TELL September 2020

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The Days of Awe

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

High Holy Days



Sanctifying Time

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

Reinventing Our


To Succeed

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Who shall say

is calling?

Cantor George Mordecai

The Truest Gift

of Freedom

Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

Entering the Belly

of the Whale

Rabbi Orna Triguboff


Masorti services will be pre-recorded and will be available for viewing throughout Yom Tov.

12th September 8:30pm - Selichot

18th September 6:00pm - Erev Rosh Hashanah

19th September 10:00am - Progressive Rosh Hashanah morning

20th September 10:00am - Rosh Hashanah Live

4:00pm - Tashlich live-streamed

27th September 5:45pm - Progressive Communal candle lighting

6:00pm - Progressive Kol Nidrei

6:30pm - Renewal Kol Nidrei

28th September

10:00am - Progressive Yom Kippur morning

12:00pm - Meditation, sermons, reflections

1:00pm - Yom Kippur afternoon

3:00pm - Meditations, sermons, Ask the Clergy

4:30pm - Progressive Yizkor

5:30pm - Progressive Ne’ilah

6:34pm - Havdalah Community

See emanuel.org.au for details

Cover Art

100 Sounds of the Shofar

Our cover depicts the 100 sounds we blow

on the shofar each day on Rosh Hashanah

reflected through the Tree of Life.

Kabbalah discusses the deep spiritual

significance of this pattern of sounds

blown since ancient times.

Courtesy The Tzfat Gallery of Mystical Art


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, or you

may choose to take a moment

of personal reflection.

6:15pm Friday - Shabbat Live

(Millie Phillips Building - in

person & live-streamed) https://


The Shabbat Embrace Service begins

at 10am each Saturday morning.


10:00am Saturday - Progressive (in

person only)


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.

We hold a Masorti Minyan at

8:00am Monday to Friday mornings


and 9:00am Sundays


10:00am - Masorti (Millie Phillips

Building - in person only)


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

Kabbalah Meditation

An opportunity to learn

meditation in a Jewish context.

With Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff.

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

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Cantor George Mordecai


I would like to start by offering

my thanks and appreciation to

our incredible community - to

thank all the volunteers, clergy

and staff for their commitment,

teamwork and leadership in

these challenging times. The

commitment, collegiality and

Suzanna Helia

effort shown to make sure we

are here, six months into the

pandemic, standing as strong

as we are, is a testament to all

involved. Thanks to so many

who showed enthusiasm and put

in long hours to help transform

our synagogue into a wonderful

and welcoming virtual space.

The whole community and all

synagogues joined forces with

passion, to work together and

find the best approach to respond

and support each other. From the

depth of my heart, I will forever

remember the collegiality and

the united front of the Jewish

community at this unprecedented

time...and the work continues.

In March, there were more than

36 participants in a conference

call arranged by NSW Jewish

Board of Deputies, to hear

the different approaches

of Jewish synagogues and

community organisations, to

COVID-19. Within 24 - 48

hours, many organisations

had to make decisions, that

we are still living with.

As with many crises, new

initiatives have been created.

Many cultural institutions,

including museums, galleries,

concert halls, independent

musicians and artists, found a

means to create, perform, and

connect with their audience

through online platforms,

bringing much comfort to many

people confined to their homes

across the world. Amazingly,

so did we, through the Dunera

Project. This online hub is an

initiative of Emanuel Synagogue,

and has enabled hundreds of

isolated people to engage and

enjoy a variety of live events

and activities from the security

of their homes. The amazing






Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio




Reverend Sam Zwarenstein




Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff



Donna Jacobs-Sife






Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins OAM



Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth



Cantor George Mordecai

variety of educational, cultural

and entertaining offerings are

presented and curated by a group

of dedicated volunteers. The

project that was made possible

through the involvement of

a large number of wonderful

volunteers aims to “bring about

a new sense of togetherness,

even though we are apart”.

I would also like to acknowledge

the importance of the campus

and its buildings being

maintained and “kept warm and

alive”. Ruth’s Garden has been

looked after by our dedicated

staff, and the Millie Phillips

building became a recording

studio for Shabbat Live,

‘becoming live’. Meanwhile, we

have also lodged a Development

Application with Woollahra

Council for the improvements

to the Heritage Sanctuary

aiming to bring back the “shine”

to this space and celebrate

the historical significance

of the building’s beauty.

Back in March, we anticipated

that operations would be

‘normalised’, and our lives

would be back to normal by the

High Holidays. And here lies

the dilemma - what is “back to

normal”? For many of us High

Holidays is a time of reflection,

goal setting, aspirations or even

hope. Many of us have now

accepted that the reflection

component of this year’s reset

button is life changing.

In response to the pandemic,

former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan

Sacks, an influential figure in

British intellectual life, remarked,

we “have been coasting along

for more than half a century”,

and all at once “we are facing

the fragility and vulnerability

of the human situation.”

One could say we were like

hamsters on the wheel of life. We

have all established our rhythm

- we go to work, go home, eat,

watch TV and go to sleep. Or,

for those of us who feel a little

more 21st century – we wake

up, meditate, exercise, go to

work, attend the next “envelope

opening”, post on social media,

eat and post on social media

the dish you ate at a restaurant,

go for our annual European

trip and post on social media,

sleep, wake up and start all over

again. The pandemic, however,

has stopped the wheel. It has

given us an opportunity to look

in the mirror, reset, and make

a conscious decision about

where, and how, to spend the

rest, or next stage of our lives.

I have been thinking about

my reset button, about what

Continued on page 7






Tanya Igra



Liam O’Callaghan






















by Anne Wolfson



Rabbi Jeffrey B. Kamins OAM

On Rosh Chodesh Elul, coinciding with August 21st this year, we

begin sounding the shofar for every day leading to Rosh Hashanah,

with one final sounding at the end of Yom Kippur.

The sound of the shofar reminds

us of where we were last year,

including in the midst of a

severe drought. Who could

have imagined the year that

would unfold since that last

sounding? What an incredible

journey we have all taken in

this world, in our country

and in our community. Since

those Yamim Noraim, we have

experienced horrific fires that

raged early and intensely and

impacted on so many, devastation

then overshadowed by the

illness, death, uncertainty and

disconnection caused by the

coronavirus still affecting each

and all of us. As we hear the

shofar again and reflect on this

last year, we remember how frail

and vulnerable we can be. There

is vast power beyond us that

keeps our life in perspective.

Indeed, according to the rabbinic

tradition, one of the meanings

of the Shofar is to herald the

arrival of “God as King”. The

metaphor of the sovereignty

of God in fact runs through

the entire liturgy from Rosh

Hashanah to Yom Kippur.

Throughout the prayers we will

substitute the Hebrew word “El”,

or “God” for “melekh”, meaning

“king”. We recite the stirring

prayer, “Avinu, Malkeinu” (our

father, our king), pleading for

the divine ruler’s benevolent

compassion and forgiveness. The

“power imbalance” between us

and the sovereign plays out in

the words of U’nataneh Tokef,

acknowledging the sacred power

of the day, when it is written

“who shall live and who shall

die”. Yom Kippur’s specific

liturgy, poems such as “Ki anu

amecha” and “Ki hineh ka’chomer”

emphasise our vulnerability

within the great unknown.

Often, when we stay too close to

the literal words of the prayers,

we miss their significance. How

many moderns truly believe that

God is a King, that we are clay

in the hands of the potter, or that

on Rosh Hashanah it is written

and on Yom Kippur it is sealed

who shall live and who shall die?

Yet, if we have learned anything

this last year it is how powerless

we can be in the face of the forces


of the universe. While we can

choose to explain the causes of

extreme fires as climate change or

poor bush clearance, we cannot

escape the fact that the forces

of nature can overwhelm us

within moments. Even more so,

COVID-19 has demonstrated

how a virus can totally transform

human society with long lasting

impact on our physical and

mental well-being, on our very

way of life. Some may not ascribe

this power to a God who is king,

but understanding our liturgy at

this season as reminding us of

our relatively insignificant and

vulnerable place in the grand

scheme of things can help us

recalibrate. Indeed, the intention

of these days is for us to come

back to balance.

So let us acknowledge the sacred

power of these days. Even though

we will not be able to pray and

learn together in the same space

this year, we can continue to

imbue these days with meaning,

as is their intent. We can still

come together in small numbers

with family and friends – for some

physically, for some virtually. We

can dress up, as if we were really

at synagogue on the day. We

can create connections as we did

at Pesach and as we continue to

do on Shabbat. If anything, this

year, the words of our prayers

- understood metaphorically as

is all good poetry - are all the

more meaningful. We now know

how vulnerable we are, how little

of our lives is in our personal

control, and how ultimately,

spiritual wealth and general wellbeing

transcends material wealth,

fame and power. As we begin

hearing the sound of the shofar

let us awaken to new perspectives.

