Volume 30 Issue 21 - 23 Jul 2021

From the Principal

Andrew Watt – Principal

Thinking ahead, beyond COVID-19

Despite the uncertainty around when we will finally be free from the impact of the virus, it is important that we look ahead and continue to plan for the future. This involves a process where we ask ourselves: “where are we now?”, “where do we want to be?” and “how do we get there?”. Since the start of 2021, the Board, Strategic Advisory Team (SAT), Executive and Staff have been involved in developing the case for change and revisiting our vision, mission, graduate attributes, operational and core values. This will enable us to articulate our commitments (focus areas for our efforts) and thus develop our strategic plan for 2022-2024.

I wanted to share with you a brief ‘taste’ of what we hope lies ahead for our School. The key challenges that we have identified include:

  • Uncertainty due to accelerated pace and scale of change
  • Rising mental health issues
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Ongoing financial viability
  • Complacency; and
  • Meeting increasingly personalised needs of students

Our key drivers include adaptability, perspective, courage to act, discernment, ethical, optimism, balance, research and grow, bounce back, collaboration and ongoing dialogue. I wanted to share with you our (draft) graduate attributes:

  • Curious, resilient learners
  • Open-minded thinkers
  • Adaptable innovators
  • Tenacious problem solvers
  • Compassionate advocates
  • Daring doers

I hope that you are as excited as I am, when you reflect on the values, knowledge, mindset, and skillset that we are seeking our graduates to possess. The SAT and Executive are currently working on refining our strategic intent document and, with this in place as our guide, we are poised to move on to our commitments and priorities over the next three years. The Board is regularly updated and will engage in the process in September, followed by input from our staff team.

Departure of our Primary School Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator

Colleen Elkins has been at the school for over 10 years. Over this time, she has been an outstanding classroom teacher, OC teacher and most recently, Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator in the Primary School. She has seen the introduction of many new opportunities for students at the school including the da Vinci Decathlon and Gateways programs. Colleen has also been instrumental in our chess success over the years. We wish her all the best for the future.

A wonderful achievement

Danielle Rutstein

Danielle Rutstein’s (Class of 2020) dream of playing soccer/football in the USA has come true. She has been awarded a 4-year scholarship at Clayton State University in Atlanta Georgia. Danielle is enrolled in a degree in Health and Fitness Management, which fits perfectly with the HSC subjects that she completed at Emanuel. Danielle will depart Sydney on 26 July with our sincere best wishes for both success and enjoyment, as she embarks on the next steps in her life journey. We will follow her career with interest and pride.

Dr Millie Phillips 

We were sad to hear that Dr Millie Phillips passed away earlier this week. Dr Phillips has been a long-time friend and supporter of Emanuel School. Many of us have watched performances and attended meetings in the Millie Phillips Theatre. Our students and staff have benefitted in so many ways from her generosity and dedication to Jewish education and leadership. The ongoing and positive impact of her support will live on in the Emanuel and wider community for generations to come. May her memory be for a blessing.

Quote of the week

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.” – Zadie Smith, novelist






From the Head of Jewish Life

Rabbi Daniel Siegel – Head of Jewish Life

Mission through vision

In this week’s parashah, VaEtchanan, Moshe, facing the closing chapters of his life, entreats the Lord:

“Let me crossover (עברה and see (ואראה) the good land”.

The root letters for the word “crossover” (עבר) are the same root letters for the word “Hebrew/Ivri” (עברי). Our Jewish tradition teaches that Avraham, was the first “Hebrew/Ivri”, as he was the first “boundary-crosser”. He fought against norms of injustice, going “beyond the bounds” (עבר) of erroneous convention. What Avraham, our first forefather had envisioned (ראה) on an individual level, Moses, our greatest prophet had sought on a national scale. In speaking out against the tyranny of Pharaoh, he was an “Ivri” (עברי), a “boundary-crosser”, envisioning (ראה) the “promised land” for an oppressed people.

How fitting, then, that, as he stands with his people, at the doorstep of the “good land”, the words “crossover” (עבר) and vision (ראה) come together, about to be joined in seeing his mission realised – “Let me crossover and see”.

God’s response is both shattering and fulfilling:

“You shall see (ראה), with your eyes, for you, yourself, shall not crossover (עבר).”

The days of his being a “boundary-crosser” have come to an end, but not so his vision.

In the very next verse, God continues: “Give your command to Yehoshu’a, strengthen and embolden him for he shall crossover (יעבור), leading the people, inheriting the land which you shall see (תראה).

As all great leaders come to learn, one’s life work does not end with one’s life. Through one’s vision one’s mission is achieved.

