National Israeli Culture Photography Competition
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11 June 2013
Zionist Federation of Australia President Philip Chester is in elite company with current and former world leaders (including Shimon Peres, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Mikhail Gorbachev), innovative academics (Professors Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely, and Dr Rush Westheimer) and international superstars (Barbra Streisand, Sharon Stone and Israel’s Rita): They will all be presenters at the 2013 Israeli Presidential Conference, 19-21 June in Jerusalem.
More than 4,000 of the world’s most influential Jewish community leaders, entrepreneurs, celebrities, politicians and academics from around the world are expected to attend the conference.
Chester is one of five community leaders who will be on the 20 June panel “The Tomorrow of the 20%: Jewish Communities Outside Israel and the United States”.
“So much focus of discussion and news about Jewish continuity outside of Israel comes from the United States, but it is so important for others to note how different other Diaspora communities are from each other and from the United States,” Chester said. “The panel will be an opportunity for the rest of the world to see and understand different ways that Australia has maintained a strong Zionist and Jewish identity in the Diaspora. It will also give us a chance to have a dialogue with other communities and learn ideas and ways that may make our community greater.”
The other panellists hail from France, Mexico, the former Soviet Union and Israel. The panellists have a wide range of community, academic and business experience. Continue reading
12 June 2013
CinemaTEK continues to be a great success, bringing the latest Israeli film releases alongside the classics, to the young adults of Sydney, with the latest screening, in Bondi, a gathering of 30 young adults from across Sydney on June 4 for “The Other Son”.
“We usually screen Israeli films, but we chose this time to screen French film The Other Son,” said Hagshama Co-ordinator Dana Amir. “The wall that divides Israel from Palestine towers many times over head. Lined with razor wire, fortified with steel and watched over by a ceaseless procession of armed Israeli guards, it stands as a dramatic physical representation of a people divided. In French director Lorraine Lévy’s The Other Son, the stark and haunting image of this wall also embodies the impenetrable barriers of identity that we build around ourselves”.
The movie starts with an impossible twist of fate and ends with a random tragic circumstance, totally divorced from the logical progression of the story’s central conflict. The unfortunate result is that the film’s humanistic message of Continue reading
Participants on Israel by Choice at volunteering sites.
Filming: Gaby Grabin
Editor and Director: Yigal Sela
As part of Israel by Choice, a long-term Israel program mostly for school-leavers on a gap year, participants must choose a place to volunteer for part of their program. Multiple options are available to them.During their volunteering, they usually work with others on their program and sometimes meet volunteers from across the world. They also work closely with the Israeli staff.”It’s a really interesting way to get to know Israel from the inside,” said IBC Program Director Gabi Grabin. “It’s getting to know Israelis that choose a line of work that is hard every day. … It’s important to understand that these places won’t stop working. They bring such an interesting and fun vibe to these places. It just changes these places and brings a whole new light.”
Volunteers are given a variety of options that fit their interests. “We try to get a large variety of different places or would answer to needs, if it’s working with kids, adults or animals,” Grabin said. “We’re always open for new options as well. Giving it a try is a key. Sometimes you come to a place, and it looks like it’s not something where you want to be.”
Sophie Davies, from Melbourne, was volunteering at the Agam School, for people aged 6-21 who have disabilities. “It was a good place to help and see what day-to-day life is for people I would have never seen before,” Davies said. “In my class they don’t speak, but I can already see their personalities, and have made a connection to them.”
Daniel Edelman, from Melbourne, volunteered at Shikma, a village for people with retardation. “At this place, you can see a difference that you’re actually making,” Edelman said. “They learn your names, and they get excited when you come. It is hard, but fulfilling at the same time.”
Jessie Goldberg, from Sydney, chose Leket, Israel’s national food bank, where she could be hands-on and have a direct vision of her accomplishments.”You can see the effect you have. You can see at the end of the day 10 crates or 20 crates – that’s what I’ve done,” Goldberg said. “You know that it’s going to go to some place where it’s going to go to good use.”
For students with disabilities, ages 6-21,
Nadia Shnier, Melbourne
Sophie Davis, Melbourne
Kfar Nachman farm
Therapeutic farm and horses, for ages 2-adults
Adrian (AJ) Rich, Melbourne
Tarquin Milecki, MelbourneShikma
Small village for 194 people with retardation
Daniel Edelman, Melbourne
Tarryn Smith, Sydney
Danielle Joffe, Melbourne
MELBOURNE — More than 30 leaders of the Israeli communities from across Australia converged in the Beth Weizmann Community Centre on Sunday, 19 May, for the inaugural “Israelis in Australia” conference. It is estimated that more than 16,000 Israelis live in Australia, and representatives from communities from Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast brought to the table their perspectives on issues, challenges and opportunities facing the diverse communities.
