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Posted 11 shevat 5779 / 17 january 2019


What’s Nu @ Sydenham Shul?

At the Forefront of Jewish Life

Your Family Shul Where Everyone is Welcome

Dear Friends,

Welcome to 2019! May it be a good calendar year for all of us. I trust you had a peaceful and relaxed holiday season wherever you were. I generally love Joburg in the summer, but I must admit the weather this year in Cape Town was infinitely better than here. No heat waves and no hailstorms there, thank G-d. We haven’t been away for this long in decades, literally. But Hashem is good, and we were able to celebrate a few family simchas in Cape Town. Sarah and Rabbi Oshy Feldman have a new daughter named Rosa, and Yisroel and Batsheva came from Melbourne and had their son Zeli’s Upsherenish there. Mazel Tov.

But what inspired the Goldman clan to gather was the Bar Mitzvah of Eliezer, son of Mendel and Devorah’le, which was celebrated in Gardens Shul last Shabbos. We were all very proud of Ezer who did an excellent rendition of the whole Parsha, Maftir and Haftorah. Actually, it was my privilege to have taught him and to also have addressed him on Shabbos morning in Shul. Mazel Tov to the Schurder grandparents and all Devorahle’s siblings who came.

It was an epic occasion for us as we have not had all our children together for over 4 years! With 5 kids in Cape Town and Mendel and Shmuly in Joburg, we still needed Yochonon (and his own Barmy boy Levi) who came from Philadelphia, Michoel who got the longest-trip ever award from Kauai, Hawaii, Musya who traveled from Montevideo with her two little ones, and Yisroel who brought the family from Melbourne. My brother Shmuly and his wife Tzirl also did us the honour and came from New York. Some of the cousins were meeting each other for the very first time! (Where did we all stay? It’s not for now, but we managed. I told you, G-d is good.) Thank G-d, the family reunion was a rare treat for Rochel and I. Baruch Hashem and kayn ayi hora, (pooh, pooh, pooh and all the rest).

Gardens Chazan Choni G was joined by Guest Chazonim Yudi Cohen and Shmuly Goldman, whose trio at the return of the Sefer Torah blew the congregation away. Choni and his brothers did a few pieces on the Bimah too, some of which were old SydShul favourites from their youth. Choni also got us all into a recording studio where we sang my late father’s favourite niggun. Some of you may have seen it as my kids post things on social media.

Bottom line: Thank G-d and may you all celebrate simchas in your families soon!

While we were away the Matric results were announced. Mazel Tov to all those who excelled. Here are some of the SydShul successes I am aware of. Disclaimer: I am not a detective. So, if your child or grandchild does not appear here, please let the office know and I will be happy to include them next week.

I am not going into all the wonderful details now, but I must single out a few of our top achievers, namely Ben Atie with 9 Distinctions, Hanna Kahlberg and Kira Hertz with 8, Nicole Kamionsky and Martin Glazer with 7, and Kira Levy and Shosi Connack with 6. Special Honourable Mention to Yaacov Brill, Joshua Black, Joshua Sarakinsky, Jordana Liebmann, Natanya Porter, Daniel Levin, Aylit Blumenthal, Yehuda Goldberg, Rachel Berkowitz, Gabriel Urdang, Gadi Sachs, Ethan Stein, and Shira Bloch. Well done to you all. Much nachas to their parents and grandparents. But always remember, Matric is not the beginning and end of education. Always be a Mensch!

We can all be very proud that our Daily Minyanim carried on strongly throughout the holidays. Two morning minyanim! Outstanding! Most Shuls struggle for one. A big Yasher Kayach to our weekday Gaboim and regular Minyannaires! G-d bless you all!

Chazan Yudi Cohen will be davening with the Choir this Shabbos.

Ladies Shabbos morning Shmooze with Rebbetzin Estee Stern 10 – 10.30 a.m. in the Community Centre. Coffee, tea & refreshments.

Brocha in the Seeff Hall. L’Chaim by Milton Burlin in honour of his father’s 1st Yahrzeit. Long life.

Our Smorgasbord of Shiurim is back! Go to the Shiur of your choice, but go to a Shiur!

Rabbi Goldman: Halacha of the Week: “May our Good Deeds be Publicised?” – in the Main Shul; Rabbi Stern: Tanya for Beginners in the Elk Hall. All welcome!

Mincha is at 6.30 p.m., followed by Shalosh Seudos sponsored by Yisroel Barouchi. Thank you.

Sydenham's Youth Services are Back in Business! Join our power-team of Maddies for fun and ‘edu-taining’ Services on Friday night at 6pm and Shabbos morning at 10:15am. Here’s the full line-up:

SYDTEENS is led by Ari Poyurs, who is joined by Saul Joseph & Natanya Joseph.

SYDKIDZ is now being led by Gilad Kohaly, together with:

Rachel Berkowitz (Bayit, girls ages 8-12)

Liron Horowitz (Shul basement, boys ages 8-12)

Kayla Drutman & Shaina Sachs (Shul basement, girls and boys ages 3-7)

Mazel Tov to Dani Kedar and Donna Broude on their engagement. B’sha’ah tovah!

