2021 Australia Day Awards – J-Wire – J-Wire Jewish Australian News Service

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For the first time since the modern-day awards were inaugurated in 1975, a rabbi has received the nation’s highest award, the AC.  J-Wire extends congratulations to all members of the Jewish community who have been honoured by their country…including a brother and sister. This year, Victoria honourees are double their NSW counterparts. There is one honour each for WA and the NT.

Rabbi Dr John Simon LEVI AM, Malvern East VIC 3145
For eminent service to Judaism through seminal roles with religious, community and historical organisations, to the advancement of interfaith understanding, tolerance and collaboration, and to education.
Rabbi John Levi
Australia, New Zealand and Asia Region, Union for Progressive Judaism
World Union for Progressive Judaism
Executive Council of Australian Jewry
Jewish Community Council of Victoria
Liberal Rabbinical Association of Australia and New Zealand
Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne
Interfaith Dialogue
The Arts
Civil Service
Awards and recognition include:
As a historian, Rabbi John Levi is tuned to the significance of milestones in Australian Jewish history.
He comes from a family with a long history of serving the Victorian community. He is “pretty sure” he is the first Rabbi to be honoured with an AC.
He told J-Wire: “I am surprised to be so honoured”.
My great-grandfather, Nathaniel Levi, would have been proud of me.
He was a very staunch Jew and became the first Jewish member of the Victorian parliament in 1861. That happened just a few years after Great Britain allowed a Jew to enter Parliament.”
Discussing his experience of welcoming school children on interfaith excursions to his synagogue, Rabbi John Levi hoped that, while the children would not remember what was said, the long-term result might be making Jews less of a mystery.
He regards Australia with great love and remembers Melbourne, as being a more formal country in the past.
Rabbi Levi has an enduring fascination with early Australian Jewish history.
“Unlike other new settled countries like the United States and Canada, Jews were in Australia from the very beginning – on the First Fleet.
“I think that Jews really understand their history,” he said.
Lockdown during the pandemic means he is not able to spend time in Israel, a place dear to his heart.
“We just like being in Jerusalem: the sense of history and belonging. It is a fascinating place for someone who is consciously Jewish.
Jerusalem is the heartland,” he added.

Professor Alan CASS, Wanguri NT 0810
Alan Cass
For distinguished service to medical research, particularly to the prevention and management of chronic kidney disease, to improved Indigenous clinical care and health outcomes, and as a mentor.
Medical Health and Research
Medical – other
Australasian Kidney Trials Network
Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry
Awards and recognition include:
Alan Cass commented: “I feel humbled, I feel that it is wonderful to see that the important work I do and in departments, and that the focus of our work has been recognised. I trained as a kidney specialist. Training and research is very important to me, my family has always been interested in medicine and social justice. This is an absolute passion of mine, I am interested in researching health, and to gain understanding of all the underlying factors. I want to provide the best care to people requiring treatment. Our ability to bring skills, understanding and training to communities, has been so fulfilling to see how it has impacted them all. The need is profound, so we work to prevent, to treat, and to support the communities. Darwin and the Northern Territories is such a remarkable part of Australia, it makes for a vibrant and fascinating community in which to work. Working with communities and providing education is a vital part of what we do.”
Professor Susan Ruth DAVIS, Richmond VIC 3121
Susan Davis
For distinguished service to medicine, to women’s health as a clinical endocrinologist and researcher, and to medical education.
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
·       Executive Council Member, Monash University, 2006-2008.
International Menopause Society
Australasian Menopause Society
Other Medicine
Jean Hailes Foundation (Jean Hailes for Women’s Health)
Endocrine Society (USA)
Other Professional Associations
Awards and Recognition include:
·       Endocrine Society of Australia Senior Plenary Award, 2019.
·       Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum inaugural Honour, St Catherine’s Girls’ School Melbourne, 2010.
Susan Davis told J-Wire: “This is an enormous honour. It is nice to have all your work and contributions over the years acknowledged, and to receive the acknowledgment. It is lovely. My main focus is on women’s health, both nationally and internationally. We focus on women’s health, education, and research, this has been a long and rewarding journey. It has been lovely working with and training people. I love what I do.”
Emeritus Professor Andrew MARKUS, VIC
For distinguished service to tertiary education, particularly to the study of Jewish civilisation, as a sociologist and demographer, and to multiculturalism.