Standing upon the mountain top, seeing the “promised land”, one wonders how far beyond his lifetime did this boundary-crosser’s vision reach. As Martin Luther King, envisioning himself as a modern day Moses, leading his oppressed people to the “promised land”, would say at its doorstep:

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life…But I’m not concerned about that now. God’s… allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know… that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”


Primary News

Meg Carroll – Deputy Head of Primary

Social-Emotional Learning has never been more urgent

During the lockdown my husband and I have been walking every day to get some exercise and fresh air. I hope you and your families have been doing the same. Yesterday, on our walk, I noticed a young boy and his mother out and about with a container of chalk. I didn’t really pay too much attention to them or what they were doing until I saw them again and again – in different locations around the Harbour. It was then that I paused and took notice of what they were doing; writing messages of kindness on the ground for passers by. 

Walkers, runners, bike riders, other children and adults alike were all stopping to read the messages that were randomly scattered around the waterfront. I couldn’t help but think…what a great idea! Such a simple way to connect with your child and promote kindness and sharing kindness. 

Kindness.org says that “we could all use a little more kindness in our lives right now” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s at times like these that random (or not so random) acts of kindness uplift us and those around us, bring joy to our lives, turn mundane moments into feel good ones and strengthen our human connection.

There are some excellent resources for parents to use to cultivate kindness with their children. I encourage you to check out Learn Kind and scroll down to the section titled Kindness Activities from Kindness.org. Here you will find a wealth of simple and easy to implement activities (both independent and with some parental support required) for you and your child to engage with during this lockdown as well as afterwards. I particularly liked the Kindness Quest Scavenger Hunt and the accompanying Family Discussion Questions.

Feel free to email me with any opportunities you and your family have had to try these or other kindness spreading activities. 

Deborah Blackman – Parent session update

We have rescheduled this year’s virtual event with guest speaker Deborah Blackman to Tuesday 10 August 2021 (Term 3, Week 5). We hope you can join us. 

Deborah is a social worker with a background in Child Protection. She has been working with some of the classes in the Primary School (and does so every year) in order to ensure our community is well informed and pro-active.

This parent session focuses on ‘Keeping Our Children Safe’ and is open for all parents of Years K-6 children to attend. During this 1 hour presentation, Deborah will explore strategies for parents related to keeping your children safe and how to talk to your children about feelings, secrets, good touch and bad touch, warning signs and skills related to child protection. We think that it is very important that home and school provide the same message about this very important topic. We highly recommend this session to parents who have not participated in previous years.

This year the parent session will be held virtually on Zoom from 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm. Please use the zoom link below to access the session:

Zoom link
Meeting ID: 986 6636 6641
Passcode: 012015

Please contact Meghan Carroll should you have any questions about this event.

Years 3, 4, 5 Pre-camp meeting 

Thank you to those of you who attended our Zoom meeting on Thursday. We hope that camp will be able to go ahead this year and will keep you updated as new information becomes available. In the meantime, please continue to prepare your child for camp and the opportunities camp presents in terms of experiencing independence and making new friends. 

It is normal for some children to feel anxious about camp/being away from home. Even the most outgoing and confident child may have a few moments of separation anxiety as the time to leave gets closer. Be sure to talk to your child about camp regularly. This includes sharing your experiences at camp both positive and negative, keeping in mind that any negative stories present an opportunity for you and your child to unpack what you did or could have done to overcome this challenge and what the outcome was in the end. It’s worth remembering that every challenge your child overcomes contributes to their resilience and self-confidence when facing more unfamiliar situations later on.

Parents can also prepare their child for camp by:

  • Ensuring that they master skills like applying sunscreen and doing their own hair
  • Helping your child label and pack all the belongings they are taking to camp
  • Using/setting up bedtime routines that help them to settle independently (eg. reading a book, mindfulness breathing, etc)
  • Reducing the sense of unknown; visit the camp website to explore the grounds/facilities and activities that may be on offer (our schedule will be confirmed closer to the camp dates)
  • Have your child identify who he/she can go to talk to if they are feeling unsure (a few friends, a teacher, the camp supervisor, etc) 

Remember your child’s teacher has likely participated in several camps in the past and understands that some children and parents are stepping outside their comfort zones. Don’t be afraid to send a note to the teachers who will be supervising your child to raise any concerns you have. They’ll appreciate the extra information as it makes their time at camp easier too.

Most importantly…keep positive. Telling your child you believe they’re ready for school camp and they’ll have a great time helps your child believe it too. School camp is a great opportunity for your child to push their boundaries, discover new friends and experience outdoor adventures first hand.

Reflecting on Tish’ah BeAv

Rabbi Daniel Siegel – Head of Jewish Life

Warranted Zealotry

Seeking to comprehend the great tragedy of the destruction of the Jewish Temple, our tradition speaks of sin’at chinam – Unwarranted hatred. It was internecine warfare and conflict among fellow Jews that resulted in the destruction of our people and our religious centre (the Romans being but a contributing agent).

