Friday, June 22, 2007

Jewish Women's Talkfest in Sydney, June 16-21, 2007.


National Council of Jewish Women of Australia 28th Conference.

For over 80 years Jewish women in Australia, starting in Sydney then spreading all over the country, have taken the initiative to act, support and initiate all kinds of programs and activities in their communities through the NCJWA.

At a time when women throughout the world were not really engaged in much more than in supporting roles for the menfolk in their communities as well as within their own families, one woman took it upon herself to change this attitude and perception among the women in their Jewish communities. Dr. Fanny Reading MBE was not only a pioneer and activist among the Australian Jewish women, but also a pioneer in her medical profession, being the first female medical graduate at Melbourne University.

At the 28th National Conference ( previously triennial, now quadrennial) held in Sydney 17-20 June, 2007, the Victorian Section led the way in all areas. The newly elected National President is the Victorian past President, Mrs. Rysia Rozen OAM. In other areas of membership, programming, new and invigorating leadership teams and recognition of its past leaders’ contributions, the Victorians starred although the Canberra Section of NCJWA recorded exciting new initiatives and an actual increase in numbers of members, becoming the recipients of “The Presidents’ Membership Trophy”.

Susie Ivany, the President of NCJWA (Vic.) Inc., brought home the “Israel Projects” shield for its highest pro-rata fundraising for all the major NCJWA Israel Projects, which includes the KKL Yarkon river development; Haifa University Ethiopian women’s scholarships, the Haifa Rape Crisis Centre, the ILAN Tel Aviv centre for the disabled children from cerebral palsy and other projects.

The Hon/ Treasurer from Victoria, Mrs. Beverly Walters received Council’s highest volunteer award, the Honour Badge which is awarded only at Conferences, while the National Board elevated past National presidents, Malvina Malinek OAM and Dr.Geulah Solomon the position of Hon. Life Governors of NCJWA. Longstanding Gold Coast (Queensland) Section President, Barabar Stewart-Kann OAM was also awarded an Hon. National Life Vice Presidency and Carolyn Goldsmith of Brisbane Section an Hon. Life Membership of the National Executive.

Retiring National President, Robyn Lenn OAM of Sydney and her committee worked tirelessly to provide the delegates from all over Australia with a superb program over 5 days of intense activities and discussions on issues of “Modern Medical Interventions” for health and bioethics; challenges ahead in (post) Multicultural Australia; anti-Semitism and racism; “The Jewish Woman,- status, rights and education”; and “Jewish women around the world” with the International President, Leah Aharonov from Israel as the main guest speaker at the conference.

The Opening and Closing Dinners held at ”NCJW’s own Council House in Woollahra, were attended by the leaders of the community and members of Parliament, with the “NCJWA WOMAN OF ACHIEVEMNT AWARD” presented to Prue Goward MP, in the presence of Israeli Ambassador Mr. Naftali Tamir and the Mayor of Waverly, Mr. George Newhouse.

For the next four years, the national headquarters of NCJWA will be at the “Annia Castan and Sadie Fink” NCJW Council House in Caulfield, Melbourne, Australia.



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