Gottshall Library Opening in Sydney this Month

November 7, 2011 by Community Editor
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The Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell MP, will officially open the Rebbetzin Jana Gottshall Memorial Library, established by the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA), in Sydney on 29 November.

Kathy Buchen, Jill Margo, Lianna Wittenberg, Dina Danon, Susan Levy and Robyn Lenn (Chair).

The library, which honours the memory of NCJWA’s honorary rebbetzin who passed away in April 2010, features a specialist collection of books focusing on Jewish women’s issues and is located at Fanny Reading Council House in Woollahra.

NCJWA NSW President Viki Nadel said Premier O’Farrell had kindly offered to be involved through his friendship and respect for Rebbetzin Gottshall and her long-term support for the work of NCJWA.

“We are delighted the Premier has rearranged his busy schedule to join us in acknowledging a very special woman”, she said.

“For many decades the late Rebbetzin Gottshall played a key role within NCJWA. Since they met our founder, Dr Fanny Reading MBE on their arrival in Sydney as Holocaust survivor migrants in 1949, both Rabbi and Rebbetzin Gottshall had enjoyed a special relationship with her. From this time NCJWA enjoyed the benefits of having our own ‘Council Rebbetzin’ who frequently graced NCJWA special events, reciting brachas and benching at our luncheons, dinners and national conferences.

“Rebbetzin Gottshall was always a warm, friendly presence in our organisation and she is very much missed “, Ms Nadel said.

Two senior librarians, Kathy Buchen and Susan Levy, and noted author, Jill Margo AM, are members of the library’s advisory panel, chaired by former NCJWA National President and current NSW Honorary Secretary, Robyn Lenn OA

Buchen was Head Librarian at Moriah College for 13 years, while Levy worked for 26 years at the Willoughby City Library in Chatswood.

Jill Margo AM, whose books include the best-selling biography of Frank Lowy, is an award-winning journalist on the Australian Financial Review and recently was awarded a Churchill Fellowship.

Other advisory panel members are NCJWA past State President, Dinah Danon, and the late Rebbetzin Gottshall’s granddaughter, Lianna Wittenberg, who has expertise in graphic art and technology. Lianna  is currently teaching Design & Technology at the International School  in Paris after four years with the Australian International School in Singapore.

Rebbetzin Gottshall and her late husband, Rabbi Dr Benjamin Gottshall, served in several congregations including Newcastle, Wellington, Brisbane and Maroubra. After her husband’s death in 1978 Rebbetzin Gottshall continued to be active in community and charitable organisations; she was respected as a counsellor, providing comfort, compassion and friendship to all those in need.

She was also foundation vice president of the Australian Holocaust Survivors Association and honorary rebbetzin of B’nai Brith.


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