Sleepout in Bondi

June 19, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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Sydney’s Jewish House organised a sleepout at Bondi Beach attracting more than 100 Jewish pupils  from local high schools.

Rabbi Kastel and students listen to stories from the street

The idea behind the scheme was for the students to experience what it is like to have to sleep out in the streets on a cold winter Sydney night. The group heard from local State Member of Parliament Bruce Notley-Smith who brought greetings from Premier Barry O’Farrell.  Following an address form local Waverley mayor John Wakefield in which he complimented the students were talks from three speakers who had been homeless including one Jewish youth whose lifestyle force him out of a comfortable Jewish home and on to the streets, a result of bad choices he had made.

The students bedded down in cardboard boxes and many of them talked and sang throughout the night.

Following breakfast, the participants received certificates marking their participation. Over $15,000 was raised for Jewish House to contribute towards the cost of upgrading the facility


Rabbi Kastel said: It was very comforting to see the youth from the Jewish dayschools taking part in an initiative to support such an important cause. I am very impressed with the sense of community and compassion.

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