Volume 31 Issue 3 - 18 Feb 2022

From the Principal

Andrew Watt – Principal

The value of outdoor experiences

After spending the day with our Year 7 and Year 8 campers, in the beautiful setting of the Colo River and the verdant Colo Valley, I was reluctant to return home! Our camp program provides a unique opportunity for our students to enjoy a break from the ever-present and pervasive social media, to participate in activities, group and personal reflections, and to simply enjoy nature. There was wildlife and insects in abundance, and our students learned that they could survive and thrive after a mosquito or ant bite. Their reactions to the unaccustomed noises at night also faded by the second night. Our students also learned the value of independence, as they prepared their own (group) meals, packed their own bags each day and set up their own tents. The outcomes of poor planning or slipshod work impacted them directly – another great lesson!

One of the Year 8 groups shared with me the difficulties they had faced on their canoe trip. Instead of taking the prescribed three hours upriver, this group was still bravely fighting the current after five hours in the water. “Our arms felt so heavy, but if we stopped, even for a moment, we went backwards”. “I felt I have nothing else to give, but I kept on going for another hour after that”. Sitting around the (unlit) campfire, sharing this experience, it was evident that this group had not suffered from their challenging experience. They were incredibly proud of their achievement and came to realise that they were capable of far more than they had previously believed. Operating in the challenge zone, within the safety zone but outside the comfort zone, is a big part of the outdoor camping experience. The bonding that takes place when a group eats together, struggles together, enjoys activities together and endures sleeping in tents together should not be underestimated.

Several of our students attended all or part of the camp program knowing that they would struggle with the lack of familiarity and routine, and the challenges of interacting in groups 24/7. For these students, attending camp was an act of bravery and the fact that they ‘gave it a go’ is to be commended. I am confident that the resultant confidence and resilience will have been well worth the challenges experienced.

Sad news of the passing of Tandi Rapke

Over the weekend, Tandi, mother of Elyad in Year 5 and Liel, who attends High School at Moriah, and wife of Tal, passed away after a long battle with illness. Our thoughts are with the family, for peace and strength through this difficult time. May Tandi’s memory be for a blessing.

Primary School Swimming Carnival 

Cheers of encouragement and approbation could be heard from outside the Des Renford Swimming Centre, as our Year 3 to 6 students battled it out for the Champion House Swimming Competition title. Congratulations to all those who participated and gave it their best effort regardless of place in the race. Thank you to Stuart Taylor, supported by Laura Scahill and Nicolle Rubin, for a well-run and enjoyable carnival and to Ofer Levy for his fantastic photos.

Parental guidance – Live webinar with Dr Justin Coulson

We have purchased online access for all interested parents for this event, on Wednesday 23 March at 7.00 pm. Dr Justin Coulson, one of Australia’s leading parenting experts, will share the science and the practice of the very best parenting style, and identify specific strategies that parents can practise, to change their family for the better. A full description of the event is recorded in this issue of Ma Nishma.

Mitzvah Meals 

Last night a group of Year K parents enjoyed a special Emanuel tradition with aprons, masks, gloves and a few rather sharp knives! Combining an informal ‘meet and greet’ event for our newer members of our special community with an opportunity to chop, slice, mix and grate made for an evening of laughter, camaraderie and new friendships. Many of you will have heard of, cooked and baked for, or received a homemade, comforting meal from the Emanuel Mitzvah Meal program.

There are many ways to give of oneself to the community – financially, emotionally and by individual or group action, amongst others. By sharing their time and expertise, this generous group of parents created mouthwatering meals for Emanuel families or staff who are ill, have been affected by illness, a death in the family or other hardship. I do hope that you never have the need for a Mitzvah Meal, but if such circumstances arise, you will know that you are in our thoughts and prayers with every morsel you and your family shares. 

Quote of the week

“I never lose. I either win or I learn” ~ Nelson Mandela

The Year 9 Be The Change students were asked to choose a quote that motivates them to create positive change in the world. Maya Hakim chose the above quote by Nelson Mandela because “it reminds you that there are obstacles in life and no way to avoid them. You can either let your faults bring you down or you can learn from them and make your change”.






From the Head of Jewish Life (Acting)

Daphna Levin-Kahn – Acting Head of Jewish Life 7-12 and Head of Jewish Studies 7-12

The Golden Calf and UN Global Goal #16 
(Shemot/Exodus, Chapter 32)

Moshe is on Mount Sinai learning the complexities of the Torah with God and has been gone for too long – or that is what the B’nei Yisrael (the Jewish People) believe. They feel lost without their leader, Moshe, and seem to be uncertain about this new, invisible God who brought them out of Egypt following generations of slavery. Perhaps Moshe is dead? Perhaps this new God has forsaken them? The Jews begin railing against Aaron, demanding a replacement God! Perhaps they wish for a god they can see and touch, as they were used to from Egypt?

What would you expect Aaron to do here?

Strangely, Aaron does not try to dissuade them. Instead, he asks them to bring him their golden earrings, which they do without hesitation.

“This he took from them and cast in a mold fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf. And they exclaimed, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron announced: “Tomorrow shall be a festival of Ad-o-nai!” (Shemot 32:4-5).

Aaron has shared the burden of leadership with his brother from as far back as their first meeting with the Jewish Elders and then Pharaoh. He is a vital part of leading the Jewish People in the desert and the first ever Kohen Gadol, High Priest, as chosen by God!

