Volume 30 Issue 36 - 26 Nov 2021

From the Principal

Andrew Watt – Principal

“Like it or not, we live in interesting times”
Robert Kennedy 1966 

At the end of a tumultuous week, we can look back with gratitude at the support our community enjoyed throughout the School closure. Our staff provided calm and caring support for those students on campus until they were collected, then commenced their teaching online; our parents engaged swiftly in COVID testing, with many expressing their support of the School; our High School students switched seamlessly back into remote learning by 9.00 am, whilst our Primary students engaged with enthusiasm in the activities emailed home. This was a week we would rather not have endured, but we are glad to be back on campus today.

Our risk mitigation measures proved to be very effective, with no staff member and relatively few students identified as close contacts. The mandated mask wearing (Years 3-12), the effective ventilation measures, the cohorting, staggered start and finishes, online canteen order and delivery have proved to be of great value. Thank you to our medical Advisory Panel!

Has the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown impacted student performance?

Laureate Professor and educational expert, John Hattie recently delivered a paper on the impact of remote learning on student performance. He referred to a meta-analysis of seven European countries, based on more than 5 million students. The research revealed “small but important” effects on student achievement in Mathematics and native language, thus showing that remote learning is not optimal. I feel that we had already figured that out!

In gauging the Australian experience, Hattie highlighted the findings of a study in NSW that compared the performance of 1300 Year 3 – 4 students across 113 schools. Encouragingly, the research found no significant difference in results, between 2019 and 2020 in student achievement growth, across both mathematics and reading. Hattie noted that:

“These findings are a testament to the dedicated work of teachers during the 2020 pandemic to ensure that learning for most students was not compromised despite unusually trying circumstances.”

In terms of the lessons learned, Hattie’s key message was how school leaders, educators, students, and parents ‘rallied to meet the challenge head on’. He observed that ‘parents gained unprecedented insight into their children’s education and school, bringing potential benefits for years to come. New skills were acquired, and new pedagogical opportunities trialled’. He also observed more trimming of content coverage to allow for depth, and the fact that most assessments administered in-class did not apply… ‘new methods of evaluating the impact of teaching and the learning of students had to be invented.’

We remain committed to identifying (and remedying) any gaps in literacy and numeracy. Our focus for this year has been to consolidate foundational skills, knowledge and understanding.

We’re all in this together

This year has certainly been challenging and I have been overwhelmed by our community’s unwavering support for each other. The phrase “we are all in this together” truly exemplifies the Emanuel School spirit.

As we near the end of our Capital Appeal, it is more important than ever that we all support our fundraising efforts. Whether you can give $50, $100, $1000 or more, the most important thing is for everyone to contribute whatever they can afford. I am hoping that, by 9 December, every Emanuel family has committed to our children’s bright future.

On a separate note, please join us tonight for our very last Kabbalat Shabbat of the year – join here at 4.45 pm. Your child will be bringing home an extra special bright challah for your Shabbat table, along with some interesting conversation starters about the power of giving.

As we close off what has been a very difficult week and look towards lighting the Hanukkah candles, I wish you an especially bright Shabbat. I know that together we can create a bright future for our children, our School and our community.



A timely warning for parents: how well can your child swim?

A well-respected swim coach has expressed concern about the low level of basic (survival) swimming skills, especially amongst our younger students. The cancellation of the learn-to-swim and other skill development programs over the past two years will increase the risk of drownings and other aquatic incidents. Parents are encouraged to book in for swim lessons and to recognise the potential dangers, as they plan their water activities over the summer beak. This may also require increased vigilance around swimming pools and on the beach.

A call for your support: Hakoah Community Centre

Emanuel School is dedicated to nurturing the leaders of tomorrow and creating a vibrant Jewish life in Sydney. We are therefore proud to support the exciting new Hakoah communal hub. Hakoah at White City will be a world-class Jewish community centre that will have so much to offer. We’re talking sport facilities, function rooms, restaurants and cafes, educational spaces, music, art, culture, fitness, wellness and more.

