Moriah visits the Archibald

August 9, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Members of Sydney’s The Moriah Foundation joined with the Grandparents’ Club for a private viewing of the Archibald Prize finalists at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.Over 200 guests enjoyed the opportunity to view the entries, including the winning portrait of Barry Humphries, and finalists in the Wynne and Sulman Prizes, and the ‘Young Achies’, a portrait competition for school-aged students.

Steven Lowy, Dr M ichael Brandt and Brian Schwartz

Steven Lowy, Dr M ichael Brandt and Brian Schwartz

Judy Lowy, as Foundation President welcomed guests and thanked the Gallery for providing this intimate opportunity that is valued by the Foundation’s supporters. In her address, Mrs Lowy said: “Since our establishment a few years ago, our focus, as most of you are aware, has been on the sustainability of Moriah and equally on the affordability of a Moriah education to members of the community. We believe, and I am sure you would all agree, that giving children a Jewish education and thereby giving them a Jewish moral compass and a strong identity, connecting them to Israel and teaching them to be advocates for Israel is the key to Jewish continuity now and into the future.”

She continued: “Grandparents and donors of Moriah understand very well that this does not happen on its own. It requires investment in Jewish education. Investment by parents, by grandparents, by teachers, by leaders of the college and investment by us of our financial support. For this reason, The Moriah Foundation has begun to raise much-needed funds for our two most important programs.”

Mrs Lowy said: “Through the generous support of our donors, over the past 3 years we have raised funds and allocated means tested bursaries to 30 children whose family financial circumstances preclude them from affording not just a Moriah education, but a Moriah life.  We are now desperately seeking donors to support bursaries for children starting school in 2017, and will work hard to make sure we secure them.”

Judy Lowy said that last year the Foundation received an extraordinary gift of $1million from Phil and Beverley Birnbaum to establish The Romy Birnbaum Memorial Bursary Endowment Fund. And during the course of this year and last, members of our community have begun to contribute towards the endowment fund. The Foundation’s aim is to grow this endowment fund so that the capital is preserved and, from our interest earnings, we will provide bursaries to children in need.

She continued: “For those of you who are members of the Grandparents’ Club and, when renewing your membership, have generously made a gift towards our bursary program, thank you for your support. Collectively, you have helped cover the tuition fees for one child for the first half of this year. Thank you!”

At the same time, the Foundation is raising money to increase the financial assistance funds available to our existing Moriah families who run into crisis. This is unfortunately a growing need and there is never as much funding as requests for financial assistance.

Mrs Lowy said: “The other exciting and most important Initiative is the goal to send as many of our Year 10 students as possible on the very special and often life-changing 6-week Israel Study Tour to Poland and Israel, (IST).  Prior to the Foundation’s involvement, only a minority of families could afford to send their kids on this program.

  • In 2013, we sent 85 Moriah students, thanks to the subsidies and interest free loans the Foundation was able to offer;
  • In 2014, we sent 90 students, and then in 2015 with the added assistance of y2i funding we saw the numbers grow further;
  • 103 kids participated last year, in spite of the fall in the Aussie dollar; and
  • This year, we have approximately 120 Moriah kids going – about 90% of the year group.

Our donors have helped us to remove financial reasons as a barrier to participate in IST. We are enormously proud and excited about this. Again, on behalf of the Foundation board, thank to those of you here this evening who have contributed towards IST.”

Judy Lowy said: “2015 was an important year for us as we also received another significant gift of $1 million to support innovation in teaching and learning, an exciting initiative under John Hamey’s leadership. This initiative will accelerate our vision to best prepare our students for a world that requires them to be technologically sophisticated, flexible and innovative.”

She continued: “Also in the past year, through the generosity of our donors, we have helped to fund additional initiatives that support the music, visual arts and sports programs at the college, and assist with providing additional and practical support for children with a diagnosed disability.”

Another donor has established and continues to support the Principal’s Tzedaka Fund. This Fund provides short-term practical financial assistance for items such as musical instruments, camp essentials, school lunch vouchers, uniforms, psychologist consults, tutoring those who need help to afford such extras.

Pleasingly, an increasing number of people have shared their Simcha with the Foundation on the occasion of birthdays, bat- and bar-mitzvahs, and wedding anniversaries.

She concluded by saying: “Finally, in April we were pleased to receive advice that the College was a beneficiary of a gift in the Will of a lady who was passionate about Jewish day school education. Together with her husband, both holocaust survivors, they arrived penniless in Australia from Poland.  They worked hard to provide for the education of their only child and their only grandchild. The lady lived to a grand old age of over 100 and we were delighted that she left a gift in her will to Moriah. We are extremely grateful for her desire to leave a legacy that she was unable to support during her lifetime.”


Photo credits: Nadine Saacks

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