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May 2021 Newsletter

Purim 2021 Prep, Mount Scopus



It is so heartening to see children returning to face-to-face learning this year and to learn of some positives which have come out of the challenges of 2020. I commend to you the main article in this edition of the JCAS newsletter which describes the experiences of Julee Wertheimer, one of the many excellent integration aides whom JCAS supports.At JCAS we are proud that we were able to support children with special needs and their families throughout the difficult past year, with the generous support of our amazing donors, the enormous work of our volunteer board members and the tireless work of our Schools Coordinator, Sharon Goodhardt.

We are very excited that the Posh Opp Shoppes are back in full swing! Make sure you pay a visit and browse the many bargains on offer. If you have any quality goods and collectibles to donate, or if you are interested in volunteering in the shops, Rosalie Silverstein OAM and her dedicated team would love to hear from you. You can read more about that below.

JCAS is committed to supporting Jewish children with special needs to attend Melbourne Jewish day schools. This year we will support 252 students across the 11 Jewish day schools to the tune of $668,000.

We can only fulfil our important mission with your support. Please consider making a donation to JCAS. Your support will make the world of difference. 




Thank you again for your ongoing interest and support.




Warmest regards

Trevor Cohen AM


Jewish Children’s Aid Society Inc


Students relishing the resumption of face-to-face contact


After the logistical challenges associated with the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020, students with special needs and teachers’ aides supported by JCAS are, this year, relishing the resumption of face-to-face contact.

One of the Integration Aids, Julee Wertheimer, believes the challenges of 2020 have enhanced students’ learning and appreciation for life prior to the pandemic.

“The children’s transition to online learning fostered in them a greater level of independence and the ability to adapt and thrive in the face of the different situations thrown at them,” she says.

Post lockdown she is seeing more “gratitude” for simple things like friendships and the opportunity to share “playtime”.

“Children have widened their friendship circles and are enjoying each other’s company. They are more tolerant and happier in their play. They used to get fussy over little things and we are seeing less complaints during lunch play.”

JCAS schools coordinator Sharon Goodhardt says student excitement was at an “all time high” when the school year resumed in 2021.

“Everyone was keen to get back to the normal hustle and bustle of school life,” she says.

“With the dedication and commitment of teachers and assistants over 250 children with various disabilities and disadvantage are able to enjoy mainstream Jewish Day School education in Melbourne. School plays, Purim celebrations, guest speakers, sport carnivals and everyday life is made accessible to all through the continued funding of support assistants by JCAS.”

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Students at Sholem Aleichem College enjoying time with Julee Wertheimer in a small reading group.

Posh Opp Shoppes are back!

The Posh Opp Shoppe at 484 Glenhuntly Rd Elsternwick is fully open and back to regular trading hours of Tuesday to Friday 10am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.


The Glenhuntly store at 1226 Glenhuntly Rd is also open, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4:30pm.


Come in and visit Rosalie and the team!


Amongst the bargains and collectibles, you’ll find second-hand uniforms for Bialik and Mt Scopus at the Elsternwick store, and King David uniforms at the Glenhuntly store.


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We would love to receive your donated items, especially any collectibles, jewellery, watches, cameras, brand name clothes, Xbox or Nintendo consoles and games, records, glass and any precious items.

So if you have something sitting in your cupboards not being used, please consider the Posh Opp Shoppes: it could be sold to help kids with special needs.


To arrange pick up or if you have any queries, please contact the Elsternwick store (9528-1777), Glenhuntly store (9572-2248) or click here. For larger furniture items, please contact Jason directly on 0402317020


Ever wanted to get involved with helping out at the Posh Opp Shoppes? If you can spare some time, Rosalie is keen to hear from you.

Here’s what one of our wonderful volunteers has to say about her experience:

“Before starting at the Posh Opp Shoppe around 2010, I perceived opp shoppers as teenagers going through a trend or others unable to afford full-price shops.

How wrong I was!  Working there has opened my mind to a vast new world of people.  There are avid collectors looking for hidden treasurers, traders hoping to find bargains for resale online at a profit, theatre producers searching for props, party goers needing fancy clothes for an “Opp Shop Party” – the list goes on.  And I usually go home with something interesting that I’ve found.

Rosalie’s friendships with people from all walks of life really draws my admiration.  Her generosity towards those who can’t afford what they need;

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Do you want to volunteer at the Posh Opp Shoppes?

her genuine interaction with the community, enabling the type of donations that other Opp Shops would love to have … and her drive to make as much money as possible for children involved in the charity.

Working for the Posh Opp Shoppe makes me feel as though I’m doing something worthwhile … and at the same time, enjoying myself in the company of my friends working there.  I love chatting to the customers and seeing the regulars … it gives me the good feeling of being needed!”

Carol Kennett, volunteer


Contact Posh Opp Shoppes here

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Volunteers from Leibler Yavneh College

JCAS making a real difference


Some messages of gratitude from the Melbourne Jewish day schools


“JCAS has enabled my children to have individual aide support throughout a number of years.  This has allowed my children to be included in the mainstream classroom and achieve academically, socially and emotionally.  Without this additional support they would not have made the progress that they have.  This would have negatively impacted their mental health and self esteem.”

Parent of child supported by JCAS (Yeshiva Beth Rivkah College)

“Nothing I write can express fully the appreciation we have for JCAS and the work they do.  For many children, having additional support in the classroom means that they have access to learning, enabling them to reach their potential academically, develop social skills and emotional well-being.  The impact improves the wellbeing of children, their families, and their teachers.”

Parent and teacher (Leibler Yavneh College)


“Our seven year old child has been a recipient of generous funding by JCAS for the last two years.  The funding has allowed us to engage learning support assistants for our child who has been diagnosed with autism.  Our child has difficulty managing the challenging school curriculum and social environment on their own and it's only with the support offered by learning support assistants that our child is able to get through each day and come home with a smile on their face.  We feel very fortunate to be part of a community that values education for all children and are very grateful for the support of JCAS.  Thanks JCAS!”  

Parent of student (Bialik College)


“As a Learning Support teacher, I work very closely with aides who are funded by JCAS.  These aides provide the support that enables students with difficulties to participate in classroom learning at the same level as every other student.  The aides monitor attention in the classroom and check in with students who have difficulty maintaining focus for lengthy periods of time.  They are able to support students' emotional regulation and provide time out for students who need the break.  Aides are able to repeat instructions, organise materials and de-stress students.  Our JCAS aides are key to the educational progress of all students across the spectrum of strengths and challenges.”

Learning Support Teacher (Mount Scopus Memorial College)

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Who are we?


What is the JCAS Mission? 

JCAS’ mission is to support students with special needs to attend Melbourne Jewish day schools and to ensure that they can participate in mainstream classrooms and school life.

Where does my donation go?

​We fund the cost of teachers’ assistants and aides which are not covered by government subsidies and other sources. We also provide emergency funding in exceptional circumstances; eg for education of a child requiring prolonged hospitalisation or time away from school due to illness.

What percentage of funds raised go directly towards the cause?



For the full story...

                            Read Our HistoryAbout JCAS or  go to FAQ

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A special thank you to Tal Schachna and his family who kindly made a generous donation to JCAS on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah.

Mazel tov and a big thank you Tal! 


Please consider making a tax deductible donation to JCAS this financial year.


Click here to donate now 

A message to our supporters


Thank you to all our loyal sponsors listed below, and to our many other generous donors and supporters.

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Ari Schachna and HWL Ebsworth Lawyers honorary solicitors and proud supports of JCAS.

If you can donate to JCAS in our time of need please click here to donate now

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