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Our Foundation Members

Membership of the Mount Scopus Foundation is determined by one’s level of financial support.
Donations are cumulative and enable progression through the levels.
Gifts may be may be pledged over a few years and the minimum commitment to join the Foundation is $25,000.00.

Member highlights

Lauren and David Shafer

A bit about Lauren and her connection to Mount Scopus?

I came to Mount Scopus in grade 3 when my family immigrated from South Africa. I recall an easy transition and a very positive and enjoyable experience during my entire schooling. I graduated in 2000. I currently have 4 children who all attend Mount Scopus. They are in Little Learners, grade 1, grade 3, and grade 5. I have two sisters who both attended Mount Scopus, and each of their children also do too – so my kids have lots of cousins at the School, making their experience very familiar and welcoming.

What are some key memories from your time at the school?

The school had a very warm, safe, familiar, fun and dynamic atmosphere. The ruach and community spirit was always evident during the chagim and assemblies. I remember the long drives between Templestowe and Burwood and being excited to arrive at school each day. The melodic singinging of the hatikvah at the start of each assembly always moved me. I remember walking down Station Street for pizza dough rolls, and having lots of fun hanging with friends on the Skolnick and Quadrangle. I recall feeling a sense of fulfilment yet sadness at my year 12 farewell as my Scopus journey was coming to end. Little did I realise that 14 years later I would be back starting a new journey at Mount Scopus – as a parent. 

Ulpan was a highlight for me. It was my first overseas trip after immigrating from South Africa, and my first time to Israel. I recall feeling an instant connection to Israel which undoubtedly influenced me to volunteer in the Magen David Ambulance Service for three months after graduating, and to try to pass on a love for Israel to my kids.  

What did Scopus impart on you about being Jewish / your connection to Israel?

Scopus provided me with a wonderful education, but also importantly it provided me with a solid social network and participation in the wider Melbourne Jewish community which is very special to me. Having a community and a sense of belonging is something we feel is very important to our family and something we have really come to appreciate even more so since having children and helping them navigate childhood, COVID lockdowns and their early school years. A strong community atmosphere was important to maintaining a positive and healthy environment during the pandemic years – as the kids would regularly meet for walks around Caulfield Park with Scopus friends, and maintain healthy social lives. The kids already have wonderful friends, from hard-working families with excellent values. These networks help to uplift and nurture the kids as they navigate an increasingly challenging world.

 What does being a Foundation member mean to you?

Mount Scopus has been accommodating to our family – providing our kids an environment that makes them positive, engaged and happy at School. They actually look forward to heading back to School after holidays and long breaks. David often jokes that the kids must be playing games all day as he’s never seen kids so enthusiastic to go to School! Being a Foundation member is a small contribution from our family to help the School further its important work.

Michael Hofman and Esther Belleli

Michael Hofman (OC ‘82) recalls his time at Scopus fondly, attending the Burwood campus with his older brother Irving from kindergarten through to Year 12. Growing up in the Doncaster area with his parents, Salomon and Erna, he wistfully remembers being driven to school and therefore missing out on the school bus experience. Other strong memories are of the Year 11 Kakadu trip, and the school camps held in Ballarat. 

“I remember it being quite cold in winter and not the most comfortable accommodation,” he says, smiling. “But certainly very memorable!”

What also stands out was the support he and his brother received to stay at the school. Both first-generation Holocaust survivors, his parents met in Israel and moved to Australia in the 1960s, newly married and starting their lives anew. 

“I think it’s fair to say they didn’t have a lot of resources,” Michael reflects. “They really didn’t have enough for two private school fees, so I was supported through schemes that Scopus had and I attribute some of my success today definitely to that.”

“I think that’s a really nice aspect of the Scopus community and probably one of the primary reasons why I’ve joined the Foundation,” he adds.

Michael graduated as dux of the school and went on to study medicine at Monash University. Today, Michael also holds a professor appointment at the University of Melbourne and leads a large program in prostate cancer research. 

“The values that Scopus taught me contributed a lot to what I ended up doing, both my pathway through life but also that firm foundation in high-quality education and learning,” Michael says. 

Together with his wife Esther Belleli, Michael continues to hold those values dear and is appreciative of the opportunities Scopus now provides his three children – Alana, Rebecca and Ben. 