Ironically, it was during a commemoration of Tish’ah BeAv at the Kotel, just several days ago, that sina’t chinam was again being descried for conflict between fellow Jews. Not agreeing with the appropriateness of an egalitarian minyan conducting Tish’ah BeAv services, a group of Jews disrupted and attacked members of this prayer group. In the words of Israeli Foreign Minsiter Yair Lapid: “On the day we commemorate the destruction of the Temple, a group of extremists decided to desecrate the holiness of the day and the holiness of the place and start a violent struggle at the Kotel. That’s the baseless hatred (sinat chinam) that led to the destruction of the Temple and our exile.”

Of course, members of the disrupting group would contend that it was this very form of transgression exhibited by this prayer group that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. They are the extremists who are now revisiting the tragedy by desecrating the destruction site of the temple.

And so it goes, and what have we learned and what has changed?

The word chinam, whether understood as baseless, unwarranted or gratuitous appears in our tradition’s lamentation literature in another form, chinam nimkarnu – we have been sold for naught, without warrant. It too recently was evoked with Poland’s parliament considering passing a law that would limit the possibility of Shoah survivors or their families recovering property taken from them (either by selling out Jews to the Nazis or taking their homes and property when their Jewish neighbours were sent to their deaths).

Here too, Lapid voiced his grave concern: “What happened on Polish soil during the Holocaust cannot be denied. Poland’s attempt to pass another law that tries to erase history and to clear them of responsibility for the property of Holocaust survivors is unacceptable and immoral. No law can erase the memory of the victims. Poland knows what it needs to do”.

Judaism zealously teaches that human life cannot be bartered, whether for personal gain or national or religious triumphalism. That is an extremism from which we all can gain and join in fellowship.


Finding meaning from the Shoah

Daphna Levin-Kahn – Head of Jewish Studies High School

Year 10 visits the Sydney Jewish Museum

Following a thought-provoking day at the Sydney Jewish Museum late last term, students were asked to reflect on their experience and learning:

Which was the most impactful artefact or exhibit for you?

Visiting the Children’s Memorial and seeing a small fragment of the individual lives lost in the Holocaust, each of the pictures of a child of a survivor made me realise how many stories will not even be told, because there is no one alive to tell them. This was especially true for the artworks of the water droplets and the children’s shoes which also represented the sheer quantity of individual people and stories.
By Alix Cane

The artefact that was most inspiring to me was ‘George’s Jacket’. The jacket was a primary source as George wore it during his time in a concentration camp. The jacket was blue and white striped with the prisoners ID number sewn to it. I found this interesting as George still displayed resilience when told to burn the jacket, however he kept it in case one day anyone questioned whether the Holocaust occurred. By Allie Armstrong

I found that the different Star of David patches and armbands were interesting as they not only varied in look but were also in different languages, I thought that was powerful as it shows how many Jews from different places were affected.

By Zac Urbach

There was this one charcoal drawing of women in the Holocaust. They were so skinny that they appeared as shadows, blended with the background. Seeing this made me personally able to feel the extent of the pain, not only in the Holocaust but the trauma that stemmed from it. By Talia Rabin

Anika’s Story

I found it incredible that Ana’s train was found and that all those people were saved by two soldiers. I also found it really interesting that the story of the train was only properly discovered many years later. If I could ask Ana a question, I would ask her how she stayed hopeful throughout the Holocaust or if there were any stages where she completely lost hope. By Ella Hart

I thought it was incredible that her spirit was so uplifting, the way she describes her experience it seemed as if she always had faith and hope that she would eventually be ok throughout her entire experience. Even when she was speaking to us, she was making jokes and overall, just being really positive. If I got the chance to ask her a question It would be how your experience has affected your day-to-day life?
By Gabrielle Jackson

I found that her mindset was the most interesting after she had experienced this horrific event (especially being so young at the time), she said that she didn’t hate Germans and is willing to tell her story. By Zac Urbach

After today’s visit, and your previous learning about the Shoah, what action will you take to prevent, minimise or stop discrimination and/or other human rights violations happening in Australia, online and around the world?

The main thing I took from this was that, as a student, I can prevent, minimise or stop discrimination and/or human rights violations, by promoting information about these things occurring and showing support for groups facing these issues. Seeing the work of organisations to educate the world about the Holocaust, I have realised how important this education is, both to spread to other people, but also to personally seek to educate myself on issues widely faced by people in the world so I can learn to combat them, and in turn make sure to call out people for contributing to these issues.
By Alix Cane

I will try my best to call out people when I hear them misleading people with misinformation. As social media is such a big part of our lives now, I can use it to promote what is happening and bring awareness to the situation. By Gahya Cesana

To minimise or stop discrimination in Australia I think it is really important to tell people off when they say something discriminatory and educate them about what they did wrong and how that affects others. Many people use discriminatory language thinking it is a joke, so it is very important to educate people (especially young people) before they use those remarks, thinking it is funny. By Gabrielle Jackson