Monash University
Scanlon Foundation
Temple Beth Israel
Jewish Historical Society (Victoria)
Committee and advisory roles
Research Institute on Social Cohesion, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria
Andrew Markus strongly believes his award is a recognition of the significance of universities and research conducted at Monash University.
“This recognises all the people who have contributed to the work of research,” he said.
Partly retired, he is still very much involved in research and says that surveys allow us to better understand how Australia has coped with the current pandemic crises.
He says it is significant that Holocaust and Genocide courses draw students from a wide cross-section of the community.
Associate Professor Gregory Julian GOODMAN, Toorak VIC 3142
Greg Goodman
For significant service to medicine, to skin and cancer research, and to education.
Skin Health Institute (formerly Skin and Cancer Foundation Australia)
Australasian College of Dermatologists
Dermatology Institute of Victoria
·       Board Member, current.
International Society of Cosmetic Laser Surgeons
Department of General Practice, Monash University
Awards and recognition includes:
Greg Goodman told J-Wire:  “It is nice to be acknowledged, particularly by your peers. I am not motivated by recognition particularly. But it does acknowledge my life’s work, especially what I have done outside of my day to day job. So many put in extra hours over and above their normal duties. Australian society would not be structured as well as it is if it was not for the extra activities done by so many people.”.
Rabbi Mordechai GUTNICK, St Kilda East VIC 3183
Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick
For significant service to the Jewish community through a range of roles.
Rabbinical Council of Victoria
Melbourne Beth Din
Kosher Food Certification
Jewish organisations
Elwood Talmud Torah Congregation, Melbourne (Elwood Shule)
Jewish Congregations – Other
Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick told J-Wire: “I feel really humbled by this honour. We try to do our best. My family has always been totally community orientated. I am a member of Chabad, so we are always helping with outreach and with our fellow human beings. As a teenager, I was always very involved with the community, with many programs, and helped with the overflow services. I have always been involved with community endeavours. I have been very grateful to have been able to not only helped people but also to have been involved with so many things. My major goal has always been to help, this is my path. I have loved reaching out, helping others, and influencing people to good. I received all of this from my father, he was a caring person, and I hope that I have been able to emulate him. My kids are following in our footsteps. I have been involved with non-Jewish communities as well, and it has been an honour and a privilege to do so. I am a very proud Australian. I am very proud to receive this recognition of our services and am glad that the Jewish community is represented in these awards. Australia has been very good to us, my parents came both before and after the war, and Australia has welcomed us with open arms.”
He added: “My wife Sara should have shared in my award. She has always been a source of strength and inspiration in all my work.”
Professor Daniel Ian LUBMAN, VIC
Dan Lubman
For significant service to medical education, research, treatment and policy in the field of addiction.
Medical Education – Monash University and Turning Point
Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, University of Melbourne
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
Committee and Advisory Board service
UK Medical Research Council
Awards and recognition includes:
Dan Lubman would like to change the public’s perception of addiction and to see it as a medical condition.
“Addiction is a health disorder, a stigmatised condition and something people are ashamed to seek help for and no community is immune from it” he told J-Wire.
It can take up to 20 years for someone to admit they have an addiction before seeking help.
“In the past, having cancer was not something that was talked about. Hearing stories of recovery has helped changed community attitudes. The same could be said of depression and how it was viewed in the past.
“My hope is that in time, community attitudes to addiction will also change.
“We are trying to change community perception of addiction and give it the same standard of care as other health issues,” he said.
“I am humbled and thrilled to be award this honour” he said.
Dan Lubman recently appeared in a 4-part documentary on addiction –  Addicted Australia – which showcased 10 people battling to covering their addiction.  It can be viewed on SBS On Demand.
For more information go to: https://www.rethinkaddiction.org.au/
Philip David MAYERS, Toorak VIC 3142
Philip Mayers
For significant service to the community through a range of organisations.
Make-A-Wish International
Make-A-Wish Australia
Temple Beth Israel
Victorian Union for Progressive Judaism
Executive Council of Australian Jewry
Jewish Community Council Of Victoria
Royal District Nursing Service
·       Member, Board of Directors, 1995-2009.
·       Deputy Chairman, 2005-2008.
·       Life Member, 2010.
Jewish Care (Victoria)
“I am proud to be Australian and this Award makes me feel even more Australian. I am very excited about it,” Philip Mayers told J-Wire.