Hakoah will once again be where many community organisations, including Emanuel, can meet and deliver programs. It will be where we celebrate simchas and cheer on our teams. But above all else, it will be a place where everyone is welcome and feels connected.

Before Hakoah can begin building this incredible facility, they need your help. They need over 2000 members by 30 November to show community support and get this project underway. They’re close, but they need YOU to get over the line. Please join us in supporting Hakoah and become a member today. Family Memberships start from $360 for 1 year.

Quote of the week

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”  ~ Helen Keller




From the Head of Jewish Life

Rabbi Daniel Siegel – Head of Jewish Life

Teach your children well

After encountering a series of parshiyot presenting his troubled and troubling life, we come upon this week’s parashah which, by its very name, וישב/Vayeishev, and introductory verse, suggests that Ya’akov may have found peace, at last:

‘And, Ya’akov settled (VaYeishev) in the land of his father..the land of Cana’an’.

Having returned to his homeland, with his family intact, we expect and hope we may hear of a blessed life for Ya’akov as he raises his children, providing a promising future for them.

Our Rabbis teach מעשה אבות סימן לבנים –The deeds of parents instruct their children.

As his parents played favourites with him and his brother, Ya’akov now plays favourites with his children. Favouring Yoseph, he causes a division among his sons, leading to Yoseph’s being exiled from his home even as Ya’akov was from his.

After throwing Yoseph into a pit, we read of the brothers:

     ‘And, they settled in (VaYeishvu) to eat a meal’.

Echoing the opening words of the parashah, we see that Ya’a’kov cannot settle in as long as the detrimental action of his parents are now being repeated by him in relation to his children.

As his brother’s clothing and goatskin were used by Ya’akov to win, by deception, the favour and blessing of his father, his sons now used their brother’s tunic dipped in goat’s blood to deceive him into believing his favoured Yoseph is dead.

The deeds of parents, however, will not prefigure those of the children, if the deeds of the children do not configure those of the parents. There is no foundation in the absence of a superstructure. It is upon our children, as it is upon us, to determine which deeds of our parents will serve as a blessing in informing our lives

Indeed, the word VaYeishev is related to the Hebrew root letters denoting both “settling in” and “repeating” as well as “repelling” and “reversing”.

In telling us what has come about, our Torah is teaching us to consider well what we bring about:

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Crosby, Stills and Nash


Rabbi Daniel Siegel – Head of Jewish Life

A recounting and an accounting

As we approach Hanukkah, I shared with our Year 10 students the picture below and asked them: “Is the rifle becoming a hanukkiyah or the hanukkiyah becoming a rifle?”

This hanukkiyah, which can be seen in the Sydney Jewish Museum, item #M1999/051, is constructed of a rifle and spent shall cartridges.

Our discussion centred upon whether Jewish strength is defined or informed by military prowess or is military prowess delimited by or in the service of our Jewish strength.

The well-known Hanukkah song, by Debbie Friedman, Not by Might is based upon the words of the prophet Zecharyah, “Not by might and not by power, but by My Spirit” which we read as part of the haftorah on Shabbat Hanukkah.

However, history has taught us that the words of the Psalmist, -ה׳ עוזי ”The Lord is my strength (uzi)” cannot always be a substitute for the uzi gun. The designer of the uzi gun had escaped Nazi Germany. His name was Uziel – “God is my strength”. (He did not want the gun to bear his name).

The idea of the miracle of oil was introduced by the Rabbis long after the Maccabean victories. They were concerned that the light and spirit of the Jewish tradition be usurped by notions of military might and grandeur. Upon the founding of the State of Israel, and in the shadow of the Holocaust, the renowned Hanukkah song Mi yemalel gevurot Yisrael,

“Who can recount the mighty acts of Israel?” was born. Little known today is that these words are a recasting of those of the Psalmist, Mi yemalel gevurot Adonai, “Who can recount the mighty acts of the Lord?”

When we light our hanukkiyah, may we pray in the words of the prophet Isaiah “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruninghooks, nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore”.

Chag urim sameach.


Primary News

Hagit Bar-On Head of Hebrew K-6 | Jewish Studies Coordinator K-2

Hanukkah – What is shined upon grows

I recently learnt a new maxim in Hebrew: ״מה שמואר, צומח״  It basically means that what is being shined at, grows.

