24 July 2020
The Zionist Federation of Australia on Thursday hosted an intimate roundtable meeting with newly-appointed Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich MK.
ZFA President Jeremy Leibler presented an overview of the Jewish community in Australia, noting, in particular, its strong Zionist identification, connection to Israel and Jewish identity. The frank, open and warm discussion canvassed issues relating to the inclusion and engagement of youth, the priority of education and, of course, the shared global challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic and the latest developments in the extradition of Malka Leifer.
Mr Leibler said, “During the meeting, we quickly identified common ground and a commitment to work together to further strengthen the strong connections between Israel and Australia”.
“It was an important opportunity to introduce the minister to our community”, he continued, “which, whilst geographically distant from Israel, is nevertheless unique in its strength and commitment to Israel.”
Minister Yankelevich acknowledged the strength of the Australian Jewish community, particularly its deep and ongoing support and connection with the State of Israel. She described the Australian Jewish community as a model community to other Jewish communities around the world. She also outlined a major strategic project recently approved by the government to strengthen diaspora Jewish communities and welcomed the opportunities to work together that will arise from the project. Also in attendance: ZFA CEO Ginette Searle, ECAJ Co-CEO Peter Wertheim, AIJAC Director of International and Community Affairs Jeremy Jones, Zionism Victoria President Sharene Hambur, Zionist Council of New South Wales President Richard Balkin, ZFA Israel Office Director Moriah Ben-Davidand Ministry for Diaspora Affairs CEO Dvir Kahane.