Volume 30 Issue 27 03 Sep 2021 26 Elul 5781

From the Principal

Andrew Watt – Principal

Vale Year 12 2021

The formal Graduation Assembly, House Farewells and Graduation Dinner were held his week, on the heels of the State Government’s announcement of the delayed commencement of the HSC examinations. Whilst the timing – and indeed this year – has not gone exactly to plan, there are many things for which we can still be grateful, and not the least of them is celebrating the legacy, achievements, and very positive impact this cohort had on the culture of our School. Our hope is that Year 12 (2021) will look back on this unforgettable year with pride, as they recall their resilience, their ability to adapt, to maintain hope under difficult circumstances, and to overcome the hurdles that few Year 12 cohorts have had to face. They have travelled through their final year without complaint and with both style and humour! We are reminded that the tests we face in life’s journey are not to reveal our weaknesses but rather to help us discover our inner strengths. For we can only know how strong we are when we strive and thrive beyond the challenges we face.

For me, farewelling Year 12 is the most bitter-sweet of moments each year, as whist I am excited for them, as they embark upon their next adventure, I also must farewell a group of young adults I have come to know, to like, and to share the highs and lows with. It is, however, made a little easier in the knowledge that we will still connect with them, as alumni in the coming years, and some of them will return as our informal Jewish life educators, debating coaches, sport coaches, camp leaders, working with our learning support team or some other capacity at Emanuel.

After close to four years at Emanuel, I feel that I have got to know Year 12 (2021) well and have come to enjoy the humour, energy, and many gifts that they have brought to our School. Looking back there are certainly memories of Year 12, 2021 that will remain with me and with my fellow teachers long after their departure. This cohort has been described by their teachers as vibrant, kind, generous, joyful, caring, supportive, energetic, adaptive, positive, creative, curious, enthusiastic, lively, quirky, and ‘above and beyond’. That is quite a list, and there is a lot to be admired!

I wanted to share my final words to Year 12 (2021), in our Graduation Assembly:

May you live your life well, bring honour to your families, your school and to God. May you be kind-hearted, compassionate, and proactive young men and women. May you love your family and care for your community, as well as having eyes and hearts that are global… and I hope that I will hear stories of your adventures in years to come! Remember that “Life is all about chances and opportunities. Never leave anything to chance and never let an opportunity get away”. As you commence the transition from Emanuel students to Emanuel alumni, please remember that you will always be part of our School.

The Graduation Assembly provided an opportunity for staff and students to thank, acknowledge and formally farewell our Year 12 cohort, through a variety of presentations. The highlight was Caroline Laumberg’s moving tribute to each individual student. Our teachers said farewell to their classes, and our Head Madrichim and students from across the School paid homage to the graduating Class of 2021. Thank you to Margaret Lowe, for organising the program of events and Adam Ezekiel who worked tirelessly with Kira Friedman to compile videos for the Graduation Dinner and Assembly. A special vote of thanks to Ben Marshall, who collected and collated the range of recorded presentations, for both our assembly and dinner.

Year 12 Graduation Dinner

Whilst enjoyed online, our Graduation Dinner was also a special event, featuring several entertaining speeches, toasts, and parent presentations. Our students departed feeling much loved and having enjoyed the fellowship of both their peers and their families. It was clear that a huge amount of thought and time had been given to organising the food, decorations, and program of events. The catering was outstanding, provided and distributed by Asnat Meretz and the Shaffa restaurant. Pre-lockdown, the organising committee met in each other’s homes from early April, and post-lockdown, Margaret Lowe and Caroline Laumberg have been meeting with them via Zoom every Tuesday afternoon since 20 July. A huge thank you to Co-Chairs Tammy Joffe and Liane Fletcher, the Treasurer, Sharon Schulz, Margaret Lowe and Caroline Laumberg, and to the committee members.  

Let’s all get together to create our bright future

By now you would have received an invitation to our stand-out event of the year, Emanuel B’yachad – Emanuel Together. This was originally planned as the biggest face-to-face event that the School has ever hosted, but we’ve risen to the challenge of moving it online.

Emanuel B’yachad, which will be held on 17 October 2021, is a fundraising event to help us reach our $10 million goal to redevelop the existing Adler Building. Whilst we recognise that every family has a different capacity to donate, every dollar counts.

Emanuel B’yachad will be an entertaining and heart-warming evening where we will celebrate all that is wonderful about our community. It’s all about creating a bright future for our students, both current and into the future and I look forward to sharing this much anticipated evening with you. 

If you have not yet RSVPed, I encourage you to do so here. In the meantime, please enjoy this short clip featuring our students who describe what Emanuel means to them.  Thank you to all the students who star in the video and share their deep connection to the School.

What an inspiration!

Students, staff, parents and grandparents took an hour out of their day on Wednesday to hear from Australian Olympian and 400m Champion, Steve Solomon. Steve is an inspiration and he delighted us with his stories and reflections on his Olympic experience. Please click on the article entitled Olympic Dreaming for a full recording of the event and comments from the audience. 

Grandparents’ Rosh HaShanah Kabbalat Shabbat

Zoom Kabbalat Shabbat

This afternoon we’ll be welcoming our treasured Grandparents to a special Rosh HaShanah Kabbalat Shabbat. This is a wonderful way to end the week with songs, music, blessings and the all important blowing of the Shofar. All are welcome and please encourage your grandparents to join you at 4pm. 

The full link to share: https://emanuelschool.zoom.us/j/99277782532?pwd=OXEzeUd6Tk92MHVXYUlweXZtdHlnUT09

Vacation care

Due to limited requests from parents, we will not be offering vacation care in the upcoming school holidays.

Mazal tov

  • I was delighted to hear that Rory Nathan, Year 7, has been blowing the shofar at a number of events organised by the Sydney Jewish Museum. Today he shared this mitzvah on a Zoom with public schools all around the country. 
  • Students Gia Jocum, Eli Jocum, Sofia Berkovic, Micah Esra and Vicky Miller interviewed Steve Solomon at our In Conversation event on Wednesday. When chatting to Steve afterwards he mentioned just how much he enjoyed connecting with them. High praise indeed from a young man who has been interviewed by the best of Australian TV presenters. 
  • Emanuel parent, Dan Goldberg‘s long-awaited documentary, The Bowraville Murders, premiers this Saturday at 7.30pm. Book here.

Quote of the week

“Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” Chadwick Boseman – the late actor and playwright – best know for his portrayal of T’Challa in Black Panther.