Ambassador visits Charedi training centre

May 31, 2012 by  
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Australia’s ambassador to Israel has visited a training centre at which orthodox Jews are training to join Israel’s workforce.

From Gabi Byk

Ambassador Faulkner received her boats

Off the main road leading from Tel Aviv to Petach Tikva, surrounded by shops and offices, behind a small door, lies a school where hundreds of orthodox Jewish men and women acquire an education which will enable them to be gainfully employed, support their families as well as contribute to Israel’s economy.

This is the Mercaz Charedi Institute of Technology, which welcomed H.E. Andrea Faulkner, the Australian Ambassador to Israel, for the Australians advancing social innovation & social enterprise 2012.

The ambassador was welcomed by  Shmuel E. Moyal, former Israeli Ambassador to Australia, Rabbi Avraham M. Horen, CEO of the Mercaz Charedi, heads of women’s and men’s divisions  of Architecture, Industrial design faculties and the event coordinator and director of communications, Pearl Bloch.

The group started the tour by visiting a classroom, where about 30 women are studying architecture.  Women’s classes take place during the day, while men attend at night. The women’s age ranges from about 19 to a grandmother of seven who attested to the inspiration she receives by studying with likewise observant women.

One student told the group how she gets up in the morning before 6 o’clock in order to take a two hour bus from Netivot, in the South of Israel, to the Center,

The class was engaged in a project sponsored by Gary and Karyn  Zamel  of Sydney – a competition designing the rooftop garden of their home in Tel Aviv.

As the group walked through the hallway, Pearl Bloch pointed to an exhibit on the wall, where she had accumulated reports and pictures about another international competition that had taken place exactly 100 years ago on May 23rd 1912 to design the layout of Australia’s capital city, Canberra.  The winners were two Chicago architects, the Griffins,  at the time described simply as draftsmen who were to become internationally acclaimed after winning the competition.

Ambassador Andrea Faulkner was delighted to learn this on the 100th anniversary of the selection of the design for Canberra, coinciding to the day with her visit on which she was encouraging yet another Australian design initiative.

The tour continued to the technical lab for industrial design where a student of the class presented two sailing boats made out of a polymeric materiel.

and a model of her own hand

Ambassador Faulkner participated in a demonstration in which hydrogen powder was mixed into a bowl of water. The ambassador put her right hand into this mixture without touching the sides or the bottom of the bowl and after several minutes, with the help of the teacher she pulled her hand out. At the end of her visit she was presented with a model of her right hand attached to a small tablet.

Both gifts will serve as meaningful memorabilia to remind H.E. of her visit to the Mercaz Chareidi in Bne Brak during which the students were impressed by her keen interest which involved questioning them in their native Hebrew!

Seven Australians were mentioned for their contributions of social innovation in the Mercaz Charedi at a morning tea complete with lamingtons and cheese cake. The Australians honored for 2012 are, Harry New, Norman Rosenbaum, Leah Balter, Sandi Klein, Ruvi Herzog AOM, Gary Zamel , Paul Israel & H.E. Andrea Faulkner.

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