His two oldest children are graduates of the Bilingual Hebrew program, which he found very impressive, and he also praises the infrastructure across all three campuses and the education on offer.

“School looks a lot more fun now, compared to my time!” he says.

Helping students who otherwise couldn’t afford a Jewish and Scopus education is also close to his heart. As someone who directly benefited from this, he sees the real effect this can have on a student’s life.

“We should help out those less advantaged kids so that wherever possible, anyone that’s Jewish who wants a Jewish education can go to Scopus,” he says.

“It’s great to become a member of this group who want to commit to the future of Scopus and see it go from strength to strength over time. I really look forward to that opportunity.”

Dorothea Nossbaum, Marion & David Slonim, Debbie & Robbie Nossbaum, Leonie Nossbaum & Sam Siegel

When Dorothea and Richard z”l Nossbaum met in 1946, they were living in Palestine with their remaining family members who had all fled Germany at the onset of World War Two. Life was tough, education was unavailable to them and looking to the future, they decided they wanted a better life for their children.

Shortly after they were married in 1948, they left Israel and the two of them made their way to Australia, leaving their family and familiarity behind. 

“Their story is one of resilience and foresight, they really just had each other,” says their daughter Leonie. 

Without education or financial support, the two worked hard to provide a warm and secure Jewish home for their three children – Marion (OC ‘68), Robbie (OC ‘69) and Leonie (OC ‘77). Having lived through pre-war Germany and Israel, they saw Jewish education as a panacea for antisemitism, and strived to give that opportunity to their children. 

“My father really valued Jewish education, he thought of Jewish life, tradition and culture being kept alive through education,” Leonie explains. “He was quite a religious man and I know he worked really hard to make sure we could attend a private Jewish school.”

All three siblings attended Mount Scopus, and Leonie recalls celebrations such as Yom Ha’aztmaut and opportunities like Counterpoint camp as highlights.

“The school was broad enough to find your own place,” she says. “You could find somewhere you could fit in and there was always somewhere for you, whether it was academically or socially.”

The friendships made and kept also spoke volumes, as well as the values that Scopus instilled in all three siblings as they had their own children and grandchildren, including Leonie’s daughter Carly who’s a teacher at the school and her grandson who attends Gandel Besen’s ELC.

“I’ve got a very strong cultural connection to being Jewish because of what I learnt at school,” says Leonie. “When Scopus comes up, it’s such a talking point, and an anchor.” 

This past year, the family decided to make a significant pledge to Scopus and establish a 

scholarship in memory of their late father. The Richard Nossbaum (z’l) Scholarship will provide direct fee relief to families who are at risk of leaving the College due to financial reasons and Leonie says it’s their affinity with Scopus and what it provided her family that made them decide to give back.

“It’s a very big financial commitment for a lot of families, so we wanted to give opportunities to those who perhaps would miss out,” Leonie explains.

“Being able to go to Mount Scopus, not based on academic achievement but because of a scholarship, will allow someone to be a part of the wonderful community.”

Helen and David Moses

David Moses was born in Carlton and began as a pupil at Mount Scopus in its earliest days at Caulfield synagogue and then St Kilda Road, transferring to the brand new Burwood campus in 1955, and graduating in 1962.

He remembers great times including being taught in a temporary block in Secondary while new buildings were going up around him, and the particular fun (for the students) where Burwood Highway made a deep dip (near modern day Deakin) and the school bus was unable to pass over an overflowing Gardiner’s Creek, necessitating that everyone got out and walked the rest of the way!

Upon meeting Helen at the dances sponsored by ’Club 97’ and beginning to raise a family, there was no discussion. Their children were educated at Mount Scopus and now three grandchildren have continued the family tradition.

For this family, as for so many of us, the College has enabled them to forge lifetime friendships. David commented that “Mount Scopus Memorial College is in my blood; it is part of my DNA; it will always be close to my heart.”

Helen and David joined the Foundation in 2014 and this year became Benefactors. When David addressed the Grandparents and Special Friends Day last year he asked us “to reflect on the incredible & miraculous growth of the College –  this is of course by no small means due to incredible efforts in terms of time & particularly financial support & bequests from many notable individuals, families & institutions- all of whom have had the foresight to appreciate the need & benefit of nurturing our present & future generations to achieve excellence in academic studies to provide a pathway to their future  as well as implanting a strong sense of Yiddishkeit, love for Medinat Yisrael, valued citizens of this wonderful country & moral community awareness & responsibility.”