The conference was organised by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) and the Association of Israelis in Australia (AIA). Its aims were to develop strategies to connect Israelis living in Australia with Continue reading
Twice a year, youth movements across Australia gather at campsites across rural Australia on their Winter and Summer Camps. This year in July, each Zionist youth movement will be embark on their Winter camps of about 3-7 days each.
Camps are the pivotal experiences in the youth movement calendars. They allow the participants to be Continue reading
13 June 2013 – J-Wire, “The Diaspora minus the United States”, preview of ZFA President Philip Chester’s presentation at the 2013 Israeli Presidential Conference
13 June 2013 – J-Wire, “One Day with the ZFA”, a visit in Israel with long-term Israel Programs Israel by Choice (IBC) and Maccabi Sports Leadership Program (MSLP)
11 June 2013 – The Age, “Heading to Peres’ 90th” (in Melbourne Life briefs), ZFA President Philip Chester will be among the celebrities, world leaders, entrepreneurs and academics attending the Israeli Presidential Conference, in Jerusalem. Read it in print or online
6 June 2013 – Ha’aretz, ” ‘Bloody Israelis’ Down Under”, about Israeli expats finding more acceptance in the Australian community, with the ZFA/JAFI “Israelis in Australia” conference a positive event
26 May 2013 – SBS Radio – Nitza Lowenstein interviews ZFA Executive Director Ginette Searle (English) and Eitan Drori (Hebrew) (here and here), President of Association of Israelis in Australia, to talk about Israelis in Australia Conference
24 May 2013 – Australian Jewish News, print (page 8 in Sydney) (page 8 in Melbourne, 31 May) “Support for new olim,” about the ZFA’s deal with Telfed for aliyah absorption services. “Support for new olim,” about the ZFA’s deal with Telfed for aliyah absorption services
24 May 2013 – Australian Jewish News, print (page 5 in Melbourne, page 4 in Sydney) and online, “Preserving Israeli identity in Australia,”interview with Azriel Nevo, guest and featured speaker at Israelis in Australia Conference, co-hosted by the ZFA, Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and Association of Israelis in Australia (AIA)
23 May 2013 – Ha’aretz, “Australian immigrants to get more help in their first year in Israel,” article about ZFA partnership with Telfed for immigration absorption services (non-paywall text available here)
20 May 2013 – J-Wire, “Israelis in Australia,” Israelis in Australia Conference
29 April 2013 – iZionist (WZO), “ZFA Participants attend ANZAC Day Commemoration in Jerusalem”
28 April 2013 – JPost, “Record attendance at Jerusalem ANZAC Day Commemoration,” ZFA Israel Programs participants attend commemoration event
18 April 2013 – JTA, “Sydney University student council votes for academic boycott of Israel,” ZFA President Philip Chester quoted saying that the entire university leadership won’t change their minds on maintaining academic cooperation with the Technion.
17 April 2013 – Ha’aeretz, “In Australia, a Zionist Tent of Many Colors,” ZFA President Philip Chester notes that despite a diversity of opinions from the community about Israel, the community is still supportive of Israel
16 April 2013 – J-Wire, “Yom Hazikaron across Australia,” ZFA’s summaries of Yom Hazikaron commemorations
16 April 2013 – The Australian, “Appalling attempt to boycott Israeli uni,” Op-ed by Philip Chester reacts to Sydney University students
5 April 2013 – ZFA President Philip Chester and ZCV President Sam Tatarka were appalled at the AJDS’s call to boycott Israeli products from the West Bank on the eve of Passover, as reported in Ha’aretz, the JTA, the AJN and J-Wire
29 April 2013
Telfed – the South African Zionist Federation (Israel) and the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) have announced the signing of a joint partnership in which Telfed will provide klita (absorption) services to Australian olim on behalf of the ZFA.
In a joint statement the two organisations welcomed the completion of discussions and the agreement will officially commence at the end of April 2013. All olim from Australia will thereafter be supported by Telfed from the moment they step off the plane and for the first full year of their new lives in Israel. This will involve meeting them at the airport, advising them in their first weeks and months in the country as well as help in integrating within local communities.
“We are delighted Continue reading
From ZFA President Philip Chester
Israel at 65 has evolved significantly since the new-born, rough-around-the-edges state of 1948. The Israel of the 21st century is a first world economy and a sophisticated society, complete with a unique culture, dynamic politics and a robust and vigorous democracy.
However, Israel continues to face formidable challenges on the security front, due to the instability of many neighbouring regimes and leaders and the grave threat from Iran.
Israel’s recent elections saw new parties including Yesh Atid and HaBayit HaYehudi securing significant representation in the Knesset and forming part of the coalition government. It is clear that Israeli politics continues to be Continue reading