,

the hilly lawn carpeted with the

purple and yellow wildflowers so

typical of the Mediterranean coast.

Shaded by pine trees and cooled

by sea breezes, the stone slabs and

fountains taken, as Naomi noted,

“from the recent excavations

in Ashkelon”, had glistened in

the sunny Friday stillness.

“A most ideal place to live,” she

would later pronounce. Indeed,

situated south of Old Jaffa, Ajami

– the neighborhood where Tamar

resided – had been founded as

a small, wealthy, upper middleclass

residential settlement by

Maronite Christians in the late

19th century under Ottoman rule.

Since the establishment of the Israeli

State, however, the roughly 4000

Arabs who had remained in and

around Jaffa were now concentrated

in Ajami, where many buildings

had been demolished. Meanwhile,

Tamar’s family had been among the

thousands who had settled in homes

vacated by the 70,000 or so Arabs

who had fled or been displaced.

Ultimately, Ajami would

rapidly deteriorate to become a

cramped and dilapidated home

to the destitute, both Jewish

and Arabic … facts that Sabraturned-outsider

Naomi seemed

blissfully unaware of during her

visit on that day in 1957.

This story is from ‘Unlocking the

Past: Stories from My Mother’s

Diary’ – a new book by Shira

Sebban. It is available on Amazon

as an e-book or as a paperback

from the publisher’s online

Australian store: mazopub.com

28


{OUR NEW BOARD MEMBERS}

At the Annual General Meeting of Emanuel Synagogue on May 22,

we welcomed two new Board Members, Michael Hukic and Casey Guth.

MICHAEL HUKIC

Michael has a background in

banking, and he is currently

completing an MBA at the

University of New South Wales.

He hopes his business skills, and

his passion for our dynamic and

diverse community, allow him

to make a valuable contribution

to our Synagogue. Michael is

passionate about learning and

currently working on completing

his MBA through UNSW AGSM

Business School. Prior to this

Michael has completed his studies

in commerce and Applied Finance.

Professionally Michael has been

in banking and finance for close

to 15 years helping number

of corporate and not for profit

organisations focusing on

creating long term relationship.

Passionate about meeting and

getting to know different people

from different walks of life.

Outside of work and studying,

Michael loves to spend quality time

with family, friends and his much

loved dog Archie (the boxer).

Michael is strong advocate for

diversity (in full meaning) and

he is passionate about helping

all our members including the

members of GLBTIQ +, members

with disability and refugees.

You will see Michael at most Shabbat

Live nights and major events at the

Synagogue. Please don't hesitate to

say hello as Michael looks forward

to meet you and hear all your

comments and feedback. Michael

is particularly looking forward to

being involved in the upcoming

World Congress of LGBT Jews to

be held in Sydney early next year.

CASEY GUTH

Casey Guth is an enthusiastic,

diligent and high-achieving Media

Sales Manager who has spent the

last ten years at Fairfax Media and

News Corp Australia. She hopes

to utilize her communications,

interpersonal and relationship

management skills on the Board of

Directors at Emanuel Synagogue.

Volunteer work is close to her

heart and a key focus area for her

work on the board. She was on

The Sydney Children’s Hospital

events Committee for four years,

and participates in the Montefiore

Nursing Home volunteer program.

In early 2018, Casey spent one

month in Israel volunteering

at hospitals and nursing homes

throughout the country.

Excerpts from Casey’s

speech at Recent AGM

‘I really want to partner in working

towards the creation of a secure

financial and spiritual future for

Emanuel – for generations to

come. As a Board Member of the

Synagogue, I will set an example

for fellow congregants through

participation in education

and cultural programs

as well as Shabbat

and holiday worship

services. Serving as a

role model for our community

is an opportunity I will relish’

‘I hope to create ways and means

by which my congregation can

adopt the great principles and

ideals of our people in order to

become a congregation of vision,

one that truly represents a centre

of Jewish Life, encompassing

our values: integrity, leadership,

inclusive respect and growth.

COMMUNITY

‘I see this as a marvellous opportunity

to develop the programmatic and

spiritual direction of Emanuel;

young adult engagement; the

strategic plan and policy’

‘I have no doubt that my service on

the Board will be a meaningful one as

Emanuel has been such a supportive

environment for me. I can only hope

to give back as much as the team and

community have given to me’.

