New Members on the NIF’s Australian board
Two high-profile Jewish communal leaders have joined the board of the New Israel Fund’s Australian branch.
Ilona Lee AM, the immediate past president of the Shalom Institute, and Anthony Hollis, the immediate past CEO of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce NSW, were elected unanimously by the New Israel Fund Australian board.
The announcement comes as the organisation prepares for the visit of former Haaretz Editor-in-Chief David Landau, who arrives in Australia for a two-week speaking tour on November 14.
The president of New Israel Fund Australia, Robin Margo, said the addition of two eminent new board members is “evidence of the growing understanding among Australian Jews of the importance of the New Israel Fund’s work in developing sustainable civil society institutions in Israel – the key to any democracy”.
Ilona Lee AM was president of the Shalom Institute for nine years and is a former governor of the Jewish Communal Appeal, former president of WIZO Ilana and a founding board member and chair of OzHarvest.
Currently, Ilona is chair of the Shalom Gamarada Indigenous Scholarship Program, which exhibits Aboriginal art to help fund Indigenous medical scholarships at Shalom College at UNSW, and a member of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Social Justice Committee. In 2001 she was awarded a Centenary Medal for her contribution to multicultural health and in 2008 she was appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of her service to the Jewish community.
She said: “As a strong supporter of Israel who was disappointed with some of the things I witnessed on my most recent visit, I have joined NIF because its values on social justice and equality are deeply aligned with my own.”
Anthony Hollis, a graduate of Habonim Zionist youth movement in South Africa, made aliyah to Israel, founded a kibbutz and fought in the first Lebanon war before emigrating to Australia in 1986. In Sydney, following executive roles with Time Warner, Ernst&Young and Network Ten, he was CEO of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (NSW) for seven years and was a board member of Masada College.
He is currently a board member of the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council, is a corporate adviser and represents Israeli technologies in Australia through his business, High Tech Gateway.
“As a lifelong advocate of a secure, democratic and values-based Israel, I am delighted to be able to support the work of organisations like the New Israel Fund which are committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis,” he said.
The New Israel Fund is the leading organisation committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis. It is a partnership of Israelis and supporters of Israel worldwide, dedicated to a vision of Israel as both the Jewish homeland and a shared society at peace with itself and its neighbours. The New Israel Fund strengthens organisations and leaders that work to achieve equality for all citizens of the state; realise the civil and human rights of all, including Arab citizens of Israel; recognise and reinforce the essential pluralism of Israeli society; and empower groups on the economic margins of Israeli society.
Building a viable and free society committed to social justice is the medium through which the New Israel Fund has contributed to the strengthening of Israeli democracy. Widely credited with building Israel’s progressive civil society from scratch, it has provided over $US250 million to more than 800 cutting-edge organisations since its inception.
The Australian branch of the New Israel Fund was officially launched in June 2011 during a high-profile visit to Australia by NIF president Naomi Chazan, which garnered major media attention.