National Council of Jewish Women of Australia supports same sex marriage as part of its stand against discrimination. Based on the human right to equality, we believe that civil marriage under the Marriage Act should be available to all people, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious affiliations and beliefs. We agree with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry that amending the definition of marriage in Australian civil law will not affect religious freedoms for those who believe in the traditional definition of marriage.
We encourage our members and community to take part in the plebiscite and promote equality and reduce discrimination. It is our hope that Australia will join the growing list of over 20 countries around the world where same sex marriage is legally recognized, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, in order to create a modern, fair and just society.
Victoria Nadel & Sylvia Deutsch OAM
Acting National Co-Presidents
Miriam Bass, President & Board
NCJWA (Vic) Inc
Last Thursday night we held our 90th AGM, with President Miriam Bass welcoming guests and providing an overview of the year that was. A special Jubilee video presentation was also screened showing the history of the organisation and in particular founder Dr Fanny Reading MBE in action. This was followed by the Caring Mums Clip produced by Channel 9.
Miriam acknowledged that it was a privilege to be honoured with being the City of Glen Eira’s 2017 Community Group of the Year, noted the expansion of the Caring Mums program into the City of Kingston, the roll out of the Jam project, our mentor project for teenage girls and the successful engagement of a younger group of women.
“It has been a busy and productive year with many exciting happenings. We can be justifiably proud of our achievements not only this year but for the ninety years of continuous service to the community”, said Bass. “I am looking forward to the remainder of our 90th Anniversary year and powering more women and girls for a better world.”
Nine board members were re-elected together with President Miriam Bass, and Moran Dvir will be joining the Board as an observer.
Shirley Glance, Immediate Past President, stepped down to focus on her position on the National Board. Shirley was elected an Honorary Life Member.
Several awards were presented during the evening to those who made an outstanding contribution to the organisation and to the community over the year.
Ellie Smorgon and Roslyn Gunn received the President’s Award for their initiative and commitment to the organisation.
Sandra Levinson was awarded the President’s Service Award for her dedication as a previous Board member and Chair of the Events Committee.
David Southwick MP presented Mina Levy with the Glen Eira District Victoria Volunteer Award for her commitment to the organisation particularly in the capacity of Volunteer Coordinator. Mina recently stepped down from this position after 6 years of dedicated service.
The Sylvia Gelman Award for Outstanding Woman Educator in the area of Jewish Studies in Victoria was awarded to Amanda Castelan-Starr, a remarkable educator at Mount Scopus College.
The Fanny Reading Scholarship was awarded in absentia to Roni Froumine by Dr Dvir Abramovich, Director Program in Jewish Culture and Society, University of Melbourne.
It was wonderful to see so many past Presidents in attendance and have their continued support of the organisation.
The evening concluded with the cutting of a specially made cake to mark the organisation’s 90th year.
Board and senior staff of NCJWA (Vic) have been in Israel, taking part in the ICJW Seminar.
End of seminar - Yael Deckelbaum's "Prayer of the Mothers"
(original can be found at www.yaeldeckelbaum.com/en/prayerofthemothers)
It is often assumed that mothers will seek out other mothers when it comes to parenting and support, but there are men out there who really care too.
On the occasion of his 60th birthday, Stephen asked all 65 of his male guests for donations to Caring Mums in lieu of gifts, and give with care they did.
We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the men, many of whom are fathers and grandfathers.
Stephen’s wife Frankie is the Administration and Marketing Manager for Caring Mums, and their daughter Lauren and grandson Toby feature in the promotional material. So Caring Mums for the Pinch’s has become quite a family affair, and their passion and support shows!
Stephen is pictured here with NCJWA (Vic) President Miriam Bass.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week we held a special thank you celebration in the presence of Cr Jim Magee, Deputy Mayor City of Glen Eira, to acknowledge the wonderful work our volunteers do in making a real difference in people’s lives across our many programs.
You are all an inspiration and your dedication to NCJWA(Vic) is greatly appreciated.
Pesach is a festival of liberation, freedom and redemption. The story we tell during the Pesach seder is one of liberation from slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago. The seder is a time of both joy and reflection. It invites animated discussion about modern forms of slavery - the trafficking of women, child labour, the plight of refugees and others who are not yet free.
In modern times many of us have added elements to the seder table: potato peelings to remember those lost in the holocaust; the cup of Miriam to commemorate the miracle of Miriam’s well that provided the Children of Israel with water during 40 years in the wilderness. In my house the Cup of Miriam has a place of honour alongside Elijah’s cup as a reminder of the importance of our women leaders past and present.
The team at NCJWA (Vic) Inc extend our good wishes for a happy and kosher Pesach to our members, volunteers, friends and supporters.
Chag Sameach v Kasher!
Lee Ann Basser
Why was this night different from all other nights?
It was the night we celebrated our Women's Interfaith Seder, co-hosted with UJEB. We welcomed some 90 women and girls from diverse faiths and cultural and ethnic backgrounds to the Eva Besen Centre.
Keren Harel-Gordon lead the proceedings inspiring us, sharing interpretations and explanations of the text. The Hall was buzzing with conversation, song and laughter.
Thanks to the Victorian Multicultural Commission and David Kraus of Kraus foods for their support, and Roquette for catering the dinner.
NCJWA (Vic) congratulates those who become citizens and those whose contributions to our nation are honoured this Australia Day.