"Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” - Mary Kay Ash
Before I get into the actual Newsletter, for your information I will be advising you of what we owe for the Jonas Dormitory in every newsletter, as well as what we owe for Quota. I am delighted at this stage to let you know that the balance for the Kitchen of $49,000 has been covered by WIZO NSW for which we are all so grateful!!
Jonas Dormitory Owing $140,000
There have been pledges which have not been deducted for the amount of $72,366, and once received, this will reduce the debt on Jonas Dormitory.
Quota Owing $531,400
Pledges made and received total the amount of $81,600 and are included in the above figure, for which we thank the states. This money has been received and will be sent to Israel next week.
Where has the time gone? Admittedly I spend quite a bit of it in hospital and WIZO was not far from my thoughts even when I couldn’t sleep, which was most nights. Very pleased to say that that was then and now, most of you would know that I am doing very well and with hydro and rehab, I hope to be able to go out dancing again soon. Anyone want to join me?
I would like to thank everyone who posted on social media wishing me well and of course the texts and emails I received, were all greatly appreciated. I think being thought of at such a time makes the healing just that bit easier.
During that time, Shelley held down the fort in her inimitable fashion and we even had a full morning of WIZO work whilst I was still in hospital, where we began to plan the Plenary in earnest. Also at that time, the Plenary committee consisting of Penny, Keren and Linda were already plotting and planning and discussing some ideas for the Plenary as I knew I would not be able to take on the full burden. There were many meetings and some even at my home as I was not ready to go out into the big wide world and these also worked well.
For those who attended the Plenary either personally or on zoom, I believe that you absolutely enjoyed it. The theme was YACHAD – WE ARE FAMILY and we really were.
The Saturday night dinner at Ronit and Marcus Chrapot was fabulous. Everyone got up and spoke about themselves and there was a great deal of ‘love’ in the room. We all had time to mix and mingle and chat to each other which was so welcome after being separated for such a long time. It was wonderful to have so many of our Sydney sisters join us and of course having Betty Dykes from WIZO Kesher in Queensland is always an added bonus. The food was delicious and this was sourced and organised by Ronit and Penny Goodman.
Our venue for the Sunday deliberations at the premises of TAG Direct who do the social media of WIZO Australia. It is very much a warehouse where the staff work, and it was loaned to us and created a great atmosphere. Everyone enjoyed the different surroundings and from the moment the day began with a light breakfast, it could not really have been any better. Penny, Keren and Linda created a fabulous programme which had a bit of everything in it. I delivered my opening address which covered our activities over the past 12 months. We were all so busy with a diversification of activities, most of them on zoom and we had opportunities to connect with Israel and other international WIZO Federations, as well as some amazing speakers. We had raised considerable sums of money considering the situation we were all in.
I had organised some wonderful messages from Esther Mor, President World WIZO, Anita Friedman, Chairperson World WIZO and Hon Paul Griffiths, Australian Ambassador to Israel. We followed these by replaying our great 30 second advert for JIFF which was well received during the programming of JIFF. We then bowed our heads as Linda Yaffe read out the In Memoriam for both Huguette Hasda z’l and Marlis Cohen OAM z’l, who were federal members who had passed away over the past year. We then had a minute’s silence for these women and also for the tragedy in Israel at Mount Meron where 45 Israelis died on Lag Ba’Omer and many more injured.
The minutes from the previous Conference were passed and then Hilary Cohen, Treasurer of WIZO Australia presented the accounts which actually looked pretty good. There is still lots of money owing, particularly for Quota, so I am hoping that this will be coming in over the next few months. One of the best pieces of news is that there has been a donation of $110.000 from an anonymous donor in Perth. Yossi had put a desperate call for new beds, mattresses and closets for two of the dormitories at Ahuzat Yeladim. The beds were broken and the children often wet the beds so the mattresses were unusable. Also because these are troubled youth, the closets were broken and in an unusable state. This came at a time when we had decided as a Federation that we needed to pay off the Kitchen and Jonas Dormitory, so this money was a true gift for which we are most grateful and our thanks go to Western Australia, whose anonymous donor has previously given us a similar gift that went to Jonas Dormitory. Kol Hakavod to this most generous donor.
Now it was time for the Membership Report by Penny Goodman. This was a great report as Victoria has increased their membership and have now received payment for over 1100 members. WIZO NSW have increased their membership considerably and their Phonathon was so successful, they have decided to repeat it every year. There are over 60,000 Jewish women in Australia and WIZO only has about 3,000. We need to work harder at making more members.
