Volume 30 Issue 27 03 Sep 2021 26 Elul 5781

Best student film

Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations

Spring has sprung 

Now that Spring has arrived and the weather is getting warmer, we hope the sun continues to shine and you are all well and able to get outside to enjoy the sunshine. In spite of lockdown, there many things we can be grateful for, and members of our community perform mitzvot that are much appreciated by all recipients of such good deeds. JEMS (Jewish Education Matters), founded by Rabbi Yossi and Rivky Shuchat in 2011 to promote Judaism and Jewish Education as an After School Care program is attended each week by many of our Emanuel Primary students as part of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah Discovery Course and/or their teen volunteering program, just to name a couple. The JEMS CTeen volunteers have been busy preparing packages as part of their SOS (Sending out Smiles) project and were delivered earlier in the week in COVID-safe conditions, to isolated people in lockdown. Year 6 student, Samara Strugar, was one of the many students who took part in this exciting SOS initiative. Purely by coincidence, three of the four gift packs she prepared went to Emanuel grandparents (past and present) including my nearly 95 year-old mother Rita, and also to Marlene, grandmother of one of Samara’s best friends and fellow Year 6 student Layla Aronstan. The packages each included a personalised balloon and handwritten card as well as a cap decorated with the recipient’s name. I know all four recipients of Samara’s gift were very appreciative and say a huge “thank you” to her.

Mazal Tov to alumnus Lexee Gordoun (Class of 2017)

Lexee Gordoun

Lexee just received the prestigious awards, ‘Best Student Film’ and ‘Best 1st time Producer’ for her film Bad Beat, at the recent New York International Film Awards (NYIFA). Lexee, who now works at Stan Australia as a Content Operations Assistant, studied film and TV production at JMC Academy in Ultimo and graduated this year. She says “a film takes an army, not just one person, which can make the task incredibly challenging. We had 30 people working toward a singular goal that sits in the director’s imagination. This film was part of my graduation project for University.

“Bad Beat is the story of three interconnected men following the war with seemingly happy lives. However, over the course of the film, we see the men unfold, exposing their vulnerabilities and traumas from the war. This film was made as a ‘proof of concept’ for a special edition series. Winning an award in a very competitive creative industry means more than just a title. It is the reward us creatives receive in exchange for tireless months of hard work, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am incredibly grateful for all the support I’ve received from everyone in the community and couldn’t have done it without them. I have one feature film in development with fellow alumnus, Asher Klein. We are co-writing it, so watch this space! I also have a short film that was supposed to be filmed in August but has been postponed til restrictions lift – it tackles modern day female masculinity and sexism”.

The Bowraville Murders

Mazal tov to Emanuel Parent, Dan Goldberg, producer of the hard-hitting documentary, The Bowraville Murders, which premiers on Saturday evening. “The film investigates one of Australia’s worst unsolved murder cases that has been marred by systemic racism – the 1990-91 serial killings of three Aboriginal children, all from the same street in a rural town in NSW, all killed within five months of each other and all of their remains found off the same dirt track.”

We had planned on holding a live screening of the documentary, but this was thwarted by COVID. Instead, please join Allan Clarke, the Director and Stan Grant, Editorial and Indigenous Consultant, for the online premier screening and Q&A on Saturday 4 September at 7.30 pm. Bookings are essential

Zoom Friday at 4.00 pm

We would love you to join us every Friday at 4.00 pm during school term, when you will see the smiling faces of so many members of our School, with students from Kornmehl through to High School as they sing and dance at home in the lead-up to Shabbat. This week we have a special Grandparents Rosh HaShanah Kabbalat Shabbat. We encourage you and your family, along with grandparents to join us

Rosh Hashanah 2021/5782 in lockdown, like no other

At this time of the year there are always conversations about who makes the best honey cake, with swapping of recipes left right and centre. On the Facebook page Friday Night, founder and Emanuel parent, Susie Rosen (who is not a great fan of honey cake), posted a call out for the best recipe. Emanuel grandparent, Wendy Churnin, who claimed to make the ultimate honey cake, got Susie’s seal of approval. With Wendy’s permission, here is her now-famous recipe

