Moriah Foundation establishes endowment fund
Federal Liberal member for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg was the guest of honour at the annual Moriah Foundation Members’ Cocktail Party in Sydney.
Josh Frydenburg is the Federal Government’s Assistant Treasurer.
Guests were told that an endowment fund to support bursaries for the community’s most needy families has been established.
Brian Schwartz, the Foundation chairman, introduced and welcomed Josh Frydenberg and acknowledged the funding announced by the Abbott Government to assist schools at risk of attack, harassment or violence caused by racial or religious intolerance.
“It’s a sad but very real part of what our school needs to do… so that we can better protect our children, staff and the school’s communities,” Schwartz said.
Frydenberg spoke passionately about his own experience and the importance of a Jewish Day School education. He reflected on the parallels between Moriah’s Israel Study Tour Program and his journey to Poland earlier this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he lit a candle on behalf of all Australians.
At a time of rising anti-Semitism across Europe, Frydenberg encouraged those present to remain vigilant in the fight against persecution and brutality both within Australia and abroad. Commenting on the Australian economy, he stated that the Government was focused on reducing the deficit left by Labor and promoting growth through productivity reform.
Foundation President Judy Lowy described Frydenberg’s speech as motivational.
“He is a fine product of a Jewish Day School education as well as of the Jewish values and Jewish lifestyle of his family. This encapsulates everything Moriah College strives for – producing well educated Jewish Australians of the highest standards, who are given the best opportunities, who are nurtured and cared for, who will be mensches as they take their place in Australian and International societies equipped with a strong Jewish moral compass, a love of their Judaism and a love for and advocate for the State of Israel.”
“He clearly inspired those present to play a greater role in our community – whether it was in business, in standing up again anti-Semitism and the BDS, and to raise greater funds for Jewish education. He stressed that a good Jewish Day School education is so important for the continuity of our community,” Lowy said.
“We were delighted to announce the launch of The Romy Birnbaum Memorial Bursary Endowment Fund, endowed through a major gift of $1m from Bev and Phil Birnbaum. This newly established Fund shall award bursaries to our community’s most needy families while preserving its capital base. Other donors may contribute to the Fund and, where the gift is able to sustain a bursary, elect to have that bursary named according to their wishes.”
“There is no greater Mitzvah than to give the gift of a Jewish education so it is critical that we grow this Endowment Fund, and we have already begun to do so,” she said.
“This Fund is in addition to other major donors who are now supporting the education of 20 children at Moriah through the Foundation’s Bursary Program.” Lowy stated that through the community’s generosity, funds were available to award ten bursaries for 2016, and praised the support of Mervyn and Lorraine Basserabie who will fund three of those bursaries.
The Moriah Foundation’s other main focus is the transformative Year 10 Israel Study Tour (IST) program by making it affordable to all families.
“Only a few years ago, just 21 students participated in IST. This year, we will be sending 100 students to Israel and Poland. The Foundation has raised $230,000 and this was supplemented by a massive injection from the Education Heritage Foundation of $500,000, making it affordable for the middle-income families who couldn’t or wouldn’t ordinarily apply for fee relief, as well as offering those who need it up to 100% subsidies.”
Lowy publicly thanked the support of the Dunkel Family who share Moriah’s belief that sending Year 10 students to Israel will have a lasting influence on their love of Israel and their Judaism.
A new award was announced for Moriah’s major donors – the Leon Fink Memorial Award for Commitment to Jewish Education.
Lowy stated that “This award, in honour of the late Leon Fink, will be conferred on Members of the Foundation who have given generously to sustaining the future of Moriah College. It is a special recognition that acknowledges our benefactors, at reaching the level of Founder ($250,000) and above).”
“In 1997 the award was created to recognise Leon and his wife, Yvonne, for their longstanding support and dedication to Mount Scopus Memorial College in Melbourne. We are delighted that now The Moriah Foundation will be able to make this Award to outstanding supporters of Moriah,” she said, thanking Bruce and Lauren Fink for making the award available.
Moriah’s biggest challenge is fee affordability.
“The Foundation is here to ensure the sustainability and affordability of Moriah College. We continue to raise funds to support families who need fee relief, as well as support our excellent programs such as IST, Music, Arts and the Inclusion Program with a focus on high needs children,” Lowy said.