Carmel School, Perth

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Carmel School
Dianella & Yokine, WA
Australia Australia
Coordinates 31°53′59″S 115°51′47″E / 31.8998°S 115.863°E / -31.8998; 115.863Coordinates: 31°53′59″S 115°51′47″E / 31.8998°S 115.863°E / -31.8998; 115.863
Type Private
Motto Faith & Knowledge
Denomination Jewish
Established 1959
Principal Shula Lazar
Staff ~80
Enrolment ~750
Colour(s) Blue and White

Carmel School is a private Modern Orthodox Zionist Jewish school in Perth, Western Australia which was founded in 1959. It offers Jewish religious and cultural education as well as conventional secular education for students from Kindergarten to Year 12 though its two school components: "a full-time primary school",[1] and high school. It is the only Jewish day school in WA.[2]


The Perth Hebrew School, housed by The Perth Hebrew Congregation "was the forerunner to Carmel School". It doesn't have many members anymore, due to the existence of Carmel School.[3]

In 1957 a Jewish kindergarten was opened with 17 pupils, which led to the creation of Carmel School in 1959. Its first location was adjacent to the Brisbane Street synagogue, before moving to the current location in Yokine in 1962. The junior high school was opened in 1974 and in 1978 the senior high school was completed.[4]

In 2005 and 2006, Carmel School took part in the S.C.R.A.M (Schools Conflict Resolution and Mediation) initiative.[5]

In November 2006 it opened a state-of-the-art Early Learning Centre which houses students from Kindergarten to Year 1.

Since 2008, the school has hosted annual meetings by The Australian Association for Religious Education entitled "Common History – Shared Future", which are "about Judaism [and] featuring some eminent Jewish educators and speakers from around the world".[6]

In 2009, on the 80th birthday of Carmel School Life Member Harry Hoffman OAM, the school published a book about his life entitled Hate Never Sat At My Table. The author was then-principal Christina Dullard. In honour of Hoffman's (and the Korsunski's) philanthropic contributions to Carmel, in the same year the school was renamed H & S Hoffman and G Korsunski Carmel School.[7]

On 13 September 2009 the Kadima Performing Arts Centre, a state-of-the-art building for drama and arts and media was opened.[8] It also celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.[9] In 2012, the drama theatre was named the Nassim Family Theatre, "in lovely memory of Gladys Nassim at a cocktail evening".[10]

The school has officially adopted The Jewish War Memorial (located on Fraser Avenue, Kings Park). It seeks to do research into the military servicemen.[11] The school has also adopted the Memorial to the Victims of the Holocaust.[12]

In the week leading up to 11 April 2010, Brendan O’Connor, the minister for Home Affairs visited Carmel School to talk to students and staff about internal terrorism threats and border security.[13]

Also in 2010, the Ishioka and Lara Hana Brady, the subjects of the book Hana's Suitcase were invited to visit Carmel and speak about the Holocaust.[14]

In 2011, the school officially opened its new gym.

In 2011, "in commemoration of Gilad Shalit’s captivity, members of the executive went into Carmel School, and delivered a presentation in honour of Gilad Shalit". They gave out yellow ribbons to students, and encouraged them to sign the "‘hands for hope’ banner, which was sent to Gilad Shalit’s tent in Jerusalem".[15]

The school holds annual Jewish camps for students, which are hosted by Israeli madrichim.

Relationship with community[edit]

Carmel School is situated in the same area as the Jewish Centre, Maccabi Grounds, The Maurice Zeffert Home, and other Jewish facilities. It upholds a relationship with all these places.[16]

The home page for the Perth Hebrew Congregation says it serves to "supplement...the Jewish education received by those students who...attend Carmel School".[17]

Due to the Maurice Zeffert Home's close proximity to Carmel School, the residents at the aged care facility are "enthusiastically entertain[ed]...with concerts [by Carmel School Students] at regular intervals".[16]

Motto and Vision[edit]

Carmel School's motto is Emunah V'da’at (English: Faith and Knowledge) and is the philosophy of the school. This motto is displayed on the school crest. The vision of the school is Am Yisrael Chai.[18]

The 3 biggest aims and challenges for the school are to retain quality Jewish education, quality secular education, and sustainable financial management.[19]


Hebrew and Jewish Studies are both WACE subjects which are taught to high school students, while various Judaica topics are taught to the younger students. Praying is compulsory every morning before school commences.

The Role of Music in Terezin course is taught to Year 12 by Shirley Atlas as part of Holocaust Studies.[20]

Debbie Posner is the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher and Program, and Debbi Benn is the Coordinator of Primary School Hebrew and Jewish Studies.[21]

The entire campus has a "No Meat Policy",[22] and all food on site is encouraged to be in accordance with the kashrut laws.


