Last Tuesday, Malcolm Bersten and Linda Ben-Menashe brought us up to date and corrected numerous misunderstandings with regard to the Jewish community in Australia.


Of the 14M people in the world who self-identify as Jews on the basis of either family history and or faith, about 113,000 live in Australia and 3,000 reside on the Lower North Shore. The community in Australia was established when Esther Abrahams arrived on the First Fleet in 1788. The first synagogue in Australia was built in Sydney in 1844 to serve a minority which would in very few years make a remarkable contribution to the development of modern Australia. Malcolm’s quiz of famous Jewish Australians was illuminating: Isaac Isaacs, John Monash, Roy Rene, Frank Lowy, Judy Cassab, and James Spegelman to name a few. And like the community at large, the Jewish community attending the Chatswood synagogue now has members from China!


District Governor Peter Ward conducted his final Presidents’ meeting last week and presented a number of awards. I was delighted to receive on behalf of our Club the Rotary District 9685 Membership Growth Award for Small Clubs! We were also numbered among five Clubs – Woy Woy, Belrose, St Ives, Gosford and NSS - considered by DG Peter to be “thriving”.


Greg and Cathie set off for extended trips last week and we wish them well. On the other hand, we look forward to the imminent returns of Andrew and Jaz. What adventurers, what adventures!