Bayside Bahai Community invitation to Building Bridges afternoon
“My grandparents were Jewish. Mine too! I was born in Tel Aviv. Me too! My parents spoke Hebrew when they didn’t want me to know something. And, my parents spoke Polish when they didn’t want me to know something”. I could have been speaking to a cousin whose life experience mirrored my own. With whom was I speaking? I was in conversation with Manizheh Davies member of Bayside Bahai Community at a Building Bridges afternoon aimed at strengthening friendship bonds with WIZO Victoria and other Bayside community organisations.
What a delight it was to encounter a Bahai devotee who values her Jewish Heritage and welcomes the beginning of a warm friendship with another Jewish person. The Bayside Bahai Community afternoon focused on the topic of Advancing the Role of Women in Society and featured speakers from National Council of Jewish Women, Tara Buddhist Institute, Vietnamese Association of Victoria Association and the Lebanese Council of Victoria. Each speaker presented ideas about how to provide equal opportunities for women and raise the status of women.
Three WIZO members were invited to the event. Sisters Deborah Diamond and Sally-Ann Jaye both members of WIZO Nirim and I, accepted the invitation and Deborah and Sally-Ann proved to be warm, friendly and intelligent WIZO representatives.
National Council of Women of Victoria 60th Annual Anniversary Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony 18 January 2021
The annual ceremony acknowledges past and present Australian women pioneers in research, community support and civic and ethnic community affairs. This year the focus was on Pioneer Women in Medical Research. Guest Speaker Prof Susan Sawyer, Director of the Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Adolescent Health, spoke about new global World Health Organisation and UNESCO standards for promoting adolescent health at school. I attended the ceremony on behalf of WIZO Victoria and Australia.
WIZO Masada Virtual tours of Israel
At the Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony, I introduced myself to a group of women as a member of WIZO, a Jewish women’s organization. When it said this Helen Hu, a member of the Australia Chinese Businesswomen’s Association excitedly told me how much she enjoyed WIZO Masada’s virtual tours of Jerusalem. I mention this conversation to the Federal Executive to illustrate how effective the virtual tours are in reaching out to other women’s organisations both locally and internationally. The tours provided WIZO and Israel with an audience we would otherwise struggle to attract.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day 27 January 2021
“I think that the message this day sends, jells very much with Soroptimist ideals and most certainly my Catholic faith. It is for all of us to ensure that such a thing as the Holocaust never happens again”. “May we indeed strive to overcome hatred and prejudice in our world”. “I enjoyed this (commemoration) very much, it was so well put together”. These are comments from members of various women’s organisations who accepted the link I sent to view the virtual Australian International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration.
United Nations Association, Victoria, Status of Women Committee meeting, 12 January 2021
I am very grateful to World WIZO for informing members about WIZO Israel’s wide-ranging publicity campaign to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, 2020 and to raise public awareness of the issue.
I reported to the Status of Women Committee that Anita Friedman, World Chairperson of Women’s International Zionist Organisation has called the increase in violence against women during the Covid 19 lockdown in Israel and in many parts of the world “the pandemic within the pandemic”. Anita Friedman’s email included a list of actions by taken by WIZO to bring the issue to public awareness. Receiving detailed information and links from WIZO Israel about its responses to emerging situations is an excellent way to distribute WIZO information to other community organisations.
Dear Federal Executive, although much of my report outlines Victorian events, many of the women’s organisations I encounter are represented in your states. Your members have the opportunity to outreach to these organisations and spread WIZO news far and wide. Please contact me if you would like to have a chat about the role of WIZO Community Liaison Officer. Fundraising is essential for us and so is friendraising.
(Definition: Friendraising is a form of fundraising that involves befriending an organization or individual for the purpose of supporting the financial aspect of a charity, non-profit group or other community benefit organization.) Friend Raising Author, Betty Barnet
Community Liaison officer