From the Acting Principal
What is the loudest voice in our School?
Our students are involved in a number of activities in support of charities, causes or their interest areas. We often have students initiate activities of this nature and in doing so, we ‘hear’ their voice. Over the year we have had these ‘voices’ represented in our student-led events/activities K-12:
- Environment / Sustainability (Water charity, Earth Hour, Composting, Clean Up Australia Day, Bush Fire Appeal, Tongan Collections, Flood Relief)
- Financial Sustainability (Investment Club)
- Medical (World’s Greatest Shave Leukaemia, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Pizza Pyjama Party Black Dog Institute)
- Social Action (Reconciliation Week Primary SRC, Oz Harvest Food Collection, Night of Dangerous Conversations, LGBTIQA+ Wear it Purple Day)
- Jewish Community organisations (JCA and Friendship Circle)
Our student voice is heard but so are other voices, especially our Jewish Life voices. I casually surveyed our Jewish Life staff this week and asked, “What have the three loudest messages been in your Jewish Studies classes or Jewish Life activities this year?”. Across K-12 staff, these were some of the responses:
- Jewish leadership is about values first – influence rather than power.
- The most important tool a madrich (leader) has is Dugma Ishit – (setting a strong personal example because you understand the values you wish to live by and then acting on those values).
- Humans were responsible for the Holocaust and we must therefore learn human lessons from it. We need to know what humanity is capable of (good and evil) in order to constantly strive to make the world a better place.
- Treat others the way you want to be treated. Elementary, self-explanatory and powerful. This message has a lot of implications: respect others, help others etc.
- “One who is wise learns from all people.”
- There is always more than one way to understand, interpret and apply a Jewish text or source.
- Judaism values knowledge but primarily it is about actions – what you say and do matters. Put values into action.
- Learning about past events and their history can help us to interpret current events so that we understand why they are happening. It also helps us when we are doing Jewish things as we can understand the reasons why we are doing those things.
- You should always try your best. Try to remember that everyone’s best is different. Notice and react when people are kind.
Our students also hear messages from our leadership team on the School’s voice. This week Adam Majsay spoke at High School assembly about our graduate attributes. He spoke about being:
- a curious, resilient learner
- an open-minded thinker
- an adaptable innovator
- a tenacious problem solver
- a compassionate advocate
- a daring doer.
There are many voices in our School and many messages. Strong links can be seen between the messages from various parts of our School including our students’ voice. Sometimes we feel one voice is louder than others. I ask you why that voice stands out to you? For some students they are excited when their passion is at the forefront with a fundraising day and for others, they have been looking for a place to feel safe and accepted despite feeling so different. Our students have a huge attachment to Tikkun Olam, as you can see.
I would hope the range of charities, causes and interest areas that are highlighted during a school year is broad and encompasses many important issues.
Our Head of Science, Jennifer Selinger, has returned part time in the online space after being given the ‘all clear’ from her doctor. We are so pleased to hear this good news and look forward to her on campus return in Term 4.
A very happy 40th
Next year marks the 40th birthday of Emanuel School. From humble beginnings, Emanuel School has grown and thrived over the years. We are seeking stories from across our 40 years to publish in Ma Nishma next year. Were you an Emanuel student? What was it like in your day? What are your favourite school memories? Do you have photos to share? Who do you remember as being a positive influence in your school life? Do you know what they are doing now? Were your parents involved in the School back then?If your answer is “yes”, please contact Sonia Newell, who will be delighted to take a trip down memory lane with you.
The awarding of the Ezekiel Cup is always a highlight of the year. The Cup has a long history – Adam Ezekiel, Director of Students 7-12, alumnus (Class of 2007) and dad to Freddy (Kornmehl), shared that 20 years ago, his family donated the Ezekiel Cup to the School when the House system changed to its current form.
Throughout the year, each House has the opportunity to score points from participation in the three major High School events – the Swimming and Athletics Carnivals and House Music. Involvement in Cross Country, the Alexi Bader Futsal Cup, Science Trivia, Maths Competition, Hebrew Challenge, Chaggim Challenge, Visual Arts Competition (the Emanuel Archies), Sustainability Challenge and Madrachim Challenge all provide additional chances for winning valuable points.
Mazal tov to Rashi, the winners of the 2021/22 Ezekiel Cup, proudly awarded at assembly to Rashi House Captains, Jesse Herdan and Jayda Sacks.
Night of Instrumental Music
I attended the Night of Instrumental Music on Wednesday – the first in three years due to COVID! It was a spectacular evening showcasing the wide-ranging talents of our students. It takes many months of hard work to create an evening of such a high calibre and I commend the students and staff who were involved in its success. Thank you to Head of Music, Diana Springford, Music teachers Danny Burley and Sarit Spira, Jo De Araujo, the music tutors and conductors as well as the many staff who were involved in supporting roles. A very special mention to Remi Owen, not only for conducting so many ensembles, but for stepping up at a moment’s notice to organise this massive event and run all the rehearsals. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated and talented team. Thank you to our parent photographer, Ofer Levy, who was on hand, as usual, to capture these special moments.
Thanks to Samantha Rogut, Head of Library and Information Services K-6 and Grace Condon, Library Assistant K-6, for organising a spectacular Book Week filled with author talks, stories and the much-loved annual Book Week Parade. If you visited school on Wednesday you may have been surprised to encounter a number of characters who are usually found in our Primary library, dancing around the Basketball Courts. Visit the Primary news page for many more photographs of this special event.
The High School and Primary School SRCs held a successful BBQ Day and High School Plain Clothes Day this week, raising much needed funds for Save the Children and Sydney Children’s Hospital, respectively.
Amelie Trope, SRC 2022/23 shared the reasoning behind this choice. “For our first fundraiser as the new SRC, we had the important role of selecting a charity as recipient of the money that we raised. After much deliberation, the SRC chose Save The Children. We chose this charity to raise awareness and support for the Yemen Crisis. Yemen is facing a severe famine due to a civil war.
“According to The Times of Israel, 130 children in Yemen are dying each day due to the effects of this civil war. In addition, a UNICEF report shows 11 million children need support in Yemen and some say the war has given rise to one of the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century. Save The Children delivers food, medicine and humanitarian support to help alleviate this crisis. All donations do indeed make a difference to the children in Yemen. 73 cents of each dollar is dedicated to the charity’s crisis and aid programs, while the rest of it is used for investing and fundraising. If you would like to donate to help the children in Yemen, please click here.”
Year 12 students, Jack Smagarinsky and Gabriel Tracton, co-founders of the Investment Club, invited Guzman y Gomez’s CEO and co-founder, Steve Marks, to share his life journey and advice with High School students. The event was attended by over 100 students – a record turnout for a lunchtime speaker.
Quote of the week
“Never compromise on your values. If you do that, you’ll win.” ~ Steve Marks, CEO and co-founder, Guzman y Gomez