This is a simple rule in Biology which makes perfectly sense to everyone.

If the sun shines on the roses, they will grow, If the sun shines on the trees, they will grow and so on.

How is this maxim connected to Hanukkah, you may ask?

Well, Hanukkah is the festival of light, and its purpose is to teach us a lesson.

Sometimes, a person cannot see any positive virtue in themself and when you point out something good in them, you revive them and give them strength.

On many occasions, people cannot find any virtues in their children, friends, some family members or colleagues.

To find the positive and the good in another human being and especially in children is an art that many teachers have.

There is always something positive in each one of us. However, many times we tend to see the negative because this is the way we were brought up or use to behave and this is what we constantly hear in the media and on social platforms.

There is a virtue in every one of us and that is what we need to emphasise because “what is being shined at, grows”.

When we stop looking for faults and negative things in each other, that is when we will be able to find the positives within ourselves.

This year, when you light the Hanukkah candles, try to find the same number of positive virtues in each one of your family members and friends as the number of candles you light each night.

Oh.. and don’t forget to look for the same number of virtues in yourself because what you shine upon, will grow!

Hanukah sameach

Books are magical

Samantha Rogut – Head of Library and Information Services K-6

Primary Library update

It has been wonderful to see so many students access the ‘Click & Collect’ Primary Library loans service since returning to on-site learning. The service has now concluded for 2021 and all library books are due back. 

Please return all library books, including any that were ‘locked down’ with you, to the Primary Library by Friday, 3 December. Overdue notices will be emailed out in the coming days. 

Please email Samantha Rogut should you have any queries regarding your child’s library books.





The year that was

Gross Motor

Gross Motor is a Student Leadership role where Year 6 students provide K-2 students some activities in the morning on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. During the remote learning period we had to overcome and adapt the program in order to change a few things to keep the program going. For example we made videos of what we wanted the K-2 students to do. We planned different activities that utilised equipment that everyone would have at home. 

Right now, back at school we can’t mix with the K-2 year levels so we have other people helping run the activities for us. We are still doing everything we can do for Gross Motor. We were proud to be able to provide 28 different videos for the K-2 to do during the lockdown period. 

It has been a great experience being a Gross Motor Leader and we are all going to miss performing this role next year.

By Pablo Magid, Max Pittorino, Remi Moses, Benjy Utian and Isaac Nurick 


What have you achieved this year (in your leadership position)?
Although this year has been a tough year we managed to achieve running Makerspace and coding clubs for Years K-2 and for Years 3-6. This was very popular with the K-2 students!

What they are proud of?
We are proud of getting to help other Year Groups learn new things and the excitement and interest we got to build in other students. 

What advice would you give to the Innovation Leader for next year?
The advice we would give to future Innovation Leaders next year is to look for opportunities to help people, or for areas of passion and interest that students would like to know more about and to be innovative.

What their hopes are for the future (linked to Leadership/ ICT/ Innovation)?
We hope that all of the Innovation Leaders next year have fun and enjoy the opportunity in sharing their knowledge. 

To finish the year, we would like to set all students an innovation challenge: 
Design a robot that would help people out around the School. It can be anything that would help with a problem you think needs solved. For example, a robot that helps with rubbish and recycling. You can draw a design or even make it out of things you can find around your house.

By Sam Carpenter, Archie Ernster, Noah Hatzyi and Tyson Latter


We are the Debating Leaders of 2021, and we have really enjoyed debating clubs, HICES debates, and Zoom debates. 

This year has been a difficult, but interesting one. In our Debating Club, which was every Friday morning, we would learn skills for debating, with Mrs Butler and two very helpful Year 10 students, Mayaan Granot and Jake Fleisher. Debating was an exciting and fun experience for us. We both loved being in Debating Club, and especially the excitement on the buses when we left Emanuel School to go to the HICES debates hosted at other schools.

