UIA Women’s breakfast: Melbourne

March 1, 2016 by Toni Susskind
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Melbourne’s UIA Women’s breakfast was attended by over 500 supporters, with the aim of raising funds to support the Youth Futures project in Israel.The project is on a national level and  provides children and youth at risk (ages 6-18) with comprehensive, tailored intervention to enable them to become independent, productive members of Israel society.

Ludy Aharish Photo: Jeremy Blode

Ludy Aharish

Hayley Southwick, wife of State member for Caulfield David Southwick and chair of the UIA Victoria Women’s division, kicked off proceedings by introducing Lucy Aharish, guest speaker and first ever Israeli- Arab news presenter on Israeli television. A vocal figure on Middle Eastern issues and the recipient of the courage award for fighting racism, Aharish was honoured by the Jewish government last year, when she lit the torch at the Israeli

Hayley Southwick

Hayley Southwick

Independence Day ceremony.

Aharish began her talk stating: “We [Israeli’s and Arabs] have reached a point in the world when we hear one another, but we are not listening to one another.” She then described how when she was 5 years old, a Palestinian terrorist saw her and her family driving away from the Gaza Strip. Looking into the eyes of the little girl who was peering out the window, he launched 2 Molotov cocktails into the car. The family had been mistaken for Israeli’s because of the Israeli number plates on the vehicle.


Idan Goldberger – UIA Executive Director

She further highlighted prejudges, by telling the predominately female audience about her experiences growing up in Dimona, a semi-secular Jewish city. Aharish explained that as the only Muslim Arab student in a Jewish school, she was regularly bullied. However, she added, the problem is not that “Kids are not mean, we educate kids to be mean.” The guest speaker also spoke of meeting Jewish students on her trip to Australia and marveling at their levels of open-mindedness .

Aharish, a “proud Israeli,” focused on the theme of courage in the community and how by standing up to do the ‘right thing,” we can fight inequality and injustice.

A well received speaker, Aharish was given a standing ovation at the end of her talk..



Photos: Jeremy Blode


One Response to “UIA Women’s breakfast: Melbourne”
  1. Ron Burdo says:

    Caring about the future of youth in Israel? Fine.

    But hey, what about the future of Jewish youth in Australia?
    Will they be Jews when they grow up?
    Do they have access to Jewish education, or to other frameworks for nurturing their Jewish identity?

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