29


The UPJ Biennial is all about focusing on the

“progress” in Progressive Judaism. We’ll be asking

how we can keep progressing with the times, while

maintaining a grip on the traditional values that

have always undergirded our movement and given it

authenticity.

Another key word is “transformation”: How can we transform our movement from being the most

inspirational and creative movement in Judaism in the 20th century to becoming the most visionary and

responsive Jewish movement for the 21st century?

To help us progress and transform in ways that are important to us, all the while expressing the values

which are the beating heart of our movement, we are bringing to our region one of the most dynamic

and insightful Jewish scholars of our age, a world-renowned figure, Rabbi Dr Lawrence A. Hoffman from

the Hebrew Union College in New York.

Larry Hoffman has revolutionised Jewish thinking in two areas: worship and liturgy, what he calls “the art

of public prayer”; and synagogue transformation, creating synagogues that are relevant and meaningful

for the 21st century. In addition, he has written a unique spiritual travel guide for Israel, which can

enable us in the UPJ to redefine our relationship to the land, people and state of Israel.

We’ll be hearing from Rabbi Hoffman on his analyses of where we’ve been and where we hope to go in

terms of public worship, synagogue life and Israel consciousness, discussing their relevance to our own

congregations and regions, as well as listen to expert opinion on our relationship to Israel, and on Jewish

demography – the Gen17 report on Jewish life in Australia and its analogues in New Zealand and Asia.

Every UPJ Biennial is also notorious for the opening night cocktail party with top-notch guest speakers

(watch this space!), creative and uplifting Shacharit and Shabbat services, great dinners and after-dinner

entertainments, Netzer-led havdalah, opportunities for regional forums and special interest groups to

meet, Saturday night “Ted Talks” (new to this Conference, a chance for you to share your thoughts from

a soap-box on a subject close to your heart!), and much more. There will even be a shuk selling all sorts

of Judaica from books to art works.

This Conference is not all “serious work”; like all our conferences, it will be filled with fun, laughter and

camaraderie as well.

If you want to have a real say about the kind of progress we hope to make in Progressive Judaism over

the years to come, then we look forward to seeing you at the Biennial Conference in November!

30

For further information on the Conference program, contact

Rabbi Fred Morgan, Movement Rabbi for the UPJ, at

fred.morgan@upj.org.au

For registration and administrative matters relating to the

Conference, go to www.tinyurl.com/upj-biennial-2018, or

contact Jocelyn Robuck, Executive Officer of the UPJ, at

jocelyn@upj.org.au


Chanukah In July

Sunday July 29 from 6:00pm

Light up your winter nights with Chanukah in July!

Warm up the cold winter with a night of light and wonder as we celebrate Chanukah

in July.

Join us for a warming meal with the traditional Chanukah fare, music and a journey

through the 8 decades of our synagogue as we light 8 candles and tell 8 stories.

Bookings now open at tinyurl.com/julymenorah

Plus61J together with Emanuel Synagogue present

Israel, Jews & the Middle East

through film

Join us each month for a fascinating festival of film followed by engaging discussion

12th September

Walk on Water (2005, 104 minutes)

The Sabra and the Shoah – The end of the dream?

Eyal is an agent in Mossad, the Israeli security service and the agency decides that he needs to take

on a less challenging assignment: to find an aging Nazi war criminal and get him "before God does".

10th October

Immigration from Arab countries

Farewell Baghdad / The Dove Flyer (2013, 105 minutes)

An Israeli film takes us through the story of a 16-year-old Jewish boy, and depicts the story

of the last days of the Baghdad Jewish community of the 1950s, and on the eve of the

Aliyah of almost all of that community to Israel in Operation Ezra and Nehemiah.

14th November The Palestinian point of view

Paradise Now (2006, 90 minutes) -Follows Palestinian childhood friends Said and Khaled who live in Nablus

and have been recruited for suicide attacks in Tel Aviv. It focuses on what would be their last days together.

12th December Gotta be Happy” – Yiddish humor in America

The Komediant (2004, 85 Minutes)

Wistful and melancholy recollections of Yiddish theatre are conveyed in this

documentary, which centers on the story of the Burstein family.