These are the Yamim Noraim, the

days of awe. May it be a good,

sweet and healthy New Year.

CEO Update continued

makes me happy, and what

really matters in life. I came

across the longest study on

happiness, the Harvard Study of

Adult Development, currently

led by the psychiatrist Robert

Waldinger. For more than 75

years, data has been collected

that has led to some clear answers

about what makes for a good life.

The study reveals that: “Close

relationships, more than money

or fame, are what keep people

happy throughout their lives.

Those ties protect people from

life’s discontents, help to delay

mental and physical decline,

and are better predictors of

long and happy lives than social

class, IQ, or even genes”.

It suggests that “The people who

fared the best were the people

who leaned in to relationships—

with family, with friends,

with community.” I think we

would all like to have good

relationships, but are we actually

doing much about it? For some

it comes naturally, but others

need to make a conscious effort.

So, what if we “leaned in'' to the

relationships that matter most?

Imagine making family, friends

and our community our true

priority, in the way we spend our

time and where we devote our

greatest energy and creativity. I

have decided to do just that. In

a somewhat sad coincidence, as

I am consciously trying to spend

more time with my children,

my oldest son is moving to a

boarding school. The pressure of

time is a hidden gift. Days don’t

get wasted wandering aimlessly;

every minute is accounted for,

even if it is just spending time

in his company, or sitting and

talking. My children, family and

a few close friends are now at the

centre of my life. We are all more

present than ever before, and

we appreciate the importance

of human connection.

A late evening walk after a

concert may seem distant. The

experience of still hearing the

melody of live music buzzing in

our heads has now been replaced

with a home Zoom experience,

or perhaps for some lucky ones,

an intimate gathering around

a piano or cello enjoying the

tunes. High Holidays this year

will be for many, I imagine, by

invitation only, to a home event

led by a Zoom service. This year

more than ever, not being able to

attend services at the synagogue,

might make many feel isolated

and lonely. I encourage you

all, if you know of anyone who

might be at home alone over

these High Holidays, or perhaps

if you are the one who is on

your own, to reach out to your

families. Don’t hold grudges if

that’s what is separating you;

invite people over. Everyone of

course, remaining COVID Safe.

Wishing you all Shana Tova in

good health and prosperity.

Suzanna Helia



by Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

This year we have been

challenged to reimagine so

many moments and times in our

lives: Shabbat, life cycle events,

shopping, socialising, even

the simple act of greeting one

another. We have learned, as we

have begun to don masks, how to

make our eyes smile, to connect

with one another in different

ways and now we are called upon

to do so for the most sacred and

holy days in our calendar, days

which for many of us, derive

their power and awesomeness

from the gathering of community

in our sacred spaces. This year,

we will not be able to gather

in large numbers as we have

in the past, so it is upon us to

find new and innovative ways

to connect to each other and to

these holy and sacred moments.

When we enter the synagogue

we recite: “ma tovu ohalecha

Ya’akov, mishkenotecha Yisrael”

How beautiful are your tents,

Jacob, your dwelling places,

Israel. It’s interesting that we

say these words as we enter the

synagogue, yet they speak about

our dwellings and our homes.

That is because the two are

reflections, one of the other, and

this year for the High Holydays

we are being called to create in

our homes, sacred, holy spaces.

Abraham Joshua Heschel so

beautifully described Judaism as

a religion which sanctifies time

and not space. We can create a

synagogue, a sanctuary anywhere.

One of my favourite poems is

from Ruth Brin: “A Sense of

Your Presence” She writes:

…among our many attributes

There is a talent for

worshipping God

Jews who wandered in the

desert beneath the stars

Knew their hearts were

hungry for God

Jews who studied in candlelit

ghetto rooms

Thirsted longingly after God…

Help us to seek the

silence of the desert

And the thoughtfulness

of the house of study

Bless us, like our ancestors

in ancient days

With that most precious gift:

a sense of your presence…

(“Harvest: Collected Poems

and Prayers” by Ruth Brin)

Ruth Brin, in this prayer, reminds

us of the myriad of places our


people have found God and

connected with prayer. We are not

tied to a place, we are connected

through belief, through history,

through time. We create sacred

moments, we sanctify time and we

can do that anywhere. When the

Temple was destroyed, so much

of our practice, our worship of

God was destroyed along with

it but we were not destroyed

as a people, because God was

not in the Temple, Judaism

was not confined to a space.

It travelled with us all over the

world, through deserts and snow,

over land and sea, and we pray,

we worship and we connect in

all manner of locations: indoors

and in nature, in magnificent

synagogues and humble rooms,

hiding in basements, freely

in spaces open to the world.

We make space sacred by our

worship in the holiness of time.

Growing up in Adelaide I

remember going to “Synagogue

Place” a little lane off one of the

main shopping streets, where the

Orthodox Synagogue was located.

It was a magnificent building,

chandeliers, a carved wooden

reading platform, space upstairs

for the women where I sat with my

grandmother, always in the front

row in the middle, as she sang out

loudly and called to my cousins

downstairs for the page numbers.

In the 1980s the community made

a decision to sell that building,

prime real estate, and build a new

synagogue and community centre

closer to where the congregation

were living. So the synagogue was

sold and the purchaser turned it

into a nightclub called… “The

Synagogue.” It has since had a

name change and it was very

confusing when my non Jewish

friends would declare “I’m going

to the synagogue tonight” and

mean the night club not the shule,

but people were perplexed at how

it could be that a synagogue could

become a nightclub; surely it was

sacred ground!

But the ground was only sacred

because of the acts which

were performed within it, the

Torah scrolls, the dedication

of that space to prayer, study,

meeting and devotion, once

they were removed, so too was

the sanctity of the building,

it became just a building.

This year, at our High Holydays

were are being called to create

holy space in our homes, to turn

our places into sanctuaries and to

reflect the holiness in time, in our

houses. We have the opportunity

to transform our every day spaces

into sacred places for prayer

and connection with spirit.

Adelaide Synagogue 1871 - State Library of South Australia


We will be streaming all our

services, so maybe find a way to

make the area in which we will be

watching the service, a reflection

of the day. We can drape it in

white, add some flowers, dress in

our High Holy Day finest and

sing along with the music, allow

ourselves to be drawn into the

beauty of the moment, the ancient

chants and prayers, close our eyes

and fly free in our imaginations,

travelling anywhere, connecting

with the past, remembering

and shaping something unique

and beautiful for today.

For Yom Kippur especially,

being at home provides the

opportunity to do some deep

reflection, uninterrupted by the

distractions of the synagogue,

quiet moments for you to be

with yourself and your spirit.

Maybe take some time to go

outside, connect with nature,

think about the magnificence

of the world, our place in it, our

and its fragility and beauty. This

year is also a chance to engage

in some study, a discussion with

a friend or a family member. To

connect with people, maybe not

in person, but definitely through

the many other means by which

we have chosen to link together

these past many months.

And we can find community

within our homes as well.

Imagining as we say the prayers,

the homes all over our city, our

country and the world where

this year, Jews will be praying,

our souls together, our bodies in

our sanctuaries at home. We can

use the technology to link for

discussion and reflection with our

congregation but also with family

and friends all over the city and

the world. We can create a High

Holyday “zoomunity” (a zoom

community) where we can enjoy

apples and honey, prayers and

wishes for the year ahead, hear the

call of the shofar, chat, discuss,

pray, sing, dance, reflect and be

together in oneness of spirit. We

can feel the unity of the world

in ways we have never dared to

dream or imagine before. And

there is the bonus of not needing

to find parking, remember your

tickets, choose a service, find a


I am excited as we imagine all

the possibilities for these High

Holydays and look forward to

greeting you all, connecting with

community, our spirits joined,

our prayers rising and creating

a canopy of love over all of us,

our cities, our countries and

the world as we feel the beauty

of the holiness we will create

together in time and space.

May we have a year ahead of

health, strength and blessings

Shana Tova Umetuka,

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio



The in-person UPJ Biennial planned for 5-8 November 2020 has been postponed to 14-17 October

2021, and we are pleased to announce that our special guest speaker Rabbi Sharon Brous of Ikar in

Los Angeles will be with us at that time.

