Volume 31 Issue 23 05 Aug 2022 8 Av 5782


Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations


Yigal Nisell, the JNF Education Shalliach came to Sydney for a three-year contract but stayed for seven! He is a familiar face to many of our students and staff who have met him and heard him speak at assemblies, as well as at smaller gatherings here at School where he spoke about the work done by JNF locally and in Israel. Some of us have been privileged to join one of the JNF Educators Tours to Israel which Yigal instigated five years ago. 

In the first three years, the tour was held in January during the Israel’s winter. Unfortunately, there was no tour last year thanks to COVID but this year’s was held in the Israeli summer and participants have just returned, along with four Emanuel staff – Barnaby Wilbury (Year 6 teacher), Felicity Donohue (Co-ordinator of Gifted and Talented, K-6), Hayley Chester (Year 1 teacher) and Jennifer Senator (Kornmehl and Jewish Studies Administration Assistant).

“We had the most incredible experience on the JNF Educators’ Tour as we were taken off the beaten tourist track to places even Israelis have never been. We had the opportunity to hear from a diverse range of inspiring presenters and we met up with contingents from South Africa, USA and Canada on several occasions and danced the night away!” ~ Jennifer Senator

Past Emanuel parent, Emma Fredman, now a teacher at Kensington Public School said of her experience: “Summer was, in my opinion, a much better time to be Israel – I have just one word ‘watermelon’ – I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the tour”.

You may not know that Yigal’s wife, Noa, is a qualified pastry chef and until recently, was creating her yummy treats at Friendship Bakery every week since the bakery opened a year ago. They return to Israel with their three children shortly. Around 200 people attended a farewell for Yigal and Noa last Sunday evening, including some of the many people who have worked alongside Yigal, volunteers at JNF and communal dignitaries as well as many past participants of the JNF Educators Tours, including Emanuel staff Daphna Levin-Kahn, Hagit Bar On and I.

Mimi Reinhardt

Mimi Reinhardt and Oskar Shindler

Mimi proved that administrative assistants can be powerful forces for good or evil, depending on their own personal qualities. She wasn’t much of a typist, but she knew shorthand and spoke flawless German. So, Mimi Reinhard, an Austrian Jew, who was being held in a Nazi labour camp near Krakow, Poland, during World War II, was given an office job. In that capacity, she would play a small but important role in one of the great heroic stories to emerge from the Holocaust, one in which the Nazis were outwitted and the lives of more than 1,100 Jews, including hers.

The unlikely hero was Oskar Schindler, the Nazi intelligence officer and war profiteer who ran an enamelware factory near Krakow. A womaniser and heavy drinker who was often bribing the German authorities to have his way, he initially exploited the Jews as a source of cheap labour. But as he witnessed the horrors of the murderous Nazi regime, he risked his life and his fortune to become their protector.

His acts of subterfuge included creating a list of workers whom he deemed “essential” for the Nazi war effort. In reality, these were Jews whom he wanted to spare from all but certain annihilation. The list of “workers” included children, women, a girl dying of cancer, rabbis, friends of his and anyone else whose name he could remember.

His list started with about 400 names. While visiting the Plaszow labour camp, where Mrs Reinhard worked, he would ask her to type up the list, which kept growing as he and others added more names. Past Emanuel grandparent, the late Martin Biggs Z”L whose surname was originally Biegeleisen was a survivor of the Plaszow Concentration Camp, and one of the young Jewish boys whose name was on that list, which became known as Schindler’s List.

Apparently it was a very informal list, and every day someone handed Mimi more names, and the list had to be typed again and again. We know that she even put her own name on the list and three of her friends. It was Mrs Reinhard, who never learned to type beyond using two fingers, who produced the final clean manifest of names that would be presented to Nazi officials. Instead of being shipped to the gas chambers, the people listed were all sent to a Schindler munitions factory in the area of Czechoslovakia, then known as the Sudetenland, where their lives were spared.