The school has an enrolment fee of $200 and states that a "fee schedule is available upon application", although as its philosophy is to "not exclude any Jewish child", it also "offers fee assistance as needed".[23]

In Australian Jewish high schools, Holocaust education is taught as part of the Jewish Studies curriculum under Contemporary Jewish History. A study of Jewish schools in Australia by Sophie E. Gelski entitled The Missing Paradigm, cited Dr Judith Berman's research Berman’s 1998 and 2001 research, which focused on "the Jewish day school experience in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, over a fifty year period". She noted that "although the time devoted to teaching the Holocaust had increased, it did vary between a one semester course at Carmel School".[24]

In January 2009, the school had 67 computers.[25]

School leaders[edit]

Alan Hershowitz has been President of the Board since 2008.[26] Larry Rudman is the current President of the Board


  • Michael Singer (Principal of G Korsunski Primary School) (deceased)
  • Issy Segal (first principal of JN Shochet High School) (deceased)
  • Ian Ramsay (High School)
  • Mervyn Danker (1987–1989)
  • Dr Nathan (Norm) Hoffman (1989–1992)
  • Christina Dullard (1992 to 2003) (deceased)
  • Lorraine Day (2004–2008)[27]
  • David Taylor (2008–2015) (Head of Primary from 2001-2008[6])
  • Shula Lazar (2016–Present)

Directors of Jewish Studies[edit]

  • Reverend Dobelsky (1973 - ?)[28][29]
  • Rabbi Haim Perez (Jan 1985-June 1988)
  • Rabbi Marcus Solomon (1988–1990)[30][31]
  • Yaacov Levi (1990–1996)
  • Rabbi Moshe Bernstein (1996–2003)
  • Leon Blacher (2003–2010)
  • Nati Recht (2010–2012)
  • Simon Lawrence (2012–present)[32]

Statistics and achievements[edit]

In 2009, the class of 2009 achieved some standout results in the Tertiary Entrance Ranking (TER):[33]

  • 36% of students achieved a TER of 90 and above
  • 16% of students were placed in the top 2% of the state with a TER of 98 and above
  • Carmel School is the only school in the state with 100% of its students completing 4 or more TEE subjects
  • The average TER for Carmel School was 81.56 (ranking is between 0 and 99.95)
  • Two students were awarded a General Exhibition (Melissa Hadassin and Jake Steed) (being in the top 40 in the state across five subjects - includes two humanities and 2 maths/sciences)
  • One student received a Course Exhibition (the highest score in the state) for Calculus (Jake Weiner)
  • One student was awarded certificates of distinction (ranking in the top 0.5%) for Applicable Mathematics, Calculus, Physics and Chemistry (Blake Segler)
  • One student was awarded certificates of distinction (ranking in the top 0.5%) for Calculus and Chemistry (Jake Weiner)
  • Certificates of Excellence (10 A grades in Years 11 and 12) were awarded to 4 students
  • One student achieved a Tertiary aggregate of 400 out of a possible 400. The student was however ineligible for a General Exhibition due to the requirement that students must study two humanities courses. The student was awarded an Excellence Award and the Fogarty Foundation Scholarship of UWA. (Blake Segler)
  • Two students achieved the highest possible tertiary ranking of 99.95 (Blake Segler and Jake Weiner)

The school has also received other academic achievements:

  • The percentage of children who achieved above the National Minimum Standard in the 2009 NAPLAN tests is as follows:
Year Reading Writing Spelling Grammar Numeracy
3 97% 98% 95% 98% 88%
5 86% 77% 82% 94% 91%
7 87% 96% 83% 87% 84%
9 100% 92% 98% 92% 100%
  • In 1999, Carmel School student Neil Rabinowitz won the 1999 Beazley Medal. He achieved a score of 100% for English Literature, Applicable Mathematics and Calculus, 95.5% for Economics, 90.6% for Chemistry and 88.5% for Physics. He won the Beazley Medal with a Curriculum Council Award Score of 97.21, the highest combined scores in both the humanities and maths/science TEE study list areas. In that year, he, along with fellow Carmel School students David Korman, Lauren Goldblatt and Mark van Proctor all received General exhibitions.[34][35]
  • In 1997 and 2004, Carmel School has won the Grand Final for the Interschool Mock Trial Competition, run by the Law Society of Western Australia.[36]
  • In 2010, Carmel School came fifth out of all WA schools in the league table (which is determined by "calculating the percentage of stage three course students who achieved a WACE course of 75 or above").[37]
  • In 2012, year 12 student Russel Goldblatt was awarded a General Exhibition, a Course Exhibition for Physics, Certificates of Distinction for Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.[38]
  • Based on the NAPLAN scores for Year 7 and Year 9, Carmel School was the 22nd best Secondary School, with a score of 3568, slightly lower than their 2010 score of 3585.[39]
  • Carmel School's performance in the 2009 TEE/2010 WACE can be found at: [3] and [4] respectively.
  • In 2011, Jonathan Adonis received Dux, Daniel Schutz got runner up Dux, and Kerri Jawno was awarded the Principal’s Prize for "her outstanding contribution in Year 12".[40]
  • In 2011, Carmel School had an 100% graduation rate. The school was ranked 25th based on the percentage of students who got a WACE score of over 75, out of those who did a Stage 3 course, with 18.64%.