This year, on Sunday 8 November 2020, a Virtual Biennial will be offered, with an online

introduction from Rabbi Brous. During July, Biennial chair Susan Kadar spent 10 days conducting

interviews with UPJ congregations throughout the region to determine a program that will best

suit the needs of our constituents for the Virtual Biennial. Early-bird registration, including details

about the program and speakers will be launched on 1 September on the UPJ website. For more

information, contact the UPJ office at: upj@upj.org.au or 0416 700 613.


Parashat HaShavua -

Weekly Parasha Study

Every Wednesday from 8:15pm

- Musings on our Texts -

A contemporary look at our

ancient texts. We will delve into

our weekly portion looking at

difficult passages, inspiring texts,

and stories that you think you

know to cast new light on the

stories essential to our identity.


Thursday evenings from 7:15pm

Join Cantor George Mordecai on

Thursday evenings to learn some very

deep Torah. Cantor Mordecai will give

over the insightful and amazing Omer

teachings imparted to him by his teacher

and mentor, Reb Miles Krassen.

Contact gmordecai@emanuel.org.au

Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/205614635

Note: if you don't have access to Zoom,

you can join by phone (audio only). Call

02 8015 6011 Meeting ID: 205 614 635


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 build relationships with people

going through the same life stage that will

carry forward after the class has concluded.

Email Rabbi Kaiserblueth:



by Tanya Igra


Emanuel Synagogue’s Social Justice group had been unable to

carry their usual volunteer work due to COVID-19.

As a result, they had been looking

for a project that could work

logistically with the current

government health regulations of

social distancing.

They selected the Gunawirra school

backpack drive for Aboriginal preschool

children living in rural and

remote areas of NSW. This followed

the success of a similar care pack

drive conducted by our Synagogue

for Mitzvah Day in 2018.

One of Gunawirra’s signature

programs is the Five Big Ideas

program. By teaching pre-schoolers

about personal hygiene, basic health

care and simple nutrition, significant

improvements to primary health care

can be created. The program aims to

reduce longer term chronic health

problems, and ultimately, reducing

the difference in life expectancy

between Indigenous and non-

Indigenous Australians.

Due to the social isolation of children

due to COVID, donors were asked

to put together a kit for girls or

boys aged 2–5, including a school

backpack with socks, underwear,

an activity book and coloured

pencils/textas. Gunawirra then

added toiletries to complement each


A big thank you to our generous

donors! Our appeal reached 95

backpacks which were recently

delivered to Gunawirra headquarters

in Rozelle, and were warmly and

gratefully received by their staff.

These will be transported together

with the collections from their other

donor organisations to reach over

600 Aboriginal pre-school children.

Below are photos of the delivery

of the backpacks to the staff at

Gunawirra. We hope to be able to

share with you some photos of the

children receiving their backpacks in

the next TELL magazine.



Rosh Chodesh Group



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, please call the

Emanuel Synagogue office on 9389

6444 or email info@emanuel.org.au.


Speakeasy with Rabbi Kamins

Tuesday 5:00pm

An hour of shmoozing about a topical matter of social import, made that much

easier with a drink of your choice from the comfort of your home.

Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/94346997043

Phone: +61 2 8015 6011 Meeting ID: 943 4699 7043

Pre-Shabbat Shmooze

Friday 10:00am

Join Reverend Sam Zwarenstein for a chance to chat and catch up

over coffee, tea, wine, whiskey or green smoothie!

10:00am to 11:00am - Shmooze on Zoom.

Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/94590645619

Phone: +61 2 8015 6011 Meeting ID: 945 9064 5619


By Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

There is no doubt that given the many challenges we’ve had to endure

since the onset of COVID-19, it would be difficult to focus on the positive

experiences. One such positive phenomenon is the world of online meeting

platforms, including GoogleMeet, GoToMeeting and Zoom.

There is no doubt that given

the many challenges we’ve

had to endure since the onset

of COVID-19, it would be

difficult to focus on the positive

experiences. One such positive

phenomenon is the world of

online meeting platforms,

including GoogleMeet,

GoToMeeting and Zoom. In the

highly unlikely event that you

haven’t heard of these platforms,

just ask any person working

from home or attending a

conference or education seminar,

or any of the millions of parents,

grandparents, aunts and uncles,

cousins, siblings, etc. about

these blessings that have allowed

so many to connect with the

outside world for work, family,

or a myriad of other reasons.

These platforms have allowed

many businesses to stay in

business and operate in a manner

that has brought some sort of

familiarity to their operations.

They’ve also enabled the

facilitation of online learning

in an interactive sense, so that

participants can ask questions,

join in on the conversation, and

just like it is for businesses, bring

a sense of familiarity to their

environment. The benefit that

most of us have had the pleasure

of enjoying is catching up with

family and friends. Given the

social and physical restrictions

we’ve been enduring since

mid-March, the various online

meeting choices have given all

of us the chance to connect

visually (in most cases) with

those we are physically missing.

Grandparents can chat with their

grandchildren, some of them are

seeing grandchildren and other

family members (born since

March) for the first time, via

the internet. Extended families

can have their family gatherings

without having to cater for the

entire crowd at one person’s house

(that goes for food and space).

Another positive outcome is that

you don’t have to catch public

transport or order a ride-share or

even drive (and look for parking)

to meet others. You can also,

for the most part, wear casual

clothing, perhaps even your

pyjamas, and relax in the comfort

of your lounge, bedroom,

favourite chair, etc. with your

preferred beverage and you’re set.

For me, Zoom in particular

has provided many hours

of interaction, fun, learning

opportunities, and best of all -

entertainment. Many parodies

have emerged, leaving their

mark of “art imitating life”,

reflecting the technological

struggles of connecting and the

frustrations of assisting those

new (and not so new) to the

world of marvellous mystery

and the often unexplained.


Amongst them is this video

by Yonatan Gruber - https://

youtu.be/_Ef5dRyvQ1Y - it’s in

Hebrew, but there are subtitles.

Not only is the video hilarious,

the comments people have posted

will resonate with all of us.

And then there’s a special set

of behaviours and mannerisms

that we all think are unique

to our own people, yet when

discussing these traits with

others, we realise that every

culture has their own, sometimes

scarily similar, adventures.

Let’s have a look at how some of

our people behave on Zoom.

Firstly, talking over each other.

Sometimes this is how people

behave when face to face, so

it shouldn’t be too much of a

surprise that this is how we act

on Zoom. One person is talking,

then someone else talks at the

same time, and then for good

measure, someone else talks

over them. What makes it more

frustrating or funny (you can pick

either or both), is that because

we’re not face to face, it doesn’t

work the same as in person.

This results in lots of facial

movement, and incoherent

voices competing for the same

airtime. When you put this

in the context of perceived

audience participation (e.g. the

sing-along portion following the

screening of “Fiddler: Miracle of

Miracles” in April), you get way

too many people trying to join

in and sing together, which was

beyond hilarious. By the way,

more than one person trying

to sing or speak at the same

time on Zoom, is too many.

Then there’s the mute feature. It

has become the Zoom equivalent

of “pocket dialling” where

somehow (use your imagination)

participants unmute themselves,

even though they are not

addressing the session at that

time. The result - we hear them

talking, or we hear the TV/radio

in the background, or we get to

experience their meal through

the wonder of sound. During

some sessions, we’ve had to act as

the “mute police”, patrolling the

list of participants to make sure

they’re on mute. There’s always

someone who keeps unmuting

themselves, no matter how

many times you mute them.

How about those individuals

that, even if momentarily, forget

that they are on camera and

they go about some of their

daily activities oblivious to the

consequences? People have gone

to the toilet or have gotten

changed or they’re “multitasking”

and they clearly can’t do more

than one thing at a time (at the

best of times). All this during

an online session and everybody

gets to share in that experience.

Of course, all of this is in

addition to the technology

melees, the time zone mix-ups,

the multiple log-ins under the

same profile, the meeting ID

conflicts, and the list goes on.

We could also look at the

financial success that some of

these platforms have enjoyed

over the past few months. In

January 2020, Zoom shares

were valued at just over $68

USD each. In mid-July they

were just over $275 USD. In

a Jackie Mason-esque routine,

we would be rueing not buying

Zoom shares back in January.

We would say; “If my (insert

relationship) hadn’t talked me

out of buying shares, I could have

made millions of dollars. That’s

family for you”, or “That was the

one stock I needed to complete

my top performing portfolio,

now I may as well give it all up”.

In April 2020, Zoom reported

more than 300 million peak

daily meeting participants.