I will make more effort to do research about human rights violations happening in Australia and around the world, because I found that one of the biggest problems was that many people claimed that they had no idea what was happening to the Jews during the Holocaust or they chose to ignore it as it was not directly affecting them. By Ella Hart


Caring for our Future

Maya Buhrich – Alumni Informal Jewish Life Educator

“And when, O Man, you will return to Nature—on that day your eyes will open, you will gaze straight into the eyes of Nature, and in its mirror you will see your own image. You will know that you have returned to yourself.”  AD Gordon 

On Tisha Be’av one of the tragedies we remember is the destruction of the First Temple and our exile from Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah – who is credited as the author of Eicha, a text which responds to the immediate suffering felt by those exiled – provides an interpretation of why the Jewish people were subject to such tragedy. He writes it is because the Jewish people did not let the land rest every seven years, as mandated in the Tanakh, that they were exiled from Jerusalem. 

Jeremiah seeks to explain this tragedy by making sense of God’s motivation to subject the Jewish people to exile. This may leave us questioning: Why is failing to let the land rest justification for exile? Jeremiah’s interpretation may seem like a desperate attempt to rationalise the tragedies that have ensued. As such God is painted as a character whose punishment of the Jewish people doesn’t fit the crime. 

Yael Grunseit – Alumni Informal Jewish Life Educator

The idea of God taking retribution on the Jewish people is difficult to relate to. How then does a secular Jew make sense of this testing relationship with God? What we understand the message to be is that land and caring for our planet is of utmost importance. This link is easy to see as the negative impact of human behaviour on the environment becomes more apparent today. If God was upset about failing to let the land rest, think about fast fashion, corporate pollution, the meat industry and rising sea levels… 

A defining tragedy of the 21st century is climate change. As young people, it is difficult to imagine a future without first tackling the treatment of our planet. The COVID-19 pandemic has understandably diverted our attention away from climate change and towards caring for ourselves and loved ones. This is important, however, Tish’ah BeAv can be used as a reminder to treat our planet with care. Jeremiah, in all of his grief, was able to make sense of our people’s misfortune by considering the treatment of land. In a similar way to Jeremiah, we should continue to reflect on our treatment of the planet, whilst also remembering the larger tragedies of our people. 

There is a long tradition of great Jewish thinkers remembering the importance of land in regards to spirituality, the preservation of Jewish culture, labour and Zionism. Care for land and the planet is not as arbitrary as the Tanakh’s rulings may seem. What we take from AD Gordon is that by caring for our planet we are able to confront the tragedies of our time. As such, by caring for our land we are caring for ourselves and our future.



Terry Aizen – Director of Kornmel

The Pre-school has been back since Monday 12 July, offering care to all Kornmehl families. Coming back to Pre-school after a two-week lockdown was difficult and I am very proud of our team and the way in which they have put the children first.

Nonetheless, we soldier on, because we love our profession very much, we love the beautiful interactions we have with the children each day in our care and the learning we see is inspiring. We also see clearly how much the children love being back at Pre-school, with familiar faces, routines, consistency, and predictability. We see how good this is for their well-being and mental health, in this crazy world we live in at the moment. We are proud that we can support children and families in this way and offer them some hope, warmth, caring and fun.

Learning at Kornmehl

At the morning meeting on Monday, the Starfish noticed that some of their peers were away. One of the children asked why. Ideas were shared such as car sickness, sea sickness or air sickness! Then someone expressed that perhaps it was because of the “Corona Virus.” The children were invited to share their knowledge, understanding and experiences about COVID-19 and also their holidays and how/why it was different this time.

Daisy: We had to stay at home. Lockdown.
Jesse: Someone may have Corona Virus and you may get it.
Abbey: You can’t go where you want to go.
James: You only need to go somewhere outside.
Noa: If you go inside you have to wear a mask just in case you get the germs.
Rafi: Somewhere I can’t go until lockdown is finished. Somewhere I love to go is La Perouse and the Island. 

We talked about other ways we can look after ourselves and keep safe and healthy. We revisited our health and hygiene practices such as hand washing, where we wash our hands with soap and water and count to 20 and we should all be washing our hands regularly, using tissues to wipe our nose and to wash hands after coughing and sneezing into our elbow.

The term began with all three groups learning and exploring NAIDOC Week. At Kornmehl we embed Indigenous culture into our program in meaningful and relevant ways throughout the year, for example, during our Acknowledgement to Country each and every day, having the Aboriginal flag visible, through puzzles, outdoors ochre painting and a rock crushing area, music, dance and drama.

