B’nai B’rith Victoria turns seventy

June 16, 2015 by Garry Fabian
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In a turbulent, ever-changing world, for an organisation to survive seventy years and still be strong and vibrant is an impressive achievement.

Emeritus Professor Louis Waller, a former chairman of the Victorian B'nai B'rith Council, recalls some of the highlights of the organisation to the large audience in the Glen Eira auditorium

Emeritus Professor Louis Waller, a former chairman of the Victorian B’nai B’rith Council, recalls some of the highlights of the organisation to the large audience in the Glen Eira auditorium

This was emphasised last Sunday, when B’nai B’rith Victoria celebrated its 70th birthday with a “gala Birthday Party” in front of almost 250 attendees.

Howard Nathan

Howard Nathan

Ron Taft

Ron Taft

The Guest speaker, The Honourable Howard Nathan QC, in his address enticingly titled Seventy Years and still a Virgin described the many cultural and social changes in our society over the last seven decades that have taken place since the founding of B’nai B’rith in Victoria on the 20th May, 1945.

Tracing the progress of the organisation and its impact on the local Jewish community, he described B’nai B’rith as an important unifying force that provided a platform where diverse strands of Jewish life could meet in one forum. Its activities span a wide spectrum of community service for the Jewish and General community, its charitable endeavours, and cultural, educational

l-r) Frances Stiglec, Leah Black and Denise Duval – have served B'nai B'rith Victoria as executive officers over a span of more than three decades.

(l-r) Frances Stiglec, Leah Black and Denise Duval – have served B’nai B’rith Victoria as executive officers over a span of more than three decades.

and social activities.

Professor Ron Taft, who is the last founding member give a thumb nail overview of its early days, and how it created a bridge between the old “established” Jewish Community and European refugees at a time when considerable mistrust existed between them in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Professor Louis Waller presented a historic summation of its many important works, ending with the classical Jewish invocation “bis zu 120”

The occasion provided the affirmation that the organisation as alive and well with a bright future in the decades ahead.

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