Entries by BShalom

International Women’s Day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, a day which is gaining increasing recognition around the world. Strangely enough, I first learned about International Women’s Day while studying for a year in Beijing. In 1984, this day wasn’t observed at all in the United States but was absolutely huge in China where, of course, there was a […]

Bringing food to Synagogue

For functions at our synagogue please assume food is vegetarian (with fish and dairy allowed). The exception is when a “Meat” meal is specified, where meat including chicken is allowed ( but no dairy). Pop up meals and Kiddushes following a Bar or Bat Mitzvah are always vegetarian (fish and dairy allowed). It is our […]


The Daily Persian – Adar 5778 Titillating news from the palace! The official spokesman for King Ahasuerus has reluctantly confirmed that the rumours are true: Queen Vashti has banished her king from the harem after learning of his ill-conceived affair with long-time harem manager Asha Farouz. The official also confirmed that Ms. Farouz is pregnant […]

Ode to the Smartphone

Let me now sing a hymn of praise to the smartphone—surely the greatest object known among humanity. In this blog post, I will endeavor to tell you all the different ways that my smartphone proved absolutely invaluable on my recent trip to Indonesia: –Google translate: it’s not perfect, but I used it multiple times a […]

Rabbi in Indonesia – Enrichment from Afar

I’m writing this month’s column on a plane from Japayura to Bali at the end of an extraordinary ten days. I’ve had Shabbat in Jakarta and Jayapura, with a visit to Timika on the south coast of Papua squeezed in between. I’ve enjoyed wonderful reunions and had way too many tearful goodbyes. It only happens […]


For better and probably for worse, I am a Facebook user. I have a ridiculously large number of friends, including a few that I’ve never met and, embarrassingly, people I knew 30 years ago whom I don’t remember but who remember me. I have friends in Indonesia and Israel, but for the most part, about […]

Rabbi’s Column: Think Globally, Act Locally

Sunday 19 November was designated Mitzvah Day across Australia. Their website http://mitzvahday.org.au/ lists over seventy different projects that took place just about everywhere there were Jews. For the fourth year, Beit Shalom joined in, and it was very special. We put on a beautiful barbecue lunch for clients of the Mercy House of Welcome, a […]

The Same Sex Marriage Survey

by Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky   It’s been a little over a week since we heard the announcement of the result of the Same Sex Marriage Survey. As several observers have noted, the results demonstrated exactly the same level of support for same sex marriage as polls have been showing over the last couple of years. We […]

Kristallnacht Commemoration

  Thursday 9 November was a special night as Jews and Christians gathered at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral to mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht—seen by many as the start of the Shoah. The Beit Shalom choir was enriched by the addition of Zachary and Alex Knopoff, as well as guest singer Paul Oppenheimer, and its […]

Netzer Appeal

Our future is dependent on having young people feel like they belong, and Netzer is the very best vehicle that we have in the progressive community to provide young people with an opportunity to belong – Rabbi Gersh Lazarow The Board of Beit Shalom endorse the Netzer Appeal and encourage the community to support this […]