Then the fun began. Penny, Keren, Ronit and Nina performed the song "One" from A Chorus Line to which I had rewritten the lyrics which refer to all the benefits of being a WIZO member. The girls sang and danced and we had given out the words to everyone in attendance as well had them on the screen for the zoomers, and everyone belted out the song with great gusto while the girls had an absolute ball doing it. Such a fabulous way to encourage membership and everyone to have some fun. The video of the girls is here: https://youtu.be/v8MGoKzVh5M
Then it was time for morning tea and the feeling in the room was so great with everyone chatting and enjoying each others company.
We then had Sebastian Inwertarz from Taglit Birthright who spoke about the arrangements for the Birthright programme and if it is going ahead. They are hoping that it might happen at the end of the year and he will advise WIZO when we should begin putting it out there to try to get participants. There were many questions which was great.
Following Sebastian, we had our special guest speaker, Peter Roberts. Peter and his wife Janet are members of WIZO Kesher and he has a wonderful and moving story to tell about his journey, to understand the connection between Christianity and Judaism. He spent a year in Israel at a seminary studying this matters, as well as travelling the length and breadth of Israel. He firmly believes and backs it up with not only words, but also actions, that Israel belongs to the Jewish people, unconditionally. He is a most interesting man and his story moved everyone who was there. Peter was introduced and thanked by Betty Dykes, Vice President of WIZO Kesher and Federal Executive member.
We followed Peter’s talk by having videos from Israel about ‘What We Do’ by World WIZO Staff and Volunteers. Firstly, was Olga who is the Vice Principal at Ahuzat Yeladim who spoke about the Pet Therapy and the difference it makes to the life of many of the students. See video here https://youtu.be/57OSmSE2fgs
Following this was a great video on the Ace Dog Training Programme which is funded by Ann Carew from WIZO Nirim in Victoria. The impact this makes on the children is life changing as it gives them responsibility and something to really care about. See video here https://youtu.be/wYmSVYpswDM
We then had Tricia Schwitzer who is the amazing volunteer, heading up the Marketing Department of World WIZO. She is the one who creates so many of the amazing posts that we share on social media and also sends us relevant information on the history of WIZO. She is a wonderfully knowledgeable and vibrant WIZO woman. See video here https://youtu.be/YbKep4i0QIo
Ora Korazim is the President of WIZO Israel and since she stepped into that role, she has been extremely busy. Once COVID and lockdowns hit Israel, Ora and her amazing WIZO Israel Executive and members were the ‘boots on the ground’ to organise so much to help the mothers, youth and children deal with the new normal. She lobbied the Government to help fund a new shelter, she ensured that those living in poverty would have enough food, she organised rallies to support women and children living with Domestic Violence which had increased 300% and so the list went on. She is definitely worth listening to as she plays a vital role to keep the wheels of WIZO in Israel turning. See video here https://youtu.be/YbKep4i0QIo
We then had a delicious and very sociable lunch where people who really did not know each other so well, sat or stood around and chatted about everything from their personal lives and it always comes back to WIZO.
Following lunch, we then had a mindfulness session which everyone loved. You can see the photos of what we did and thanks go to Ruth Kurc from WIZO Kids, who supplied the materials for this, and her husband Michael Kurc from Riot Art & Craft who donated the goods to put in the bags. The artwork was created by the founder of the S-Project, Dana Milstein who is a WIZO member. Dana started the organisation in her late brother Saul’s memory. The S-Project encourages the community to create and raise funds for art and creative therapies for children and adolescents undergoing cancer treatments or in palliative care. These packs will be delivered to those who are in C-Care’s network. C-Care is a local organisation supporting those who are experiencing food insecurity and isolation. They provide a ‘hand-up’ not ‘hand-out’ approach and provide a full range of services including freshly prepared meals, food hampers, monthly pantry boxes, $5 meal offerings, as well as social check in calls. Their focus is to build a strong sense of community that both volunteers and the recipients feel like they are part of the C-Care family.
Gary Tenenbaum and Jasmine Winecier from TAG Direct who run our social media and whose premises we were using for the day, then spoke to us about the enormous impact WIZO Australia social media has had and the growth it has sustained over the past 5 years. It is very gratifying to see this and all we ask is that everyone who has Facebook go to WIZO Australia and Instagram @wizoaus to like and follow, and then there like or comment so that you can see and enjoy the variety of information we put out there.
Following this we had most informative and excellent President’s Reports from each state and lots of discussion following. Each state is there to support each other and it is wonderful to see the creativity of what activities the states are doing and I commend each and every one. There was lively discussion and as we move forward, I wish all the state Presidents and Executives Kol Hakavod for their enthusiasm and abilities, and just wish you all to know that I am always here for you.