What was Aaron thinking?!

Jewish commentators throughout history have tried to mitigate or minimise what Aaron did, leaning on the fact that there is no specific related punishment mentioned for him. Later tradition even makes Aaron a hero, famously expressed by Rabbi Hillel in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:12)

. הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי מִתַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל אַהֲרֹן, אוֹהֵב שָׁלוֹם וְרוֹדֵף שָׁלוֹם, אוֹהֵב אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת וּמְקָרְבָן לַתּוֹרָה

“Hillel used to say: be one of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving mankind and drawing them close to the Torah.”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l, has a fascinating take on this incident and Rabbi Hillel’s statement, that helps us understand effective leadership.

Moshe is known to be a man of legislation, truth, law and justice; Aaron a man of arbitration, peace and conflict resolution. Moshe deals in zero-sum equations; “This is right and that is wrong”, “x cannot equal y”; in his uniquely intimate relationship with God, he is distanced from the people.

Aaron has the people-skills; he believes in conciliation and compromise; in both sides feeling heard – in a non-zero outcome.

Back to the Golden Calf: God and Moshe see this as a grave sin, but Aaron, the arbitrator, saw it as not being the worst option at that time – the compromise that would keep the people from graver sins. They probably needed Moshe the leader at that time, but they had Aaron, and this is what he believed was needed in that moment.

They needed – and we need – both a Moshe and an Aaron. Leadership cannot be only about peace and peace-making, (with only that mindset, Aaron makes a Golden Calf) but it must also not be founded only on Truth and Justice – the cold calculation of Law. The great leader Moshe needed an Aaron to hold the people together.

Great leadership is best achieved in collaboration, in balance, the teamwork of Moshe and Aaron. Today, the United Nations have realised this in their visionary UN Global Goals; Goal 16 is exactly that; “Peace and Justice Strong Institutions”.

A voice for truth and a force for peace.

Shabbat Shalom


Primary News

Natanya Milner – Head of Primary School

שלא יידעו עוד צער 
Shelo yed’u od tza’ar 

This week we mourn the heartbreaking loss of a much loved member of our Emanuel community, Tandi Rapke. Tandi bravely fought illness for many years and has been a beautiful inspiration too many of us with her warmth, strength and kindness. Our thoughts are with Tal, Liel, Elyad and the whole family through this challenging time. שלא יידעו עוד צער Shelo yed’u od tza’ar – we wish that they will know no further sorrow and we wish them ‘long life’.

Meet the Teacher 

We look forward to seeing you on Zoom on Monday 21 February 2022 for Meet the Teacher 2022. Please refer to this information poster in this Ma Nishma. Paul Dillon is presenting to High School parents on the same evening. We have managed to organise that the recording of Paul Dillon will be available for 48 hours after the event in order to manage this clash.


Next week, we look forward to celebrating Twos-day on Tuesday 22.2.22! We are planning some fun activities in honour of the number 2!

P&F events

Please note that the P&F camping trip dates have changed from Friday 11 March 2022 – Sunday 13 March 2022 to Friday 18 March 2022 – Sunday 20 March 2022. It’s always a wonderful weekend to relax and connect.

The P&F Purim Disco has been cancelled due to COVID regulations. We apologise for any disappointment.

Dr Justin Coulson

On Wednesday 23 March 2022 at 7.00 pm we invite all parents to attend an online event with Dr Justin Coulson. He will be speaking on ‘Parental Guidance – Practicing the Best Parenting Style to Raise Your Child Successfully’.

In this webinar, Justin will share the science and the practice of the very best parenting style and identify specific strategies that parents can practice to change their family for the better. Keep an eye out for the link in Ma Nishma.

Samantha Rogut Head of Library and Information Services K-6

Primary Library – a hive of activity

Over 750 books have been borrowed by Primary School students in the past 14 days. What a fantastic start to the 2022 school year! The library space has become a hive of activity with eager students investigating the newly purchased books and enjoying reading outside in the library courtyard. The new Graphic Novel section is proving extremely popular as is the Year 2 Reading section, which contains books that act as a bridge between the picture book section and Junior Fiction sections of the library, and is specifically for Year 2.

Click & Collect is back

Click & Collect is back! The Click & Collect service for the Primary Library was so popular during lockdown that we have decided to offer it again this term. As well as borrowing books during their weekly lessons, students in Years 3-6 will be able to reserve books online. Students will reserve their first book as part of their online catalogue investigation during library lessons. Reserved books will be delivered to classrooms every Thursday.

Baking a book

During the school holidays, Emanuel School students were invited to participate in the Primary Library Holiday Challenge. The Challenge was voluntary and involved choosing and completing book and reading related activities from a ‘menu’. Activities included students viewing an online exhibition at the State Library of NSW, listening to a favourite children’s author read aloud, visiting their local library, listening to an ABC podcast, writing a story and even ‘baking a book’. There were some terrifically creative entries. The winning entries of the Primary Library Holiday Challenge were Levi Brody 4T and Elise Goldberg 7M (Year 6, 2021) who received their prizes, a book and book voucher, during the week.

Kids and families

Beyond our school grounds there are all sorts of wonderful opportunities to connect with books and reading through public libraries. An example of this are the interesting activities taking place on-site and online at the State Library of NSW. Visit the ‘Kids and Families’ page to access a host of engaging activities including virtual tours of the library, activity sheets, online storytime, inspiration for creative writing and much more. You never know what you’ll discover when you visit a library.


