The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) extended condolences to the Phillips family on the passing of communal identity and philanthropist Millie Phillips.
Born in Poland, Millie Phillips came to Australia as a young girl, but her experiences facing anti-Semitism had a lasting impact on her. Life Member of the ZFA Dr. Ron Weiser AM, who worked closely with Millie, recalls a story she told him in one of their meetings, about Polish youths throwing stones at her and her brother, which resulted in her brother being injured. Millie was determined never to be defenceless again, and that incident was a strong motivating factor in her support of Israel, and her general philanthropy for the Jewish community.
Through the establishment of the JCA Millie Phillips Jewish Education Fund, Millie contributed much needed support for Zionist youth movements – for Israel Programs and local support for camps and other activities – as well as supporting Jewish students on campus through the AUJS shlichut.
President of the ZFA, Jeremy Leibler said, “we were saddened to hear of Millie’s passing. She was a remarkable woman, who has no doubt changed the lives of countless Jewish youth and students through her contributions to activities such as Zionist youth movement camps, AUJS shlichut, and Israel programs over the decades.”
Dr. Weiser concurred, “Millie Phillips’ communal generosity was very significant. In particular, her generous and ongoing commitment in support of the Zionist Youth Movements both locally and for their Israel programs over many years, exemplified her understanding of and dedication to Jewish continuity. Millie will be sorely missed.”