During home learning, we had debating Zooms within our teams, where Mrs Butler would adjudicate our debates, and give us feedback on them. We really loved this system and thought it was helpful because, even though it was on zoom, we were still able to learn the techniques of debating while still having fun! We loved the Debating Club because it was a fun, calm and friendly learning space for us and our fellow debaters. We have learnt so much about debating and we think it is an amazing activity to do.

By Julia Manoy and Marco Meer










Ma Koreh

Adam Carpenter – Head of Jewish Life Primary

 חנוכה Hanukkah…

Did you know?

  • The word חנוכה means dedication and is also connected to the word חנוך meaning education.
  • Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Torah or the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) and is considered a minor Jewish festival.
  • Our records of the Hanukkah story appear in a collection of books, the Book of Maccabees.
  • The Maccabees’ fight for religious freedom from the decrees of King Antiochus’ also included conflict with Jews who had begun either reforming Jewish practices or assimilating Hellenistic Greek practices.
  • The miracle of the oil in Temple’s Menorah burning for 8 days does not appear in the original Hanukkah story and was added by the rabbis of the Talmud hundreds of years later.
  • One explanation for why Hanukkah lasts eight days is that following the rededication the Temple, the Jewish people observed the eight days of Sukkot, which they were unable to celebrate during the conflict.
  • 1st Century BCE Rabbis, Hillel and Shammai, disagreed on how to light the Hanukkiah. Shammai taught we should begin with a full set of candles and remove one each day of the festival. Hillel taught an additional candle is added each day of the festival, as we seek to add to the holiness of the festival.
  • Not all Jews play dreidel, eat gelt or give gifts. These are relatively recent customs of Ashkenazi and American Jewish communities.
  • Sephardi Jews light a hanoukah, one per household and share the lighting of its candles amongst family members.
  • Ashkenazi Jews light a hanukkiyah, with a tradition of having one hanukkiyah for each member of the household.
  • The purpose of lighting the hanukkiyah is to publicly proclaim the miracle of Hanukkah, so it is customary to place the lit hanukkiyah in a doorway or window.
  • Variations of fried food, beyond latkes and sufgainyot, are common Hanukkah custom amongst Jews of different lands.






Terry Aizen – Director of Kornmehl

National Recycling Week
“Recovery – A future beyond the bin”

Over the past two weeks we have been revisiting recycling in the Pre-school and drawing awareness to this important commitment and role, we all must take responsibility for, to keep our world safe and free of plastic and waste.

At Kornmehl, recycling practices are embedded into our program. Using recycled materials to make new things out of old, is an everyday practice. 

Our aim is:

  • To create an awareness and understanding of the use of recycled materials.
  • To create an awareness of important environmental issues amongst Australians.
  • To create awareness that it is every day that we take care of our environment by recycling, not only in National Recycling Week.
  • To promote an understanding of the natural world and how we as humans can make a difference.
  • To promote respect for materials and provoke thinking related to different materials in our world.

Ethan: Recycling is all the trash and things in the rubbish.
Etta: It is called recycling, I watched Peppa Pig before and she has different bins, one for cans, paper and bottles.
Jesse: It is all stuff that you use again.
Daisy: When Etta was watching Peppa Pig she had different colours for the bins, and they turn it into compost.
Levy: Recycling, it is recycling, using it all over again and giving it to other people to use.
Archie: Once my dad recycled his old car and got a new one.
Etta: My friend gave me an old playhouse.
Uriel: I recycled my old car and gave it to someone else.
Arabella: You can use it again.
Rafi: I recycled my old toy tools.
Finn: I once had this box with paper inside and I had the idea to make a book.
Daisy: I recycled an empty box and put one of my toys inside.

We discussed how we could keep a close eye on the paper bin and make sure that only paper and cardboard is placed into the bin. 

We read a book about the rainforests in Brazil. The children were concerned and interested in why the trees in the forests are being cut down. As a result of this we have intentionally begun to use all our recycled paper and cardboard to make new paper.

Cleo: Can I bring all my recycled paper from home to use?
Etta: Are we doing a mitzvah?
Ava: Do you mean we are going to use all our old paper and make new paper for the children who are going to be Starfish next year.