Along with his wife and two sons, he came from South Africa to Melbourne 33 years ago.
“Melbourne was very welcoming to us and we were accepted,” he said.
He relishes the close personal relationships he has made across the community and said that programs offered by organisations such as Royal District Nursing Service can make a big difference to people’s lives.
“The causes I have been involved with have all enriched my life,” he said.
Peter Harry WISE, Rose Bay NSW 2029
Peter Wise                  Photo: Giselle Haber
For significant service to the Jewish community through a range of roles.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ)
Jewish Communal Appeal (JCA)
Council for Jewish Community Security (NSW) (CJCS)
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
New Zealand Jewish Organisations
Peter Wise commented: “Honours and awards have never featured on my bucket list of aspirations, so this recognition is at the same time both flattering and humbling. I was born in post-war Europe into a traumatised, but vibrant, Holocaust survivor family. As refugees in New Zealand, they imbued my DNA with an appreciation of why the wellbeing, resilience and vitality of Jewish communities and Israel is central to our being.
Across a range of communal roles, my mantra has been that unity in our collective Jewish endeavour is paramount and I believe it is my obligation to do whatever I can to improve and strengthen Jewish life, and the Jewish way of life. It has been very rewarding to be involved in pivotal organisations which have the capacity to make a difference – particularly the JCA, ECAJ and CSG. We should be grateful to earlier generations of leaders who gave us solid organisational foundations on which to build.
I see this Australia Day honour as also recognising the vision and ability of the various collegial teams I have worked with over the years. In more recent times I have been privileged to work 24/7 with members of our community who are many decades younger than me. They have passion, grit and commitment; they are an inspiration, and they are our beacon for the future.”
Geoff Basser
Geoffrey Lewis BASSER, Salamander Bay NSW 2317
For service to the community of the Port Stephens region.
Caring for Our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY)
Rotary Club of Salamander Bay, Rotary International
Rotary Club of Nelson Bay, Rotary International
Lindfield Rotary Club, Rotary International
Apex Australia
Community – Other
Awards and recognition include:
Geoff Basser told J-Wire: “I feel humbled. I am involved with community service because I feel that I am civic-minded and socially responsible. None of this would have happened, my work with Rotary, and prior to that with Apex Australia, without the people working with me. I could never have done all the work we have done over the years, without the people I work with and respect greatly. Giving back to society means that we all work together, men and women. We are all like-minded and feel socially responsible.”
Dr Peter James DAVIS, Caulfield South VIC 3162
Peter Davis
For service to the Jewish community of Melbourne.
Theodor Herzl Social Club (affiliated club of the Victorian Bridge Association)
The Australian Pregnancy Register for Women on Antiepileptic Medication
Professional career
Awards and recognition include:
Peter Davis told J-Wire he was a young man when he joined the Theodor Herzl Social Club in the early 1980s.
He said that the Club has contributed to many Jewish causes including the Maccabi Access Program. This allows children and young adults with special needs to participate in sports they would not otherwise be able to access.
“The Club is a resource for many Jewish community organisations, not just Bridge.
“When I have seen something that needs to be done, I do it and I suppose the Award is the ultimate recognition of that.
“I look forward to doing more in the future” he said.
Mark GINSBURG, Lindfield NSW 2070
Mark Ginsburg     Adrian Cook Photography.
For service to the Jewish community, and to music.
North Shore Temple Emanuel (NSTE)
Mark Ginsburg said: “I am a bit overwhelmed. I would have never dreamed that I would be nominated for such an award. I have put a lot of time and effort into m community and I have done so without any expectations and I think there are so many others who do wonderful things. Music is embedded in my life. Much of what I do within my community has musical aspects. I sing in the choir and give our rabbi guitar lessons. My wife is president of Jewish Arts and I work with her on her projects.”
Ellen Greenfield
For service to the fashion and textiles industries, and to the community.
Ellen Greenfield told J-Wire: “I was so surprised to receive this acknowledgment. I didn’t expect anything like this. All my life I worked, but that has been my pleasure. I have sold buttons since I was 12. That is how I met my husband and we started a fashion wholesale business in Budapest after the war. We began again in Australia in 1952.
From 1970 I travelled twice a year to America, Paris, Italy and Germany to see the fashion. When I came back I invited designers to come and see new ideas. You work so you can give to your family and whoever else that needs. I feel very lucky to be in Australia.”