Securing our future

Marla Bozic – President of the Emanuel School Foundation

On behalf of the Emanuel School Foundation, welcome to the 2022 school year!

We hope you are all healthy and transitioning smoothly back into the school routine. These last months have been challenging for everyone, and we hope that the Emanuel School Community has been a source of joy and support for you and your children.

Capital Appeal update

The 2021 Capital Appeal was a huge success with $10 million raised to redevelop and expand the Adler Building. You would have noticed that over the summer that the Primary School has had classroom rearrangement in preparation for the building works to begin.

Thanks to growing demand for pluralist education and our impressive track record, our School is bursting at the seams. Smartly repurposing the building helps enormously in ensuring Sydney’s Jewish Community has a school with exceptional educational facilities.

Thank you for empowering Emanuel School to grow!

Emanuel B’yachad – Emanuel Together

Foundation update

The Emanuel School Foundation works on a variety of initiatives that are designed to ensure the long-term viability and success of the School.

From the moment my family first walked through the Waxman Gates, the Emanuel School community has welcomed us with open arms. As such, it is an honour to give back and serve as President and Emanuel School Foundation Chair to a community that has brought so much richness and friendship to our lives. I have met and spoken with many of you throughout the course of the Capital Appeal and look forward to connecting with more of you as we ensure the success of Emanuel School for generations to come.

New Foundation Board Members

We would like to welcome parents, Kevin Smaller and Ruby Berkovic, to the Foundation Board who have joined Ashley Rockman and Paul Miller.

Kevin has recently been involved in the Capital Appeal, having watched his kids go through Kornmehl and now the Primary School. He is passionate about ensuring that Emanuel continues to cater for the growth in demand of Sydney’s diverse Jewish community who want their kids to get an all round great education from a Jewish school.

Ruby has spent the last five years friendraising and fundraising as Co-President of the Emanuel School P&F. She is honoured to support the Emanuel Foundation in its investment for the Emanuel students of today and for generations to come. Kevin and Ruby have shown great enthusiasm, dedication and care for the Emanuel community.

We look forward to continuing the successful work of the Foundation with their vision and leadership.

Thank you

At the end of last year, we said farewell to Grant McCorquodale and Derek Manoy as they stepped down from the Foundation Board. Thank you to them both for their years of commitment, support and service to the School and Foundation. Through their leadership and guidance, the Foundation was well-governed and sustainable, and the School has experienced impressive growth.

New opportunities  

We are excited to share that there are several opportunities available for parents who want to be more engaged with the Foundation Board. Your involvement is instrumental in keeping Emanuel School vibrant, inclusive, and successful.

The Emanuel School Foundation prides itself on its commitment to ensuring the successful future of our School and its students. We look forward to a very exciting school year guided by the school values of Tikkun Olam, Social justice, religious pluralism, egalitarianism, acceptance of diversity and commitment to the State of Israel.

As always, we welcome any comments or questions you have. Please feel free to contact me at: foundation@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au

Ma Koreh

Shalom everyone! 

After a long and relaxing summer holiday (and a slightly longer break for one of us), we’re super excited to finally be back together working with the Primary School students in our second year as the Informal Jewish Life Educators. Our role involves creating peulot (informal experience-based sessions) to encourage students to engage with their Judaism and with Jewish learning through fun, experiential activities that encourage critical thinking and personal reflection. These peulot help the students interact with the curriculum in a new and exciting way and are often a great medium for bringing Jewish content into their everyday lives. 

Josh and Mia dress up for Purim

Joshua New: Last term, I had the opportunity to spend five months in Israel with 16 now lifelong friends on a Shnat program with Habonim Dror. I had the opportunity to live both on a kibbutz and in the cities of Jerusalem and Rishon Letzion whilst engaging in educational content around Judaism, Zionism and Kvutzah (group living/collectivism). The program allowed for many volunteering experiences, including working in the kibbutz fields and leading at Youth Centres with Habonim’s sister movement. The trip was incredible, very eye opening and has made me even more excited to be back working with Mia this year.

Term 1 is one of our favourites, filled with lots of fun as we have Purim and Pesach to look forward to. Alongside preparing for these events, we get to work with our new Jewish Life Leaders and the new Year 6 leadership cohort, as they embark on their leadership journey. We will be engaging with the students in activities during the upcoming leadership days, emphasising the concepts of leading in Shitafut (partnership) with one another and through Dugma Ishit (personal example). 

We look forward to sharing photos of our peulot with you all the year progresses and can’t wait to work with all of the Primary School students and bring the Ruach (spirit) that is Informal Jewish Life at Emanuel.

Shabbat Shalom

Mia Shapiro and Joshua New


Terry Aizen – Director of Kornmehl

Over the past few weeks, we have welcomed many new families and children to the Pre-school. The first few weeks when a child is settling in, is a time of crucial importance to their later happiness in the Pre-school. All children are individuals and while some children will adjust easily to their new environment and new routines, others will take longer to feel comfortable and secure. We have been concentrating on developing secure relationships and a sense of belonging to the groups and the Pre-school. The Early Years Learning Framework takes the view that the lives of children are characterised by belonging, being and becoming. From before birth, children are connected to family, community, culture and place.    

