TELL - December 2019 - February 2020

TELL - the magazine of Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney The Identity issue

TELL - the magazine of Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney
The Identity issue


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A light unto

the nations

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins


Kislev/Tevet 5780

December 2019-February 2020

Sharing the


Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

Blessed is

the flame

Rev Sam Zwarenstein


our identity

Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

Shabbat Live

by the Sea

20th December from 6:15pm

Bondi Park

Join us for the final Shabbat Live

of the year as we bring in

Shabbat under the stars.


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 both

in 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 10:00am 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 Masorti 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.

Email: orna@emanuel.org.au

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

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Cantor George Mordecai


Writing this article I was drawn

to find a word that would best

describe 2019. ‘Existential’

(adjective – eg-zi-sten-shuhl) was

chosen as the word, and how

profound it is for what happened

Suzanna Helia

around the globe and also for

our Shul. (Dictionary.com)

It seems that the word existential

has framed the conversation of the

stories that defined 2019 across

the globe. This includes issues

such as the Hong Kong protests,

Brexit and Notre Dame fire.

In relation to Hong Kong:

“What began as protests against

an extradition bill has morphed

into existential demonstrations

about the future of the territory.”

(Liam Cochrane and Erin

Handley, Australian Broadcasting

Corporation, September 5)

Michel Barnier, the European

Commission’s Chief Negotiator

for the United Kingdom Exiting

the European Union, described the

British government’s challenge to

negotiate Brexit as an existential

crisis. He isn’t suggesting the UK

is bogged down by details but that

it’s being forced to reckon with

more fundamental questions about

how it envisions itself as a country

and whether its institutions are

serving that end. (Michel Barnier,

quoted in the Guardian, May 29)

Witnessing the fire that nearly

claimed Paris’s famous Notre Dame

cathedral, Stuart Richardson uses

existential in a way that speaks

to how important buildings,

like Notre Dame, give profound

meaning to our lives—a monument

to something larger than our

short time here on Earth. “Like

many who watched, I felt the

existential pang of history being

eviscerated before my eyes”. (Stuart

Richardson, USA Today, April 16)

“Existential also inspires us to ask

big questions about who we are

and what our purpose is in the

face of our various challenges—

and it reminds us that we can

make choices about our lives in

how we answer those questions.”






Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio



Donna Jacobs-Sife




Lyndall Katz




Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins



Reverend Sam Zwarenstein



Cantor George Mordecai



Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

So was the year of 2019 for

Emanuel Synagogue existential?

In building our strategic plan, we

discovered that across Australia and

the USA, Synagogues face a major

challenge to be relevant to their

communities. Religious services

are irrelevant to the majority of

young people; Jews tend to be

less religious than the public as a

whole; 62% of people engage not

because of faith*, but to be a part

of the community (*Source: Pew

Research Centre 2013); buildings

are poorly utilised; and financial

models are based on membership

fees that are unsustainable.

Our research also identified

principles that guide how to build

a thriving Synagogue, which

include offering a “home for

Jews to be Jewish—a home for

cultural and educational events

and an educational arm that

drives engagement and income.

It is with pride that we feel we are

on the path to a thriving community

and a sustainable synagogue.

(Emanuel Synagogue Strategic Plan)

Over 2019 we have supported

a group of Inner West Jewish

families through close association

with Emanuel Synagogue to

become an affiliate community

of our synagogue, offering

monthly classes for the Bar and

Bat Mitzvah–aged children

and services for the families.

Emanuel Synagogue truly became a

cultural centre. holding state-of-theart

events for the wider community,

including a concert with the

Sacred Music Festival, monthly In

Conversations with a wide variety

of prominent individuals, Friends

of Kaveret concert, art exhibitions,

monthly Israeli film nights with

+61J, Crossroads with the Sydney

Art Quartet, Musica Viva and

many more engaging experiences.

I am sure that on a personal level

we have all had existential moments

throughout this year or at some

stage in our lives. The Synagogue

also experienced these moments

and has transformed itself into

becoming an existential hub for

our community to identify with

their Jewish heritage, cultural

affiliation and community – a

true spiritual and cultural centre

with a thriving supportive

community for our children and

grandchildren to be a part of.

None of the successes that we

have enjoyed this year would have

been possible without the efforts

of our wonderful clergy, board,

hardworking staff and the support

of our fabulous members, especially

the many who have volunteered

to help us throughout the year.

Wishing you all a prosperous,

healthy and fulfilling 2020.






Larraine Larri






Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff
























Rabbi Jeffrey B. Kamins OAM

At a recent Bat Mitzvah of one of our congregants, her cousin, a soldier

in the Israel Defence Forces, was called on to read the traditional Shabbat

morning prayer for the safety of those who serve in the IDF.

Before he did so, he delivered

these stirring words from the


“Today you are taking upon yourself

the responsibilities of being a Jewish


"I’m going to share with you a few

words about that responsibility,

about your history and about our

family’s legacy.

"As you know, our grandfather,

Zeida, was a Holocaust survivor.

Eighteen years ago, I had just joined

the Israeli army, and he shared this

with me. 'He said that when he was

in Bergen Belsen, he and his fellow

inmates felt that they were lower

than dirt. And if someone would

have approached him right then

and there and told him that one

day the Jewish people would have

a country in Israel, and that Jewish

boys and girls would serve as soldiers

protecting our people, he would

have thought that person was crazy.'

You must understand that in the

concentration camps surviving the

day was often an unimaginable feat.

Never in their wildest dreams could

they have imagined what we have

here today.

"I would like to tell you that, you

standing here right now on your

Bat Mitzvah, is a victory of our

grandfather over those who tried to

destroy our people.

"The prophet Isaiah said that it is

our role to serve ‘as a light upon the

nations’. Perhaps this explains why

our people are always the first to be

targeted by those spreading darkness

and evil. It is our duty to always

remember the darkness that exists in

this world and to stand guard and to

oppose it.

"Spread your light. Never forget

who you are and where you come


"With those thoughts I will say a

prayer for the soldiers of the IDF,

who willingly put themselves in

harm’s way protecting our people

and for the boys and girls standing

outside our synagogue right now

watching over us protecting us from


As we celebrate Chanukah, the

festival of light, we remind ourselves

that darkness has always been

present in this universe—and that

our obligation as creatures of God,

as Jews, is to dispel that through the

light that we can bring. Thus, the

Torah begins with the message that

“In the beginning there was darkness

over the surface of the deep and

the spirit of God swept over that,

God saying, ‘Let there be light’.”

Light becomes a metaphor for

many things, for gaining knowledge

through learning and for bringing

good and blessing. Abraham, the

progenitor of our narrative, brings

good and blessing by going to the

land to which God guides him—

what we know as the land of Israel.

It is there that we are called upon to

be a model nation. It is from there,

wherever we as a people go, that we

are called to be, as Isaiah framed it,

“a light upon the nations”.

At this time of Chanukah, we

acknowledge the festival recalls the

ongoing human struggle between

light and dark, as reflected in the

one prayer we recite these days, Al


HaNissim (for the miracles). It

speaks of the struggle between

“the strong and the weak, the

many and the few, the corrupt and

the pure of heart, the guilty and

the innocent, the arrogant into

those who respond to teachings of

Torah”. Chanukah, which means

inauguration or dedication, reminds

us to remain dedicated to our faith

and commitment to manifest the

light, despite the obstacles we face in

life. A short time after the victory

of the Maccabees that we celebrate

at Chanukah, the very Temple they

had rededicated was destroyed by the

Romans, leading to the nearly 2,000-

year exile of most of our people from

our land. Our ancestors, through

prayer, reflection and learning of

our Torah tradition, never forgot

our homeland, and now we are

of those historic first generations

who celebrate our miraculous

regeneration in the land of Israel.

Israel, with the incredible ingenuity

of its people, has led the world

in crucial aspects of 21st century

life, including medical research,

information technology and water

reclamation. In these and many

other ways, it remains a light to the


We Jews who do not live in Israel

are also called on to embrace and

live the light. We should remember

that Chanukah, “dedication”, stems

from the same word as “education”

in Hebrew. Our education as Jews

stems from Torah tradition. The

more we understand our story, the

more grounded we become in living

our values. To this end, in the new

academic year, we will be expanding

our learning program for adults.

Although you may call me naïve,

I deeply believe that the more we

understand who we are, and live our

values, the more we will overcome the

forces of darkness, whether here or

in the Middle East. May

the light be with you, and

emanate from you.



at the Beach

Sunday 29th December

4:00pm – 7:00pm

Fun for all the family!

Bring a picnic dinner.

We’ll supply the sufganiyot!

Parsley Bay



Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

As we move into the summer

period, many of us will be lucky

enough to have a little time off,

away from the pressures of our

daily lives, an opportunity to relax,

breathe, de-stress and… post on

social media. Very soon we will

start to see our facebook pages,

instagram and snapchat inundated

with photos and posts of other

people’s perfect holidays and lives.

We will see a plethora of white,

sandy beaches, impossibly blue

oceans, snow-covered mountains

and cocktails with umbrellas. There

will be people smiling, looking like

they don’t have a care in the world,

and many of us will be viewing

these images whilst in the midst

of our own imperfect lives filled

with challenges and struggles. We

know that the photos are not the

reality of the lives of others; they

are snapshots in time, reflecting

nothing more than what the people

want us to believe that moment was

like. Even so, we still look at them

and feel envious; as if we have failed

in our own less than perfect lives.

