NCJWA ‘Celebrating Israel’ Annual Event

December 1, 2016 by Sophie Deutsch
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The 12th Anniversary of the annual National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NJCWA) ‘Celebrating Israel’ event commemorated the establishment of Israel through a series of cultural depictions.


Betar Photo: Wendy Bookatz

This year’s event, entitled ‘A Cultural Narrative’, was attended by around 180 people NCJWA ‘Celebrating Israel’ Annual Event was held at Fanny Reading Council House in Sydney’s Woollahra

The historic day of 29th November 1947 marks the United Nations General Assembly vote on resolution 181, The Partition Plan. This vote called for the establishment of a Jewish State alongside an Arab State, thus leading to the creation of the State of Israel. As the first country to vote ‘yes’, Australia was instrumental in bringing about The Partition Plan.

‘A Cultural Narrative’ featured works of poetry, prose and film by noteworthy Jewish writers including Nathan Alterman and President Shimon Peres.

Alan Hoffmann, Dalia Ayalon Sinclair, Dorit Herscovici, Victoria Nadel, Miri Orden

Alan Hoffmann, Dalia Ayalon Sinclair, Dorit Herscovici, Victoria Nadel, Miri Orden Photo: Wendy Bookatz

In response to Chaim Weizmann’s famous line that “the state will not be given to the Jewish People on a silver platter”, Nathan Alterman wrote the poem The Silver Platter, the ultimate coin of bereavement and resurrection in Israel’s history.

Referring to the great sacrifices that Jews would need to make in their dedicated pursuit of a national homeland, the second stanza of Alterman’s poem begins, “To prepare for the ceremony, the nation rises up in the moonlight/To stand before the dawn seized by celebration and by terror”.

The Jewish community welcomed two distinguished guest speakers, Alan Hoffmann, CEO and Director General of The Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, and Dorit Herscovici, Spokesperson and Political Affairs Embassy of Israel in Canberra.

Hoffmann proudly stated that we are “celebrating and remembering what I think is one of the most important dates in Jewish modern history”.

He placed particular emphasis on the central role that Jewish Youth Movements played in the creation of Israel. “The Zionist Youth Movements, together with the Jewish Agency, gave birth to the State of Israel”, says Hoffman. “Today’s members of the Zionist Movements are the inheritors of that great tradition”.

All of the Jewish Youth Movements were represented at ‘Celebrating Israel’, making it a highly energetic and lively celebration. Dalia Ayalon Sinclair of the NJCWA, convenor of the event, has evidently achieved her ultimate goal – to pass on to future generations the significance of 29th November 1947.


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