TELL April-May 2019


TELL is the magazine of Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney

Freedom to

be a Jew

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins


Nisan-Iyyar 5779

April-May 2019

No More

Right & Left?

Dudu Gottlib

Creating a singing


Cantor George Mordecai

Speak up in the face

of injustice

Donna Jacob-Sife



The Lost Journals of

Dr Andor Kämpfner

Shortly after his liberation from Buchenwald in

April 1945, Dr Andor Kämpfner began writing

an extraordinary document; his journals. His

recollections began on the day the Germans

occupied Hungary and brilliantly recount his

thoughts and experiences in the final year of the


These documents have never been published, until

now. For the first time it has been translated into

English and, for one night only, extracts will be

presented as a dramatic reading.

After the presentation Dr Kämpfner’s wife will

share her recollections and Professor Konrad

Kwiet, Resident Historian at the Sydney Jewish

Museum will outline the significance of

Dr Kämpfner’s writings.

Don’t miss this special event.

Members: free (donations welcome), Non-members $25

Sunday April 7th from 5:00pm-6:30pm

Emanuel Synagogue, 7 Ocean Street, Woollahra

Book now: tinyurl/lostjournals or (02) 9389 6444


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.


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.


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.


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.


Awakening to Freedom

26th April, 6:15pm

Renewal Friday Night -

Pesach Service & Dinner

Join us for an evening of song

and learning as we explore

the meaning of freedom.

with Cantor George Mordecai and

Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff plus special

guests Kim Cunio and Samurai Cunio.

A light dinner will be served. Cost: $20

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

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Cantor George Mordecai


Once upon a time there was a

castle in the middle of a “Forest of

No Return”. This castle was very

special. It was built on the largest

grounds in the forest, and the entry

was a majestic, beautiful garden

full of blooming flowers and sweet

Suzanna Helia

perfumed roses all year long. As you

entered this magnificent space, you

stepped into a true fairy tale of magic,

tradition, spirituality and culture.

On the castle grounds there were

multiple buildings. The south

wing had a new colossal Ballroom

with red carpet, which was filled

with light, comfortable chairs

and a space to hold concerts,

receptions and grandiose dining.

In the centre of the castle estate

was the Heritage Hermitage room,

that was much more traditional

and filled with precious memories

of the community. It was especially

important because it was huge, so

it accommodated the thousands

of people who came every year

for two to three days for a special

occasion. Most importantly though,

this space was so full of potential

(more improvements to come!!!)

Then there were other cottages and

spaces, and even a mini-castle for all

the children to play with dolls and

cars, read, make-believe and sleep.

This space had large rooms, and was

always filled with joy and laughter,

and the gobbledegook of baby’s talk.

More than 3500 munchkins called

the castle their home. However, when

they came, some would merely smile

at strangers, sit in their seats and keep

to themselves. There were munchkins

who didn’t really know each other.

When they attended one of the

services or events they often didn’t

know the person who was sitting next

to them. They would come to the

majestic grounds, stand around or sit

in their seats, but would be reticent

to say ‘hello’ or introduce themselves

to someone they didn’t know.

Oh, and inviting someone who

you sat next to at the service for

several hours for dinner or a drink






Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio



Reverend Sam Zwarenstein




Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins



Cantor George Mordecai





Marc Chagall - Crossing the Red Sea



afterwards at your house – too scary!

(And yes, we all find it daunting

to ask to join a conversation with

someone you don’t know.)

There was this unspoken rule - keep

on doing what you have been doing

for years and then you won’t get

disappointed; things will be as they

always were. It was uncomplicated,

and you knew the outcome.

As would be obvious by now, the

castle in our story represents our

Synagogue and the munchkins

are us, the congregation. This

story has an important message

for our community; we all have

a vital role to play in creating the

welcoming community we wish for.

A few years back when I was

in Los Angeles, I met Dr Ron

Wolfson, author of many books on

relational Judaism. He is convinced

that Jewish organisations and

Jewish life is about truly building

communities that are engaged

and relational. He writes, “I wish

Jewish life were like Apple, a totally

integrated closed system. Success

is not butts on seats, not more

programs, and not more one offs”.

He suggests that the community is

best placed to take charge. It is up to

the community to get to know each

other - to introduce yourself and say

hello to someone you don’t know.

I tend to leave religion to the rabbis

and be the CEO. I generally don’t

get involved with ‘how, when,

how much, or why’ to pray at

what service, and yet, I feel there is

something I want to change in the

way we conduct ourselves here at

Emanuel. I do care about creating

a truly vibrant community that

makes one feel like they belong.

For years our rabbis have had a

vision, to have a strong vibrant

community beyond High Holy

Day and membership dues. “I pay

you dues, you give me a rabbi on

call”, or “a Bar Mitzvah for my child

and a HHD ticket”. Or conversely,

“You pay me membership, and we

will give you access to the campus

and a few cultural programs.”

We have been working on creating a

level of engagement that is relational,

beyond servicing immediate needs.

While flipping through pages

of John Wood’s book “Creating

Room To Read” I was struck by

the similarity of the text to passages

from the Torah. This is an inspiring

story of a man who moved from

a lucrative career in Silicon Valley,

to founding ‘Room to Read’,

a non-profit organisation that

promotes literacy and education

continued on page 10







Donna Jacobs Sife




Shira Sebban



Judy Kahn Friedlander








Dudu Gottlib





B. Karet



















Anne Wolfson



Rabbi Jeffrey B. Kamins OAM

Freedom for the Jews has led to a

transformation of Judaism. One

question in front of us in the 21st

century is how we can live a vibrant

and meaningful Judaism as we

embrace our freedom as Jews.

To understand the complexity of the

problem, we need to go back in time,

when we became free – not from

the slavery of Pharaoh’s Egypt over

3,000 years ago, but the oppressive

forces of European Christendom

that had created antisemitism and

perpetrated vast suffering for Jews.

In 1806, the council of Jewish

notables gathered by Napoleon

answered pointed questions about

their observance of Judaism and

their loyalty to the French Republic,

recently born with the cry of

“liberté, égalité, fraternité” – liberty,

equality and fraternity. The leading

Jews of the time – the council

was comprised of the wealthy and

powerful as well as distinguished

rabbis– confirmed to Napoleon that

the freed Jews of France would have

primary loyalty to the Republic.

So began the Emancipation of the

Jews, an historical event whose

repercussions are felt to this day.

For 1800 years since Roman

dominion had been exerted over

the Kingdom of Judah, culminating

in the destruction of the Second

Temple in 70 CE, Jews had not

known true freedom. Jews, scattered

in exile from east to west, north to

south, suffered under the whims

of both Christian and Islamic rule.

At the end of the 18th century,

empires began to crumble and new

civil societies formed, where there

was a separation of secular and

religious power, as in the Republic

of France and the United States of

America. Over the 19th centuries,

new states came into existence that

granted equal rights (more or less) to

their citizens, regardless of religious

persuasion. Thus, Jews began to see

themselves less as a people, a nation,

and more and more as adherents

to a religion known as Judaism.

At the same time, freedom of body

led to freedom of mind; the early

19th century also known as the time

of the Enlightenment, championing

the studies of history and science.

Modernity confronted scripture,

and the prescient insights of the

17th century philosopher Baruch

Spinoza moved from the margins to

the mainstream, as more and more

people understood that scripture

was not the literal word of God, but

rather the “conversation” between

people and God. Not only was

Judaism morphing from the way

of life of the Jews to a religion, but

this religion was now fracturing

between those who held that the

Torah was the exact, literal word of

God, who separated into the varieties

of orthodoxy (including haredi,

hasidic and modern), and those

who taught the Torah is a human

document (from the progressives and

liberals to the “positive-historical”

conservatives). Freedom for Jews,

physical and intellectual, led to a

total transformation of Judaism.

Napoleon grants freedom to the Jews, 1806, artist unknown

Most Jews simply assume that the

way it is now is the way it always has

been. But this brief overview hints at

the depths of understanding that can

derive from an historical overview of

Judaism itself – from the time of the

patriarchs, through Moses and the

prophets, kingdoms and Temples,

exile and dispersion. The birth of

the State of Israel adds another

layer of complexity and meaning

to our story. While Jews have

maintained a values-based narrative

for thousands of years, Judaism is

something that has transformed

with us. The 21st century is no

different. It is incumbent upon


us to use our freedom to learn to

understand who we are and can be

as a people. Now, with the rise of

fundamentalism around the world,

including among Jews, the privilege

of learning becomes an imperative

so that we can embrace our power

to create the future of our people.

At Emanuel Synagogue, and in

pluralist communities around

the world, we use our freedom to

empower and include others in

our unfolding story. We know we

stand authentically in the chain of

tradition, in the transmission of our

deepest held values and practices.

Yes, freedom gives us the ability to

walk away from our heritage, our

culture, our traditions, our values

and our way of life, to leave it all

behind and become like everyone

else. But freedom also gives us the

opportunity to know that as human

beings we have the opportunity to

live a fully conscious life, enhanced

and guided by that very heritage

and its visionary way of life. I look

forward to walking this latter path

with you at Emanuel Synagogue.


Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

Every year as we approach Pesach

we begin to speak about freedom.

Ask any child in the preschool

what Pesach celebrates and

they will answer, “that we were

slaves and then we were free”.

Look at any of the myriad of

haggadot, and they all emphasise

freedom - its importance and its

significance. In fact, the one we

use at my house is called “Feast

of Freedom.” Yet while we speak

about freedom, as I scrub and

clean and think about all the

rules and regulations, I wonder

about the nature of this freedom

we are celebrating. Seneca, the

first century Roman philosopher

wrote: “Show me a person who

is not a slave. One is enslaved to

passions, a second to profit and

a third to status and everyone to

fear.” Seneca, in the first century

wrote something which is still true

today. For all our talk of freedom,

we are possibly still enslaved in the

same way as our ancient brethren.

How many of us are truly free?

How many of us feel trapped

within the bondage of others, the

oppression of our work, driven


to move ahead, to be

better, to be more, to

have more; we are on

a treadmill - and it is

so hard to get off! Even

though we are not

enslaved as our ancestors

were, thank God, we are all slaves

in one form or another. So, is

Pesach really to celebrate our

liberation from such bondage? Is

Pesach about personal freedom,

releasing ourselves from those ties?

and if so, why so many rules and

regulations? Why celebrate when it

seems we are not really free at all?

I read an incredible lecture presented

by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, in which

he offers an insight into how the

Torah and then Jewish tradition

views the notion of freedom. He

begins by looking at the language

we use. When we speak of freedom

in the Haggadah, or even the name

for Pesach, z’man cheruteinu, the

time of our freedom, the word

used is from the root chaf reish taf,

cherut. We talk in the haggadah

of “me-avdut le-cheirut,” “from

slavery to freedom.” But the word

cheirut does not appear in the Torah

at all. When the Torah speaks of

freedom it uses the word chofesh/

chofshi, which is the Modern

Hebrew word for holiday. In the

Torah, it is not referring to a nice

long weekend break, or a two-week


cruise, instead it is referencing the

‘state of being’ of a slave once they

have been freed - they were a slave,

and then chofshi, freedom. So why

then in the haggadah and in our

discussions about Pesach, do we use

the word cheirut instead of chofesh?

Rabbi Sacks suggests our texts are

speaking about two very different

kinds of freedom. He begins with

chofeshi, the freedom used in the

Torah, i.e. the freedom which

follows slavery. This freedom he

suggests, has no strings attached.

It is a pure kind of freedom which

removes the person from any kind

of obligation, any form of laws

or requirements. It is a personal

freedom to act, behave, come, go,

be and do anything the person

desires or imagines. So the sense of

freedom is personal and it imposes

nothing upon us. Rabbi Sacks

then suggests that this kind of

freedom is wonderful for individual

people, but apply it to a society,

and it will result in chaos. So,

freedom for a people is different

from individual freedom, and it

therefore needed a different word.

