As a people, we have experienced our fair share of trauma, and we have survived. Jewish History has proven, in many ways, to be a recurring cycle of crisis and renewal. Despite lives lost and communities destroyed, we have found the strength to start over and rebuild. We have repeatedly breathed new life into the Jewish people and have found pathways towards repair. We have had to recover, re-envision and regenerate Jewish Life, both individually and as a community. It is this resilience and determination to succeed that that has inspired many of us to ensure that Jewish Life at Moriah doesn’t just continue but continues to flourish. We are privileged to have a number of talented educators who have joined us across the College working in both the formal and experiential domains and it is my pleasure to introduce them to you.
Ayelet Rev: Madrichah
Ayelet graduated from Kesser Torah College in 2016. She was involved in Bnei Akiva as a Chanicha, which inspired her to go on MTA (Bnei Akiva Gap Year program) in 2017, attending Midreshet Harova in the Old City of Jerusalem. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Education at the University of Sydney and, in-between studying, leads Tefillah and works in the Moriah Primary School EDJE (Experiential Department of Jewish Education). Ayelet has worked as an after-school carer for Kesser Torah College and volunteered as a Madricha in Bnei Akiva following her gap year. Within Bnei Akiva, Ayelet was Merakezet (Director) in 2019 and was responsible for various overnight youth camps for all ages. Ayelet loves and is passionate about Jewish education, is constantly looking for opportunities to grow as a young Jewish leader and feels blessed that she has opportunities to engage young students about the beauty of Jewish Life.
Chavi Israel: Teacher
Chavi absolutely loves thought-provoking questions and asks them all the time. She believes that questioning is a great way to learn. Chavi has spent time at Beth Rivka College in Melbourne as a member of the Jewish Life informal team. She also founded and directed her own babysitting company. Chavi recently got married and has resettled in Sydney. She is currently completing her Masters in Secondary Teaching. Chavi’s goal is to demonstrate the relevance of Judaism and Jewish thought to our daily lives.
Inbal Sadra: Support Teacher
Inbal is a committed and enthusiastic educator who loves the Hebrew language. She graduated from Emanuel School and spent her gap year in Israel with Habonim Dror. She volunteered as a Madricha for three years. This strengthened her love of education as she gained experience through informal education. Inbal studied a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education and completed her final university placement at Moriah. Inbal attended Moriah Primary School and feels privileged to have the opportunity to come full circle and work alongside such a great team (which includes those teachers who taught her).
Justine Saidman: Teacher
Justine Saidman is a passionate and dedicated Jewish educator and community engagement professional. Her love of books, reading and knowledge directly influences her work as Director of PJ Library in Australia and New Zealand where she works to help young families engage with the Jewish community in a meaningful way. Justine joins us in a part-time capacity and is committed to helping people transform their lives through Jewish knowledge in a way that makes sense to them. She has a certificate of Jewish Leadership from Spertus in Chicago and a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew University. She values big ideas, conversation and opportunities for growth and transformation. She is constantly looking for ways to expand her own Jewish horizons and influence the people around her to similarly expand theirs.
Keren Lax: Senior Madricha
Keren graduated from Moriah College in 2016 and spent her gap year in Israel on Limmud (with Bnei Akiva). She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney and, in-between studying, leads Tefillah and works in the Experiential Department of Jewish Education at Moriah. Keren has accompanied two Year 10 Israel Study Tours and has directed Counterpoint programs for the past two years. Keren has worked as a Youth Director at Dover Heights Shule and volunteered as a Madricha in Bnei Akiva, culminating in her role as Vice President in 2019. Keren is also a Madricha for Ohrsom Student. Keren is passionate about Experiential Jewish Education and feels privileged to have the opportunity every day to foster and create stronger Jewish identities within our students. Keren feels blessed to share her knowledge and experience and looks forward to the future with optimism and positivity.
Mendy Eskinazi: Teacher and Tefillah Coordinator
Mendy is a young and enthusiastic Jewish educator who was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mendy made Sydney his home, got married and recently celebrated the birth of his firstborn son, Aryeh. Mendy has a Bachelor of Arts and Rabbinic ordination. He is interested in pursuing a degree in Education. Mendy has been involved with the Experiential department assisting with Prayers since 2018 and now coordinates Prayers in the Primary and High School. He is also teaching some Jewish Studies classes as well. Mendy is constantly striving to enhance his outlook on Judaism and influence those around him in a positive and enthusiastic manner. He loves his time at Moriah and is excited about interacting with the students in class as well as on the playground.
Eli Grauman: Madrich
Eli graduated from Moriah in 2016. He was honoured to be nominated as School Captain in Year 12 and was privileged to be able to give back to the College. Since graduating four years ago, Eli remains very attached to the College. He has accompanied Year 10 Israel Study Tours as a Madrich, participated in numerous Counterpoint camps and even attended the Great Barrier Reef Geography camp last year. Eli spent his gap year in Israel with Bnei Akiva, was privileged to be accepted as a madrich on Camp Stone, Pennsylvania, US and participated in Moriah’s alumni Brownstone internship program in New York. In his spare time, Eli is also an experienced volunteer for Hatzolah and has often provided first aid treatment to staff and students while on camps and excursions. Eli takes Tefillah at Moriah and recently joined our EDJE department as a Madrich.
