NCJWA launches its centenary program

October 12, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Fifty diverse women from communities across NSW came together during Sukkot to share the celebration of the festival, their common alliance against breast cancer and the launch of the National Council of Jewish Women Australia’s NSW Centenary Program.

Lynda Ben-Menashe and Risha Zia, a genetic counsellor who counsels Jewish women with breast cancer

Centenary Coordinator Lynda Ben-Menashe explained the significance of welcoming guests (‘ushpizin’) into the sukkah, saying:  “We felt that the opportunity of Sukkot falling during Breast Cancer Awareness Month was too good to let pass by. This first event in our Centenary program symbolises who and what the National Council of Jewish Women Australia is, in so many ways: a very Jewish women’s organisation working in partnership with so many others for the greater good of all women in our society.”

In the presence of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Christian women from First Nations, Indian, Greek, Afghani, Chinese, Iraqi, Philipina, Islander and Pakistani backgrounds and local councillors, Woollahra Deputy Mayor Isabelle Shapiro OAM told of her own breast cancer journey, and Dr Lesley Andrews and Senior Genetic Counsellor Risha Zia explained genetic counselling and the establishment of the JeneScreen program, which enables all members of the Jewish community to undergo free testing for BRCA genes.

The event was hosted by National Council of Jewish Women Australia NSW Division president Maxine Bachmayer, in partnership with Wolper Hospital, Shalom’s Adamama and Tikva V’Or, the Jewish Women’s Breast Cancer Network. It raised over $1000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Ms Bachmayer stressed, “We chose to initiate our year of celebration with a multicultural event as this is emblematic of what Council stands for…. inclusion, diversity, equality.”

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