SUMMIT UIA: a whirlwind week for the people of Israel

March 4, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Over 5 nights, Jewish communities across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane united online for UIA’s 2022 annual event with a twist.

Ayelet Shaked

Summit UIA was a unique undertaking, unprecedented in the Australian Jewish community bringing 6 of Israel’s highest-profile and influential individuals across multiple fields, including Shira Haas, Linoy Ashram, Omri Casspi, Yossi Cohen, Daniel Gordis and Minister Ayelet Shaked, who all joined us live.

A variety of notable local Jewish personalities also featured, including Emmy nominated journalist and reporter Kathryn Eisman who moderated the ‘Culture’ session and ABC and Newscorp sports commentator Daniel Garb, who moderated the ‘Sport’ session.

Senior Correspondent and Columnist for Haaretz, Anshel Pfeffer, who had just returned from reporting in Ukraine, also provided an extremely timely live update on the opening night. He reminded the audience that unfortunately during conflicts like this the Jewish community often become a target.

Shira Haas

The Ukraine crisis was addressed across all the five nights of Summit UIA, with Israel advocate and author Daniel Gordis commenting: “It is so painful and heartbreaking… to watch what is happening to those hundreds of thousands of people who are now refugees. The only refugees in Ukraine who know they have a place to go are the Jewish refugees. There are no Jews on planet earth who don’t have a place to go. And Israel is working to go get them.”

Former Mossad Director Yossi Cohen spoken about the unique power of the Jewish people to protect each other, and he explained the underlying rationale of Israel’s defence policy. Israel, he said, will always ensure it can defend itself and Jewish people across the globe. He emphasised that the work of UIA is “Avodad Kodesh – holy work and very important to the existence of the State of Israel.”

Lino Ashram

UIA Australia Federal President Esther Frenkiel said: “Keren Hayesod-UIA has continued to play a pivotal role in Israel and protecting our Jewish brothers and sisters globally. As the current crisis in Ukraine demonstrates, in tragic ways, our core work is no less relevant today than it was 102 years ago when we were founded. Our responsibility to our olim is as critical as ever. For over a century we have supported global Jewry in building the State of Israel through Aliyah.”

Summit UIA ensured that our community could unite together virtually to show our solidarity and unwavering partnership for our brothers and sisters in Israel, and the current refugees seeking to make Israel their home.

We are proud to have provided the community with a diverse and content-rich symposium, connecting to our homeland in the best way possible outside of being there physically.

UIA CEO Yair Miller thanked the community for joining in such large numbers. “The overwhelming response from the community to Summit UIA and to our request for immediate support for our Jewish brothers and sisters in Ukraine has been humbling. The Australian Jewish community always responds in a crisis and we are so grateful that we are able to play a concrete role in saving Jewish Life immediately.”

The sessions on demand will be available online for the next week, or if you missed Summit UIA and are keen to watch, you can still buy a pass at

To book for UIA Women’s Division 2022 Campaign Events on Sunday 20 March, visit

Donate to UIA’s 2022 Campaign at


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