When the first Jews left Egypt, they

were free in a chofesh, unlimited

individual way; they had thrown

off the yoke of slavery, and they

walked through the parted waters

to a life of liberty. But there was

more to come. The Israelites as

a community, were not freed in

order to do as they pleased. If

they were, the community would

have descended quite quickly into

chaos. Instead they were released

in order to follow God, to accept

upon themselves God’s laws and

regulations. Their freedom came

with conditions. That is why

Shavuot, the next festival in the

Jewish calendar, does not have its

own date; it is linked to the Exodus.

The date of Shavuot is 49 days from

Pesach. So, as we count from Pesach

towards Shavuot, we are counting

the days until we receive the Torah

at Mount Sinai; because freedom

and laws, freedom and obligation

are, according to the Torah,

inextricably linked, one cannot

exist without the other. Yet, even at

this point the Torah does not refer

to the Israelites as having freedom

cherut, instead it still speaks of

chofshi. So, when and why did it

change and what is the difference?

Rabbi Sacks goes on to explain

that there is one use of the root

word cherut in the Torah, and

that is in connection with the ten

commandments when it refers to

engraving, etching them in stone.

Later, by the prophet Isaiah, there

is a reference to engraving the

commandments on the hearts of

the people. And it is this root, the

word meaning engrave, which

is the one used eventually to

describe the Israelites’ freedom.

So, what does that tell us?

Like the link with Shavuot, it

tells us that the freedom of which

the Pesach story speaks is not an

unlimited, open freedom - it has

constraints and boundaries. The

Israelites accepted those boundaries

when they received the laws at Sinai

and said, “na’aseh ve nishma”- we

will do them and we will hear them.

They accepted upon themselves

the laws, and the limits to their

freedom. But there was a problem

because their acceptance was not

wholehearted; the laws and their

willingness to submit to them, was

not engraved on their hearts. It was

what they had to do, it was the right

thing to do. Maybe as a sense of

gratitude to God, i.e. You took us

out of Egypt so the least we can do

is accept your rules. Or maybe from

a sense of fear. The midrash says that

God held Mount Sinai over their

heads and said, “will you accept my


laws?”- the implication being, “you

will accept my laws, or I will drop

this mountain on you!” Not much

freedom in that decision! And an

acceptance of laws when there is

guilt, obligation or fear motivating

it, is doomed to fail. We saw what

happened. The Israelites time and

again, disobeyed God, and God’s

laws. Over and over they do not

follow the rules they appeared to so

willingly accept. And that, Rabbi

Sacks argues, is because they did

not accept them in true freedom.

That only happened later, when the

rules were engraved on their hearts.

The freedom of which the

haggadah speaks, cherut, is what

comes when our freedom is used

to accept laws and rules, engrave

them and etch them within, so

that they are a part of us, a part of

who we are. When we internalize

the limits alongside the freedom,

then we have cherut. And we

come to the place of cherut by

understanding our journey, seeing

and acknowledging the degradation

and hardship of slavery, the pain

and suffering, the bitterness and

the tears at the beginning of the

seder. But we do not end the story

there, we continue to the place

where we bring within us the joys

of freedom and the knowledge

that we had the power to choose

and we chose to be obligated.

And freedom is hard work. It is

not easy to be in that place; we

have to work to protect it and be

at one with it, to make our peace.

Recently I read a commentary

by my good friend Rabbi Brian

Zachary Mayer in his podcast

“Religion Outside the Box”.

He was discussing the notion of

obligation and how we speak about

the things we “have to” do. He

was in a meeting with his publicist

and she was telling him all about

the data from his website, what

articles people liked, and suggested

that if he wanted more people to

be attracted to his articles, to read

and respond, he should work in

a certain direction. He started to

become angry about having to

do that. He felt that he should

not be driven by data. It should

not rule who he was and what he

portrayed through his column;

he was not going to be controlled

and have his freedom curtailed.

Then he remembered a lesson he

taught to his maths class. (Brian

taught maths as well as doing

many other things.) One day, he

set them a challenge. For that day,

every time they were about to say

“I have to…” do something, they

were to replace it with “I get to….”

Now I would probably say, “I have

the opportunity to ….”, but you

understand the message. He tried

it with his own dilemma. Instead

of saying, “I have to analyse the

data, I have to change the way I

do things in response,” he said,

“I get to analyse the data, I get

to change the way I do things in

response.” He turned the obligation

into opportunity, “I have to” into

“I have the chance to…” and that

is freedom. Imagine at Pesach,

instead of saying “I have to eat

matzah” we change that to “I have

the chance to eat matzah”, and

not, “I have to sit through the

seder”, but “I have the opportunity

to sit through the seder.” When

we do this with our own lives,

we turn slavery into freedom,

we engrave it upon our hearts.

The Israelites did not have to accept

the laws, they had the incredible

opportunity to accept the laws, the

privilege of being in a place where

they could curtail their hofesh,

their absolute freedom, in order

to have cherut, a deeper, more

lasting freedom. A freedom infused

with meaning because it was a

choice - it was an opportunity, it

was the ability to make a choice,

to decide for themselves, to be.

Every day we too have the blessing

and opportunity to embrace cherut,

a freedom of choice, a freedom to

work and a freedom to rest, the

chance to become all that we are

going to be and engrave the laws,

teachings, and blessings of Judaism

on our hearts. Every day we have

the hofesh to do what we want, to

walk away from Judaism, to leave

behind our traditions to separate

from community, to let it all go.

Sometimes that seems easier, it can

be hard to be part of Jewish life, to

accept its restrictions, to deal with

the annoyances and frustrations

of community. To see all the “I

have to’s” and all the “you have

to’s” and the “you can’ts” and leave

it all behind. But when we do

that, we also lose the richness and

beauty, the blessings that Judaism

can bring. So, instead of seeing

“have to’s” and “musts”, we choose

to see opportunities, chances,

and abilities to have moments of

incredible blessing, and to engrave

them on our hearts - then we will

find cherut, true freedom.


CEO Report - continued

as a means of eradicating poverty

across the developing world.

In his book, Wood speaks about

the numerous failed attempts of the

World Bank, National Geographic

and others, to improve literacy in

developing countries. He highlights

that success doesn’t come from one

drop of good-will in well-intentioned

projects. The ‘high’ of a successful

event or successful completion

of a project, and the good feeling

of the photo opportunity are not

good enough to create a sustainable

change. What makes the difference

is the ownership of the community.

After the last HHD I went to

New York and visited the Central

Synagogue. Although I arrived on

my own, I left with two invitations

to connect while I was there, enjoyed

a lovely conversation over Kiddush

with a number of locals, and was

offered three business cards.

I would like to think that kind of

welcome extends to strangers in our

synagogue. Our rabbis encourage

conversation between members, and

yet, once the service is over, do we

search out those we may not know,

do we look for ways to include others

in our lives or, do we all quietly

leave by ourselves? As one membermunchkin

described, “I came; I

had a conversation about smoked

salmon with someone whose name

I don’t know, and then I left.”

So what shall we all do?

A call to action:

Now that we have all this beautiful

space, garden and unique campus, it

is up to each of us, when we come to

the synagogue to introduce ourselves

to our neighbour and find out who

else is in our community. Be present

and interested. Maybe we will find

our next friend for life, a neighbour

who knows our cousin or a first

cousin of our aunt - I don’t know. I

am not promising that we will find

husbands or wives, but I do know

that a community is very important,

and a sense of belonging is what

we humans need and long for.

John Wood has identified – success

of an initiative was achieved

only when the community took

ownership. Communities don’t

get built by themselves, they get

built by us, the individuals.

In the meantime, our rabbis and

office are going to help out a little.

We will coordinate volunteering

activities for ushers, to welcome

visitors and members to the services,

introduce people to each other

and perhaps providing some useful

information about our synagogue.

Ushers will explain to people

which service is where, and make

people feel like they are coming to

their ‘castle’ - to their home. Every

Shabbat service we would like to

have people who make each one of

us feel like we belong. Perhaps you

might want to join this first cohort

of ushers? We invite each and every

one of you to leave the fear behind

and introduce yourselves; accept an

invitation to Shabbat dinner or even

an event. Really participate in the

life of the congregation, in making

new relationships and building this

community together! The more you

come, the more you get to know,

the more you will belong.

Expecting a baby?

Jewnatal is a program for those expecting

a baby in their lives, whether through birth

or adoption, and whether the 1st or 5th!

The concept is to foster/build relationships with

people going through the same life stage that

will carry forward after the class has concluded.

Dates for 2nd cycle 2019

Oct 27, Nov 17, Dec 1, Dec 15

Contact the office for details.



Dudu Gottlib

On the 9th of April 2019, Israel

will elect its 21st Knesset. This

is one of Israel’s most interesting

election campaigns. I often hear

political commentators say, “It’s

no longer a left or right electionit’s

a Jewish or Zionist election”.

If you hear a little bit about the

political parties’ statements and

actions the difference is quite

obvious - the discussion is no longer

about the two states solution, or

socialism vs capitalism as it used to

be. The parties don’t even bother

to speak about their “other side”

counterparts. The right parties

are arguing between themselves

about which party is the most

Jewish-centric party, while the

left-centre parties are arguing

between themselves about which

party is the most Zionist party:

The Jewish-right camp is speaking

about ethno-religious perception

of Israel while the Left-Zionist

camp is speaking about Nationalcivilian

perception of Israel.

The left agenda wants to

accommodate not only Israel’s

Jewish civilians but its non-Jewish

civilians as well, and to pull Israel

back to its previous “welfare

state”- echoing the 2011 Israeli

social justice protest slogans.

The Jewish-right agenda sees Israel

as first and foremost a Jewish state,

and a state that is for the Jewish

people - both on a national level

but also on a religious level.

Netanyahu, as Israel’s PM,

understands that his greatest

competition isn’t the left camp- but

rather the religious parties- and

you can hear him saying phrases

such as “I’m not only the Prime

Minister of Israel- but the Prime

Minister of the Jewish people”.

He’s basically saying, “if you want

a Jewish Israel- vote Likud”.

The Likud was never a party

interested in religion. On the

contrary- as liberals, the Likud

values are based on a strict ‘the less

intervention from the state in a

person’s life the better’ approach.

But that all changed in the

early 2000s. In the early

2000s, Israel’s religious

parties changed their

approach to politics. In

the past they supported

whoever won the majority

of votes in the elections,

knowing they would

be needed to form a

coalition and a working

government. They were

content with receiving budgets in

return for their support. In the past

two decades the religious parties

developed their own ideologies,

and visions for Israel - not only

for religious Jews, but for nonreligious

Jews, non-Jewish citizens


Left, Benny Gantz, center, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, Yair Lapid


etc., and have placed themselves

politically to the right of the Likud.

And what happened in the left?

– It is becoming “Centre”.

The term “Centre-Left” is being used

in every election covered since 2013. It

was used to describe Yesh Atid in the

2013, then again in 2015 describing

Yesh Atid, but also the Labor party

and Kulanu. And now it describes

about five parties. And I really

wonder what does centre mean? If we

look at the new combined list running

for the Knesset (and latest polls

anticipating they’ll get the majority

of votes) - “Kachol Lavan”, a joint

list combining “Chosen L’Israel”,

Gantz’s party, Telem, Ashkenazi’s party

and “Yesh Atid” led by Lapid, It is

very clear that this is a left party that

doesn’t want to be affiliated with the

classic left party in Israel (Avoda). This

is not due to an ideological gap, but

more for PR reasons. If you look at

the policies espoused by Gantz when

he was the Joint Chief of Staff, and

the policies of Yesh Atid when they

spearheaded the Health, Education

and Treasury ministries, it's very

clear where they stand and it’s very

much to the left. The definition of

“centre” is purely hoping that right

and left voters will be convinced to

vote for them. And the latest polls

suggest this stunt is actually working.

