Malcolm Turnbull donates personal books to new Jewish library

April 13, 2018 by Henry Benjamin
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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull officially opened The Sam Moss Library in Sydney’s Kesser Torah College.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull presents his personal books to Kesser Torah to its president Meir Moss with Steven and Mendy Moss watching Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Following the ceremony attended by students, teachers, staff and members of the community who have supported the Dover Heights campus through their philanthropy, Mr Turnbull presented books from his personal library to Meir and Steven Moss the sons of the late Sam Moss.

The Moss family continues to be major supporters of the college with Meir Moss its president.

In his address the Prime Minister in whose electorate the college is situated said the library honours “the memory and the life’s work of Sam Moss”.

Sam was an enormously generous supporter of the Jewish community here in Sydney and especially the education of young Australians.

The books donated by the Prime Minister

Talking about a visit to the College in 2010 when a Sefer Torah was dedicated he said: “I spoke then of my immense admiration of Sam and the work they did and Joseph Brender did in the community. I’m so happy to be back here remembering and honouring Sam as all of us are sad that he’s not here with us.”

Mr Turnbull said the Government had provided $600,000 for a roughly $1,000,000 project.

He continued saying that while it was a rash thing to do to disagree with Rambam, The Prime Minister believed that philanthropic giving shouldn’t be done anonymously so as to encourage others to do so naming the Vidors, Lowys and Boyarskys as examples.

He noted that all of those generous families inspire others and that when money comes from a philanthropist, as the Greek word implies, it comes with love.


Steven and Meir Moss watch Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveils the plaque on opening the library   Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

The Prime Minister said that communal giving bought the community together saying that, “It comes as a part of you. It ties the community together. It engages you to become advocates. You can become ambassadors. You become part of the institution. So that’s why I am so pleased to be here today as your Prime Minister, yes with a big cheque, $600,000. But to see it working together with the generosity from the Moss family and the other families who support Kesser Torah that is inspiring.”

The prime minister said that Sam Moss donated money to more than one Jewish school in Australia.

Addressing the college’s principal Roy Steinmann Malcolm Turnbull quoted the Book of Exodus noting that Moses asked to leave Egypt “With our children and our elders” saying that  “it was a very, very significant statement…because it underlines what education is all about.”

He added:”When we care for those who are coming after us, our children and the children of others and when we honour those who came before us that is when we show the love that ties us all together so thank you Principal Steinmann for that sermon part of your address. It was very appropriate and absolutely consistent with all the values I stand for, our nation stands for, our whole western civilisation stands for. It is fundamentally important to what education is all about.”

The Prime Minister meets primary students


The Prime Minister then discussed the importance of implementing the Gonski school funding reform package noting that the Commonwealth funding to Kesser Torah will be around $9,552 per student this year and will rise to $14,361 over the next decade.

The Prime Minister concluded his remarks noting that David Gonski would report back on his current review into teaching outcomes soon.

Rabbi Levi Woolf presents the new KTC Torah to Sam Moss and Joseph Brender in 2010

When principal Roy Steinmann quoted Moses in the torah “Bineranu U’vizkeranu” – with our children and our elders – he explained in his address preceding the Prime Minister “with these words we see the prophetic essence of continuity and purpose which is the cornerstone of Jewish education”.He added: “This encapsulates the concept of Jewish destiny which is achieved by looking backwards in order to look forward because our children and our elders are the anchors and building blocks of our community and our society.” He said the new library has become one of those building blocks.

He thanked the government for its support through the capital grants program and the Steven and Meyer Moss and their families.

Roy Steinmann

And he thanked Sam Moss himself saying “an Auschwitz survivor who passed away at 90 he has left a legacy, not only in the organisations who benefitted from his generosity and  certainty in his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

Meir Moss said: “My Dad, age had nothing with his energy and his optimism for the future. Having such a successful father had its challenges but we have an amazing legacy from him. Notwithstanding the terrors and the traumas he suffered he was never bitter or considered himself a victim.  Our believed in people, especially young people and has very interested in education. Together with his partner Joseph Brender he was instrumental in building the Brender Moss Library for Social Sciences at Tel Aviv University, supporting the Brender Moss Library at Moriah College, the building of the Brender Building at the Yeshiva day school, building the first synagogue at Kehillat Masada and for an educational building at Emanuel School.

The school’s president Meir Moss made special thanks to Sir Frank Lowy for being major benefactors to Kesser Torah College also mentioning the Scheinberg, Vidor, Boyarski and Bermeister families.

Meir Moss, Joseph Brender and Steven Moss. Joseph Brender and Sam Moss were partners in the Katies chain of womenswear stores



One Response to “Malcolm Turnbull donates personal books to new Jewish library”
  1. Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

    I know of many people Sam Moss assisted in a significant and discrete manner.
    May his memory be for Blessing.
    Steven and Meyer the library is a fabulous idea.

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