The children are all settling into their new classrooms and becoming more familiar with each group’s routines and rules. They are also getting to know their teachers and friends. This takes time and we need to allow the children space to explore, discover and feel a sense of belonging and trust. We work hard in these first few weeks to establish connections and relationships with families and children in our care. We talk and explain things clearly to the children and there is repetition and familiarity from day to day. This allows children time to process and to feel safe and secure. Children who have a positive start to their new environment are more likely to feel comfortable, relaxed and valued and feel good about themselves as learners.

Separation anxiety is a healthy and protective emotion. It is the child’s way of saying “You are my safe base and I need to develop trust and confidence in alternate carers.” 

Talking through the daily routine with your child each day helps to reduce anxiety. Educators also use this as a tool to familiarise children with what to expect each day, so that it is predictable, and they have time to process what is happening in their day. 

At Kornmehl a great importance is a focus on relationships, collaboration, communication and developing a sense of belonging. Ways in which we begin to get to know the children and to develop positive and trusting relationships is by listening to their stories, experiences and ideas, acknowledging how they might be feeling and supporting them in ways that are caring, nurturing and respectful, such as joining in their play, having fun together as well as sharing moments of just being, showing a genuine interest in what they are doing and celebrating their learning. 

This is done in many ways:

  • By establishing routines that are predictable and constant, children develop a sense of trust and familiarity that makes them feel secure and safe. This influences a child’s emotional, cognitive and social development and helps children understand the expectations in the environment.
  • We are learning who is in our group and how to play safely and fairly, sharing and taking turns.
  • We are learning about our environment, where things belong and where to find materials we are looking for, and how to tidy up together – teamwork!! It is delightful to see the children starting to initiate their own learning, by self-selecting resources to use or choosing learning areas in which to investigate and play.
  • We are becoming independent in looking after our belongings and knowing where our locker and bags are kept.
  • We are learning how to use materials and equipment respectfully, and the importance of leaving areas tidy and looking beautiful for the next person who comes to play.
  • We have been singing and playing name games and learning to find our name cards in the morning and sign in.

Parents are the safe base from which each child can branch out and explore the world, grow and learn and become socially and emotionally confident. Getting off to a good start will help support your child through this very important period in their lives. Remember that going to pre-school is an important life experience filled with opportunities for growth, skill development and fun. Like any new experience there are challenges for both the child and the parents. We look forward to working collaboratively to make each child’s journey at Kornmehl a warm, caring, nurturing and positive learning experience.

Chinese New Year

All three groups have been learning about and celebrating Chinese New Year the past two weeks. We have explored this special celebration through the languages of drawing, painting, craft, stories, symbolic play and cooking.

The children have been listening to stories about Chinese New Year and making connections with other celebrations, such as Rosh Hashanah and the Jewish New Year.

This year is the Year of the Tiger, which represents strength, courage and bravery.

We have been practicing how to write “tiger” and “good luck” in Chinese. The home corner has been set up as a Chinese restaurant. 

The Seashells spent time decorating a large piece of orange fabric and creating stripes for a  “tiger” using strips of cardboard and black pens. Making marks on a page in the form of a pattern is a valuable exercise in pre-literacy.

They watched a short video of a story called “How the Tiger Got His Stripes.” The story described how a tiger asked a man to give him his wisdom. The man told the tiger that his wisdom was at his home. He struck a deal with the tiger, that he would tie him to a tree using a rope. This was to ensure that the tiger did not eat his goats while he was gone. The tiger grew tired of waiting for the man and freed himself from the ropes. Once he had broken free, he discovered that the ropes had left stripes all over his body.

Lexi and her family brought in delicious apples imprinted with Chinese writing to celebrate Chinese New Year. We learnt that in Chinese culture the word for apple, “ping guo”, and is a homophone for the word “ping”, meaning peace or tranquillity, so an apple symbolises a wish for peace. We also learnt that during the Lunar New Year a box of apples is often given as a gift for relatives and friends, to express love and thought and to bring good luck. 

Apples are said to bring peace to whoever eats one, because the Chinese word for “apple” sounds like the word meaning “peaceful.”

The children have loved learning about other cultures and embracing diversity of the children in our Pre-school.

Library visits

This week the children all participated in their first visit to the Primary School Library. Going up to the big school is an adventure. The walk up the hill is always very exciting. The children are learning to walk in pairs, not to run and to stay on the path. Starting to build a sense of connection to the big school is part of laying the foundation for the future when the children will transition to the school. 

The librarian, Mrs Rogart, played some games with the children to familiarise them with the new space and she read them a story.

Alli: I read a book. It was fun.
Amy: I like the library.
Zach: I sat down to read a book and then we played some games. 
Noa: I read a story; I like it there.


The children have begun music lessons with Morah Sarit. They started off with a name song so Morah Sarit could learn everyone’s names. A yellow beanbag was passed around while Sarit sang a rhyme Hickety Pickety Diddley Dum. We sang our names when we got the bean bag. We all danced and did different actions and movements to a beautiful Hebrew song Bashana haba’ah. Sarit played her ukulele and sang some songs to the children. It was lovely having our music lesson outdoors under the trees in the fresh air. We heard the cicadas buzzing and the birds singing with us. We finished off our music lesson with a fun action animal song called See you later alligator.

What a wonderful way to start our day!


The Early Childhood years are the ideal time for children to form healthy lifestyle habits such as physical activity. Playball is a valuable program that teaches, encourages and supports several fundamental movement and physical skills.

