The B’nai B’rith Victoria Menorah Awards were established in 1978. They are presented annually to worthy recipients who:
Click HERE to read the latest (March '20) Newsletter
Category 1 Research Grant
Category 2 Travel Grant
Download the application form / guidelines
Click above to download the 2020 forms.
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.
2019 Showcase Committee.
"The booklet should be printed as a 2-sided document, short-edge binding"
Online Showcase 2020 – To all potential contestants, their parents, and music teachers,
The changes we have all experienced as a society due to corona-virus have made us all rethink our daily lives. For the Showcase committee, we are concerned about our core business; Showcase: fostering Jewish musical talent.
We know that our children are going through a challenging time. Schools were shut and students instructed to spend their days in an online classroom from their bedrooms. Sporting teams and clubs stopped meeting, training and playing. After four months, things have not gone back to normal.
Children and young people have been having online music lessons. I think there are many young people out there trying to keep up with their music.
Showcase is a key B’nai B’rith project. The Showcase committee was established in 1985 to encourage young people to continue their musical pursuits. We are committed to continuing that work.
How to enter Online Showcase 2020
1. Go to our webpage at https://www.bnaibrith.org.au/our-projects/showcase.
Download the Information Booklet, Entry form and Consent Form.
2. Register your entry by Friday 24 July. Late entries will not be accepted.
3. You will then receive your acknowledgement and access rights to the Showcase channel.
4. June 26-July 31 Online Heats will take place. The channel will be open for entrants to upload video recordings of their performances to the Showcase channel.
5. July 31-August 18 Our adjudicators will assess the performances. Entrants and competitors will receive adjudications, participation certificates and awards to celebrate their talent, according to the adjudicators’ decision.
6. August 18-Sept 10 Awardees will be contacted and the Finals Concert organised.
7. September 13 at 1.30 pm. the Finals Concert. Substantial prizes are offered for Section winners and the overall winner.
While all entrants are requested to participate in Online Showcase 2020, we are living in a rapidly changing environment. With restrictions continuing in July, if venues are opened, the Showcase committee could offer entrants a live final and live-streamed concert via the channel. Keep a watch on our webpage for up to date information.
Dear teachers, families and friends, we have found a way to adapt to changing circumstances.
The Showcase committee is a volunteer group comprising of retired professionals. If you have the expertise to support us to run an Online Showcase 2020, please let us know via the website. We welcome your opinion and your feedback. Please let us know through our website: email@example.com or the B’nai B’rith office phone 9523 0888.
We have now opened our online channel bbvic.net to prepare for the Heats. This week, the booklets, flyers, website and advertising have been updated. We have advertised widely and already have 25 entries.
We have extended the registration date to respond to the changing uncertain times and school holiday period.
Interested entrants still have time to fill in the two forms, Entry Form and Consent Form, and encourage Online Showcase 2020 to find a new way to foster Jewish musical talent.
Music can help raise everyone’s spirits.
Chair of Showcase 2020
The B'nai B'rith Showcase is a member of, and has accreditation with,
The Association of Eisteddfod Societies of Australia Inc.
This is the only Jewish Showcase in Australia and fulfills a specific need - it does not replicate what any other Jewish organisation is doing. Jewish musicians are enabled to compete in an officially recognised Showcase; as most are held on Shabbat, this competition acts as a bridge through all streams of Judaism - covering Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels (ages 8 - 25).
Register now and you too can be part of this exciting event!
Please see the attached files on the right for sign up information or phone the B'nai B'rith Office on
(03) 9523 0888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
JUDY FIRESTONE-PODCAST PROMOTING SHOWCASE ON J-AIR 24/07/20
Official Accompanist Guide
The Jenny Goldberg Community Service Grant has been awarded annually since 2004. Jenny Goldberg z"l, who passed away in 2003, was an active volunteer in B'nai B'rith and the wider community.
The grant exists to help improve people's skills as volunteers, which in turn will benefit the community at large.
To be eligible for the $2500 grant, applicants must be Jewish, reside in Melbourne, be under the age of 35, and have a history of volunteering in the Jewish and/or wider community.
BBVIC - A New Community Service Project
- For more information about it, see its website, www.clickandconnect.org.au
- C&C wants to expand its activities, not only in Israel, but here in Australia, by assisting students who need help with English.
- C&C’s leadership approached B'nai B'rith seeking our support.
- At its August executive meeting, BBVic agreed to explore ways in which we could assist them in their work. BBVic President Dr Benny Monheit endorsed the project, stating that “C&C’s vision of supporting community service in Israel and locally is strongly aligned with the aims of B'nai B'rith”.
Dr Paul Gardner AM has agreed to be the initial liaison between BBVic and C&C. Here are his thoughts about how B'nai B'rith might be able to assist:
“I have met with some of their leadership on two occasions and have been impressed by their vision and their competence. For them to grow, they require more resources, especially human resources. This is a hands-on-the-internet-direct-help project, not a fund-raising exercise.
So, here’s how you might become involved:
Are you a retired teacher willing to spend an hour every fortnight on the internet with a particular child in Israel?
Or if not a teacher, would you enjoy having a conversation in English about any topics of mutual interest? (The aim is not to cover a curriculum, simply to encourage the kid to talk.)
Or, if direct conversation with kids is not your forte, would you be willing to provide volunteer assistance to C&C to help out with managing their project?
Do you know anyone in your circle of family and friends – they don’t have to be B'nai B'rith members – who might be interested in helping out in some way?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES! -- and I would love to get some enthusiastic YES! responses – please contact me.”
email@example.com 9578 4724 0412 275 623
Volunteers prepare and serve afternoon tea. Many of the entertainers provide their services for free or a reduced rate.
Proceeds go to B’nai B’rith projects.
For more details, please contact Cera at 0412 304 894
All photos on this page, thanks to Judi Schiff Photography (click on photo to see the full picture)
Our Hatikvah Unit meet on a regular basis to make calico dolls for the Royal Children’s Hospital, and are currently collecting blankets and linens for the RSPCA Collection.
Unit Akiba are running the Great Book Swap fundraiser in aide of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Gesher Unit are joining with JECO to do a reverse garage sale.
We are also currently having a drought appeal along with BBANZ for the farmers who are going through this terrible ordeal.
Year round we collect glasses to be sent to Israel in conjunction with TBI. If you have any spare specs, visit the BBVic office and we'll collect them for you.
BBVic remains dedicated to raising awareness of important issues and helping out those less fortunate than us.
To find out more about BBVic projects, see below.
Chairman (NSW): Juliet Seifert
Chairman (Victoria): Tony Weldon
Courage to Care is a major outreach program and travelling exhibition, designed to show people of all ages, all races and all persuasions that the individual can make a difference in a society which no longer cares, and that all of us has a personal responsibility to ourselves, our family and our community.
Learn more about how B'nai B'rith Australia / New Zealand is making an impact in communities across our region.