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Every End Is A New Beginning

14/09/2020 4:19 PM | Anonymous

Spring has arrived in Melbourne and is a time of new beginnings. The same is true for NCJWA Vic.

Our Annual General Meeting on the 27th August was the end of one era and the beginning of another. Three stalwarts of the board had reached the end of their 8 year tenure. This is the maximum time anyone can sit on the board as it’s good governance for boards to refresh themselves regularly.

Miriam Bass, Debbie Strauch and Hannah Greenberg have left the board and will be sorely missed. They were all integral to the enormous transition that the organisation has undergone in recent years and contributed greatly, each in their own way.

Every end is a new beginning though. The end of their tenure opened the way for a new executive team to be elected and two new board members. This brings new people, new ideas and new energy to the organisation. 

Board Departures 

President – Miriam Bass

Miriam has been the President for the last 4 years. She enhanced the delivery of our programs and activities and put in place robust structures for finance, risk management and governance whilst focusing on our mission to advance the lives of women and girl. She leaves NCJWA Vic as an effective, finely tuned and robust organisation on a journey of growth, with a strong and skilled Board, an authoritative strategic plan, and a new generation of supporters

Vice President – Debbie Strauch

Debbie served as Vice President from 2014 – 2020. She helped raise the profile of NCJWA Vic through events and programs and maintained the Circle of Women as an important source of philanthropic support. Our Brainfood series of informal lectures was initiated by Debbie, she co-ordinated the speakers for the UJEB Bat Mitzvah program and established the partnership that led to the popular Shesh events. It’s easy to see why Debbie was awarded Honorary Life Membership of NCJWA Vic this year!

Treasurer – Hannah Greenberg

Hannah held the role of Treasurer for 8 years during which time she obtained DGR status for the NCJWA Vic Social Support Trust. Eight years ago our financial systems were undeveloped, we did not have any basis from which to prepare budgets, and obtaining reliable management reports was a strain. Hannah has ensured that all those things are now in place. She was honoured for her tireless work by being this year’s recipient of the NCJWA Presidents award.

Board Arrivals

Lila Raskin

Lila is a Chartered Accountant and Director in PwC’s Financial Assurance practice with 13 years’ experience. She has been a member of NCJWA Vic’s Finance Committee for the past year. With a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University, Lila brings technical accounting knowledge, financial governance and acumen as well as experience in senior stakeholder management from her role leading projects in the private sector.

Kate Mohr

Kate is a Director of the Murdoch Children’s’ Research Institute and Chair of its Development Board. With a Bachelor degree in Arts and Law from Monash University, Kate practiced commercial law before heading to an in-house role as Legal Counsel for Swinburne University. She is a passionate supporter of many charities and has sat on the board of Kids in Philanthropy and been involved in event planning for Mt Scopus and the Jewish Museum of Australia.

New Board Executive Team

President – Helen Lewin

Helen joined the Board in 2016. With qualifications in law and more than 25 years’ experience in law, privacy practice and corporate compliance, she brings a breadth of perspectives to dealing with privacy protection and information governance issues. Formerly, Deputy Privacy Commissioner (Victoria), and Chief Privacy Officer and Head of Corporate Compliance at Telstra Corporation, Helen now works as a lawyer and privacy consultant.

Vice President – Judy Hacker

Judy joined the Board in 2017 and is a senior marketing executive with over thirty years’ experience in management, marketing and strategic planning. She is an experienced Board member, having served on many not-for-profit boards before joining NCJWA Vic and is also currently on the board of Women’s Health Victoria. Judy led the rebranding of the organisation in 2020 in line with the strategy to revitalise our look and feel and broaden our appeal to all age groups.

Treasurer – Lesley Ber

Lesley joined the Board in 2019 and is a qualified Chartered Accountant as well as an MBA graduate with a Diploma in International Tax. Lesley has 15 years banking experience ranging from general banking, internal auditing to specialist treasury bank auditing. She is an experienced structured financier and has implemented domestic and cross border lending structures as well as having been a tax examiner for the South African Institute of Bankers and a university lecturer.

Secretary – Sally Davis

Sally, a lawyer by profession and a trained mediator, joined the Board in 2018. Sally chairs the Governance and Risk Committee. Having worked extensively in the financial services industry for over 20 years, focusing on dispute resolution and the identification of systemic issues, Sally is currently the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of committees that monitor codes of practice in the financial services sector. She is passionate about providing community assurance and ensuring continuous improvement.

In addition to all the changes the board is undergoing, we are also farewelling our current CEO Lee Ann Basser and welcoming our new CEO Alexander P. Silver. Lee Ann is moving towards retirement after four years at NCJWA Vic. She has made a discernible difference during her time as CEO and was instrumental in driving the growth of the organisation, raising its profile and developing an amazing team of staff.

Lee Ann gave us an unusually long notice period so that we could conduct an extensive search for the next CEO and ensure an orderly transition period. We thrilled that Alexandra Silver accepted our offer to be the new CEO and she started with us on the 1st September.

Lee Ann and Alex have been spending a lot of time together during the two week handover period. Alex’s vast experience in both the not-for-profit and commercial sectors in the Jewish community in the USA as well as the broader community in the USA means that she has hit the ground running.

Born and raised in the United States, Alexandra immigrated to Australia in 2019 with her Australian husband and young family. Although fairly new to living in Melbourne, she visited her extensive family here many times and has already established strong connections within the community since moving here. Some of you may know her from Caulfield South Primary School in Bundeera Road where her twin daughters go to school.

Alexandra is thrilled to be joining NCJWA Vic to help guide the organisation to reach new heights as we build upon the rich history and strong foundation we have already achieved.

Please join us in sincerely thanking Miriam, Debbie, Hannah and Lee Ann for their wonderful contribution to NCJWA Vic. Similarly, please welcome Lila, Kate and Alex as well as the new executive team who all look forward to ensuring a strong future for NCJWA Vic. 


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