50 years’ service to the NSW community
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has honoured Joyce Falk, who has completed more than fifty years of service as a Deputy.
Board President Robin Margo recalled the outstanding contribution that 88-yr-old Joyce, her husband Gerald, and their children, Jacki and Anthony, have made to the community.
“Gerald Falk was President when the Six-Day War erupted in June 1967 and the very existence of the State of Israel was in the balance,” he said. “He sprang into action, with Joyce by his side, co-ordinated the largest solidarity rally Sydney had seen, helped organise an action committee of the presidents of more than 50 organisations and chaired an emergency fundraising appeal for Israel.
“Donations came in from Jews and non-Jews, and more than 400 volunteers were sent to Israel, 133 of them non-Jewish. Within 14 days, 73 medical volunteers were also on their way to Israel.”
“In that same year, 1967, inspired by the communal unity forged during the Six-Day War, Gerald set up with others the Jewish Communal Appeal. He was still President of the Board but, for the crucial first two years of the JCA, he served also as foundation Chairman of the JCA Presidents Council, known today as the Board of Governors.
“The JCA concept results in more efficient collection of funds from the community than multiple separate appeals, and in fairer distribution of community donations so that smaller organisations are also taken care of. It is an aspirational model for Jewish communities and non-Jewish communities throughout Australia. The JCA was set up `by the people, for the people’, and the Board of Deputies was midwife at its birth.”
Margo also referred to the Falk family’s tireless work for Soviet Jews.
“Gerald continued to work for the community for another 24 years after he stepped down from the presidency. When Jacki served as chair of the Youth Committee, father and daughter were members of the same Executive – something that, as far as I am aware, has not happened since. Joyce and Anthony were also Deputies.
The service provided by Joyce, as constant supporter of Gerald, and by their family, has become part of the fabric of our community and always will be.”
At the plenum to watch Joyce receive her award were Joyce Falk; Jacki, her husband Joseph Gluck and their children and Joyce’s grandchildren, Aryeh, Devora, Dovid and Akiva; Antony’s son, Ben Falk, his mother Roslyn, and Roslyn’s husband, Dovid Fraser.