JCA Honors Volunteers

June 3, 2013 by Lauren Finn
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Three long serving volunteers have been  honoured at Sydney’s  JCA’s Communal Event.

More than 400 people attended the function held at UNSW featuring guest speaker Peter FitzSimons.

Peter FitzSimons

Peter FitzSimons   photos: Giselle Haber

JCA’s 22 organisations have an army of volunteers that are integral to their success and future.  JCA recognises how important it is to acknowledge and celebrate those volunteers who give selflessly of their time, their skill and most of all their passion.

The winners were nominated by their organisations and subsequently selected by the JCA Awards Committee chaired by Bernie Tuch with members Ilona Lee and Ian Pryer.

Graham de Vahl Davis

Graham de Vahl Davis

The Hal Goldstein Lifetime Achievement Award went to Emeritus Professor Graham De Vahl Davis AM nominated by the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies where he has served since 1952The criteria for this award states that the recipient should be a senior member of the community whose service spans a minimum of 25 years. The recipient may or may not be currently actively serving the community.

Graham has a communal history spanning almost seven decades starting when he was President of the Sydney University Jewish Students Union in 1951.   Over the course of his long involvement with the Board of Deputies he sat on many different committees and held various portfolios.  He was their President from 1985 – 1989.

He also had various other leadership roles in communal organisations namely Shalom College, Mandelbaum House, Temple Emanuel Synagogue, NSW Friends of the Hebrew University, Technion Society of NSW and the NSW Jewish War Memorial.

The award was accepted by Bettina Cass on his behalf as Graham is overseas.

The Menschlikeit Award’s criteria reads “The recipient is a member of the community who works tirelessly for an organisation and has volunteered

Melanie Wolf

Medi Wolf

for over 10 years but has not had an executive or non-executive role on the board of the said organisation.  The recipient could still be serving the community or could be retired.”

The recipient of the award, nominated by COA Sydney was Medi Wolf who has been an active COA volunteer since 2000 and is a person of great commitment and compassion, worthy of recognition at the highest level.  She joined the team at COA after the loss of her husband, looking for a way to fill her days and meet new people. Her first role was helping with clerical tasks in the COA office, but she soon found her niche with their In-House Catering team.  For 10 years Medi has been responsible for making and serving sandwiches and refreshments to the over 200 people visiting the Krygier Centre each week. In real terms she has helped produce over 100,000 lunches since she started in the kitchen.

The Shofar Award for Outstanding Service to the Jewish Community of NSW/ACT and recognises someone that is currently still serving the community

Andrew Havas

Andrew Havas

was presented to Andrew Havas OAM nominated by B’nai B’rith for his work with Courage to Care.

Andrew has been a communal figure for almost two decades and his passion for what he does is legendary.  He was the inaugural president of the Syd Einfeld Unit of B’nai B’rith and went on to establish Courage to Care NSW – an organisation he still chairs with pride.  He is the driving force behind Courage to Care in NSW which, in the past 13 years, has reached over 160 000 people – 45% of which are students – the next generation.  The program which combats anti-racism and anti-bullying has touched the lives of those involved and those who have learnt from its lessons.

His other communal ties have included being a Founder of the Jewish Olympic Organising Committee in 2001, President of B’nai B’rith NSW and Co-Founder of Jews for Ethnic Tolerance.

The awards were presented by JCA President Peter Philippsohn OAM who commended Graham, Medi and Andrew on their dedication to our community and years of unparalleled service.

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