70 years of Jewish education at Scopus

February 11, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Melbourne’s Mount Scopus Memorial College celebrated 70 years of outstanding Jewish education last Friday, exactly 70 years since the school first opened its doors on 8 February 1949.

The day marked the start of Jewish school co-education in Melbourne. 116 students and nine staff were present on day 1 and would be justly proud of the school today, with 1500 students across four campuses.

Opening in a double story Italianate mansion at 414 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, the school quickly grew and in 1953 moved to the present site in Burwood.

Quoted in the Jewish Herald in July 1947, first Principal Abe Feiglin said: “Australia can become a new seat of Jewish learning, in this great land where freedom and tolerance is the right of every human being…..we have the opportunity to help re-establish the great losses our people have sustained”.

The College crest was soon created incorporating a symbolically strong lion, the motto Chazak V’ematz was adopted, translating as ‘Be Strong and of Good Courageous’. College colours were decided: blue – representing the sky and freedom, black – to remind us of the 6 million murdered in the Holocaust, and gold – being resilient, valuable and durable.

It took little time for the community to embrace and applaud the development of the College, which now enters its eighth decade and has proudly educated over 12,000 students who have made their mark in Australia and around the world.

Today, Scopus remains true to the vision of its founders and delivers timeless values in a modern milieu. More than 1500 students, from aged 2 to 18, learn and grow across our campuses, forming lifelong friendships and a strong Australian Jewish Identity.

In this, the 70th year the College welcomed two-year-old children for the first time as part of the new Little Learners program, a long day care program for children in the year before commencing Lower Kinder.

Students at all campuses, including some whose own grandparents, were students on day 1, enjoyed celebrating with a birthday cake on Friday 8 February, with further celebrations planned for later this year.


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