These preliminary lists later inspire a novel by Thomas Kenealy and the film with historical distortion Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg.

Australian Jewish Fertility Network (AJFN) major event 
Wednesday 9 August 2022

AJFN has helped many families in our community over the years and will continue to do so again in years to come. Their team includes members of our School community including current parents Rebecca Abraham, Support Program Manager and Committee members Sarah Robuck, Leigh Goldberg and Amy Friedlander as well as alumni Kate Samowitz and Leanne Kawalski.

There is still time to book for their annual major fundraising event next week, the proceeds of which will enable AJFN to spend the rest of the year helping the people in our community struggling with infertility.

A message from the AJFN: We are so thankful to all our wonderful event sponsors, who are part of our village, and believe as we do, that no Jewish Australian should be alone on their fertility journey.💙

Through the generous support of our event sponsors, we are able to produce a high calibre event that brings the community together, opens the conversation around fertility and highlights the vital work that AJFN does. Most importantly, our event sponsors ensure that every dollar you donate goes directly towards supporting the 44 families that urgently need our help to try to create their little miracle. Join us at Roundhouse OR online on Wednesday 10 August 2022, 6.30 pm for a moving, and inspirational event.  Be part of our village and together we can create miracles..

Support the businesses who support our community:

Evolution Capital IVFAustralia  Genea  PACIFIC Bondi Beach  The Bottom Line JT Allen Real Estate Norton Rose Fulbright Sherpa Works Adora Fertility  Ashe Morgan Belinda International  Toy Corp Jeremy Wiesner  Aéde  Allied Care Solutions FreightSafe  Horizon – Residential & Commercial Builders  @Shweetiebox  Swimart (Rose Bay) Virtual Graffiti Australia

Book now

Westfield Local Heroes 2022
Voting closes Monday 22 August 2022

This program has seen a number of Emanuel community members win the title of Westfield Local Hero over the years including alumna Rikki Stern (Class of 2016), founder of Cancer Chicks Australia and past parent Lisa Saunders (Arnie’s Recon), a social enterprise offering free pick up and recycling of e-waste as well as Chana Kavka, founder of Friendship Circle, an organisation I often write about on my page. This year one of the nominees is past parent Josh Oshlack. Many of your children will have met Josh here at School when he came to speak with our students and explain how he uses music to improve the quality of life of children and others with special needs. As the founder of The Rhythm Village, he runs workshops and music therapy sessions for about 100 children at schools and other venues in the Bondi area every week. Participants improve their wellbeing by singing, dancing and performing together.

As a nominee this year, you may see, just as I did, Josh’s photo up on display as you walk through the Centre.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities. The finalist with the most community votes will become the Westfield Bondi Junction Local Hero for 2022, receiving a $20,000 grant for the organisation they represent. If Josh is successful, The Rhythm Village will fund workshops for children with special needs at Rose Bay Secondary College, The Friendship Circle, Vaucluse Primary School and Wairoa School.

Vote for Josh in the ‘Bondi Junction’ section

Remember September

Way too many members of our extended community die from Pancreatic Cancer, as do many other Australians. Alumnus Ben Wilheim started a charity in 2014, Remember September to honour his late father Danny who sadly succumbed to this dreaded cancer and Ben hopes through this charity, they will raise funds to not only educate the public about this disease but to also find a cure. 

Ma Nishma is read by parents and also by many of our grandparents. If you know of grandparents who are not receiving Ma Nishma but would like to, please send me their email address and we will add them to our database. We also have a bi-annual Grandparents and Friends newsletter which was emailed last week to all grandparents on our database. I hope you too will enjoy reading this newsletter and our latest Alumni newsletter

We certainly have some wonderful graduates, many of whom still have great connections with our School community. 

