North Shore Temple Emanuel
a Progressive Jewish Congregation
Creating an engaged community of Jewish families on the North Shore!
The mission of the Community Families Club is to create a robust and engaged community of North Shore Jewish families with kids (babies through to 13 years old). We are creating innovative, exciting social events and activities throughout the year that build a sense of community and align with progressive Jewish values. These events are low-stress, laid-back and fun.
On 12 February 2017, we had our official launch event at Muston Park in Willoughby. In celebration of Tu B'Shevat, twenty families came together to plant trees in the park. We were joined by the spiritual leader of North Shore Temple Emanuel, Senior Rabbi Nicole Roberts, and her partner, David. The CFC partnered with the Willoughby City Council and its eminent arborist and bush regenerator, Taus Bartlett, who was on hand to guide the group in planting fourteen trees. We also enjoyed ice cream and a bit of cricket.
Throughout 2017 and into 2018, our events include:
We are affiliated with North Shore Temple Emanuel, but ALL Jewish families are welcome - membership to NSTE is not required.
If you would like to be a part of our Community, please sign up here. We will then put you on our email database and you'll be notified when events are happening and how you and your family can get involved. When you register, you'll also have access to our knowledge-sharing database, which includes information about great nannies and babysitters in the area, useful parenting hacks, and even nutritious and delicious recipes that have been tested out by other families.
If you would like to be part of our steering committee or would like more information, please click here to email Darren Palmet.
Chanukah Festival in the Park
On Sunday 17 December, the Community Families Club and Senior Rabbi Nicole Roberts of North Shore Temple Emanuel celebrated the sixth night of Chanukah in Muston Park. The group met late in the afternoon for playtime and conversation. The younger kids played on the playground, while the older kids had an impromptu soccer game.
Each family brought food to share for a pot-luck picnic. Later, Rabbi Nicole led the group in lighting the Chanukah candles and reciting the blessings over the Menorah. We then sang Chanukah songs and capped off the day with sufganiyot and chocolate gelt.
We were thrilled to cap off our first year as a community with this successful event, and look forward to many more in 2018.
Our Big Kitchen
On Sunday, 23 July 2017, the Community Families Club (CFC) sponsored another well-received event for Jewish families on the North Shore. CFC members went to Our Big Kitchen (OBK) in Bondi and helped cook over 150 meals for people in need around the Sydney area. OBK is a community-run, non-denominational charitable kitchen that brings together people from all walks of life to prepare meals and distribute them to needy community members, including the homeless and victims of terror and disaster. Last year, OBK and its volunteers made and distributed over 70,000 meals.
The event was designed to show children how to give back to the community in a meaningful way starting at a young age. George Karounis, who runs Our Big Kitchen, opened the session by speaking to the eight families present about the importance of what OBK does. Then, under the supervision of the OBK staff, parents, grandparents and kids spent two hours cleaning, peeling, chopping and cooking over 150 nutritious meals that they then packed out for delivery. The group also made ready-to-bake apple strudels for dessert. The meals were distributed to a woman's shelter on the lower North Shore and several needy families in the Eastern Suburbs that night. Rabbi Dr. Dovid Slavin, the founder and director of Our Big Kitchen, also stopped by to speak to the group.
"It was a great event," said Yael Rottanburg, a mum who attended with her two children. "It showed the kids that they aren't too young to start giving back."
The Community Families Club is committed to creating an engaged community of families on the North Shore. Our upcoming events will include a picnic on Sunday 17 September, that incorporates Tashlich, the High Holy Day ritual of tossing our “sins” (in the form of bread) into a body of water. The Tashlich will be led by Senior Rabbi Nicole.