JCA Today

CEO Message

The past five weeks have been a whirlwind for myself and Hannah with the arrival of our precious boy Ezra. We are extremely grateful and fortunate to be new parents and have been overwhelmed by messages from organisations and members of community – thank you to everyone.

This edition of our newsletter is focused on family – sometimes it’s the one you are born into – other times it’s the people that become family through community. Last weekend, brothers-in-law Michael Pollak and Dr Andy Kuper AO worked together and made our 10 x 10 event a spectacular success.  Michael’s charisma and Andy’s in-depth knowledge of impact in the not for profit space engaged with our donors and created meaningful discussions about the programs presented to our guests.

Our member mention celebrates PJ Library – a program of Shalom that JCA initially seed-funded many years ago and continues to fund.  All these years later, it has captured the hearts and minds of our community and over 1200 families eagerly await their books' arrival each month – bringing tradition and Yiddishkeit into the home.  There’s also a special book we send to first-time grandparents.  If you know anyone or need one and haven’t received one yet, please get in touch.  See Ezra below with his first PJ book.

While not a first-time grandparent, I wish our President Ian Sandler and his family well as he heads overseas in anticipation of the arrival of his third grandchild in London.  We look forward to hearing your baby news – will it be a boy or a girl?

Shabbat Shalom and wishing everyone a good weekend.

Alain Hasson

Monthly Mensch
Michael Pollak and Andy Kuper

One of the opening questions at JCA’s 10x10 event on the weekend was – so who’s your favourite brother in law?  The love between Michael Pollak and Dr Andy Kuper AO was obvious as the two bantered their way through the event – each in his own way contributing to its phenomenal success.

                                                                                        So who are Michael and Andy?

You might know Andy from JCA’s 2019 campaign event when he addressed our guests and shared his Profit for Purpose philosophy that has shaped various industries and countries.  The founder of LeapFrog Investments, Andy was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Queens Birthday Honours for “distinguished service to the impact investing industry, to global business leadership, and to financial inclusion. His passion for making change is palpable with everything he does. 

And while they are not related by birth, both clearly have the philanthropic gene.

Michael chaired and led JCA’s 10x10 event and is passionate about our community and giving back. This is not Michael’s only connection with community –he is a trustee on the Shalom Gamarada and is committed to the program that was established to make a contribution to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. 

He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Tikkun Giving Circle following a trip to the Northern Territory with his daughter’s school to the Jilkminggan community. At the time Michael said “a small flame was lit within me” during the NT trip and that this was a way “to keep the flame burning”.  Harnessing the power of the trip and realising that nineteen other students felt the same way he was motivated to get TGC off the ground. All funds raised go to a project supporting First Nations People. 

From the Shabbes table all the way to JCA events, these two care about tikkun olam and giving back.  A pleasure to have you both involved with JCA.

Member Mention
PJ Library

At its heart, PJ Library is about continuing the Jewish story.

In 2005, philanthropist Harold Grinspoon established PJ Library so that kids could discover the richness of Jewish life during childhood. PJ Library books are available to Jewish families in over 30 countries. In Australia, the PJ Library program runs through Shalom, one of our 25 supported organisations.

At birth, families can sign up to receive books that support their child’s cultural learning at every stage of their childhood. Books that they can keep and enjoy over and over again.

PJ Library is the perfect program for blended families, families that want to pass on their Jewish traditions to the next generation. Some parents feel unqualified to be their child’s first Jewish teacher, so PJ Library provides beautiful reading resources to help families learn together about Jewish values, customs, heritage, and history. The PJ Library Book Selection Committee selects the best Jewish children’s books. The books tell stories about Judaism in a way that is digestible for children of all ages, regardless of their Jewish background. And because the books are age-appropriate and grow with kids, there is always something new to learn and explore. 

PJ Library books can start meaningful conversations about Jewish life. The books inspire adults to share their stories when kids ask about yearly holidays and traditions their family celebrates. 

To ensure that you receive your FREE monthly delivery of Jewish storybooks, sign up here. JCA loves to hear about all new arrivals and when our donors become grandparents for the first time, we think this is extra special.

                                                                                          We send this beautiful PJ Library book as a gift welcoming the grandchild to our community. If you know of a first-time Bobba or Zaida please let us know by emailing [email protected]

Nosh Nook
Pat's Brown Bread

"Working for JCA is a privilege and learning about the culture and traditions of the local Jewish community over the last 18 months has been deeply rewarding.

Being far from home, the team at JCA has become another family to me, however, this is a tribute to a recipe from my Mum in Ireland. It may not be challah, but Pat’s brown bread is a close second!" 

Vanessa Johnston - Head of Marketing, Data & Communications                                                                 


Brown Bread Recipe


  • 2 cups of plain white flour
  • 2 cups of coarse brown flour 
  • A handful of bran flakes
  • 2 tsp of bread soda
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of salt
  • A knob of butter or margarine
  • 1 litre of buttermilk
  • Splash of milk
  • 1 tsp of sugar (optional)


Step 1: Sieve the white flour, bread soda and salt into a large bowl. Add remaining dry ingredients.