These include jumping, running, galloping, hopping, catching, kicking and throwing, not to mention balance and co-ordination, fine motor and small muscle development also. The children have the opportunity to learn how to use different pieces of equipment such as hockey sticks, bat and balls. Other skills such as listening and following directions, being part of a team, sharing, and sportsmanship are also being taught. Life skills such as independence, persistence, goal setting, respect and co-operation are supported and promoted.

A key to any physical activity is enjoyment. When children are having fun, they are more motivated and want to keep doing it. The Playball program is about fun, being active and giving things a go. Skills and learning experiences are taught in a way that is fun and positive and tailored to the individual experiences, needs and abilities of each child.

The children were introduced to their wonderful coaches, Al and Jared. 

The children engaged in various exercises that involved crossing the midline, balancing, bouncing and catching the ball, and obstacle courses. Having Playball in the MPH provides the children with another opportunity to become familiar with the school grounds. 

After returning from Playball, we discussed what the children enjoyed the best: 

Claudia: I liked when we skipped, and when coach Al was a crocodile.
Freddie: I liked when we put our hands out straight with the ball and we bounced it.
Ana: Running around and when coach Al was a Cookie Monster.
Raphael: Running, and using the ball to bounce and catch it.
Adrienne: I liked the running and the basketball.
Luca: I liked being the soldiers and running.
Michael: I liked doing the forwards and backwards.
Sam: When we run forwards on one whistle and then backwards on two whistles.
Tahlia: Everything, I loved it.

After our beautiful discussion, the children drew their own reflections of Playball. 

Happy Birthday

We wish a very happy birthday to Benjamin Halmagyi (4). We also wish a happy birthday to our special educator Laura Meltzer. We hope you both had a lovely day.

Celebrating diversity

Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations

Trivia fact for the week 

Monday 14 February was not only Valentine’s Day, it was 56 years to the day since Australia changed over from pounds, shillings and pence, to decimal currency.

As another busy week comes to an end, some of our readers have had much quieter households with children away at camp this week. We hope they return with many wonderful stories to tell about their exciting time away.  We have certainly loved seeing photos of lots of smiling faces of the students at camp, posted on the Emanuel Community Facebook page. If you are not already a member of this page, please join here.

Dayenu and Mardi Gras 2022

Dayenu, conceived in 1999 and run by volunteers, is based in Sydney and exists to meet the needs of Jewish LGBTQIA+ individuals, as well as their friends, families, partners and other supporters. Their first-ever float in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras was 22 years ago, in 2000. Mardi Gras Fair Day is on this Sunday, 20 February 2022 at Victoria Park, Broadway, with the main event, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 5 March 2022 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

There are also other events being organised including Mardi Gras Shabbat Service and Dinner on Friday 4 March 2022 at Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra. You can see details of these and more events here.

The below photo was taken by alumnus Toby Evans (Class of 2006) at last year’s event:

Volunteering at The Sydney Jewish Museum (SJM)

After two years of postponement of the Sydney Jewish Museum’s (SJM) popular volunteer guides course, the museum is excited to offer a new intake this year, with registrations closing on Tuesday 1 March 2022, and the course commencing in early March.

Emanuel School has so many connections with the museum, from great grandparents including Yvonne Engelman and Olga Horak who, in their 90s, still volunteer as Holocaust Survivor Guides – as do many of our grandparents and past and current parents. Guides are central to the museum’s education program and visitor experience, and the Generation to Generation course offers potential guides a comprehensive program of weekly classes over a nine-month period to best prepare them.

Emanuel parent and SJM educator Lee-Anne Whitten says “the course teaches all the tools that guides need. Training guides takes time and care, which is why we only run the course every few years. We hoped to re-commence it in 2021, but of course that was not to be [due to lockdowns].” The course will be run in two streams to ensure a small-group learning environment, and costs $250.00 for SJM members, or $300.00 for non-members, including one year’s membership.

For more information or to apply, go the Sydney Jewish Museum.

The many faces of Vic Alhadeff

Salvatore and Becky

If you read Andrew Watt’s Principal’s report in last week’s Ma Nishma, you will know that Vic Alhadeff has written a play about his father’s Holocaust story titled Torn Apart by War.  The play is part of an evening of theatre called Letters From a Troubled Past produced by Moira Blumenthal. Here is another treasured photo of Vic’s father Salavotore with his fiancée Becky, taken on Rhodes Island shortly before he left for Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1939. Vic says “my father had a difficult life – from Rhodes Island to Southern Rhodesia to the Belgian Congo to Johannesburg. He was in the Congo for 12 years, alone, which meant that he only saw his children (me and my two sisters) every three years, when he would come to South Africa and spend three weeks with us for holidays in Cape Town”. Salvatore passed away on 1 January 2001, aged 87.

Tickets for Letters From a Troubled Past are now available. The production will also feature at the Jewish International Film Festival at the Randwick Ritz on Sunday 20 March 2022 and Sunday 3 April 2022 at 4.30 pm.