I have spoken more than once of a

friend of mine who posted many

photos of her seemingly ‘perfect’

holiday. Afterwards, she confessed

it was the worst holiday she had

ever had, and that she was miserable

the entire time. Even with this

knowledge, I still fall into the trap

of feeling my own life is failing to

live up to an unrealistic expectation

of what it should be; that others

are doing this all so much better

than me. Then, this week, as I

was reading a commentary about

Abraham, I thought that maybe my

approach to this has been all wrong.

Instead of looking at the photos

and trying to convince myself that

the reality of people’s lives is not

what is reflected in the images they

post, I should celebrate the beauty

of their lives. And, in turn, when

I reflect on my own life, instead of

looking at the flaws and challenges,

I should try to see the blessings.

The commentary I read was

speaking about Abraham in his

twilight years. The Torah tells us

about his life and says: “The Eternal

blessed Abraham in every way.”

The rabbinic commentators were

concerned about this passage. “How

is it,” they ask, “that Abraham can

be described as being blessed in

every way?” He certainly suffered

his share of trials and challenges.

His life was no walk in the park.

Like all of us, Abraham’s journey in

this world was filled with darkness

and light, moments of suffering

and joy, pain and happiness. So,

what does this passage mean?

Nachmanides suggests Abraham

was blessed with riches, possessions,

honour and a long life, the four

things, according to him, we need

for happiness. But how many of

us know people who have those

things and are not happy? Rabbi

Kroloff offers an alternative

suggestion. He says that perhaps

it was not that Abraham had all

those things, but rather, that he

recognized the blessings in his

life. Material possessions, fame

and length of days were not where

he placed the emphasis or the

measure of his success. Instead,

it came with the knowledge and

understanding of the many ways

in his life that he was blessed.

Rabbi Kroloff says, “There is a big

difference between being blessed

and knowing that we are blessed.”

I recently listened to an older

episode of “Conversations” with


Richard Fidler. His guest was James

Doty, a neurosurgeon who was

faced with an incredible dilemma.

He was an extremely wealthy man

who had just stepped back from

his position as CEO of a hugely

successful company. He had stocks

and bonds, drove a Ferrari, lived in

a multi-million-dollar apartment in

the USA, owned a villa in Tuscany

and had just bought an island in

New Zealand. He was seriously

rich and things were looking great

until the market crashed. He

lost everything except one parcel

of shares, which was still worth

millions of dollars. But there was

one catch: he had promised to give

that money away. When he was

rich, he made pledges to various

charities to support them and

now, if he gave away that money,

he would be left with nothing. So

what should he do? Should he keep

the promises he made, or should

he keep it for himself and maintain

a semblance of the lifestyle he

once had? Most of the charities

to which the money was to be

donated would have understood.

So what did he do? James gave it

all away. He honoured his pledges

and gave the money to all the good

works, just as he had promised.

When asked about what he did

and why, he said: “I came from

nothing. I was incredibly poor and

even by giving all of this away, I

would not be poor again. I was very

aware that I am a surgeon. I earn

more than most people every day

for doing what I do, and I could

continue to work and earn a good

living. I was ridiculously rich for a

while and it was a fun ride, but I

had enough, and I wanted to help

others.” He then said it gave him

such a sense of satisfaction and joy

that he was able to use his wealth

to help others and that mattered so

much more than owning an island

in NZ or driving a fancy car. He

also said that he remembered when

he was growing up with nothing,

noticing that people who had the

least were often the most generous.

Those who had money, possessions

and wealth were often so concerned

about retaining that wealth and

prestige that they did not reach out

to and care for others. But those

who objectively had very little were

often the first to reach out a hand,

to give and to help. He said that

he never forgot that and wanted to

ensure that he remembered to help

others and to give what he could.

James is a man who recognized

that he was blessed. Instead of

bemoaning his losses, thinking

back over what he once had,

having regrets, he realized that

he still had so much in his life

for which to be grateful and that

some of the greatest moments

of joy and satisfaction came not

from owning huge amounts of

money but from giving it away,

helping others and reaching out to

those around him. Like Abraham,

he was able to see beyond the

hardship to find the light.

I remember listening to a man on

the radio who had lost his home

in the bushfires. He described

how the fire had raged down

his street and his house and one

across the street were

completely destroyed—

burnt to the ground,

while the other homes

remained untouched.

The interviewer asked:

“Does that leave you

wondering ‘Why us?’

Are you angry that your

house was destroyed and

the others were not?”

The man said: “Mate, I

am so grateful that none of us were

home at the time; we are so lucky.

This community has been amazing.

We have had so many people

calling, bringing us food, clothing,

offering to help. We will never

leave this community. The people

here are just wonderful; we are so

blessed.” This man and his family

had lost all of their possessions,

their home had been burnt to the

ground and yet he was able to

say that he is blessed. It is truly

remarkable that in the midst of the

devastation, he was able to find the

glimmers of light and hope which

surrounded him and to be grateful

for what he had, rather than

dwelling upon what he had lost.


But sometimes it is hard to see that

light and we need others to shine

it for us. I recently watched two

remarkable videos which showed

the power of gratitude and how


significant it can be for others to

help us see our blessings. The first

was an experiment where two

booths were set up on a busy city

street. On one was the sign: “receive

a compliment” and on the other:

“give a compliment.” People were

invited to step into the booths with

another person and first to give a

compliment, then to receive one.

There was a father and daughter, a

boss and his employee, two friends,

a new husband and wife, and they

each stepped off the street, into the

booths and expressed something

special about the other person. The

father started by saying: “I don’t

think I have ever told you this

before but I really admire…” and

then went on to tell his daughter

qualities in her that he admired.

The daughter said: “I know it

might not seem like it sometimes

by the way I behave but I really

respect you as a person and am

grateful that you are my dad and

in my life.” Each duo told each

other such special and beautiful

things and by the end, all of the

participants were in tears, so moved

by the compliments. Every one of

them left smiling and feeling good

about themselves. Sometimes the

blessings in our lives need to be

pointed out by others and when

they do, we can feel the connection

and the beauty of that relationship.

In a second experiment, Soul

Pancake, an online organization

that “explores the big questions in

life” interviewed participants to

establish their levels of happiness.

They then asked them to write

a letter to someone who had a

positive influence on their lives.

The participants did so and thought

they were done. But there was one

more step: they were then asked

to call the person about whom

they wrote, and read the letter

to them over the phone. Again,

there were beautiful scenes and

the tears flowed as they expressed

their feelings and gratitude to those

who had made a difference in their

lives. Afterwards, the researchers

again measured the participants’

levels of happiness, and they

found that everyone was happier

than they had been before, just

by expressing their gratitude to

another person. And interestingly,

those who were the least happy

at the beginning showed the

greatest increases in happiness.

So, expressing our gratitude, being

appreciative, can actually help

us to be happier. It can make a

difference in our lives, as well as

the lives of those who received

the compliments. It helps us to

recognize the blessings in our

lives and appreciate them.

Maybe this summer as we look

at all the photos and images, we

can use them as the impetus to

reflect upon our own lives and

consider the blessings we have.

May we all have a summer of

peace and blessings.


Shabbat In The Circle

One Saturday each month from 10:00am

Join us for this special Shabbat morning gathering.

We begin at 10:00am with the study of Hasidic and other mystical

texts then discuss how we can apply them in our daily lives.

This is followed by a collaborative musical gathering

based on the Shabbat morning service, incorporating

melodies, poems and dance to enhance our Shabbat.

Contact gmordecai@emanuel.org.au

Health Brunch

16th February from 10:30am

Join us each month as various medical experts

explore important health issues.

The Truths of Dementia

featuring Dr Michaela Sorenson

Dementia is the second leading cause of death among

Australians, yet many of us still don’t understand how

to respond to those living with it.

Holistic GP & mental health expert, Dr Michaela

Sorenson, is with us to talk about how to afford

dignity, respect, and social connection to loved ones

living with dementia.


a baby?

Jewnatal is a program for those expecting a

baby in their lives, whether through birth or

adoption, and whether the 1st or the 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.

Email Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth:


Contact the office on 9389 6444 for details.


In Conversation with

Ian Anderson AO & Robert Griew

Join us for the first In Conversation of 2020

What can our community do to

support reconciliation & recognition?

February 2nd from 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Professor Ian Anderson was one of the group of three first Aboriginal medical graduates

in Australia, had a career as a doctor and administrator in Aboriginal controlled health

services, then in the Commonwealth Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

He was subsequently the Foundation Chair, Indigenous Higher Education and Pro Vice-

Chancellor (Engagement) at the University of Melbourne. He is currently the Deputy

CEO of the National Indigenous Australians Agency in the Commonwealth Government,

making him the most senior Indigenous public servant in the federal government.

His family are Palawa Trowerna from the Pyemairrenner mob in Tasmania,

which includes Trawlwoolway and Plairmairrenner and related clans.

Robert Griew is a management consultant, working mostly on health, education and Indigenous

assignments. He has a long history working in social justice areas, with communities impacted

by disadvantage and in government as a leader in these policy areas. He was the first head of the

Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the Commonwealth government, the

Director-General of the NT Department of Health and Community Services, has consulted

extensively to Aboriginal community sector organisations and has worked extensively with

Professor Anderson across several of these domains. He is also national President of the

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations and a member of Emanuel Synagogue.



Jon Green

Civil Marriage Celebrant





0414 872 199








Join us on the second Saturday morning of

each month following Shabbat services.

