More than bricks and mortar – we’re creating our bright future

August 13, 2021 by Michelle Favero
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Sydney’s Emanuel School is embarking on an extensive project to redevelop one of its older buildings into a purpose-built 21st-century learning centre. With an increased demand for contemporary pluralist education, enrolments are at an all-time high.

Over the past decade, Emanuel has expanded and enhanced the campus to help accommodate 170 additional students. This year alone saw an additional 45 families join the Emanuel community, leaving the School bursting at the seams.

Much has changed in Emanuel’s physical landscape since 2013 when the School last approached the wider community to support a major building project. Strong fiscal management of school resources and the generosity of individual donors have subsequently seen the development of, amongst others, an Innovation Centre and significantly enhanced play space.

David New, Emanuel parent and President of the Emanuel School Board, commented: “This building is a much-needed piece of the Emanuel infrastructure puzzle. It will ensure we have the ability to not only comfortably accommodate the significant growth we’ve seen in our student numbers in recent years, but will also provide our School with another world-class educational facility for our children”.

The new three-storey building will double the existing internal teaching space, introduce a new and innovative Primary Imaginarium and add significant collaboration areas for students. It will also include eight flexible classrooms with improved connectivity for collaborative and project-based learning, a Kindergarten Library as well as breakout spaces for group work to accommodate focused learning according to individual needs. In addition to the capacious, light-filled building, the outdoor space will be landscaped to provide a level playground for active play and a tiered courtyard for project-based and outdoor lessons.

The Appeal’s $10 million target is ambitious, but the School has already secured a generous $2 million pledge from donors who have previously supported the School, but never at such a significant level.

Emanuel past-Presidents, Grant McCorquodale and Adam Blackman have been tasked by the School Board to lead the Appeal. “From their very first day at school, we have watched our children flourish, with a deep love of learning, commitment to their Judaism and recognition of their important role in bringing about change, peace and equality.

“An investment in Emanuel School is an investment in the future of Jewish education. Our children’s connection to Israel, their Jewish heritage and practice, and the continuity of community is in our hands. We are not merely building a new building – it’s far more than that. This campaign is our opportunity to leave a legacy to our children and our children’s children. Please join us as we take this important step to create a bright future for our students, our school and our community”.

Future-proofing students for an increasingly complex and demanding world remains a key focus at Emanuel School. Knowledge and skills are no longer sufficient to succeed, with employers seeking out graduates who are outstanding communicators, collaborators, problem solvers and design thinkers.

Principal Andrew Watt is exceptionally proud of the students who depart the School to make their mark on the world, many of whom are featured on a website that has been developed specifically for this Capital Appeal. “Our well-rounded graduates step out into the world as contributing, thoughtful and expressive young adults, many of whom have made a significant impact on communities, both locally and abroad. I encourage you to visit to discover the stories of a number of such graduates, from Mitch, who is the manager of Adamama Jewish Urban Farm, Hannah who was recognised as NSW Young Woman of the Year and Sam, composer in residence with the Sydney Children’s Choir.

This project is about more than just bricks and mortar, it’s about creating a bright future for our students, both now and into the future.”

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