Volume 30 Issue 15 28 May 2021 17 Sivan 5781

… the canaries to sing

Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations

Ride for a Cause

Aliza Waxman and Asher Waxman

You may have noticed many bike riders out and about riding along Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach last Sunday morning. What you may not have known however, is that around 1000 bikers rode around Sydney that morning, looking very dapper and distinguished as the dress code required, in this year’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Alumni siblings, Aliza Waxman (Class of 2012) and her brother Asher (Class of 2009), were amongst those riders.  Aliza says “we are so proud to be part of such a special cause which raises funds and awareness for Men’s Health. It started in Sydney in 2012 and has since become a global event raising 31 million USD to date”.  This is an event which Aliza has ridden in many times before with her father Leon Waxman, now an Emanuel grandparent. Asher started their involvement, riding on his own the first time some six years ago. He then had a five-year break whilst living overseas and now that he is back in Sydney, he rode with his sister last Sunday morning, she on her own bike for the first time!


“…and he taught the canaries to sing” 
Celebrating Jewish life in Poland before 1939

Past parent, Estelle Rozinski is passionate about Jewish life in Poland pre-WW2 and has been the instigator of many projects that celebrate these times prior to the Holocaust. Here is an extract of a press release from mid-May for her latest work which was launched at the Polish Consulate in Woollahra last week: “On the 27 August 2017 a unique exhibition celebrating the lives of the Jewish community pre 1939 premiered at the Historical Museum in the Polish town of Zdunska Wola. Sydney-based artist and curator, Estelle Rozinski, whose great- grandparents lived in this vibrant community before perishing in the Holocaust, was the architect behind this initiative. Since then, more than 1000 school children from the region have visited and interacted with this installation. This week, Rozinski once again brings focus to the vibrancy of Jewish life before the Holocaust through curating three animations. The animations, sponsored by the Consulate of the Republic of Poland, with the support of the Polish Consul,

Monika Konczyk, celebrate the diversity of Jewish life in Poland before 1939. Created by three celebrated Australian artists, Anita Lester, David Asher Brook and Steven Durbach, the animations provide easily accessible stories that convey the normalcy, fun and poignancy of everyday life. Rozinski says that, “the animations will help children assimilate normalcy into their post-Holocaust family histories. They are about pranks played on the streets of Lodz, a father teaching canaries to sing, and the story of a sister, brother and their grandfather clock”. Rozinski hopes that the animations will help debunk the stereotypes we hold of Polish Jewry, leaving us curious and wanting to know more about the shape and texture of the ordinariness of everyday life.

You may recognise two other names in this press release – Steven Durbach, a current Emanuel parent, is one of the three animators for this project as is alumnus artist David Asher Brook (Class of 1998). Some of you may recall that David and his wife Hanna inspired the amazing artwork that hangs in the stairwell in our Kleinlehrer Family LINC Building, with brushstrokes by every student and staff member here in 2014, creating an amazing artwork.

Limmud Oz 2021
A community-wide festival of Jewish ideas and culture

Sunday 13 June 2021 – Monday 14 June 2021

This event is just two weeks away. You will hear from a number of Emanuel parents past and present, including Shana Kerlander, Estelle Rozinski, Geoff Sirmai, Jayme Akstein, Sharon Berger, Shirli Kirschner and Kerri Sackville, alumni Mitch Burnie, Sean Torban, Matt Friedman, Julia Sussman, Zac Levi and Eve Altman, and staff member Oren Thaler, as they and many others in our extended community, present and/or moderate at this year’s Limmud Oz . It will be held at The Roundhouse UNSW and Moriah College. The full program and tickets can be found at limmudoz.org.au.

Private Art Gallery tour with a difference 

Wednesday 16 June 2021

We hope you will join us on the morning of Wednesday 16 June 2021 for our Gesher private tour of Salon des Refusés 2021 (the alternative Archibald and Wynne Prize selection) at the S.H. Ervin Gallery, Observatory Hill (The Rocks). This event is open to past and current parents, grandparents and alumni as well as friends. Bookings are now open.

Unlocking the Past
Stories from my Mother’s Diary

Unlocking the Past: Stories from my Mother’s Diary

Shira Sebban is a name familiar to many in our School Community.  Shira served on the School Board for 14 years, including three terms as vice-president, whilst her three sons were students at the School. She is a writer and volunteer refugee advocate as well as a volunteer guide at the Sydney Jewish Museum and is currently completing the graduate diploma in migration law at UTS with the aim of becoming a migration agent to be able to further support refugees and asylum seekers. A former journalist, Shira will be guest speaker at National Council for Jewish Women NSW Woollahra on 28 June, when she will talk about her first book Unlocking the Past: Stories from my Mother’s Diary, a series of creative non-fiction short stories about Israel in the 1950’s based on her mother’s diary which was only discovered after her passing. RSVP to: admin@ncjwnsw.org or 9363 0259.


If you have photos and/or news to share, please send to Sonia Newell

Shabbat Shalom and have a great weekend.