The Dolphins embarked on two projects: a collaborative weaving project, using old pieces of material and a large, recycled piece of wood, as well as a lid project. The lid project is a whole Pre-school project in which the children are making holes in the lids by hammering a nail in the middle of the lid and then removing it. The next step is to thread the lids onto a long string to eventually hang them up to make a “lid door.”

We look forward to continuing our journey of Tikkun Olam, repairing our world, as we transform our OLD paper scraps into NEW.


We have been learning about Hanukkah – the story, symbols, and traditions. We have created beautiful art works of chanukiot and dreidels. We have been singing and learning lots of Hanukkah songs. We learnt the story of Judah, the Maccabee. We used wooden figurines to represent the large Greek army of King Antiochus and the small Jewish army led by Judah Maccabee. The children listened attentively and enjoyed the visual props. 

We provoked the children’s thinking by placing beautiful Chanukiot on the table for the children to observe closely and draw. We asked the children what they knew or remembered about Hanukkah.

Arlo: I know it’s a very special tradition. The Eastern Wall, the wall in Israel got knocked down with tanks and cannons. There’s only a little piece left of the big wall. Thanks to G-d for bringing light to the Menorah when there were so little fire things and making it last eight days.
Georgia: Fun!
Oliver: Hanukkah is when you celebrate the years from old to new. Every day when a Jewish person lights the fire to remember people who used to be a mum and a dad but have long passed. 
Zach: You eat different things. We sing songs. We say thank you to G-d for bringing us the light of the country.
Alice: To remember the miracle, the miracle to celebrate. I just know there was a miracle.
Sam: You light the candles, one on each night. 
Dean: We have the candles to say a blessing.
James: We have candles because there is always a new year. 
Hugo: We have candles to make light. We have dreidels because we want to get chocolate money. 
Joshua: You play the dreidel because you land on a chocolate. 
Ella: We light candles because they are beautiful.

We are working on a collaborative art canvas using recycling lids to represent a Chanukiah. We re-used an old canvas and painted the background black. We are practising making patterns with the lids before transferring our Chanukiah design onto the canvas.  

On Wednesday in our Hebrew lesson with Morah Jemma, we focused on the festival of Hanukkah. The children had to find the letters written on the dreidel. They searched through a collection of Hebrew letters to find the ones that corresponded to the ones on the dreidel – Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Pey, to represent the phrase, Nes Gadol Haya Po – a great miracle happened here.

All three groups have been drawing and creating beautiful art works of Chanukiot. 

What a joy it is to celebrate this beautiful and fun festival together. We wish all our families a very happy Hanukkah starting on Sunday 28 November 2021.

Happy Birthday

We wish a very happy birthday to Uriel Stein (5), Raphael Silvera (5), Oliver Frank (6). We hope you all had a special birthday.


We ❤️ furry friends

Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations

Happy Hanukkah

With Hanukkah starting this Sunday evening, we hope you all enjoy these celebrations with family and friends sharing yummy Sufganiyot (jam-filled donuts) and latkes (fried potato pancakes) during the eight days of this very special Festival of Lights. Take a look at these yummy Hanukkah donuts from Friendship Bakery – there is something for everyone, from the classic jam-filled doughnut to their tropical mango and coconut creation – available all next week for pickup at 2 Laguna Street Vaucluse, but they can only be ordered online.

Don’t forget the many community celebrations including Hanukkah in the Park, Dudley Reserve, Dover Heights, Chanukah Family Day at Taronga Zoo with JNF and Jewish House, Hanukkah at the Bay, Steyne Park in Double Bay and Friendship Circle and the Board of Jewish Education (BJE) has several events designed for specific age groups.

Join our very special very bright Kabbalat Shabbat tonight at 4.45pm – the last of the year. Log on here with your very bright challah that your child would have brought home today. 

Although COVID rulings have relaxed significantly, we still need to remain vigilant as there are cases of COVID reported in the suburbs in which we live. Younger children for now, are not eligible to get a COVID vaccination and from time to time, we will hear of positive cases, in particular for this younger age group perhaps at School and out in the wider community. Please stay safe everyone. Here are the latest COVID rulings updates.

