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Celebrating The Past, Rejoicing in The Present, Looking Ahead To the Future...

40 Years in Profile

As recalled by members of the community due to all historical records and archives being destroyed in the 2011 fire.

1984 – The Beginning

A St. Ives Minyan is initiated due to a desire for Shomrei Shabbat families to daven closer to home rather than walk to the North Shore Synagogue in Lindfield.

February – The first St. Ives Shabbat morning service is held in the home of Peter and Sarah Sinclair with nine men attending.

March – More families join the Minyan and a Friday night service is added in the home of Ivan and Denise Kassel.
Under the umbrella of The North Shore Synagogue in Lindfield, Ivan Kassel and Cecil Zin are seconded to the Board of the Lindfield Shul as representatives of the St. Ives Minyan.

November – Increasing numbers necessitate finding a larger venue. Negotiations with the late Michael Factor, the then president of Masada College, results in permission granted for the St. Ives Minyan to hold their services in a prefab classroom on the school campus.

Bertie Glass leads the Minyan in davening

December – A Sefer Torah is given on loan to the Minyan by the North Shore Synagogue.


Rabbi Wohlgelernter is employed by Masada College and seconded to the St. Ives Minyan.

Simmy Michaels takes on the role of Baal Tefilah.

The Minyan hosts its first Barmitzvah, that of Durand Sinclair.




Attendances to the services increase with close to 200 people attending the Shabbat services on Friday nights.

An official name for the Minyan is instituted – Kehillat Masada

Rabbi Wohlgelernter returns to America.


Reverend Freedman, with wife Ruth and family arrives from England to take up the position of teacher at Masada College and Minister of Kehillat Masada Synagogue.

Membership grows to approx 250 families which necessitates the extension of the venue from one classroom to two.

With over 500 people attending the High Holidays, a specially constructed extension marquee is added onto the two classrooms.

The first Koleinu newsletter is introduced. Daniel Sloman takes over as Baal Tefilah. The inaugural Ladies Guild is established under the chairmanship of Shirley Hersch. Masada College begins construction of a new building which will include a Synagogue.

Kehillat Masada negotiates a lease with the College for the long term use of the Shul. This is a landmark milestone in the evolution of the Kehillah, and the basis of a strong, mutually beneficial partnership that exists until the present day.


April – The first services are held in the new Shul.

The Kehillah receives its first self-owned Torah – donated by Joseph and Gerda Brender in honour of Sam Moss.

August – The Sir Asher Joel Synagogue is officially consecrated by the then Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, Lord Rabbi Jakobovits.

Ian Glass becomes the Baal Tefilah leading the services, and Bertie Glass, the Choirmaster.

Founding President Ivan Kassel steps down and David Glaser takes over as President of the Board of Management.


April – With the full support of The North Shore Synagogue and Rabbi Rogut, Kehillat Masada becomes a fully independent entity with its own constitution.

A new Choir is formed under the leadership of Selwyn Shlom.

The first official supervised childrens service is introduced under the leadership of Talya Grauman and Carolyn Kawalsky.

A new tradition is instituted with the blessing of the children on the Bimah every Rosh Chodesh under the largest fully kosher Talit in the world – especially produced in Israel and donated by Joe and Shirley Hersch.


A Chuppah is purchased by the Kehillah and the first wedding is held in the Shul, that of Tracy Pencharz and Philip Strasser.
With the continuous increase in numbers of children and young people in the community, the position of Youth Director is established with  Ronen Grauman appointed to the inaugural role.
Ivan Kassel is re-elected as President of the Board of Management.


Reverend Freedman is ordained as a Rabbi. The first Bnot Mitzvahs are held in the Shul – those of Jaclyn Cowen, Nicola Gafen and Cindy Levy.


Les Melamed is elected as President of the Board of Management.

The stained glass windows are installed around the Bimah depicting the seven days of Creation. Designed by Adam Chyrek, they are donated by Rob Hyde and family in memory of Mr.Hyde’s late brother.

The Community mourns the passing of two of their great stalwarts-Selwyn Shlom, the dedicated and talented Choirmaster of the Shul, and Michael Factor, whos vision and motivation resulted in the establishment of Masada College High School.

Yair Miller takes over the position of Youth Director. A separate youth service begins in classroom 7 to facilitate the burgeoning numbers of youth in the community. Saville Israelson takes over as Choirmaster.


Joel Camissar is appointed Chazan on the overseas departure of Ian Glass.



Kehillat Masada celebrates its “Barmtizvah” with the premier showing of the movie “That Old Feeling” together with a fundraising campaign to acquire a Sefer Torah.

Ronnie Moss is elected President of the Board of Management. Gary Sher is appointed as the inaugural Young Adults Director


The ‘Barmitzvah’ Sefer Torah is purchased by the community and dedicated in memory of the late Selwyn Shlom.

Kehillat Masada Young Adults (KMYA) is officially launched, creating its own website, and arranging its own functions and events.

Roy Joffee takes on the position of Choirmaster.


Rabbi Lewin is employed as the Kehillah’s first Youth Rabbi.

A Sefer Torah is donated to the community by Moi and Joyce Gordon and family in memory of Moi’s late parents, purchased from the Uitenhage Community in South Africa. Ian Glass returns and takes over the position of Chazan.



South African immigration continues to fuel the surge in membership to over 450 families.

A committee is established to investigate the development of a larger synagogue to accommodate the burgeoning numbers.

MYA initiates the establishment of a Shul library.


Plans are drawn up for the extension of the Synagogue as well as the creation of a Community Centre including a Beit Midrash and Shul library – much needed facilities for Masada College and the North Shore Community.

A fundraising campaign raises $4000,000 dollars to fund the building project.

KMYA’s fundraising harbour cruise & car wash raises over $5,000 towards the building of the new Shul.