There is some postulation about

what that statistic means, and

even by Zoom’s own admission,


daily meeting participants can

be counted multiple times, so

it’s not the same measure as

daily active users. Still, it’s a

very impressive achievement.

Clearly Zoom and the various

other platforms have enjoyed all

this success in the past 6 or so

months, and it appears they’ll be

riding the quarantine or isolation

wave for some time to come.

There is also a level of success

and accomplishment that

we can enjoy as part of this

boom. I have no doubt that if

in November 2019, we would

have had a planning session

with the aim of offering our

classes, services and other

sessions online, no amount of

preparation, research, testing or

engagement would have yielded

the success we have experienced

with our various online

offerings since March 2020.

The sheer fact that we were

thrown into the deep end

on this has driven a desire to

overcome the obstacles we faced

(and still face), and not only to

the point of making do, but to

new heights and achievements.

So much so, that we receive

accolades from around the

community, the country and the

world, and even communities

who have been live streaming

or otherwise broadcasting their

services and classes for a number

of years already, are emulating

our methods and style.

Amongst the reasons for our

success is that we have the clergy,

administrative and inventive

resources to pull together to

make this happen. Ideas and

concepts can be spoken about


and visions can be dreamed

about ad infinitum. Without

the capacity to make it happen,

it won’t go much further than

dreams and discussions.

We are also well-placed within

the Jewish community to engage

with our members and the

broader community where they

are, not just where we want them

to be. We can connect with them

in their homes, at work, in the

park, at a community centre, on

Shabbat and Festivals, wherever

and whenever. Not being able to

get to the synagogue is no longer

a barrier to regular engagement.

Most of all, it has been the

determination to not give

in and just accept our fate.

COVID-19 has resulted in

so many complications and

frustrations, and has gone a

long way to separating people

from their loved ones, from

their work, from their friends,

and from their community.

We have fought through these

barriers, we have found a way

to overcome the obstacles, and

we have created an environment

that enables us to continue to

engage with the community,

with friends and family, and

with people all over the world.

The perseverance we have

demonstrated to allow us to

do what we already have, is

undoubtedly the key ingredient.

We have learnt that as long as

we keep at it, not giving up

when we face unprecedented

challenges, but rather finding a

way to overcome complications

and barriers, we will succeed.

We have also learnt that we

have to do this over and

over, because the challenges

continually find new ways to

appear and get in our way.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you.

If you run into a wall, don’t turn

around and give up. Figure out

how to climb it, go through it, or

work around it.” - Michael Jordan

Let’s find the courage to keep on

reinventing our determination

to succeed, time and time again,

and embrace the opportunities

we afford ourselves.


by Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

In May, as my son Jordy’s birthday was approaching, Rachel and I were

struggling with how we were going to be able to celebrate. Clearly a party was

out of the question. What was it that an almost 4-year-old wanted?

We struggled with being trapped

in the mould and routine of how

celebrations had always been. A

party with lots of friends, one

cake, presents, singing, and one

day. We felt trapped, unable

to be inspired, until we gave

ourselves the freedom to venture

beyond. Our solution was to

create the week of Jordy. One

whole week of small celebrations

with family (live and virtual),

small outdoor playdates, and

of course, four separate cakes

including his specifically

requested broccoli cake! Jordy

was thrilled with his special week

with nary a complaint about

not having a big party. He still

speaks of the Week of Jordy

It may seem strange to be

contemplating freedom as we

approach the High Holidays, a

time normally devoted to taking

stock of the past year, repentance

forgiveness. Yet, here I am,

almost five months after Pesach,

approaching Rosh HaShanah, and

freedom is foremost on my mind.

Without the normal events

that help to remove us from

the doldrums of routine, how

can we mark those unique

moments that arrive? How can we

adequately prepare for the High

Holidays without the normal

processes of gathering, meeting,

building up the anticipation?

How are we, in this period

of constraints, able to express

ourselves, to go beyond what

has become a routine and

surpass the routine which we

have become so accustomed?

How do we ascend into the

sublime moments of the spiritual

highs of the High Holidays?

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

writes in God in Search of Man:

The reality of freedom, of

the ability to think, to will,

or to make decisions beyond

physiological and psychological

causation is only conceivable if we

Marc Chagall - Moses and

Aaron before Pharoah


assume that human life embraces

both process and event. If man is

treated as a process, if his future

determinations are regarded as

calculable, then freedom must be

denied. Freedom means that man

is capable of expressing himself in

events beyond his being involved

in the natural processes of living.

To believe in freedom is to

believe in events, namely to

maintain that man is able to

escape the bonds of the processes

in which he is involved and to

act in a way not necessitated by

antecedent factors. Freedom is

the state of going out of the self,

an act of spiritual ecstasy, in

the original sense of the term.

Who, then, is free? The creative

man who is not carried away by

the streams of necessity, who is

not enchained by processes, who

is not enslaved to circumstances.

This time of year, we are given a

choice. Are we to be to bound to

the past? Are we to be trapped in

the routines of our lives, those

processes, as Heschel describes,

that dictate and govern our every

action? Or, will be accept what

is and what has been, but also

accept that we can and must

venture past that if we are to

create the moments of meaning?

When can we be free?

Heschel continues:

We are free at rare moments.

Most of the time we are driven

by process; we submit to the

power of inherited character

qualities or to the force of

external circumstances, Freedom

is not a continual state of man,

“a permanent attitude of the

conscious subject.” It is not, it

happens. Freedom is an act, an

event. We all are endowed with

the potentiality of freedom. In

actuality, however, we only act

freely in rare creative moments.

When we shrug off the shackles

of routine, of process, and

arrive fresh and renewed at

those moments that allow us

to realise our potential, that

is true freedom. To infuse the

unique instants of our lives with

holiness and spirituality and most

importantly, meaning! That is the

truest gift of freedom which we

can give to ourselves. Let us be

generous to ourselves this year.

Shanah Tova U’Metukah,

Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth



By Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

In the lead up to Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur we

examine our lives and reflect on how we can improve. It

is a chance to reflect on what has gone well over the last

year and what we can build on for the year to come.

The many mystical teachings

about this period are full of

imagery and symbolism, and

I wanted to share some of

them with you. Reb Zalman

Schachter-Shalomi, founder of

the Jewish Renewal movement,

once told me that these

teachings are designed to nurture

the more artistic, creative parts

of the brain, as well as helping

develop emotional intelligence.

So let’s enter the belly of

the whale (and one of the

Tanach stories we read

on Yom Kippur) …..

A storm is raging, and the ship

in which Jonah is sailing is about

to capsize. According to the

ancient divination of the sailors

on board, Jonah is the cause

of this dangerous situation.

He is cast into the sea, and

promptly swallowed by a whale.

Three days later Jonah is spat

out onto dry land, and takes

on the mantle of a prophet.

The 18th Century Gaon of

Vilna, connected the journey

of Jonah to the journey of the

soul during a lifetime. Jonah’s

sojourn in the belly of the whale

being connected to times of

soul transformation. The name

Jonah in Hebrew is Yonah,

which means “dove”, and dove

is a symbol for the soul. During

periods such as the lead up to

Yom Kippur, where teshuvah –

“repentance” is the focus, it is

as if our souls are experiencing

what Jonah did thousands of

years ago. The time inside the

belly of the whale, is a time to

connect with our essence, to

return to our essence; teshuvah

means “return”. Once we return

to our essence, we are ready to

leave the belly of the whale and

be active in the world again

with renewed authenticity.



The ancient love song, The Song

of Songs, has a famous verse:

“From the depths I cry to you,

O Lord”. The mystical 13th

Century text, the Zohar links this

continued over...


verse to Repentance. Repentance

is described in this way: “There

is a hidden place above, it is the

depth of the wellspring. From

this well, fountains and streams

flow to all directions, and the

deepest of depths is ‘Repentance’.

And whoever wishes to repent

and cleanse themselves of sin

must call on the divine through

this deep well.” (Zohar)



Just as the myth of Venus

describes her daily swim in the

ocean as the way she is constantly

renewed, so too, the Zohar

describes the process of repentance

as a diving into the ocean of the

spirit. It is called the principle of

Binah - Understanding. Binah

is not only called the Supernal

Mother of all creation, but also

the Celestial Ocean. During Elul

and the 10 Days of Awe, through

the process of teshuvah, our soul

is returned to its source, like a

river flowing to the sea. When it

rests in the ocean, it can connect

to its original purity and be reinvigorated.

This spiritual ocean

is so huge that it is able to receive

all souls. Even when we feel there

is no return, when there is no

way back, the ocean beckons.

