Social Justice and Community Outreach
Emanuel students reach out to our local and world communities, engaging in acts of loving kindness (gemilut hasadim) and just giving (tzedakah) through a variety of programs and projects.
They further learn of the plight of the marginalised in visiting the Matthew Talbot Hostel, exploring how we can help improve their lives. Sleeping outside, as part of Students on the Street (SOS), a Jewish House project, our students raise funds to support local services for the homeless, as well as experiencing some of the challenges of living on the streets.
Emanuel students reach out to youth with a disability by regularly taking part in a range of activities with the young adults of Creativity Inc, forging bonds of mutual caring and friendship. Our students also mobilise their peers to take part in, and raise funds for, NSW Friendship Circle, participating in the annual Friendship Walk to raise awareness for children with special needs, helping provide support for their families. In addition, each year, a large group of Year 12 students volunteer at Camp Sababa, run for children with disabilities.
Emanuel school families participate in Sydney’s Mother’s Day Classic, helping to fund breast cancer research. Staff and students also partake in Randwick Council’s annual White Ribbon Walk, raising awareness to help prevent domestic violence and abuse against women.
Our students volunteer at, and support the work of, the Asylum Seekers Centre, attend refugee theatre performances, visit detainees at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, and share discussions with refugees and asylum seekers.
The Emanuel School community has partnered with Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney Jewish Writers Festival, Stand Up, Jews for Social Action and B’nai B’rith in a Sydney showing of Chasing Asylum on World Refugee Day. Our students participated in the Israeli NGO Hotline program, viewing and discussing its award-winning documentary about refugees and migrant workers in the State of Israel.
As part of our prayer experience, members of our Year 12 class engage in dialogue with social activists in better understanding the plight of refugees in Australia and overseas and how we can realise the mitzvah, recited in our daily prayers, of releasing those who are bound (matir asurim).
In our Year 10 Chavayah Israel program, we visit economically-challenged Ethiopian communities, providing school supplies and spending time with the children.
In co-operation with the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, our students, together with their peers from Unity Grammar College, engaged in a joint project, Now See Hear, aimed at promoting understanding between Jewish and Muslim youth through an appreciation of each other’s cultures and identities.