On the one hand we have the right

parties who it seems are steering

further to the right, and competing

about who’ll make Israel more

Jewish and more religious, and on

the other hand we have the left

parties that are masking themselves

as “centre”, hoping to attract more

and more voters under the slogan

“no more right, no more left”.

But I think they got it right (pun

intended) on one thing- the elections

are no longer about right or left- at

least not in the ideological sense.

Like many other countries, Israel’s

political campaign is about the

“people” running for office - the

leaders of parties have become the

political equivalent of celebrities.

It’s no longer about what they say

and whether they mean it or notit's

about the fact that they said

something. And more importantlytweeted

it, posted it and tagged

whoever they wanted to react to that.

So, on the 9th April 2019, Israel

won’t be voting “left or right”,

it will be voting for the most

popular leader or leaders.






Jon Green

Civil Marriage Celebrant





0414 872 199








Join us on the second Saturday morning of

each month following Shabbat services

Saturday April 13th -

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Phone (02) 9389 3499


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120 years.

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120 Traditional years. Values.

Contemporary Choices.

Traditional Values.

Contemporary Choices.


Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

One of the greatest benefits of

being on a plane is that you’re

uncontactable. No-one can get

hold of you, you’re free to watch

some tv or a recent movie release

or perhaps a classic. Maybe you

like spending some time listening

to music or reading a book. And

even though you’re in a somewhat

confined space, you are generally

free to “roam about the cabin” - just

remember to fasten your seatbelt

when you’re back in your seat. This

is your time to do what you want

to do-your time to make your own

decisions without something or

someone telling you what to do.

Then, in 2008, commercial flights

started offering in-flight wifi on

domestic flights in the USA and in

some other parts of the world, and

the short-haul or domestic flight

slowly became yet another place

you could carry on with work or

engage in other critical activities,

such as Facebook or Twitter.

I remember discovering this

innovative feature in late 2011, and

I will admit to using it on a couple

of occasions, especially when I had

several flights or connections on the

same day. The ability to get work

done, answer a few e-mails, perhaps

do some internet banking, a bit

of online shopping, message a few

friends and catch up on the news, is

a very good use of time, especially

all the way up there in the sky.

However, there went my time alone;

my time of uncontactable peace.

I had to waiver this time alone and

justify that when you take into

account the amount of time you’ll

be saving when you get to your

destination, whether it be home, a

hotel, a conference or a meeting,

you appreciate the convenience

even more, perhaps because of the

time you get back, perhaps because

you used the time productively,


perhaps both. I acknowledge this

is certainly useful on short-haul or

domestic flights, especially when

you are travelling for work.

However, I have a problem with the

idea of wifi when it comes to longhaul

flights. For me, the long-haul

flight is one of the last bastions of

separation from the rest of the world.

Unless you’re flying with a seriously

low-cost airline, there is plenty to

watch and listen to, and of course

you can get really stuck into a good

book, or perhaps even get some shuteye

(acknowledging that sleeping

on a plane is a varied experience).

Recently, on a trip back from

the USA, during the regular

announcements after take-off, the

cabin manager mentioned that

the aircraft we were travelling on

had onboard wifi, and that we

could find instructions on how to

connect on the screen in front of

us. My plans to catch up on some

sleep and to watch at least two

of the movies that I never had a

chance to catch at the cinemas, were

overtaken by the urge to connect

to the world out there. Despite

the temptation, I left well alone.

Why are we compelled to further

submit ourselves to work and

whatever is happening in the world,

as though our lives wouldn’t have

any meaning if we didn’t? Why

can’t we bring ourselves to use the

best excuse available for not being

contactable, and allow ourselves

some (relative) peace and quiet?

This year, our journey as parents

entered a whole new chapter

- that’s the beauty of children,

especially those in their teenage

years. Rachel turned 16 in January,

and she passed (as was expected)

her driver knowledge test - she

is officially a learner driver. All

the parents who have been in

our position are either laughing

as they read this, or alternatively,

this has reawakened some testing

memories. This of course has

meant that we are no longer serving

only as taxi drivers/shleppers, but

also driving supervisors. For all

those not in the know, this role

has a number of responsibilities

attached to it that make it different

from simply being a passenger.

One of the rules as a supervisor is

that you cannot touch your mobile

phone, just as the driver cannot.

You have to act in the same manner

as if you were the learner driver,

not a passenger. So, as soon as the

session begins, the phone goes into

a pocket or the cubby hole, and

being the conscientious person that

she is, Rachel even activates “do not

disturb” on her phone. For the length

of the drive, you are uncontactable,

allowing you to focus all your

attention on the tasks at hand.

Our natural instincts are to see this

as an unnecessary restriction, an

impediment. We are so obsessed with

what we believe our rights are, that

we cannot see the rationale behind

this curtailment. By not having the

distraction of the phone ringing and

beeping and making all sorts of other

noises, we can focus on helping the

student in their quest to become a

better driver, by learning from our

years of experience in the driver’s

seat. In effect, we have been given a

freedom from our “captor”, which

has allowed us to take on other

tasks with a different perspective

and a renewed sense of how we

can apply ourselves in a different

situation. We find that we have

released ourselves from that which

constrained us, and suddenly we

are free to do so many other things,

because we’re not distracted by (in

this case) the phone. We can direct

our attention to where it is needed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having

a go at the poor mobile phone.

I’m not saying it has taken control

of our lives (even though there’s a

strong argument in support of that

theory). What I am saying is that we

don’t allow ourselves to be removed

from the madness and interference.

We don’t have the discipline to

ignore the distraction, so it’s only

when we’re forced to ignore it or

leave it alone, that we do so.

On a plane, especially on those

long-haul flights, we can’t use our

phones as we normally would,

so it’s almost as if we’re forced to

allow ourselves freedom from that

constraint. We occupy ourselves

with other activities like reading

or catching up on the latest visual

or audio offerings. Similarly, when

driving (or supervising a learner

driver), we accept that our focus

has to be on the road and what’s

happening around us. Once

again, we are almost forced into

acknowledging that there is a choice.

Of course, the world we live in

is changing all the time, and

we become more reliant on

technology each time there’s a new

development. We cannot, nor

should we, ignore progress in the

hope that we can allow ourselves

the freedom that we don’t demand,

but that allows us to take a break

from what has become routine.

In both examples I’ve given, we’re

forced into allowing ourselves that

freedom. Are we, therefore, incapable

of taking that leap ourselves? Do we

lack the discipline to proactively give

ourselves an alternative even when

we don’t need to? Optimistically,

I’d say that we are both capable of

taking the leap, as well proactively

giving ourselves an alternative. We

don’t throw a temper tantrum (well

most of us don’t!) when the cabin

manager or one of the stewards tells

us to switch off our phones or put

them in “airplane mode”. Therefore,

we are able to take that break, we

can accept that we need to take

that break. What most of us lack

is not necessarily the discipline to

do so, but perhaps the capability

to allow ourselves that choice.

It’s not just about wifi on planes,

or using your phone in

the car. It’s about the

many situations we find

ourselves in without the

apparent motivation to do

things differently, to give

ourselves the ability to

choose our opportunities

for freedom, and to

do so when we feel we

need to. We are quite

capable of taking steps

to control many other

aspects of our life, so what is it

that’s missing from this equation?


Just as in many other aspects of

our life, we’ll look back one day

and reflect on the opportunities

we had, and the decisions we

made. Inevitably there will be

some regrets about the decisions

we made. There will also be regrets

about decisions we didn’t make

and chances we didn’t take. We’ll

reminisce about what could have

been, if only we’d given ourselves the

opportunity to make choices that

were better for us, although they

may not have been as convenient.

We’ve all heard the saying; “Today

is the first day of the rest of your

life”. The question is, what are we

going to do about it? Let’s find

the strength and perhaps even

the audacity to make this day, the

day we start exercising our rights

and choose freedom. Freedom

to do what’s best for us, freedom

to say no or to say yes, freedom

to not be afraid of looking out

for number one. Freedom to

actually switch off from the rest

of the world - give it a try!



By Cantor George Mordecai

A few years ago, I had the

good fortune to encounter Joey

Weisenberg. He is a musician

and composer of Jewish music

who spends almost every Shabbat

in a different congregation

teaching people how to truly

build a singing community.

We were both presenting at a

liturgical workshop and co-led

a Kabbalat Shabbat service at a

Masorti convention in Chicago.

I had heard about Joey and read

his book, “Building Singing

Communities,” but apart from

a few you tube clips of him

leading his singing workshops,

I did not have an opportunity

to experience him in action.

Joey’s teaching and music

has inspired so many people

throughout synagogues and havura

communities in the United States

and beyond. He is not afraid to

speak to the issues that inhibit

communities from realising their

musical and spiritual potential.

To build a true singing community

takes a lot of work. This is not just

the result of an in-built tendency

most of us have to resist that

which is not familiar. It is because

the melodies we have been raised

with at synagogue have heart-felt

resonances that vibrate at the core

of our innermost being. These

emotions are very deep. Despite

this however, if we don’t challenge

ourselves to embrace new and

innovative approaches to music

in sacred spaces, we will fail to

grow and evolve as a community.

Creating a singing community in

synagogue space requires attention

to many different details. Aside

from uplifting melodies, how we

arrange space, bringing people

closer together during davening

contributes to the ruach of a service.

At the convention after Friday

night dinner, we all moved to an

adjacent room in the social hall. The

chairs were arranged in concentric

circles and we were all encouraged

to sit close together. This simple

yet important move created the

conditions for an intimacy rarely

experienced in synagogues. We

could all hear each other singing

and it increased the ruach and

participation in the room.

This kind of intimacy is crucial

to creating the conditions for a

true spiritual experience. We sang

together, each of us in our own

special way adding our unique

voices to the collective sound that

ascended and took us to a deep

place, a place that we could not

have reached on our own or even

by putting our trust in a Cantor or

Rabbi to “deliver the goods” for us.

Many of the participants that night

were transformed by the experience.

As a Cantor and musician, I am

passionately devoted to music as

an art form but I have always felt

that music is a vehicle, a means to

an end, not an end in itself. It is a

powerful way to connect with the

divine life force that flows through

us and all creation. When we pray

together like we did that Friday

evening at the convention with

Joey, we were doing more than just

singing together, we were creating a

place for the divine to dwell among

us and recognising the divine in each

and everyone us who was present.

The Emanuel community is truly

blessed to have so many members

who care deeply about Judaism and

our synagogue. We are a committed

and diverse community and the

directions we take now at this crucial

juncture will have a lasting effect

for generations to come. In order

to journey down the path which

will ensure that our community

grows and remains strong, we

are going to need to experiment

with different approaches to

music, space, education and

communal organisation.

Let us embrace the future with

excitement and enthusiasm in the

knowledge that our community

will continue to grow and thrive

because we are a loving, caring place

that is not afraid to experiment

with and embrace change.

Ilan Kidron with Cantor George Mordecai



For all your general law needs.

Specialising in wills & estate planning.

First consultation free, discount

for Shul members.

Primary School Open Day

Discover why Emanuel School is small enough

to know your child and big enough to make a difference

Meet our staff, take a tour, visit classes and enjoy displays

Wednesday 27 March 2019

9.30 am - 11.00 am

Emanuel School, 20 Stanley Street, Randwick

Bookings can be made at

For further information contact Gail MacKenzie on 8383 7333


Suite 902, Level 9, 84 Pitt Street,


Tel: 02 9232 2264

Fax: 02 9232 2643

Mob: 0413 049 050

Emanuel School is a member of

the JCA Family of Organisations

A 10-day tour of Israel with

a focus on Jewish


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.