Whether it is the belly of

the whale, the deepest well

or the grandest ocean, we all

have a great opportunity this

year, to return and reconnect

with our inner spark.

Wishing you a meaningful

High Holy Day period,

Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff



My name is Liam O’Callaghan,

and I have been a member of

Emanuel Synagogue for the past

three years. During COVID-19,

many of us have been looking

for extra projects to do, or new

skills to learn, as the lockdowns

and social distancing measures

keep many of us stuck at home.

A lot of us have picked up skills

such as sourdough baking,

gardening or making masks.

Instead, I decided to take

up a completely different

and uncommon skill - bush

firefighting. During the horror

summer of bushfires, I, along

with all other Australians, was

in awe of the incredible efforts

of our volunteer emergency

services, in fighting to save lives

and property. My favourite line

from the Talmud, and the one

that resonates mostly with me, is

“Whoever saves one life saves the

world entire”. I believe as a Jew

I have a moral obligation to help

protect the lives of my fellow

citizens, and so in December last

year, I applied to join my local

branch of the Rural Fire Service.

During the months of lockdown,

I completed training in the use

of fire extinguishers and hoses,

how to conduct hazard reduction

burns, how to operate a fire

truck pump, how to escape a

fire overrun, and many other

crucial techniques to help

protect my local community

and its natural environment.

A week after completing my final

exams for my university degree,

I successfully passed my bushfire

assessment, and became a fullyfledged

member of the NSW

Rural Fire Service as a qualified

bush firefighter. This is only the

beginning of my training, and

I have already started learning

to operate the fire truck, and

will begin learning how to fight

house fires later this year.

The NSW Rural Fire Service

is an incredible organisation,

made up of dedicated and brave

volunteers, and I encourage

members of our community

to not only support them, but

volunteer your own time if you

have it. It may not be one of

the popular skills that many

of us have picked up during

the lockdown, but hopefully,

come the summer, it will be

one of the most useful.


During the past six months

of the global pandemic, as

well as the previous months of

devastating fires throughout

Australia, the Union for

Progressive Judaism has been

inspired by the efforts of our

Progressive community as

they have responded to the

many resulting challenges.

The enormous dedication and

creativity exhibited by UPJ

congregations and organisations

in establishing a myriad of

virtual services, classes and

resources has resulted in

even greater than normal

As the Yamim Noraim approach,

it is hard to put into words

what the past few months have

meant for our community,

and the Jewish world more

generally. Loss, dislocation,

separation and major financial

and organizational challenges.

Adaption, flexibility, innovation

and have been so important.

Our Emanuel community has

responded to these extraordinary

times in a wonderful way,

maintaining connection with

congregants, reaching out to

individuals, developing new

ways of ensuring that all of us

have the opportunity to be and

feel connected with our kehila

and our Jewish lives. Most




participation and a higher level

of engagement for so many

seeking ways to learn and pray.

As always, we strive to make

our organisation the best that

it can be. In keeping with the

tradition of the High Holy

Days, if we have inadvertently

upset or offended anyone, we

sincerely ask for forgiveness.

May the new year 5781 bring

blessing to you, your families

and congregations, and may

our shared efforts continue

to grow Progressive Judaism



of us recognize that we have

nonetheless felt dislocated from

our usual ways of being Jewish.

That will certainly be a feature

of this time we are in and

how it will impact and limit

our experience of the High

Holy Days. But we can also

be grateful for the means that

new modes of communication

provide for us to remain

engaged and experience

community together.

Collectively and as individuals,

we have this opportunity to work

at making this a meaningful

period of reflection and teshuvah.

Mercaz-Masorti Australasia is so

grateful to be part of Emanuel

in our region and help bring

about a lasting peace for Israel.

L’shana tova tikatevu: may our

communities be inscribed and

sealed in the Book of Life,

David D Knoll AM and

Brian Samuel OAM


Jocelyn Robuck

Executive Manager

Synagogue, for the home it

provides for our egalitarian,

traditional approach to Jewish

life and the celebration of

diversity that it offers.

We are also grateful to all who

have joined our organization.

Have a look at our website

www.masorti.org.au for more

news and information about

Masorti in Australia and our

connections with the world

wide Masorti movement.

Wishing you and your loved ones

Shana Tova Umetukah

Eric Lundberg

President Mercaz-

Masorti Australasia

Kabbalah Meditation

Authentic Ancient Jewish Meditation

Breath, Sound and Higher Inspiration

13th Century Spain, Rabbi Avraham Abulafia taught a unique form

of breath meditation combined with sound and Gems of Wisdom.

Presented by Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff, this combination makes for a

practical experience of kabbalah with authentic text study.

FREE. It will happen online and will be recorded.


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


Shabbat Embrace

Be embraced by the Shabbat and be

embraced by community as we connect

for Shabbat prayer, song and reflection.

Join Cantor George Mordecai and

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio for a spiritual

and musical experience embracing the

essence of Shabbat. Click on the link

below to join us at 10am on Saturdays.

Shabbat Embrace will also be

available on Facebook Live! Head

to emanuel.org.au/services


by Cantor George Mordecai


Recently I have inquired about the appropriateness of contemporary

congregations’ replacement of the traditional High Holy Days prayer

U’Netaneh Tokef with Leonard Cohen’s ‘Who by Fire’.

U’Netaneh Tokef—liturgically

situated in the Musaf Amidah

of both Rosh Hashanah and

Yom Kippur—has been one of

the most popular prayers in our

liturgical canon and it has been

revered throughout the ages.

Despite this, the theology

articulated in the piyyut (liturgical

poem) is one with which many

of us have problems. We are at

the mercy of an omnipotent God

who decides each year, between

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur,

who will live and who will die and

in what way. We are essentially

powerless, like a flock of sheep,

bereft of agency and choice.

It was after being in Israel during

the Yom Kippur War, in 1973,

that Leonard Cohen wrote ‘Who

by Fire’, taking up the central

passages of U’Netaneh Tokef—

those verses introduced by “On


Rosh Hashanah it is written, and

on Yom Kippur it is sealed!”

Leonard Cohen is very interesting

for us on many levels. He is

considered one of the most

gifted songwriters of our era and

his songs have reached millions

of people around the world.

His songs contain a plethora of

Biblical, Midrashic and mystical

references. Even though his songs

are not liturgical, they reflect a

poet who is deeply engaged in his

religious tradition. Leonard Cohen

needed to search outside Jewish

tradition for spiritual technologies

that would help him along his

journey, but he always remained

connected to his Judaism. It

informed his life till the end.

In an interview with Arthur

Kutzweil, Cohen says: “I was

brought up in the Conservative

tradition, which I have the

deepest respect for. I light the

candles Friday night. I feel very

close to the whole trip. I don’t

think we were able to develop

a meditational system that

could seize and address the deep

appetites of our best young people,

the people who really had to have

an experience of the Absolute.

We didn’t take that seriously. I

think our faith is full of atheists

and agnostics. I think that there

are lots of nominal Jews around.

But I think there are people who

really believe, who have really

had an experience, who have

really been embraced, who have

felt this embrace, who have felt

themselves dissolve in the midst of

a prayer. And felt that the prayer

was praying them. ... I began

practising the Judaism that I had

never practised. Laying tefillin

every morning, and going through

the shemoneh esreh, and really

understanding that there were

these 18 steps and that they were

a ladder, and that these were a way

of preparing yourself for the day.

... While starting from a very low

place, you could put your chin up

over the windowsill and actually

see a world that you could affirm.”

We see from this excerpt that

Cohen was powerfully connected

to his tradition while feeling the

need to explore other spiritual

technologies—for example, Zen

Buddhism—in order to ‘fill

the gaps’ that had opened for

many seekers in the West during

the 1960s. Cohen’s journey is

the journey of an individual

whose spiritual search took him

in many different directions

and yet he always remained

Jewish, negotiating the domains

identified by laying tefillin and/

or sitting on a meditation cushion

in a seminary or ashram.

So what are the differences

between the traditional

U’Netaneh Tokef and Cohen’s

interpretation? The piyyut states:

On Rosh Hashanah it is written,

and on the Fast of the Day of

Atonement it is sealed!—

How many will pass on, and

how many will be born;

who will live and who will die;

who will live a long life and who

will come to an untimely end;

who will perish by fire and who

by water; who by sword and

who by beast; who by hunger

and who by thirst; who by

earthquake and who by plague;

who will be strangled and

who will be stoned;

who will be at peace and

who will be troubled;

who will be serene and

who will be disturbed;

who will be tranquil and

who will be tormented;

who will be impoverished

and who will be enriched;

who will be brought low,

and who will be raised up.

