More than 150 artworks entered into this year's B'nai B'rith Jewish Youth Art Competition were on display at the Glen Eira Arts Complex.
At the opening ceremony held on Sunday 4th August at the gallery, the Mayor of Glen Eira, Cr Jamie Hyams, praised the quality of the work by the primary, secondary and tertiary students aged 11-18.
"The art competition encouraged youths into healthy activities that build self-esteem through artistic expression," he said. "It creates a concrete and valued stepping-stone on an artistic pathway for students who aspire to a career in the arts."
The Morrie Gold Memorial Prize, presented to the overall winner of the competition, was won by Mount Scopus Memorial College student Ella Hermann for her work - painted on a large tree trunk - titled Falling Into Place.
The Thalia Hakin Prize, sponsored by Gandel Philanthropy, was won by Leibler Yavneh College student Raphael Brykman. The award was established last year in honour of 10-year-old Thalia, a student at Beth Rivkah Ladies College, who was killed in the Bourke Street rampage in January 2017.
The best work on a Jewish theme, sponsored by B'nai B'rith Victoria, was won by Gabriella Steinberg, who is currently in Israel and was presented with her award via smart-phone connection by B'nai B'rith Victoria president Dr Benny Monheit.
We have attempted this year to revitalize the event by rebranding Eisteddfod as Showcase: fostering Jewish Musical Talent. It was felt by the community that the word Eisteddfod was anachronistic and irrelevant. The new tagline better describes what we actually do, in simple, accessible language.
It challenges and provides opportunities for competitors to perform in a supportive and nurturing environment. It offers valuable opportunities to perform in public and be adjudicated by a panel of expert musicians and “best practice” teachers.
Our adjudicators in 2019 have been John Quaine (Classical Strings), Thomas Lorenzo (Guitar), Doug Heywood OAM (Classical Vocal), Galit Klas (Contemporary Vocal and Yiddish/Hebrew Vocal), Amy Howden (Contemporary Piano), Justin Jacobs (Classical Piano) and Anne Gilby (Woodwind). We are so fortunate to have had the services of such experienced and skilled professionals.
I would like to thank our official accompanist: Karen Neumann for her dedication and support.
This year we once again have a record number of vocal and instrumental ensembles and some outstanding solo performers as you will soon attest. I look forward to the final ensemble performance, which will feature representatives from four of the main Jewish day schools.
The Showcase Finals Concert will be held on Sunday 15th September @ 2:00pm. See flyer below for all booking information.
B'nai B'rith’s Bernard J. Lustig Memorial Scholarship has expanded its scholarship scheme and for the first time, it will be awarding more than one scholarship per year.
“In the past,” chairman of trustees Dr Paul Gardner AM explained, “we offered the scholarship in two categories, as a travel grant to outstanding university student leaders, or as a post-graduate research grant. However, our available funds allowed us to make only one major award each year.
“This year, B'nai B'rith’s Unit Akiba decided to make a substantial grant to the Lustig scholarship, derived from the Peter Krafel Bequest, a BB Akiba member who passed away in 2016 and left a legacy to support various B'nai B'rith educational programs. This will allow us to offer more than one scholarship each year. We are naturally very grateful to Unit Akiba for their support. It is an on-going annual commitment.”
The first student to benefit from this expansion is Monash student Jarryd Shaw, who was presented with his travel grant at the beginning of a Unit Akiba meeting in July. In announcing the award and introducing the winner to the audience, Dr Gardner encapsulated Jarryd’s life as a Mt Scopus graduate and beyond: “Brilliant academically, high level sporting achievements, engaged in interfaith relations, involved in the Jewish community, Friday night services, Jewish Holocaust Centre, projects in Israel. The list goes on and on.” At Monash, he is taking a combined Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce program. His academic record to date shows High Distinctions in thirteen subjects.
High academic achievement, while a necessary criterion for winning a Lustig Travel Grant, is not sufficient. “He won the award,” Gardner explained, “as a result of his work within the law faculty as a student leader. He tutors first-year students. He is the deputy co-ordinator of the Monash Law Students Society Peer Mentoring Program. He has been appointed as a research assistant to the Dean of the Law faculty, working on a proposal to establish the Anti-Death Penalty Institute, which aims to abolish the death penalty across Asia.”
Jarryd is leaving Melbourne in early August and is heading for Pennsylvania State University, a highly rated Ivy League institution. He has been accepted as a student in the university’s business school, where he will study game theory and international economics.
In his application for the scholarship, Jarryd stated that he intended to “serve my community as an advocate, both in a professional and charitable capacity.” He noted that he had already been accepted as a member of a program known as the Global Engagement Community at Pennsylvania. He explained that this is “a leadership program designed to combine international exchange students with domestic students to develop an understanding of cultural differences. As a person who fundamentally identifies as a global citizen, learning more about various cultures and backgrounds will assist my development as a leader and allow me to be more engaged with the broader community and a better leader of the Jewish community.”
The scholarship is B'nai B'rith Victoria’s oldest on-going project. It was established in 1955 following the death of Bernard Lustig in January of that year in a car accident. A brilliant young barrister, he was at the time the president of B'nai B'rith Youth Melbourne.
In his acceptance of the award, Jarryd noted the tragic parallel with the recent death of another outstanding lawyer and community leader, Anton Hermann, who had been a personal mentor.
Presentations in the Post-graduate Research awards category will be made in September.
For further information, contact Dr Paul Gardner 9578 4724, 0412 275 623, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to interview Jarryd Shaw, his contact details are 0449 199 995; email@example.com
Click & Connect's Aviva Sztrajt, Liora Vitos Koren & Claire Morton were interviewed for J-AIR's Shabbat Shalom Drive on July 19th. Click HERE to listen to their interview.
A wonderful article in The Australian Jewish News about the Click and Connect launch. If you'd like to know more about C&C, please visit www.clickandconnect.org.au
Hear Co-Presidents of our newly combined Gesher-Rabin Unit, Karin Zafir & Leon Nissen, discuss their recent merger when interviewed by Gary Mallin on J-AIR. They also shared some fantastic insights into BBVic's value to Melbourne Jewry.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
A Speakers Forum featuring Professor Martin Delatycki, the Clinical Director of the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, and Jane Tiller, a genetics counsellor, attracted 150 people to the Beth Weizmann Community Centre on Tuesday 4th June. Martin spoke about a number of diseases to which Jews are at increased genetic risk, and Jane explained how the project which she is managing, JeneScreen, is offering screening tests for the faulty BRCA genes to the Jewish community. These faulty genes are of increased prevalence among Jewish people, and they are associated with a higher chance of developing a number of cancers including breast, ovarian and prostate.
There were many younger people from the community who attended and who were not members of B’nai B’rith. They and many other people undertook BRCA genetic screening at the conclusion of the event. The Speakers Forum is intended to attract a wider audience by presenting interesting and important topics and speakers, and this night was a highly successful one in that regard.
Anyone who wishes to enquire about free BRCA screening can follow up with Ms Jane Tiller by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be another Speakers Forum toward the end of the year.
Peter Schattner (Chair, Speakers Forum)