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North Shore Temple Emanuel

a Progressive Jewish Congregation

Our Board of Directors

Meet our 2019/20 Board of Directors

Gwen Harrison -  President

“Over the years, NSTE has given my family a sense of community in a modern Jewish context. I want to support and promote this community so that others may enjoy the same.”

Gwen Harrison is serving her third year on the NSTE Board, becoming Vice President in October 2016 and appointed as President in May 2018. She dedicates as much time as she can to fulfil her NSTE responsibilities each week.

With 23 years’ experience as a Patent Attorney, Gwen brings analytical and organisational skills to the Board.



Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Education, NSTE Meah Hebrew & Religion School, Chair of Executive

Current Projects / Task Forces

  • Strategic planning

Volunteering – NSTE

  • Lay leadership

Edward Baral - Vice President

“As a member, I was incredibly impressed with the approach that the board transition team was taking with the Community Conversations held in 2016.  At a time of significant change, it would have been tempting to find quick solutions but most organisational mistakes are made in haste and our board took the brave decision to step back, engage deeply with our members to truly understand their needs and wants before committing to a path forward. 
I respect and admire this considered and strategic approach and was keen to find out more about the team behind it. The more that I discovered, the more that I wanted to join them and help our community to navigate our way into a successful future.”



Edward Baral and his family have been members at NSTE for 12 years and recently celebrated his son, Harry’s, Bar Mitzvah.  With Harry actively involved in the Teen Torah Tag Team and Netzer and Edward’s daughter, Lee, enrolled at Meah and preparing for her Bat Mitzvah, Edward is actively involved in communal life.

Edward joined the NSTE Board in late 2016, becoming Vice-President in 2018.

Currently, Executive Manager, Commercial at Westpac, Edward has a background in E-commerce, marketing, and digital media.

Portfolio Responsibilities
•    Membership & Marketing

Volunteering – NSTE 
•    Shammash
•    Warden
•    Capital Appeal Support and as otherwise called upon


Geoff Wolf - Vice President

"NSTE is at a unique point in its history and I am honoured to join the Board of Directors and make a contribution to the organisation that has provided so much to my family  and the community."

Geoff and his family have enjoyed a lifelong association with NSTE, with his parents being founding members and Geoff meeting his wife, Jenny, in the early days of our youth groups. In later years, Geoff and Jenny married on our campus (incidentally it was the last wedding in the former Sanctuary, now occupied by the Preschool!), and they saw both their daughters attend the Preschool and experience their B’nei Mitzvah with us.


Geoff’s background is in the hospitality and hotel industry and he is currently involved in the retirement and aged care sector.

He was appointed as Vice President in May 2018.

Portfolio Responsibilities

Yet to be advised

Current Projects / Task Forces

Yet to be advised

Volunteering – NSTE

I have been an NSTE member for most of my life and have helped in a variety of capacities over the years including:

  • Volunteering at the NSTE fetes that were held in the now Westfield carpark

  • Arranged a Bar/Bat Mitzvah reunion function for the Jubilee events

  • Assisted at Senior Citizens Concerts

Julia Selby - Treasurer/Secretary

"I hope to contribute to the long-term sustainability of NSTE for future generations, building on the work of others to maintain its welcoming presence as a Progressive synagogue for our community, as well as demonstrating a commitment to the wider community through tikkun olam. "



Julia has been associated with NSTE since her parents joined as founding members in 1961, when she was in primary school.  She became a member herself over 20 years ago when she returned to Sydney after living interstate and overseas as her career developed. Since 2017 Julia has chaired NSTE’s Jews for Social Action (JSA).  Julia joined the board in 2018 and assumed the Secretary/Treasurer role in 2019.

In her career, Julia worked in student administration and management at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) from 2004-2015, and was also Company Secretary from 2008-2016. Prior to joining NIDA, she had a long career with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), including serving overseas as a Trade Commissioner, as well as having a range of roles in Australia.

Julia’s not for profit board experience includes being on the board of an independent school for more than 10 years.