Licence to Krill written and illustrated by alumna Dr Ilana Hoffman (Class of 2005), artist and wildlife veterinarian.

Perhaps you would like to help raise some money for marine conservation this festive season and you happen to be also looking for the cutest non-denominational holiday gift, full of manta ray adventures, silly whale tales and fun facts about sea creatures in the perfect rhyming bedtime book format for little learners.

Ilana has put together just that! Suitable for a wide age-range, there is something for everyone: with a simple rhyming story in one font and lots of scientific facts in another. Ilana says “this book was first published a few years ago, but luckily the science of marine biology moves slowly and you can rest assured your child’s expertise will remain at the cutting-edge. $5 from each sale will be donated either to Australian Marine Conservation Society or Sea Shepherd”. If you would like a copy of Ilana’s book, please email her and mention which of the two charities you’d prefer supporting.

Cost per book: $15.00 plus postage. 
Modelling credit: Shlim Sadie (aka JaDrool) and Sossy the Sausage (aka Prince of Blankets) 

Ben Wilheim (Class of 2008)

It’s wonderful when alumni get in touch to let us know about what they are doing – such a call came earlier in the week from alumnus Ben Wilheim (Class of 2008), who recently moved from the corporate sector to Not For Profit (NFP). You may be familiar with the work Ben does as founder of Remember September, raising awareness of and funding for a cure for pancreatic cancer. Ben is now the Community Fundraising Manager of RSPCA NSW and is responsible for growing, developing and executing all areas of community fundraising (the wing of fundraising that comes from the community) to maximise their fundraising income – this includes their biggest fundraising campaigns (Million Paws Walk, Cupcake Day and Rescue Run), as well as all the sporting events (City2Surf, SMH Half Marathon and Blackmores Half Marathon) and all smaller community fundraisers (birthdays, weddings, or what Remember September started as). Ben says “It’s an incredible role, doing amazing things, has great potential and I’m absolutely loving it. As a rescuer of two kittens of my own recently, I’m loving every second. We all love our furry friends!” 

About The Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals NSW (RSPCA NSW):

The RSPCA is a not-for-profit organisation in Australia that cares for, treats, protects and re-homes animals across the state, providing a strong voice for animals experiencing cruelty and neglect. They run a number of shelters and veterinary hospitals dedicated to treating, rehabilitating and rehoming animals. With over 500 members of staff, RSPCA NSW is dedicated to working with the community to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.

TATTLETALES by alumnus Davey Seagle (Aka David Friedman, Class of 2011)
Season extended

Davey’s latest production has been getting rave reviews. If you haven’t already seen it, there’s still time to book. Davey runs his own theatre company Ponydog Productions – his latest production, TATTLETALES is an immersive storytelling experience.

You, the audience, are invited to share in creating an original adventure with The Storyteller as your guide. Designed to be experienced by no more than 10 per show, the decisions you make will determine the characters you meet and the challenges you’ll face on your journey.

Your tale, once told, will never be told again.

Davey says “I’d love to see some Emanuel folks at my show, so please use the code ‘STORYTIME’ for 10% off adult tickets”

Flight Path Theatre, Marrickville

Season extended to Sunday 19 December 2021

Book now

Grandparents – we will always want you!

Ma Nishma each week remains one of the best ways to stay connected with our School and with our community no matter where in the world you live. Please help us to get our grandparents database updated by sending through grandparent contact details so they too can read Ma Nishma to find out what is happening at School, albeit it only online for now.  We will have an end-of-year edition of our Grandparents and Friends newsletter and you can see past issues of this newsletter along with our alumni newsletters online. Living interstate and/or overseas, means some of “our” 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 at School in spite of the distance apart. As we still cannot have visitors on campus Ma Nishma and our Community Facebook (FB) page are great ways to stay connected with us. If  you are not already a member of our Facebook page, join here.

Summer holidays activities

There are lots of choices for activities for your children, some of which involve helping others, whist some provide creative and/or sporting experiences. Here is information about two events, along with a link to a Facebook page you might find useful.

