JCA's Monthly Mensch: January - March

Our monthly mensch is our beloved George Sternfeld who has been a guide at the Sydney Jewish Museum (located in the building adjacent to ours) for 18 years.  George is a regular at the Museum where he shares his story with students and adults from all walks of life so that they can learn to be human beings that stand up for kindness and humanity.  In addition as a member of the NSW Council for Christians and Jews he is highly committed to interfaith dialogue and has made an incredible impact when it comes to Holocaust education and teaching tolerance.

George has written a book, titled Chocolate to Anzac Biscuits, which tells his full story of escape, survival and migration. For more details and to purchase a copy, click here

In addition, he has also written a children's book “A Miracle in My Pocket” – a story about miracles and lives saved and friendships formed.  The story is based on a boy with a silver dreidel in his pocket, given to him by his Zaide before parting in the Warsaw Ghetto.

When at the Sydney Jewish Museum, George tells his students that we are all part of “one race”, the “human race”.  "What we see around us is a beautiful and colourful mosaic of different faces from different places. We practice different religions and come from different cultures, we speak different languages and enjoy different cuisines. This is the wealth we should share. Acceptance will bring us together, hate will destroy us all.”

George’s wife, Liz has also been volunteering at the Sydney Jewish Museum for a decade and says her favourite part of the job is meeting new people and seeing smiling faces.

We thank George and Liz for their outstanding contribution to our community – Kol Hakavod to this special couple.

Dr Ron Weiser AM is a name synonymous with our community. He has been dedicated to fostering engagement and connection with young adults through youth groups and trips to Israel.

“Over my 50 or so years of communal involvement I have seen time and again that those who participate in Youth Movement camps and programs generally become the biggest influence on the directions that our community takes. The leadership skills, independence and organisational skills gained, serve them well in their individual careers, but also are a fertile training ground for their future communal endeavours. Camps and Youth Movement activities generally are experiential, living, breathing constructs that are powerful motivational factors – we have nothing that really compares to this. Of course, meaningful peer programs to Israel over a very wide spectrum are the pinnacle of experiential Judaism and Zionism. In Israel one can experience many different forms of Jewish expression and she offers options that are simply not available here. Of my various communal endeavours I believe that there is nothing more worthwhile than being involved in continuing to offer the opportunities I and my children and now grandchildren have to as wide an audience as possible.”

Ron has been instrumental in ensuring that this leadership pipeline in our community has been available to all and it can truly be said that he has nurtured the future.  Kol Hakavod Ron – you are a true mensch.