PREMIER Daniel Andrews planted an olive tree to mark a new lease on life for Sholem Aleichem College, after he officially opened its new wing.
Sholem students sang Yiddish songs to welcome the Premier and political, community and school leaders who were on hand to launch the Kronhill-Pletka wing, named after benefactor Irene Kronhill-Pletka, a daughter of Jacob Kronhill, one of the school’s founders.
During his February 27 visit, Andrews told attendees the college is “a place of love and care, of knowledge and learning … but it is also an institution that looks to the future with real confidence”.
Addressing the assembled students, he said, “This is all about you … just as I want for my children to dream big dreams … that’s what I want for you as well.”
Noting Sholem was founded immediately after the Holocaust “at the end of the worst moment in human history, to then move to this joyous occasion today, what a profound journey”, the Premier said.
Sholem principal Helen Greenberg said the new school building features state-of-the-art facilities, including classrooms, an art room, a resource hub for staff and the much lauded Makerspace learning centre dedicated to creative endeavours in science, technology and the arts.
Greenberg told guests, “Today is a monumental day in the long and proud history of our school, a school founded on a strong sense of community, family values, Yiddish, Jewish identity and the arts and culture.”
She said Sholem, whose motto is “make mine a mensch”, has almost 300 kindergarten and school pupils.