Mandlebaum House weathers the COVID storm

July 2, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Addressing the AGM of Mandelbaum House this week,  Chairman, Associate Professor David Levy noted that “although the last year had been tough, the college can be very proud of its achievements”.

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Stephen Garton with Mandelbaum House residents at May Formal Dinner. Photographer: Darren Saul

Mandelbaum at Sydney University has remained open throughout the pandemic, following health guidelines of social distancing, monitoring carefully and qualifying as a COVID-Safe entity by the NSW Government guidelines.

Despite the small number of international students, Mandelbaum experienced good occupancy throughout the period and elected to leave several rooms free for isolation if needed. Despite these tribulations, the college ran smoothly with many successful events and activities, including regular formal dinners. Mandelbaum offers an excellent kosher kitchen and throughout the last year has maintained an active Jewish life, celebrating every festival, building and eating in their succah, holding a seder and celebrating the Yamim Noraim, Purim and Shavuot.

Associate Professor Levy paid tribute to the college CEO, Shana Kerlander, for keeping the House open and operating smoothly and to Naomi Winton, COO as well as other Mandelbaum staff for their diligence in this difficult period.

Because of the current restrictions, the AGM was held by Zoom and saw three new directors elected to the Board: Emeritus Professor Bettina Cass, Robert Klein and Sophia Kwiet. They join current directors, Dr Avril Alba, Associate Professor Lilon Bandler, Paul Baram, Rabbi Benjamin Elton, Rabbi David Freedman, Gael Hammer, Brandon Srot and Sam Zweig.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Mandelbaum House. Celebrations are planned for later this year, depending on the situation with COVID.

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