Rambam 10 years old

September 3, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council’s Rambam Israel Fellowship Project has celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Mark Leibler, Gene Sherman, HE Yuval Rotem, Malcolm Turnbull, Brian Sherman and Dr Colin Rubenstein                         pic: Ingrid Shakenovsky

 

Mark Leibler                    pic: Henry Benjamin

Malcolm Turnbull               pic: Henry Benjamin

More than 100 guests attended a function last night at the Sherman Gallery in Sydney’s Paddington to hear addresses from AIJAC Chairman Mark Leibler, its executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein, the Israeli Ambassador to Australia Yuval Rotem and alumni Federal MP Malcolm Turnbull and WA Senator Glenn Sterle.

Brian Sherman, the man behind the project also spoke.

The guests heard how AIJAC had sent more than 400 politicians and journalists together with political advisers, senior public servants and student leaders. Included among the alumni are Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbott.

Leibler said that many of the alumni had reported their visit to Israel as having been “a life-changing experience”. He paid to tribute to the Israeli Embassy staff and to those in Israel who have co-ordianted the visits which include introductions to Palestinian political figures as well as Israeli.

Senator Glen Sterle    pic: Henry Benjamin

Brian Sherman                     pic: Henry Benjamin

Brian Sherman said that ten years ago he had asked Kim Beazley to launch a program that would send politicians a series of educational fellowships which would take bright and up and coming political leaders, trade unionists, journalists and people of influence to Israel on a short educational trip”…under the auspices of AIJAC and Mark Leibler.

He added that with the collective engagement of Mark Leibler Colin Rubenstein and Jeremy Jones and the AIJAC committee, the program had been “an outstanding success way beyond our collective expectations” singling out Colin Rubenstein for “a lot of the credit”.

Sherman told how the program had been extended to Asian countries and said the key to the success was exposure of the alumni to Israelis, Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs.

Ambassador Yuval Rotem said he was “here to pay tribute to the Ramban Israeli Fellowship Program” which he called “unique”.

He added: The visits, the meeting and the follow ups which are sponsored by the Rambam Program are developing a generation of public servants  and elected officials who are more aware and better informed and sufficiently equipped with information and knowledge to challenge those who try to undermine the very existence of my people and my State.”

Senator Sterle and Malcolm Turnbull spoke of the meaning Rambam had had for them.

 

 

 

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