…and from the ZFA

September 16, 2012 by  
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Philip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia also has a Rosh Hashana message for the community…

At  Rosh Hashana 5773, it is appropriate to reflect on the achievements and challenges for Israel and the Australian Zionist community over the past year.

Philip Chester

The threat that Iran may obtain nuclear weapons is of serious concern, not just to Israel but to the western world. Terrorism remains a present danger, with attacks having been perpetrated against Israelis within and outside of Israel over the past year. Closer to home, the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) agitators continue to rattle their sabres, attempting to delegitimise the Jewish state.

Despite all these challenges, Israel remains a thriving intellectual, economic and cultural society. In the face of high unemployment in the United States and Europe, in late July Israel’s Finance Minister announced that 330,000 new jobs had been created in the past three years. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (WEF GCR) and the International Institute for Management Development’s World Competitiveness Yearbook, Israel ranks first in the world for flexibility and adaptability, scientific research, entrepreneurship, information technology skills and expenditure on Research and Development (as % of GDP) and second in the world for innovative capacity and venture capital.

The Zionist Federation of Australia, through our initiatives, programs and events fosters positive and meaningful connections between Australia and Israel. We focus on aliya, Jewish and Zionist education, hasbara, representations to government, supporting programs for youth and young adults, particularly in sending some 700 young people to Israel on Birthright and MASA programs every year, thereby strengthening our communal Zionist identity today and for the future.

May the coming year bring peace, security and prosperity to Israel, the Jewish people and the world.

On behalf of the Zionist Federation of Australia, I wish the Australian Jewish community shana tova ve gamar chatima tova.

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