Eugenia Blashki z”l Family

Bonnie and Adrian Blashki

Adrian OC’70 and Bonnie enjoy looking both backwards and forwards at their Scopus connections.

Adrian’s parents, the late Eugenia and Arnold Blashki MBE, came from long established Australian Jewish families. They were very much involved in the earlier days of Scopus with Eugenia, especially, being a powerful force. They quickly became Foundation members at its inception with Eugenia’s great love for music influencing the direction of their gifts to the development of music and performing arts programs. She honoured her own parents, Sima and Jacob Taft, by dedicating a music studio and was always involved and interested in the College’s progress in this area.

Adrian and Bonnie have continued supporting the Foundation, as part of the Eugenia Blashki Family, and have honoured Eugenia in turn by dedicating a music classroom.

Their three children Courtney, Devon and Erin are also proud Scopus graduates and the family have recently celebrated Devon’s marriage to Rachael, who was a fellow student in his year at school. They say they have a lot to thank Scopus for!

We thank them for their ongoing support and interest and for being such great Scopus ambassadors. We honour them as Benefactors and look forward to their further generational involvement.

Elaine Bloch-Jaffe

Elaine Bloch-Jaffe began her association with us six decades ago as a graduate kindergarten teacher at the Kew Campus of Mount Scopus College. At that time, in 1952, Abe Feiglin was Principal and Elaine was recently married to a young lawyer named Arnold Bloch. Elaine was no stranger to communal life, having travelled from her birthplace of Manchester to Australia in 1938 when her father Rabbi Freedman was invited to take up the pulpit of Melbourne Hebrew Congregation.

The Blochs became parents when their eldest, Susan [Boltin], began school in 1960. Four other children followed.

By 1965 Arnold was President of the College and Elaine a regular hostess for visiting VIPS, shlichim and speakers. “So I was there through [Bursar] Cyril Ashton and [Foundation Executive Director] Jim Myers,” Elaine relates “and didn’t we have some amazing events? I
remember lots of auctions. At one I bought a car! At another, one prize was twelve first class tickets to the USA. A donor bought it and gave a ticket each to everyone on his table!” Whether it was collecting goods for the Annual Bazaar or “roneo-ing” the weekly newspaper,
Elaine was involved. “We were considered very advanced to have a roneo machine but we still had to collate each issue,” she recalls. Arnold Bloch was made a Life Governor of Mount Scopus in recognition of his work, and Beit Aharon, the Arnold Bloch shule at Gandel Besen
House, is named for him.

After Arnold’s untimely death at only 56, Elaine was invited more and more into the spotlight, taking on speaking engagements beginning with a speech at her eldest granddaughter’s Batmitzvah. Two of her children and several grandchildren have settled in Israel but there
have been Mount Scopus graduates in each generation, and with 40 great-grandchildren to date, the dynasty is going strong.

Elaine was a ‘foundation’ Foundation member from the very beginning and remains a staunch supporter of the College. Plenty of women might be slowing down at this stage of life but Elaine is convinced “it doesn’t matter what your age is, there is always some way you
can contribute.”

Karen Stock-Schnall and Danny Schnall

The Stock family were fortunate to have fled Vienna in the period immediately preceding the outbreak of the Second World War. Their influence upon the growth of the Melbourne Jewish community has been profound and their association with Mount Scopus has now entered its fifth generation.

Karen Stock Schnall (OC73) and her husband Danny Schnall (OC70) recently renewed their commitment to the Foundation.

Karen recalls her earliest involvement with the school when she accompanied her grandfather Sigmund, who chaired one of the College’s earliest Building Committees, to the College grounds. Sigmund’s son, Garry, would go on to become President of the College. Karen too has held many significant roles from leading the Presentation Ball Committee in 1997 to being President of the Parents’ Association and Vice President of the College. Karen is a Life Governor and maintains an active interest in the College.