Membership numbers over the High Holidays require three separate Minyanim to be held on the campus – in the main Shul, in the Lynette Philip Hall, and a separate youth Minyan held in a marquee with services run by Rabbi Lewin.


January – Construction of the new complex begins.



The building project is completed.

September – The new Shul is re-dedicated by Rabbi Raymond.

Kehillat Masada receives two new Torahs donated by the Neumann Family, one from Israel dedicated in honour of their daughter Shira’s Batmitzvah, in the name of her Grandparents, Lionel and Dora Schapiro and Irwin and Lottie Neumann. The other was purchased from the Bethel Community in South Africa after the Shul closed down.

This Torah was found to be possel but was repaired.


Mervyn Katz takes over as President of the Board of Management



Rabbi Krebs, with wife Tamar and family arrives from Israel to take up the position of Youth Rabbi.



Rabbi Freedman resigns after serving the community for eighteen years.

Rabbi Krebs takes over as interim Rabbi.
Jarred Lazarus is appointed Youth Director.


Rabbi Krebs is contracted as the full time Rabbi of Kehillat Masada.

Cecil Zin takes over as President of the Board of Management.


Plans are drawn up for the extension of the Synagogue as well as the creation of a Community Centre including a Beit Midrash and Shul library – much needed facilities for Masada College and the North Shore Community.

Minyan on the Masada College campus. The courageous and visionary agreement by the Board results in a synergy that, to this day, creates a dynamic and diverse atmosphere on the campus.

Gila Weinberger is appointed Youth Director


Cecil Bass takes over as President of the Board of Management.

KM Cares (Kehillat Masada Cares) is established under the leadership of Rod Silber and Marc Resnik, operated by volunteers for the benefit of the Community. Its many functions include welcoming new families, hospital visits, supporting those in need with meals, services, finance, and much more.

Shira Newmann is appointed Youth director


September – First night Rosh Hashona – A fire burns through the Shul complex. The Shul is badly damaged. The foyers, the kitchens, the Beit Midrash, and Shul office with all records and archives are destroyed. All Torahs are saved but one is damaged.

The remainder of Rosh Hashona services are held on the Chabad campus. Yom Kippur services are held in the St. Ives School hall.

A semi-permanent marquee is erected on the school grounds to house Kehillat Masada’s services until the Shul complex is restored.

KM Cares institutes its annual Tzedakah Box Campaign raising money for the Rabbi’s Benevolent Fund to be used for those members of the community in need.


The restoration of the fire-damaged buildings begins.

Rabbi Widmonte, with wife Cara and family arrives from South Africa to take up the position of Youth Rabbi.

High Holiday services are held in the temporary marquee.

December – restoration is complete and services resume in the Shul.


Rabbi Cohen, with wife Rachel and family arrives from America to take up the position of Rabbi for Ohr Hatzafon.

Ian Glass resigns as Chazan to make aliyah with his family after serving the community for over twenty years.

A new Friday night Shabbat Minyan for Young Families is instituted under the direction of Terry Evian especially to accommodate their needs of an abridged service and an earlier time slot.


Rabbi Ne’ach Koncepolski is appointed the new Chazan.

Howard Sher takes over as President of the Board of Management.

Leora Posniak is appointed Youth director.

A junior Choir develops with the encouragement and teaching of Chazan Ne’ach and Rabbi Widmonte.

The international Shabbat Project event is held on the Shul campus with Kehillat Masada hosting over 600 people for Shabbat lunch.

KM Cares Tzedakah Box campaign raises in excess of $50,000 over a period of four years.

An initiative is established to maintain a link with our members of past years, offering those who have left the community an opportunity to join the “Stay Connected” program.


February – The Kehillat Masada Community commemorates 30 years of growth and achievement with a gala celebratory dinner.

The next era begins with the creation of a new image for the Kehillah symbolizing continuity through the bricks of our ancient past, and the building bricks of our future.


Chazan Rabbi Ne’ach Koncepolski in 2016 departs

The Ku-Ring -Gai Council approves the 22KM North Shore Eruv on November 8th 2016 after difficult and protracted negotiations. A major milestone for the Kehillah and the North Shore


February – Rabbi Noah & Rebbetzin Ruti Kunin appointed as Kihillat Masada’s Youth Rabbi & Rebbetzin team . Rebbetzin Ruti also takes on the role of Community Women’s co-ordinator


October 2018 – Vanesser Sher is appointed as the Youth Co Ordinator for children under Bar/Bat Mitzvah age.


Maish Grauman retires after 10 years of service with Kehillat Masader as Office Administrator .

Ivan Fuchs is appointed Administrative Manager of the Kehillah

The Covid -19 pandemic disrupts Shul services during the early part of 2020 and by Rosh Hashana restricted attendance, by registration, to Shul services was offered to members with vaccination certificates.


July 2021 – Rabbi Krebs leaves Kehillat Masada after 16 years of distinguished service to take up a position as College Rabbi of Moriah College.

In honour of his service Rabbi Krebs is awarded the title Rabbi Emeritus of Kehillat Masada

Rabbi Cohen leaves Ohr Hazafon


January 2022 – Rabbi Nati and Rebbetzen Deb Frieder join Kehillat Masada as Head Rabbi & Rebbetzin, heralding a new and exciting era for the Kehillah


August 2023 – The Kehillah’s long serving President, Howard Sher stands down after 10 years of distinguished service.

In the absence of a replacement President, the Executive of the Board of Management takes on the task of managing the affairs of the Kehillah.

The appointed Executive members are: Yair Miller, Gavin Marx, Dave Selikman and David Sandler

November 2023 – Maish Grauman sadly passes away.

Sue Selikman is appointed Events Co-Ordinator

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