NAIDOC Week enhances our learning and deepens our understanding of Aboriginal ways of knowing and being. We showed the children a piece of artwork for NAIDOC Week. The 2021 National NAIDOC poster, “Care for Country” which was designed by Gubbi Gubbi artist Maggie-Jean Douglas. Using this year’s theme, Heal Country, Maggie-Jean painted a bright and vibrant work that included different colours of the land and showed how they come together in our beautiful country to make people feel hopeful for the future. She says, “I’ve included communities/people, animals and bush medicines spread over different landscapes of red dirt, green grass, bushland and coastal areas to tell the story of the many ways country can and has healed us throughout our lives and journeys.”

The children noticed the different shapes and symbols within the artwork, and we discussed the symbols and their meanings.

We started the discussion by doing a See Think Wonder routine to find out what the children’s thoughts, ideas and observations were.

Lev: It’s Aboriginal. 
Educator: What makes you say that?
Lev: Like a flower and a snake that’s actually real. A twirly bango thing.
Ziggy: A lizard.
Jessie: Dots and a kite. Twirls and triangles that look like Aboriginal colours. Medicine for bush and land.
Aviv: Aboriginal circles and a flower.
Daisy: Aboriginal dots and swirls. Blue lines for the water.
Cooper: It’s about winter…like my birthday.
Jessie: I think it’s about summer because flowers grow in summer. All the circles.
Uriel: Green grass.
Arlo: There are emu tracks!
Evan: I can see all of these in there (looking at Aboriginal symbols).
Arlo: I knew this was a honey bug without looking!

After some discussion we had a look at a video clip where Maggie-Jean talked about her art piece and how Indigenous art is something that is highly valued in her family. She also talked about how being Indigenous is something she is extremely proud of and, to be able to express herself through this medium, meant a lot to her. “Telling my own stories and the stories of others is something I find deeply valuable because of the impact it can have”.

We asked the children how can we care for Country?

Zach: Don’t hit trees.
Finn: Care for the bees.
Arlo: Care for the Country.
Evan: Respect the government there.
Bronte: Take care of the animals.

A picture of the artwork was then positioned at the easel and table to inspire the children’s creativity. Some of the conversation shared by the children at the table was as follows:

Daisy: Water, lots of circles, lines and dots and also leaves. Yes, with bee colours, black and white.
Ava: I can see lots of kangaroos and trees. I can see a hexagon. The grass and the leaves are green.
Maya: Leaves, water, twirly people
Ethan: I see a diamond. I see little stars. I see these little things, they look like worms.
Ava: Caterpillars in cocoons.
Daisy: These are the hives, the beehives on the Gadigal land.
James: These are bush medicines, they make Aboriginal people feel better. It was here a long long time ago and the normal medicine only comes now. This is a volcano, to make the earth nice and warm. This is the wind, and they swim in the water, in the river.

The Dolphins and Starfish learnt a beautiful Aboriginal song called Ngaya Naba. The words mean – My family, Our family, Together we are much more strong. We also used the tapping sticks to mark the beat 1,2….1,2,3. We asked the children what they thought these words meant.

Arlo: If we work together, we will be much more strong. If we build and learn together, we’ll also be much more strong.
Finn: When you’re with your family, you’re stronger because you’re with other people, how we have a surname, you can be a team!
Zach: When you eat food and stay together you get strong.
Bronte: When we work together, we’re much more strong.
Mili: If something’s heavy and you call someone, then they will come and help you. It means that you can be stronger with someone together.
Evan: We stay protected with all our family and then we get super strong.

The Starfish read a Dream time story called How the birds got their colours. They watched an Indigenous man read the story on YouTube and took this opportunity to dramatise the story by becoming birds, with Daisy as the Dove and Ziggy the Crow. The story ended as the birds found a safe place to nest as the sun went down. Later on in the week, they used coloured plasticine to represent the characters in the story and made a diorama of the story.

The Seashells watched a short video about Uluru. They were fascinated by the size and colour of the rock. At activity time, they used clay to form a representation of the rock. It was hard work moulding the clay into the shape of the rock. The clay was hard and cold, and it took a lot of strength to soften the clay with their hands. Once the shape had been assembled using small chunks of clay, the children used brushes to add water to the clay to smooth the outside. We used a range of autumn shades to paint the clay structure. We also scattered coloured sand around the base of the rock.

Hugo: It is big rock, it is in the middle of Australia. 
Juliette: The rock is reddish.
Dean: It was messy and gooey from the water, and it was not the same like clay because it was flat together and because it stuck together and there were cracks, when we made it from clay. Kangaroos come from behind Uluru.
Noah: Uluru is a rock. It is big. 
Sam: It is a big rock, and it is red, and it has cracks in it. I don’t know why it has cracks.
James: I made a rock with clay. It was difficult because the clay was too hard.

We read the story of The Rainbow Snake. This story really captured their imaginations:

Ella: It was so rainbow. It cracked the trees. It smashed the windmill and then it went into the water. It came back again. I am not scared of it.
Noah: I think the snake was angry because it was hungry.
Matteo: I think that it wanted a friend.

