Jewish diversity at Auckland’s Kadimah School – Meet the ‘He-bros’

February 5, 2017 by Keren Cook
Read on for article

Kadimah School is New Zealand’s only Jewish day school. The school offers a special focus on Jewish education from pre-school to year 8.

The character of the school is shaped by its diversity and the acknowledgement of its position as both Jewish and uniquely located in Aotearoa.

Kadimah School has taught te reo and tikanga Maori for more than 40 years.

Kadimah School

Over this lengthy time, the school has embraced te reo Maori and over time a new generation of Jewish-Maori ‘He-bros’ has emerged, eager to learn te reo and embrace their Jewish culture.

Last year Native Affairs visited Kadimah School to meet some of the young ‘He-bros’ attending the school.

One student, 8-year-old Dasan Paullay-Beazley has been immersed in te reo Maori.

He is happy to recite his pepeha. “Ko Dasan taku ingoa. No Ngaphui taku Papa. No Amerika taku Mama. He Hurai ahau,” he says.

Video: Facebook/Maori TV
However, Dasan’s focus for the past two years has been on his Jewish heritage.

Dasan’s father, Kristian Beazley, is Ngapuhi and Jewish, and has an affectionate nickname for his Jewish-Maori son.

“Now, this guy is the He-bro. We’ve coined a new phrase. We’ve got a whole new whakapapa in the North and it’s the He-bro. So, (Dasan’s mother) Genice is the Jew from New York City and he’s the  He-bro,” he says.

The school is well known for it’s family atmosphere. With about 160 students enrolled from pre-school to intermediate level, Dasan is one of six Jewish-Maori kids attending Kadimah School.

The school is located in central Auckland and fosters diversity and their students and whanau are encouraged to treasure Jewish values.

Dasan’s mother, Genice Paullay-Beazley, says te reo Maori is important.

“We have always had to embrace our local culture, as well as try to retain our own. So I find that it’s completely consistent that Kadimah not only helps retain our own culture as Jews but also embraces the reo, the culture of the Maori people who are the people of Aotearoa. So, that’s really important for me as a Jew and as a mother.”

Kadimah is now a State Integrated School, so immersion into te reo is a key requirement. However, previously when Kadimah was a private school te reo was part of the curriculum.

Principal Sue Meltzer says teaching te reo “ isn’t a new thing within the school, we’ve always been doing it,” she affirms.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

    Rules on posting comments