8 February - Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

14 March - Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

9 May - Cantor George Mordecai

The Lost



Weekly on Thursday

evenings at 7.15pm

Cantor George Mordecai presents a new

series of classes. Initially we will study

The Lost Princess, a deeply insightful story

from Rabbi Nahman, with music and


Email: gmordecai@emanuel.org.au


Cantor George Mordecai

A few years ago, Rabbi Aubrey Glazer, a dear friend of mine, edited and helped publish

Menachem Kallus’s translation of a Hasidic work known as Amud Hatefilah, or Pillar

of Prayer. Menachem Kallus is one of the leading authorities on Lurianic Kabbalah.

So what is this work, the Pillar of

Prayer, and why is it so interesting to

scholars of Kabbalah and Hasidut?

The book is actually a guide to the

contemplative practices of the Baal

Shem Tov—the founder of the

Hasidic movement, which spread

rapidly throughout the Jewish

communities in Eastern Europe in

the eighteenth century—and his

earliest circle of disciples. This was

a radical teaching, because for these

early Hasidim, God did not dwell

only in the Talmudic academies,

among the intellectual elite. The

Baal Shem Tov taught that any

person who had an open heart and

a burning desire to know God could

achieve this relationship through

prayer and deep hitbodedut, that

is, meditation. One could even

simply speak to God from the

Noah's Ark by Edward Hicks


heart. Many of the early Hasidim,

including the Baal Shem Tov,

would spend much of their time in

nature—in the forests of Eastern

Europe—contemplating God’s

Creation, developing a sense of

spiritual intimacy with the Divine.

The teaching found in the Pillar of

Prayer revolves around one verse

in the Torah—namely Genesis

6:16. Owing to the wickedness

of humanity God is going to

cause a flood to wipe out all living

things. God commands Noah to

build an ark. God’s instructions

to Noah for the building of

this ark are very precise.

‘Make a tzohar for the

ark and finish it upward

within a cubit’s length’

(Genesis 6:16).

Scholars are not in agreement as to

the meaning of the Hebrew word

tzohar. For Rashi, tzohar refers to a

sparkling jewel that was placed in

the ark. It spread light throughout

the ark during the forty days of rain

and darkness. In most editions of

the Bible it is translated, after Rashi,

as a light or jewel but it can also

mean ‘window’ or ‘opening’. In our

Etz Hayim Torah commentary, as

well as in the Baal Shem Tov and

his circle of disciples’ transcripts,

that is how tzohar is translated.

Additionally, the word teva is

understood to refer to an ark or

ship, but in post-Biblical Hebrew

it can also mean ‘word’. If we

translate teva as the mystics did

—‘word’—the verse would now

read, ‘Make an opening so that

each word we utter can be filled

with Divine illumination.’

Instead of this verse focusing on

building an ark and on the flood,

the Baal Shem Tov decontextualises

the verse in order to make it

even more relevant to us.

While ‘make an opening (to let

the light in) so that each word we

utter can be filled with Divine

illumination’ is a mystical, very

poetic reading of Genesis 6:16,

it points more importantly to

a core concept in our tradition

—namely, that we are created

b’tzelem Elohim, ‘in the Divine

image’. If that is the case, every

word we utter, every action we

take in the world, should have a

spark of divinity attached to it.

In our tradition our sources speak

of the yetzer ha’tov and the yetzer

ha’ra—respectively, the impulse

for good and the impulse for evil.

The Rabbis used these terms to

describe the ethical dimension of the

human being. Unlike the concept of

Original Sin, the Talmud describes

us as created with both the urge to

do good and the urge to do bad/evil.

Actually, even though ra means evil,

in yetzer ha’ra it refers not only to

evil, but also selfishness. The yetzer

ha’ra really is better understood

as the selfishness that operates

in each and every one of us.

Despite our being so created—that

is, with both impulses—our Rabbis

seem to imply in places that the

scales are weighted on the yetzer

ha’ra side. Not that we would all

go out and engage in egregious acts

of terror in the world but, simply

put, if we were left to our own

devices, we would generally act

in the world from a selfish place.

The Rabbis were observing that

we would—and we do—put our

interests above everything else.

It is important to note that both

of these impulses are important for

actualization of our life as human

beings. The yetzer ha’ra contributes

to our survival; without ambition, a

certain amount of competitiveness,

and desire, nothing could be

accomplished in our world. The

yetzer ha’ra certainly has its place.

The problem yetzer ha’ra is the outof-control

yetzer ha’ra—the yetzer

ha’ra that is ruled by our ego.

So, when we learn in the Book of

Genesis that the thoughts in most

people’s hearts were continuously

evil, it doesn’t necessarily mean that

all the tribal confederacies in the

world at that time were engaging

in mass genocide. It’s not a political

commentary on social inequality.

It is not a critique of capitalism,

socialism or any other political

system. The Torah is teaching us

here that when our hearts are only

focused on our own needs - to

the exclusion of others - no good

can come of it. All the devastating

wars and social inequality are

outgrowths of the yetzer ha’ra

that is totally out of control. But

rectification can begin with the firm

steering by us of the dual impulses,

to navigate the way forward.

Let’s take a quick journey back to

B’reishit—the Creation story and

the Garden of Eden. In their utopian

existence Adam and Eve could eat

from all but two of the trees in the

Garden of Eden: 1 - the tree that

opens our eyes to the knowledge of

good and evil; 2 - the tree of life.

When they did, in fact, eat from

the former, what happened? They

gained the power of moral choice!!

It is no accident that this story

immediately follows the story of

Creation. Rabbi Ira Stone, a rabbi

I worked with in Philadelphia,

taught that Creation is not

complete until people acquire the

knowledge of right and wrong:

“Creation is not complete until

each and every one of us develops

within ourselves the ability to

distinguish between right and wrong.

Creation is not complete until we

grow a moral consciousness—our

conscience—and that can only

come from the ability to choose.’’

What we human beings gained by

the ‘sinning’ in the Garden of Eden

was very important. We became

cognizant that our choice between

good and bad/evil has consequences.

Rabbi Stone also teaches another

important lesson here. “Having

taken on the moral decision making

that formerly was the reserve of

God alone, we actually draw a little

closer to the Divine

source of all Creation

when we exercise our

ability to choose”—that

is, when we control our

yetzer ha’ra and use it for

the greater good—when

we do the right thing.


The stories we read

from the Torah every

week—Creation, the

flood, sibling rivalry,

rebellion—are not meant

to be read as history, as something

that happened in the distant past.

These stories are most powerful

when they serve as vehicles for

personal growth and for communal

transformation. The Torah and

the Rabbis show us that creation,

revelation and redemption are

constantly unfolding processes. The

choices we make every day, every

moment, affect this unfolding, and

have an impact not only on those

who are closest to us but also on our

communities and the whole planet.

Make a window for your words

and by extension your actions

so that the Divine source

of all being can penetrate

and illuminate every word

we utter; so that we can be

b’tzelem Elohim, in the image

of the Divine, and be guided

from that sacred place in

all our interactions.





Emanuel Synagogue’s Social Justice group has a new volunteering opportunity. We are joining with

IndigiGrow, an Indigenous organisation focusing on finding solutions to issues faced by Indigenous people

by reconnecting with their traditional culture.

At IndigiGrow native plants, including bush food and the critically endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia

Scrub, are propagated. The aim is to create a Bush Food Hub which will be a model to produce, store,

process, package and sell bushfoods worldwide and support emerging Indigenous growers.

IndigiGrow is situated at La Perouse Public School and they are looking for volunteers to work in the

nursery and to help tend the plants. Tasks at the nursery include:

• Watering

• Fertilising

• Propagating

We are looking for people to give an hour or so each week to help with the plants. It’s possible to volunteer

any day, but Thursdays and Fridays are best, as the horticulturalist will be available on those days. There is

flexibility about times to volunteer.

Because the nursery is on a school site, volunteers are required to have a Working with Children Check,

which is free for volunteer work.

Anyone interested in volunteering or learning more, please contact Nehama at socialjustice@emanuel.org.au

Tu’ Bishvat -

Celebrate Nature

Sunday, 9th February, 4pm

Botanic Gardens

Picnic, Music and


To join please email



Rosh Chodesh


Each month 8:00pm to 10:00pm

2020 dates: 25 February, 26 March, 23 April

Why a Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group?

There is a legend told that when the Israelites

came to create the golden calf, the men asked the

women to give them all their jewellery and gold

to be melted down for the calf.

The women refused to supply their jewels

and as a reward a special festival was given

to them: the festival of Rosh Chodesh,

the celebration of the new moon.

For more information and to find the location,

please call the Emanuel Synagogue office on

9389 6444 or email info@emanuel.org.au.



By Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. Blessed is the flame

that burns in the secret fastness of the heart… – Hannah Senesh

One of the mitzvot of Chanukah is

to place the candles in the window

each night, so that they can be seen

by those outside looking in, as well as

those inside, looking at, and enjoying

the light of the Chanukah candles.

We do so in order to share the beauty

of the Chanukah lights, but also, as

Noam Zion (Director of the Shalom

Hartman Institute’s Resource Centre

for Jewish Continuity) explains,

“It’s a public statement of what you

believe in. With Passover, the mitzvah

is to publicize the miracle to the

next generation of your family. With

Hanukkah, the mitzvah is to publicize

the miracle to the outside world.”