  • Friendship Circle January Day Camp volunteer registrations have now opened
  • Past parent Vivienne Radomsky, Project Manager at B’nai B’rith NSW shares details about B’nai B’rith Kids Club photo workshop on Monday 18 January 2022. For more information or to book, please call her on 9321 6300
  • Maccabi Junior Carnival – see below for further information.

 You can find more holiday activities on the Facebook group Sydney Jewish Mums

Maccabi Junior Carnival 2022

Many of our students play sport in one (or more) of the hundreds of Maccabi Club teams, making lifelong friends through such times. Parent Lara Levin is on the Maccabi NSW Board (since 2018), with her portfolio initially being “Maccabi Life” but is now “National Sport” and she is involved with organising Junior Carnival 2022.

We look forward to sharing our news and yours, so if you have photos or news you would like to share with us, please send to: snewell@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au

Shabbat shalom, chag Hanukkah sameach, stay safe and have a great weekend.



Claire Pech – Careers Advisor

What’s next?

The Year 12 students are slowly going to finish tehir HSC examinations by mid next week, with many finishing by the end of this week. Firstly, a momentous congratulations for making it to the end of a delayed exam schedule and a hugely challenging year for you all. Well done!

I have had some really interesting conversations with the Class of 2021 and one positive to come from this is that this class will have a brilliant answer to the very common interview question:

“Describe a time you have overcome a challenge” This is a common behavioural style interview question and the answer can be framed using the following STAR technique.

The S.T.A.R. stands for

SITUATION: “I was in Year 12 during the long lockdown of 2021 in Sydney. Not only had we had an interrupted Year 11 with the emergence of COVID-19, but now in the most crucial, and stressful, of academic years, our school – and the whole of Sydney – shut down very quickly as the Delta COVID strain ripped through Sydney.” 

TASK: “We were told that Zoom lessons would take place for all of our lessons, but our Trial exams and the notion of the HSC became questionable. This meant that we were told to study, yet we did not know under what context or circumstances the exams would be held. It was clear our trials would not be possible and we saw a variation of three different exam periods of when they would be held. We also were not aware how we would graduate, have our final farewells or have any contact with our school before we finished up before exams.”

ACTION: “I had to maintain a very positive outlook and attitude towards the unknowing landscape. I had to remain diligent in my studies, even though I was not sure at what stage the exams would take place. I also had to collaborate with my peers and teachers via technology which did not suit my learning style, but I knew would keep me engaged. I also learnt some new software that really helped me stay organised and engaged in my learning, coupled with all of the usual Zoom and technology use that we were so reliant on. This was exacerbated by living in an LGA of concern, meaning I could only leave within a 5km radius of my house. I made sure to look after my wellbeing, keep as fit as I could, and retain some balance within my life through this uncertainty.”

RESULT – “I have now finished my HSC, and am able to look back and feel proud of my efforts in tough times. I feel I did the best I could at managing being stuck in my room for weeks on end, and tried to remain positive and to keep perspective on what was going on around me. My Careers Advisor always told me there would be multiple ways to get into my chosen career, and that has given me hope and made me determined to keep a healthy growth mindset for my career. I felt I built a lot of resilience during lockdown. Whilst difficult at the time, it has taught me some valuable lessons for life.”

I hope this helps a few of you out! Here are some more tips on interview techniques.


Virtual work experience

As offices are hardly populated at the moment, there has been an increase in the virtual work experience possibilities. The opportunity below looks particularly interesting as one can spend 25 hours during the holidays working on some fascinating projects. Firetech is offering work experience in video game design and creative design. The requirements are:

  • Participants must be aged between 15 and 19 years old.
  • The programme is run online with live meetings, so a good Internet connection and laptop with webcam is required.
  • This is not a beginners course and basic level understanding of the topics is required.
  • For the Video Game Design programme, they expect the student to have experience of video game design principles, ideally through Construct 3.
  • For the Creative Design programme, they expect the student to have experience of design and design tools, ideally with Adobe Photoshop and the Adobe Creative Suite 

Please come and chat to me for more information. 