Mazel Tov to Lloyd Broude and Dana Gordon on their engagement. B’sha’ah tovah!

Mazel Tov to Carol Mervis on her grandson Moshe Mervis’ wedding in Israel. Much nachas.

Mazel Tov to our beloved Levi Singer on his marriage to Frayda Kresch in Miami today! Binyan adei ad. May you build a beautiful Jewish home together.

Mazel Tov to Dennis & Ros Basserabie on their grandson Yona’s Bar Mitzvah in Sandton this Shabbos.

Happy 83rd Birthday to Meyer Slonim! Many more in good health!

Happy 80th Birthday to Jessel Sundy in Israel. Many happy returns.

Happy 70th birthday to Sandy Kramer. Many happy returns.

On the other side of the coin, we extend our deepest condolences to Sharon, Darryl & Chad Epstein and sister Marcelle on the sudden passing of Leon Epstein. Leon probably attended more Shiurim here than anyone else! He was a devoted student thirsty for Jewish knowledge. Wishing you strength and comfort.

Deepest condolences to Leslie & Neil Milner, Jill and Brenda on the passing of their father Philip Milner. At 95, Phil was a legend who still came to Shul regularly until not so long ago (thanks to Ronnie Frenkel). Long life to you all.

We wish a Refuah Shleimah to Ted Tobias, Alec Mintz, Vic Liebmann, Felicity Goldstein, Raynor Suntup, Hymie Lessick, and to a tiny newborn in Cape Town who, too, hails from a SydShul family. Put in a good word for little Gadi Doron Chaim ben Kayla Rosin. Complete and speedy recoveries to you all!

TREE OF LIFE: A new leaf has been put up by Jeff & Avril Ackerman in honour of their 40th Wedding Anniversary. Mazel Tov and Thank You. Great idea. Please call Shirley at Shul to get your own leaf.

Tu B’ Shevat is this coming Monday. We eat the special species of fruit that Israel is famous for: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. Happy New Year trees!

Remember, if you are a SydShul member and are planning on having a function next year, be it a Bris, Engagement, Bar or Bat Mitzvah party, or even a Wedding for up to 250 guests we can accommodate your needs in a beautiful setting with very reasonable fees. To book your next simcha or function contact Gabi on or call her in the mornings at the Shul office on 011 640 5021.

Remember, all SydShul members, receive a discount on hire of all Shul halls including the new Bayit and Garden which is ideal for a smaller function. A Chupah in the Garden and a Wedding Reception in the Seeff Hall will surely be a winner!

Please note: Proof of payments should be sent to and not to

My book, From Where I Stand, which was out of print is now available in the Jewish book shops as well as from the Shul office. Happy to inscribe it for you. Makes a very nice gift for a wide variety of occasions.

Good Shabbos Sydenham is not yet ready so remember that you may download it from our Shul website on Fridays, even if you aren’t able to be in Shul to get a hard copy. Go to

We look forward to another group of visitors from New York this Shabbos with our old friends Yudi and Blimi Perlstein. Welcome!


The Parsha is Beshalach where soon after allowing the Children of Israel to depart from Egypt, Pharaoh chases after them to force their return, and the Israelites find themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s armies and the sea. G- d tells Moses to raise his staff over the water; the sea splits to allow the Israelites to pass through, and then closes over the pursuing Egyptians. Moses and the Children of Israel sing a song of praise and gratitude to G- d. In the desert, the people suffer thirst and hunger and repeatedly complain to Moses and Aaron. G-d miraculously sweetens the bitter waters of Marah, and later has Moses bring forth water from a rock by striking it with his staff; He causes Manna to rain down from the heavens before dawn each morning, and quails to appear in the Israelite camp each evening. The Children of Israel are instructed to gather a double portion of Manna on Friday, as none will descend on Shabbat, the divinely decreed day of rest. Some disobey and go to gather Manna on the seventh day but find nothing. Aaron preserves a small quantity of Manna in a jar, as a testimony for future generations. In Rephidim, the people are attacked by the Amalekites, who are defeated by Moses' prayers and an army raised by Joshua.


Shul Schedule:

Friday - Shabbos Candles: 6:15 pm (candles may be lit from 5:40 pm earliest)

Friday Mincha: 5:40 pm

Friday Night Service: 6:00 pm

Shachris: Big Shul 8:30 am; Shtibl 8:45 am.

Shabbos Mincha: 6:30 p.m. followed by Shalosh Seudos.

Shabbos ends at 7:38 p.m.

NB: As we are now in the summer months and davening Maariv before nightfall, we must remember to recite the Shema later after dark. If you say the bedtime Shema, this may be kept in mind at that time.

Rochel and I wish you all a Gut Shabbos.

Hope to see you in Shul.



Posted 11 Shevat 5779 / 17 January 2019

Thu, 24 January 2019 18 Shevat 5779