Melbourne gets Gaza gen

June 13, 2010 Agencies
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Over 300 members of Melbourne’s Jewish community gathered at the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation last week to participate in a situation briefing and advocacy session on the Gaza flotilla incident and its implications.

The Zionist Council of Victoria, in presenting the session, had as its objective to provide an up to date briefing and information on the situation and to present a range of approaches to the difficult questions and issues which are prevalent in the media and general community. It also aimed to provide participants with ideas, tools and resources for effective advocacy.

Philip Chester

A comprehensive briefing on the chronology of the incident, and a summary of the key media and public responses was provided by Zionist Federation of Australia President, Philip Chester. This was followed by a session in which the audience was invited to ask questions of the panel, which comprised Sam Tatarka (Chair, Public Relations, ZCV), Emily Chrapot (Israel Advocacy Analyst, ZCV) and Tzvi Fleischer (Editor, Australia Israel Review, AIJAC). The panel was moderated by JCCV President, John Searle. The audience engaged in active, meaningful dialogue on a vast range of topics, and the panel was able to provide them with cogent responses to even the toughest of questions. The audience members brought their own experience and skills to the session, with useful and important contributions from the floor.

This segment was followed by a presentation by ZCV Executive Director, Ginette Searle, on effective advocacy, in which she urged audience members to take on the task of influencing public opinion by participating in media response, engaging in discussions and keeping up to date with reliable information. The “10 minutes for Israel – 10 (+) ideas” sheet circulated is attached.

Audience responses were extremely positive – they appreciated the comprehensive nature of the briefing provided, the opportunity to raise issues and explore approaches, and they left feeling empowered to engage in active advocacy work.

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