New book celebrates 170 years of Jewish Care Victoria

November 14, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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As part of Jewish Care’s 170 Year Anniversary (1848 – 2018), a new hardcover large-format pictorial book of exquisite black and white portraits will be launched at their Annual General Meeting today.

Titled ‘170 Years – Enriching lives of the Jewish community’, the book profiles a group of inspiring and captivating individuals and families who have been associated with, or supported by, Jewish Care and its predecessor organisations.

A public call for nominations was conducted and an initial list of approximately 200 people was compiled. The project team selected the final 68 individuals and families – alive and deceased – who personify the values, spirit, character and soul of the thousands of people who have contributed to the organisation’s history. Those represented include staff, clients, elders, volunteers and donors.

When asked why the book was commissioned, Bill Appleby, CEO of Jewish Care said, “There was no better way to celebrate the history and achievements of the organisation than to talk about it, and all that it has done for the community, through the words of its own people.”

Some of the organisation’s identities featured, include iconic names like Mina and Leo Fink, Walter Lippmann and Masha Zeleznikow, to the quiet achievers like thirty-year staff member Darren Kovacs and volunteer couple Bina and Arthur Best.

Taking two years to research, write and edit, Ayal Tusia, Marketing and communications manager said, “It was an honour to have had the opportunity to meet so many inspirational people, to hear their stories of involvement and learn of their selfless efforts in helping to shape the growth and wellbeing of the Victorian Jewish community.”

Michael Gawenda, former Editor-in-Chief of The Age, writes the foreword to the book. Gawenda conveys his personal story of connection to the organisation from when his family came to Australia in 1949 and were assisted by Jewish Welfare to start a new life.

Jewish Care President, Michael Debinski says, “This book tells the story of us all. The people who have been selected to feature in this book are extraordinary in their own right. At the same time, they proudly represent the many thousands before them who have supported, worked, and volunteered for Jewish Care throughout its history.”

The book’s striking full-page portraits have been beautifully captured by photographer Woodrow Wilson and elegantly complemented by the design skills of Maxime Tarbouriech. ‘170 Years’ will be made available for purchase after the launch for $126, from the Jewish Care website at

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