The school has performed well in the WACE exams and has consistently rated in the top 50 schools in the state.

Year % +75 in WACE[i] State ranking[ii] % +65 in WACE[iii] State ranking % graduation[iv]
2012 28.74 5 59.28 6 100[41]
2011 18.64 25 58.19 14 100[42]
2010 30.25 5 64.00 10 100[43]
2009 31 17 97.22[44]
  1. ^ Based on the number of Stage 3 course enrolments in the school where a WACE course score of 75 or above was achieved
  2. ^ Ranking of school compared to other schools in the state
  3. ^ Based on the number of Stage 3 course enrolments in the school where a WACE course score of 65 or above was achieved
  4. ^ Percentage of Year 12 cohort that graduated with a WACE certificate


In 1996, there was a case in which a mother who was a Reform Convert sought to have the Orthodox school accept her son for enrollment. A court case ensued in after "the [family] was handed a letter stating specific religious restrictions which would be placed on their son because he was not Jewish according to Orthodox definitions, and therefore prohibited by halacha from participating in some school programs. The Equal Opportunity Tribunal handed down a 46 page document in which it dismissed the family's complaint."[45] The result of the Goldberg vs. Korsunski Carmel School case, delivered in 1999, was significant for all religious schools, as it effectively allowed "such school to discriminate in favour of members of that particular religion or creed, as long as the discrimination is in 'good faith'". The Equal Opportunity Tribunal defined 'good faith' as "in accordance with practices or beliefs of that religion or creed", and added that it was not required of the school to have to justify those practises or beliefs to "the outside world".[46][47]

In 2008, Carmel School science teacher Jeff Cahill, 48, committed suicide after being "linked to child sex-offense allegations". The 15-year-old was not a Carmel student. Cahill's lawyers said he had been led to believe the youth was 17, when in reality he was underage. Alan Hershowitz, then Carmel School president told newspaper JTA "the school board had [already] decided to suspend him because of the allegations". He was not able to be formally notified as he "died the next day". His funeral was attended by over 500 people, including many Carmel students and teachers.[48][49]


  1. ^ Australind. 1971. p. 11. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  2. ^ [1]Archived 15 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "The Perth Hebrew Congregation Igeret 13th January". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Carmel School History
  5. ^ "History of Scram-A-Celebration". S.C.R.A.M. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Common History – Shared Future". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Hoffman Leadership and Responsibility Program" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Blog Archive » Kadima". Jewgle Perth. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  9. ^ Frankel, Miriam (2009-09-08). "50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CARMEL SCHOOL EDWARD ISAAC PACHTMAN". Esra Magazine. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  10. ^ "The PHC Igeret 1 0 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 2" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "ANZAC - A Grateful State Remembers - Home". 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  12. ^ "Memorial to the Victims of the Holocaust—Perth, Australia. - The Holocaust on". Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  13. ^ "Federal visit secured - inMyCommunity - Perth, Western Australia". 2010-05-11. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  14. ^ "'Hana's Suitcase' talk tonight in Melbourne | The Australian Jewish News". 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  15. ^ "Australasian Union of Jewish Students Annual Report 2011". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "The Maurice Zeffert Home Inc. document". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Perth Hebrew Congregation: The Perth Hebrew School". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  18. ^ School aims
  19. ^ "Blog Archive » Carmel School AGM". Jewgle Perth. 2008-05-25. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  20. ^ "The Role of Music in Terezin" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "8th Biennial Australian Jewish Educators' Conference" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "Perth Camp Registration". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  23. ^ Armstrong, Claire (2011). "If the fits school fits" (PDF). OffspringMagazine. p. 61. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  24. ^ Gelski, Sophie E. (2010). "The missing paradigm" (PDF). p. 34. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  25. ^ "National Secondary School Computer Fund: Round Two Successful Schools January 2009" (PDF). p. 29. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ Who's who in Australia. The Herald and Weekly Times. 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Our Rabbis & Shlichim". Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Rabinowitz Family Homepage". Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  35. ^ [2] Archived 1 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Private girls' schools top league tables". 13 January 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  38. ^ "School Curriculum and Standards Authority EXHIBITION AND AWARD WINNERS 2012". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  39. ^ "THE TOP 50 WESTERN AUSTRALIA" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  40. ^ "We extend heartiest mazeltov wishes". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  41. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  42. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  43. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  44. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  45. ^ Archived 28 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  46. ^ Offer, Kate (2000). "Religious Schools and Equal Opportunity: Lessons from Goldberg v. Korsunski Carmel School". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  47. ^ "Case Notes: Religious Schools and Equal Opportunity: Lessons from Goldberg v Korsunski Carmel School". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  48. ^ "Perth teacher's death linked to sex offenses". JTA. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  49. ^ Cox, Nicole; Bassett, Jon (14 June 2008). "Teacher charged with sex offence commits suicide". 

External links[edit]