Sydney Nolan Exhibition SJM
Thursday 21 July 2022 – Sunday 23 October 2022
Shaken to His Core: The Untold Story of Nolan’s Auschwitz

If you plan to visit this exhibition on either Sunday 7 August 2022 or 21 August 2022 for the morning session, please come and say hello to me as I will be helping host at the exhibition on these two mornings. You might see other familiar Emanuel faces if you are there on another day. Book tickets.    

LimmudOz – Yom Limmud 2022 
Sunday 11 September 2022

Early bird tickets extended – buy before midnight on Wednesday 10 August  2022 to get 10 hours of challenging, inspiring Jewish ideas at a bargain. $65.00 adult | $39.00 concession/under 30s | volunteer and save even more. Book now!

The program for this live event on Sunday 11 September 2022 will be out soon. You can look forward to laughing and learning with some of the most dynamic educators and inspiring thought leaders from around the Jewish world, who are flying into Australia to join us in person for the first time since 2019.

Friendship Circle Walk 
Sunday 28 August 2022

This will be the first in-person walk since the beginning of COVID. Many of our Emanuel families get involved with this event every year, where funds are raised to help create camps, getaways, social opportunities and vocational opportunities that bring people with and without disabilities together.  A fantastic program is planned for this event, with food and drinks for sale, and free entertainment for the kids. The whole family will love our petting zoo, drumming circle, inflatable obstacle course, bubble performance, magic show, amazing DJ and more! Here is more information.

Friendship Circle (FC) camps

If you have older children aged between 18 and 25 who would like to volunteer for FC’s Junior or Teen Getaways in August and September please encourage them to register. FC which is always seeking volunteers for their local weekend day programs too, so your teenage school children may also be interested in volunteering. They will be heading to the beautiful Southern Highlands for their Teen Getaway from 9 September 2022 -11 September 2022 and are looking for a few more male volunteers to join them. This is a fantastic opportunity for those aged 18-25 who have graduated high school to be involved in the community, meet a wonderful group of young people, and support children and teenagers with disabilities: Register here.

Please contact FC Getaway Coordinator Jaimi with any questions.

Friendship Bakery

Friendship Bakery put on a spectacular evening last week as a “thank you” to Emanuel parent Ilana Akres, Noa Nisell and Michelle Fletcher Galper. Sender and Chana Kavka expressed their thanks and appreciation for their hard work and contributions on this journey during the first year of the Bakery, and the bakers shared their thanks and stories. Michael Karseboom said: “Thank you Ilana for being patient, thank you Noa for being fun, and thank you to Michelle for being hard-working.”

Everyone involved with the Bakery, including the many regular customers, wish Noa all the best for her trip back to Israel and are so grateful for her expertise and her delicious recipes that will help the bakery continue to delight their customers.

On Fridays between 8.00 am and 2.00 pm you will find a range of speciality baked goods available: click here. The Bakery is also open with a limited offering Monday to Wednesday, 9.00 am – 1.00 pm. Watch this space for an introduction to their new team members.

Camp Sababa

At the end of every year, a number of our Year 12 students volunteer to be buddies at this annual camp for children with special needs. Alumna Maya Pollak (Class of 2001) has volunteered for many years as Chair of Camp Sababa and in a conversation with her this week, she asked me to pass these details on to our School Community: Camp Sababa is an annual four day, three night camp in December for kids with special needs. We buddy our campers with Year 12 graduates (including from Emanuel) and provide recreation for kids, respite for families and advocacy for the special needs community. We receive our funding from the Sony Foundation, JCA (administered via JewishCare), the Wolper Foundation and the Choice Foundation. 

This year we have capacity to bring on some fresh young campers (age 7 and up). Given most of our funding is via the Jewish community, we wanted to provide you and all the Jewish schools with the priority for enrolment. This is a wonderful experience for campers and we have families returning to camp each year and have built a very special community.

For any queries regarding the level of need and camp, please contact Hilary Jacobsen. We also have more information and steps to apply on our website.  

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

Shabbat shalom, stay safe, stay warm and have a great weekend.