Portfolio Responsibilities

·       Finance, General Executive responsibilities, Governance, NSTE Programming Committee

Current Projects / Task Forces

·       Governance – policy updates

Volunteering – NSTE

·       Jews for Social Action

·       Warden


Tony Abo - Board Member

Tony Abo has been a member of NSTE since he and his family moved to Sydney in 1998. He has served in the NSTE Board since May of 2016. Tony serves the NSTE community as Gabbai, Shammash, lay service leader and Torah reader, B'nei Mitzvah tutor and is the primary convenor of B’nei Mitzvah rehearsals. Tony works closely with Rabbi Nicole, assisting in the coordination of the B’nei Mitzvah program at NSTE. He is also a member of the NSTE choir and regular volunteer in the planning and execution of Temple activities.

Beyond his roles at the Temple, Tony is a software developer, delivering applications that facilitate response of emergency services for police, fire, and medical, and the administration of those services.


Jennifer Ruskin - Board Member

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to give back to the community that has provided a Jewish home in Sydney for my family."

Jennifer Ruskin joined the Board in 2018. She has engaged in different aspects of the NSTE community, including playgroup, Meah and the Community Families Club, for about six years. 

Drawing on her career as an academic in work-integrated learning and social entrepreneurship, as well as prior experience as a manager in the non-profit space, Jennifer brings facilitation, research and program development skills to the Board.

Portfolio Responsibilities
To be confirmed

Current Projects / Task Forces 
Jennifer has done some previous work with emerging initiatives at NSTE related to extending program opportunities geographically and leadership development. She will continue work on these and other initiatives. 

Volunteering - NSTE 

  • NSTE Playgroup
  • Young family service activities

Ingrid Amoils - Board Member

"I am delighted to have been invited to join the Board. I will strive to make a valuable contribution to the future of our community, with a particular focus on Meah Hebrew and Religion School, based on my experience in supporting leadership development, advancing strategy and as a past teacher and a parent at Meah. I cherish our community.  This is a wonderful way to support future growth."  

Ingrid Amoils joined the Board in 2018. Originally, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in South Africa, Ingrid is now the co-founder of Bamboo Associates, which is focused on high impact, practical growth strategy for owner/manager businesses.  

She has accumulated significant business coaching experience for the last nine years in Australia, with a specific focus on leadership, management, and advancement of strategy.  Although not a qualified teacher, Ingrid has a love of teaching and has taught in many different environments including lecturing a business course at the University of Cape Town, lecturing accounting to adult evening classes, and teaching Hebrew and Jewish studies at Meah and for the NSW Board of Jewish Education.   

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Education
  • Meah Hebrew and Religion School

Current Projects / Task Forces -  

  • Support to Meah Director including refinement of Meah resources and support processes
  • Support NSTE Board strategic planning process    

Volunteering (within and outside of NSTE) -

Within NSTE, as requested. Outside NSTE, since 2008, Ingrid has been a trustee of the Friends of Mthimkhulu Trust, based in South Africa, which provides support to vulnerable children.    

Robin Braun - Board Member

Rob grew up on a diary farm in George, South Africa where he learned to milk the cows. This was a skill which he later put to good use on a kibbutz refet when living in Israel. His schooling was at SACS in Cape Town. Rob and his wife Cathy have three children. They moved to Australia in 1998.

After working in industry for 10 years, he turned to academia and is now Professor of Telecommunications Engineering at University of Technology Sydney.

Rob is passionate about turning his skills and experience to benefit the community. He is thrilled to be able to join the Board of NSTE and make whatever contribution he can.


Jason Levin de Graaff - Board Member

Jason has been associated with NSTE Synagogue since about the age of 6 when he started at Meah in around 1981. His family have been members since that time and Jason had his Bar Mitzvah at NSTE in 1987.

In October 2018 Jason and his family and friends celebrated the Bat Mitzvah of his daughter, Mirabai. It was through that process that Jason has reconnected with the NSTE, having been so impressed and humbled by the hard working and welcoming community. 

For some time now Jason has wanted to contribute and give something back. He feels honoured to have been considered for appointment to the NSTE Board. 

In his professional life Jason is a lawyer working as Executive Counsel at Workdynamic, a specialist employment law firm. Jason has a strong background in workplace investigations, resolving workplace disputes, policy development and risk management. Jason also has particular expertise in the area of child protection. 

Jason values highly the opportunity of working with the Rabbis, others on the NSTE Board and everyone in the NSTE community. 

Wed, 27 May 2020 4 Sivan 5780