Youngest ever recipient of Monash award

November 14, 2012 by Jo Silver
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Anton Block has become the youngest recipient to be presented with the prestigious General Sir John Monash Award, for outstanding service to the Victorian Jewish community.

Anton Block accepts his award

At the recent Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) Community Awards’ Evening  the hard work and dedication of twenty-nine community volunteers who have given extraordinary service to their organisations for a minimum of five years was also recognised.

The evening was chaired by Nina Bassat AM, President of the JCCV and the awards (Cultural and Special Interest, Benevolent Organisations, Zionist & Youth and Shules), were presented by guest speaker, Dr Alan Finkel AM, Chancellor of Monash University and JCCV patron. Guests were entertained by Duo Chamber Melange and Spike and the S. P. G. Band.

The JCCV President, Nina Bassat AM told the people present that the volunteers represented 545 years in total, more than half a millennium, in contributions to the welfare of our community, making the JCCV Community Awards Evening such a milestone event in our community.

Bassat stated “the evening celebrates the generosity, the big-heartedness and energy of the people who make the Victorian Jewish community so rich, vibrant and supportive. The twenty-nine recipients are people who have given their time to sporting activities, shules, welfare organisations and Zionist movements, affecting everyone within our community and making Jewish activity and events possible.”

Dr Alan Finkel AM spoke of the numerous volunteering efforts by university students as well as the projects the University offers such as the secondary school science program named STELR that he leads in nearly 300 secondary schools around Australia.

Dr Finkel introduced Anton Block’s 22 years of voluntary service encompassing being founder and first President of B’nai Mitzvot, a community service organisation at just 18, the youngest President of the North Eastern Jewish Centre in 1997, the youngest JCCV President in 2005, current chair of the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation and President of St. Kilda Hebrew Congregation in 2012.

Finkel stated that what makes Anton such a noteworthy recipient is, “that he is an innovative and creative leader, who thinks in a clear and non-partisan manner and works to achieve the best possible result for the benefit of the community as a whole.”

In his speech, 40-yr-old Block thanked his wife, Lana, for her tireless support and for being his sounding board and advisor. He admitted to time pressures with work and family but conceded that giving it a go and hoping to make a difference drives him forward and keeps him involved. He believes firmly in leading by example.


One Response to “Youngest ever recipient of Monash award”
  1. Pity he’s done nothing to break down intolerance of homosexuality in the Jewish community. Nothing.

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