Volume 31 Issue 3 18 Feb 2022 17 Adar I 5782

Celebrating diversity

Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations

Trivia fact for the week 

Monday 14 February was not only Valentine’s Day, it was 56 years to the day since Australia changed over from pounds, shillings and pence, to decimal currency.

As another busy week comes to an end, some of our readers have had much quieter households with children away at camp this week. We hope they return with many wonderful stories to tell about their exciting time away.  We have certainly loved seeing photos of lots of smiling faces of the students at camp, posted on the Emanuel Community Facebook page. If you are not already a member of this page, please join here.

Dayenu and Mardi Gras 2022

Dayenu, conceived in 1999 and run by volunteers, is based in Sydney and exists to meet the needs of Jewish LGBTQIA+ individuals, as well as their friends, families, partners and other supporters. Their first-ever float in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras was 22 years ago, in 2000. Mardi Gras Fair Day is on this Sunday, 20 February 2022 at Victoria Park, Broadway, with the main event, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 5 March 2022 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

There are also other events being organised including Mardi Gras Shabbat Service and Dinner on Friday 4 March 2022 at Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra. You can see details of these and more events here.

The below photo was taken by alumnus Toby Evans (Class of 2006) at last year’s event:

Volunteering at The Sydney Jewish Museum (SJM)

After two years of postponement of the Sydney Jewish Museum’s (SJM) popular volunteer guides course, the museum is excited to offer a new intake this year, with registrations closing on Tuesday 1 March 2022, and the course commencing in early March.

Emanuel School has so many connections with the museum, from great grandparents including Yvonne Engelman and Olga Horak who, in their 90s, still volunteer as Holocaust Survivor Guides – as do many of our grandparents and past and current parents. Guides are central to the museum’s education program and visitor experience, and the Generation to Generation course offers potential guides a comprehensive program of weekly classes over a nine-month period to best prepare them.

Emanuel parent and SJM educator Lee-Anne Whitten says “the course teaches all the tools that guides need. Training guides takes time and care, which is why we only run the course every few years. We hoped to re-commence it in 2021, but of course that was not to be [due to lockdowns].” The course will be run in two streams to ensure a small-group learning environment, and costs $250.00 for SJM members, or $300.00 for non-members, including one year’s membership.

For more information or to apply, go the Sydney Jewish Museum.

The many faces of Vic Alhadeff

Salvatore and Becky

If you read Andrew Watt’s Principal’s report in last week’s Ma Nishma, you will know that Vic Alhadeff has written a play about his father’s Holocaust story titled Torn Apart by War.  The play is part of an evening of theatre called Letters From a Troubled Past produced by Moira Blumenthal. Here is another treasured photo of Vic’s father Salavotore with his fiancée Becky, taken on Rhodes Island shortly before he left for Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1939. Vic says “my father had a difficult life – from Rhodes Island to Southern Rhodesia to the Belgian Congo to Johannesburg. He was in the Congo for 12 years, alone, which meant that he only saw his children (me and my two sisters) every three years, when he would come to South Africa and spend three weeks with us for holidays in Cape Town”. Salvatore passed away on 1 January 2001, aged 87.

Tickets for Letters From a Troubled Past are now available. The production will also feature at the Jewish International Film Festival at the Randwick Ritz on Sunday 20 March 2022 and Sunday 3 April 2022 at 4.30 pm.

Alhadeff, who led the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) as CEO for 16 years before stepping down last year, truly is a busy man. He and his wife Nadene have five grandchildren here at Emanuel School, so once we resume campus events again for grandparents to attend, they will hopefully be spending a lot of time here. Upon Vic’s appointment to the Board of SBS late last year, he said “SBS plays a vital role in fostering understanding and appreciation of diversity in Australia. Its ethos accords precisely with my own, as I have dedicated my career to building a more resilient, respectful and inclusive society”. He remains with JBOD as a part-time consultant and is also advising the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He led a three-year campaign which achieved legislative reform, resulting in the passing of s93Z of the NSW Crimes Act, outlawing incitement to violence on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual identity. He is former editor of the Australian Jewish News; former Chief Sub-Editor of the Cape Times in South Africa and the author of two books on South African history. Vic has also been the subject of an entry in last year’s Archibald Prize, having his portrait painted by artist Raveena Marks, mother-in-law of Emanuel alumnus Ronny Schneider whose mother, Renee Schneider, is a teacher at Kornmehl Pre-School. We certainly live in a small world, where so many connections are even closer than we think.


Many of our readers have children and grandchildren who travel to Israel for their gap year on various programs and some even make aliyah. Here is an interesting article written by Emanuel parent Sharon Berger and published last Friday in Plus61JMedia. Sharon is Program Manager at the New Israel Fund Australia and is a former journalist for The Jerusalem Post, Reuters, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Australian Jewish News.  

Parent Safety Group (PSG)

A huge “thank you” to the parents and grandparent PSG volunteers this week. The safety and security of all students and staff is of paramount importance to the entire School community and we are always grateful for your support of this vital role.

Read more about PSG on their page in this issue of Ma Nishma and every week from now on. If you would like to join the team, please send an email to the PSG Administrator to organise your PSG shift.

Grandparents – we will always want you!

Thank you to parents who have been in touch to provide grandparent updates for our database, and we look forward to getting more. As you know, it doesn’t matter how close or how far away our grandparents live from us, there are so many ways to stay connected and we hope you all continue to enjoy reading about our wonderful School whether you live nearby or on the other side of the world. Please keep the grandparent contact information updates coming in.

Friendship Bakery Care Packages

If you know someone in isolation, Friendship Bakery Care Packages might just be the thing to organise for them. Deliveries in the Eastern Suburbs are on a Wednesday between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm, and orders must be placed by Tuesday 5.00 pm. Soups, salads, quiches and sweat treats – delivered to your loved one’s home. These are perfect for lunch or a light mid-week dinner.        

Friendship Circle (FC)

Volunteers are always needed for the many weekend and holiday camps plus other activities organised by FC for children and young adults with disabilities. If you have any questions, about Friendship Circle and/or if you or someone you know would like to join their programs as a participant or a volunteer, please email: hello@sydneyfc.org.au.

Calling all swimmers

Only two weeks until this year’s Maccabi Jewish Swimming Championships on Sunday 27 February 2022.

If you haven’t signed up yet it’s not too late – register here.

We look forward to sharing our news and yours, so if you have photos or news you would like to share with us, please send to Sonia Newell.           

Shabbat shalom, stay safe and have a great weekend.