Australasian Jewish youth to celebrate the Light Horse centenary in Israel

October 7, 2017 by  
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This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade battle at Beer Sheva, where at dusk on 31 October, 1917, the Australian brigade stormed through the Turkish defence to capture Beer Sheva. This marked a turning point in removing Ottoman rule from Palestine and was a precursor to the formation of the Jewish state.

Matthew Duke, the chairperson ff Australasian Zionist Youth Council Inc writes:

October 31st may not be a Jewish religious holiday or even an Australian public holiday but it holds significant meaning in the context of Australia’s connection to Israel and therefore is a special date for the Australian Jewish community.

The Australasian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC) is the umbrella body for all the Zionist youth movements in Australia and New Zealand: Betar, Bnei Akiva, Habonim Dror, Hashomer Hatzair, Hineni, Netzer and Tzofim. Every year the participants of the movements’ gap year leadership programs in Israel (Shnat) participate in the AZYC closing seminar and every year, the seminar is scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the Charge of Lighthorse Brigade and includes attendance and active participation in the annual recognition ceremony at the Park of the Australian Soldier in Beer Sheva. As Australian youth and indeed as leaders of young people in our community, we feel it is our responsibility to understand our shared history and indeed we have a tremendous sense of pride, as Australians and as Zionists, representing our movements, our community and Australia at the ceremonies.

This year, of course, there is heightened excitement around the centenary celebrations, with news that both PM Netanyahu and PM Turnbull will attend, along with PM English of New Zealand. We are thrilled that not only will 90 Australian youth movement shnatties be able to attend the major events, but we will be participating in an incredible event that truly shows Aussie spirit, is a testament to the light horsemen and their attitude and reconciles absolutely with Jewish and Zionist activism and values.

Australian Oleh, Danny Hakim is a graduate of an Australian Zionist youth movement. He has initiated a bike ride which will follow the trail of the ANZACs back in 1917, to raise much-needed funds for “Kids Kicking Cancer” – a cause supporting children in Israel battling cancer.

The AZYC is joining the ride – not only out of respect for this proud historical event, but in order to contribute to the future of  the health of Israeli children, to social activism. Hakim says ” We have a lot to learn from the courage and sacrifice of our Anzac heroes. In a similar vein, we can learn a lot from the little heroes of Kids Kicking Cancer who are battling each day with their disease and difficult circumstance”. Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan and Director General of Israel’s ministry of Foreign Affairs Yuval Rotem have both expressed support for the event.

We’re asking the entire community to support our riders and the hundreds of others who will be riding for Kids Kicking Cancer (   All the proceeds raised will go towards training, equipment and facilities to teach the children skills to battle the pain of treatment.

The AZYC and the Zionist youth movements of Australia and New Zealand seek to embody the ANZAC spirit in honour of the 100-year anniversary. The AZYC strives to continue to embody mateship, courage and endurance throughout the activities in Israel and the diaspora. Help the AZYC give children the chance to beat cancer by donating at



3 Responses to “Australasian Jewish youth to celebrate the Light Horse centenary in Israel”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Tamworth NSW in Australia has the Light Horse Barracks on Marius Street. Bicentennial Park has a wonderful Bronze statue of the Light Horse Soldier.. Yet Mr. David Evens who arranged for this statue and has ridden for years in the Tamworth Parade in his Light Horse Brigade uniform was never invited to ride or invited to go to Beer Sheva for the anniversary. I wish I could find a stronger word than “SHAME” that would be acceptable to go to print. But SHAME will have to suffice, S H A M E on the RSL in Tamworth for not making this possible, SHAME on the Jewish Youth for not investigating for facts, Shame on J-Wires for not looking into it too.

  2. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Can somebody PLEASE tell me where Palestine is????

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      South of Lebanon, East of the Mediterranean Sea, West of Jordan and North of Saudi Arabia.

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