OCTOBER 20-30, 2019





For more information,

please email



Donna Jacobs Sife

Of the many and various ideas that arise from the festival of Pesach, I find one

particularly compelling. The sages tell us that the syllables of the word Pesach each

represent a word in their own right: "Pe" means "mouth" and "sach" means "speaks".

When I was 12, I became a ‘selective

mute’. I stopped talking for several

months. And now, when asked how

I became a storyteller, this image of

a mute young girl comes to mind.

Perhaps I became a storyteller so

that my words would be heard. And

I suspect also that my penchant

for social justice and speaking up

also has roots in that young girl.

However, the imperative to speak

up in the face of injustice also has

its roots in Judaism. The midwives

Puah and Shifra spoke up when

they refused to follow the orders

of the Pharaoh and chose to save

a little baby boy. The Pharaoh’s

daughter spoke up when she saw

that little baby floating down the

river in a basket. Moses stood

before the Pharaoh and spoke up in

the name of his enslaved brethren.

We are a People today, because

others chose to speak and not

remain silent in the face of injustice.

It is in our origins, in our genesis.

Dissent gave birth to us as a nation.

Think of Abraham, when faced

with the injustice as he saw it

of the destruction of Sodom

and Gomorrah by God. Even

to the highest authority,

Abraham was not deterred.

“Will You sweep away the innocent

along with the guilty? What if there

should be fifty innocent within the

city; will You then wipe out the

place and not forgive it for the sake

of the innocent fifty who are in it?”

Abraham points out that there

are innocent people living in

Sodom and Gomorrah who do

not deserve punishment. He

begins bartering with God, asking

how many innocent people there

would have to be for the cities to

be spared. He ultimately bargains


down to 10 innocent people

before the episode concludes.

As Abraham says,

“Far be it from You to do such a

thing, to bring death upon the

innocent as well as the guilty,

so that innocent and guilty fare

alike. Far be it from You! Shall

not the Judge of all the earth

deal justly?” (Genesis 18:25).

Elie Wiesel

We know that Sodom and

Gomorrah were not spared. But we

also know by Abraham’s example, in

the words of the Pirkei Avot: You do

not have to complete the task, but

neither are you free to desist from it.

Of course, there are many in this

troubled world who are silenced,

because to speak up is a dangerous

thing. To be silenced is to be

controlled, oppressed, subdued. We

know that in countries governed

by despotic dictators, any hint of

rebellion could be punishable by

death. In 2015, the Australian

parliament passed a law concerning

workers and medical officers at

the detention centres. It became a

criminal offense for them to reveal

to outsiders what is happening to

asylum seekers, with a potential

penalty of job loss and two years

in prison. When refugees speak

of their experience in public,

they do so understanding that

it could very likely adversely

affect their immigration status.

In Australia, for the most part,

we are free. We can express our

concerns, our criticisms, our

protests, without fear of retribution.

And yet, because this freedom is a

given, we tend to take it for granted,

and forget how lucky and privileged

we are to live in such a country.

And consequently, we do not use

that privilege in the way that our

ancestors have modelled to us. We

forget that freedom and speaking

up, pe-sach – are indelibly linked.

Elie Wiesel in his acceptance

speech for his Nobel Peace

prize in 1986 put it this way:

I swore never to be silent whenever

and wherever human beings endure

suffering and humiliation. We must

always take sides. Neutrality helps

the oppressor, never the victim.

Silence encourages the tormentor,

never the tormented. Sometimes

we must interfere. When human

lives are endangered, when human

dignity is in jeopardy, national

borders and sensitivities become

irrelevant. Wherever men or women

are persecuted because of their

race, religion, or political views,

that place must – at that moment –

become the center of the universe.

This Pesach, I hope to continue to

speak up in the face of injustice,

and to remember that I am one

of the privileged few in this

world who is free to do so.

Tzdek Tzedek tirtof – Justice,

Justice You shall Pursue.


in the Circle

One Saturday each month from 9:30am

Join us for this new Shabbat

morning gathering.

We begin at 9:30am with the study of

Hassidic and other mystical texts then discuss

how we can apply them in our daily lives.

This is followed at 10:15am by a collaborative

musical gathering based on the Shabbat

morning service incorporating melodies,

poems and dance to enhance our Shabbath.




to Freedom

Renewal Friday Night

Pesach Service & Dinner

26th April, 6:15pm

Join us for an evening of song and

learning as we explore the meaning of


with Cantor George Mordecai and Rabbi

Dr. Orna Triguboff plus special guests

Kim Cunio and Samurai Cunio.

A light dinner will be served.

Cost: $20



Lag B’Omer

Wednesday 22 May, 7pm

Songs, teachings and meditations on

the Omer and Jewish mystical tradition.

with Cantor George Mordecai,

Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff and

guest musician.

Free of charge




Shira Sebban

On 13 February 2019, I joined fellow volunteer refugee advocates at the High

Court in Canberra in support of an allegedly stateless asylum seeker, who

was attempting to challenge Australia’s system of indefinite detention.

Known as “plaintiff M47”, the

man, who has been held in onshore

immigration detention for over

nine years, was represented by

renowned Melbourne QC Ron

Merkel and Alison Battisson

of Human Rights for All.

The case was dismissed: After

questioning his credibility

and discussing the mystery

surrounding his identity, the

Court unanimously found that

such a challenge “did not arise”.

Nevertheless, not only does our

government mandatorily detain all

non-citizens without a valid visa – a

policy adopted under Paul Keating

in 1992 as an essential component

of strong border control – but

it may also detain non-citizens

indefinitely, despite the fact that

they have not committed a crime.

“We didn’t win and we didn’t

lose – we drew,” Battisson said.

“This means that we can keep

fighting for M47, if he wants, and

there is space for other detainees

to bring similar challenges to

their lengthy detention. [This

case] showed us just how high

the bar is set to win freedom.

Unfortunately, nine years on its

own is apparently not enough.”

Each week, I visit asylum seekers

and refugees in Villawood

Detention Immigration Centre, as

a member of Supporting Asylum

Seekers Sydney (SASS), cofounded

six years ago by Emanuel

Synagogue member Anna Buch.

Among those we visit is stateless

refugee Ahmad Shalikhan, 21, who

has been detained since arriving

as a child in 2013. He too now

faces indefinite detention, after the

government took more than two

years to reject his visa application.

Despite facing no criminal charges,

Shalikhan has been refused by

Immigration Minister David

Coleman, due to a risk he would

“engage in criminal conduct in

Australia”, thus deeming him to

have failed the character test as

defined under the Migration Act.

His legal team is appealing

the decision. “It is

unacceptable that

someone who arrived as

a child, and has various

cognitive difficulties,

should be subjected to

detention for this long,

and that the government

could consider indefinite

detention for him,”

Battisson said.

In a statement dated 3

January 2019, Coleman

wrote: “In light of

the serious nature of

the potential harm, I

have found that Mr

Shalikhan represents

an unacceptable risk

to individuals in the

Australian community”.

This outweighed

other considerations

including “Australia’s

international nonrefoulement


the prospects of

indefinite detention

of Mr Shalikhan and

its possible effect on

his mental health, and

the impact of a refusal

decision on his family”.

Ahmad Shalikhan

A Faili Kurd, who fled Iran by boat

with his mother at the age of 16,

Shalikhan has been in detention

since arriving on Christmas Island

in August 2013. Suffering from

a developmental disorder and

mental health issues exacerbated

by his father’s death in Iran, he

has in the past attempted suicide

and displayed volatile behaviour.

The Faili Kurds have long been

persecuted in Iran as an ethnic

minority. Both Shalikhan’s mother


and older brother have been

recognised as refugees by Australia,

his mother granted a five-year visa

in 2016, while his brother, who fled

earlier, has permanent protection.

Shalikhan too was able to prove a

well-founded fear of persecution

in Iran, Australia recognising him

as a refugee in 2016. This means

Australia is legally obliged to

protect him and cannot forcibly

return him to a place of harm.

In 2014, however, as a 17-yearold

minor, he was charged with

two counts of assaulting a public

officer. The offences were resolved

by the Western Australian children’s

court, which issued him a caution

and noted “all criminal matters

are finalised”. While no formal

punishment was ordered, the

incident continues to haunt him, the

Minister taking it into consideration

“on the basis that his violent conduct

… has been proven in court”.

Moved to detention centres around

Australia, his education and social

development were disrupted. Having

only completed Year 10, he has not

been allowed access to education

since turning 18 – despite repeated

requests – and has languished in

Villawood since mid-2016.

People with disabilities are

particularly vulnerable in detention,

Battisson said. “Although no one

should be administratively detained

for seeking asylum, it is particularly

unsuitable, and cannot be made

suitable, for those with disabilities.”

Shalikhan has accepted his earlier

behavioural issues. “I don’t want to

be an old man still in detention …

I have said things whilst here but

this was all due to the frustration

of being in detention. I wouldn’t

do any of the things talked about

… I want to live in Australia. I will

not be a threat to the Australian

community. I am a good person.”

Last year, Battisson submitted a

complaint on his behalf to the

UN Working Group on Arbitrary

Detention (WGAD). In December

2018, it released its opinion,

determining the Australian

government was in breach of five

articles of the Universal Declaration

of Human Rights and four articles

of the International Covenant

of Civil and Political Rights. It

recommended he be immediately

released and accorded an enforceable

right to compensation. It also

called for an investigation into

the circumstances surrounding

his deprivation of liberty and

for appropriate measures to be

taken against those responsible

for violating his rights.

In its third report on his

incarceration, tabled in October

2017, the Commonwealth

Ombudsman noted “psychiatrists

have continuously advised that as a

young and vulnerable person, [his]

ongoing detention is detrimental to

his mental health and recommended

… he be released … with mental

health support and enrolment

in an educational course”.

While the Minister accepted that

should he be released, Shalikhan

would have the support of his

family and the NSW Health

Refugee Service, the government

maintains this is still outweighed

by the risk he “would engage in

criminal conduct in Australia”.

However, while most

criminals serve a fixed

term, when even

murderers sentenced to

life imprisonment are

often eventually released,

our government is

seemingly still prepared

to condemn stateless

refugees to indefinite







Support Emanuel Synagogue's

work for refugees, email

For more information about

Supporting Asylum Seekers

Sydney (SASS) please see https://

sydneyasylumseekersupporters. All welcome! Those

interested in visiting Villawood

Immigration Detention Centre

please contact Anna Buch:

Many organisations supporting

asylum seekers and refugees have

volunteer programs, including

Settlement Services International


support-ssi/volunteer; Asylum

Seekers Centre Newtown:

https://asylumseekerscentre. and Australian Refugee

Volunteers: https://www.

Other ideas include:

• Visit refugee-run restaurant,

Four Brave Women, in Summer

Hill and Parliament on King

Cafe in Newtown, which also

offers social enterprise catering;

• Buy fashion through The

Social Outfit, which provides

employment and training

to people from refugee and

new migrant communities;

• Donate musical instruments

to community group

Music for Refugees;

• Host dinner for refugees

in your home via The

Welcome Dinner Project;

• Volunteer to teach English

to Sudanese refugees: see


• Join an organised "walk

and talk" with refugees in

different areas of Sydney

via One Step Walks: https://




49 Day Challenge – a Guide for 2019

Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff


For thousands of years counting

the 49 days from the second day of

Pesach to Shavuot with a blessing

has been practised. Why? It’s a

commandment that comes from

the Torah – Leviticus 23:15 “You

shall count…from the day that

you brought the omer as a wave

offering…” What is an omer? It’s a

measure of about 1.5 kg. In temple

times, the Israelites brought an omer

of barley as an afternoon sacrifice on

the second day of Pesach and after

that counted 49 days with a blessing

till Shavuot – a time of harvest.