Step 2: Mix to a very loose dough with all the buttermilk and a big splash of milk.

Step 3: Spoon mixture into well-greased loaf tins and pour the remains of the buttermilk on top of each loaf and smooth with the back of a spoon.

Step 4: Make a knife cross on each. Sprinkle with sesame or mixed seeds (optional).

Step 5: Bake in a moderate oven for 30-40 mins. Remove from oven and turn our tins immediately and allow to cool on a rack.

Enjoy with butter and your favourite spreads!

Activities For The Whole Family

The Shabbat Project

THIS IS THE MOMENT to re connect, re celebrate, re inspire and re create. We are proudly supporting our community coming together for one Shabbat on 11-12 November for The Shabbat Project Sydney.

What will be your Shabbat moment? Register here!

THIS IS THE MOMENT to re create your favourite challah recipe and bake it with a loved one.

THIS IS THE MOMENT to re celebrate and invite a new friend or an old one over for a Shabbat Meal. 

THIS IS THE MOMENT to re inspire your spiritual spark within. 

THIS IS THE MOMENT to re connect with your family, community, and friends.

National Council of Jewish Women Australia NSW

One of A Kind - Australian Jewish Egyptian Musical

As part of our Centenary Program, and in commemoration of the plight of Jews from Arab Lands and Iran which is marked around the world every November, National Council of Jewish Women Australia NSW Division presents "ONE OF A KIND" - a musical theatre presentation in one act.

From the early 1940s until the mid-1970s, almost one million Jews were forced to leave their homes in Arab lands. For many thousands, that home was Egypt.

For one family, it had been home for over a century. Originally from Italy, the Rossanos had helped build the Egyptian cotton industry and were pillars of the Sephardic Jewish community in Alexandria.

                                                                      They lose their considerable wealth when forced to flee with two suitcases and twenty pounds each. The circumstances are tragic and set in motion the unravelling of the family patriarch. He, his wife and daughter find refuge in Australia after a time, but he must face a challenge to his sense of identity that may shatter his entire family. This is his story, written by Jewish composers/authors. It has a heart that many migrants will recognise.

Incorporating the musical, a short introduction to Sydney's Egyptian Jewish community, a display of images, artefacts and other resources, and light refreshments, this 2-hour event is a partnership of NCJWA NSW, JewishArts, the Sydney Jewish Museum, Yallah! Mizrahi and Sephardi Young Adults Sydney and Sephardi Mizrahi Voices Australia. BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Job Opportunities


In Celebration

If you are planning a celebration to mark a birthday, anniversary, wedding, bar/bat mitzvah or another occasion, please consider asking your guests to make a        tax-deductible donation to JCA instead of buying gifts.

This mitzvah will help us support those that need it most. CREATE YOUR PAGE HERE!

Download this months calendar

We have gathered together some of the exciting activities and events taking place in our community in the coming month. 

Movie Giveaway Competition!
My Second Family 

Want to WIN DOUBLE PASS TICKETS to the upcoming screening of Armageddon Time? Send us a photo of you and your 'second family'. From a selfie with your close family friend group to a wholesome pic of your tight-knit work family, we want to see the people that give you happiness, support and love like a family should! Simply email us at [email protected] with the photo and a sentence about who your second family is and why they are important to you.

Entries close 10th of November and the lucky winner will be contacted either via email or socials, so keep an eye on your digital mailbox & make sure to follow us at @jca_today.

A Night At The Cinemas
Friends Of Wolper Movie Night

Not sure if you'll win the movie competition? Don't worry! Your communal family has another way for you to still watch this incredible film.

Join Wolper at their upcoming Friends of Wolper movie night, showcasing the premiere of ‘Armageddon Time’. A moving drama starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway. Thursday 3rd November, 6:30pm at Randwick Ritz. BOOK HERE!

Events Worth Sharing!
A Gathering Of Community

JCA 10x10 Event

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Last Sunday JCA’s 10x10 saw three incredible organisations pitching their projects to a room of over 120 people. Dragon Dr Andy Kuper AO had questions about how they would impact the future and their relevance to our community.

Guests heard from JewishCare's Rada Pantzer presenting their Post-Separation Men’s Group, as well as Sydney Jewish Museum's very own Roslyn Sugarman on a photo exhibition called 'Capturing the spirit of Jewish Community' and Stand Up's enthusiastic speaker Speedy Shatari who spoke about the Come Together Program. Worthy and exciting projects

Together we raised $17,000.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made this a successful evening.            Check out more images from the night HERE!

JCA Women's Gold Brunch

Over 40 women attended our Women’s Gold Brunch on Tuesday kindly hosted by Karen and Michael Gutman.  Our guests heard from Kim Slender who provided a unique insight into the transmission of intergenerational trauma.  Her talk was both enlightening and thought-provoking. A big thank you to Kim for taking the time to be with us and to our guests for attending and supporting JCA and our 25 supported organisations.

Click HERE for more images from this beautiful event.