An Award for Gary

June 2, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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G ary Samowitz, the Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Aid Australia, has received a 2012 Australian Leadership Award in recognition of his leadership and vision in the areas of community development and social justice.  

Gary Samowitz (rt) receives his award from Greig Gailey

The Australian Leadership Awards program is an initiative of the Australian Davos Connection and provides the opportunity for an outstanding new generation of leaders to be recognised for their achievements and to contribute to a vision for Australia’s future. Recipients come from diverse backgrounds throughout Australia and occupy positions of responsibility or are recognised as leaders in their field.

Samowitz attended the ADC future summit in Melbourne where established and emerging leaders from business, government, academia and community sectors came together for 2 days of discussion and debate about the future of Australia. He was presented with his leadership award at the summit dinner.

He was appointed CEO of Jewish Aid when only 26 years old and has grown the organisation by over 400% including opening new offices in Sydney and Perth. JAA now employs 13 people and has over 70 weekly volunteers who work towards empowering vulnerable communities, such as Sudanese Refugees and Aboriginal communities, and educating the Jewish community about global issues and the values of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and Tzedakkah (justice).

Last year Gary Samowitz  joined the board of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation and has been a board director of March of the Living since 2006.

He told J-Wire: “I’m deeply humbled by the award and really gained so much from participating in the summit and engaging with the many leaders who attended.”

“I am proud to lead an organization that does so much to create a better world, and I feel very inspired by our many volunteers who give their time and skills to help those less fortunate.”


3 Responses to “An Award for Gary”
  1. Rabbi Eli says:

    Congratulations Gary for this well-deserved award!
    You have always been an inspiration to those who know you, myself included.
    Your passion for making a positive difference is infectious and infuses all of your endeavors..
    May Hashem bless you to continue being a “Light unto the Nations” in all that you do, in good health and happiness.
    Best Wishes,

  2. Michael says:

    Charity begins at home Mr Samowitz how much time , effort and money by your organization is dedicated to Israeli Jewish concerns. there is a lot of poverty in Israel with in the Jewish community, there are many victims and families of victims of terror attacks that require funds Mr Samowitz.

    • gary says:

      Thanks Michael Burd for your question.
      Charity does begin at home, but shouldn’t end at home.

      We should help Israelis in need, and we should help others in need. Not mutually exclusive.

      Jewish values implore us to pursue justice, alleviate poverty and welcome the stranger.
      It is these values that inspire the work we do at Jewish Aid.

      Through our programs we build bridges between the Jewish community and wider community, and inevitably build a positive image of the Jewish people.

      We are proud to partner with an Israeli NGO in Nepal called Tevel btsedek where we work with some of the poorest Nepalese communities.

      Michael, I appreciate that Jewish Aid might not be an organisation that you identify with but there are many in the Jewish community who do want to take action to support Indigenous Australians, newly arrived refugees and people experiencing extreme poverty in the developing world. Pursuing social justice can be a very meaningful way of expressing ones Jewish identity.

      All the best,

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