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Embarking my return flight from Israel to Melbourne late January 2020 I was delighted to learn that Paulette Cherny had received an OAM on Australia Day. ‘How appropriate and fitting for Paulette, I thought to myself, after experiencing the most incredible, eye opening 8 day tour which she had meaningfully orchestrated’.

As I unpacked from my trip and sorted through my paperwork I read through an article in the Jerusalem Post which celebrated 100 years of WIZO and the work of so many fabulous women worldwide. The article discussed WIZO’s unique model that attracts women who are ready to get involved and give and expect to see the fruits of their investment.

My mother, Maxi Fogelgarn, has been a long standing and passionate member of WIZO Nirim. Every occasion, birthday, wedding, bar or Batmitzvah in our family her gift was a donation to WIZO for the continued growth of Ahuzat Yeladim. It was so poignant that I should be in Israel with her sharing together and celebrating this facility’s 80th Anniversary.

As we entered Ahuzat Yeladim I was overwhelmed by the greetings of the children and staff. They were so proud to invite us into their home and school and I certainly was feeling the love from all of them.

I was honoured to be sharing a celebration of the opening of the new Jonas Dormitory, our group were welcomed by the Australian Ambassador, Chris Cannan, Haifa’s mayor, Einat Kalisch-Rotem and members of WIZO’s world executive.

From dorms to discovery of the rest of the facilities on campus with a walk down the stones of dedication in honour of all who have contributed to Ahuzat Yeladim. A scrumptious lunch followed which surpassed any top Israeli restaurant. The beautifully decorated tables and the truly first class food all prepared and served by the students was definitely a highlight.

Saving the best mention till last was the honour of meeting Yossi Saragossa. I saw him as the pied piper of Haifa. The love, care and passion of this wonderful unassuming man exuded from the moment we walked into the 80th Anniversary celebration. It takes a special man, a modest man, who can bring together the continuing successful growth of Ahuzat Yeladim.
Yossi, WIZO Australia thank you for sharing the fruits of their investment with great accomplishment.

Adina Merenstein

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