Irma Hanner
For service to the community, particularly through the Jewish Holocaust Centre.
Jewish Holocaust Centre
Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre and National Library
Awards and recognition include:
Irma Hanner commented: “It is unbelievable, I can’t believe it. I have been a museum guide, and have worked at the Jewish Holocaust Museum for over 25 years. I have taught children and schools about the Holocaust for years. I was invited to speak at the War Memorial in Canberra, I was the only speaker and it was one of my highlights. To speak about the Holocaust, has become my most important task. It has to be taught by people, and in schools everywhere.”
Of the 250 children from her Jewish school in Dresden, Irma was one of just six who survived the Holocaust.
She was nine when the Gestapo took her mother to Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp. And as Germany’s persecution of its Jewish citizens escalated, 12-year-old Irma was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp.
David HELFGOTT, Gleniffer NSW 2454
David Helfgott
For service to the performing arts as a concert pianist.
Awards and recognition include:
His wife Gillian wants to surprise him with the news, as he is “without doubt the friendliest person you will ever meet. As everyone is aware, David has been through many challenges and he has fought them and come through them one after the other. Music has been his soulmate, his passion, and this award will be wonderful news for him. Music has filled his whole being. He feels so blessed that music has always been his passion, and his life’s journey has been being able to pursue it and enjoy it so much. We have had an incredible life together, he has played in 34 different countries, and the world has just opened up to us. We have had a very fulfilling, challenging, and happy life. We live in a valley with a beautiful garden and we are extremely content. He brings so much joy to people with his music. His music and is nature is very heart-warming and he is so friendly and loves to talk to everyone he meets.”
Elizabeth JAMES, Armadale VIC 3143
Liz James
For service to the Jewish community of Victoria.
Australian Jewish Historical Society (Victoria)
Australian Jewish Genealogy Society (Victoria)
Jewish Community Council of Victoria
Awards and recognition include:
Genealogy and family history are something Elizabeth James is passionate about.
Assisting members of the Jewish community to discover the history of their forebears is a way of ensuring that “we don’t forget”.
“The biggest mitzvah I can do is to help people find their ancestors or even the original version of their family name. Reconnecting family members around the world is another way of helping someone find their past” she told J-Wire.
She looks forward to the time Melbourne’s hugely popular annual One Voice Festival can be held again, an opportunity for members of the Jewish community to gather together
Ellis JANKS, Coogee NSW 2034
Ellis Janks
For service to people with a disability through exercise.
Achilles Running Club Sydney   www.achillesaustralia.org.au
Ellis Janks said: “I am part of an organisation and feel that the focus should be on behalf of our Achilles team. I don’t work alone, so I would like to accept the award on behalf of all of us. I have seen people’s lives change dramatically, both the volunteers and people with disabilities who participate. It is wonderful to see how everyone benefits, forming friendships, doing something worthwhile and getting exercise. I have benefitted as much as anyone else has benefitted. Volunteering has been very satisfying for me.
I have watched people form friendships and watched how they have grown extraordinarily by taking part in all of this. For people with disabilities who often face barriers, or are sometimes isolated, we have been able to break down barriers and enable anyone to enjoy exercising. We have built a community of friendships, support, and exercise. It is a very worth-while organisation.”
Geoffrey Jochelson
Geoffrey JOCHELSON, Kensington NSW 2033
For service to the building and construction industry, particularly security of payment.
Building and Construction Industry
National Electrical And Communications Association (NSW)
Electrical Contractors Association (South Africa)
Awards and recognition includes:
Geoffrey Jochelson’s future in the construction industry was mapped out for him when he was nine years old in South Africa.  He was there when a builder underpaid his father who immediately get an overdraft to pay his subcontractors.
The effect that had on his parent’s business eventually led to Geoffrey becoming an advocate for subcontractors.
He has worked with government departments and building industry associations for decades in his efforts to help to have deemed trusts set up to protect subcontractors’ rights.
“I would like to see all state governments pass legislation to set up deemed trusts as a guarantee that subcontractors get paid by builders.
“It has been my life’s work.
“It has been important for me to give back to Australia and I am very honoured and excited to be recognised” he said.
Larry Kornhauser
For service to eye health research, and to people with keratoconus.
Keratoconus Australia Inc
Save Sight Institute, The University of Sydney
Larry Kornhauser believes strongly in the important work of Keratoconus Australia.
He became its president 20 years ago and wants to raise awareness of an eye disease that affects mainly young people.
