COA Power Couples

COA Power Couples

When COA was formed in the early 1980’s it attracted couples who were determined to help COA deliver kosher meals-on-wheels, but stayed on in other volunteer areas for decades. They worked in administration, management, outreach services, and Centre activities.

Here are just a hand-full of the couples who helped make COA the resilient and inclusive organisation we enjoy today. There were many more and we appreciate and respect them all for the time they gave, the chutzpah they showed in the face of adversity, and the manpower they provided to help  COA reach 40 continuous years of service to Sydney’s Jewish community.

Dennis and Zelda Feigen

Dennis and Zelda Feigen

The Feigen's were part of the group who worked with Myer Kangan to start COA. Dennis was our first Hon Secretary, working closely with the fledgling Management Committee to grow COA’s resources and reach in the community, while Zelda has been President of COA on two separate occasions, is our current Honorary Life President since 2006, and has received both an OAM and a plaque on Bondi’s walk of Local Heroes.

Eugene and Helen Mencel

The Mencels were also part of the group who founded COA ward. Eugene worked tirelessly as the first Hon Treasurer on the Management Committee and was proactive in his accounting to ensure COA continued with financial stability, while Helen helped in the centre making lunches and engaging with members so they felt at home and valued. She also organised annual card parties to raise funds for COA. In her later years Helen came to the Centre for entertainment and social connection and was much loved by her COA friends.

Harry and Esta Levy

Fresh from working with lepers and underprivileged youth in South Africa the Levy's arrived in Sydney and volunteered at COA. Harry worked as our beloved Hon. Treasurer from 1992 to 2001, and saved COA hundreds of thousands of dollars over his tenure. Esta was the compassionate volunteer who formed our outreach group; visiting hospitals and individuals at home, attending Montefiore at Hunter Hill each week to entertain, and traveling to nursing homes for Shabbat Candle-lighting. She coordinated this group singlehandedly for more than 15 years and received an OAM for her volunteer work with COA.

Joe and Lee Borman

The Bormans attended COA every day to help however they could; they joined the outreach team visiting Montefiore each week to entertain and feed residents, they collected challah twice weekly to deliver to nursing homes for Shabbat Candle-lighting and to give to members. Lee was also on the Management Committee for many years, adding her weight of knowledge and her “can do” attitude to COA’s development.

David and Rennie Shadler

The Shadlers were passionate about giving back to their community and joined the Bormans and Esta Levy in their weekly visit to Hunters Hill. David could be relied on to run and get whatever was needed for COA on a daily basis, and took pride in attending to the needs of members visiting the COA Centre, while Rennie was the undisputed queen of the COA kitchen, directing the making of Centre based lunches for 25 years.

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