The children worked with clay to create rainbow snakes. They rolled the clay into a sausage shape and whilst carefully looking at the picture of the snake in the book, they used wooden sticks to carve patterns and features onto the body they had rolled. The final step was using small beads to decorate the snakes. The children were very proud of their work.

We will continue to embed Aboriginal culture into our program in meaningful and authentic ways. We see how open and receptive young pre-schoolers are to learning about and understanding our nation’s first people.

Happy Birthday

We wish a very happy birthday to Liana Lazarus (5), Alice Berkovic (5), Georgia and Kaya Fisher (5) and Juliette Mendoza-Jones (4). We hope you all had a wonderful day.

Appreciating the time we have

Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations

As we continue life in lockdown, we hope you have adapted to life and learning at home alongside pets and all household members, with many parents working from home. It is not easy to manage life, family, work and home learning commitments during lockdown, but we hope everyone is doing well. Our dedicated teaching staff never cease to amaze us as they prepare and lead online learning for our students.

If you signed in last Friday at 4.00 pm for our Emanuel Kabbalat Shabbat, I’m sure you could feel the palpable enthusiasm of alumnus Asher Klein (Head Madrich, Class of 2016), now one of our Alumni Informal Jewish Life leaders. This wonderful weekly event can be viewed by anyone in our community, so please share the link with grandparents.

Emanuel parent Lisa Sarzin says “my mum is quite extraordinary as the moment her physical world shrinks she doubles her efforts to expand her mental horizons and most of our daily calls are spent talking about the world of ideas and new things she’s learnt. The one thing we all miss the most is being together on Shabbat. I usually have both Grannies every Friday. Hence why I thought the Emanuel Kabbalat Shabbat would lift their spirits in a unique way. And on the home schooling front, we are just so fortunate to be at Emanuel and feel so well supported. So far it’s going smoothly and the boys are happy. So thank you! We are so aware of how much time, energy and effort teachers and staff have put into this delivery model and are very appreciative. I cannot tell you how appreciative and grateful we feel to be part of such a beautiful community. The School is doing an outstanding job.” 

We are certainly fortunate to have access to the internet with a wide variety of websites and online events to watch. Many of our readers enjoyed some wonderful online sessions with Dunera during last year’s lockdown. Good news – they are back with lots of exciting events on offer.

Mitch Burnie

We hope you and your children will join us on Sunday at 5.30 pm for an exciting session when alumnus Mitch Burnie, Manager of Adamama Urban Farm, teaching us online all about pickles and preserves. We now have more than 100 registrations for this free event. It’s not too late to book

Readers of my page will also know that I’m a huge fan of the newly opened Friendship Bakery at Mark Moran Vaucluse, and also of Friendship Circle. What you may not know is that Emanuel parent Jesse Meguideche, owner of Jesse’s Bakery helped get Friendship Bakery started six years ago, when he welcomed them into his bakery (Jesse’s Le Petit Pâtissier), allowing them to use it as their challah headquarters. He taught them everything they needed to know about challah baking and also about cakes and pastries. Jesse’s father David, who sadly passed away this week, was also ever-present and a great support to these young bakers. 

We wish Jesse and family long life on the sudden passing of their beloved David Meguideche. He will be sadly missed by all who loved and admired him. May his memory be a blessing.

Shoshi Blackman and Ben Goldstein

At my visit to Friendship Bakery in Vaucluse last Friday morning for essential shopping, not only was I greeted by the wafting smell of freshly baked goods but also the smiling eyes of the bakers and volunteers behind their masks, including barista Ben Goldstein (Class of 2010) and Shoshi Blackman (Class of 2018) in the bakery and behind the counter. Shoshi told me she had just come back to the bakery after making a challah delivery to someone at the School. Another customer waiting patiently in the line was Emanuel Grandparent Ralph Hirst who, together with his wife Adrienne, is a resident at Mark Moran Vaucluse. He said “How good is it to have this wonderful bakery literally at our doorstep – we love it!”.

If you are interested in contactless ordering and pick-up, Friendship Bakery has prepared an online order form for Friday pick-ups. Please note, orders must be placed before 3.00 pm on Wednesdays.

Speaking about food, join alumnus Sean Torban (Class of 2018), founder of Talking Holocaust for their next online event on Thursday 8 August 2021, in collaboration with AUJS.         

No chance of being bored in lockdown

When they are not @School online, do your kids say they are bored? Hopefully not, but here are some online activities organised by the team at Friendship Circle (FC) that might interest them. Some details about their program for young adults and volunteers aged 18+ are also included.

FC Virtual Schedule, Monday 19 July 2021 – Sunday 1 August 2021

A mix of activities for participants and volunteers to join over the next couple of weeks, including exercise, story time, cooking, challah baking, dance parties, and even a Teen movie night! 