Book now: emanuel.org.au/films

31


{AROUND EMANUEL}

Scenes of life around our Synagogue

Michelle Lowy and Aliza Waxman perform at A Night

with the Music of Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens

Kim Cunio joins Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

for a Renewal Kabbalat Shabbat

Some of our

wonderful Kef Kids

32


{NEW MEMBERS}

Welcome new members

Mayan Amiezer & Mariana Zhuryan

Mr Mark Avraham

Dr Laurie Berg & Ms Natalie Purcell

Mr George Boski

Ms Marina Capponi

Ms Danielle Celermajer

Mr John Cohen

Mr Nathan & Mrs Rachel Cohen

Mr Edward & Mrs Irit Davis

Mrs Irene Deutsch and

Mr Morris Symonds

Mr Rod & Mrs Joanne Donoso

Mrs Deborah Dorrian

Frank Dorrian

Ms Romy Ehrlich

Mr Tim Ellis

Mr Matthew & Mrs Danielle Ellison

Miss Brittany Foetschl

Mr David Whitcombe &

Ms Alexis Goodstone

Mrs Zinaida Gorelick-Weiss

Dr Richard Grant

Mr Rami Harel

Ms Sophie Inwald

Mr Peter & Mrs Susan Kadar

Mr Richard & Mrs Gina Karsay

Mr Erez Sharabani & Mr Nic Kat

Mr Arnaldo Kretzig & Ms

Kerryn McIntyre

Mr Anthony & Mrs Louise Leibowitz

Mr Mark Levi

Mr Roman Kuperman & Dr Joy Liu

Mr Herman & Mrs

Frances Melkman

Mr Darryl & Mrs

Libby Pribut

Mr Bob & Mrs Eva Rosen

Mr George Ryner

Mr Raymond Salomonn

Mr Dennis Tavill

Mr Alan & Mrs Eve Taylor

Mr Adam Tsipris & Mrs

Emma Solomon

Zoltan & Nicole Waldner

Mr Alan Weinstein

Mr Simeon Weisz &

Ms Adriana Granados-Fallas

Mrs Karen Wolf

COMMUNITY

NOURISHMENT FOR MIND, BODY AND

SOUL. ENJOY LUNCH, MEET FRIENDS AND

DELVE INTO TORAH.

Join us on the second Saturday morning of

each month following Shabbat services:

July 14

August 11

September 8

October 13

Lunch

‘n’

Learn

Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

Rev Sam Zwarenstein

George Mordecai

{BEREAVEMENT

SUPPORT

GROUP}

Experience has shown that

bereavement support can provide

people with appropriate care in their

time of need. Jacky Gerald, who

has experience in this field, will be

facilitating a number of one-hour

group sessions for those seeking

help in dealing with bereavement.

As these sessions will be held off-site (in

the CBD), registration will be required.

To register, email info@emanuel.org.au,

and we will send you details (including

address and times) of the sessions.

Please Note: This will be a closed

group for up to six individuals to

attend each of the three sessions. We

shall offer another group should more

than this number wish to attend.

33


{MAZAL TOV}

Read about some of our members who have recently become Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

AIDEN MERTEN

School: Emanuel School

Hobbies: Reading and

playing the piano

Likes: Food, reading, music,

being with friends

Dislikes: Vegetables, boring stuff.

Pets: A dog called Nutmeg.

About me: I love to read more than

anything in the whole world. My

other interests included eating and

making music. I am in multiple

bands and choirs at school and love

all types of music. My favourite

subjects at school are science, maths,

music and HSIE (Geography and

History). I don't know what I want

to do as a job in the future but I

have a few ideas. I believe that it

is important to do what you love

but also to try help other people

whenever yoI would like to try to

help fix global warming. I want to

be more organised and less clumsy.

Tikkun Olam: I'm involved in a

few social justice projects. I will

be donating half of the money I

receive for my bar mitzvah to the

charity Books in Homes Australia

which is a charity that provides

books to disadvantaged children

to take home, and this helps them

develop reading skills needed for

success in life. I am also organizing

an event that I am calling the Read

Against Racism Readathon. This

is where I will be getting kids to

read books over a month and get

people to sponsor them. The kids

will have to read one book about

racism. All the proceeds will go to

the charity Together for Humanity.

