Volume 3, Number 178
'There's a Jewish story everywhere'

Tuesday-Wednesday, September 1-2, 2009

The Jews Down Under ... A roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian

New principal for Emanuel School ... Read more

Zentai extradition to Hungary delayed ... Read more

Educator recognised at Emunah Awards for March of Living work ... Read more

Survey a "snapshot" of Australian Jewish Community ... Read more

Wrublewski loses last battle ... Read more


New principal for Emanuel School

SYDNEY - Emanuel School announced on Thursday, Aug. 27, the appointment of Anne Hastings as its new principal, to replace Dr Bruce Carter, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Hastings, who is currently deputy principal of
years kinder -12 at Kambala, will take up her post from January 1, 2010.

Hastings said she was looking forward to leading a Jewish day school. "The values of Emanuel School, such as commitment to excellence, empowerment, fulfilment, inclusivity and social responsibility, reflect my own," she said.

Announcing her appointment, Emanuel president
Jonathan Sesel described Hastings as having "a
proven track record as an outstanding Australian educator and leader."

"The Emanuel Board is entirely confident that
under her leadership, Emanuel School will rise to new heights of excellence, building on the strong foundations established by Dr Carter over the past eight years," Sesel said.

Her appointment follows an intensive six-month
search across Australia and overseas.

Dr Carter said: "Her reputation in schools is
already strongly established. Mrs Hastings
clearly has the experience, the insight, the
intelligence, the vision and the compassion to
take this very successful and happy school to even greater heights."

Zentai extradition
to Hungary delayed

PERTH,- Charles (Karoly) Zentai has had his bail extended while the Federal Court weighs his appeal against extradition to Hungary to face war crimes charges.

Zentai appeared before the Federal Court in Perth on Tuesday, August 25, for a bail extension hearing, after judges reserved their decision on his extradition. Earlier, Justice John Gilmour had upheld a ruling made by magistrate Barbara Lane
in the Perth Magistrates Court in favour of extraditing him.

Located by Operation Last Chance, an initiative of Israel's Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Zentai was arrested in 2005. The Hungarian Government applied for his extradition, alleging his
involvement in the murder of Peter Balazs, a Jewish youth who was murdered in Budapest in 1944. Zentai denies the charges.

Federal Court chief justice Michael Black said the court would make its decision as soon as possible, while Zentai remains free on a $75,000 surety with an additional $50,000 bail. The final decision on whether Zentai is extradited will be made by federal Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor.

Educator recognised at Emunah Awards for March of Living work

MELBOURNE- Educator and director of the March of the Living (MOTL) program Sue Hampel will be recognised by Emunah Aviv with a dinner in her honour next week.

Hampel, who has been a teacher at Mount Scopus Memorial College for 30 years, received the recognition for her "outstanding contribution to eduction and awareness of the Holocaust through the MOTL".

"It is very nice and special that people acknowledge and recognise the work I am doing," Hampel said.

For Hampel, 30 years in the teaching profession, and specifically at Mount Scopus, has been more than "just a job".

"The most wonderful thing about teaching is seeing that lightbulb go off in students' eyes," she said. "It sounds cliche but I can't think of a better, more rewarding profession than
teaching. I love coming to work every day."

Hampel, who developed the Holocaust studies program at Mount Scopus, also tutors the subject at Monash University and Jewish adult education network The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School.

She is also currently completing her Masters degree in Holocaust and Genocide studies. As part of this unit of investigation, Hampel recently travelled to Rwanda with a group from Monash University and she plans to return to the
impoverished nation at the first opportunity to volunteer in teacher training.

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Hampel is also a recipient of the National Council of Jewish Women's Sylvia Gelman award for outstanding Victorian, female educator in the field of Jewish studies.

Survey a "snapshot" of Australian Jewish Community

MELBOURNE- The first round of results are in and Australia's Jewish community is set to discover more than it ever knew about itself.

The preliminary findings from the Jewish Population Study were launched this week by Monash University's Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation.

The study's lead author Professor Andrew Markus said the findings provided a "rich insight into the various subgroups within the Jewish population, ranging from the strictly Orthodox to the disconnected".

"We have been actively working on this project for more than two years, beginning with the establishment of advisory committees, proceeding to focus group discussions, finalising the content of the questionnaire, pilot testing, more than six months of surveying and then three months for this first stage of data analysis," he said.

The result is a comprehensive overview of Jewish community attitudes on everything from Israel to education and from anti-Semitism to Jewish identity.

Prof Markus said the study had received tremendous support from community partners ­ both individuals and organisations.

"The fact that so many people have been involved in making the survey possible is itself a telling statement about Jewish life today," he said.

One of the key community partners in the survey was Victoria's Jewish Care, which was with Monash from the beginning.

Jewish Care's involvement also helped attract additional funding for the study and chief executive officer Bruce Salvin said he was pleased with its progress, particularly its
success in attracting a substantial number of marginalised or unaffiliated respondents.

"From our current understanding there appears tobe some very interesting and useful information from the survey and we look forward to analysing it in greater detail," Salvin said.

Other community organisations, including the survey's NSW partner, the Jewish Communal Appeal, are also expected to use the findings in their operations.

As expected, the study contains a range of interesting findings. Prof Markus said working on the survey brought up new discoveries all the time.

"I approach survey work with an open mind so in a sense all of the findings come as a surprise, the more so because it is nearly 20 years since the last major survey was undertaken [and] there was no recent data to inform our expectations."

Wrublewski loses last battle

SYDNEY- Maccabi icon and former Sydney Kings owner Mike Wrublewski passed away on Sunday morning, August 30, after losing his short battle with pancreatic cancer.

The 63-year-old was diagnosed in June after he looked for a cure to what he thought was a back pain. After receiving the grim news, he held an emotional farewell event three weeks ago, where former Sydney Kings basketball players travelled
from around the world to join hundreds of family and friends and remember their fondest memories about Wrublewski's involvement in Jewish, amateur and professional sport.

Maccabi NSW issued a statement on Sunday saying: "Our dear Michael, our King of Hearts, may have gone too soon but the legacy he leaves behind will live on forever".

Current Basketball Australia (BA) chief executive Larry Sengstock, who Wrublewski took aim at during his farewell speech as he pleaded for the sport's future, also paid tribute over the weekend.

"Mike was a pioneer of the NBL who had a crazy vision of taking basketball from the tin sheds in which it was being played into major arenas," he said in a statement. "BA, the NBL, the WNBL and all of basketball owes him an incalculable debt and we will now look for some appropriate way in
which we can honour his legacy."

He is survived by his wife Shauna, their daughters Sasha and Zalli and Adam and David, sons from a previous marriage.

Australia bureau chief Garry Fabian may be reached at fabiang@sandiegojewishworld.com

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