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      Newsletter from the desk of

The President of WIZO Australia

JUNE - JULY 2021

           YACHAD - WE ARE FAMILY          

Dear Chaverot,

"We confuse likeability with trustworthiness, familiarity with safety, warmth with caring.” - Dr Anne Salter

Where has the last month gone? We have had freedom, lockdown and now a bit of freedom again in Melbourne, whilst most other states are in the throes of a lockdown. Our hearts and thoughts go out to you all  and we wish you your freedom back as soon as possible.  This has been a 15-month roller coaster ride and unfortunately, it does not look like letting up any time soon. Israel is the country who we have admired most and had thought they were over the worst of it, but then they opened their borders which has brought a new influx of COVID related issues and they are closing the International borders again.

As always, we in WIZO Australia have been busy and every time I think it will slow down a bit, there seems to be so much to do. 

Many things continued and I am pleased to say that some of the states are still working on the Emergency Appeal which is very heartening to see, and I know there is some money coming in for this. Please do not forget this important fundraising initiative as following the Operation Guardian of the Walls, there is great need for programmes to assist those in our care who have been greatly impacted by rockets raining down on Israel. There needs to be work with psychologists and care workers to assist with their coping mechanisms, on the effect this trauma has had on them.  Also, some of the older Youth Villages do not have bomb shelter facilities as the rockets have never come so far into Israel as they did this past month. There is a need to ensure that there are the correct safety requirements to keep our youth and their carers safe, should there be another such event in the near future. 

There were two instances where rockets fell into the grounds of two Youth Villages. We are very grateful that no-one was hurt nor injured, but a family had to be relocated as it did impact on one of the buildings where the foster parents and youth live. In the other instance, again no major injuries but one of the interns could not get back to her accommodation in Tel Aviv, so she was housed for the night with one of the workers.

Also two of the day care centres, when they opened, found that shrapnel had fallen in the grounds of these centres. Please find this information below:

1. Ken Hashalom Day Care Center, Be'er Sheva, sponsored by WIZO Switzerland: A Hamas rocket warhead fell directly in the playground of WIZO's Ken Hashalom Day Care Center in Be'er Sheva. These were discovered when the DCC reopened on Sunday following the ceasefire. Photos are below.

2. The Jessi Rubin’s Day Care Center in Rehovot, sponsored by WIZO Austria. This Center, which has 79 infants and toddlers, is located in the Kiryat Moshe neighbourhood, which has a large population of families of Ethiopian descent. Photos of two of the many shrapnel fragments found on the grounds, are below.

The rockets were found at Ken Hashalom Day Care Centre and the shrapnel was found at the Jessi Rubin’s Day Care Centre. We can only be grateful that the Day Care Centres were closed at this time.


One of the worst things that has come out of this recent attack by Hamas on Israel, is the anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric from uninformed rabble around the world. It has brought great fear to many cities and in particular the Jewish neighbourhoods in London, New York and many other cities. Even here in Australia, some of the marches and protests by Hamas and Palestinian supporters are something we have never seen previously.  Much of our news reporting was very skewed and the Q & A on the ABC was an absolute disgrace. Thanks to the ECAJ and AIJAC, this has been addressed at the highest level and we hope, going forward, their reporting will be a lot less biased. I am sure many of you were like me yelling at the TV and news broadcasters who got it so wrong. We must continue to be vigilant and informed so that we can educate anyone we come in contact with who might need to know the correct facts. It is up to us to be able to have this conversation.

Finally, Israel has a new Government. Being a non-political organisation, we can only wish the newly elected coalition Government every success in its endeavours. Having an Arab Muslim party will, I am sure, give the large Arab population in Israel a great deal of confidence, that their needs will be considered more favourably. They have always been a very important part of the Israeli population, but during the recent war, the unrest in some of the predominantly Arab towns was extremely concerning for all Israeli citizens, and we can only hope that peace and harmony will prevail. We wish Naftali Bennett, the new Prime Minister of Israel, every success going forward and that he will have the support of the new look Israeli Government. 

Please see the line-up of the Who’s Who in this new Government (Here)

Whilst we are sad to see the end of the tenure of Reuven Rivlin who did a wonderful job as the 10th President of the State of Israel, we are delighted to wish Mazel Tov to Isaac (Bougie) Herzog, who has been elected as the 11th President of the State of Israel. 

As Israel does begin to open up, we are seeing the youth come to Israel as WIZO interns. This is an opportunity for young people, should they be living in Israel, and wish to volunteer and be interns for many areas in WIZO. We received the following from Annette Crandell, who is Deputy Director, Resource Development, External Relations Division and our ‘go to’ person for absolutely everything WIZO in Israel.