“I got the disease at 12 and had a corneal implant at 18. It is a difficult disease and affects children and their families very deeply. With the use of hard contact lenses, vision can mostly be restored.
Australia is a world leader in the field and researchers are doing great work. The joy of working to help other people with the disease is why I got involved” he said.
Dr Henry Ronald LEW, Caulfield North VIC 3161
Harry Lew
For service to ophthalmology, and to the Jewish community.
Professional Associations
Harry Lew said: “I think this is amazing, I feel humbled. I feel as I have just won this award for being myself. When I returned from England in the 70s, I received patients from Montefiore homes and suggested that they form an eye clinic. I worked there once a month for over 16 years, and it was very rewarding. I always wanted to learn about and do everything. I enjoyed my work with patients in repatriation. By working in repat I had the opportunity to do everything. I have had a very interesting career, I came to learn that they all have PTSD. They turned out to be the gentlest, kindest patients I have had in my life. Their stories reminded me of my parents and their Holocaust experiences. I found out that the patients did not speak about what happened to them during the war. For over 27 years I worked with amazing people with amazing correlations.
As a child born soon after the Holocaust, my parents, and all their friends were or knew of survivors. So I became a volunteer guide for the Melbourne Holocaust Museum, I went there on Sundays, to speak to adults about the Holocaust. I feel very humbled and grateful for this award.”
Max Machlin
For service to the community of Perth through a range of roles.
The Royal Perth Hospital
Jewishcare WA
Perth Hebrew Congregation
Awards and recognition includes:
For Max Machlin there is great satisfaction in helping others.
“If there was a need, I was happy to do it” he said. Receiving notice of his nomination was unexpected.
“I thought it was a hoax at first. I am really flattered. It is an honour to receive it” he said.
He has been volunteering for so long he remembers when the cars he drove to transport people to hospital and doctor’s appointments had bucket seats in the front.
“We could fit 5 passengers on one trip back then. Now, with Covid-19, we can only take one person at a time.”from
Amanda MANDIE, Toorak VIC 3142
Mandy Mandie
For service to the community through charitable organisations.
The Snowdome Foundation
Koala Kids Foundation
Community Other
Despite the difficulties of lockdown during 2020, Mandy Mandie enlisted the help of her husband and two children to send out 2,500 consignments of ‘happy boxes’ from her garage for the Koala Kids Foundation.  The boxes were full of toys and games.
Becoming a WIZO Queen in her teens, got her involved in philanthropy and she has not stopped since.
She continues to use her extensive experience in the philanthropic sector along with journalism and marketing skills. In addition to founding and operating Koala Kids Foundation, she was also involved in the early years of Snowdome and Ross Dennerstein Foundations.
She commented: “Being given this award is a recognition of work done by me and a lot of other people.
I have been blessed but there are a lot of people in the community who have lost children to cancer. It is a joy to see what we have achieved.
Our purpose at Koala Kids is to provide some happy memories for children undergoing cancer treatment and their families.”
Steven Allen OSTROW, Elizabeth Bay NSW 2011
Steve Ostrow
For service to the LGBTIQ community, and to the performing arts.
ACON (formerly the AIDS Council of NSW)
Mature Age Gays (a program of ACON , originally a pilot project of Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations)
The Albion Centre, NSW Health South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
The Continental Baths – New York, USA
Author of eleven of books, including:
“I am 90years old and getting the Award feels good right now,” said Steve Ostrow.
His involvement with ACON (formerly the AIDS Council of NSW) and setting up MAG (Mature Age Gays) is something of which he is proud.
Steve describes MAG as “a peer support, social and educational group targeting mature age men forty and up who have sex with men, regardless of how they choose to identify themselves.”
“When people ask me about myself,  I say that I am not gay, I am not straight, I am not bi.
I am sexual” he told J-Wire.
Lea PORTRATE, Edgecliff NSW 2027
Lea Portrate
For service to the Jewish community of Sydney.
Jewish Community
Lea Portrate said she was offered a “gong” several ago but refused.
However, she decided to accept this time around.
“I love doing what I do in the volunteering world. I am embarrassed as I am a very private person” she told J-Wire.
She says she has enjoyed every moment of all the things she has done. “It is rewarding,” she said.
Dr Hilary Louise RUBINSTEIN, Glen Huntly VIC 3163
Dr Hilary Rubinstein
For service to community history through a range of roles.
