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
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.