In the picture is Thatcher Cord who is helping Tricia Schwitzer, Marketing Department for World WIZO, and next to him is Galith Iselin, Joyce Numann’s (former president of WIZO Holland) great niece from Amsterdam. Also in the picture is Anat Sussan, who coordinates volunteers in our DCC’s. Galith is going to be volunteering in WIZO Australia’s King George DCC beginning next week, and I wanted to share this with you. We are thrilled to see young adults returning to Israel and particularly to volunteer with WIZO.


We recently had a call out from Israel, again from Annette Crandell as below….‘Every year, we ask for help for the summer programs in our comprehensive DCC’s, and this is the request for the DCC in Tel Aviv.’ Please find the full request (Here)

Within minutes of sending this out, my gratitude goes to WIZO NSW who immediately responded stating they would cover this. Thank you so much and I know how excited Annette was when she heard back from me. This is what WIZO does – ‘Doing what matters’.
Speaking about the hard work of our WIZO women in the various states, recently WIZO Kesher sent some money that they wished to go to Makom BaLev. This was to be used towards the ‘Character and Beauty Programme’. Please find a letter from World WIZO advising the difference this made to these young women (Here).

 On June 2nd we had our WIZO Australia Federal Meeting with a good attendance and on our agenda, of course, was discussion about the hostilities from Hamas. I also reported on the fact that I had attended the zoom book launch of Isi Leibler AO CBE z’l. This looks to be a fascinating insight into the man and the myriad of achievements for the State of Israel and Russian Jewry, as well as his fearless belief in doing the right thing, no matter the cost to him. Whilst I am not in the business of promoting any books, the discussion and insights I gained from this zoom alone, I believe makes this a definite read for those who might be interested.
 "Lone Voice: The Wars of Isi Leibler" by Suzanne Rutland. He certainly was a giant of a man who made a difference.
This past week has certainly been a busy one.  We had a zoom which was organised between Annette Crandell and myself, the process of which began with a visit to Ahuzat Yeladim by Rebecca Razon, granddaughter of our late beloved Jaffa Waksberg z’l, a tireless worker for WIZO Nirim for 60 years. Jaffa left a bequest to WIZO and Rebecca, who lives in Israel and had visited Ahuzat Yeladim quite a few years ago, was asked by the family to visit the school to see where she felt this bequest should go. Joining her was Simonne Abadee who made Aliyah some years ago and lives in Jerusalem, but is still very close to her family and friends here in Australia. Rebecca was very moved by her visit and decided that as Jaffa loved organising the catering, her bequest should go to renovating one of the kitchens in the Mandel and Marejn dormitories. Also Simonne donated to renovate two of the kitchens. The reasons for the renovations is that with COVID, all the students cannot go to the dining room at once, so many of the youth in the dormitories are making their own meals. The kitchens previously had a toaster and microwave but now they need further renovation and equipment. 

On the back of this visit, it was suggested that Rebecca, who is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, might like to give us her opinion and thoughts on Ahuzat Yeladim, together with Simonne, and hence a zoom was born. I reached out to Rolene Marks, World WIZO Executive Member for Public Diplomacy & Hasbara, Office of the Chairperson to be the Moderator and as always, she very happily agreed. We were thrilled to have 100 people on the zoom (the maximum we could have) and I am sorry for those who could not join as it was a very interesting zoom, and wonderful to get the perspective of this amazing facility from a young woman. It was also to hear Simonne’ s story, and her dedication to WIZO. Rolene as always gave it her warmth and understanding of this project. Thanks to Annette for facilitating this event which I know all enjoyed. We had people from South Africa, Austria and of course Australia attend this zoom.

Recording of this zoom (Here) Passcode is: A7fVLG!Q

On Tuesday 22 June, WIZO Victoria had a two-hour session on Child Safety Policy as it applies to the legal requirements in Victoria. This was attended by all the WIZO Victoria office staff and a couple of volunteers as well as WIZO Australia – being Shelley and I. Andrea O'Byrne has been involved in this area and has travelled widely within Australia, as well as internationally, learning about the issues which affect children and their safety. A very difficult subject which I found extremely sad and very confronting. If you noted my quote at the beginning of this newsletter, this is one that Andrea showed us and I felt it is very relevant and descriptive of this particular subject.

 On Wednesday evening 23 June, we had an Australia wide zoom which covered the general information, as each state has a Child Safety Policy and each member of WIZO, who has anything to do with children, should have what is called in Victoria a Working with Children Check where a card is issued. In Queensland I believe it is called a Blue Card. This is legally required and there is much to know about this subject and how it affects so many areas of society. Of course our greatest concern is the welfare of all children. Thank you to all who attended but our main thanks go to Helen Granek (Blonde) who has worked tirelessly on these policies in ensuring we are all educated and across the requirements. Also to Vivien Resofsky who is so committed to this matter, that she has sponsored Andrea and her time to speak to us. Helen will be in touch further with the states and I would request that you adopt her recommendations as should anything happen, at the end of the day, the Presidents of the states and WIZO Australia will be liable. 