This is the agricultural aspect of the

festival, literally a period of ripening

of produce and symbolically it

points to a ripening of the psyche.



The Omer begins with a celebration

of the exodus from slavery, on Pesach,

it then continues with a countdown

for 49 days – as a journey of self

reflection - till the 50th day, Shavuot

, the festival marking the receiving

of Torah on Mt. Sinai. On the level

of the psycho-spiritual, this can be

seen as a 7 week opportunity for

self-development. Since each festival

in Judaism has its own flavour, we

can make use of this unique period

to achieve our goals of living a good

life and the aspiration for constant

improvement. It is a journey towards

freedom, and for each person there is

a unique meaning to this. It may be

used as a period to move from being

boxed in by habits that don't serve

you well, to a more healthy life-style.



In the 16th century in the city of

Tsfat, in the Galilee, the Omer

period was given a new dimension

of religious/spiritual practice. Each

day of the Omer was seen as being

connected to a different aspect

of a person’s character. And each

day of the Omer was seen as an

opportunity for self-improvement.

According to this Kabbalistic

practice, each week is dedicated to

a particular attribute: compassion,

strength, love, endurance,

humility, bonding, leadership. The


names for the seven attributes are

derived from a verse in the Tanach

and each one describes an aspect of

the personality that can be improved

and refined during the Omer.

These attributes are connected to the

holy spark within each person. With

each week it is hoped that there is

a level of self-refinement that will

allow us to “receiving the Torah” on

Shavuot in a new way each year.

In the following few paragraphs

there are some suggestions for daily

awareness practices for the Omer.

Of course there are plenty of other

ideas that will be sparked by these. As

each person is unique, their journey

through the Omer is unique.



Week 1 of the Omer begins

the eve of the 20th of April

During this week one can reflect on

the aspect of compassion in one’s

life. During the day there is an

invitation to notice when you feel

compassion, when people act with

kindness towards you, in which

situations it is harder for you to feel

compassion…are there times of the

day when compassion is easier to feel?

Symbols connected to the

aspect of chesed are:

The colour white, the angel

Michael, the qualities of: opening,

giving, generosity and empathy.



Week 2 of the Omer – begins

the eve of the 27th of April

Each quality is more than just

one word. Some associations

traditionally given to Gevurah are:

the colour red, the angel Gavriel,

the qualities of: strength, courage,

restraint, discernment, boundary

setting and a sense of social justice.

During this week one could notice

when issues concerning boundaries

arise. Also you could notice situations

when courage and strength are

needed and how you react to

those situations. In the spirit of

Gevurah you might decide to tidy

a messy drawer during this week!


Week 3 of the Omer – begins

the eve of the 4th of May

Symbols associated with Tiferet

are the colour green, the symbol of

the Star of David, the angel Uriel,

the qualities of beauty, love, openheartedness.

Tiferet is a balance

of Chesed and Gevurah so it is

connected to the ability to balance

giving and receiving in one’s life.

During this week you might choose

to notice the flow of giving and

receiving that takes place on many

levels with each activity to do.


Week 4 of the Omer – begins

the eve of the 11th of May

The qualities connected to Netsach

are the ability to persevere, optimism

and ambition. During this week

one might sit down and write

one’s ambitions – short term, mid

term and long term. This is an

exercise that helps see one’s life in

perspective. You might explore

which things in your life enhance

your vitality and which drain you.

Notice each time you feel optimistic

and be aware of how it feel as well

as what you are optimistic about.



Week 5 of the Omer

– begins the eve of

the 18th of May

The quality of Hod

is often connected to

Aharon the High Priest.

It is the part of each

person that is able to set

the Ego aside and feel

humility and connection.

This quality is also connected to

sacrifice. During this week you

might choose to notice when you do

things for others – a sacrifice of sorts.

During the week notice when you

are humble and when you are not.



Week 6 of the Omer – begins

the eve of the 25th of May

Yesod has many associations – it

literally means foundation, thus

it is a good time to look at one’s

foundations in one’s life. It is a good

time to ask oneself what are the

things that are REALLY important

to me? What are my core values, my

foundation? Yesod is also the quality

of bonding and thus it is a week of

noticing our connection with others

– with family, friends, work associates

Conversations about Israel

Every Monday, join Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

or guest speakers to examine the complex

issues facing contemporary Israel.

Monday mornings from 10:00-11:30



and community. As you go through

the week, notice your connections

with different people and groups.

What does each connection give

you and what do you give?


Week 7 of the Omer – begins

the eve of the 1st of June

The last week of the Omer is

dedicated to the quality of Malchutkingdom

or leadership. It is a week

of exploring your role as a leader

and how you relate to authority in

your life in the various situations

you come to. As your week unfolds

notice which situations call on

your leadership skills and how you

react. This quality is also called

Shekhinah – divine presence and

so it is a week during which you

are invited to notice holiness in

yourself and in your environment.


Besides using the Omer as an

opportunity for daily awareness

practice one might choose to

journal one’s experience each day

before saying the blessing for the

next day of the Omer. Sitting in

quiet meditation as part of the

Omer practice is also beneficial.

Please email the synagogue

if you would like to join our

free weekly email that guides

you through the Omer.

Wishing you a meaningful

period of joyous practice.


Jeremy Spinak was one of the most

influential and highly respected

communal leaders in Sydney, but

last November at the age of 36 he

succumbed to a rare form of cancer.

The immediate past president

of the NSW Jewish Board of

Deputies (JBOD), was remembered

in emotional speeches at his

funeral and a memorial service

at Emanuel Synagogue.

“Today we honour a beautiful,

unique and much-appreciated young

man of untold value, an excellent

unselfish man devoted to Australia,

community and family,” Rabbi

Jeffrey Kamins told more than

1000 people at Spinak’s funeral.

“Today we honour a beautiful,

unique and much appreciated

young man of untold value, an

excellent unselfish man devoted to

Australia, community and family.

“Jeremy’s light does shine on,

through each of us blessed to

know him, and into the future.”

In a rare show of respect, Spinak’s

death was announced at a NSW

Cabinet meeting, and the NSW

Labor caucus stopped for a minute

of silence for him, an honour

usually reserved only for deceased

members of Parliament.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

said he was “an outstanding

community advocate and an amazing

human being”, and NSW Deputy

Opposition Leader in the NSW

Legislative Council noted that “a dark

cloud of sadness” spread through

the corridors of NSW Parliament.

The Executive Council of Australian

Jewry said in a statement that

Spinak had excellent judgement

and a compassionate, Jewish heart.

“In all his communal work he was a

conciliator, a healer and a unifier.”

JBOD president Lesli Berger

and CEO Vic Alhadeff said in

a statement that Spinak was a

much-loved and greatly respected

leader of the community.

“His contribution to enhanced

political bipartisanship, a nuanced

approach to advocacy and

engagement with all sectors within

the Jewish community were features

of his presidency,” they said.

Spinak’s wife Rhiannon delivered an

emotional tribute at the minyan.

“We had six wonderful years together

– not nearly long enough,” she said.

“He gave me the experience of

being completely understood,

supported and utterly loved and

I’ll carry that with me always.

“He also gave me the gift of

our beautiful one-year-old

twins, Michael and Grace.”

Describing Spinak as his “soulmate”,

his older brother Jason spoke

of how excited he was when

his baby brother was born.

“Jez was a gorgeous baby, eczema,

cradle cap and all … he came

out with charisma,” he said.

“We tried everything, every

specialist around the world …

and the response would always

[be] there’s nothing more that

we can do than what has been

done for him in Australia.”

The Jeremy Spinak Family

Fund, which is administered by

JewishCare in NSW, has been

created to assist Spinak’s wife

Rhiannon and their 13-monthold

twins Grace and Michael.

To donate, visit



B. Karet

Arguably one of the most

recognisable icons in the world,

The Statue of Liberty is regarded

as ‘a potent symbol of liberty,

peace and human rights’. 1

The towering statue of Lady Liberty,

based on Liberatas the Roman

goddess of freedom, sits proudly

on Liberty Island in New York

Harbour. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi

sculpted the copper statue in France

in the mid 1800’s, and Gustav Eiffel

constructed her metal framework.

The torch she thrusts skyward in her

right hand, and the seven-spiked

crown she wears, illuminate the sky

- a means for Liberty ‘to enlighten

the world’. In her left arm, she clasps

a stone tablet with the inscription


date of the U.S Declaration of

Independence, enshrining the

concept of freedom, as do the

broken shackles at her feet. In 1903,

a plaque was added to the pedestal

of the statue (funded by America),

bearing the last lines of the sonnet

‘The New Colossus’. This moving

poem was written by the Jewish

activist and poet Emma Lazarus, to

help raise funds for the completion

of the statue. It begins, ‘Give me

your tired, your poor, your huddled

masses yearning to breathe free’. 2

Built in France as a gift for America,

she was hauled across the world in

214 crates and reconstructed on

Bedloe Island (renamed Liberty

Island). Since her dedication in 1886,

to commemorate the centennial of

the end of the Civil War, she has

greeted millions of refugees and

immigrants. For the war-weary

Europeans arriving after World War

II, with exhausted bodies and broken

spirits, she was a beacon of hope

symbolising freedom and a better life.

Edouard de Laboulaye, the president

of the French Anti-slavery Society,

originally proposed the idea of

the statue as a gift from France to

memorialize President Abraham

Lincoln, of whom he was a great

admirer, and to celebrate the

emancipation of African Americans

after the Civil War. 3 He hoped it

would inspire his own countrymen to

fight for democracy and freedom in

their own repressive regime. However,

for many African Americans, she

has not been a symbol of liberation;

rather a stinging reminder of the

rights and freedoms they do not

share with their fellow Americans.

Recent movies such as ‘Hidden

Figures’, the story of the mostly,

unacknowledged African American

female mathematicians and engineers

who worked for the American

space agencies, and ‘Green Book’, a

snapshot of the touring life of Dr

Don Shirley, a highly educated and

gifted pianist of Jamaican heritage,

portray their lack of freedoms. As

recently as the second half of the

20th century, African Americans

endured shameful segregation,

discrimination and humiliation.

Over the centuries, in every

inhabited continent, men and

women have continually

struggled for freedom -

freedom from inequality,

freedom from famine and

freedom from religious

and political persecution.

In the 20th century,

charismatic leaders such

as Nelson Mandela and

Martin Luther King fought to end

apartheid in South Africa and the

United States. Mahatma Gandhi

led a nonviolent campaign for

freedom and independence for

India from British colonial rule.

The fight for freedom continues

in the 21st century. The citizens in

South American countries such as

Venezuela fight for political freedom,

and Nobel Peace Prize winner

Malala Yousafzai quietly campaigns

to free women from bigotry and

exploitation. Wherever she finds a

platform to be heard, she raises her

voice to advocate for the right of

girls in Pakistan, Afghanistan and

India to have an equal opportunity to

receive an education. Most recently,



the plight of Rahaf Mohammed

al-Qunun, a young, Saudi Arabian

women fleeing an abusive family

in the Middle East, highlighted the

desperate struggle for freedom of

many Muslim women. In countries

under strict Islamic rule, such as

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain,

women yearn for the freedom of

self-determination - to be freed from

the yoke of the male guardianship

laws practised in these countries.

During Pesach, we recount the story

of our ancestor’s liberation from

cruel bondage in Egypt. Moses was

summoned by God to confront

Pharaoh to free the Children of Israel.

