165 years of care

February 18, 2013 by Ayal Tusia
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Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu MLA will next Wednesday evening launch Jewish Care Victoria’s historic 165th anniversary following its establishment in 1848.

Ted Bailleu

Ted Baillieu

When Premier Baillieu addresses more than 200 people, including members of parliament, dignitaries and guests at the Windsor Hotel, he will be walking distance  from where Swanston Street’s Rainbow Inn once stood, where Jewish Care’s forefathers established the Melbourne Jewish Philanthropic Society “to assist the poor and distressed…with medical aid and a weekly stipend”.

The Victorian Jewish population in 1848 was 200; today more than 51,000 are included in Jewish Care’s aim of building a healthier, more inclusive and diverse community.

Jewish Care President Mike Debinski said: “Jewish Care and its predecessors helped society’s most vulnerable since the mid-1800s; we accommodated children fleeing from Nazi Europe in the 1930’s, assisted the survivors of the Holocaust as they arrived penniless and traumatised from their experiences, and assisted immigrants from Eastern Europe and the former USSR in the 1940s and then again in the 70’s and ‘80s. We also established Victoria’s largest Jewish aged care residence, Montefiore Homes, in 1948.”

Mr Debinski said priorities had evolved with the times. “In the early 1950s we assisted with ship passage, visa permits, child sponsorship, medical assistance and searches for missing people after World War II. In 2013 we continue to provide employment and housing, financial assistance, and services for people living with a disability, but research shows our biggest challenge in the next 20 years will be to accommodate the needs of aging Baby Boomers.”

Mr Debinski said Jewish Care would continue to provide a leadership voice for the Victorian Jewish community. He said the organisation was proactively researching to ensure strategic planning for the future needs of the Victorian Jewish Community is underpinned by a solid evidence base.  He went on to say that Jewish Care is embarking on exciting times with the construction of a number of new facilities; growth in the community and healthy aging space; the crystallisation of a comprehensive disability plan; and the repositioning of the organisation’s vital social justice programs that build capacity and strengthen the wellbeing of the Victorian Jewish community.

Jewish Care’s 165th Anniversary Celebrations launch will be from 6pm, Wednesday 20 February at the Windsor Hotel, Melbourne. Parliamentary dignitaries will include Mary Wooldridge MP, David Davis MLC, Andrea Coote MP, Georgie Crozier MLC and David Southwick MLA.

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