Alhadeff, who led the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) as CEO for 16 years before stepping down last year, truly is a busy man. He and his wife Nadene have five grandchildren here at Emanuel School, so once we resume campus events again for grandparents to attend, they will hopefully be spending a lot of time here. Upon Vic’s appointment to the Board of SBS late last year, he said “SBS plays a vital role in fostering understanding and appreciation of diversity in Australia. Its ethos accords precisely with my own, as I have dedicated my career to building a more resilient, respectful and inclusive society”. He remains with JBOD as a part-time consultant and is also advising the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He led a three-year campaign which achieved legislative reform, resulting in the passing of s93Z of the NSW Crimes Act, outlawing incitement to violence on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual identity. He is former editor of the Australian Jewish News; former Chief Sub-Editor of the Cape Times in South Africa and the author of two books on South African history. Vic has also been the subject of an entry in last year’s Archibald Prize, having his portrait painted by artist Raveena Marks, mother-in-law of Emanuel alumnus Ronny Schneider whose mother, Renee Schneider, is a teacher at Kornmehl Pre-School. We certainly live in a small world, where so many connections are even closer than we think.


Many of our readers have children and grandchildren who travel to Israel for their gap year on various programs and some even make aliyah. Here is an interesting article written by Emanuel parent Sharon Berger and published last Friday in Plus61JMedia. Sharon is Program Manager at the New Israel Fund Australia and is a former journalist for The Jerusalem Post, Reuters, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Australian Jewish News.  

Parent Safety Group (PSG)

A huge “thank you” to the parents and grandparent PSG volunteers this week. The safety and security of all students and staff is of paramount importance to the entire School community and we are always grateful for your support of this vital role.

Read more about PSG on their page in this issue of Ma Nishma and every week from now on. If you would like to join the team, please send an email to the PSG Administrator to organise your PSG shift.

Grandparents – we will always want you!

Thank you to parents who have been in touch to provide grandparent updates for our database, and we look forward to getting more. As you know, it doesn’t matter how close or how far away our grandparents live from us, there are so many ways to stay connected and we hope you all continue to enjoy reading about our wonderful School whether you live nearby or on the other side of the world. Please keep the grandparent contact information updates coming in.

Friendship Bakery Care Packages

If you know someone in isolation, Friendship Bakery Care Packages might just be the thing to organise for them. Deliveries in the Eastern Suburbs are on a Wednesday between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm, and orders must be placed by Tuesday 5.00 pm. Soups, salads, quiches and sweat treats – delivered to your loved one’s home. These are perfect for lunch or a light mid-week dinner.        

Friendship Circle (FC)

Volunteers are always needed for the many weekend and holiday camps plus other activities organised by FC for children and young adults with disabilities. If you have any questions, about Friendship Circle and/or if you or someone you know would like to join their programs as a participant or a volunteer, please email: hello@sydneyfc.org.au.

Calling all swimmers

Only two weeks until this year’s Maccabi Jewish Swimming Championships on Sunday 27 February 2022.

If you haven’t signed up yet it’s not too late – register here.

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 Sonia Newell.           

Shabbat shalom, stay safe and have a great weekend.

Gift & Talented 7-12

Craig Moss – Co-ordinator of Gifted & Talented 7-12

Academic Competitions and Extracurricular Programs

offered by the Gifted and Talented Department in 2022

The Gifted and Talented Department is looking to further expand the range of academic competitions and extracurricular programs available to High School Students. The table below is a summary of possible competitions and programs that could be organised this year. 

If any student is interested in taking part in any of the competitions and programs below then they need to complete this Expression of Interest Form

If you have any questions please email Craig Moss                  




Competition / Program


Year groups

Number of students

da Vinci Decathlon

The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students. 

Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines: engineering, mathematics and chess, code breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative producers, cartography and legacy.

Year 7-11

Five teams of eight students. One team per year group. 

Future Problem Solving – Global Issues Problem Solving

Global Issues Problem Solving is a team or individual activity in which participants research a series of global topics and learn a six-step creative problem solving process. Participants apply their knowledge and the problem solving process to address an imagined situation set in the future, called a “Future Scene”. From there, they address, critically analyse and solve a major issue in the Future Scene.

Middle Years 7-9

Senior Years 10-12

Teams of four


Future Problem Solving – Scenario Writing

Students develop short stories related to one of FPSs five annual topics. The story (1500 words or less) is set at 20-30 years in the future and is an imagined but logical outcome of actions or events taking place in the world.

Middle Years 7-9

Senior Years 10-12


Future Problem Solving – Scenario Performance

Scenario Performance is an extra-curricular, story-telling competition in which students develop and submit short videos of themselves orating a story. Students compete individually, telling creative and entertaining, short, futuristic stories related to one of the three allotted
FPSP topics for the year.

Middle Years 7-9

Senior Years 10-12


Future Problem Solving –Community Problem Solving

Community Problem Solving is a stand out extra-curricular project-based program for schools. Students select a real world problem from their community, identify a solution, and then actively implement their action plan to address the problem.

Community Problem Solving is ideal for developing strategic thinking, leadership skills and encouraging a wider contribution to community service.

Students in Community Problem Solving around the world, working both in teams and as individuals, have implemented a wide range of action plans, ranging from cleaning up hazardous waste, promoting indigenous literacy and finding homes for unwanted pets. Projects can be single or multi-year.

Middle Years 7-9

Senior Years 10-12

Individual or team

UN Youth Evatt Competition

Welcome to Australia’s most prestigious high school Model UN competition. The Evatt Trophy Competition engages high school students across Australia in world affairs and issues through debating mock Security Council resolutions from the position of an assigned country.

In pairs, delegates will be assigned a country and one resolution a week prior to the competition. They will then develop their stance on the prepared resolution from the perspective of their assigned country. On the day of their round, they will debate, amend and finally vote on the prepared resolution and also one impromptu resolution.

