Jconnect Board

Mendel Kastel-Done

Mendel Kastel (OAM)


Rabbi Mendel Kastel has been providing Rabbinical care to the Sydney community for over 20 years. In his 15 years of service at the Great Synagogue he was responsible for youth projects and ran successful programs and social functions for young adults. He has taken a particular interest in social welfare, and has been the driving force behind various youth and welfare organisations such as Point Zero and WAYS (Waverley Youth Service).  Rabbi Kastel launched Jconnect in 2006. Since 2008 he has been the CEO of Jewish House. In June 2017 he was honoured with a medal of the order of Australia (OAM) in the general division for his outstanding contribution to the community through social welfare bodies and to youth services.

Robert Sonnenschein


Robert Sonnenschein has a BSc (Textiles) Philadelphia and MBA (Finance) London. He is the MD of  Nettex Australia, a textile company. He is on the board of Kesser Torah College as well as being involved in many community organisations. Robert has been an active member of the Jconnect committee since 2006 and is the organisation’s international ambassador.


Earl Schonberger

Public Officer

Earl Schonberger has a BAppSc (Comp) and is a director of companies in the IT Industry. The son of a Holocaust survivor, Earl believes Jewish continuity is critically important to our community. Together with Rabbi Mendel Kastel, he is one of the founders of Jconnect.


Anne Engelman


Anne has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from UNSW and a Graduate Certificate in Management (AGSM, UNSW and USYD). She worked in the banking industry in Australia and in the Finance division of Guys Hospital Trust in London. She is currently the practice manager of a medical practice.

Anne has worked as volunteer for many community organisations and has held the position of treasurer for a number of communal organisations. She has been a volunteer matchmaker with Jconnect since 2014 and was appointed to the board in 2017. Anne enjoys volunteering for Jconnect and is strongly committed to Jewish continuity.


Maurie Stang


Maurie Stang serves as the CEO of the Regional Health Care group of companies and of Novapharm Research. He is the founder of Gryphon Capital an independent investment house, established to participate in the financing and development of emerging Australian health-related companies. Maurie is a passionate supporter of Jewish continuity and keeping our young people connected and engaged with the community. In addition to his role as an advisor to JJunction, Maurie is chairman of the Playing for Change Foundation.