Why do we light candles on each of

the eight nights of Chanukah? The

candle lighting has many symbolic

messages. Firstly, it is a celebration

of the rededication of the altar in the

Temple, following the Maccabees’

successful conquest (circa 165 BCE)

over the Greeks, who had defiled

the Temple. Our narrative states

that upon regaining control of

the Temple, the Hasmoneans (the

dynasty that the Maccabees belonged

to) searched and found only one

cruse of oil, which was only sufficient

for one day. Yet, as we are told, it

lasted eight days. This explanation is

found in the Talmud, in Masechet

Shabbat 21b, when the Gemara asks:

“What is Chanukah?”.

The following two references to

the rededication are found in the

Apocrypha (those writings that were

not included in the Tanach, but

that still form part of our tradition).

“Then Judah and his brothers and

all the assembly of Israel determined

that every year at that season the days

of dedication of the altar should be

observed with gladness and joy for eight

days beginning with the twenty-fifth

day of Kislev”

(I Maccabees 4:59).

And from the second book of

Maccabees: “And they celebrated it

(the rededication) for eight days with

rejoicing, in the manner of the festival

of booths (Sukkot), remembering how

not long before, during the festival of

booths, they had been wandering in

the mountains and caves like wild

animals” (II Maccabees 10:6).

The second reference indicates that

we commemorate the rededication

for eight days, because we connect

the rededication of the Temple to the

celebration of the festival of Sukkot.

However, the festival of Sukkot is

only mandated for seven days: “You

shall observe it (Sukkot) as a festival

of God for seven days in the year; you

shall observe it in the seventh month as

a law for all time, throughout the ages”

(Leviticus 23:41). Why then does the

Book of Maccabees mention eight

days? Although the Torah states that

Sukkot is to be celebrated for seven

days, there is also a commandment

to observe the “eighth day” of Sukkot

as a festival on its own, which is

known as Sh’mini Atzeret. While

Sh’mini Atzeret is a separate holiday,

it is directly linked to and defined

by Sukkot. It is celebrated on what

would be the eighth day of Sukkot

(if it was an eight-day holiday).

Therefore, the reference to rejoicing

for eight days in the same manner


as Sukkot does then make sense

(believe it or not!)

By lighting the candles on each of

the nights of Chanukah, we celebrate

and pay tribute to our ancestors,

who themselves were seeking ways

to commemorate the victory of

the Maccabees. They looked to the

sources to find a way to connect to

that which they already knew and

practised. Our current-day practices

aim to go one step beyond what our

ancestors had done. As mentioned

earlier, the lit candles are placed in

or near a window, so that everyone

can see and enjoy them. They have

become a symbol of our pride in the

collective victory of good over evil.

We place them so that others can

witness the celebration we partake

in – the celebration of light, of


But there is another message that

is linked to the candles, especially

when we look at their effect in the

windows of our homes. It only takes

the light of one candle to remove

the darkness. It is a message of

yearning, often shared with families

in mourning, as they light the

shiva candle following the funeral

in memory of their loved one, and

when they light the yahrzeit candle

on the anniversary of the passing of

their loved ones. The candles burn

brightly, drawing our attention to

them and their presence in our lives,

both physically and metaphorically.

The Chanukah candles also represent

the conquest over adversity. They

remind us not only of the successes

of the Maccabees over the Greeks in

the 2nd Century BCE, but also that

when we work together (consider

how brightly the flames of all those

Chanukah candles burn), the impact

is much more effective.

Moreover, the light from the candles

serves as a reminder of hope. The

candles symbolise not only what we

have already achieved, but their light

also provides us with guidance and

promise, encouraging us to do the

right thing.

The words from the Peter, Paul and

Mary hit, Light One Candle remind

us of the importance of keeping the

flame alive.

What is the memory that’s valued so


That we keep it alive in that flame?

What’s the commitment to those who

have died

That we cry out they’ve not died in


We have come this far always


That justice would somehow prevail.

This is the burden, this is the


This is why we will not fail!

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, who devoted

his life to making the Talmud

accessible to all Jews, says that: "At

the very least, the Chanukah candles

should be lit to remind us that this

small light will burn into the future.

The candles promise us that we can

emerge from the embracing greyness

into a happy end.” This further

endorses the messages of hope and

assurance, allowing the light to serve

as a guide and a reminder.

The mitzvah of lighting Chanukah

candles is considered to be a very

important requirement, so much so


that it is mandated for every person

to light a candle for Chanukah. The

Shulchan Aruch (Siman 671) states

that: “Even a poor person living off

charity must lend or sell their clothes,

and buy oil to kindle with.” Of

course, there is an extension to that

which protects the poor. It says that

they are only obligated to buy (and

light) one candle, and purchasing

more candles is only permitted if

they feel they have the means to.

When Rabbi Dr Larry Hoffman

visited Emanuel Synagogue last

year, he spoke (amongst other

things) about the use of the light

emitted from the Chanukah

candles. In Haneirot Halalu, which

we sing after lighting the candles

each night (along with Ma’oz Tzur),

we are instructed that, “Throughout

the eight days of Chanukah, these

lights are sacred, and we are not

permitted to make use of them, but

only to look at them, in order to offer

thanks and praise to Your great Name

for Your miracles, for Your wonders

and for Your salvations.” Part of his

message was that the light from

the candles has only one purpose,

and that is to allow us to appreciate

them and acknowledge the miracle

of the festival of Chanukah.

I would add that while we cannot

use the light of the candles for any

other purpose, we can and should

let them remind us of the meaning

of their existence. As we light the

candles during Chanukah, and

place them for everyone to see, let

us celebrate them as a statement of

the victory of the Maccabees, as well

as a reminder that as long as we can

visualise the image of the candles

burning, the message of hope, faith

and commitment lives on in every

one of us.


By Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

There is a Mishnah which says, "Get yourself a companion." [Mishnah 1:6].

On my recent travels, leading the

Land and Spirit Kabbalah Tour of

Israel, I was blessed to be joined by

fifteen like-minded companions, who

bonded together over 11 days to form

our very own travelling community,

in the land of our ancestors.

Beginning in the holy city of

Jerusalem during the Sukkot festival,

we embarked on a walking tour of

the alleyways of Nahlaot, one of

the first neighbourhoods outside

of the Old City Walls, seeing all

the varieties of sukkot, and shaking

the lulav. We were invited into the

Syrian Jewish community synagogue

- walls adorned with iconography

of the 12 tribes, painted by the

founder of the Betzalel School of

Art in 1906. We then experienced

the organised chaos that was the

Machane Yehuda Shuk Market,

joining scores of Jerusalemites doing

their last-minute shopping, trying

not to get trampled in the process.

That night and the following

morning, we immersed ourselves

in the festive dancing and singing

of Simchat Torah. We delighted

in seeing sukkahs dotted about

the streets, laneways and front

The group at the Kotel with Sefer Torah

yards, and were warmly welcomed

into a "sukkah synagogue" in

the suburb of Rechavia, dancing

with our newfound Israeli friends.

Later that day, we ventured to

the home of Kabbalah teacher,


Melila Hellner-Eshed, for a sunset

Kabbalah class. After the festival

ended, a traditional “second festival”

began, with free outdoor concerts.

To top off our Jerusalem experience,

we explored a newly discovered

tunnel of the City of David that

led us directly to Robinson's Arch

by the Western Wall. Here we

were truly blessed to participate in

a Torah Dedication Ceremony, a

unique spiritual moment shared by

all. As a religious and educational

experience, there is nothing like

visiting ancient biblical cities.

A definite highlight of our tour was

experiencing Shabbat in the mystical

town of Tsfat, Galilee. Kabbalat

Shabbat was outdoors, overlooking

the mountains at sunset, with singing

and dancing in a joyous atmosphere.

Following the service, we split into

small groups, and were invited by

local kabbalah artists and teachers

to Shabbat dinners. One of the

dinners, hosted by Shlomo Gonsky,

a newfound friend, will not be easily

forgotten by those of us lucky enough

to attend. “I have never experienced

a Shabbat with spirits so high as

that night!” (David Balfour-Wright)

Meeting Kabbalistic artists Avraham

Leventhal and David Friedman was a

rare treat. They form part of a vibrant

artistic community living and working

in this ancient city that overlooks

the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias.

Leora Krowitz led a kabbalah yoga

session every day. This was a godsend

in terms of keeping our bodies

limber enough for all the walking

tours we did. And for the spirit, we

integrated the mystical teaching

into a body-centred practice.

We travelled across the length

and breadth of the Land of Israel,

travelling north via the Jordan River

Valley and venturing to the shores of

the Sea of Galilee, where we swam

and painted. Next, we travelled to


the north-eastern part of the Golan

Heights, in sight of Syria, to the top

of Mount Bental, in memory of the

many heroic Israelis who fought in

the Yom Kippur War. We heard from

a trio of young soldiers stationed

close to the northern border with

Lebanon. We sat transfixed as they

spoke about their day-to-day lives,

giving us a deeper understanding of

what it was like to have the burden of

Israel's security on one's shoulders –

picturing our children in their shoes.

They were brave men indeed, who

told us that "No one wants a war."

Another unique point of view was

revealed to us when we met a Bedouin

woman at the Kfar Hanokdim

Bedouin Village, in the Negev desert.

She told us what it was like to be

a woman who pushes boundaries

and fights for empowerment.

Synagogue in Tsfat

Experiencing Masada,

what can one say…?

"There were many highlights on our

fabulous adventure, but perhaps the

most memorable day for me started

with a dawn walk up to Masada,

where we arrived in time to see a

breathtaking sunrise, with a red sun

reflecting on the Dead Sea," said

Nicki Emdur. We shared the predawn

light with a mix of groups – on

one side of us was a group of harpists

who played as the red sun rose over

the mountains, reflected on the Dead

Sea; on the other side was a group of

ultra-Orthodox teenagers praying.

