On Sunday 21st October, the B'nai B'rith Israel Commission celebrated Israel's 70th Birthday and chose this very special year to honour the memory of a dedicated Zionist, Past President Sonia Kempler.
The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, was the Guest of Honour and delighted the audience with her charm and wit.
Three Israeli scientists were invited by Mrs Danielle Schilling, Chair of the Israel Commission, to highlight the important role that Israeli technology plays in the world. Dr Yael Naaman from the Royal Women's Hospital (Gynaecology & Oncology departments) shared some technological advancements in medicine. Mr Ron Hoffman, Managing Director at Bio Nexus, discussed the importance of cyber security. Mr Levy Schneider, Managing Director of Netafim Australia, stressed how Israel's knowledge helps solve water problems around the world.
P/P Sonia Kempler's two sons, Leon and Geoffrey, were present at the event and Geoffrey, CEO of Prana Biotechnology, led the panel discussion after retracing the life of his mother.
A lavish brunch followed the discussion.
Shabbat Shalom with Danielle Schilling on B'nai B'rith Gala Brunch Panel celebrating Israel 70th birthday in honour of Sonia Kempler z"l
After eight years in rented office premises in Kooyong Road, B’nai B’rith Victoria’s President Dr Benny Monheit announced to members that B’nai B’rith Victoria is relocating its headquarters to the heart of the community, to become part of Beth Weizmann Jewish Community Centre in South Caulfield.
This decision has come after a long search for premises and a re-evaluating the needs of members and the aging Melbourne community explained Dr Monheit. “We also looked at the data from the Gen 17 survey and discussed how BBVic could continue to have an impact in the community. We want to be able to continue to service our aging members, while ushering in a new change and forging new connections with the younger generations in our community.”
This move will also introduce a new focus, with B’nai B’rith being open to opportunities to work with and collaborate with other like-minded organisations on activations and projects that continue to bring value to our local and wider community.
We are extremely proud of what our organisation has achieved over the past 70 years, introducing projects and programs such as ‘Hillel’ at various university campuses in the 1970s and later the B’nai B’rith Anti Defamation Commission and the ‘Courage to Care’ program. These initiatives have transformed the lives of not just our community, but also the greater community around us, both locally and internationally.
However, it is now time we look at the future and what new initiatives we can create. These initiatives may reflect ways to encourage more social inclusion or support the health and welfare of our baby boomers age group. We hope that the relocation to Beth Weizmann will open new doors and bring us closer to community minded people who want to help us in our work.
Dr Benny Monheit, President of BBVic said, “It’s a major change in thinking and direction for the organisation.” He hopes it will lead to a more open and responsive organisation to meet the challenges Jewish people are now facing in Melbourne. “We really have too many competing organisations and too many stand alone buildings within our Melbourne Jewish community. It’s time to share our valuable but limited human and financial resources.”
The Chairman of the Beth Weizmann Jewish Community Centre, Sam Tatarka, added that he “is thrilled to have B’nai B’rith join the BWJCC family and looks forward to working collaboratively in the future, as we continue to expand the hub of the community”
Pictured: YRU President Les Heimann OAM, BBVic President Dr Benny Monheit, Catherine Green, Dr Chris Tailby
The theme of our most recent BBVic Speakers Forum was “changing the brain” and this forum certainly achieved that!
An overflowing crowd jammed in to hear Ms Catherine Green and Dr Chris Tailby explore how we can – and have – achieved wonders in this area; and judging from the information provided, at least in this country, Melbourne leads in the field.
It’s all about neuroplasticity and that is about helping our brain do what it is intended to do but can’t because of learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia). We learnt how the Arrowsmith program run in a primary school in Moorabbin has achieved outcomes unheard of before. We also learnt how brain research proves that pathways in our brain can be changed and how this research is moving into the fields of stroke recovery and epilepsy.
With the help of some very well-done computer imaging, both speakers made it all so easy to understand. There was of course a Q&A session and some excellent questions arose.
The point of all this was to highlight the fact that approximately 10% of the Australian population suffer from learning difficulties (not including those on the Autism spectrum). That’s about 2.5 million people being left behind by our current education system.
How many potential Einsteins are we losing because of this? A very high level of our unemployed and inmates in prison also suffer from this problem. We can change all of this, and this is an important aspect of what BBVic is all about.
Stay tuned: our next Speakers Forum will be on Thursday 13th December at 7:30pm at Beth Weizmann.
Co-President, Yitzhak Rabin Unit
This year marked the 41st year that B’nai B’rith Victoria (BBVic) has been paying tribute to volunteers who give unstintingly of their time, working quietly behind the scenes for the benefit of the community. Four exceptional women were recipients of the 2018 Menorah Awards: Jacqui Dinor-Corry, Timmy Rubin, Cynthia Pollak and Karin Zafir. Guest Speaker was Dr Danny Lamm AM who spoke about “Israel and the Diaspora in 2018.” The evening was held at Beth Weizmann and was huge success with family, friends and members of BBVic mixing and schmoozing afterwards over refreshments.
BBVic’s Combined Meeting held Sunday, 25th March 2018 was “packed to the rafters” with members and guests attending BBVic’s 1st Combined Meeting for 2018. Guest Speaker was Prof. Andrew Markus whose topic: Anti-Semitism & islamophobia: patterns of thought analysed was well received and findings discussed by everyone throughout the afternoon. Presentation of the BBVic Appreciation Award to PP Irene Bud for her many years of dedicated service to BBVic as Auditor and Treasurer of multiple projects and her Unit. Hand clapping and top tapping entertainment was by: Sibling Revelry - with an eclectic range of music from Yiddish, Hebrew to Jazz and people were even dancing in the aisles.
Don’t miss out on BBVic’s next Combined Meeting which will be held on Sunday, 29th July.
This Mitzvah Day-B’nai B’rith is supporting the
SACRED HEART MISSION
by collecting goods for their aged care facilities and those in their home care program.
Below is the list of goods that they are hoping we are able to assist with.
FOR AGED CARE:
HOME CARE PROGRAM:
Members are also more than welcome to make a monetary donation at either their meetings or at the BB office.
Bring your donations to your next meeting or to the B’nai B’rith office (71 Kooyong Road) by Monday, 20 November.
You will be doing a wonderful mitzvah assisting those less fortunate