Governor Tours Emanuel

March 5, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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For the first time since its inception, Sydney’s Emanuel School been visited by a NSW Governor.

The school, based in Randwick, has 760 students.

Governor Marie Bashir and Aron Kleinlehrer

The Governor toured the Aron Kleinlehrer Jewish History Centre personally guided by Aron Kleinlehrer. She told him that a wall of famous Jews included some of her personal favourites singling out Sigmund Freund for special mention.

Mr Kleinlehrer showed her “priceless and irreplaceable” documents listing goods the Nazis had appropriated from Jews bearing testimony to the atrocities perpetuated on Europe’s Jewish communities.

In one closed of room, the 90-yr-old benefactor has created a shrine to the 6 million who lost their lives during the Holocaust with six memorials in a darkened room each bearing the name of an extermination camp. The memorials nestle under a giant Menorah and on each rests a container in which lies dirt from the respective camps. In the middle of the room stands a display desk bearing a canister which had contained cyclone X, the deadly chemical used by the Nazis to gas their victims. At the other end of the room stands a wooden bunk used as sleeping quarters for the concentration camp inmates with articles of camp clothing straddled across it.

Mr Kleinlehrer said he had visited Auschwitz several times. He told J-Wire: “On my second visit, I saw three fields. The first two were covered in high grass but the third was barren. On that field  I found a child’s tooth. I knew then that I wanted to build a school for Jewish children. Aron Kleinlehrer continues to be a major benefactor to Emanuel School.

Aron Kleinlehrer shows Governor Marie Bashir Nazi documents

Governor Marie Bashir spoke to a Year 2 class who performed a Purim song for her.

The Governor spoke of her early days at school in Narranderra and her later schooling in Sydney where she befriended many Jewish girls who had escaped or survived Hitler’s Europe. She said that she planned to visit Israel later in the year and that her hosts, Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University, are planning to take her on a visit to Jordan and the West Bank. The Governor, who is a Professor of Psychiatry said: “They are keen to make sure all the children get a fair go and have good health.” She said that in Mongolia which she will also visit this year, they only trust Canadians and Australians explaining: “that’s because  people who have gone and helped there have honourable ethics like you are all learning here. You help because you love your fellow men and women  Thank you for the beginning of all of that because I can see plenty of it in this wonderful school.”

Governor Marie Bashir and Aron Kleinlehrer

Year 2 with Governor Marie Bashir









Principal Anne Hastings and Governor Marie Bashir chat to pupils









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