My aim is to raise money and

awareness against racism.

What will you remember most

about your Bar Mitzvah?

The thing I will remember most

about my Bar Mitzvah is all the

practice I had to do. I

will also remember my

tutor Kim. We had lots of

fun times together.

TOBY DANON

School: Emanuel School

Hobbies: Tennis, playing drums,

piano, drawing, cooking and reading

Likes: Sushi, architecture,

animals and music.

About me: I really enjoy music,

playing instruments and seeing

live bands. On the weekends,

I'm involved with Maccabi

tennis. I really care about animals

and support charities who look

after them. I hope to be an

architect when I leave school.

Social Justice: I've baked biscuits

for the homeless, donated to

ALIZA SCHETZER

School: Rose Bay

Secondary College

Hobbies: Photography

Likes: Music, naure and travelling.

Dislikes: Tomatoes.

Pets: Two dogs - Ginger

and Sammy

About me: In school,

I'm in a rock band called

Hallucination. My favourite

subjects are music and art.

Social Justice: To give an

equal amount of education

around the world.

What will you remember most

about your Bat Mitzvah?

Writing my Haftarah speech.

charity and would like to volunteer

more to help those in need.

What will you remember most

about your Bat Mitzvah? I'll always

remember the values that I was

taught while learning my portion.

34


{WEDDING MAKES HISTORY AT

EMANUEL SYNAGOGUE}

History was made at Sydney’s Emanuel Synagogue on May 2nd,

with the first religious same-sex marriage held in Australia. The

happy couple were Oscar Shub and Ilan Buchman.

COMMUNITY

The touching ceremony was performed

by Senior Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins in

front of 170 friends and family. In

another milestone, the couple were

the first to be married in the new

Sanctuary. Underlining the importance

the ceremony held for them, Oscar

said: “Certainly the reason we chose

to get married in a synagogue – and

we believe it’s an appropriate message

to send to the Jewish community – is

that times have changed and that if

people suddenly discover that they

have gay children or gay grandchildren,

those children or grandchildren

can still lead a regular existence.”

Ilan concurred: “For young people

and those not out yet, hopefully by us

getting married, officially with a rabbi

officiating, it sends a good message.”

In agreement were the 168 guests

attending: family and friends who

flew in from the many places where

the couple had lived, including

South Africa, Israel, England,

Canada, Perth and Melbourne.

Raucous applause erupted at the

ceremony’s conclusion, when Rabbi

Kamins said: “You have performed the

rituals, signed the documents and said

the words that make you husband and

husband, in accordance with the laws

of this Commonwealth of Australia.”

As Oscar said after the wedding:

“When he said, ‘I pronounce you

“husband and husband” and the whole

synagogue broke into clapping; it was

just amazing – it was fantastic!”

Their love story has been 47 years in the

making: Oscar and Ilan met in 1971.

Ilan grew up in Lvov, Poland and went

to Israel when he was 18; they met at

a mutual friend’s dinner party in Tel

Aviv when Oscar was on his way to

Europe from his home in South Africa.

In addition to some of the wording

being tweaked, a couple of traditions

were also adapted. Usually the bride

walks around the groom seven times.

Instead, each groom circled the other

three times and the seventh one they

did together, like a figure eight.

And both grooms smashed a glass

simultaneously. “As you know, it is the

custom that the man breaks

the glass,” explained Ilan. “So

for us it was really fantastic because we

feel, not just in terms of our life, we

like to expand the traditions; because

being Jewish is not just sitting in

synagogue, there’s more to it than that.”

Prior to the glasses being broken,

Rabbi Kamins not only referenced

the Temple’s destruction, but also

today’s modern reality: “There’s lots of

brokenness in this world, lots of people

who face tragedy and discrimination.

...there’s still so much work to do, in

our country and around the world, to

bring that sense of wholeness and peace.

“But these shards of glass are not just

to think of what is broken but also

of the power of your love to bring

healing.” With that, the simultaneous

smashing was greeted by a loud and

joyful “Mazeltov!” by the guests.