"This was followed by a float in the

Dead Sea, where we bobbed around

together, giggling. We then hiked

at Ein Gedi, where we meditated

beside waterfalls, soaking in the

natural beauty around us. And if all

Dancing on Masada

that wasn't enough, as we neared

the end of our walk, we were lucky

enough to encounter the majestic

ibex, silhouetted against the bluest

of skies, as they teetered on the side

of a rocky outcrop, high above us."

As we headed towards Tel Aviv, we

detoured to the town of Sderot,

stopping off to visit the inspiring

Path to Peace organisation in the

village of Netiv Ha'asara, 300 metres

from the border with Gaza. We heard

firsthand what it is like to live so close

to hostility, something unimaginable

for us Australians, lucky to live in a

land of peace. We glued small tiles,

with messages of peace, to the Path

of Peace wall facing the Gaza border.

That was on a Monday morning.

The following Friday when we were

back home, rockets began firing,

which shook us all to our core.

The last 24 hours of our tour were

spent getting to know Tel Aviv and

surrounds. The sheer determination

that went into building this busy

city was not lost on anyone. Its

existence is a tribute to will-power

over seemingly impossible odds;

mirroring the formation of the

modern State of Israel, willing

itself into life 71 years ago.

Another tour participant’s

reflection on his experience:

"My highlights were seeing the green

border of Israel, adjacent to Syria;

a long swim in the Sea of Galilee;

standing at the Gaza Wall; the

Shabbat dinner with orthodox Jews

in Tsfat; and the Torah Dedication

Ceremony in Jerusalem." Steve Apps.

According to Jewish tradition, a

person who changes their location

has changed their mazal (fate). I like

to think that the Land and Spirit

Kabbalah Tour of Israel, did just that

for all who joined me on the journey.

As Karin Elix said on returning

home, “We, as individuals, each had

our reasons for wanting to do the

Kabbalah Spiritual Tour of Israel

with Rabbi Orna. Yet together we

generated incredible energy and

strength, easing our pain and sorrows,

dancing together in celebration. We

are all a product of our

experiences, and thanks

to Rabbi Orna and

Geoff, our tour guide,

I am finally at peace."

I've lived and travelled

in Israel over many

years, but this journey

was unique. It was

an uplifting and

enlightening way to

spend 11days with a unique group of

people. We learnt from each other,

and the various people we met along

the way — each of us taking away

memories and experiences that will

last us a lifetime. I'm very much

looking forward to leading the tour

again in 2021 (the tour will be from

27 September to 7 October). You

are welcome to join me; you are

guaranteed to make new friends and

special memories along the way.

For more information email





David Knoll AM and Brian Samuel OAM, newly elected UPJ Co-Presidents

At the recent meeting of the Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ)

David Knoll of Sydney and Brian Samuel of Melbourne were elected as

join presidents, succeeding outgoing president Roger Mendelson.

We know from Gen17 (and

Gen08) that the largest segment of

Australian Jewry self-describes as

"traditional" rather than Orthodox,

Masorti or Progressive. They seek

authentic Jewish culture, tradition

and spirituality. However, the

words “Progressive”, “Masorti”,

“Reconstructionist”, “Orthodox” are

not how many of these Jews, who

self-describe as “traditional”, connect.

Many Australian Jews perceive labels

as sectarian, and yet, each stream of

Judaism has something valuable to

offer. Each stream seeks to strengthen

connection and continuity, and

each has its own clarion call.

Progressive Judaism seeks to bring

into the world some of the greatest

teachings and values of Judaism—a

Judaism that dares, dreams,

encourages learning and informed

choice, and is willing to understand

the wisdom of our ancestors. It then

shapes the kind of Judaism that we

want to be a part of, one in which

we all have a role to play. We take

tradition and make it meaningful

and relevant in a 21st-century world.

Inspired by Ron Wolfson’s

“Relational Judaism”, the Union

for Progressive Judaism has begun

the journey towards keeping and

attracting people who want to be

Jewish in an environment which

is egalitarian, in which they are

comfortable, and which they

perceive as inclusive and authentic.

Imagine that in three years’ time,

each of the Progressive and Masorti

congregations across Australia,

New Zealand and Asia will be

a successful Jewish community

hub. They will be where and how

people choose to be Jewish.

Imagine the Union for Progressive

Judaism acting as facilitator

for ongoing collaboration

among our congregations.

We will keep, and attract, people

who want to be Jewish in an

environment in which they are

comfortable, which they perceive as

inclusive and authentic. Although

these challenges play out differently

in larger and smaller Jewish

communities—differently again

in New Zealand, and differently

again in each Asian community—

through collaboration, we can all

be strengthened considerably.

Brian Samuel OAM and

David D. Knoll AM


Union for Progressive Judaism


Plus61J together with Emanuel Synagogue present

Israel, Jews & the

Middle East through Film

Thursday nights from 7:00pm at Emanuel Synagogue

Look out for more amazing films each month in 2020


about Israel

Every Monday, join Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

or guest speakers to examine the complex

issues facing contemporary Israel.

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


(or improve your)


Classes are Monday evenings during

term, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm

2020 classes start on 10 February

Register now at




The past few weeks have been an exciting, if hectic, time for ARZA (Australian

Reform Zionist Association) Australia, culminating in the election of a new President

and Executive Committee at the AGM held in Adelaide on November 9.

Led by former Victorian

Parliamentarian Helen Shardey, the

new Committee offers a wonderful

combination of experience and

youth that is sure to serve the

organization well as it prepares

for the possibility of elections

ahead of the 38th World Zionist

Congress (WZC), to be held in

Jerusalem in October 2020.

Just days before the AGM the threeperson

delegation returned from a

tumultuous, but highly successful,

meeting of the Executive of the

World Zionist Organisation in

Beersheva, Israel. At these meetings,

as part of the largest faction, we

were able to successfully pass

motions, including reinforcing

the centrality of the Declaration

of Independence to all Zionist

activities, and preventing a series

of anti-democratic and divisive

resolutions put forward by some

extreme right-wing groups.

The meetings were a salutary

reminder of how important it

is for our global organization,

ARZENU, to remain strong

and able to influence the

Parliament of the Jewish People,

the World Zionist Congress.

As the delegation returned we

welcomed a member of the Board

of the World Union for Progressive

Judaism (WUPJ), Andrew Keene,

with special responsibility for Youth

engagement. Andrew made an

outstanding presentation to the

leaders of the UPJ congregations,

again explaining the importance

of the WZC and of ARZENU

being a strong presence there.

This was followed by the Annual

General Meeting of the UPJ,

where retiring President Roger

Mendelson was succeeded by co-

Presidents David Knoll and Brian

Samuel. Immediately following

this at the AGM of ARZA

Australia and having completed

a full term as President, Steve

Denenberg welcomed incoming

President Helen Shardey and her

new Executive Committee.

The incoming Committee

comprises Helen as President,

Vice-Presidents Sue Silverberg

(Victoria) and Philip Levy

(NSW); Honorary Treasurer

Tony Leverton (Queensland);

Honorary Secretary Alex Knopoff

(South Australia); and Committee

members Rabbi Fred Morgan and

Cassie Barrett (Victoria). Exofficio

members include the Chair

of the Moetzah, Rabbi David

Kunin (Japan), and the Mazkir

and Shlichim of Netzer Australia.

On accepting the role of President,

Helen made a presentation of a

Havdallah set to Steve and paid

tribute to his contribution to the

organisation over many years and

his generous assistance in preparing

her for this important role. She

also congratulated and thanked

the Committee and called for all

UPJ congregations to work with

ARZA to ensure our continued

role as a force for good in Israel and

in Australia.

For more on ARZA,

see: arza.org.au/

ARZA Australia’s delegation to the recent meeting of the Va’ad Hapoel of the

World Zionist Congress at Beit Shmuel, Jerusalem, home of the Progressive


Left to right: Cassie Barrett, Steve Denenberg & Helen Shardey.



Donna Jacobs-Sife

Recently I attended a very good friend's mikvah. She wasn't getting married; she was

retiring. I admit to privately questioning the point of gathering friends to mark that

particular life event, asking myself whether this was the correct application of a mikvah, but

in fact the ritual was a deeply moving and connecting experience, and it got me thinking

about the times I had participated in this same ritual, and what they meant to me.

So, allow me to revive a piece

I wrote many years ago, about

two mikvahs, and the impact

such a ritual can have.

It was 102 degrees the day I got

married. The chupah stood on

the dance floor that had been laid

over the swimming pool, in my

childhood garden, so there was no

chance for a quick dip. The image

of my last dip into water resurfaced

in flashes occasionally. The humility

of standing before an old, officious

woman who inspected me for stray

hair, knots, signs of imperfection

and then led me naked to the living

waters where I immersed three

times to her blessings. Having lived

together for two years before, the

ritual had no less power. Dip into

the waters girl, emerge a woman.

Cut the bonds between those who

gave you life, and prepare to tie

knots with another. I held my breath

and swam towards the primal cycle

of life, death, life. Simultaneously, in

another part of the city, the groom

and his friends were ritualizing

their own sense of loss and gain, by

drinking, and loud surging music,

and booking a prostitute for a lark.

