It gets a little cooler…

After the hottest summer on record (wasn’t December lovely?) there’s been a slight cooling in the weather, something that lets us know that autumn is coming, a change of seasons.

And of course, another Festival; Purim! Check out the different Purim events happening around Auckland and in Wellington this week…

Wellington 28th Feb

Look who is coming to Temple Sinai’s Purim Party!


Please arrive by 5.45pm for a 6pm start on Wednesday 28th February.


Enter the annual Temple Sinai Competition to be immortalized on the

*to enter, please arrive early with 5 of your bestest hamentashen ever!
(4 for the judges and 1 for me)

And remember…

Lakova sheli shalosh pinot, Shalosh pinot lakova sheli.
Lu-ley hayulo shalosh pinot, Lo haya ze hakova sheli!

Auckland 28th Feb

Date: Wednesday 28 February.

Shul service starts 7pm. The Book of Esther will be read and then the party starts.

This is a costume party.

The Jews Brothers Band will perform.

Pizza and hot chips, Israeli platters with hummus and falafel, hamantaschen cookies, and cake will be served.

There is a fast until sundown at 8.30pm so the food will start at that time.

Auckland 1st March

Chabad Purim Party: Thursday March 1st at 4.30pm at the Raye Freedman Library… All welcome!

Fun activities for children and chit chat for adults!

See you there! But please direct any enquiries to

Sunday School

As a child, I went to Sunday school – the gentile version. It was enjoyable in parts, and it is something that is part of my history. I found out recently that Sunday Hebrew School is also a part of many Jewish adults history! Guess being dragged along to Sunday school by our parents is common to Jews and Gentiles alike!

So, if you want your kid to grow up with memories of Sunday Hebrew School, then grab this opportunity – Term One of Hebrew Class for children at the Library.

“Following a successful year, we are reopening our Auckland Hebrew School for 2018.
Small classes with emphasis on reading, writing and speaking through interactive learning, your children will learn Hebrew in a warm and welcoming environment with lots of fun.
The classes will run on Sunday from 10:30 am to 12 pm.
Ages: 3 – 12 years old
Yael HaCohen for the group age 3-6 years old
Shelly Tenembaum for the age group 6-12 .years old

We will structure the group according to the skill level and need of the child e.g. if your child is a native Hebrew speaker, we will focus on writing and reading. If your child is an English speaker, we will focus on Hebrew reading and writing alongside oral skills. For more information, contact us here.”


If you love food, particularly Israeli and Middle Eastern food, then David Cohen will be exploring this region in a series of blog posts/columns. As he says;

“I’m buzzy. This week sees the start of my very own Middle Feast, a newsletter offering reviews, reports and raves on the cuisines of my favorite region. The publication was spurred by own long-standing enthusiasm as an amateur chef, but also the crying need (as I’ve seen it) for something that pulls together information, interviews and insights on a subject that’s both wildly popular but also not well served in the English language. Initially at least, most of the items will be free-to-air but it will eventually be sold on subscription for the monthly cost of a coffee and slice of halva.

The newsletter will publish twice a week. It can be seen on the site, which is hosted by Substack, or be received by email. Substack itself is an exciting new media venture — one of whose owners is the ever-nimble Hamish McKenzie — that offers one of the best paths forward for writers seeking to monetize their work. I’ll post more about it in the coming weeks, because I think it should be of huge interest to friends in medialand.

In the meantime, do pop over and have a read and — if the spirit moves — sign up.”

David concludes with a photo of his version of that famous hangover dish, the shakshuka.

The Library has a kosher kitchen, so David may possibly in the future give a cooking lesson. Something yummy to look forward to!


Were you one of the over 500 people who attended LIMMUD 2017 last year, here in Auckland? Wasn’t it great?! Well, LIMMUD 2018 will be back with more fantastic Jewish learning and schmoozing opportunities! Don’t miss out, block out Saturday August 25th and Sunday August 26th for two days of amazingness and yummy food! More details soon. Search LIMMUD NZ on Facebook for their page.

Save our Torah! 

Dunedin was a boom town in the 1870s – 1890s, and was the largest town in NZ at that time. It became wealthy on the back of gold diggings in Central Otago, and a strong Jewish community was established. It is likely during this period a Torah was brought to the community for use.

Now, the Dunedin community would like to restore this torah, and are seeking funding assistance. They have set up a GiveaLittle page where you can chip in a dollar or two to help preserve Jewish history in Aotearoa NZ.

Please consider donating whatever amount you can. They are a small community and would appreciate support from elsewhere in NZ!


Dear Friends and Supporters,

“Call for Your Stories and Names – Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron

Are you willing to share a moment from a story (your story or your family’s or a friend’s) from the Holocaust or from Israel’s wars or the consequences of terror against Israel?

A three to five minute piece about one moment or part of the story would be ideal for the ceremonies (11 April – Yom Hashoah, 18 April – Yom Hazikaron).

We would also like to hear from you if you have not submitted your family member names in the past, we would be honoured to add these to the annual memorial presentation of names as well. In addition we are collecting names for Yom Hazikaron to remember those who have fallen in the IDF or as a result of terrorism against Israel. If there is someone you would like to be honoured/ remembered, please let us know.

Please contact Idit Forster of the Zionist Federation of New Zealand at to share your story or add names.


The ZFNZ and Yoms 2018 Organising Committee”

So it’s a busy few weeks here at the Library! As always I’m available for your reading needs, so feel free to contact me.

Wishing you all Shalom Shabbat, and a noisy Purim!


We acknowledge the support of the Raye Blumenthal Freedman Trust for the Library. Thanks for you ongoing support!