Cohen keeps the form of the

piyyut but he contemporises

many of the phrases to reflect

current disturbance and to reveal

some of our deepest anxieties:

“Who by barbiturate ... who

by powder, who for his greed

... who in solitude, who in this

mirror ... who in power ...’’.

But the most compelling and

theologically transformative

position that Cohen puts to us is

in his interrogatory refrain “Who

shall I say is calling?” He uses this

refrain to replace the traditional

On Rosh Hashanah it is written,

and on the Fast of the Day

of Atonement it is sealed!


The emphasis on God-as-judge,

deciding who will live or die

in the following year and by

what means, is totally absent

in Cohen’s interpretation.

Cohen stated: “That song derives

very directly from a Hebrew

prayer that is sung on the [sic]

of the Day of Atonement. ‘Who

by fire, who by sword, who by

water.’ According to the tradition

the Book of Life is opened and in

it is inscribed all those who will

live and all those who will die for

the following year. In that prayer

is catalogued all the various ways

in which you can quit this vale of

tears. The conclusion of the song

as I write it is somewhat different,

‘Who shall I say is calling?’ That is

what makes the song into a prayer

for me in my terms which is who

is it, or what is it that determines

who will live and who will die?”

Cohen does not put his trust

in faith here. He addresses the

contemporary seeker who cannot

rely on old faith and belief

paradigms. It is the ontological

question of questions that informs

the refrain of Cohen’s prayer.

Leonard Cohen’s ‘Who by Fire’

doesn’t provide us with the answer

as in the traditional text- but

repentance, prayer and charity

can temper God’s judgementsolve

the problem of theodicy—

the question of how God’s

goodness can permit evil in our

lives— Leonard recognises that

many of us no longer inhabit

the theological space articulated

and expounded in the unetane

tokef, but it does welcome openendedness,

renewed and deep

spiritual enquiry with the question

“Who shall I say is calling?”.


Join us in our virtual sanctuary as we welcome the

Shabbat with the spiritual, meaningful, music, prayers

and stories of Shabbat Live.

Join us online on Zoom from 6:15pm.

Shabbat Live will also be available on Facebook Live!



By Donna Jacobs-Sife


Anna’s last day had dawned with reluctance. The sky hung low

with unexpressed rain. Time moved thick and sulky.

Anna half looked out the window

on this, her last sky. Without the

prospect of her usual morning

coffee and toast, this being a

day of fasting, she wrapped

herself up in her dressing gown,

went into the lounge room,

and sat by the window.

It had not been a restful night.

There had been disturbances.

Dreams of being followed by a

faceless dark figure. Anna feeling

terror, running away fast, fast,

whilst the dark figure walked with

leisure and monotony, always just

a step behind. There had been

long periods of fitfulness too, and

a heaviness in her chest, as if a

hand were grasping her heart.

The sun was straining beyond

the clouds. She closed her eyes,

and yearned for its light and

warmth. It occurred to her that

she was not feeling very well.

Her shoulder ached, her fingers

were tingling, and her heart still

struggled beneath the firm grip

of that unseen hand. Placing

her palm upon her chest, she

gazed with unseeing eyes, and

mouthed words – inevitable and

unconscious – ‘Aveinu malcheinu,

I have sinned before thee.”

Those words seemed to set in

motion an eternal decree, the

disembodied hand began to

squeeze her heart, as if it had

been waiting forever, for the

clock’s hand to move this one

last time. Anna looked at the

carpet and strategized how to

fall without hitting the corner

of the table with her head.

She did not recall the falling

itself, nor did she know how long

she had laid upon the floor, but

as her consciousness returned,

Anna progressively noted her

new situation. After the first

moments of confusion, came

the steady realization of pain,

that finally grew so intense, that

it fed on all other thought and

sensation. Anna fought against

it, her body rigid against its

demands to concede defeat.

Gripped in this frozen unyielding

state, the sun suddenly broke

through the clouds and began

to warm Anna through the

window beneath which she lay.

It was a warmth that soaked

into her blood, that circulated

to her chest and arms and legs

and hands, whispering ‘let go,

let go’ in rhythm to her breath.

And as she relaxed, so did she

separate from the grip of pain,

and found that her body could

have its own experience. That

there was another part of her

that was completely unconnected

to her body, and if she focused

on that, the pain did not lessen,

but became insignificant.

She opened her eyes, and found

that they were unseeing, except

for a whiteness that at once was

brilliant and remote. She closed

her eyes again, and felt this other

part of herself rise up, away from

the body of pain.

“I am dying” she thought to

herself. “I am dying on Yom

Kippur.” Anna noticed that her

nightgown had ridden above her

thighs, and that her legs were

splayed inelegantly apart. She

tried to move a hand, but was


unable to. She managed with

some effort, to move her leg

to a more modest position.

Two unblinking eyes

appeared, looking into her,

seeing her, and with them

the unbearable thought.

“My God” she whispered,

the profound doubt finding

words. “have I been good?”

The eyes were those of the dark

figure of her dream. They filled

her with horror. A coldness

spread across her, beginning at

the heart and flowing out to her

limbs, as if she had just plunged

through ice into a winter’s

river. The eyes dominated her.

All she could do was gaze into

them whilst they reflected the

entirety of the unripe, unloving,

unwise bitterness of her life. Her

shame was complete. “I am this

wickedness.” She knew it from

every dying pore. “God forgive

me for what I have done,” she

prayed, without hope of salvation.

Quiet. The place between earth

and heaven is filled with music.

Not voices, not instruments. Just

music. Anna’s breathing became

slow and shallow. From far away

she heard a song, so faint she

stilled her breathing to listen.

It seemed to be coming from

within her, as well as without.

A deep voice, one absolute

note that vibrated through her,

breaking down the particles of

her being, loosening them from

the bonds of physical life – the

voice drew her up as particles

of dust, illuminated by light.

As Anna rose ever upward, the

shining particles that were her

soul began to take form. Each

of them became the shape of a

face, and one by one, Anna saw

them, and named them. This

one the desperately ill child she

had sat with, all those years ago,

and told stories to. This one the

stranger she had driven home,

crazed and hungry. She saw

his face as it had been the next

morning, his eyes shy and grateful.

This one, the dying mother with

whom she sat. This one, the lost

child. The wayward boy who

came to stay. The neighbour she

sent money to. Faces, a galaxy

of faces. Children, lovers,

strangers, brides, elders, the living

and the dead. Tiny fragments

of compassion. Forgotten,

silly moments of kindness.

From far below, the shofar could

be heard. And from above, the

same shofar – both blasting out

the ancient demand for justice,

mercy, eternity - both announcing

the arrival of Anna to the Gates

of Heaven, and the magnificent

dispersal of her acts of love.