Wendy Churnin’s Honey Cake

2 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon Bicarb
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 cup boiling water


  • Beat the eggs and sugar until creamy
  • Add oil, honey, soda, cocoa and cinnamon
  • Gently and carefully add the flour and then boiling water – the consistency will be quite runny
  • Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform tin or a couple of loaf tins with baking paper
  • Bake for approx 1 hour at 180oC – usually less
  • Ready when a skewer comes out clean

Friendship Bakery

The Friendship Bakery at Mark Moran Vaucluse is a social enterprise initiative of The Friendship Circle, engaging young adults with disabilities through skills development and workplace experiences. You’ll often see our alumni helping out at the bakery where you will find the most decadent and delicious Custard Bubka. 

Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020/2021

The motto for our Australian ParalympiansNothing is Impossible – has proven to be so true throughout the Games.

We are in awe of the efforts of every member of our Australian team as well as the athletes of every country competing at the Games. The “Aussie boys”, including our very own Matt Levy, took out gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay in a world record time on Monday night. Matt had already won an individual bronze medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke. We continue to cheer on our athletes for the remaining events of these Games. 

Friendship Circle (FC) says a HUGE THANK YOU

The annual FC Walk is the major fundraiser for this program that provides support for families of children and young adults with disabilities. Last Sunday, hundreds of people in purple shirts participated online and walking around the streets of Sydney COVID-19 safe, as part of this year’s FC Virtual Amazing Race. $170,000 was set as the target to raise and, by the day of the walk, $200,000 had been raised. FC is truly grateful for the community’s efforts to support them and the link to raise funds will remains open for a little longer if you would like to make a donation.

Grandparents – we want you!

Grandparents are important vital members of our School Community, and we hope many of them take the opportunity to read Ma Nishma each week. It is a great way to stay connected with us all, especially whilst we are in lockdown, but also anytime. Unfortunately, we are missing up-to-date email contact details for many of our grandparents, so please send through grandparent contact details so they too can read about what is happening at School, albeit it all online for now. They will also receive our Grandparents and Friends newsletter. You can see past issues of this newsletter along with our alumni newsletters online. Living interstate and/or overseas, means some grandparents never have an opportunity to come to school, so connecting electronically can be really meaningful and a great way for them to see what their grandchildren are doing in spite of the distance apart. 

Remember September

Now that September has begun, alumnus Ben Wilheim, founder of Remember September, says a huge “Thank You” to members of our School community who have already signed up for this year’s event, to raise awareness and funds for research to find a cure for pancreatic cancer. The new challenge added this year, the walking challenge, seems to be the most popular so far – GIVE IT UP and MOVE IT. Ben says “we now have around 2,430 challengers and have raised $653,333.00 so far. See here for the latest figures and you can still sign up. 

Jewish Changemaker Awards 2021
Send through nominations online

With so many of our current High School students and past students in the Jewish community making the world a better place through their amazing volunteering efforts, they deserve to be nominated for these awards. If your children or grandchildren fit this brief, please nominate them to win. Through the Jewish Changemaker Awards, JNF Australia, B’nai B’rith NSW and The Australian Jewish News are honouring individuals in our community who have made a difference. Seven incredible young adults aged 14 – 36 from around Australia will be recognised for their outstanding contributions to Jewish Community, Australian Society and to Israel. We would love to see more of our students recognised for their wonderful volunteering efforts, so please send through their nominations.

As we know, the COVID rulings change all the time – by checking this link, you can see the latest updates. 

 f you have a special online activity, photos or news you would like to share with us, please send to Sonia Newell 

To you and your families, L’Shana tovah u’metukah – may you have a good and sweet New Year, and we wish you well over the Fast.

Shabbat Shalom. Stay safe, stay home and we hope you all have a good lockdown weekend and a wonderful Rosh HaShanah next week.