The guests stood fanning themselves

with the bright yellow napkins

that had been placed on the tables

under the marquee in the garden,

leaving the settings somewhat

untidy and askew. My mother later

censored more than a third of the

photographs, because of the large

sweat marks that had formed under

her neck and arms on her mauve

silk dress. Heat didn’t bother him

and me. Ours was a hearth of ideas

and passion, fired by our shared

lonely childhoods, that I only came

to understand much later. Wounds

that drew us together and tore us

apart. The moment the vows had

been exchanged, the band started

up and the Rabbi and the family

and guests began to dance the Hora,

as the dance floor bounced up and

down dangerously, threatening to

collapse. The newlyweds rushed

away, to break their fast together

quietly, as is the tradition. I happily

gathered a plate of food, and

entered my obsolete bedroom,

with the yellow flowered wallpaper

and pathetic single bed. He was

waiting, chewing on a sandwich

he had grabbed on the way.

Dark clouds began to form. The day

turned to night; the air was heavy

with impending storm. Finally, the

clouds broke with angry claps of

thunder and torrents of rain. The

guests huddled under the marquee,

avoiding the places where the water

poured in over tables and food.

In the twenty years of marriage,

I came to know the darkness of

day. The huddling in corners to

avoid an outburst. “A good omen”,

they had said, and I nodded

hopefully, but was not convinced.

At the gett, the rabbis spent long

and pedantic energy on our names.

“Your Hebrew name is Danielle?


But that is a man’s name. When

are you ever called by that name?”

“When I am called to the

Torah,” I respond.

“And how often is that?” one

of the six rabbis asked, with

a small involuntary smirk.

“Regularly,” I respond,

with a voluntary one.

“So, you are Danielle, called

Donna, daughter of Arieh Leib

ben Itzhok Meyer, called Lionel.

Now is that Linel, or Lionel? How

is it pronounced?” We went over

the options and decided on Linel.

The ‘o’ is silent. Later I thought to

myself—‘Whether the angels were

weeping or not I knew not, but

there was one thing for certain, they

knew who stood before them.’

He dipped the feathered tip into ink

and with profound care and beauty,

wrote the document to sever the

union formed in heaven. It took

him hours. Whilst waiting, I took


down a book from the Rabbi’s shelf

about divorce. It spoke of marriage

as being the very closest two people

can come to God; it spoke of

spiritual perfection. And it said that

if two people are not happy, are not

able to achieve even a glimpse of

this enlightenment, then to God

it is like sacrilege. Two people are

not expected to suffer together;

it is like an insult to the vision of

God. And I held the book to my

heart, and gave thanks for such

nourishment and understanding.

We tried. We ran around with

cupped hands, cloths, and buckets

to collect the water pouring in. We

held down the tent flaps to stop the

wind, held fast to the poles in the

ground. “May this be the worst that

happens to you,” blessed the Rabbi.

My mother spat three times, to

keep away the Chora, the evil eye.

Twenty years later I cupped

my hands to catch the folded

parchment, inscribed with the

holy invocation that was to be

served to the Heavenly Court. And

he pronounced the words that were

served to him by the Rabbi, “I

divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce

you”. As we both choked on the

tears, a love, long buried beneath

the darkened clouds and thunderous

storms, shone out, so that we were

severed in love. And when I looked

up, I saw the eyes of the Rabbis also

brimmed with tears, and knew that

the heavens too wept, to see love

reborn for an instant— in the primal

cycle of life and death and life.

Tucked beneath my right arm, I

placed the holy decree and “walked

towards my independence” as

instructed. And finally, the Rabbi

held my hands in his and wished me

love and fulfillment and future joy.

The sun re-emerged, reflecting like

jewels in the puddles and raindrops

that hung on the leaves. The air

was clear, not heavy, not even hot.

The tables were dried, the cakes

and coffee brought out. A gentle

breeze blew, as if a blessing had

descended upon the day after all.

And there were many fertile years,

with babies born and chickens in the

yard. Tree planting, shared Shabbat

evenings, friendships and learning.

I sit now at times, at an empty

Shabbat table, and wonder if the

Shekhinah has deserted me. At

other times, at communal dinners

I sit and endure the loss of hearing

husbands declare their wives ‘women

of valour’. Sometimes the bed aches

with emptiness, and I close my eyes

to imagine gentle breath beside me.

Despite this, I still feel carried by the

wise shoulders of the rabbis, who

knew how to sever love with love.

Soon, I will visit that old, officious

woman again, and walk naked into

the living waters to her blessings;

hold my breath to sink and then

emerge towards a new beginning,

gving honour to the primal cycle

of life and death and life.


Lyndall Katz

Just over a year ago, I was walking through the synagogue and bumped into Rabbi Ninio. She

asked how I was going. I said I’d just retired! Rabbi said, “Let’s do a mikvah!” I said “ok!”

At first I thought, “I don’t really know

what a mikvah is!” and then I thought,

“Well, yes, I do; of course I do!” But

then I thought, “Actually I don’t really

know what a mikvah is.” And so it

went, backwards and forwards, with

two contradictory statements that were

each completely true at the same time.

Well, now I do know – it's a

beautiful marking of transition

– and in this case, the profound

change from a lifetime of working

for a living, to retirement.

We met, and Rabbi Ninio told me

of all the ways mikva’ot can be used,

and have been used in Jewish life;

and that we could make it fit with

what I needed for this transition in

my life. She gave me readings and

references to look at, and then I

developed my own readings to say with

the blessings for each immersion.

I wanted to mark this time with my

community, not as an ending, or even

a beginning, but as a continuation in

growth; in making a difference in the

world and in connection with others.

In a new form, I wanted to celebrate

me, as an older Jewish woman, with

new challenges and a big life ahead.

And it was important to say goodbye

to my identity within the workforce.

I knew it would be good, but I

didn’t know it would be that good.

I invited a number of my female

friends and family. Many couldn’t

make it during the week (they

still work for a living!), and we

ended up with the perfect number

of 11 – a minyan plus one.

I could tell you about all the things

we did, such as everyone preparing

an offering of a poem, story, hope,

or blessing; how we sang and walked

together, to my friend’s beautiful pool,

accompanied by women’s music I

had chosen; how I recited blessings

with readings with each immersion

and was blessed by everyone; or

how I told each woman how I see

her in my life from here on.

But honestly, although all those things

were wonderful (and I could talk about

it all day and night!), it wasn’t those

details that affected me so deeply.

It was the whole thing! It was the

sharing of this big change with those

I’m close to; using a Jewish ritual of

transformation, part of our tradition

for so long, that gave me the ruach.

It was the love that everyone brought

to the day; it was the important space

of women together; it was the passion

for mikvah that Rabbi Ninio gave

me leading the day, and teaching me;

it was the decision I made to mark

this important time, publicly and

with the community that I love. That

was what made it so profound.




Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

A story is told during the final days at Denver's old Stapleton airport. A crowded flight

was cancelled, and a single agent was left to rebook a long line of inconvenienced

travellers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk.

He slapped his ticket down on

the counter and said, "I HAVE to

be on this flight and it has to be

FIRST CLASS." The agent replied,

"I'm sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try

to help you, but I've got to help

these folks first, and I'm sure we'll

be able to work something out."

The passenger was unimpressed. He

asked loudly, so that the passengers

behind him could hear, "Do

you have any idea who I am?"

Without hesitating, the gate

agent smiled and grabbed her

public address microphone.

"May I have your attention, please?"

she began, her voice bellowing

throughout the terminal. "We have

a passenger here at the gate WHO


IS. If anyone can help him find his

identity, please come to Gate 17."

Aside from the humorous and

satisfying comeuppance in this story,

the question itself is a powerful one.

This question of identity can be

reframed from not, “Who am I?”,

but “What kind of person am I?”

A few weeks ago, I had the good

fortune to travel to the US for a

conference, and for the first time

in a while, I was able to enjoy a

flight without my children. Flying

high over the Pacific, I found

myself with a rare occurrence;

time to think. Being at 35,000 ft,

I was in one of the last bastions

of enforced solitude, high over

the barren watery expanse of the

largest ocean, with no connection

to the outside world. It was indeed

a rarity in my life nowadays, to

be sitting in solitude, without any

contact whatsoever, and have time

to actually contemplate…me.


Who am I? It is such a simple

question, yet profound at the same

time. It is a question that has

echoed in our tradition, and indeed

in pop culture in several different

places, and in several iterations.

One of the first times is when God

approaches Adam and Eve after they

become self-aware, and God asks

where they are. Surely God knows

the answer to that question! Slightly

rewording that question, “Adam and

Eve, I know what has happened.

Tell me, what have you become?”

In the following chapter, after

murdering Abel, God asks Cain

where his brother Abel is. Once

again, I have no doubt that

God knows where Abel is. The

deeper question is, “Cain, I know

what have you done to your

brother. Why did you do it?”

Much later on, in the opening

chapters of Exodus, Moses, when

called by God at the burning bush,

asks, “Who am I, that I should

go to Egypt?” What exactly is

Moses asking here? He knows

who he is, and where he has

come to. The question appears to

be a statement or a plea: “Please

God, pick someone else!”

There are many examples to seek

from pop culture, but one of my

favourites is from Les Miserables,

with the eponymous song sung

by Jean Valjean, “Who am I?”

Perhaps in one of the most literal

iterations, here Jean Valjean is

literally asking, “Who is he?” Will

he continue with the charade of

his new assumed identity, or will

he finally, after 20 years, become

the person he always was, and

deal with those consequences?

All of these questions are rhetorical.

God knows where Adam and Eve

are, and Jean Valjean knows the

answer to that question as well.

Surely the passenger in Denver

is well aware of his name. I, too,

know the answer to that question.

