Jewish Life

To provide an authentic and relevant Jewish learning experience that nourishes future generations within a unified community, where individuals with different backgrounds come together in mutual respect.

Emanuel School's Jewish educational program has six main emphases:

Formal Jewish Learning:
Ensuring that Jewish learning has an academic foundation. 
Students participate in compulsory Jewish Studies from Years K-11. Each year, students explore Jewish ethics, sacred texts, Jewish life and history. At all times, students are challenged to develop informed ideas, without having to subscribe to a predetermined belief.

Jewish Experiential Education:
Ensuring that Judaism is not just academic, but experienced. 
Each year, students create and participate in a model Jewish wedding and Passover sederim, write Jewish music, design social justice projects and celebrate Jewish festivals, both in school and the broader Jewish community. Each week they co-create and lead a Torah service and Kabbalat Shabbat service. These lived memories merge with their academic learning and bring it to life.

Jewish learning occurs in partnership with families as promoted, for example, through our Pathways ceremonies. In Year K, parents create a personal blessing to celebrate the commencement of their children's formal Jewish learning; in Year 2, each student receives their own Siddur; in Year 4, each student is presented with a personalised Tanach; and in Year 6, students conduct their own Kabbalat Shabbat service to celebrate their passage from Primary to High School.

Peoplehood:
Connecting with fellow Jews around the world. 
Building a sense of connection and responsibility to Jewish people is a central goal. For example, we connect with Australian Jews by visiting the Montefiore Home. We support Israel through our Israeli-led Zionist Seminar, and meet world Jewry by participating in March of the Living or wearing a High School House kippa woven by Ugandan Jews.

Jewish Leadership:
Building leaders for our next generation. 
We encourage students to view themselves as future leaders and co-builders of the Jewish community. High School leaders are elected as Roshei Yahadut (Jewish Life leaders). Primary School students become part of the Dream Team, responsible for leading prayers. Other students design Jewish festival celebrations, lead Kabbalat Shabbat services and train in hadracha (leadership).

Jewish Cultural Initiatives:
Celebrating Judaism through arts, literature, food and celebrations. 
Emanuel Students learn Israeli and Jewish music. They read books and view films with a Jewish theme. They dance the hora at festivals; celebrate Israel's independence; contribute artworks to support Jewish activities; and research and serve food to compliment Jewish festivities.

Tikkun Olam:
Connecting our Jewish heritage to building a better world. 
Emanuel students work to make the world a better place. They participate in inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogues. Year 12 students volunteer at Camp Sababa, a camp for high needs children. Before the festival of Shavuot, students donate fresh food to OzHarvest, and during Purim they collect tinned food for Sydney's hungry. These commitments are directly connected to our Jewish values and ideals of improving the world.