The atmosphere at the ceremony was

palpable – charged with excitement. As

well as many friends and relatives, the

ceremony was observed with interest

by the wider community and media.

Australian Marriage Equality co-chair

Alex Greenwich MP said: “Many

Rabbis and people of the Jewish

faith have played a leading role in

Australia’s movement for marriage

equality, so it is no surprise that the

first religious same-sex marriage

ceremony will occur in a Synagogue.

“Congratulations to the couple, and the

wider Jewish community for showing

that various faith groups are fully

supportive of LGBTI friends, family and

parishioners.” .

Article adapted from reports by

Plus61J and Wentworth Courier

35


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37


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38


{BIRTHS}

Mazal Tov to

Mr Roberto & Mrs

Fernanda Fromer

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Rachel Cohen

Mr Hayim Dar &

Jaime Comber

Mr Daniel Faludi &

Mrs Lana Faludi

Mr Raphael Hammel

& Ms Anne Classine

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Joanna Davidson

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Louka Marmot

Adam Ossher and

Portia Ryles O'Brien

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Amanda Altshuler

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Larry Wagenheim

COMMUNITY

{B’NEI MITZVAH}

Mazal Tov to

Elad Ben-David

Avraam Polites Carleton

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Sam Hadassin

Dakota Madison

Kedzier-Hurst

Zoe Gabrielle Kertesz

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Macs Rubain

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Rosie Hannah Sharpe

Darcie Rose Chelly Shaw

Jack Cooper Simon

Daniel Slade

Benjamin Stubbs-Goulston

Joshua Stubbs-Goulston

Deborah Jane Winter

{MARRIAGE}

To rejoice with the happy couple

Alan Harca & Eliza Sevitt

Jonathan Raymond

& Kimberley Levi

Kristine Mientka &

Sam Shoolman

Alan Harca & Eliza Sevitt

Oscar Shub & Ilan Buchman

Joshua Weinstock

& Jenita Stoloff

Scott Whitmont and

Christopher Whitmont-Stein

{DECEASED}

To comfort the bereaved

Peggy Baldwin

Jacob Hassan

Meda Meyer

Adele Julia Simson

Vera Barta

Bernard Jacoby

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Lola Janks

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Susanne Wakil

Irene Rachel Dan

Susan Eva Josef

Peter Reichmann

Frank Wolf

Sonia Davis

Maurice Kelly

Dov Bernard Richter

Anne Maria Erdeyli

Samuel Norman Klugman

Lewis Rischin

Helga Givorshner

Edith Kopcsanyi

Harold Rose

Celina Grant

Kitty Lowe

Panni Roseth

Jacob Greene

Carmel Marjenberg

Edward Simon

39


{SERVICE TIMES}

Morning Minyan

Morning Minyan is on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:45am.

All service times are subject to change. Please check our website

for any amendments to our regular services.

Tisha B'Av

Saturday 21st July

6:15pm Tisha B'Av services including the chanting of Eicha (the Book of

Lamentations) and kinnot (elegise) sung by the community choir

Sunday 22nd July

9:00am Tisha B'Av morning services

3:00pm Screening of the movie The Forgotten Refugees about the experiences

of the exile of Jews from Arab lands. We will watch the film and then have the

opportunity to hear from people in the community who were refugees from Arab

lands talk about their experiences

4:45pm Mincha Ma’ariv services followed by a light meal to break fast.

{CONTACT US}

All services and other programs are held at the synagogue unless otherwise indicated:

7 Ocean Street, Woollahra NSW 2025

There are many ways to get in touch — we would love to hear from you!

Call: (02) 9389 6444

Email: info@emanuel.org.au

Visit: www.emanuel.org.au

Like: www.facebook.com/emanuel.synagogue

Follow us! We’re on Twitter @emanuelshule and Instagram @emanuelsynagogue

Office hours

Monday–Thursday: 9am–5pm

Friday: 9am–2pm

{THANK YOU}

A huge thank you to all of the contributors to this edition of Tell, and

to our wonderful team of volunteers who give their time to help us

get the magazine packed and into members’ homes each quarter.

If you would like to contribute to the next edition of Tell, or to

enquire about advertising, please email tell@emanuel.org.au.

If you are interested in volunteering, email volunteer@emanuel.org.au.

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