Please note that some sessions are aimed at specific age groups. If applicable, this is stated on the schedule. The virtual schedule is available here.

Please email Emma Sharp to receive the link to join these virtual sessions.

As everyone likes to engage in different ways and we are already spending a lot of time in front of our screens, the FC committee has also created a fun activity pack with visual recipes, craft ideas, movement videos and activity sheets for our community to enjoy.

FC SOCIAL Virtual Schedule, Tuesday 24 July 2021 – Sunday 22 August 2021
(for Young Adult participants and volunteers aged 18+)

As their face-to-face program has been paused during lockdown, FC is hosting these events over Zoom. Together, you will enjoy a disco, online games, yoga, a baking and tea party, painting, and a catch up on life!

Please contact FC Social Co-ordinators with any questions and for the Zoom link: Talia – 0417 476 264, Ally – 0423 657 650. You can also join the FC Facebook group.

Shabbat Shalom. Stay safe, stay home and have a great lockdown weekend. We look forward to sharing more news with you again next week.

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

Emanuel’s Biggest Lunch 2021

Emanuel’s Biggest Tea Lunch 2021

Every year Emanuel Staff host Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea as a communal lunch. This year, on Tuesday 22 June 2021, we held our 11th event COVID-safe-style to raise money for the Cancer Council.

Staff held small lunches across the entire school in every department, from Kornmehl to Year 12, Admin and every staff member in between. Thank you to each department for making a huge effort and creatively putting together themed hampers from tea to books to our PDHPE departments incredible sports hamper with a $500 voucher from The Upside; Game Day Outdoor Box Experience at a Sydney FC match (donated by Sydney FC); a gorgeous sports mat donated by Camilla and more. Thank you also to our wonderful community support in donating many high value items like sunglasses, dinner vouchers, a blender and Tupperware for the raffle.

Overall, we raised over $2500 towards this worthy charity. Yet again, Emanuel staff prove that they are not only awesome teachers and carers, but a strong, socially minded and charitable group as well.

Hats off to you Emanuel Team!


Claire Pech – Careers Advisor

This week we hosted Kathryn Taylor from Turning Point Consulting, who spoke to our Year 12s. I surveyed the group last week and two topics of interest were – how to find a job once students leave using LinkedIn and also what to do regarding their GAP year in relation to COVID.

Students were talked through the job-hunting process, how to structure their resume, networking, volunteering and a myriad of other relevant topics that we hope serve them well.

EAS applications

This week I made a screen cast for students about the EAS Process and also the early offer information for UTS in relation to COVID disruption. UTS have updated their page to now include room to apply for this disruption here.

We now recognise and support two distinct cohorts of applicants:

  1.  Equity stream – focuses on supporting students who have the potential to success at university, but may not receive an offer based on their ATAR alone. Applicants must first be eligible for socio-economic disadvantage, school environment (S01C only) or financial hardship under our inpUTS scheme.
  2. 2021 Access stream – focuses on supporting students that may not have been able to show their best potential in their HSC, due to the disruption to studies caused by COVID-19. UTS may take into consideration both Year 11 studies as well as the Selection Rank (Year 12 ATAR + adjustment points) when assessing an applicant’s eligibility for an offer.

EAS covers long term disadvantage but, as of last year, with parents receiving jobkeeper and jobseeker, students can now apply for EAS based on this long term disadvantage of only three months. As a parent, if this applies to you, please encourage your son/daughter to apply for this. More details about EAS here and specific information regarding the requirements and proof are below:

Please contact Claire Pech if you have any questions about this.




Music Matters

Diana Springford – Head of Music

On Thursday, we were very fortunate to enjoy a ‘virtual’ visit by four talented musicians from worldmusic group Mara! who performed three online live and interactive concerts entitled Music in my Suitcase for Years K-2, 3-4 and 5-6. Over the course of an hour, students were inspired to listen to and understand each other by sharing music from a diverse array of cultures. Integrating music and dance, Music in my Suitcase encourages students to explore Australian history and share their own languages.Thank you to our teacher panellists from the Music Faculty for their enthusiastic on-screen participation.

Look out for a review of the concert from a student perspective in next week’s Ma Nishma.

All private instrumental lessons, IP and ISP are up and running on Zoom! Please let your tutor know if the sound is hard to manage as they might have some suggestions about how to change the Zoom settings to be more music friendly.