 Following this zoom, World WIZO held their virtual Mini MOR. This had over 115 WIZO members from all federations and began at 10pm our time. Thank you to those who were invited and joined, as it was an extremely informative and well-presented zoom. The main idea of the Mini MOR is to pass the financials for World WIZO and these were presented with excellent clarity that even the least informed financial person, would be able to understand. There was also a lot of discussion about World WIZO moving forward and making changes, to work towards modernising WIZO, in consultation with many areas of Israeli change makers. We all look forward to hearing more about this.

 Thanks again go out to WIZO NSW for using a bequest in the name of Marga Spindler z’l which will be an annual award, to be continued for 8 years, and presented to an outstanding student at Ahuzat Yeladim. The inaugural award was presented at this year’s graduation ceremony, which took place on 24 June. The recipient shed tears of happiness, and she was totally surprised. She is a very devoted student who is very active in social and cultural events in the school. With not having any family support at all, this young lady will most certainly benefit from this scholarship and will ensure she can now fulfil her dreams and life goals to complete her studies and in turn begin her pre-IDF training in September.

At the graduation ceremony, Yossi Saragossi was also awarded with an award by the Welfare Authority.

See full report (Here)

WIZO AROUND THE STATES.................

Below please find events organized by our wonderful members around Australia. Please support these opportunities to engage with our WIZO sisterhood.


 WIZO David are hosting a movie night on Sunday 4 July @ The Classic Cinema, Elsternwick. Cost $25 per ticket. Contact Eva 0412 020 773 OR Carol; 0414 367 888 for tickets. 

 WIZO Masada and WIZO Chavera are selling theatre tickets to this Saltpillar Production on 7 August and 15 August respectively. This is taking place @ the Phoenix Theatre, Glenhuntly Rd, Elwood.
Saturday 7 August @ 7.30pm. Cost $32 per ticket, contact Rosy 0408 808 961 or
Sunday 15 August @ 2pm. Cost $32 per ticket, contact Ruth 0401 963 727.

Child Abuse Presentation Info session: A workshop for WIZO parents and carers. Presented by Andrea O'Byrne of AJO Consultants. Andrea has clinical post graduate qualifications from Monash University Department of Psychological Medicine and has developed the Child Wise child certification program. She provides leadership coaching and training and works with organisations to develop strategic plans and improve culture. Andrea has worked extensively with organisations in Australia and overseas to help them become child safe organisations including corporate, government, not for profit and faith communities.
Tuesday 10 August @ 7 - 8.30pm. Free - proudly supported and sponsored by Vivien Resofsky. To book click here 

The workshop will touch on some key steps to be taken to build resilience and protect our kids from sexual abuse and exploitation. Topics covered include: 

  • Organisational Child Safe Standards
  • Myth-busting
  • Red flags and warning signs of abuse
  • Prevention tips Resources
By educating and empowering yourselves, your children and their carers, we can minimize the risk of harm.

Lions Recycle for Sight Australia: Let's reduce waste and recycle together whilst helping those in need! WIZO Victoria is delighted to be partnering with the Carnegie Lions Club supporting Recycle for Sight Australia collecting used spectacles. Drop your preloved spectacles at the WIZO Victoria office, where they will be cleaned, sorted & distributed to people in need. Learn more.

 WIZO Victoria are still continuing to sell the WIZO branded face masks @ $15 each. You can support and purchase these here BUY NOW

To become involved in any of these activities, please contact:


 Zoom with Dr Ron Weiser AM: Wednesday 7 July @ 7.30pm. Ron will discuss the newly elected government and the upcoming challenges. Please RSVP your attendance by clicking here. The zoom link will be sent on Tuesday 6 July. 

Annual Campaign 2021: Plans are locked in for the main campaign event to take place on Sunday 29 August at Emmanuel Synagogue with keynote speaker Kylie Moore-Gilbert. The campaign will run from July - August. 

Honey Cake delivery: Cake delivery to 200 golden women in the community will be hot on the heels of the major campaign – the week after! 

To become involved in any of these activities, please contact:


WIZO Queensland AGM
: This was held on Sunday 16 May at Buderim Gardens Sunshine Coast hosted by Rose Toms and her husband Maurice. The highlight at the meeting was a presentation by President Pamela Huppert to Sylvia Lipski of the Rebecca Sieff Award for Sylvia’s unwavering support to WIZO over 40 years. In particular to WIZO Queensland since 1977 when at 20 years of age she became a member of WIZO Aviva. In 1990 she was elected President of WIZO Aviva. In 1996 she was asked to be the Executive Director. Sylvia still holds this position today and continues her drive and passion to work for her beloved Israel. This award is so well deserved and was applauded by many. 

