Australian ambassador visits Boys Town Jerusalem

June 14, 2018 by Melanie Rosenberg
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Chris Cannan became the first Australian ambassador to Israel to visit the Boys Town Jerusalem school in its seven decades of existence.

Chris Cannan addresses the boys

Ambassador Cannan’s historic visit coincided with the arrival of Attorney David Selig of Sydney, chairperson of the newly-established Australian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem organization. For the BTJ students who welcomed both dignitaries to the campus, it was an unforgettable day.

Greeted by junior high school students singing and waving Australian and Israeli flags, Ambassador Cannan entered the Boys Town Jerusalem campus for a firsthand look at the next generation of the Israeli Start-Up nation. As he toured various departments of the school, which pioneered a three-prong curriculum of technological, academic and Jewish studies in Israeli education, Ambassador Cannan met students who personally demonstrated their latest technological projects. After being briefed by the youth on robotics, electronics, and computer networking devices, it was the ambassador’s turn to address the students.

“This is a great time to be an Australian ambassador to Israel,” he told his audience. “Several months ago, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited here to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheva where the Australian Army captured the city and prompted the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Australia has been in this land for a long time, you see, and has been a true friend of Israel.”

Reflecting on his glimpse of the technological world of Boys Town Jerusalem students, Ambassador Cannan remarked, “I’m pleased to see the skills and knowledge you’re learning here, which you will be putting to good use in the Israeli Army and in solutions you will develop in life to improve the world.” The ambassador pointed out that numbers of Australian entrepreneurs come to Israel to learn how to launch successful start-ups. “Boys Town Jerusalem seems like a terrific institution. I’m sure you’ll have an outstanding future in this innovative nation,” he told the upcoming generation.

As for the priorities of the brand new Australian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem organisation, chairperson David Selig notes, “The generous, caring Australian Jewish community has a tremendous new opportunity to support the nation-building efforts of Boys Town Jerusalem. These students are kids with a future who will make huge contributions to Israel and to the free world at large.”

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