Perhaps the question that we really

need to be asking is not, “Who

am I?” but “What I am going

to be?” What will I do with my

identity? How will I make that a

reality, and not let someone else,

as that passenger in Denver did,

create or define my own identity?

Our identity is our most precious

gift to ourselves. We should

cherish it, nourish it, and always

continue to develop it.


On 7 September Emanuel Synagogue hosted

The Sydney Sacred Music Festival




In September, Emanuel Synagogue hosted

Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel as part of

our In Conversation series

Jessica Rowe

In Conversation



Crossroads featuring the Sydney Art Quartet

photos by Ofer Levy



Larraine Larri, a member of Emanuel Synagogue, has been researching, for her PhD, the

phenomenon of women of grandmother age quietly taking up the fight for Climate Action.

They call themselves the “Knitting Nannas” and they began in 2012 in the Northern Rivers,

NSW, protesting coal seam gas (CSG) mining. There are now almost 40 groups across

Australia. Larraine is particularly interested in the way these women are learning to be

environmental activists and at the same time educating others: she calls this Nannagogy!

Here is a fascinating excerpt from her most recent article, Nannagogy: Social movement learning for older women’s

activism in the gas fields of Australia published in the Australian Journal of Adult Learning (April 2019):



…in August 2017, (Larraine)

was attending the third Knitting

Nannas Nannual conference in

the town of Narrabri, New South

Wales. As an Honorary Nanna,

Larraine was invited to visit the

endangered Pilliga State Forest in

the company of thirty Nannas.

‘About thirty of us are being guided

by two younger environmental

activists, Dan Lanzini and Jo Holden.

I’d say they’re in their mid-thirties and

their knowledge, commitment and

passion is impressive. They’ve made

it their mission to spend as much

time as possible in the Pilliga bearing

witness to CSG mining company

Santos fracking operations hidden

deep in the forest. Nannas tell me this

is not easy. Jo is a mother of young

children. Her husband and family

support her as much as they can. Dan

often camps for days in the Pilliga

but has to leave for contract work so

that he can keep coming back. He

seems very independent and alone.

We begin our tour, stopping at

CSG extraction well sites, vents and

flares. Forest clearings bounded by

high mesh fences; industrial metal

structures; eerie silences punctuated

by intermittent buzzing, clicking,

hissing; the occasional CCTV; faint

chemical smells (not the fresh forest

air you’d expect). Getting too close

makes you feel sick and headachy.

The Nannas have come prepared

and put on their face masks. I’ve got

mine. A local Gomeroi man who’s

come along on the tour tells us he

remembers exploring and camping in

the forest as a child. That was thirty


years ago and that’s how long it’s

been since the first wells and flares

were put in by Eastern Star (bought

out by Santos). The day before we

heard from Gomeroi women about

how sacred the Pilliga is to them.

They described it as their heartland,

their responsibility to protect

and care for. A highly significant

Dreaming site, it’s said to contain

an underground gigantic crocodile

– safe as long as it stays where it is,

but with catastrophic consequences

if set free. How prophetic! I’m

struck by the reality of dispossession,

stolen lands, loss of life purpose.

‘What are they doing with the CSG

from this well?’ asks a Nanna.

‘Nothing’ says Dan, ‘It’s just for

show when they bring investors

in. Been like this for years.’

At each stop, the Nannas make a

point of photographing their presence

– documenting the scenes so they

can show others. They gather in

various formations holding their

knitted banners, fists raised or arms

crossed in defiance. As they leave

I see yellow and black woollen

knotted threads across gates. Soft

barriers reclaiming spaces, symbolic

memorials of their anger and fulfilling

their 'Nannafesto' to ‘bear witness’.

Back in the cars we’re heading for

the dead zones. Created sixteen

years ago when contaminated water

from exploratory wells spilled from

evaporation ponds onto huge sections

of forest. Twenty-two sites in all, we

only see two. I’m walking through a

grey and black denuded landscape,

eerily more silent than a graveyard.

It feels immediately desolate. At

my feet, an expanse of dead wood,

grey mulch, and patches of muddy

sludge criss-crossed by irrigation

pipes and the odd dying bush or

leafless bare tree. In the far distance

a fence and thick forest beyond.

The demarcation line is dramatic.

‘Look down’, says Dan, ‘tell me if you

can see any ants or other insect life

or any signs of animal activity’. ‘He’s

right’ we murmur to one another,

‘there’s nothing alive here’. We see

signs saying ‘Keep out, rehabilitation

area’. Despite regular attempts with

water, dispersant chemicals, and bush

regeneration nothing has worked, it’s

still a dead zone. I’m shocked at how

my emotions of disbelief then sadness

affect me. I’ve never been here before,

it wasn’t mine to lose and yet I feel

grief and a growing sense of anger at

the carelessness and irresponsibility of

people who would let this happen.

Some of the Knitting Nannas on the way to the conference

Next stop Bohena Creek. Can’t see

an actual creek with water, just sand,

but Dan explains, ‘Dig down no more

than an elbow length and you’ll hit

water’. The creek drains from the

Pilliga onto nearby Namoi Valley –

rich agricultural country, a major food

bowl for Australia. Dan tells us the

miners have been known to dump

their contaminants into the sandy

beds conveniently leaving a nondescript

wet patch. The concern is the

downstream impact when approval

is finally given for the proposed 850

wells, that’s one every 700 metres.

The rains don’t come often, but

when they do Bohena Creek is big

and floods into the farmlands. They

rely on this and artesian water. The

Pilliga is known to be a recharge site

for this edge of the Great Artesian

Basin. I already know that fracking

uses megalitres of water and relies

on government approvals to tap into

natural sources. Dan tells us that

each well will create 150 million

litres of contaminated ‘produced

water’. The facts are swirling around

my head, I can’t understand why

we’re not learning from experience

– preserving and protecting. With

these sorts of track records, how

can you trust mining companies

with government approval not to

contaminate precious water resources?

We talk about the many flares that

would keep firing 24/7, lighting

up the dark night sky. What would

this do to nearby Coonabarabran

Siding Springs Observatory

and their international work in

astronomy? What happens when

there’s a bushfire? The local volunteer

Rural Fire Service has said it won’t

send crews in, too dangerous.

A grey silence descends on us all.

By now all we can do is shake our

heads in disbelief but Dan can’t

stop telling us what he knows. It

spills out and we listen to all he’s

seen and researched. Finally, he

ends and says, ‘That’s it! Now you

know. What I can’t understand is

why people aren’t listening and

fighting this. Thank you for taking

the time to see it and for listening.’

It’s time to leave but before we get

into our cars, the Nannas thank Dan

and give him some money collected

during the morning. He didn’t expect

it and shyly accepts. It will help pay

the bills. He’s a tall, lanky bloke and

towers above the Nannas gathered

around him. He looks down at them

saying thank you. Spontaneously the

Nannas close in with a huge, group

hug. It’s like Dan is briefly wrapped in

their tender warmth and caring. He

closes his eyes and I notice some tears.

The moment passes and the Nannas

promise to share the knowledge

and pain. Someone listened.


We set out on this journey

fascinated to learn how an

eco-activist movement of

older women had grown

from one small group

to over thirty in only six

years. Being educators we

suspected it had much to

do with learning. What we

found were women who

had been marginalised due

to age and gender, who

were determined to be productive and

creative social change agents taking

action for a low-carbon future. Our

data show many of these women

had never done anything like this

before. Drawing on one another’s

strengths, learning from one another,

taking time to critically reflect as

they ‘sit, knit and plot’, these women

have built an identifiable learning

system consistent with domains of

learning in previous literature and

Social Movement Learning Theory

frameworks to date. Nannagogy

extends the field giving us new

insights through the intersectionality

of gender, identity and ecoactivism.

We know that gender

blindness continues to be an issue in

environmental education (Gough,

Russell, & Whitehouse, 2017;

Larri, & Newlands, 2017). Through

Nannagogy we challenge social

movement learning theorists and those

working in social movements to be

vigilant and inclusive. In the words of

the Nannas (https://knitting-nannas.

com/ ), 'There seems to be a public

misconception that political activists

and protesters are young, unwashed

and unemployed or unemployable.

Not true. Anyone can be an activist

and contribute to change. Any type

of action can be strong. If we get

together and use our strengths, we can

make change …

You don't have to be a Nanna;

you don't have to knit to save

the land, air and water for

the future generations!'

For more information about the

full article or the Knitting Nannas

(full title is Knitting Nannas

Against Gas and Greed aka KNAG)

please feel free to contact Larraine:





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




School: Caringbah High

Hobbies: Basketball,

Soccer and Eating

Likes: Rap, Sports and Languages.

Dislikes: Netball, Soft Cheese

and People that annoy me

About me: I would like to do a

double degree in marketing and

advertising for my future career as it

is something I am deeply interested

in. I enjoy language classes the most

as it is a way to obtain a skill that

nobody (outside the people in the

countries that speak the language)

have. I enjoy listening to Rap music

such as XXXtentacion, Da Baby and

YNW Melly. At certain times, I can

be partial to a bit of Edward Greig.

Social Justice (tzedakah) projects:

My Tikkun Olam project was,

donating glasses to the Lions Club,

so that they could be refurbished and

given to people all over the world that

need glasses but cannot afford them.

What will you remember most

about your Bar Mitzvah? Learning

a new part of whichever piece I

was learning (granted the Haftarah

took a long time) with my father

(who was an excellent teacher)..