Dr Anastasia Volvets

Ms Danielle Raffaele

Mr Ariel Turkia &

Miss Tamar Hoffman

Mr Benjamin Wright &

Miss Alana Biviano

Mr Samuel Phillips

Mr David Goldin

Ms Tracy Goldin

Mr Warren Polivnick &

Mrs Kamina Nagel

Ms Zuleika White

Mr Roy Zurnamer

Mr Sean & Mrs Joanne Rose

Mr Peter & Mrs Candice Berger

Ms Annette Reed


To welcome the stranger

Ms Olga Wollner

Mr Richard Holloway

Mr James & Mrs Elaine Altman

Mr Samson Adams &

Miss Nataly Sikorski

Mr Richard & Mrs Alexis Cohen

Mr Adam & Mrs Vanessa Kopcho

Mr Anthony Cohen

Miss Abbe Barnes

Mr Benjamin Shand &

Miss Eliza Gosse

Mr David Frew & Miss

Rebecca Jacobs

Mrs Beverley Burlakov

Mr Warren Landsman

Miss Natasha Da Rocha

Mr Michael Wayne &

Miss Nadia Fairfax

Miss Maddison Axam

Mr Andrew Akman &

Miss Sebastiana Caranna

Miss Isabella Edinger-Reeve

Mr Daniel Rother

Mr Michael Levy

Mr Patrick Ceran-Jerusalemy

& Ms Callantha Brigham


Greater is tzedakah than all the sacrifices

$10,000 or more

Angles Family Foundation

EOTL Lionel Green

Mr Damon Glasser

Mr David Dart

Mr Owen Griffiths

Mr Simon Glasser

Susan & Isaac Wakil Foundation

The Humanity Foundation

The K Graf Family Trust

The Yarranabbe Foundation

$5,000 or more

Bob and Candi Burger Trust

Dr John & Mrs Roslyn Kennedy

Hanave PPY LTD

Ivany Foundation

JLJH Pty Ltd

Mr Peter & Mrs Candice Berger

Mr Peter & Mrs Edith Ryba

Mrs Rosie Block

Ms Jeannie Newman

Perpetual Foundation –

The Wolf Family Endowment

$1,000 or more

Assoc. Prof. Andrew &

Mrs Lesley Rosenberg

B'nai B'rith Sydney Nominees Ltd

Bob & Mrs Gabriella Trijbetz

Chestnut Foundation Pty Ltd

Dr Leo Robin &

Ms Shirley Leader

Dr Paul Hamor & Dr

Katherine Spira

Dr Reg & Mrs Kathie Grinberg

Dr Stephen & Mrs Anne Steigrad

Linz Sam

Mike Evans

Mr Aaron & Mrs

Margaret Ezekiel

Mr Andrew & Mrs

Carolyn Crawford

Mr Andrew & Mrs

Dianne Krulis

Mr David & Mrs Karen Gordon

Mr David Garvin &

Ms Suzanne Tavill


Mr David Landa OAM

Mr Garry & Mrs

Deborah Laurence

Mr Ian & Mrs Beverly Pryer

Mr Malcolm Cardis

Mr Michael & Mrs

Melanie America

Mr Terence Nabarro

Mr Terry & Mrs Anne Newman

Mrs Aliza Sassoon

Mrs Judit Korner

Mrs Ruth Guss

Ms Caz Lederman

Ms Elenita Nicdao

Ms Johanna Perheentupa

Ms Laura Friezer

Ms Naomi Elias

Ms Susan Carleton

Ms Victoria Reich

$500 or more

David Nabarro & Karen Zoellner

Dr Drew Heffernan &

Dr Karen Arnold

Ellis & Lynette Rosen

Kevin Smaller

Mr Aaron & Mrs

Margaret Ezekiel

Mr Alan & Mrs Anne Slade

Mr Andrew & Mrs

Dorothy Kemeny

Mr Benjamin & Mrs

Francesca Radvin

Mr Brian Sherman AM &

Dr Gene Sherman AM

Mr Daniel & Mrs Natalie Knoll

Mr Howard & Mrs Jean Gelman

Mr Jeff Anderson

Mr Steven & Mrs

Tamara Kerlander


Mr Steven Brown

Mr Steven Kamsler

Mrs Eugina Langley

Judith Brandl

Ian Brodie

Anna Challis

Helen Coolican

Thomas Cromer

George Davis

Marianne Derofe

Dr Anthony & Mrs

Helen Epstein

Dr Ilan & Mrs Shira Sebban

Up to $499

Alan Reich

Allan & Mrs Molly Joffe

Andrew Markus

Annamarie Cohen

Anthony & Mrs Lisa Bognar

Assoc Professor Bob Kummerfeld

& Professor Judy Kay

Ben & Ms Wendy Milston

Ben Heilpern

Bruce & Natalie Lobelson

Cate Peterson

Daniel Yezerski & Annalee Atia

David & Mrs Sandra Bassin

David Hayes & Ms

Jackie Ryba Hayes

Debbie Edinburg

Denise Fletcher

Don McDougall & Ms

Sandra Barrkman

Dr Adele Bern

Dr Alla Waldman

Dr Anne Cohn

Dr Anthony & Mrs

Helen Epstein

Dr Ary & Mrs Mira Grinberg

Dr Daniel & Dr Debra Challis

Dr David & Mrs

Patricia Lieberman

Dr David Rosen

Dr Dennis Pisk

Dr Drew Heffernan &

Dr Karen Arnold

Dr Felix & Mrs Caroline Barda

Dr Frank & Mrs Penelope Isaacs

Dr Glenn Haifer

Dr Graham & Mrs Judi Hall

Dr Gregory Levenston &

Ms Judith Morrice

Dr Ian & Dr Sandy Penn

Dr Ilan & Mrs Shira Sebban

Dr Ivan AM & Mrs

Judith Lorentz

Dr John & Mrs Joanna Hempton

Dr John & Mrs Judith Goodman

Dr John Saalfeld

Dr Lindy Lowenstein

Dr Marcelle Freiman

Dr Margery Hertzberg

Dr Matthew Pellow &

Dr Sarah Kummerfeld

Dr Michael & Mrs Susan Lowy

Dr Michael Davis

Dr Nicholas & Mrs Mary Kery

Dr Paul & Mrs Ellen Stone

Dr Peter & Mrs

Elizabeth Kitchener

Dr Ralph Hilmer & Mrs

Margaret Perlman Hilmer

Dr Raya Gadir

Dr Raymond & Mrs Rose Novis

Dr Regina Sassoon

Dr Richard Grant

Dr Richard Haber

Dr Robert & Mrs Vivian Lewin

Dr Ronald & Dr

Susanne Freeman

Dr Ross Mellick & Ms

Margaret Raffan

Dr Sharon Gold

Dr Theodore & Mrs Jenny Arnold

Eve Reed

Fiona Ozana

Francis & Mrs Deborah Dorrian

H Lynn Niselow

Harold & Mrs Lynne Seifman

Jim Altman

John & Mrs Judith Gleiber

Joseph & Avril Symon

Joseph Varga Family Holdings

Pty Limited Feller

Joshua Same & Ms Tara Stern

Katherine Bell

Kay Pfeiffer

Leslie Solar

Lev & Mrs Inna Fridman

Lynn Willis

Michael & Ms Deborah Wicks

Michelle Lowy & Associates

Miss Avia Madar

Miss Jacheta Schwarzbaum

Miss Michelle Stockley

Mr Adam Carpenter &

Ms Tal Schlosser

Mr Aharon Danieli

Mr Alan & Mrs Joan Taylor

Mr Alan Cass & Dr

Lauren Arnold

Mr Albert & Mrs

Arlette Rousseau

Mr Albert-Maurice & Mrs

Suzanne Amzallag

Mr Alex & Mrs Rosemary Linden

Mr Alexander Hart &

Ms Lisa Emanuel

Mr Allan & Mrs Eleanor Sangster

Mr Andrew Jakubowicz &

Mrs Marianna Moustafine

Mr Anthony & Mrs

Louise Hyman

Mr Anthony Cohen

Mr Arthur Glass

Mr Barry & Mrs

Isabel Gottheiner

Mr Barry & Mrs Pamela Karp

Mr Barry & Mrs Randi Cantor

Mr Barry Glick

Mr Barry Lewis

Mr Benjamin Harris &

Dr Alyssa Severin

Mr Benjamin Isaacs

Mr Benny Green

Mr Bernd Garden

Mr Bob Desiatnik

Mr Boris & Mrs Luba Torban

Mr Brian & Mrs Kathryne Segal

Mr Brian Gold

Mr Bryan Tuten

Mr Chris & Mrs Vivian Kalowski

Mr Daniel & Mrs Nicole Krieger

Mr Daniel Fuentes

Mr Daniel Hochberg

Mr Daniel Mathers

Mr Danny & Mrs

Rachael Fischer

Mr David & Mrs Christine Frish

Mr David & Mrs

Michelle Goldman

Mr David & Mrs Monique Hirst

Mr David & Mrs

Renee Schneider

Mr David Doctor

Mr David Faigen

Mr David Freeman

Mr David Goodman

Mr David Martin

Mr David Morris

Mr Eran & Mrs Vanessa Weiner

Mr Ernie Kritzler

Mr Frederick Weisinger

Mr Garry & Mrs Michele Charny

Mr Gary & Mrs

Rachelle Holzman

Mr Gary & Mrs Sonia Wilkan

Mr Gerald & Mrs

Audrey Weinberg

Mr Harold & Mrs Jill Gold

Mr Heiko & Mrs Carol Preen

Mr Howard & Mrs Jean Gelman

Mr Ian Brodie

Mr Ian Perlman & Mrs

Ruth Shteinman

Mr Isaac Douek

