About Us

Our Mission

We provide care to people in the Jewish community and all other communities irrespective of religion.

Our highly skilled staff work around the clock to provide the best possible care to people during times of uncertainty, helping them get back on their feet with the practical and emotional skills necessary to rebuild a meaningful, independent life.

We are non-judgemental and believe in the Jewish philosophy of compassion, dignity and respect for all who walk through our doors providing health, welfare and social services to hundreds of people each year.

Our History

Jewish House was founded in 1983 by brothers Anthony and Roger Clifford. Their substantial donation enabled the purchase of a building in Bondi and supported the organisation to grow through its early years.

Initially a centre for counselling those affected by drug and alcohol abuse. Since 1983 Jewish House has led the way in crisis services for vulnerable people in the community irrespective of religion.

Our Board

Roger Clifford OAM, President

add remove

Roger, together with his brother Anthony, founded Jewish House in 1983. He is a prominent businessman and owns the Arc Fashion group. His business acumen and compassionate regard for his fellow humans has always been an invaluable guide for Jewish House and its staff. He and his brother Anthony were recently awarded an OAM in recognition of service to the Jewish community of Sydney.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel OAM, CEO

add remove

Rabbi joined Jewish House as CEO at the beginning of 2008. He has been providing rabbinic expertise to the Sydney community for almost 30 years, is a rabbinic fellow of the Great Synagogue, Board member of NCOSS and Ending Street Homelessness, the Jewish Chaplain of the NSW Police Force, and is a commissioner on the National Mental Health Commission. His deep community and social welfare experience, passion for the cause and collaborative approach has seen Jewish House grow and continue to develop. Both he and Jewish House are well recognised for applying innovative best practices to the provision of expert crisis services in the Sydney community.

Non-Executive Directors

Robert Clifford

add remove

Robbie was appointed to the Board of the Jewish House in 2019 after two years of contribution as a Board Observer. Robbie is a Master of Law, an active member of the Jewish community, and is passionate about social welfare.  With a background as the former Managing Director of Pipeline Marketing and COO at the Australian Jewish Fertility Network, his commercial experience in organizational development and the not-for-profit sphere now positions him as the General Manager for COA.

Cerina Weisz

add remove

Cerina Filipczyk (nee Weisz) has a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work in Couple and Family.

Cerina has worked in the field of child protection and trauma for the past 25 years as a caseworker, counsellor, manager, and supervisor. She is an educator in social work both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level as well as training and supervising child protection staff. Cerina has been part of advisory committees relating to sexual assault and women’s housing programs.

Cerina has previously worked with the staff of Jewish House as part of her role at the University of New South Wales in Field Education.

Ron Hirsch

add remove

Ron's experience in the corporate world extends over 25 years and includes investment banking in mergers and acquisition and CEO positions in Australian publicly listed ASX companies. 

Ron is Chairman of The Fresh Venture Group, an award-winning corporate services company with multiple fresh produce brands that service both B2B and B2C markets nationally. He is a director of several private companies and was the CEO of The Executive Connection, the world's leading international mentoring organisation for chief executives and business owners. Ron is also a past director of Redkite and The Australasian Football Institute. He is passionate about making a difference in people's lives.

Eli Fisher

add remove

Eli Fisher is Legal Counsel at Paramount ANZ, specializing in media, entertainment, and technology law. Eli has navigated diverse legal matters for major institutions, airports, media organisations, and technology providers. He currently manages the Communications Law Bulletin, sits on the board of CAMLA, and holds a Master of Laws degree with dual specialisations.

Eli joined the board of Jewish House in 2023, and his extensive legal background uniquely positions him to make valuable contributions to the organisation. His expertise in navigating regulatory landscapes and a deep understanding of privacy, cybersecurity, and technology law are instrumental in addressing legal challenges and ensuring compliance.

Sharonne Phillips

add remove

Sharonne is a consultant Certified Professional Ergonomist with over 25 years of experience working to improve safety, efficiency, and productivity within the mining, manufacturing, entertainment, media, health, hospitality, aged care, aviation, and administration sectors. She has a clinical background as a physiotherapist and has a keen interest in OH&S, compliance and risk management, mediation, and the impact of emerging technologies on our ageing population and on people living with disabilities. She holds a Bachelor of Science (UNSW), a Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy, and a Master's in Occupational Health and Safety (USYD). Sharon joined the board in 2011 and uses her deep understanding of the aged, health, and social services sector to bring this perspective to the board of Jewish House.

Jonathan Tolub

add remove

Jonathan is a Director at InvestSense, portfolio construction and consulting company he co-founded in 2014. Jonathan has over 20 years of experience in financial services in New York, London, and Sydney. Prior to co-founding InvestSense, Jonathan was a senior asset consultant with van Eyk Research, providing dealer groups and financial planners with asset allocation and manager selection advice. Jonathan was previously a vice president with Lyxor, a specialist asset management group in New York, following many years of trading experiences in London and New York with investment banks such as Societe Generale and Dresdner Bank. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science degree (majoring in Finance) from Yeshiva University in New York.

Avi Sharabi

add remove

Avi is a Managing Director at Cotapaxi with over 25 years experience of delivering large-scale business/technology transformation programs in Australia, the USA, and Europe. His current interest is in start-ups focusing on integration advanced analytics and machine learning. Previously Avi was the leading partner for Deloitte Sydney Data/Analytics practice. 

Avi holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science (Highest Honours, Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of California Santa Cruz where he was a Regent Scholar (1995), and a Master's degree in Legal Studies from UNSW (2003). 

Robyn Solomon

add remove

Robyn is a program manager at Westpac and has led multiple projects across many business units and marketing and digital disciplines. She has also lectured in Economics at Curtin and other universities. She mentors social enterprises and is currently consulting in micro-business creation and marketing. Robyn holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) and a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Western Australia (Perth). 

Our Team

Our team builds strong relationships and trust with people at their most vulnerable. This enables us to carry out the life changing work we do at Jewish House. 

Publications & Media

Jewish House Crisis Accommodation Program: UTS Report

Jewish House Crisis Accommodation Program: UTS Rep...

View
2021 Impact Report

2021 Impact Report

View
2022 Impact Report

2022 Impact Report

View
SEFA's Report on Jewish House

SEFA's Report on Jewish House

View
Jewish House Project Plan

Jewish House Project Plan

View
2017 Ending Homelessness Report

2017 Ending Homelessness Report

View
2018 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

View
2019 Annual Report

2019 Annual Report

View
Demographic and Clinical Profile of Homeless

Demographic and Clinical Profile of Homeless

View
2020 Impact Report

2020 Impact Report

View
2023 Impact Report

2023 Impact Report

View

Our Partners

We are proud to partner with some of Australia's most well-known corporates and organisations. Their partnerships help us fund and promote our work, helping provide support to thousands of people in need.