Australian Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) Victoria Inc
Australian Association for Jewish Studies
Navy Records Society (UK)
Publications include:
Hilary Rubinstein told J-Wire: “I am happy to have received this award. I and we have been doing this a long time, and it is fantastic to have recognition for our historical society and for the work that we do. I have always been interested in history, my father gave me a history book to read when I was a child, and I have been hooked ever since. I worked as a librarian in England, moved to Australia in my 30s, and have studied, written about, and researched history for many years.”
Megan Ruth RYNDERMAN, Toorak VIC 3142
Meg Rynderman
For service to people living with cancer, and to the community.
Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Cancer Council Victoria
Committee and advisory roles
Bialik College, Melbourne
Awards and recognition include:
Megan Rynderman feels privileged that, as a fifth-generation Australian woman, she grew up in a family where helping others by volunteering was just something that was done.
“My parents were good role models in making a long-term commitment to volunteering to help others,” she said.
As a cancer survivor for many years, her involvement with Cancer Council Victoria and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre grew out of a desire to improve systems for helping cancer patients cope with surviving.
From giving a single speech to becoming a consumer advocate addressing conferences and seminars, she now interviews other cancer survivors about their experiences. Some of these interviews will be included in a medical journal as part of a larger survey.
“I took up volunteering out of an internal sense of duty and a desire to make a change.
“If I can make a difference, then I am doing what I set out to do,” she said.
Neil Howard SAMUEL, Malvern VIC 3144
Neil Samuel
For service to people living with dementia, and to the community.
Dementia Australia (formerly Alzheimer’s Australia)
Dementia Australia Research Foundation(formerly Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation)
Alzheimer’s Australia Vic.
Dementia Australia Research Foundation (Victoria)
Deakin University
Temple Beth Israel Progressive Jewish Congregation
Victorian Union for Progressive Judaism
Union for Progressive Judaism
“It has been an absolute delight to work with the people at Dementia Australia,” said Neil Samuel.
“I spare a thought each day for the estimated half a million Australians currently living with dementia and almost 1.6 million people involved in their care.
“Having been given the opportunity to work with fellow volunteer Board members, National CEO Maree McCabe and her staff of diligent and dedicated individuals is very fulfilling.
“I admire the thousands of volunteers who so generously provide their time and expertise to those living with dementia and applaud the researchers who are working conscientiously to discover the cure.
“I am very proud of my three older brothers, who have all been acknowledged by the Governor General for their significant voluntary contribution to the community. We have all followed the example set by our late parents – Ralph, awarded an MBE in 1980, and Shirley Samuel, who died from dementia.
“I am extremely grateful to my wife, Marion, our children Michelle and David for their unwavering support and encouragement and relatives and so many dear friends, many who have been acknowledged for their voluntary work in the community” he said.
The National Dementia Helpline can be contacted on 1800 100 500 from Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm (excluding public holidays). This is a free service to support and provide information to people impacted by dementia. www.dementia.org.au
Renata SINGER, St Kilda VIC 3182
Renata Singer
For service to the community through cultural, Jewish and women’s organisations.
Jewish Community
The Women’s Alliance (US)
The Women’s Alliance (Australia)
·       Goodbye and Hello, 1985.
According to Renata Singer, one good thing to have come out of COVID-19 is the upsurge of interest in Yiddish.
“Online Yiddish classes through Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre have boomed in the past year. A wave of young people has taken up the language,” she told J-Wire.
She feels she was given her honour for things she likes doing.
“It has been fantastic fun and I am touched that people thought I was worthy,” she said.
Fitted for Work, a not-for-profit initiative she co-founded with Marion Webster, is something of which she is particularly proud. Seeing that idea bloom and spread around Australia gives her much satisfaction.
“Giving confidence, clothing and life skills to women is a great thing,” she said
Avi SUSSKIND, Caulfield North VIC 3161
Avi Susskind
For service to the Jewish community of Melbourne.
Awards and recognition include:
Avi Susskind stated: “I feel very excited about receiving this award. I go wherever I feel that I can help, and wherever people can accept my help. I have done this all because of my father, who was a Holocaust survivor. From a young age he instilled in me to be involved with the community, and encouraged giving and helping other people.”
If we have made omissions, please email us the details at awards@jwire.com.au
Report prepared by Roz Tarszisz, Elana Bowman and Henry Benjamin
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