Jewish Care Victoria elects new President

December 2, 2019 by Kirsten Young
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Jewish Care Victoria elected Susie Ivany its new President who lead the organisation at a meeting of the Board of Governance last week.


Susie Ivany was elected to the Jewish Care Board in 2011 and has held the role of Co-Vice President since 2015.

Actively engaged in a number of Jewish communal organisations, Ivany founded Unchain My Heart in 2014, of which she was Chair until mid-2019 and currently serves as a member of the committee. Ivany has also been President of NCJWA Victoria, Vice-President of NCJWA, and Vice-President of the International Council of Jewish Women. In 2016 she received the JCCV General Sir John Monash award.

“I am honoured to have been elected as President of this vital and dynamic organisation in our community,” said Ivany. “Just as Jewish Care was important to my family when they arrived in Australia, I look forward to continuing our excellent services to the most vulnerable in our community. This is a very exciting time in our 170-year history with major developments and I am looking forward to working with the Board, staff and volunteers to bring these to life.”

Of his tenure, retiring President Michael Debinski said, “I have been privileged to play a part in leading this organisation over the last seven years. I look forward to a wonderful future for Jewish Care and the community it serves.”

Major achievements under Debinski’s leadership include the establishment of The Children in Residential Care Support Scheme and subsequent acceptance in the National Redress Scheme, creation of the Yesod Board Foundation Program, and development of the Jewish Care Front Door.

Significant progress on the historic ‘Growing. For our Community.’ Capital Campaign has also been made, with the achievement of key milestones including the purchase of sites in St Kilda Road Windsor and Waghoo Road Carnegie, the sale of 52 Northcote Avenue, and the opening of the Coppel & Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre.

During this time, Jewish Care has also developed a strong focus on inclusivity, adopting formal position statements related to gender equity and equality, asylum seekers and refugees, safeguarding children, LGBTI+ inclusion, family violence, and people living with a disability.

Following his re-election to the Board at Jewish Care’s 2019 AGM, Debinski will continue to serve as a Board Member in 2020.

Simone Szalmuk-Singer joins Lisa Kennett in the role of Vice President with Sharon Gdanski as Treasurer, taking over from Rohan Filer who diligently served in the role since November 2012.

The full Jewish Care Board of Governance is Susie Ivany OAM, President; Lisa Kennett and Simone Szalmuk-Singer, Co-Vice Presidents; Sharon Gdanski, Treasurer; Frank Ajzensztat, Assistant Treasurer; Adam Joel, Secretary; and Board Members Jeffrey Appel, Michael Debinski, Professor Sharon Goldfeld, Andrew Schwartz, Michael Schoenfeld, and Reuben Zelwer.

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