Women’s Division recognises women as the pillar of the Jewish family and the educators of the next generation and so ensuring Jewish continuity. This strength is harnessed globally through 40 Women’s Campaigns in 20 countries demonstrating a common goal in the love and support of Israel.
The aim of UIA Women’s Division is to involve Jewish women as active participants in the fulfilment of the needs of new Olim. This includes their Immigration and Absorption raising funds to support the basic needs of housing, health and education - ultimately strengthening the State of Israel and its people.
In NSW the Women’s Division allocates funds to three special projects – A Profession for Life, Project Impact and The Nurit Absorption Centre.
A Profession for Life
A Profession for Life is a new focus for 2017 and provides life-changing opportunities for new immigrants to requalify in their profession. For most new immigrants successful absorption is essential to fulfilling both their dreams and potential. Keren Hayesod-UIA provides new immigrants with programs which provide them with the knowledge and professional training needed to achieve independence and integration into their new life in Israel.
Some of these programs include -
- The Physicians and Nurses Licencing Program which targets new immigrants from the FSU who are already trained and includes a 14 month intensive course in Hebrew medical terminology to facilitate their employment in Israel
- Computer Numerical Control Program participants attend a five month Ulpan followed by nine months of training in Computer Numerical Control.
As these programs are so important not only for the immigrants but to the strengthening of Israel itself this project has been adopted by both NSW and WA Women’s Divisions.
Women’s Division Australia is in the third year of a 3 year commitment which supports Project Impact at the Masua Elementary School in the underprivileged neighbourhood of Kiryat Gat. Funds are directed towards the renovation of classrooms, provision of a gym and funding programs for the children at the school. Our support of this school is the part we can play in educating and rehabilitating Israel’s weaker and more marginalised communities.
Nurit Absorption Centre
Funded by the Jewish Agency and UIA, the Nurit Absorption Centre has fulfilled the many needs of new Ethiopian Olim. NSW Women’s Division has supported the Centre since 2000 and has funded the following special projects to improve the facilities within Nurit -
- Two computer rooms and Etgarim – Hebrew/Amharic dual language educational software
- Sponsorship of annual Bar Bat Mitzvah programs
- Fully equipped playground
- Establishment of an Early Childhood Learning Centre
- 7 new Ulpan classrooms
- A library program
- Renovation of Synagogue
- Equipment upgrade for computer rooms
The Centre is now open to all immigrants and NSW Women’s Division continues to support the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program.
Nurit Absorption Centre - 15 Year Reunion
Since its inception thousands of Ethiopian immigrants have called the Nurit Absorption Centre their first home in Israel.
In June 2015 the young alumni were given the opportunity to "come home" for a 15 Year Reunion. This event was made possible through the generous support of the NSW Women's Division and the then President of Women's Division Australia, Penny Hurst OAM together with NSW Co-Chairmen Bev Michaelis and Judy Stromer shared in the emotional, moving and heart- warming celebration.
More than 450 "came home" for an unforgettable experience. Most of them had not been back nor seen old friends, teachers, mentors and counsellors since their time at Nurit. The atmosphere was electric and the feeling of affection, good memories and re-connection was palpable.
They remembered the "Australian ladies" from visits over the years and there were many expressions of appreciation for our support which "opened doors for them" (in their words), giving them the chance to learn computer and for the privilege of having their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
"It was wonderful to see so many of the alumni who are now young adults - soldiers, students, professionals, community-minded, mentors - each with his own very special story.”
Keren Hayesod - UIA International Women’s Division
2016 European Conference
Keren Hayesod International Women’s Division 2016 European Conference met in Paris mid-September where sixty-five women from around the world convened for the KH IWD annual conference.
The women were shown the “City of Lights”, from a Jewish perspective, while learning about the many challenges facing French Jewry, Keren Hayesod’s role in encouraging aliyah to Israel and their projects aimed at strengthening Israeli society.
The participants met with the Chief Rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, and were hosted at the official residence of Israel’s Ambassador to France, Her Excellency Aliza Bin-Noun. Professional development workshops, meeting with new immigrants on the eve of their departure for Israel and hearing the stories and excitement of French participants who had returned from their Israel experience were all sessions in the program.
Creating a much needed balance between the moving ceremony held at the site of the heinous terror attack at the Hyper Cacher market, was a visit to the Museum of Jewish Art and History, the ORT Jewish school, a tour of the Holocaust Remembrance Museum and the display and lunch at the magnificent Opera Gallery. After a morning walk around the Le Marais area the women brought in Shabbat at Paris’ main La Victoire Synagogue.
Changeover of Keren Hayesod International Women's Division Presidents
The highlight of the Paris Conference was the handing over of the presidency by out-going head, Nelly De Bobrow to Penny Hurst OAM from Australia. This is a wonderful recognition of Penny’s many years of dedication to UIA and Women's Division in particular. It is also testament to the high regard in which our Australian Women's Division is held.
Sharren Haskel, the youngest member of the Likud Party and the second youngest member of the 20th Knesset, impressed a group of young women, at an informal breakfast in May. She spoke about being idealistic, young and the power of women in politics.
In December there was a special Lev Chai pinning ceremony presenting pins to 3 new Lev Chai contributors. Afterwards, in her first speech as President, Penny brought greetings and some thoughts on her vision for IWD.
The highlight of the function were guest speakers – Sherly America-Gosal and 4 of her Christians for Israel colleagues. Sherly received the prestigious Keren Hayesod Yakir award in 2016. She is an Indonesian businesswoman who lives in Amsterdam and she spoke of her passion for Israel and the work of her various groups supporting Israel through Keren Hayesod. We heard from Joy from Hong Kong, Sue from Singapore, Sally from Indonesia and Dianne from Papua New Guinea each telling her own story of the journey in becoming proud allies and supporters of Israel despite the prevailing difficulties – in some of their countries – of doing so.
These are 5 remarkable ladies who feel it is their mission to light the fire of love for Israel wherever they go – even among Jewish people.
Irit Barash, Director of KH Friends of Israel, closed the morning with an Israel update and offering her appreciation as an Israeli, for the Women's Division of Sydney and the Christian Friends of Israel.
Our Pins of Recognition
The Or L'Atid - a light for the future - is represented by a Lion of Judah carrying a flame. It requires a one off contribution of $100,000 and the interest generated will become a perpetual annual Lion of Judah contribution. This endowment can be given in the name of a daughter or granddaughter thereby guaranteeing the commitment to Israel for the next generation.
Tiferet Lion of Judah
The Tiferet Lion of Judah is awarded to exemplary women who through their nobleness of spirit have upgraded their commitment to the highest level of giving - $100,000 on an ongoing basis. "Tiferet" means honour. The generosity of these women is an expression of their dedication to the continuity and enrichment of our people. They bring Tiferet to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel.
The Lion of Judah
The Lion of Judah has been chosen as the symbol of our peoples’ strength and determination. It is presented to those women who have reached a level of commitment and dedication, pledging $5,000 or more annually, inspiring others to take personal responsibility for the humanitarian needs of Israel and its people. The pin is proudly worn by women worldwide reaffirming the belief that individual giving is a privilege and a responsibility..
The Lev Chai is an internationally recognised level of giving expressing the solidarity of women towards Jewish continuity. It requires an annual pledge of $1,800. The pin has a Magen David intertwined with three hearts – representing a loving heart, a giving heart and a Jewish heart – linking the State of Israel with Jewish women around the world.
The Women’s Division of NSW would like to thank its 2016 Sponsors