We were fortunate enough to have two young women from Ahuzat Yeladim who are singers, each performed for us. Their stories are very sad but having arrived and spent time at Ahuzat Yeladim, they both say that this is now their home and it is YOU who make this happen. Listen to their music here https://youtu.be/E0r4PTtIgnI and https://youtu.be/LRLjO_UQvyE
All in all, it was a wonderful Plenary which only happened because of the dedication and hard work of a few good women. Shelley as you would all know is my right hand and across everything with me. Penny Goodman, mainly for the catering and being on the Plenary committee, who helped come up with ideas, together with Keren Loyer and Linda Yaffe, to make the agenda varied and interesting and this all contributed to the success. To all those on the day to turned up early and stayed late, and generally helped ensure the food was ready to serve and clean up – my sincere thanks go to you. We have set aside dates for the 26th Triennial Conference next year which will be 30th April, 1st and 2nd May 2022. Please diarise this as it will be my time to step down and welcome the new President and Executive which will be located in NSW.
As you can see, it has been a particularly busy time and as I previously said, the best was being able to meet face to face with our sisters from interstate, stand around and have a drink and some food and talk all things WIZO, as well as everything else.
Recently we spent a day of mourning acknowledging Yom Hazikaron followed by the joyousness of Yom Ha’atzmut. I am sure many of you attended both or at least one of these and as I typed this, we welcomed Yom Yerushalayim, acknowledge the spiritual centre of the Jewish world.
I also attended the Yom Ha’atzmut Cocktail Party with Ronit Chrapot, President of WIZO Victoria which was put on by JCCV and Zionism Victoria at the Windsor Hotel. It was a lovely function and we also managed to meet the acting Israeli Ambassador who spoke with great knowledge about Victoria and the warm relationship Israel and Australia have.
Please find below an article about the WIZO Men’s Hotline which is the only one in the world and which is also creating a great deal of interest in other countries. With the pandemic, the increase in violence against women and children has increased exponentially. This hotline is a way to give men the opportunity to speak to other men and help them deal with their anger and frustration(Newsweek article).
As you would all be aware, we are a supporter of JIFF and they have advised us of a new release of advance screenings of Luke Holland’s documentary film Final Account, which pieces together the last living generation of ‘everyday’ participants in Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. The film will release exclusively at Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick and Ritz Cinemas, Randwick from May 27 — you can watch the trailer here. We think that the film will be of great interest to the doco-loving WIZO community, and would appreciate you supporting this documentary.
Have you joined the new WIZO Facebook page – WIZO Members around the World. All WIZO members are encouraged to join and use this as an information page, sending Shabbat Shalom greetings and anything else you feel you would like to share with your WIZO sisters around the world in other federations: https://www.facebook.com/groups/284391239817916/
We have constantly reminded the states of the need to be vigilant and abide by the laws of Child Safety training. This is necessary and there are strict rules that need to be adhered to. Helen Granek Jnr has been working incessantly on this and will be sending out information for all states to ensure they have a copy on hand in their offices and also do the training for this. Helen will be sending out details and I would urge each of you to please ensure you follow the protocols and do the training as if this is not done, WIZO could suffer the consequences.
Dates to be saved are:
22 June Victoria staff 12.00 – 2.00pm (based on Victorian law only)
22 June Parent/Community session Victoria 7.30 – 9.00pm (based on Victorian law only)
23 June Parent/Community National session 7.30 – 9.00pm AEDT (based on National law only)
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
Mother's Day pamper packs were delivered to the Winja Ulupna Recovery Hostel in St Kilda. Items were generously donated and welcomed by the residents who are away from their homes suffering alcoholism or a drug dependency problem.
WIZO Kids: Sunday 23 May @ 10.30am - 12.00pm- Make sweet treats. WIZO Kids are collaborating with TBI nourish program to help support people in need of meal. The kids will make desserts to add to the warm nutritious meal which nourish provided weekly to people in Alma Park and Chapel Street. Book here.
WIZO Tova: Sunday 23 May @ 7.30pm Creating your own path - Your past shouldn't define your future. An inspiring evening with Nick Ginsburg - speaker, coach and host of the podcast “The Open Drive”. For women, men and young adults. Book here.
