Volume 31 Issue 30 23 Sep 2022 27 Elul 5782

Pandemic Penpal

Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations

As households prepare to celebrate Rosh Hashanah 5783 on Sunday evening, we acknowledge how extra special it will be this year as we share this special Yom Tov with family and friends around the dinner table, unlike the last two years where most of us had to do so via Zoom.

For those who spent last Friday morning on campus for Primary Grandparents and Friends Day, you know just how very special that was – our Years K-6 students spent time with their grandparents and special friends. The morning began in the Lehrer Family Building (MPH) for a variety of musical performances and the celebrations in the lead-up to Rosh Hashanah with brachot recited by a number of grandparents alongside their grandchildren. This was followed by classroom activities including making and decorating a variety of items that will adorn the Rosh Hashanah table – plates for apple and honey, cards with a special message for loved ones, and some students made their own Shofar to blow.

Farewell to our Canteen Crew

Today we farewell our amazing Canteen Crew headed by Gayle and Miriam. They have provided our students and staff with yummy and healthy food over the past years, both for lunches, snacks and also for events – we will miss you.  We wish you all the very best for whatever the future holds in store for you, and we look forward to Term 4 and our new Canteen Crew. 

Here is a 1988 Tuckshop menu –  it interesting to see what the students could order for lunch back then. Although times have certainly changed over the past 34 years, some sandwich-fillings will always be available. I doubt Vegemite will ever disappear off the Canteen menu!

Covid Courage: Stories of Sydney Jewry 

Alumnus Benjamin Strum (Class of 2009) wrote and directed the short documentary series Covid Courage: Stories of Sydney Jewry for Plus61J Media. The series provides a compelling insight into ordinary and extraordinary ways that Sydney Jewish people responded to life in lockdown and comprises three episodes – Pandemic Pen Pal, Frontline Frum and Goddess Vengeance. It went on to win the Premier’s Multicultural NSW Award for the Best Audio/Visual Report as part of the 2022 Premier’s Multicultural Media and Communications Awards, recognising the important contributions made to supporting NSW’s diverse communities.

“Pandemic Pen Pal charts an unlikely friendship between ageing, isolated Holocaust survivor George and bar mitzvah-aged student David, brought together as pen pals in the midst of a lockdown.” Plus61J

The Happiest Boy on Earth

Most of us are familiar with the name Eddie Jaku OAM. An Emanuel great grandparent and Holocaust survivor, Eddie who sadly passed away last year aged 101, was the author of the award winning, internationally acclaimed book The Happiest Man on Earth. The Happiest Boy on Earth is the new picture book adapted from Eddie’s extraordinary, best-selling book and it is perfect for young readers aged 8 and above.

Eddie’s story unfolds beautifully, sensitively and heartbreakingly through his words and exquisite illustrations by Nathaniel Eckstrom. This novel is framed as a conversation between 101-year-old Eddie and his great grandchildren – who are bursting with questions about his life.

Eddie’s son Michael, grandfather of Year 3 student Zoe Greenfield, has generously donated two copies of this book to our Primary Library, for which we say a huge “thank you”. 

Michael says: “Although Dad never saw Nathaniel Eckstrom’s beautiful illustrations, so fundamental to a book for children, he did see the preliminary manuscript and loved the idea that his book The Happiest Man would become available in a form accessible to primary school-aged children as the Happiest Boy.”

Remember September 2022

With just one more week of September to go, “Remember September” founder Emanuel alumnus Ben Wilheim (Class of 2009) has asked me to pass on this message: “A huge thank you to the Emanuel Community for your support this month – over $1,000,000 has already been raised to help in the search for finding a cure for pancreatic cancer, which prematurely took the lives of my father Danny, aged 63 and my first cousin Danielle, aged 33, just 8 years ago. Since that time, we have raised over $3.5 million. Right now, 4,585 people are taking on my baby. It won’t bring Dad or my cousin back but it’s certainly changing the future so the next best thing…we are confident that one day there will be a cure”.

Friendship Circle (FC) is seeking our help

FC is an organisation that creates inclusive friendships between people with and without disabilities through fun opportunities. They are looking for teen boy volunteers aged 14-18 to join their Day Camp on 29 September 2022 and 30 September 2022. Volunteers must be available to attend both days. Camp will be based in the Eastern Suburbs with fun excursions and activities planned for each day. We will build on existing relationships and make new friends while having lots of fun during the school holidays. Please email Emma Sharp to find out more.

Sidney Nolan exhibition at the Sydney Jewish Museum (SJM)

If you haven’t already seen this powerful exhibition, I encourage you to visit the Museum for this groundbreaking collection of works by the iconic Australian artist Sir Sidney Nolan. Closing on the 23 October 2022, it is the first time these 90 pieces have been on display in Australia.

This landmark exhibition showcases the very works Nolan created in direct response to the trial of Adolph Eichmann, the high-ranking Nazi official accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against the Jewish people.

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: snewell@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au

Shabbat shalom and stay safe. We wish you and your family Shana Tovah and well over the Fast. May you all have a sweet and healthy New Year. Enjoy all the chaggim and have a relaxing term break. See you all next term.