Shana receives the NSWJBD President’s Award

November 19, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has awarded the annual President’s Award, this year named in honour of the late past President Professor Graham de Vahl Davis AM, to Shana Kerlander – CEO of Mandelbaum House.

Shana Kerlander

The award is designed to acknowledge an individual who has made an outstanding contribution towards facilitating and promoting understanding, reconciliation, mutual respect, goodwill and tolerance between community, religious and ethnic groups in NSW and in promoting a safe, inclusive and cohesive community for NSW.

When announcing Kerlander as the winner, Board of Deputies President Lesli Berger said she has “dedicated herself to the advancement of Jewish values and pastoral care for young Jewish youths for fifteen years.

“As university campuses across the country have increasingly become battlegrounds for our community and for BDS, this individual’s leadership and example has been instrumental in winning the hearts and minds of young Jewish and non-Jewish residents at a university college in the centre of the debate.

“Shana has brought Jewish education into the daily lives of university students through the monthly speakers series, the cultural dinners and The Eddie Jaku OAM Mensch Prize. These innovations allow students beginning their independent lives to see the value in Jewish culture, history and life, often for the very first time.

“Her work has greatly elevated the status of her organisation over the course of her tenure and she now provides an important and trusted bridge to the leadership of one of Australia’s most prestigious educational institutions.”

Fittingly, Kerlander was also mentored by the late Professor, who was a member of the Board of Mandelbaum House for two decades.

In addition to her work as CEO of Mandelbaum House, Kerlander was one of the invited Jewish participants to the Board of Deputies’ 2019 We Are All Sydney community leadership program, where she represented our community with dignity and tremendous generosity of spirit.

Upon accepting the award, Kerlander said she was humbled.

“It’s a real honour, especially because this award is named in the memory of Graham who I had the privilege of knowing for many years.

“If you haven’t been to Mandelbaum House, next year come over for a meal. You’ll get to see what we do here, who we are. We have a lot of amazing students who – you mention things I do but it’s really our students, and our council… who just like Graham are wise, are dedicated and  I really thank you. It’s a real honour and privilege. I am humbled” she said.

Last year the inaugural NSW Jewish Board of Deputies President’s Award was awarded to Josie Lacey in memory of past president Jeremy Spinak.

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