The Stock family has had a long standing passion for the performing arts. Karen recalls that her parents loved attending performances in the Rose Hall featuring their grandchildren. In 1996, the family’s philanthropy led to the dedication of the Susie and Eric Stock Drama Studio which was ultimately incorporated into the Besen Family Performing Arts Centre. In 2005, Karen dedicated the screen and image as part of the redevelopment of the Slezak Multimedia and Technology Centre in memory of her father.

Karen says that while she is incredibly excited at  having  grandchildren enrolled at Scopus she recognises the enormous commitment required by families to provide a Jewish day school education for their children. “My mother valued the sense of identity and community which Scopus instilled in us. Danny and I appreciated all that Scopus gave us and we have treasured the experiences of our children through the Scopus journey. But we also recognise the sacrifices which many families make. If we can help alleviate that burden in some small way then we feel we are carrying on to uphold our family’s history and values”

Rosie Davis Family

Rosie Davis OC ‘69 is thrilled that her three children, Victoria-Lea, Jamie and Bradley together with their partners Tal, Robyn and Nicole, have also chosen Scopus for her grandchildren’s education. Of her seven grandchildren, four are current students with another three to commence over the next few years.

Rosie’s late parents, Jack and Judy Sperling, both Holocaust survivors, instilled in Rosie not only the importance of a Jewish education but also the value of being in a Jewish environment. They truly believed it created a stronger Jewish identity, instilling ‘Yiddishkeit’ and providing the feelings of comfort and confidence.

Rosie recalls that Scopus provided, for both her and her children, a high level of educational programs and critical values combined with longlasting friendships and a powerful sense of community.

These days, Rosie is noticing with great pleasure how her grandchildren are taught and says “it warms my heart to see how they embrace and love all things Jewish. Surely this feeling, underpinned by knowledge, will guarantee them making good choices and perpetuating our traditions. In the world of today, I believe it is vitally important they have a sense of belonging and know who they are. Scopus is giving them that.”

We thank and welcome the Rosie Davis Family for their ongoing support and welcome them this year to the level of Fellow.

Agnes and Joel Freeman

In the early 1980s, Agnes and Joel Freeman started looking for a school for their young son.  Not only was the Kew campus of Scopus conveniently a few hundred metres from their home, but they felt it was also the best Jewish and secular education available for their three children.  The teaching of Jewish traditions closely aligned with the Freemans and after Jeremy’s enrolment into kinder, their daughters Larissa and Vanessa soon followed.

Agnes joined the School board, and was actively involved in efforts to sustain the Kew campus.She devoted countless hours to the College including establishing and growing the annual fashion parade into a major event, participating on the Ulpan sub-committee for many years, overseeing the relaunch of the school uniform and was Ball President in 2000. Agnes was appointed a Life Governor of the College in recognition of her dedication.  

After graduating, their three children all partnered old collegians of the College keeping the connection to Scopus strong.  Now as grandparents, Agnes and Joel take great pleasure watching the next generation of their family enjoy the same values given to their own children.  As Joel comments “we are proud and delighted that our 6 grandchildren are (or soon will be) Scopus students.  In particular the sense of Jewish continuity and education is of vital importance to us.”

Earlier this year, the Freemans joined the Foundation, because they “felt it was the right time and we are lucky enough to be in a position to do so.  It also sets an example within our family for future generations.”

Caroline and Alan Wein

Caroline, OC’77, (nee Sweet) and Alan firmly believe that not all people come into the world with the same skills and abilities, let alone opportunities. They also believe that education is a foundation stone of Jewish values. That is why they have sent their children to Scopus and encouraged them in turn, to send their children to the College.

Alan says “the Scopus experience offers outstanding secular learning combined with a traditional Jewish education that provides children with the opportunity to make choices and make decisions based upon sound values. These choices are broad today; and they not only lead to the traditional academic motifs of medicine, law and commerce, but now extend to technology, arts and a range of commerce, sciences and other options that encourage children to pursue courses that interest them and align with their talents. Scopus provides this platform in a caring and nurturing environment.”

They understand that sacrifices for parents are great, but say the rewards are overwhelming. “Our family has enjoyed great satisfaction over decades at the school and we hope and expect that our grandchildren will benefit and enjoy the experiences Scopus offers and contribute towards the improvement of our community, country and world in which we live”.

Thank you Caroline and Alan for sustaining your beliefs and your support.

Become a Foundation Member

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