Music Matters

Diana Springford – Head of Music

Instrument maintenance check
Day two – a work in progress

Thank you to those students who borrow a school instrument (for IP, for ISP, or for your ensemble playing) and who brought their instrument to the Music Department on Tuesday 23 November 2021. Our plans for the second day of our annual stocktake and instrument service were disrupted when we were off campus on Wednesday, so we will need to see any remaining instruments next week. If you are borrowing an instrument and it is not already in the Music Department for a check and service, please bring it downstairs to the music rooms first thing in the morning on your first day back on campus. We will re-schedule our team of specialist tutors to complete the maintenance check as soon as possible. Many instruments were successfully checked on Tuesday and are available for collection from the hall cabinets in the music block. They will have a paper tag with a tick and ‘21’ indicating they were seen and checked. We will email students and Primary classroom teachers to prompt you to collect them when we are back on campus. 

Private Music Tuition and Infant Strings Program for 2022

Please note that, from 2022, the cost of individual private music lessons will be charged at a rate of $48.00 per half-hour lesson (plus GST, if the tutor is registered to pay GST). This is the rate advised by the NSW Music Teachers Association. Lessons shared in pairs are only available in special circumstances and would cost $25.00 per student per half-hour lesson (plus GST where applicable). The Infant Strings Program (ISP) for students in Years K-2 will be charged at $265 per term on school fees, in addition to an instrument bond of $200.00.

Thank you to those who have already advised us of changes to private tuition and ISP enrolments for next year. The deadline for new enrolments, notification of changes or intention to discontinue for Term 1 has now passed. All students currently receiving private music tuition and students in Years K-1 who are currently participating in the Infant Strings Program will be automatically re-enrolled into tutor schedules for 2022 along with students commencing lessons for the first time. To enrol or discontinue please visit our Music Portal Page and complete the relevant online forms. Formal discontinuation notice must be received to avoid being committed to the full term of lessons and liable for fees. Please contact Matilda Grieve if you have any questions.  

The schedules for Term 1, 2022 will be created at the end of term and emailed in late January.



State Transit would like to remind the Emanuel School community of theTransport for NSW bus service changes to be implemented from Sunday 5 December 2021 in Sydney’s South East.

The TfNSW trip planner is now updated so you can plan ahead before travelling. 

To ensure dedicated school services appear as a travel option for students, click “refine” and select the “school bus option”. Students are reminded to tap on and off on all trips.

TfNSW will have staff on the ground at key locations prior to service commencement and beyond to help customers and students make the most of their new travel options.

To provide feedback on any TfNSW services, please visit Transport NSW





Join us

We’re on the look out for exceptional educators to join our staff and inspire your children! Feel free to share these roles with your networks. 

Primary Hebrew Teacher (part-time)

We are looking for an experienced and enthusiastic Hebrew teacher to join our Primary Hebrew Department.


Ruby Berkovic and Jennifer Opit

Hello Everyone,

We hope you are all keeping well and getting excited about the end of the year.

P&F Meeting

We have one meeting left this year. The meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.00 pm on Zoom. If you would like to join our committee, we are starting to plan for next year and would love to have you involved! Everyone is welcome so please join us as your support and input is valued.

Email Ruby Berkovic if you would like to attend the final meeting of the year, which is next Wednesday 1 December 2021.

This weekend was meant to be our camping trip, which we were so disappointed to have to cancel, but the wonderful Shelley Millingen is already hard at work planning for next year! We look forward to being able to resume all of our activities and connect in person once again.

Weekend brain teaser (from last week) and answer

Question: The more there is, the less you see. What is it? 

Have a great weekend,

Jen and Ruby


Upcoming events







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 Caren Ottaviano 

Sweet Couscous Salad


1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup couscous
1/2 tsp Curry
3/4 cup chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated orange rind
3 tbsp honey 
1 tsp minced garlic


Bring the stock to boil, remove from heat, stir in couscous and curry. Stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.  Transfer to large bowl. Cool.
Add chickpeas, cranberries, green onion, red peppers and basil to the couscous.
Good the next day too!
Serves 3-4
You can order the Emanuel School Community Cookbook, The Family Meal, by contacting Ruby Berkovic