Three Zionist Youth leaders re-elected

December 12, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Three Zionist youth movement leaders, including the chairperson of the council that oversees them all, have been re-elected to return for a second year…the first time this has happened.

Reuben Bolaffi

Serving second-year terms as chairperson in federal Zionist youth movement roles are Reuben Bolaffi at the Australasian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC), Ryan Cohen of Habonim Dror and Alice Chipkin of Netzer.

“We are hopeful that this continuity will allow us to be much stronger in being able to implement our goals and will strengthen the passion and participation of Jewish and Zionist youth Australia-wide. I know that when I started as chairperson, I had an adjustment period of learning on the job, and soon enough a whole year nearly passed,” said Bolaffi.

Bolaffi has been recognised by the larger community for his work during his first year as AZYC chairperson, and he is optimistic to improve AZYC’s cohesiveness among movements and cities. Bolaffi, who grew up in Adelaide, was awarded the B’nai Brith Young Adult Achievement Award for service to the Jewish Community. Growing up in Adelaide, with its small Jewish population, gave Bolaffi “a background of understanding how communities work and how the dedicated people that work in them need to be both supported and recognised,” he said.

“We are all unique as movements, but we all have the same basic goal of improving the Israeli community, the Jewish community, and the larger world community,” emphasized Bolaffi.

“So often in youth movements our biggest failures are our inability to follow-up and improve on our processes of the previous year”, said Cohen.  “We make mistakes, as all organisations do, but in having our leadership stay on board for multiple terms we are able to develop and grow. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue my work in Habonim Dror and in particular it is exciting to be able to work with such an amazing team year again.”

The other Zionist youth movements chose new federal leaders in the last month:

  • Joshua Rubin of Bnei Akiva
  • Libby Jedwab of Hashomer Hatzair
  • Alon Tal of Hineni
  • Jonathan Markowitz of Betar
Alice Chipkin

Alice Chipkin

“We are very fortunate to have passionate and competent young adults, with energy, enthusiasm and great ideas taking over as leaders”, Bolaffi said. “I am confident that the new leaders will perform as well as their predecessors. They all have good experience as members of their respective federal boards and state groups.”

Ryan Cohen


Bolaffi praised leaders of the Zionist movements who usually are all still students at University and devote their free time to ensuring Jewish children grasped their Jewish identities.

The AZYC has worked closely with the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), the roof body for Zionist organisations across Australia.

“We are very proud of the work of the Zionist youth movements in the way that not only do they energise our young children to love and connect with Israel but also they empower and educate our young adults in building leadership, community, character and personal growth. Having three federal leaders returning for a second year is something that can only make our community better. With the new and returning leadership, we look forward to another great year of working with the movements”, said ZFA President Philip Chester.

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