Dr Ruth guest speaker at UIA Victoria and WA Women’s Division event

May 5, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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UIA Victoria and WA Women’s Division held their headline event joined by donors in the US, Israel, Guatemala and Colombia.

Jackie Frank and Dr Ruth share a laugh

Over 200 guests tuned in online from Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and overseas while an additional 150 attended in-person at the Classic Cinema in Melbourne.

Guests were treated to an entertaining morning with renowned sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer (‘Dr. Ruth’) as the guest speaker, and media legend Jackie Frank as moderator.

Last week, Dr Ruth was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Ben Gurion University and in gratitude for this honour, she established the Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer Endowed Scholarship for Psychology at Ben Gurion University. UIA Victoria and WA Women’s Division supports programs in Israel focused on professional, psychological and emotional development and this was a wonderful way to begin the conversation.

She also spoke of the importance of the work that Keren Hayesod-UIA undertakes for immigrants, highlighting that she was also an immigrant and deeply appreciates the support she received. Dr Ruth addressed a range of topics including the #MeToo campaign, tips to a happy marriage and insights into her achievements. The discussion was entertaining and enlightening.

UIA Victoria Women’s Division Co-chairs Amanda Jolson and Elissa Sharp said: “We were honoured to connect over 400 women from around the world. Since taking on this role nearly four years ago, we set ourselves the goal to engage with a new generation of women whilst honouring the organisation’s foundations. This is the 57th year of the Victorian Women’s Division, and we recognise all of the wonderful women over the years – past presidents and executive members – who have contributed to our success. We hope to continue their legacy and facilitate a new generation of giving and connection to Israel.”

Funds raised from UIA Victoria Women’s Division are being directed towards Professions for Life – a ground-breaking program which assists new immigrants to fast track their professional licenses and/or gain new qualifications that help increase their employability.

Guests in Melbourne heard from Professions for Life beneficiary Anna Fridman, who shared the impact of the program on her life: “I am proud to now work at eBay as a software engineer. This program was my lifeline. Without the support of Keren Hayesod-UIA, and this program, I don’t know how I would have navigated through the challenges of starting a new life in Israel during the global pandemic.”

Funds raised by UIA WA Women’s Division are being directed to a new initiative – First-Line Families, which provides youth at-risk and their families in Keren Hayesod-UIA supported youth villages with significant help to navigate through the hardships that the pandemic has caused.

UIA Women’s Division President for both WA and Australia Debbie Schaffer OAM said: “In this new normal we all know that all good plans can be forced to change quickly- lockdown happened this week and alternate arrangements had to be made. Our plans to have a public function changed to an online event. Being versatile is now our new reality. I commend our women supporters for embracing this change and supporting this worthwhile and important cause.”


To donate to UIA’s 2021 Campaign, please visit uiaaustralia.org.au

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