In words, ‘Thus says the Lord: Let

My people go that they may worship

Me’ Exodus 8:16, and by actions,

e.g. the plagues God inflicts on the

Egyptians, escalating in might each

time Pharaoh stubbornly refused to

free the Hebrews. Moses didn’t give

up. Acting as God’s agent on Earth,

he negotiated with Pharaoh overand-over

again, until he was finally

convinced to ‘let (His) people go’.

Our freedom was secured thousands

of centuries ago so that we ‘could

worship God …. and be a kingdom

of priests and a holy nation’ Exodus

19:6, and ‘a light unto the nations’,

Isaiah 49:6. We are now God’s agents

on Earth. We need to step up and

raise our voices advocating for human

rights and the freedom of oppressed

people around the world. Just as

Moses did many centuries ago on our

behalf, we need to urge our political

leaders to show compassion to asylum

seekers and change their policies.

To paraphrase Martin Luther

King, ‘we can never truly enjoy

our own freedom, unless we

secure the freedom of others -our

destinies are inextricably linked’. 5

Our words and actions need to

make the ideals of ‘freedom and

enlightenment’ the Statue of Liberty

symbolises not just a concept, but

a reality for all men and women.


1. www.everything-everywhere.



‘Statement of Significance’.

2. Moreno, Barry (2000). The

Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia. New

York City: Simon & Schuster.

3. Berenson, Edward (2012)

The Statue of Liberty: A

Transatlantic Story (Icons of

America) Yale University Press.

4. Harris, Jonathan (1985). A Statue

for America: The First 100 Years

of the Statue of Liberty. New York

City: Four Winds Press (a division of

Macmillan Publishing Company).

5. King, Martin Luther Jn (1963)-

I Have a Dream (speech at the

‘March on Washington’.)


Judy Kahn Friedlander

Emanuel Synagogue is set to participate in an important sustainability

initiative that will also provide opportunities for congregants to meet

members of neighbouring faith and community groups.

As part of the ‘B and B Highway’,

Emanuel will soon be hosting a ‘B

and B’ – a ‘Bed and Breakfast for

Birds, Bees and Biodiversity’ as part

of a Sydney-wide innovative airborne

highway that aims to counter the

alarming decline in our pollinators.

The ‘B and B Highway’ was launched

recently by the not-for-profit group


FoodFaith, as part of a UTS/City

of Sydney initiative. It aims to

provide rest stops for birds, bees

and other insects across Sydney

in a bid to help food security and

biodiversity. The initiative will

bring other faith and community

groups together who also host ‘B

and Bs’ on an annual basis to share

sustainability knowledge and tips.

Founder of FoodFaith, Judy

Friedlander, is also a post-graduate

researcher with The Institute

for Sustainable Futures at The

University of Technology Sydney

and is completing her PhD this

year. Judy says that we are at a

tipping point for biodiversity

and the loss of insects can have a

cascading impact on food security.

Insects are critical for pollination,

recycle materials in the soil and

provide the main source of food

for birds, bats, fish and many other

vertebrate species. One in three bites

of food rely on insect pollination.

As reported this month in The

Sydney Morning Herald, BBC and

other leading news media, a just

published scientific review provides

sobering research and statistics on

the loss of insects. There has been

a reported decline of more than

75pc of total insect biomass in 27

years. A UK study found that many

species of butterflies and moths

are declining at alarming rates.

Entomologists across Australia also

report lower than average numbers

of wild insects. Bee collapse is

a huge international concern.

While bee colony collapse has

not happened in Australia, many

experts say our bees face threats.

The academic study found a linear

decline of 2.5% of current (2019)

biomass, which is estimated to

lead to the total disappearance

of insects within 40 years.

The main causes of insect species

decline are habitat loss, pesticides and

fertilisers, biological factors including

introduced species, and climate

change. While it is also important to

create more varied habitat in rural

areas, our cities can help the loss of

biodiversity and it is also predicted

that we will increasingly use our

urban areas for food and farming.

The B & Bs are located at community

centres, places of worship from a

range of different faiths throughout

Sydney and at community housing

supported by Community Greening.

With eight centres already funded by

the B and B Highway, each B & B

features a special variety of pollinating

plants selected by horticulturists

as well as an insect hotel or native

stingless beehive. Sydney’s eastern

suburbs will form an important

foundational hub and there are other

‘pollen booths’ in Lane Cove and Mt

Druitt with more being planned.

The initiative is inspired by

other pollinator highways in

Belfast, Oslo and Vancouver.

Judy Friedlander says that creating

pollinating gardens with native plants

that flower the whole year round is a

‘win win for pollinators and people’.

‘I was fortunate enough to be

surrounded by bees, butterflies and

birds as a child – as many of us

were – and we should be working

to ensure that our children have

these same nurturing foundational

experiences of nature,’ she says.

‘Importantly, there is a very serious

side to this and this recent scientific

report provides a wake-up call for us.

‘It is not alarmist to say we are at

a crucial time and if we don’t do

something to help our pollinators we

are in serious trouble. Fortunately, we

can do something to help insects –

the little things that run the world.’

If you would like to support

this initiative or find out

more information, contact

Want to plant some pollinating plants

in your garden? Some suggestions:

- Native flowers such as Cutleaf

daisy Brachysomes

- Lavender is high in nectar

and flowers all-year round

- Native bees also love herbs such

as basil, thyme, sage, rosemary,

lemon balm and mint

- Aussie favourites: Flowering

gum, tea tree, acacia,

bottlebrush, grevillea




Scenes of life around our Synagogue

Clockwise from top left:

• Thomas Mayor in conversation with Rabbi Kamins

• Emanuel's past presidents gather

• Some of our Bnei Mitzvah students

• Our Kef Kids teachers

• Rabbi Krebs in conversation with Rabbi Kamins

• The World Wide Wrap



137 amazing and enthusiastic chanichim (participants) took part in

this summer Netzer Sydney’s summer camps season. This was one of

Netzer’s biggest and most exciting summer seasons in memory!

I think the best way to try and

explain Netzer camp is to share

some stories from camp so

I’m going to share some of my

personal highlights from camp.

I would never forget that moment

I was little 8 year old girl, clinging

onto my parents for dear life as

we arrived at shul on a beautiful

summer morning. I remember

looking around at all of the giant

people walking around in matching

green tops and thinking “get me out

of here!”. I was so nervous and all

I could do was stare at the people

walking around me, clinging onto

my pillow. Then my parents told me

“get on the bus and we’ll see you in

a few days”, it happened SO FAST

and in a minute I was on my way to

my first Netzer camp with a bunch

of children I did not know. The

moment we arrived at the campsite,

suddenly everything changed. I

suddenly stopped being nervous

and started making friends with the

people in my group! I was pushed to

my limits and provided with so many

opportunities to make friends and

challenge myself! It was the start of

something truly amazing. I have now

been on 22 camps and counting...

Now, as a 20 year old madricha

(leader) I am so thankful for my

parents for forcing me to get on

that bus. Everything I know about

myself now, I owe to the wonderful

world of Netzer. Every single camp

you learn more and more about

Judaism, our community andyourself.

All my happiest childhood

memories have been made at Netzer

peulot (programs), meal times on

camps, talent shows on camps and

of course- the wonderful Shabbat

services I got to lead on camps ….

One of the things that are highly

important for us on our camps

is to have our chanichim engage

with the synagogue’s leadership:

We are thankful for the continued

support of our local community,

Synagogues and Jewish organizations.

Over the course of

Summer and Junior

camps we were joined by

Rabbi Rafi Kaiserbluth

and Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

from Emanuel Synagogue. They

ran incredible educational activities

for our chanichim and we thank

them as continued supports and

educational role models for our

movement. We look forward to

continuing our relationship with the

Synagogues through joint activities

and events throughout the year, in

order to continue providing amazing

Jewish education and experiences for

young people in our community.

This year we started a new tradition

that included a few parents coming

up on camp to help us make Shabbat

dinner -we were also joined by

Kim Skurnik, Louise Thurgood

Phillips, Inbal Luft, Nicki Stiassny,

Symone Miller, and Naomi Levi -

mothers of Netzer chanichim who

came to camp to cook the Erev

Shabbat dinner for 140 people (!)

I am happy to report that Netzer

Sydney, and Netzer Australia,

continue to move from strength

to strength. We are incredibly

thankful for the ongoing support

of our wider Jewish community,

and look forward to deepening

these relationships, providing

ongoing Jewish experiences, and

contributing to our community.


Caroline Freeman,

Sydney Mazkira (chairperson) 2019

And everyone in the Netzer

Sydney family.




Here is an excerpt from a parent watching their son grow, develop and build his

lifelong connection to this community. During his 2-year journey in the Synagogue’s

B’nei Mitzvah program, he has truly been shaped by his Bar Mitzvah process.

My son had his Bar Mitzvah earlier

this year at Emanuel Synagogue

after attending the Bar Mitzvah

program there. He doesn’t go to a

Jewish School, his father isn’t Jewish,

we never used to go to Synagogue,

and although I have a strong Jewish

identity, I would definitively put us

in the ‘culturally’ Jewish category.

To put it another way, he had a lot

of learning to do when he went to

his first class in Year 5. What I was

not expecting, was for my son to find

what he (and by extension we) found,

when he commenced this journey

to find his own Jewish identity.

The Bar Mitzvah program at

Emanuel has offered my son so

much. It’s not perfect, but nothing

is. What it is though, is warm and

inclusive. Daniel Samowitz (or Samo

as he is known) has been both cool

and wise – a balance one can never

expect to achieve as a parent. He

has shown the boys how to be real

men, by being both kind and strong

and living the Jewish values, all with

a sense of humour. The rabbis are

always available, and know each

child for whom they really are. There

is no judgement and no criticism

about how one practises Judaism

at home, or the type of choices one

makes. My son found the synagogue

a place he could be himself, when

he didn’t even know he was looking

for one. And because of the Bar

Mitzvah class, the way he has been

taught to enjoy the community, and

his experience of what it is like to

be part of something bigger than

himself, he has found a way of being

Jewish that at age 13 he can love.

Last Saturday my dad and my son

went to the synagogue together,

because they both like being there

and sharing something of which

they are both a part of. When

my son started his Bar Mitzvah

education, I thought that the Bar

Mitzvah was the big goal, but I

now realise that it was just a part

of it. The lessons themselves were

actually just as significant in laying

the ground work for a Jewish life, in

whatever exciting form it may take.

With Kef Kids and the B’nei

Mitzvah program both occurring

on a Thursday afternoon from

4:00-5:30pm, the Synagogue

campus has been transformed

by youthful life and energy -

all of us experiencing the joy

of being Jewish together.

If you want more information on

our youth educational programs,

please contact Daniel Samowitz




On Sunday March 3rd, 2019 Emanuel Synagogue presented a special event as part of it’s

In Conversation series, featuring Thomas Mayor, delegate to the Uluru Statement process.

Thomas has been travelling

throughout Australia with the

Uluru Statement advocating for

its call for the ‘establishment of

First Nations Voice enshrined in

the Constitution’. He shared his

story and explained in detail the

significance of the Statement.

Thomas Mayor is a Zenadth Kes

(Torres Strait Islander) man born

and living on Larrakia country

(Darwin). Thomas was a delegate at

the Convention and is now touring

the country as the current custodian

of the Uluru Statement, talking

about its significance to regional

and metropolitan communities.

Mr Mayor says the document has

not received enough attention or

leadership in Parliament, but it was

written to the Australian people,

so he's taking it out to them.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart

was signed in May 2017 by a historic

gathering of around 300 Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander leaders. The

statement is a proposal of reform that

would establish a constitutionally

enshrined First Nations representative

body to advise parliament on policy

affecting Indigenous peoples and

commit Australia to a process

of truth-telling of its colonial

history through the establishment

of a Makarrata commission.

