THE UIA NSW 2020 campaign launch and AGM meeting on November 18 – attended by almost 200 people at the NCJWA NSW Hall in Woollahra – was a night of firsts in many respects.
Guest speaker Steven Lowy shed light on his first six months in the role of chair of the Keren Hayesod-UIA World Board of Trustees – and confirmed that Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin will be the star of UIA Australia’s 2020 general campaign between mid-February and the end of March.
“Next year’s campaign coincides with the 100th anniversary year of Keren Hayesod, so it is a really important time for us, and I would like to highlight that it is our expectation that the President of Israel will be here,” Lowy said.
“Judy and I had the pleasure of meeting him in the middle of this year and he is very keen to come – we’re just working with the Israeli government on dates.”
Lowy described serving so far in his new role as an immense privilege and honour, and “an incredible learning experience”.
He has already visited Israel six times in 2019, held meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, chaired two Keren Hayesod World Board of Trustees and Board of Directors meetings, and participated in the organisation’s International Leadership Reunion held in Moscow, where he met Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Lowy said a recent meeting with UIA NSW’s young leadership group was “one of the best things I’ve done so far, because their support is critical to the future of the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora communities”.
A highlight of the night was when Lowy presented UIA NSW Life Chairmanship certificates to Bruce Fink and Lance Rosenberg, in recognition of their “extraordinary commitment to the organisation over and above what could be expected over many decades”.
Andrew Boyarsky delivered his debut NSW president’s report, using the opportunity to thank every UIA donor and event host for their invaluable support.
Boyarsky confirmed that $16,295,908 was raised in the 2019 campaign between January 1 and October 31.
Special guest Amira Ahronoviz, CEO and director general of The Jewish Agency, shared her delight of visiting Australia for the first time, describing the Jewish community here as “incredibly vibrant, Zionist and supportive”.