JewishCare’s 80th Birthday Celebration

December 12, 2016 by Sophie Deutsch
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has spoken at Sydney’s JewishCare’s 80th birthday celebrations of “big-hearted love so grounded in Jewish ethics”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Alan Vidor    Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Also addressing the 150 guests were Gabrielle Upton MP, Member for Vaucluse and Attorney-General of NSW, and Allan Vidor, President of JewishCare.

An insightful and informative exhibition tracing the origins and evolution of the organisation also marked this momentous celebration of service to the community.

From the beginnings of the organisation as a migrant settlement service to its operation today as a major community welfare provider, JewishCare has provided unwavering support to Sydney’s Jewish residents throughout its 80 years of existence.

Alan Vidor  Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Malcolm Turnbull Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

“One of the core values of JewishCare is its agility and ability to react to the environment in which it operates”, says Allan Vidor. JewishCare, initially called the German Jewish Refugee’s Fund, was established in response to a telegram sent to Australian community leader Samuel Cohen in 1936. Alerting Australia to the wave of virulent anti-Semitism sweeping through Europe, the telegram urged Jewish Communities to provide funds to assist immigration. During its years of operation, JewishCare has responded to major shifts in immigration and social policies, for example assisting Russian Jewish immigrants in the late 1970s, and South African Jews in the 1990s. With the current roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, JewishCare remains responsive to major changes in the non-for-profit sector.

Malcolm Turnbull congratulated the organisation on 80 years of extraordinary service, whilst reflecting on the underlying principles of Jewish philosophy. “Philanthropy, love of mankind, is absolutely grounded, fundamental in Jewish ethical thought and practice. And the work that 200 staff, 500 volunteers and the many donors and supporters have done at JewishCare for 80 years is a testament to that”.

Gabrielle Upton Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

The prime minister concluded his speech by noting that, “big-hearted love so grounded in Jewish ethics, thought and tradition is a vital part… of what binds us together as such a successful nation”.

As a major provider of care for the disadvantaged, JewishCare supports the community across 4 areas: disability, mental health and wellbeing, aged, and children family and community services. Gabrielle Upton referred to a number of programs initiated by JewishCare, such as the Love Bites program designed to educate children about domestic violence and safe, respectful relationships. This program has been rolled out to over 100 000 students in the local community, and all across Australia.

With its wide-ranging programs and ongoing service to the community, JewishCare is, as Allan Vidor announced, “a community asset of which all of us should be very proud”.

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