Mr Jack & Mrs Maxine Klarnet

Mr Jack & Mrs Myriam Romano

Mr Jack Frisch & Ms

Belinda Epstein-Frisch

Mr James Carleton

Mr Jeffrey & Mrs Jodi Roth

Mr Jeffrey Klein &

Mrs Lisa Lorentz

Mr Jeremy & Mrs

Shoshana Danon

Mr John & Mrs Thea Weiss

Mr John & Mrs Tova Goldstein

Mr John Gruschka

Mr John Marsden

Mr John Segal

Mr John Sharpe

Mr Jonathan & Mrs

Renee Pinshaw

Mr Jonathan Glass


Mr Joseph Bern

Mr Jules & Ms Daphna


Mr Justin Green

Mr Jye Emdur

Mr Keith Bethlehem &

Ms Kerry Saloner

Mr Kenneth Raphael

Mr Larry & Mrs Sylvie Emdur

Mr Les Hart

Mr Luke Cohen & Miss

Annabelle Golles

Mr Marc Lane

Mr Mark & Mrs Julie Faigen

Mr Mark Avraham

Mr Matthew Wilson

Mr Maurice Linker

Mr Max & Mrs Barbara Kaler

Mr Michael & Mrs Fiona Berman

Mr Michael & Mrs

Ruth Nathanson

Mr Michael Frommer

Mr Michael Grant

Mr Michael Lyons

Mr Miguel & Mrs Petra Becker

Mr Naftali & Ms Tamara Leizer

Mr Nathan Hauser

Mr Norman Zylberberg

Mr Patrick Wong &

Dr Natalie Cromer

Mr Paul & Mrs

Gabrielle Langsam

Mr Peter & Mrs Danielle Wells

Mr Peter Bloomfield

Mr Peter Wise

Mr Philip & Mrs Lorraine Levy

Mr Philip Lederman

Mr Rafael & Mrs Rachel Adler

Mr Remington Owen


Mr Reuben OBE & Mrs

Cornelia Aaron

Mr Richard &

Mrs Margaret Spinak

Mr Ricky & Mrs Jemma Lopis

Mr Robert & Julie Brown

Mr Robert & Mrs Ira Winter

Mr Robert & Mrs

Katja Grynberg

Mr Robert & Mrs

Susan Hofbauer

Mr Robert Davidson

Mr Robert Griew &

Dr Bernie Towler

Mr Robert Luikens

Mr Robin Margo

Mr Ronald & Mrs

Gloria Schwarz

Mr Serge Tauber

Mr Sergio & Mrs Olivia Polonsky

Mr Sidney & Mrs Julie Brandon

Mr Simon Grant

Mr Solomon & Mrs

Linda Lebovic

Mr Stephen & Mrs Susie Klein

Mr Stephen Camden-Smith

& Mr John Johnson

Mr Steve Liebeskind

Mr Uri Windt & Ms

Louise Tarrant

Mr Viatcheslav Inberg &

Miss Ester Sarkadi-Clarke

Mr Victor Baskir

Mr Warren Pantzer

Mr Wayne & Mrs Jackie Black

Mr William & Dr

Miriam Van Rooijen

Mr William Clegg &

Ms Charlotte Krass

Mr Zoltan &

Mrs Nicole Waldner

Mrs Agnes Silberstein

Mrs Aletta Liebson

Mrs Anne Biner

Mrs Annette Guerry

Mrs Caroline Haski

Mrs Cathy Laurence

Mrs Cynthia Jackson

Mrs Daphne Doctor

Mrs Dorothy Krawitz

Mrs Dorrit Mahemoff

Mrs Eugina Langley

Mrs Eve Wynhausen

Mrs Evelyn Frybort

Mrs Evelyn Palmer

Mrs Glenda Cohen

Mrs Hannah Wargon

Mrs Ilona Lee

Mrs Jacqueline Dale

Mrs Jane Houston

Mrs Janis Baskind

Mrs Johanna Nicholls

Mrs Josephine Ingster

Mrs Judy Heilpern

Mrs Karen Fried

Mrs Karen Wilheim

Mrs Lilian Berley

Mrs Lynn Freedman

Mrs Manou Heman

Mrs Marianne Schey

Mrs Marianne Silvers

Mrs Marlene Epstein

Mrs Michelle McEwing

Mrs Nicci Nahon

Mrs Patricia Toben

Mrs Penne Marks

Mrs Phyllis Agam

Mrs Regina Feiler

Mrs Regina Shusterman

Mrs Rina & Joshua Miller

Mrs Rose Owen

Mrs Ruth Rusanow

Mrs Ruth Tarlo

Mrs Sonja Neumann

Mrs Stella Freund

Mrs Susan Pajor

Mrs Tessa Boucher

Mrs Valerie Newstead

Mrs Vera Jacoby

Mrs Viviane Eastin

Mrs Wendy Cohen

Ms Alexandra Joel

Ms Annie Kingsbury

Ms Ariela Ben-Nissan

Ms Ariella Klein &

Mr Daniel Rother

Ms Avril Alba

Ms Barbara Cohen

Ms Debbie Pack

Ms Deidre Bear

Ms Doreen Finkelstein

Ms Edna Ross

Ms Elaine Solomon

Ms Elena Rosin

Ms Estelle Rozinski

Ms Ethel Davis

Ms Helen Clayman

Ms Helen Coolican

Ms Inja Stracenski

Ms Jacqueline Nash

Ms Jane Parker

Ms Joanna Auerbach

Ms Joanna Bayliss

Ms Joanne Clarke

Ms Judith Barouch

Ms Judy Kell

Ms Kathy Baykitch

Ms Kylie Owen

Ms Larraine Larri

Ms Leigh Holman

Ms Lesley Spindler

Ms Lesley-Ann Hellig

Ms Lindsay Thorpe &

John Bradbury

Ms Lynda Ben-Menashe

Ms Marianne Vaidya

Ms Myrna Lewis

Ms Patricia Waterman

Ms Primrose Moss

Ms Rebecca Dukes

Ms Rita Opit

Ms Rosanna Zettel

Ms Ruth Cohen

Ms Sue Bognar

Ms Suzanna Helia

Ms Sylvia Kaplan

Ms Talia Meyerowitz-Katz

Ms Tania Fox

Ms Therese Kutis

Ms Toni Whitmont

Ms Tracey Griff

Ms Valda Glass

Ms Valda Martin

Ms Vicky Ryba

Ms Yittah Lawrence

Ms Yvonne Coburn

Odi Reuveni

Peter & Mrs Judith Bonta

PM Nothman

Prof Anna Yeatman

Prof Ivan & Mrs Vera Goldberg

Prof. Alan Rosen & Ms

Vivienne Miller

Professor Ilan Katz & Ms

Julia Meyerowitz-Katz

Rabbi Gary & Mrs

Jocelyn Robuck

Rene Ichilcik

Renee & Morris Bersin

Rochelle Hersch & Dr Jayne Bye

Roger & Mrs Cecily Parris

Ruth Eckstein

Shoshana Faire

Stefan Pardi

Stephen Perry

The Hon Walter Secord &

Ms Julia McRae-Levitina

Thomas & Vivien Neumann


Benjamin Nathaniel Berger

Sam Boolkin

Albie Cohen

Tobias Czeizler

Elias Davis

Jonah Ernster

Sienna Gerstl

Ben Henkin


Welcome to

Nathaniel Drummond

Raphior Fedangong

Flynn Huxley

Blake Meisner


Mazal Tov to

Sam Levi

Noah Novick

Maxwell Pozniak

Ben Rubinstein

Camille Jane Shulman

Joseph Yakubson

Max Salamon

Sam Salamon


To rejoice with the happy couple

Frank & Deborah Dorrian


To comfort the bereaved

Emery Angles

Jacqueline Baruch

Brian Brigham

Eddy Costi

Violette Eshed

Cherry Schneider

Edith Schuller

Dora Slomovits

Alan Weinstein

Patricia Zinn

Elaine Greenstein

Fred Heilpern

Errol Kaplan

Valerie Landa

Gerald Lehman

Phillipe Perignon

Emmi Reves

Joost Sarfaty


Puzzle Page

by Anne Wolfson



All service times are subject to change. Please check

emanuel.org.au for any amendments to our regular services.

Morning Minyan

Morning Minyan is on Monday to Friday at 8:00am

(Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/702546413) and

Sunday at 9:00am

(Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/306800789).


Erev Shabbat

• 5:45pm - Masorti (Neuweg - in person only)

• 6:15pm - Shabbat Live (Millie Phillips Building - in person & live-streamed)


Shabbat Morning

• 10:00am - Shabbat Embrace service (streamed only)

• 10:00am - Masorti (Millie Phillips Building - in person only)

• 10:00am - Progressive (in person only)


To attend services in-person before Friday 11am. Masks or face shields must be


NB: Security Screenings are required for all persons unknown to the Synagogue

prior to attending. Please contact info@emanuel.org.au for further information.

Details of High Holy Day services on page 2.


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


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

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

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

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