School: Emanuel School

Hobbies: Bike riding, stamp

collecting, computer games

Pet: Cocker Spaniel called Sooty

Likes: Anything with chocolate,

going on holidays, camping,

being out in nature.

Dislikes: Competitive sport,

noisy places, eating veggies.

About me: I really enjoy having the

opportunity to be at a Jewish Day

School like Emanuel which is so

community minded and has values

that care about the environment,

charitable causes and caring for others

less fortunate than ourselves. I am

not sure what I will do when I finish

school but at the moment I am very

interested in environmental issues.

Social Justice: For my barmitzvah I

raised money for the Animal Welfare

League which is a rescue shelter

for abandoned and neglected cats

and dogs. I also participated in the

Stand Up Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program

during my Bar Mitzvah Year which

I found interesting. I would like

to improve the world by being

involved in more environmental

projects and issues and make people

more aware of the impact that

plastics have on our marine life.

What will you remember most

about your Bar Mitzvah?

I enjoyed my Bar Mitzvah lessons

with my tutor especially when I

finally learned to sing my parasha

and all the prayers fluently.

I also enjoyed my regular catch

ups with Rabbi Kamins during

my preparation year. I particularly

enjoyed my first experience of

wrapping tefillin in the early

morning service. Even though I was

a bit nervous before my actual bar

mitzvah, on the actual day I really

enjoyed being on the bimah. I will

always remember my memorable

day celebrating with my family.


School: Emanuel School

Hobbies: Soccer, Lego,

bike riding, basketball

Pets: Dog (Beau), Cat (Rafaelo)

About me: I'm a person who

has big dreams for the future

including creating animal welfare

and hope to play for the Matildas.

I've been to both Netzer and

Habo and can't wait to go again.

Social Justice: I have been on

a programme called Stand Up

where I have learned about

the troubles in the world

and how we can help.

What will you remember most

about your Bar Mitzvah? I

will remember how much effort

I put into learning it and how

good a teacher Rabbi Rafi is.


Chanukah Kabbalah

Inspirational Emails

Inspiration for the festival of light from

Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff during the 8 days of Chanukah

December 22-30

to receive please email orna@emanuel.org.au



Kef Kids and Bnei Mitzvah students


Gail Abrahams

Adele Bakker-Beekhoven

Mia Barghini

Joanna Bayliss

Naomi Beecher

Sally Bierman

Elizabeth Birrell

Ghislaine Bouskila

Jennifer Ceylon

Hayley Cohen

Lauren Coppel

Dr Maxwell & Ms Julia Hopp

Dr Susie Linder-Pelz &

Mrs Talia Levine

Joshua Druery

Annie Fegitz

Michael Frommer

Claire Gil-Munoz

Belinda Gold

Justine Goldin

Waldemar Granwal

Rochelle Hairman

Yoni Hochberg

Lazar Itin

Irene Kalfus

Hilary Katzeff

Emily Kliman

Sam Kovac

Lindy Lowenstein

Luis Hernando Lozano-Paredes

Evelyn Marczak

Daniel Mathers

Diana Moses

Mr Alan &

Mrs Deborah Dworkin

Mr Anthony & Mrs Sandy Hollis

Mr Barry &

Mrs Isabel Gottheiner

Mr Benjamin &

Mrs Sophia Futerman

Mr Benjamin &

Mrs Veronica Selinger

Mr Byron Roth &

Ms Riquette Hofstein


To welcome the stranger

Mr David &

Mrs Karen Brodaty

Mr David Nathanson

& Ms Alisa Pincus

Mr Edan Levy &

Mrs Catherine Farrell

Mr George & Mrs Mila Svetlov

Mr Jonathan &

Mrs Lesley Abelsohn

Mr Kelvin Haisman &

Ms Naomi Ullmann

Mr Mark &

Mrs Rachel Green

Mr Mark Hovey &

Ms Simone Landes

Mr Max &

Mrs Barbara Kaler

Mr Neal & Mrs Astrid Harris

Mr Nir & Ms Ella Lizor

Mr Nitay &

Mrs Simone Levi

Mr Oliver Krasny &

Miss Sophia Wichtowski

Mr Peter &

Mrs Esther Gergely

Mr Peter &

Mrs Justine Williams

Mr Peter Barany &

Miss Katherine Armor

Mr Sammy & Mrs

Jessica Michaels

Mr Sergio Kulikovsky &

Mrs Tatiana Heilbut


Mr Shane & Mrs

Iris Halton

Mr Stephen & Ms Lee Ipp

Mrs Polina & Mr Alex Nizhnikov

Ms Alicia Vidler

Ms Carly Jassy

Sharonne Phillips

Rabbi Paul &

Mrs Lisa Jacobson

Claire Sexton

Lindy Stern

Rebecca Stern

Patrick Weissenberg

Manon Youdale


will be back in 2020!

From February 7, on the first Friday of

each month from 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Join us for fun and learning for 2-5 year olds -

Shabbat singing, arts and crafts, and of course, a

(light Shabbat meal for your little ones and you!

Singing begins at 4:30 and arts begin at 5pm. Enjoy a meal

complete with candles, kiddush and challah will begin at

5:30pm and finish in time if you’d like to come to services!

Any questions, please contact

Rabbi Kaiserblueth ​on 9389 6444.




Greater is tzedakah than all the sacrifices

$10,000 or more

Duchen Holding Pty Ltd

TE Property Fund

Hauser Foundation

Aliza Sassoon

Mr Aaron & Mrs Margaret Ezekiel

$5,000 or more

Larraine Larri

Andrew & Mrs Samantha Coates

Ervin Katz

$1,000 or more

Robert Whyte

Elenita Nicdao

Mr Grant McCorquodale &

Mrs Ilana Mccorquodale

Mr Ronald & Mrs Gloria Schwarz

Mr Anthony Kahn & Mrs

Judith Kahn Friedlander

Jennifer Hershon

Mr Kevin & Mrs Dina Coppel

Dr Michael & Mrs Cyndi Freiman

Dr Stephen & Mrs Anne Steigrad

Dr John & Mrs Roslyn Kennedy

Dr Drew Heffernan &

Dr Karen Arnold

Mr Thomas Biller & Dr

Anita Nitchingham

Dr Michael & Mrs Jewell Owen

Dolores Holland

Valerie Hosek

Dr Steven Spielman &

Ms Natasha Figon

Freida Bielik

Mr Colin & Mrs Rosy Elterman

Ilana Atlas

Bob & Mrs Gabriella Trijbetz

Susan Carleton

David Landa


Matthew & Dr Anne Cohn

Mr David & Mrs Karen Gordon

Mr James Carleton &

Ms Anastasia Polites

Mr Lesli & Mrs Kirsty Berger

Mr Philip & Mrs Lorraine Levy

Mr Roy & Mrs Jennifer Cohen

Kylie Owen

Itta Vorsay

$500 or more

Dr Jeffrey & Mrs Jeanette Streimer

Mr Brian & Dr Gene Sherman

Graeme Parris

Mr Andrew Silberberg &

Ms Michelle Katz

Mr Norbert & Mrs Sonja Schweizer

Dr Ilan Buchman & Mr Oscar Shub

Professor Graham Newstead

& Ms Michele Newman

Mr Robert & Julie Brown

Jason Kaplan

Mr Eran & Mrs Vanessa Weiner

Mr Gary & Mrs Aliza Jacobs

Mr David & Mrs Susie Phillips

Mr Marshall & Mrs Suzanne Rosen

Deidre Bear

Dr Stephen & Dr Deborah Koder

Helena Ameisen

Danielle Schlanger

Jane Parker

Eugina Langley

Gillian Bullock

Aletta Liebson

Valerie Malka

Mr Jonathan & Mrs Renee Pinshaw

Monica Schlesinger

Geoff Weinberg

Mr David & Mrs Monique Hirst

Regina Sassoon

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Bertha Power

Margaret Roden

Marilyn Schock

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Anthony Spencer

Victoria Timchenko

Kerrie Weil

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Mazal Tov to

Gabrielle Maya


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Austin Altit

Isabel Marouani

Finn Harry Winkler

Hannah Shemesh

Arielle Yossef

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Ethan Hirst

Jethro Igra

Leonidas Carleton

Daliah Smagarinsky

Liberty & Amir Waldner

Phoenix Daran

Andie Marks

Noam Olovitz


To rejoice with the happy couple

Samuel Moliver

Romy McCorquodale

Jemma Wise

Miri Stubbs-Goulston

Alyssa Severin &

Ben Harris

Rebecca Gordon &

David Goltsman

Jordan Kahn &

Michael Hofstein


To comfort the bereaved

Evelyn Perl

Joseph Neustatl

George Fried

Herman Strykowski

Karen Rheuben

Wolf (Robert)


Sophia (Senya) Fooks

Roslyn Baker

Vera Kolman

Roslyn Levi

Brendon Meyers

Frederica Perlmutter

Elizabeth Parker

Marie Phillips

Ivan Raanan

Phyllis Glasser

Stella Wolfgang

Erwin Charmatz

Agnes Fischmann

Nicholas Phillips

Alexi Bader

Myrl Bear

Surica Lichtenstein

Cheyne Kuntsler



Morning Minyan

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

All service times are subject to change. Please check

emanuel.org.au 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)


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

7 Ocean Street, Woollahra NSW 2025

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

Call: (02) 9389 6444

Email: info@emanuel.org.au

Visit: emanuel.org.au

Like: facebook.com/emanuel.synagogue

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 marketing@emanuel.org.au.

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

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