WIZO Queensland's raffle for a voucher worth $3000 donated by  Eureka Furniture was drawn on 1st June. The lucky winner was Inge Marcus from Sydney. $18,000 was raised. Kol Hakavod to all involved!!

 WIZO Aviva's European Masterpieces Exhibition: Wednesday 18 August @ 2.30pm. Call Susan Segal on 0421 018 209 or email to secure your ticket as spaces are limited to 10 people. Meet @ 1pm for lunch at the GOMA Cafe (at your own expense).

WIZO Aviva July Newsletter (Here)

WIZO Kesher July Newsletter (Here)

To find out more, please contact:


WIZO’s 100th celebration was subject to a few Covid related hiccups but FINALLY they got there, and what a wonderful Simcha it was.

Judy Freedman wrote and directed a sensational musical revue of WIZO over 70 years in Perth; Heather Kur was Assistant Director, Roberta Altmuner put together a fabulous PowerPoint featuring the so many memorable events and faces, Ilana Klevansky was a sublime narrator and Margaret Helfgott tinkled the ivories to perfection. The energy was infectious and their enjoyment obvious so the audience had the BEST time!

The lyrics were by turns hilarious and nostalgic, paying tribute to each of the WIZO groups over the many years and the activities they specialised in. WIZO Catering, Quilts and Crafts, Art Exhibitions, Cookbooks, the Queen Competition, an array of joyous musical productions and most recently the very successful Mahjong Club.

Behind all of these ventures were the women of WIZO, whose creativity, dedication to the cause and hard work were the backbone of everyone's efforts.

Kol Hakavod to every one of the amazing people responsible for finally bringing this show to fruition, through many trials. 

WIZO Aviva Games Night was held in June on a very wet wintery night at the Jewish Centre. The atmosphere was buzzing with happy gamers. Bridge, Mahjong, Kaluki, Solo and Poker, something for everyone to enjoy.

The food was great, fresh and tasty, lots of wonderful raffle prizes — what more could you want!!!

WIZO Aviva Cookbook: Still in the food genre, the members of this group have has put together a recipe book in memory of Karen Graber z’l. Karen was a long standing and very devoted WIZO woman, who was the face of Kosher catering in Perth in earlier years when there were no other Kosher caterers there. A lovely gift for you or maybe to pass onto your daughters, daughters in law or grandchildren because that’s the overriding theme of the book—from family members to family members to pass on the traditions.  To purchase your copy for  $22, please contact the WIZO office or Viv Levin on + 61 413 776 769.

WIZO Ilana Mahjong Club: Continues successfully with large numbers in attendance every Tuesday and Thursday.

WIZO WA Kesher: Continues to develop slowly, headed by Ruth Marrion who is a tireless campaigner for WIZO and Israel. 

Robin Benjamin, a member of the WIZO WA community, recently published a book called 'Defiance – Struggle Against all odds'. The book deals with anti-Semitism and the complexity of the conflicts in Israel. Robin donates part proceeds of every sale to WIZO, for which we are very grateful.

Demolition of the Jewish Centre will begin in September, WIZO WA looks forward to a much more attractive & functional centre in the future. The WIZO office will also be relocated, at this stage to a demountable in the grounds of the current centre.

To become involved in any of these activities, please contact:


WIZO South Australia's
AGM was held on Sunday 27 June with a good attendance. Lesley Rosenthal brought her mother along, who is a longstanding WIZO member from South Africa. Lesley also gave a wonderful well researched talk about Ahuzat Yeladim, together with a few other relevant topics. 

We wish Lynette Ninio, a longstanding WIZO member on WIZO South Australia's State Council, all the best on her retirement from the Executive. At the same time we welcome Penelope Main to this Executive.

Annette Simmons, President of WIZO South Australia has been working very hard to fundraise for the WIZO Emergency Appeal. Merrilyn Ades has managed to reach out to a young Israeli woman who has shown great interest to create a new Israeli WIZO group. 

To find out more, please contact:

Thank you for once again reading the WIZO Australia newsletter.  This is here to keep you inspired, informed and invigorated with the work we do. I am always open to any news you would like in our newsletter.

I urge you to continue following us on our WIZO Australia Facebook page and Instagram @wizoaus.  Please like and share our posts and look out for our regular posts about our 100 year of WIZO Australia Women who have made a difference.

“Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering, love is wanting them to have happiness” – Dalai Lama

Warm WIZO regards

Paulette Cherny OAM
President, WIZO Australia 












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