Mayor of Jerusalem keynote speaker for JNF

August 5, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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JNF Australia has announced that Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem will be the keynote speaker at this year’s JNF Annual Dinners.

He will also be guest speaker at a series of smaller intimate functions. Nir Barkat will be visiting Australia for the very first time and JNF is honoured that he has chosen to support JNF in recognition of the vital work that we undertake in Israel.


Nir Barkat

Nir Barkat is an Israeli businessman and politician who is best known for having served as the Mayor of Jerusalem since 2008. His tenure is known internationally for his role in trying to promote tourism and encourage major social projects as well as his high-profile conflicts with the ultra-Orthodox minority Birkat is also known internationally for a February 2015 incident in which he coincidentally happened upon a Palestinian man attacking an Orthodox Jew and successfully managed to overpower the assailant, allowing the victim to be taken to safety.

Nir Barkat was born in 1959 and raised in Jerusalem. His father, Zalman, was a professor of physics at the Hebrew University. He served in the Paratroopers Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces for six years (1977–1983), as well as reserve duty, and reached the rank of Major.

Barkat holds a BA in computer science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and studied for an uncompleted master’s degree in business administration at the same institution.

Barkat and . Barkat was named the 43rd most influential Jewish person in 2014. Barkat his wife Beverly and  three daughters live in the primarily secular neighborhood of Beit HaKerem in Jerusalem.

Barkat started his career in the hi-tech industry by founding a software company called BRM in 1988, which specialized in antivirus software. Later the company became an incubator venture firm that invested in several companies such as Check Point and Backweb. He later helped found the social investment company IVN.

Judy Feld Carr, Saviour of Syrian Jewry will share her truly remarkable story of how one women literally saved the lives of thousands of Syrian Jews.

Judy Feld-Carr

Judy Feld-Carr

Over a 28 year period, Judy Feld Carr secretly brought to freedom 3,228 Jews prohibited from emigrating from Syria. Working with smugglers, bribing government officials, she removed most of that community from veritable bondage. In addition, she clandestinely smuggled out of that country, priceless ancient articles of Jewish worship. Until the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and the Israeli Intelligence Organizations, publicly acclaimed her activities, the world, including the Jewish world, had no inkling of this Canadian Jewish woman’s covert life. She is the subject of a best selling Canadian book by historian, Dr. Harold Troper, “The Rescuer” now in its second edition. The rescue was the best-kept secret in the Jewish world.

Judy Feld Carr was born in Montreal, raised in Sudbury, a small Northern Ontario town, the daughter of a fur trader. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree, and Master’s degrees in Musicology and Music Education from the University of Toronto. She taught both university and high school, and was a visiting lecturer at Yeshiva University, Hebrew University and Youngstown State University in Ohio. She received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Laurentian University in Ontario, and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. In June, 2012, Judy was one of the first six recipients of The Presidential Award of Distinction, of the State of Israel. The Award was created by President Shimon Peres, to “recognize outstanding contribution to the Jewish People and the State of Israel’.

She was widowed in 1973, and later married Donald Carr, QC, and is the mother of six children and grandmother of 13 grandchildren, 5 of whom live with their parents in Jerusalem.

The JNF Annual Dinner will be held on Wednesday 14 October 2015 (NSW) and Thursday 15 October (VIC).

To book for the function, visit


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