Wrapping Down Under: Australia’s Jewish Community Joins the World Wide Wrap

by Evan Rumack

This coming Super Bowl Sunday, thousands of men and women will take part in the World Wide Wrap, sponsored by FJMC. Most in the northern hemisphere will be shedding winter coats as they enter the synagogue and photos of the event will show wrappers in midwinter attire. It is late summer in southern-hemisphere Australia, however, where two kehillot (communities) join in the FJMC World Wide Wrap. Those of us in the northern hemisphere feel a pang of jealousy when we see the photos of wrappers around the pool or in shorts and t-shirts!

Eric Lundberg reports from Sydney for Emanuel Synagogue:

The synagogue hosts many “streams” in a pluralistic community, with the Masorti (Conservative) stream forming about 25 percent of the congregation. The Masorti minyan was formed nearly 20 years ago.

In 2011 the wrap included b’nai mitzvah candidates, first-time wrappers, and old hands. Rabbis Jeffrey Kamins and Paul Jacobson helped participants learn about the mitzvah of tefillin and led the shacharit service. Afterward, all retired to the board room for a brunch and discussion of how each participant personally relates to the mitzvah of tefillin. They agreed that the Wrap is a way for people to reclaim this important mitzvah, which gives a direct yet personal connection with our tradition. Additionally, the World Wide Wrap is a wonderful way to spread the word that we can be both egalitarian and traditional at the same time in our Jewish practice.

From Melbourne, John Rosenberg writes about Congregation Kehilat Nitzan:

This Masorti minyan formed in 1994 as an offshoot of the Reform synagogue Kehilat Emanuel and over the years it has grown to become a congregation of 250 families. The congregation is pleased to have Rabbi Adam Stein as its full-time rabbi and is awaiting the renovation of its own building. The Melbourne community has participated continuously since the first World Wide Wrap in 2000. Attendance has ranged from 12 to 30 men, women, and members of the younger generation and the Wrap is considered an integral part of the calendar. All members of the kehillah are actively encouraged to attend, particularly those in their bar/bat mitzvah year. The Wrap, which has been held at the home of Bev and John Rosenberg just about every year, is followed by a brunch of bagels and fruit.

Both Emanuel Synagogue and Kehilat Nitzan are looking forward to participating in the 2012 World Wide Wrap and extend a yasher koach to FJMC for its leadership in organizing this event.

To register your club or synagogue and get more information about the February 5, 2012 World Wide Wrap, please go to

Evan Rumack is a past president of FJMC Midwest region and now is on the CJ editorial committee.

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