Extra-curricular Music Ensembles and Choirs: We have pirouetted back to the platforms established last year with all choirs and instrumental ensembles online, however our approach is different to last year. On Reshet and Stile, current members of our ensembles and choirs will find a range of new activities every week. These are not intended to imitate or fill in for rehearsals, which focus on repertoire learning and ensemble skill development. We want to use the unreality of online learning to allow us to focus on learning things on our instruments and voices that we might otherwise not have had time for because we were focused on exams, concerts and performances. When we step back from these big goals that usually motivate us, we can begin to get to know the weirder regions of our instruments and voices, which in turn, will make us stronger players. For example:

  • A clarinet player might try to flutter tongue for the first time
  • A violinist might try pizzicato
  • A brass player might learn about the connection between good breathing and the ability to play high notes
  • String players might learn about shepherd tones
  • A chorister might learn a new piece of body percussion, or some interesting vocal warm-ups

All our conductors and tutors have contributed something different, and the Stile and Reshet pages where you find these activities will be refreshed every Wednesday at 8.00 am with new weird and fun activities for you to try – some easy, some tricky.

Private Music Tuition and Infant Strings Program

Schedules for Private Music Tuition and Infant Strings Program have been emailed to parents, using the same link as previous terms, so you should all be able to access and bookmark your schedules on your device. Tutor Zoom ID codes are embedded at the top right of each Private Tuition Schedule. 

A note about new enrolments to ISP: in the case of the K-2 Infant Strings Program, we are regrettably unable to add new enrolments into the program during this period of online learning.  As soon as the situation changes, we will let you know.

A note about new enrolments to Private Music Tuition: new applications to enrol into private instrumental or voice music lessons will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For example, it is necessary in the current online environment for the enrolling student to have access to the instrument which they wish to use for private tuition and new ventures in online private music tuition are more likely to succeed where the student has a pre-existing experience of learning with a tutor (perhaps the student has been learning the instrument in IP, or is resuming private lessons after a break). However, we are open minded, so please ask.

Please contact Matilda Grieve by email if you have any questions about private tuition.

Instrument sundries: for those who need to stock up on replacement reeds, cleaning gear, strings, rosin and other bits and pieces, below are the website details for our local suppliers, who can post items to you or are open for click and collect purchases:

 For Emanuel instruments needing repair, please email Joanne De Araujo  with detailed information about the fault.

 For announcements and further information, please check our Music Portal Page 

 You can also find fun news and updates from us on Instagram.

In a pickle


Ruby Berkovic and Jennifer Opit

Hello Community,

We hope you have all settled into online learning well.

Mindfulness for Tough Times 

You can still register and sign up for the last six Mini-Mindfulness Sessions on Zoom (at no cost) brought to you by Emanuel parent Jodie Gien, from Mindful Future Project.

The sessions started in Week One of this term and will run on Wednesday mornings in Term 3 from 8.30 am – 8.50 am (running from Week 1 to Week 8). If you have registered for a session, you will be able to access it for one week afterwards (if you cannot log on for the live Zoom). You can connect via laptop or mobile from anywhere and you can join anytime.

To register: express interest by emailing Ruby Berkovic and you will be sent the Zoom links in advance.

Session topics

  1. Proactively Tackling Worry and Uncertainty
  2. Out of Autopilot to Savour Here and Now
  3. From Reacting Blindly to Responding Wisely
  4. Where the Monkey Dropped the Ball
  5. Self-Compassion & Empathy in Difficult Times
  6. Happiness and Gratitude in a Pandemic

We hope you enjoy this fantastic opportunity.

P&F Meeting

P&F Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.00 pm on Zoom. Everyone is welcome so please join us as your support and input is valued.

Email Ruby Berkovic if you would like to attend the next meeting which will be held on Wednesday 4 August 2021.

Weekend Brain Teaser (from last week) and answer

Question: How can 8 + 8 = 4?
Answer: When you think in terms of time. 8.00 am + 8 hours = 4 o’clock.

We hope you have a lovely weekend,

Jen & Ruby

Community Notices

Click on the image to book.


Durban Film Festival: 21 July – 3 August

Ella Blumenthal is the oldest Holocaust survivor in South Africa (Turning 100 this Shabbat!). 
This award-winning film celebrates her remarkable life of resilience and her magnetic personality in spite of her experiences. Free. Once you have booked a film, you have two days to watch it.




Recipe of the Week

Each week we’ll bring you a tasty recipe passed down by Emanuel families, from the Emanuel School Community Cookbook, The Family Meal. 

From the Kitchen of Nicky Abitz

Vegetable Nut Loaf/Veggie Burgers 


2 cups ground almonds, cashews, or a blend of the two
2 cups cooked brown rice
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks
1 1/2 cups chopped celery 
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped basil
2 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup water
Salad and/or chutney to serve


Preheat oven to 180oC
Boil the brown rice and set aside.
Sauté leeks in olive oil until soft.
Mix boiled rice, ground nuts and leeks together in a large bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Press mixture into an oiled baking tray and bake for 60 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.
Serve with salad and a bit of chutney.

For the burgers:

Form the mixture into patties and gently fry in olive oil until golden.

Serves 6-8

You can order the Emanuel School Community Cookbook, The Family Meal, by contacting Ruby Berkovic