The competition provides a forum for high school students to meet other like-minded students and develop their public speaking and negotiation skills. It fosters learning through a non-teaching environment and creates a positive and empowering experience for students who are interested in international relations, politics and world affairs.

Years 7-11

Teams of two

UN Youth NSW Voice Competition

Voice is a unique public speaking competition running throughout October that invites New South Wales high school students from Years 7-10 to solve real issues that affect our community, our country and our world. Whatever the issue may be, we want to hear you pitch your big ideas. Voice asks students to think outside the box and put their design thinking skills to the test in order to develop innovative and creative, yet feasible, solutions to real world problems.

Junior Division (Year 7 and 8): 4 minutes

Senior Division (Year 9 and 10): 5 minutes


Mock Trial

The Mock Trial Competition is conducted by The Law Society of New South Wales and is a practical means of introducing students to the law and to increase understanding of the basis of our judicial system.

The cases are confined to simple criminal and civil matters heard in the Local or District Court.

A team may act as either the defence or prosecution during a trial, with each team member taking on the role of a barrister, solicitor, court officer or witness, pitting their skills against the opposing side – a team from another school.

Each trial is presided over by a Magistrate (a solicitor or barrister who will be allocated by the Law Society), who awards marks to each team based on a range of criteria, such as opening addresses, closing submissions and cross examinations. The team with the highest mark wins the trial.

Years 10-12

Teams of six

Mock Mediation

Mock Mediation is another initiative of The Law Society of New South Wales.

Mock Mediation is a structured problem-solving process designed to encourage the parties to identify the issue in dispute, consider options and work towards an agreement that will meet the needs of all parties. The skills required for mediation are particularly relevant to personal development. They include active listening, self awareness, questioning, analysing, empathising, speaking clearly and logically and creative thinking.

Mediation is based on values such as respect for self and others, accepting difference, personal integrity and a belief that conflict, if handled properly, can result in a change for the better.

Years 9-10

Teams of 6


HICES Debating is an independent inter-school debating competition organised across eight (8) geographic regions in four (4) age divisions.

The ability to speak confidently and to debate in public are skills to be encouraged in our students. Not only are they valuable talents that will be used throughout life in many different situations, they are also useful skills for oral assessments in the HSC and for practise in thinking rapidly and arranging arguments in a coherent fashion. Debating skills develop critical thinking and are particularly helpful in essay writing.

Year 7-12

Squads of 6


A number of chess competitions run by the NSW Junior Chess League

Year 7-12

Teams of four

Ethics Olympiad

The Ethics Olympiad provides schools with an unique opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, collaboration and communication. The students (Eth-letes) are trained by a coach (usually a teacher at their school) in order to prepare for an Olympiad. Age-appropriate ethical cases are released each year and are provided to participating schools well before the event.

During an Ethics Olympiad teams engage with each other and teams from other schools on interesting and relevant cases. They work as a team to respond to questions while building and critiquing their own and others’ arguments. They engage with teams from other schools in other parts of the country and overseas. Participants report that they enjoy the opportunity to build arguments with each other in a framework that encourages careful considered responses to important ethical issues.

Senior Years 10-12

Middle Years 7-9

Teams of five

National History Challenge

The National History Challenge (from now on referred to as the NHC) is an exciting contest that encourages students to use research and inquiry-based learning to discover more about the past. Students are the historians. They can investigate their community, explore their own and their family’s past and consider ideas throughout history. The NHC encourages the use of primary and secondary sources and offers a variety of presentation styles. It rewards students with generous cash prizes and travel opportunities.

Year 7-12


What Matters?

What Matters? is a ‘catalyst for young thinkers and young writers to develop a perspective, a point of view, on where we’re heading as a society’.

Inspired by Gough Whitlam’s commitment to involving young people in the shaping of Australia’s future, the What Matters? writing competition is currently open to school students in years 5 to 12 from Australia. Responding to the simple question ‘What matters?’, entrants are free to express their views on any matter they care about.

The competition receives thousands of entries covering a wide range of subjects, putting paid to the idea that young Australians are disengaged and disaffected. Year after year we are reminded how passionate, observant and articulate young people are, and how deeply driven they are by a sense of social justice as they offer us a window into not just what concerns them, but what inspires them.

Year 7-12


More Able & Ambitious Study Day

This is a day for bright ambitious students who are interested in ideas. The best way to stretch clever youngsters is to give them a solid platform from which key questions and big ideas can be explored. Students will spend the day with like-minded youngsters all keen to reach the ceiling of their ability and share ideas. Experienced gifted educator, Julie Arliss and lecturers from Oxford University, Aberdeen University and London University will stretch and challenge your students. This is a unique, not to be missed, opportunity for your students.

Senior Year 10-12

Junior Year 7-9

10 – 12 places

Rostrum Voice of Youth Public Speaking Competition

Rostrum Voice of Youth is a national speaking competition which provides an excellent opportunity for secondary school students to gain experience and confidence in expressing their views and communicating a message.

Junior –
Year 7-9

Senior –
Year 10-12

Three students in the Junior Divisions

Three students in the Senior Division


The Expert Talks

Don’t miss this exclusive series of
The Emanuel Expert Talks 






Claire Pech – Careers Advisor

This week, the Year 10s performed a series of Career Tests with the career profiling agency, Career Avenues. More information can be found here.