Chana Hirschowitz: Teacher
Chana Hirschowitz is an energetic, driven, passionate and excited Jewish Studies teacher. She has previously worked informally in Beth Rivkah Ladies College and Kesser Torah College. Chanah has also accompanied the Year 10 Israel Study Tour in 2018 and 2019 and participated as a Madricha on numerous Counterpoint camps as well. Chana is a graduate of Kesser Torah College (2014). She completed her Diploma of Jewish Education in Beit Chana Teaching College in Tzfat, Israel and is currently completing her Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW. She has enrolled in a Master of Teaching (Secondary) at UNSW and plans to commence in 2021. Chana spent time interning at the Mission of Israel to the United Nations and decided to return to Sydney to pursue a career in Jewish education. She is excited to explore the depth, intellect, values and wisdom embedded within Jewish texts and practices and to share this with her students.
I am also very excited to inform you that we have appointed a Coordinator of EDJE (Experiential Department of Jewish Education) and Student Leadership in the Primary and High School.
Tali Diamond has been appointed to the position of Coordinator of EDJE & Student Leadership in the Primary School. In her current role as Student Development Officer, Tali has been instrumental in helping to foster dynamic programs and initiatives in the High School over the past four years. Her involvement in two full IST programs, numerous Counterpoint Camps, community service programs, student leadership and Jewish experiential initiatives has made her an invaluable member of our Jewish Life team.
Tali holds a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) and is currently completing her Masters degree in Primary Schooling, affording her the unique position of catering to students across the K-6 setting. Her passion for Jewish education, Primary Schooling and student wellbeing are interconnected and we have been lucky to have in Tali a dynamic experiential educator and social worker, who brings joy and passion to the work she does each day and to the many relationships she has developed. This skillset aligns seamlessly into our vision for building and developing Jewish Life and Student Leadership in the Primary School.
Talya Wiseman has been appointed to the position of Coordinator of EDJE (Experiential Department of Jewish Education) and Student Leadership in the High School and will take up this exciting new position at the start of the 2021 academic year. Talya is a former staff member at Moriah College. Her experiences in informal Jewish education are extensive, having successfully designed and implemented many meaningful and positive Jewish initiatives both in the Sydney and Melbourne communities in her former roles as Coordinator of Student Leadership and Jewish Studies Educator at Moriah, and as Acting Head of Primary Informal Education at Mount Scopus College respectively.
Talya holds a Graduate Diploma of Education, a Bachelor of Arts degree (majoring in History and Jewish Studies), a Masters in Jewish Education (Magna Cum Laude) and is a recipient of the Golda Meir Scholarship. She has participated actively in Jewish education and leadership programs (Shalhevet and MTA) and continues to build aligned and meaningful partnerships within the community.
Reimagining our Jewish Life programs
We are also pleased that in spite of limitations and restrictions due to COVID-19, with some minor modifications, we have still been able to coordinate many of our unique Jewish Life programs.
Tikvah Scholars Program
The goal of the Tikvah Scholars is to expose intellectually curious students to great Jewish texts. This year, Mimi Miller (Year 11), was selected to participate in this prestigious program. In the past, students would attend this program at Yale University, New Haven. However, this year, Mimi was able to participate via Zoom. It did mean she had to wake up at 5:00am on some days but the early alarms were worth it as she loved the stimulating topics, debates and discussions. Despite the online interaction, she was still able to make many friendships throughout the course.
The Mikolot: Voices of the Future initiative is a competition for High School Jewish students, aiming to promote greater collaboration among Jewish school students, cultivate better public speaking skills and foster a more refined expression of Jewish voices in the modern world. Students from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth are participating in this competition which will culminate in a special live-streamed assembly in September. Emma Cass (Year 11) from Moriah College has progressed to the Grand Finals and we wish her hatzlachah for the competition.
Counterpoint begins this week and although it will be a very different Counterpoint experience, both staff and students are very excited. The team of madrichim have worked very hard to prepare and modify all programs and are looking forward to an inspirational one/two-day experience. We have secured a very talented, enthusiastic group of local madrichim who look forward to maintaining the positive relationships they establish, long after their time at Counterpoint.
Scholars in Entrepreneurship
The Moriah Scholars in Entrepreneurship program has been made possible due to the generous support of Kelly+Partners in collaboration with the Moriah Foundation. Kelly+Partners believes that Moriah College is the perfect environment to help assist and inspire the next generation of Australian Jewish entrepreneurs who want to build businesses that make a difference. Now in its fourth year, we are working to ensure that the winners will still gain from their experiences both now and in the future.
As our Year 12 students graduate, Yom Kesher provides them with an opportunity to engage in Jewish intellectual debate to inspire them in their final days at the College. Guest lecturers have agreed to spend time with them to share some final words of Jewish wisdom, which will hopefully provide them with something to think about beyond their NESA requirements. Usually tied to Shavuot, we are fortunate to have rescheduled this important event.
About the author
Ronnen Grauman is the Acting Head of Jewish Life and Learning at Moriah College in Queens Park, NSW.