Zionism Victoria’s 78th Annual Assembly

October 19, 2016 by Sarah Bendetsky
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Zionism Victoria will hold its 78th Annual Assembly on 15 November 2016 at Melbourne’s Beth Weizmann Community Centre.

David Southwick and Marsha Thomson

David Southwick and Marsha Thomson

During the Assembly, the highly prestigious Jerusalem Prize will be awarded to MPs David Southwick and Marsha Thomson, Co-Convenors of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Israel. The Jerusalem Prize, the highest accolade in the Zionist movement is jointly awarded by Zionism Victoria, the Zionist Federation of Australia and the World Zionist Organization to an exceptional Australian who has worked consistently and tirelessly on behalf of Israel and the Jewish community.

2016 has again seen Zionism Victoria fulfilling its mission to connect the Victorian community with Israel and to tell the story of Israel loudly and proudly both to the Jewish community and to the wider Victorian community.

Sharene Hambur, President of Zionism Victoria, completing her inaugural year at the helm remarks “In the 78 years that Zionism Victoria has been in existence it has had a number of names but its primary goal – to connect the Victorian Jewish and wider community with Israel has remained paramount and I believe that we can be justly proud of the way in which it has fulfilled this role. The Annual Assembly offers an opportunity to share the year that ended and look towards the year to come.”

David Southwick and Marsha Thomson are co-convenors of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Israel and are actively involved in developing strong relationships and ties between Israel and the State of Victoria.

David Southwick is the Member for Caulfield as well as the Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, Shadow Minister for Innovation, and Shadow Minister for Renewables in the Victorian Coalition’s Shadow Cabinet. He is well-known for advocating on behalf of the Jewish community and building bridges with the wider community and Israel.

Marsha Thomson is the Member for Footscray having served as  the Minister for Small Business, the Minister for Consumer Affairs and the Minister of Information and Communication Technology. Marsha has also been Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Trade and Parliamentary Secretary for Justice. Marsha is passionate about representing the local community and is a prominent supporter of Israel.

David and Marsha together with AIJAC Rambam Study Tours have taken State MPs on a number of occasions to Israel.

In addition, at the Annual Assembly, Leonie Fleiszig, Director of the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia will be farewelled in anticipation of her retirement at the end of the year. Leonie was instrumental in the establishment of the library over 30 years ago and since then has been dedicated to growing the library into an invaluable community resource and a vibrant hub of activities.

More than 300 people are expected to attend the 78th Annual Assembly including representatives of Zionism Victoria’s 52 affiliate organisations, local and state parliamentarians and key supporters of the organisation.

A spokesperson for Zionism Victoria said that the evening  celebrate milestones and plan for the future.

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