You can read the whole statement


Here is an extract, “Our Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander tribes were

the first sovereign Nations of the

Australian continent and its adjacent

islands, and possessed it under our

own laws and customs. This our

ancestors did, according to the

reckoning of our culture, from the

Creation, according to the common

law from ‘time immemorial’, and

according to science more than

60,000 years ago. This sovereignty

is a spiritual notion: the

ancestral tie between the

land, or ‘mother nature’,

and the Aboriginal and

Torres Strait Islander

peoples who were born

therefrom, remain

attached thereto, and must

one day return thither

to be united with our

ancestors. This link is the

basis of the ownership

of the soil, or better,

of sovereignty. It has never been

ceded or extinguished, and coexists

with the sovereignty of the

Crown. How could it be otherwise?

That peoples possessed a land for



sixty millennia and this sacred link

disappears from world history in

merely the last two hundred years?”

The statement ends with the words,

“In 1967 we were counted, in 2017

we seek to be heard. We leave base

camp and start our trek across

this vast country. We invite you to

walk with us in a movement of the

Australian people for a better future.”

Rabbi Kamins committed to

spreading the Uluru Statement

from the Heart and said that, given

our history, we have a special duty

to spread the truth about what

happened to Aboriginal people,

and explain to others the aim of

the statement; to establish a Voice

for First Nations, a representative

body to sit alongside Parliament

to have a say in laws that impact

their lives before they are passed

(not as a third chamber with veto

power). There is also a call for a

Makarrata Commission (a Truth

and Reconciliation commission)

to let the Truth be told.

As this movement builds, please

educate yourself and others about

what these 250 Aboriginal elders

and leaders called for in the Uluru

Statement from the Heart. When this

finally comes to a referendum we owe

it to the First Australians to finally

do right by them and give them

their Voice, a Treaty and a chance

for the whole Truth to be known.

We encourage people to register

their support for the Statement


For more see:

Rabbi Kamins, Cantor Mordecai and Rabbi Ninio with the Uluru Statement from the Heart

As indicated, profits after costs from the event have been donated to

the remote community, Jilkminggan to build a Dialysis clinic. The

clinic is going to be working alongside Purple house who will nurse the

clinic and the NT Health Dept who have donated machines.

Currently patients have to travel 3 hrs, 3x per week to receive dialysis in Katherine,

putting a huge strain on patients and families, many have no means of transportation

and there isn’t a bus to take them. This money will go directly towards a vehicle that will

provide some instant relief while the community continues raising for the structure.


Miss Chantal Abraham

Mr Greg Bachmayer &

Miss Margherita Roser

Ms Leah Bangma

Ms Lauren & Mr Eli Barel

Ruby Belnick

Nina Ben-Menashe

Ms Vikki Biggs

Mrs Elaine Bogan

Mr Alastair Bor &

Ms Kerry Shaz

Ms Vanessa Brajtman

& Mr James Wilson

Vivienne Bromberger

Max Caminer

Isabel Sophie

Jackie Charny

Mrs Janice Christie


Ms Michelle Cohen &

Mr Cordell Scaife

Nathan Edourd Cohen

Miss Nell Laura Cohen

Mr Roy & Jennifer Cohen

Isaac John Crawford

Dr Anthony M Cutler &

Mrs Rhonda R Cutler

Joshua Postle Doust

Ms Kaylene Emery

Mr Clifford Fram &

Mrs Laura Alfred

Matthew Noah Friedman

Mr Brandon &

Mrs Jodie Gien


To welcome the stranger

Mr Barry & Mrs

Tahnee-Lee Goldman

Michael Hamilton

Miss Natasha han-

Tian Sommer

Sarah Irving

Mr Peter & Mrs

Erica Keeda

Dr Joshua Keller &

Dr Joy Dai-Keller

Dr Peter Klug

Thomas Kurz

Miss Micayla Lucy


Luca Lavigne

Ms Margaret Lederman

Mrs Julia Lehmann &

Mrs Leslie Ngatai

Ms Michal Levy

Mr Ofer Levy &

Ms Joy Dong-E

Dr Simon Lewi

Mr Paul Lowenstein

& Ms Robyn Katz

Mrs Liza & Mr

Andrew Lyons

Mrs Penne Marks

Daniel Martin

Mr Fraser & Mrs

Michelle McEwing

Mr Geoff & Mrs

Melissa McGrath

Mr Alan & Miss

Lisa Salkinder

Cameron Morris-Mikardo

Miss Amy Kiara Nahum

Mr Alon & Mrs Eva Novy

Mr Damien & Mrs

Caren Ottaviano

Remington Owen

Nicholas Palmer

Miss Rebecca Anne Penny

Mr Dean Kremer and

Ms Allie Powell

Mr Guy Rob & Ms

Elizabeth Radford

Dr Frances Rapport

Mr Paul Reti

Nikki Riesel

Jonathan Mark Rispler

Mr Jeffrey &

Mrs Jodi Roth

Jeremy Schneider

Raphael Sebban

Gabriella Shaoni

Nathan Shapiro

Mr Michael Shor &

Miss Lucka Beram

Mr Kevin & Mrs

Madeleine Simon

Mr Ryan Wilkan & Miss

Stephanie Snedden

Ms Francesca Stanton

Nissim Toledano

Ms Dee Dee White

Mr Brendan & Mrs

Meital Winter

Joshua Zwi




Greater is tzedakah than all the sacrifices


Mr Alexander Ferson

$10,000 OR MORE

Susan & Isaac Wakil


Mr Geoffrey &

Mrs Marty Cowen

Mr Robert Whyte

$5,000 OR MORE

Mr James & Mrs

Shauna Corne

$1,000 OR MORE

Mrs Rosemary Block

Mr Stanislav & Mrs

Irina Farbman

Dr Michael &

Mrs Cyndi Freiman

Mr Adrian Gold

Mrs Eugina Langley

Mr Peter Ryner Household

Dr Steven Spielman &

Ms Natasha Figon

Mr David Garvin &

Ms Suzanne Tavill

$500 OR MORE

Mr Jeff Anderson

Dr Karen Arnold &

Dr Drew Heffernan

Mr Thomas Biller & Dr

Anita Nitchingham

Dr David Block A.C.

