Making a Difference is a project (of Melbourne Mitzvah Lodge) which has been running since 1996. In that time we have raised some $150,000 from our members and their friends and given away bursaries to 219 Year 11 & 12 Jewish financially disadvantaged students to the end of 2015. Usually our money is raised by our members when they have simchas and request that their friends make a donation to 'Making a Difference' instead of bringing a gift, or other happy or sad occasions. Sometimes members give donations for no reason at all! Sometimes the Executive give us a donation to cover a bursary or Melbourne Mitzvah Lodge has a function during the year for us.
We have no administration costs and every dollar received is used for these bursaries. We only accept requests from school welfare co-ordinators. In 2015, we received requests from 8 schools who nominated some 18 students for 2016. After careful and lengthy deliberations, the committee decided to award 13 bursaries to the amount of $14,000. 11 were for amounts of $1000 each and the two most needy students received $1500 each, i.e. for the Sylvia Klein Bursary and the Herbert & Viva Leder Bursary both named in honour of long serving, much loved but deceased members of our committee.
We would be delighted to receive donations from people outside our Lodge should they wish to support our wonderful work.
You are welcome to make a direct deposit or forward cheques to:
B'nai B'rith Victoria
306 Hawthorn Road
Caulfield South VIC 3162
(please mark cheques 'Making a Difference' )
Or email email@example.com
MAKING A DIFFERENCE GROUP
B'nai B'rith Melbourne Mitzvah Lodge
Attention: Jewish Students
Whether we are happy or sad, it is our responsibility to assist others less fortunate through Tzedakah. For 20 years Making a Difference has been dedicated to fulfilling this Mitzvah by providing assistance for financially disadvantaged Jewish students. We need your help to raise money so that we can ensure all Jewish students can have access to education.
Account Name: B’nai Brith Charitable Trust
Account Number: 900128923
Include Reference: MAD + surname/name of special occasion
Connect with Making a Difference on Facebook
Category 1 Research Grant
Category 2 Travel Grant
SIXTY YEARS ON, A LIVING MEMORIAL REMAINS
It happened in 1955. Summer holiday period. Hume Highway. Car, driver, two passengers. The car swerved off the road and hit a tree. A common event, a tragedy, more frequent then than today. Two young men died. The woman passenger survived.
The accident ended the life of Bernard Lustig, a brilliant young barrister, winner of the University of Melbourne’s Supreme Court Prize. He was the older son of Adolf and Kate Lustig, German refugees from Nazism who fled to Australia before the war. As the war ended Adolf helped found the first B'nai B'rith lodge in Melbourne.
Bernard followed in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer, although Adolf’s career in Munich was cut short by the Nuremberg Race Laws. Bernard also became interested in B'nai B'rith in 1951, becoming a founding member of B'nai B'rith Youth Melbourne and one of its earliest presidents.
His death generated a thought among the members of the BBY committee. Let’s establish a scholarship in his memory. Too ambitious, said some. But anyone who knew the late Pauline Richter (later Pauline Glass) would testify that this was a young woman who was motivated, capable and persistent. She won the day.
With financial contributions from B'nai B'rith Melbourne Lodge and its Women’s Chapter, the youth group set up a fund later that year, and awarded the first scholarships, to assist capable Year 12 students about to embark on a university course in 1956.
Six decades have passed, and the scholarship is now the oldest continuing B'nai B'rith project and the longest running scholarship in the Victorian Jewish community. As with any project that survives for so long, it has had to change with the times. The first scholarship was worth ₤50. Today, winners receive $2500. Winners are decided by a long-serving group of trustees comprising senior academics and representatives of the Lustig family.
The administration has changed. BBY Melbourne no longer exists: the scholarship is now a B'nai B'rith Victoria project. Instead of treasurers handling a couple of cheques, the scholarship receives some of its funding from an investment fund managed by the B'nai B'rith Charitable Fund (and from numerous individual donors).
Information technology has wrought changes too. Originally, applicants sent hand-written letters in response to an AJN ad. Now there are detailed guidelines and an extensive application form, submitted by email. Nearly all communications among the trustees are handled electronically.
The purpose of the scholarship has also altered since its early days. The scholarship is now offered in two categories: as a research grant to master’s and doctoral thesis candidates, and as a travel grant to outstanding student leaders at university level, to fund overseas travel to participate in leadership development programs.
Some recent winners have travelled to Israel to participate in short courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Another worked as a deputy speech-writer for the Israeli Mission at the United Nations in New York. A young medical practitioner was assisted to pursue post-graduate research at Harvard University. The major winner in 2017 was a school counsellor researching for a master’s degree in psychology.
Applications open in March each year and close at the end of April. Intending applicants should send an email to the B'nai B'rith Victoria Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting a copy of the guidelines and an application form.
Learn more about how B'nai B'rith Australia / New Zealand is making an impact in communities across our region.