Emunah leadership Mission and Convention in Israel

February 1, 2017 by Sophie Deutsch
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An inspiring mission is currently taking place, led by one of Israel’s leading social justice organisations, World Emunah. In focusing on education, legislation and social welfare in Israel, Emunah aims to advance the status of women, strengthen the Jewish community, and encourage volunteerism.

The group in Jerusalem

For its 10th Convention and Leadership Mission, World Emunah is convening in Israel from January 24th – February 1st 2017. The delegation from abroad includes female leaders from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Delegates have the unique opportunity to visit Emunah institutions that offer essential services to children, women and families in need.

Mechinat Lapidot Emunah is one such pioneering service. The institution addresses a rapidly growing need in Israel to provide emotional support, physical training, and spiritual reinforcement to young orthodox women who have chosen to enlist in the Israeli Defence Force. Although the service has aroused controversy in a changing social climate, the pre-IDF training remains a core component of the Emunah leadership conference.

The conference also includes a visit to the Sarah Ronson Crisis and Intervention Centre. In providing long-term counselling to the residents of Sderot, this social welfare program supports individuals experiencing trauma as a result of living under constant fear of attack. The centre runs a 24 hour helpline, accessible to all residents, particularly to those who feel too afraid to leave their homes during times of crisis. It is hoped that one day there will be peace in Sderot, and the building can be repurposed into a Day Care Centre.

Currently there are 9000 children in 135 Emunah Day Care Centres across Israel, and 400 families using 11 Crisis Centres. These numbers signal the wide-reaching nature of Emunah, which provides fundamental support to at risk communities.

As well as visiting Emunah institutions, the group will meet with leading Israeli political and social figures, including Minister of Education, Naphtali Bennett, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzipy Hotovely.

Susan Boltin, the Chairperson of Emunah Women in Australia, will be the representative for Australia at the upcoming leadership conference. “The World Emunah convention in Jerusalem plays a vital role in educating Emunah volunteers from all over the world… The convention invigorates the volunteers to return to their home bases with renewed commitment to support Emunah’s invaluable contribution to the welfare of the Jewish state and its citizens through fundraising, educational and consciousness-raising activities,” said Boltin.

Dafna Garfield-Morvay has also recently been appointed as the new executive in Melbourne. Her role will focus on increasing awareness and membership for Emunah.

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