& Mrs Naomi Block

Ms Jessica Block

& Mr Tim Fox

Mr Anthony & Mrs

Kate Boskovitz

Dr Michael Levy & Mrs

Renee Ferster Levy

Mr Joel & Mrs

Megan Freedman

Mr David & Mrs

Karen Gordon

Mr Maxwell Kahn OAM

Ms Yittah Lawrence

Mr Robert & Mrs

Vivian Lewin

Mr Sergio and Mrs

Olivia Polonsky

Dr Natalie Raquel Shavit

Mrs Salome Simon

Ms Elaine Solomon

Mr John Szabo &

Ms Jenifer Engel

UP TO $499

Mr Reuben Aaron OBE

& Mrs Cornelia Aaron

Mrs Beverley

Adcock OAM

Mr Peter Adler

Mr Michael & Mrs

Melanie America

Ms Mary Levy

Mrs Bernice Bachmayer

Mr Stephen & Mrs

Wendy Baer

Mr Victor Baskir

Mr David & Mrs

Sandra Bassin

Ms Katarina Baykitch

Mr John & Mrs

Yvonne Bear

Mr Danielle Bence Ellison

Mrs Ruth Bender

Mr Peter Benjamin

Ms Susan Benjamin

Dr Jane Berger

Dr David & Mrs

Sandra Berman

Mrs Anne Elizabeth Biner

Mr Lester & Mrs

Frankie Blou

Mr Sydney & Mrs

Judith Bogan

Mrs Tessa Boucher

Mr Leonard Brandon

Mrs Alicia Brandt-Sarif

Mrs Wendy & Dr

David Brender

Mrs Julianna Brender

Mr Rodney Brender and

Ms Bettina Kaldor

Mrs Joni Brenner

Mr. John Brieger & Mrs

Susi Brieger OAM

Mrs Dahlia Brigham

Mr Ian Brodie

Mr Leon & Mrs Emma


Mr Robert & Mrs

Julie Brown

Mrs Helene Cadry

Ms Lorraine Camden

Mrs Jennifer Carleton

Mr Adam Carpenter

& Ms Tal Schlosser

Mr David Castle

Mrs Lynette Chaikin

Mr Darren & Mrs

Hannah Challis

Mr Erwin Charmatz

Mrs Glenda Cohen

Mrs Wendy Cohen

Mr Nathan Compton

Ms Doris Cope Krygier

Mr Kevin & Mrs

Dina Coppel

Mrs Valerie Coppel

Mr James & Mrs

Shauna Corne

Eugenie Coronel

Ms Iska Coutts

Mrs Nereida Cross

Mrs Jacqueline Dale

Mrs Jessie Daniel

Mr Albert Danon & Mrs

Dinah Danon OAM

Mr Robert Davidson

Mr Roger Davis

Mrs Sally Davis

Ms Dahlia Dior

Mrs Daphne Doctor

Mr David & Mrs

Suzette Doctor

Dr Richard & Mrs

Ellen Dunn

Dr Ron Ehrlich

Dr Stewart & Mrs

Susan Einfeld

Dr David Eisinger


Ms Naomi Elias

Ms Julie Ellitt

Mr David Emanuel

Mrs Coryl Engel

Mr John Szabo &

Ms Jenifer Engel

Mr Jonathan Leslie

& Ms Susan Engel

Mrs Marlene Epstein

Mr David Faigen

Mr George & Mrs

Vera Faludi

Mr Vladimir & Mrs

Irina Feldman

Mr Lloyd Gayst & Mrs

Tamara Fettmann

Mrs Zinaida Fettmann

Mr Danny & Mrs

Rachael Fischer



Ms Judy Fischer

Mrs Giza Fletcher

Mr David & Mrs

Vinita Fonteyn

Ms Lorraine Fox

Mr Peter Frankl & Mrs

Michelle Stein-Evers

Mrs Roberta Freedman

Mrs Phyllis Freeman

Ms Anna Fried

Mr David & Mrs

Christine Frish

Mr John & Mrs Judy Gal

Mr Heinz & Mrs

Yvonne Gerstl

Dr Robert & Mrs

Eva Gertler

Mrs Liza & Mr

Richard Glass

Mr David & Mrs

Ruth Glasser

Mr John & Mrs

Judith Gleiber

Mr Charles Golan

Mr Brian & Mrs

Susie Gold

Mr John Gold

Mr Dan Goldberg & Ms

Jody Tocatly Goldberg

Prof Ivan & Mrs

Vera Goldberg

Mrs Milly Goldman

Mr John & Mrs

Tova Goldstein

Mr John & Mrs

Tova Goldstein

Dr Lorna Graham

Mr Jeffrey & Mrs

Diane Grant

Mr Richard David

Grant Household

Mrs Elizabeth Green

Mr Robert Griew &

Dr Bernie Towler

Ms Tracey Griff

Dr Reg & Mrs

Kathie Grinberg

Mr Roger Grinden

Mrs Etty Hahn

Dr Christine Harris

Dr Newman Harris

Mr David & Mrs

Sharon Harris

Mr Les Hart

Mr Neville & Mrs

Debbie Hausman

Dr Karen Arnold &

Dr Drew Heffernan

Ms Lesley-Ann Hellig

Mr Michael & Mrs

Anthea Hemphill

Mrs Jennifer Hershon

Mr Andrew & Mrs

Dee Hilton

Michelle Pauline Hilton

Mr David & Mrs

Monique Hirst

Mr Jonathan &

Mrs Karen Hirst

Mr Richard Hoenig

& Ms Sharon Stern

Ms Barbara Holmes

Mrs Valerie Hosek

Mrs Rosalind & Mr

Wayne Ihaka

Mr Benjamin Isaacs

Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM

Mr Gordon Jackson

Mrs Claudette Jacobs

Mr Tony Jacoby &

Ms Anita Ullman

Mrs Vera Jacoby

Dr Jack Jellins & Mrs

Maureen Jellins

Mr Peter & Mrs

Susan Kadar

Mr Anthony Kahn & Mrs

Judith Kahn Friedlander

Professor Steven & Mrs

Andrea Kalowski

Mr Garry Kam

Dr Errol & Mrs

Zina Kaplan

Barbara Karet

Mr Barry & Mrs

Pamela Karp

Assoc Prof Robert

Kummerfeld &

Prof Judy Kay

Dr Peter & Mrs

Elizabeth Kitchener

Mr Jack & Mrs

Maxine Klarnet

Mr Jack & Mrs

Maxine Klarnet

Mrs Toni & Mr

Mark Kleiner

Mr Aron Kleinlehrer

Dr Stephen & Dr

Deborah Koder

Mrs Veronica Kolman

Ms Renee Koonin

Ms Yvonne Korn

Mr Jim Kornmehl &

Mrs Jeany Simons

Mrs Dorit Krawitz

Mr Daniel & Mrs

Nicole Krieger

Mr Andrew & Mrs

Dianne Krulis

Emeritus Prof. Konrad

Kwiet & Mrs Jane Kwiet

Mrs Judith Lander

Ms Magdalena Langer

Pamela Ann Lansky


Mr Jason & Mrs

Mia Lavigne

Mr Anthony & Mrs

Louise Leibowitz

Mr Anthony & Mrs

Louise Leibowitz

Mrs Barbara Leser

Mr Lewis Levi

Mr Peter

Mintz & Ms

Belinda Levy

Mrs Beth Levy

Mr Gregg &

Mrs Sue Levy

Mr Philip & Mrs

Lorraine Levy

Ms Miriam Lewin

Mrs Joan Lewis

Mrs Myrna Lewis

Dr David & Mrs

Patricia Lieberman

Mr Stanford & Mrs

Abirah Lifschitz

Mrs Rachel Light

Mrs Erika Lindemann

Mr Maurice Linker

Mr Martin Lipschitz

Mr Peter & Mrs

Anna Loewy

Mrs Sylvia Luikens

Mr Michael Lyons

Dr Isaac & Mrs

Denise Mallach

Dr Linda Mann

Mrs Janka Mansberg

Mrs Debbie Manser

Mr Danny & Mrs

Anna Marcus

Dr Bernard Maybloom

Dr Mary-Louise McLaws

Mrs Denise McOnie

Ms Judy Menczel

Dr Graeme Mendelsohn

Mr Henry Mendelson AM

& Mrs Naomi Mendelson

Mr Henry Mendelson AM

& Mrs Naomi Mendelson

Mr Brendon Meyers

Mrs Rae Morris

Mrs Anita Moss

Mr Frank Muller




Mrs Helen Mushin

Ms Vivienne Nabarro

Mrs Victoria Nadel

Amira Nathan

Mr David & Mrs

Sarah Nathan

Mr Michael & Mrs

Ruth Nathanson

Ms Lana Neumann

Thomas and Vivien


Thomas and Vivien


Dr Peter & Mrs

Ziporah Neustadt

Ms Tara Newhouse

Mr Terry & Mrs

Anne Newman

Dr Joel Nothman

Mr Alon & Mrs Eva Novy

Mr Laurence Osen

& Mrs Julia Osen

Ms Ruth Osen

Mr. Warren Pantzer

Mrs Elizabeth Parker

Mr Shimon Parker

Mr Barry & Dr

Yvonne Perczuk

Mrs Helen Perko

Mr Peter & Mrs

Yvonne Perl

Mr Peter & Mrs

Yvonne Perl

Dr Ralph & Mrs

Margaret Hilmer

Mr David & Mrs

Susie Phillips

Mr Peter & Mrs

Carol Reismann

Mr Peter & Mrs

Carol Reismann

Mr Roger & Mrs

Jeannine Revi

Mr Donald &

Mrs Silvia Robertson

Mrs Patricia Roby


Myriam & Jack Romano

Dr Ellis and Mrs

Lyn Rosen

Dr Ellis and Mrs

Lyn Rosen

Dr Robert & Mrs

Lisa Rosen

Mrs Deanne Rosenthal

Mr George & Mrs

Shirley Rotenstein

Dr Neville & Mrs

Ingrid Sammel

Mrs Aliza Sassoon

Dr Regina Sassoon

Ms Betty


Ms Anita Schwartz

Mr Roger & Dr

Eleanor Sebel

Mr John Roth & Ms

Jillian Segal AO AM

Mr John & Mrs Joan Segal

Mr Kevin & Mrs

Yadida Sekel

Miss Jennifer Selinger

Mr Raphael & Mrs

Roslyn Shammay

Mr Kenneth & Mrs

Cathy Shapiro

Ms Ronit Sharon

Mr John Sharpe

Mrs Vivienne Sharpe

Ms Merril Shead

Mrs Andrea & Mr

Maon Sher

Mr Brian Sherman AM

& Dr Gene Sherman

Mr Yakov & Mrs

Ludmila Shneidman

Mr Yakov & Mrs

Ludmila Shneidman

Professor Gary Sholler

Mrs Regina Shusterman

Ms Donna Jacobs Sife

Mrs Agnes Silberstein

Mrs Marianne Silvers

Mrs Margaret Simmonds

Mrs Barbara &

Mr Charles Simon

Mrs Ruth Simons

Ms Deborah Singerman

Mrs Joy Sirmai

Ms Lilly Skurnik

Mrs Dora & Mr

Jacob Slomovits

Ms Leslie Solar

Mrs Jenny Solomon

Mrs Agnes Spencer

Mrs Neva & Mr

Leo Sperling

Dr Ron & Dr

Judy Spielman

Mr Gary Stead

Dr Stephen & Mrs

Anne Steigrad

Dr Jeffrey Steinweg OAM

& Dr Sandra Steinweg AM

Dr Jeffrey Steinweg OAM

& Dr Sandra Steinweg AM

Mrs Janet & Mr

Tim Storrier

Ms Jacqueline Stricker-

Phelps OAM & Professor

Kerryn Phelps AM

Dr Alfred Stricker

Mr Michael Taksa

Mr Jacob & Mrs

Rosalind Tarszisz

Mr Alan & Mrs Eve Taylor

Mrs Eve Joan Taylor

Mr Alan & Mrs Eve Taylor

Mrs Miriam Tier

Ms Marianne Vaidya

Mrs Ericka Van Aalst

Ms Jenny Van Proctor

Mr William & Dr

Miriam Van Rooijen

Mrs Pauline Vellins

Mr Stephen & Mrs

Edna Viner

Mr Maurice Watson

Mr Leon &

Mrs Tracey-Ann Waxman

Mr Andrew Weber

Mrs Trudy Weil

Mr Gerald & Mrs

Audrey Weinberg

Mrs Thea & Mr John Weiss

Mrs Viola Wertheim

Mr Scott Whitmont

& Mr Christopher


Ms Toni Whitmont

Ms Teresa Wiliono

Mr Harold & Mrs

Lana Woolf

Ms Eve Wynhausen

Mrs Zara Yellin

Mr Maurice & Mrs

Betty Zamel

Mrs Patricia Zinn

Mrs Anita Zweig

and numerous other

anonymous donors


There is much to do at Emanuel Synaogogue this Pesach! (See for more details)

How to Pesach Workshop

14th April 10:00am-1:00pm

Join Rabbi Ninio and Cantor Mordecai and learn the practicalities of preparing your home and yourself for

Pesach then discuss how to run a fun, engaging seder

Session 1 - 10am to 11:00am - In the first session, learn the practicalities

of preparing your home and yourself for Pesach.


Session 2 - 11:15am-12:30pm This session will teach you how to run a fun, engaging seder.

2nd night Communal Seder Saturday 20 April, 6:15pm service

followed by a wonderful communal seder. Bookings essential

2nd night Family Seder

Bookings essential

Saturday 20 April, 5:30pm

Netzer Chocolate Seder

$10 per person or if over 3 people, $5 per person.

Don't forget to sign up for this exciting event!

Women's Seder

Sunday 21 April from 6:00pm

Tuesday 23 April from 6:30pm

There are limited spaces available for our Women's Seder. Women have a very special role in the

Pesach story. To learn more, join us as we celebrate them using our unique haggadah.

ANZAC Service

Thursday 25 April 6:15pm

Join us for a special communal ANZAC Commemoration

Awakening to Freedom

26th April, 6:15pm

Renewal Friday Night - Pesach Service & Dinner

Join us for an evening of song and learning as we explore the meaning of freedom.

with Cantor George Mordecai and Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff plus special guests Kim Cunio and Samurai Cunio.

A light dinner will be served. Cost: $20


Lorenzo Joseph

Dominic Avenoso

Matilda Kato Boskovitz

Cooper Clenner

Baby Boy Greenblo

Allie B Armstrong

Olivia Freya Baer

Jesse Harry Carpenter

Daniel James Christolis

Jacob Joseph Farbman

Jacob Jonathan


Mr Alexander Smith

& Ms Stacey Davis

Julia Glaser &

Kimon Tellidis

Hetty Angel

Egon Auerbach

Annalise Braakensiek

Gabriel Brown

Susanna Denes

Peter Rudolf Fleischer

Myrna Freed

Rosalie Goldstuck

Amalia Hammer

Remy Hope

Luka Keyte Katsmartin

Gia Allegra Kogan

Ashira Levin-Yabsley


Mazal Tov to

Mr Philip Levy

Zakiah Isabel


Xavier Gerard

Alfred Osen

Emmanuelle Savdie


Mazal Tov to

Sam Eli Fox

Samuel Garvin

Aidan Jack Gruenpeter

Ruby Reggae Grynberg

Hugo David Isert

Joe Thomas Katz

Ella Kirschner

Miss Lucy Emma Klein

Zac Raphael Krieger

Leo Saul Latter

Coco Sophia Lavigne

Zachary Atticus

Leibowitz Villa

Jarrah Schlesinger


To rejoice with the happy couple

Mr Gidon Butow &

Miss Gina Kezelman

Mrs Eleanor Moses &

Mr Dean Leibowitz

Henriette Jaszsagi

Alan Kahn

Aubrey Krawitz

Andre Menash

Ronald Stanley Munz

Golda Amalia Prince

Mary Saul

Harry James Smith

Mr Marcus Schweizer &

Mr Romy Helen Ehrlich

Mr Harvey Tuch &

Ms Gabrielle Gareau


To comfort the bereaved

Susan Susskind

Mildred Teitler

Edith Weiner

George Wiederman

Ethan Max Sebestyen


Elijah Michael Stern

Dylan Henry Josef


Teo Wolfe Yalda Jacobson

Lior Schlesinger

Milo Elias Sherman

Mischa Odile Spielman

Jake Jensen Timm

Oscar Zane Timm

Natalie Anne Weber

Mr Simeon Weisz & Ms

Adriana Granados-Fallas



by Anne Wolfson



Morning Minyan

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

All service times are subject to change. Please check for any amendments to our regular services.


Erev Shabbat

• 6:15pm - Masorti Service (Neuweg)

• 6:15pm - Shabbat Live (New Sanctuary)

Shabbat Morning

• 9:00am - Masorti service (New Sanctuary)

• 10:00am - Progressive service (Heritage Sanctuary)

Pesach services and seders - see page 37


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




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

Office hours

Monday–Thursday: 9am–5pm

Friday: 9am–2pm


Edited by Robert Klein


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

If you are interested in volunteering, email

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