New Library launched to Coincide with Consecration

January 19, 2011 Agencies
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Australia will have its first collection of books and interactive material focusing on Jewish women’s issues with the establishment of the Rebbetzin Jana Gottshall Memorial Library by the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA) NSW Division.

To be located at Council House in Woollahra, Sydney, the library will honour the memory of NCJWA’s honorary rebbetzin, whose tombstone will be consecrated at Rookwood Cemetery this Sunday at 10.30am.


Rebbetzin Gottshal

Rebbetzin Jana Gottshall (seated on right) with National Council of Jewish Women of Australia founder, Dr Fanny Reading MBE (centre) and other NCJWA leaders Vera Cohen MBE and Elsie Goldring (back row) and Ettie Simons (seated on left) at the NCJWA Newcastle Section Jubilee in the 1950s;

Rebbetzin Gottshall, who passed away in April, was also foundation vice president of the Australian Holocaust Survivors Association and honorary rebbetzin of B’nai Brith.


She and her late husband, Rabbi Dr Benjamin Gottshall, had served in several congregations including Newcastle, Wellington, Brisbane and Maroubra since they arrived in Australia as Holocaust survivors from Czechoslovakia in 1949.

After his death in 1978, she continued to be active in community and charitable organisations, respected as a counsellor and providing comfort, compassion and friendship.

NCJWA, NSW Division president, Dalia Ayalon-Sinclair, said the proposed establishment of the Rebbetzin Jana Gottshall Memorial Library would be a fitting tribute to honour a true ‘Eshet Chayil”, a Woman of Valour, who was a loved matriarch in the community.

“Referred to as ‘Council’s Rebbetzin’ Jana Gottshall was a devoted Council member after NCJWA founder Dr. Fanny Reading MBE had taken her ‘under her wings’ on arrival to Australia,  and helped deliver her son. Rebbetzin Gottshall genuinely appreciated the work of Council, has inspired many of us and whose passing we still mourn ” said Ms Ayalon Sinclair.


Rabbi & Rebbitzin Gottshall

“We at Council have very strong and favourable memories of Rebbetzin Gottshall’s happy personality and lovely smile, a very special lady who never missed an opportunity to encourage others with kindness”.


NCJWA felt the establishment of a library which reflected Rebbetzin Gottshall’s ongoing interest in education and mentoring of young Jewish women would be most appropriate.

“We believe the library will be the first of its kind in Australia, specialising in Jewish women and encompassing their thoughts, the many issues which impact on them and their contribution to society in areas of social justice, Jewish education, women’s health and more, ” Ms Ayalon-Sinclair said.

“The library will fill a much-wanted need for our members and the community, so to see it come to fruition we will be setting up an advisory panel to design its scope and identify what it will contain”.

Ms Ayalon-Sinclair said that with current refurbishments underway at Council House, plans are already in place for the proposed Rebbetzin Jana Gottshall Memorial Library.


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