It has been a busy and exciting week at Carmel School. Board games club after school on Tuesday was a welcome distraction as the Primary School students enjoyed an enthusiastic session of Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan and Balderdash.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Israeli Ambassador to Australia, Amir Maimon, visited Carmel School and spoke to High School students at a special afternoon assembly. His Excellency was a good storyteller. Our students enjoyed the opportunity to hear him speak and to ask some questions afterwards, which he answered using what was clearly a lifetime of experience. Staff, students and the Tzevet were able to mingle and chat informally to him afterwards, which was a treat and many were fascinated to speculate on what exactly the undercover security contingent were carrying by way of protection for the dignitaries. We are always kept safe by CSG, our Community Security Group, but on this occasion their services were supplemented by other police and security guards. To those of us not used to spending time with dignitaries, the presence of armed guards is more nerve-wracking than reassuring, but the gentlemen involved were charming and looked as though they knew what they were doing. Mr Maimon appeared to be in good hands and I think he enjoyed his visit to the School.

The Primary School swimming carnival on Thursday morning evidenced fabulous organisation from our new Physical Education teacher Mr Zahra, who had even ensured perfect weather for the occasion. There was much excitement and enthusiasm from students and teachers in the stands as well as from parents cheering on their children, which made for a great atmosphere. Thank you to all the staff who worked so hard to make the event fabulous and congratulations to all our winning athletes and the triumphant faction, Nevoh, who won a close competition based on points. A beautiful glass trophy went to Billy Majteles, who had the top score of the day.

The High School swimming carnival that same afternoon was no less brilliant and definitely even louder, with the SRC dressed in snazzy outfits leading some impressive chanting. Strongly fought competition was balanced with fun and sportsmanship and the Year 12 leaders maintained an excellent atmosphere throughout the carnival. Thank you to Mr Quelch, Mr Stent and the many other staff who made the day run so smoothly and Kol hakavod to the winning team, Yerushalayim and to the champion swimmer, Ben Freedman.

A whole day in the sun (the bits where I had evidently not applied sufficient sunscreen are still suffering) was followed by the UIA gala dinner at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Happily, the SRC, senior Hebrew students and the Politics and Law class who joined various staff members for the occasion were beautifully dressed in formal Carmel uniforms rather than the brightly coloured tutus of the swimming carnival earlier in the day. We settled down for an evening of scrumptious Israeli-inspired food, good company and interesting speakers.

As someone very new to Israeli politics, I had no inkling of Mr Naftali Bennett’s political background and I understand opinions are divided on his work (I suspect we could say the same about most politicians!) but he spoke well and I was interested in the way he described the bringing together of so many disparate groups of politicians. I am sure there are those who could think of an appropriate collective noun to refer to a group of politicians, but Mr Bennett spoke charismatically and was expertly questioned by Mr Shor.

This week showcased the many opportunities available to Carmel students. I am confident that there wouldn’t be many other students who could claim to have met and heard an Ambassador and an ex-Prime Minister in the same week! I hope all our students take the time to rest and sleep well this weekend, as we approach the halfway mark of Term 1.


Shabbat shalom.