Each year students sit these tests which can be used for years into the future and hold some interesting insights into who we are, how we work, our interests (current) and what type of jobs we love, and hate (the interest inventory).

I am asked regularly about the validity or career tests and while no careers profiling test is perfect, it can give great insights for now and into the future. It is also a great conversation starter for Year 10s as they start to think about subject selections for Year 11 and Year 12.

How is different to other forms of profiling, from the Career Avenues website?

Our report is not simply computer generated. Each report is individually reviewed by a careers professional to ensure personality style, reasoning strengths, interests, individual context and career possibilities are cohesive.

Unlike other programs, ours has been designed and developed over many years for the Australian education system and is supported by local counsellors knowledgeable in modern career pathways.

Within a school environment, we work closely to ensure the program aligns with the needs of the school, is integrated with broader Career Education and Development activities, is supported by contemporary theory and clearly maps to the Australian Blueprint for Career Development framework.

Year 12

This week I covered the Early Offer Programs available for the Year 12. There are many options out there to secure early offers based on a variety of factors, notable Year 11 marks and sometimes extra curricular activities.

For our Class of 2021 Early Offers were plentiful and as new schemes came on the market due to COVID disruptions our students were able to grab these courses at these universities:

These courses were based on the following subjects:

The Early Offer schemes have changed from only nine systems pre-2021 to 44 in the last year. This has been a huge change in how admissions works across Australia and has significant impact to our students and widens their pool of choices, options and also methods of entry.

Notices, events and dates

Something I am asked about is the make up of the ATAR and often there are misconceptions about it. For more information click here with a great video comparing the ATAR to the City to Surf.  The comparison makes it much clearer to understand from a ranking perspective (which is usually what confuses people).

University rankings

This is a good website that can help look at ranks of universities both here and overseas.

See how Australian Universities compare on the world stage here.

Study Medicine – 56 Australian university degree paths to becoming a doctor

This website compares degree’s side by side and about the variety of Medical schools in Australia.


Calling all campers


Justine Hoffman – P&F President

Hi everyone,

I can’t personally write without acknowledging that this week has been heavy with the loss of Emanuel parent and dear soulful friend to many, Tandi Rapke. In life and in the last stages of her illness, her journey exemplified the collective force of community.

In reflecting on her, I am also appreciating this Emanuel community and the potential power it holds for each of us when we choose to connect through it.

Wishing you all a connected shabbat this week. Please read below for the update on our upcoming events we hope you can join us for.

*DATE CHANGE* Emanuel Family Camping
Friday 18 March – Sunday 20 March 2022 

Bookings are now open!

Please note a date change. The Emanuel’s Family Camping weekend will now be held on Friday 18 March – Sunday 20 March 2022. Due to a campsite clash, we have moved the date a week later so we hope everyone can still make it. This year, we return to the beautiful Bents Basin campsite, just an hour’s drive from school. The weekend really is the highlight of the P&F calendar and we warmly invite all families, especially new ones, to come along. Spaces are limited so please don’t delay.

How to book:

To reserve your spot, please complete the following steps:

  1. Register with the Emanuel P&F School Camping group via this link ($5.00 per person)
  2. Book your campsite directly with Bents Basin campsite via this link          

We may need some volunteers to help with organisation of the camping weekend, so if you are happy to support please email: emanuelschoolcamping@gmail.com

Call out for new class parents

Last week we put the call out for new class parents for each Year Group. The idea is to give more people a chance to involve themselves in the school community.

We are hoping that class parents will change yearly (with a maximum term of two years – so if you do put your hand up, it is not forever). There is very little time involved and a big bonus of getting into the spirit of the school culture.

The main job is to forward announcements from the School through WhatsApp, organise a group get together for your Year Group, and keep the School updated on happy or sad news in your Year Group so we can initiate the Mitzvah Meal program.

If you are interested, please contact Sam Butt who is the P&F Parent Ambassador. 

P&F meetings

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.00pm (on Zoom until further notice). Everyone is welcome. Email Justine Hofman if you would like to attend.                      

Events to diarise

Purim Disco: cancelled (due to COVID restrictions on campus)
Friday 18 March – Sunday 20 March 2022: Emanuel Family Autumn Camping  
Friday 6 May 2022: Mother’s Day (Breakfast and stalls) 
Friday 26 August 2022: Father’s Day (Breakfast and Stalls) 
Friday 4 November 2022 – Sunday 6 November 2022: Emanuel Family Spring Camping 




Parent Safety Group

Thank you to our volunteers for last week (Monday 7 February 2022 – Friday 11 February 2022)

Paul Berkovic, Peter Freed, John Sweller, Shaun Gross, Yossi Bitton, Alan Epstein, Wayne Rubin, Brandon Given, Vitali Kanevsky, Avner Silberman, Anthony Milner, Dmitry Gorelik, Yury Glikin, Leigh Goldberg, Andrew Nabarro, Danny Fleischer and Karen Drutman.

Community notices






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 Jemma and Cooper Adler 

Zucchini kugel


6 eggs
6 zucchinis, grated
1 large onion, grated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup self-raising flour


Preheat the oven to 1800C.
In a bowl, combine the eggs with the grated zucchini and onion.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Line a baking dish with baking paper and pour the mixture into the dish (you can also bake these as muffins).
Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes (or 35-45 minutes for muffins).

Serve hot 

Serves 6 – 8 

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