WIZO Chavera and WIZO Nirim - special champagne birthday for Sandra Leigh Sunday 30 May @ 3pm. Celebrate Sandra Leigh's special champagne birthday. Looking forward to seeing you to enjoy some afternoon drinks. In lieu of gifts, Sandra would appreciate a donation for a scholarship to educate a youngster at Ahuzat Yeladim in Haifa. Click here to make a donation.
WIZO Masada - Share a Simcha May 2021 - Caroline Heard's 50th anniversary of arriving in Australia. Caroline came to Australia as a "10 Pound Pom" in 1971 and has really made Australia home - in Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne. To honour her years of dedication to the Jewish community here and interstate, and her commitment to WIZO, please consider making a donation in her honour to WIZO Masada. Click here to make a donation.
WIZO David, WIZO Dor, WIZO Kids, WIZO Masada, WIZO Matan, WIZO Amit present Raising Resilience: Bringing up children in Today's World Sunday 6 June 2021 @ 2.30 - 4.30pm. Amanda Stokes is an Author, Educator, Presenter and Mother to 3 and affectionately referred to as the Tween Whisperer. Amanda has worked with thousands of young people and their families, both in the Education and Healthcare system and now as the Founder of Raising Strong Daughters. Amanda's latest book 'The Tween Mother's Tool Book' has become a best seller amongst mums of Tweens, and her relatable approach to parenting has seen her become a much sought-after Speaker and Parenting Mentor. Book here.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW SOUTH WALES:
Sponsor A Child 2021 Campaign: This was launched in March at the AGM, and will continue through to early May, when a thank you event for SAC donors will be held. This Campaign will focus on the effect that Covid has had on the children in WIZO's care –what are the wants and needs for the children right now, given quarantine and limited schooling, abuse at home, lack of basic care.
Major Campaign: From 22 August for two weeks. We are seeking a keynote speaker for the main event on Wednesday 25 August.
To become involved in any of these activities, please contact: email@example.com
100th year celebrations of World WIZO: Raffle ticket are still for sale. First prize is a voucher for $3000 for furniture from Eureka Furniture, who have 38 stores throughout Australia. Please support by purchasing tickets via Sylvia Lispki on +61 417 788 449. The draw will take place on 1 June 2021.
WIZO Aviva: Ran a WIZO table for Yom Ha’atzmaut on Sunday 17th April at the Queensland Communal Centre at Burbank Brisbane.
WIZO Queensland AGM: Sunday 16 May 2021
WIZO Kesher continue to raise funds for Makom BaLev and Ahuzat Yeladim, their dedication to these homes and in fact to Israel is ongoing and their members and friends have huge hearts when they are called upon. At WIZO Kesher monthly meeting, Rose Toms said prayers for a Yom Ha Shoah gathering where many members and friends paid homage to the Holocaust Survivors.
To find out more, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
WIZO WESTERN AUSTRALIA:
WIZO Ilana Bronzing Perth - Sunday 23 May @ 2.30pm Cafe Menora Gardens, 16 Freedman Rd, Menora: The story behind the sculptures with Paola Anselmi. Contemporary art curator, arts writer, public art co-ordinator. RSVP Miriam Landau - 08 9368 2005 / Leah Gunzburg 08 9386 5796. $25 per person.
WIZO Aviva Games night: Sunday 20 June @ 6pm. Join in for some Bridge, Mahjong, Rummy Tiles, Cards, Scrabble or bring your own game. Booking essential contact Viv Levin + 61 413 776 769 or the WIZO WA office 08 9276 7420. $30 per person includes light supper and drinks.
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.
To become involved in any of these activities, please contact: email@example.com
WIZO SOUTH AUSTRALIA:
WIZO SA AGM Sunday 6 June
Watch this space for details of a possible Pop Up Opp Shop and future events and guest speakers
To find out more, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I cannot conclude this newsletter without mentioning the extremely concerning escalation of rockets, terrorist attacks and the fear for the safety of the Israelis living under such dire circumstances. With the escalating security threats, an increased number of WIZO projects and centers have been closed. 117 day care centers, 6 of our schools and youth villages were partially or fully closed; and 72 WIZO Israel projects – mainly centers and second hand clothing shops – were closed as well. Our own Makom BaLev in Be’er Sheva has been closed since rockets began in the South. Thousands of Israeli children, youth, women and families have been unable to benefit from WIZO's services. Our thoughts and hearts go out to each and every one, particularly the children, who are being impacted by the fear that this is having on so many areas of Israel.
Keep up the good work that you all do and I look forward to catching up with some of you on a zoom should these continue, via email or of course there is the phone!!!
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
Warm WIZO regards
Paulette Cherny OAM
President, WIZO Australia