Leaders converge for ZFA Biennial – Federation marking 85th year

October 30, 2012 by Michelle Coleman
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More than 120 Australian Zionist leaders will deliberate, debate and discuss contemporary Zionist issues and Zionist identity at the ZFA’s 45th Biennial Conference on November 11 in Melbourne.


Philip Chester

Dan Goldberg

Among the highlighted activities will be Israeli commentator and author David Hazony leading two workshop-discussions about Zionist and Jewish identity in the Diaspora, an address by Israel Ambassador Yuval Rotem, and a panel with three columnists and editors from leading Australian national newspapers.

Elections for Zionist Federation of Australia leadership will also take place at the Biennial. Philip Chester, who has been ZFA President since 2006, announced that he plans to run for his fourth two-year term.

“We have a vibrant and diverse community that wishes to remain engaged with Israel and Zionism, but also to debate and discuss the challenges associated with this connection,” Chester said. “The ZFA is proud to bring together so many diverse thoughts and people who hail from the wide spectrum of Zionist beliefs in order to further enhance and support Zionism in Australia.

“Zionist thought has shifted tremendously since I was a youth movement leader; however, I believe that the Zionist passion of our community remains,” Chester said. “All organisations want to engage young adults, and we are glad to have such a successful working relationship with the groups that are breeding these future leaders.”

Hazony, whose writing has appeared in multiple international publications and websites, is a contributing editor to The Jewish Daily Forward and served as editor-in-chief of leading public affairs journal Azure. American-born, he has observed and written about the growing shifts among Jews living in different parts of the world.

The media panel, titled “Perceptions of Israel in the Media,” will feature former The Age editor Michael Gawenda and Australian Financial Review international editor Tony Walker. It will be moderated by Dan Goldberg, columnist for Ha’aretz and JTA, and former editor at the Australia Jewish News.

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