NCJWA NSW have had a very productive year. Nadene Alhadeff, our MUM FOR MUM NCJWA Executive Director and Eastern Suburbs Co-ordinator, received the Randwick Community Services Award and Waverley Council awarded MUM FOR MUM NCJWA the Waverley Local Hero Award 2018 “Working Together”. Now in its 10th year, MUM FOR MUM NCJWA, our signature program, has 90 MUM FOR MUM NCJWA volunteers. There are 60 volunteers supporting mothers in the Eastern Suburbs and 30 volunteers on the North Shore. In response to a perceived need by the recipient Mums, mothers’ groups are held during the year. Speakers are invited to volunteer support sessions to engage, enthuse and coach volunteers. Fifteen delegates and colleagues from the Pittsburgh Jewish Health Foundation attended a morning tea at NCJWA Council House to learn about the MUM FOR MUM program, and to see Australia’s programs on perinatal mental health.
NCJWA Cancer Support Network group meets every second month with counsellor, Dr Mandy Goldman Strous, President of Cancer Counselling Professionals Inc. Tanya Stokes, a facilitator in this area, gave short sessions of her Mind, Movement and Dance programs. Our major event for the year took place on Monday 6 November 2017 with Petrea King as our guest speaker. Petrea spoke on “Building Resilience and Emotional Intelligence”. Her central message was that ”The greatest gift you can give yourself, your children, your family and your community, is the gift of your own good physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing”. NCJWA NSW ran this event as our annual Pink Sunday event (on Monday) and combined it with a meeting of the Women’s Cancer Support Group.
The Books Out Loud program has continued to grow. Miri Orden recently handed over the program to volunteer Natalie Narunsky.
Nadene Alhadeff continued in a volunteer capacity to chair the Status of Women/Social Justice portfolio. Under this portfolio on August 6, 2017 an event was held called, “Legalising Marriage Equality – What Does It Mean For Our Community?” A panel discussion followed with Tiernan Brady, Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Justice Stephen Rothman AM and Lauren Reinhardt. Dr Justin Koonin was the moderator. This event took place a few weeks after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the Marriage Equality Postal Plebiscite and our hall was filled to capacity. The community voiced their appreciation of NCJWA NSW for addressing this issue.
Our Birthing Kit Packing Day, a Transcultural event was held on 31 August and was well attended with many representatives from organisations which included the Executive and members from Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association, National Council of Women, Catholic Women’s Association, Ebenezer Operation Exodus Asia Pacific Ltd. CEO and founder of the registered charity, Gennarosity Abroad (based in Kenya East Africa) spoke about her charity. We packed 1,000 birthing kits for mothers-to-be in developing countries.
Our newest initiative “Days For Girls” was held in March with over seventy five people in attendance. A number of mothers came with their teenage daughters. They cut material, sewed, folded and packed brightly coloured reusable material sanitary pads which will be sent to girls in remote areas in Africa. The mission of Days for Girls’ is “to create a more free, dignified, and educated world, through providing lasting access to feminine hygiene solutions and health education”.
At the 5th Commemoration of World Kindertransport Day, held on 3rd December 2017, Janet Merkur, Chair of Kindertransport Australia, organised her major event with NCJWA NSW. A violin that belonged to her grandfather murdered in Auschwitz, was played for the first time in 83 years.
Rebbetzin Jana Gottshall Memorial Library Event: Gael Hammer continues as Chair of the Rebbetzin Jana Gottshall Memorial Library events. On September 4, author Francine Lazarus, shared her story from her book “A Hidden Jewish Child From Belgium”. Francine recounted her survival as a Jewish child living in wartime Belgium, and her eventual migration to Australia. The final library event for 2017 was held on Founder’s Day. Gael interviewed Moira Blumenthal about her theatre work in South Africa and Australia.
The Progressive Group held a function Monday 14th August 2017 and viewed a film, ‘Broadway at Twilight’. In February 2018 the group screened “The Sturgeon Queens”. Our Shifra and Northsiders Groups also held various functions to raise money for NCJWA NSW.
Archives – Liane Froneman, Archives Chair, completed the digitising of all Bulletins, and the photos and papers that belonged to Dr Fanny Reading.
The Charity Trust Fund continues to support worthy causes within the Jewish and wider community in Australia. Trustees are Zara Young OAM, Phyllis Glasser and Dalia Ayalon Sinclair OAM. NCJWA NSW continues to raise money for our National Israel projects. NCJWA NSW observed Council Shabbat this year at The Great Synagogue. We were very pleased Mixed Talmud Classes continued with Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton from The Great Synagogue on a Wednesday night.
From 27 – 31 May 2018 NCJWA NSW were honoured to host the ICJW Convention entitled “Evolving Beyond Tradition – the Impact of Women’s Perspectives and Developing Ideas.” Mazal Tov to Robyn Lenn OAM, IPP ICJW for an exceptionally enlightening and engaging conference.
See article in Australian Jewish News 18 May 2018, re NCJWA National body and Unchain My Heart submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on Gett Refusal, Jewish Divorce and Family Law. Please see link to the submission on the NCJWA website http://www.ncjwa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/NCJWA-Submission-to-ALRC.pdf