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Anzac Day service at Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, commemorates the courage and dedication of those who served our countries
Anzac Day 2016 in Israel is a chance for Australians, New Zealanders, expats, diplomatic missions, Israeli contacts and others to pay tribute to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Gallipoli Campaign in World War One. Among the gravestones and memorials to Allied forces in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem, we take time to remember those ANZACs who sacrificed so much on foreign shores in Europe, in the Middle East and further afield. We also acknowledge today’s Australian and New Zealand contingents from the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) and the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), who continue to serve far from home.
This year it was a particular honour to have such a strong Australian UNTSO contingent. Australia, a proud member of this important UN peacekeeping mission, has served as a member of UNTSO continuously for sixty years.
Despite the service being held in the middle of Passover holidays, it was very pleasing to see some 40 youths from six different youth movements, in Israel under the auspices of the Zionist Federation of Australia, who took time out of their vacation to attend the Anzac Day service. The connection made with the soldiers laying to rest was strengthened all the more, when the youths laid 120 wooden commemorative crosses, with personal messages written by schoolchildren in Australia, at the foot of the graves.
The service began with a bagpipe playing a haunting Scottish Piper’s Lament. Lt Col Deborah Warren-Smith, Head of UNTSO’s Australian contingent read “In Flanders Fields” and Lt Col Tim Tuatini, of UNTSO’s NZ contingent recited the “Ode to the Fallen”. When the 130 attendees had sung the National Anthems, Rabbi Raymond Apple led the prayers in the Jewish area.
…We will remember them.
MC, Ben Rhee, Australian Embassy James McGarry, Chargé, Australian Embassy
Lt. Col Barham Ferguson, Zionist Federation Australia
Australian contingent, UNTSO Major General Dave Gawn, Head of Mission, UNTSO
UNTSO, Australian delegation ZFA youth laying commemorative crosses
Australian Film Festival premiere in TLV a success! “The Dressmaker” a hit and performance by Aussie comedian had audience in stitches
300 guests of the Australian Embassy attended the reception of the Australian Film Festival premiere in Tel Aviv. Among them were Channel 2’s Dana Weiss, Ambassador Yuval Rotem, Senior Deputy Director General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Prof Shlomo Biderman, President of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Academic College, Katriel Schory, Executive Director... of the Israel Film Fund, diplomats, business associates, media and social contacts.
The opening film this year was "The Dressmaker" directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and produced by Sue Maslin, who, in a heart-warming twist of faith, was also the former AICE Australian Film Festival artistic curator. In his speech to the crowd of 450 people packing the auditorium, Ambassador Dave Sharma, read out a personal message from Sue. Sharma also thanked the festival’s sponsor, Albert Dadon from AICE, for his very generous support which has provided the means to spread Australian film culture to an Israeli audience for the past 12 years. The Ambassador ended his speech by introducing to the stage Australia's fashion and veteran Ambassador Lady Rae Abraham OAM. Only Lady Abraham turned out to be none other than hilarious Australian comedian, Jeremie Bracka, who had the audience in stitches with his portrayal of an elderly Australian, Jewish woman attempting to use Hebrew terminology.
"The Dressmaker" starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth and Hugo Weaving, won 5 awards at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards in 2015 and was a big hit at the premiere as well.
Photos by Rami Zarnegar
Ambassador Dave Sharma with Mr Katriel Schory, President of the Israel Film Fund
Ambassador Yuval Rotem, Senior Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs shares an amusing moment with Ambassador Sharma
Aussie delegates from WIZO, Israel's first ever social start-up, honoured at reception hosted by Australian Ambassador
The Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) Australia delegates, led by the President of WIZO Australia, Gilla Liberman, attended a reception hosted in their honour hosted by the Australian Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma. Among the 30 guests were Tova Ben Dov, President, World WIZO Executive, Rivka Lazovsky, Chairperson, World WIZO Executive, Helena Glaser, Honorary President and Gilla Liberman.
WIZO Australia has several projects in Israel including the WIZO Kaplan Youth Club & Community Centre in Kfar Saba, The Rae and Tom Mandel WIZO Centre in Modiin for Women and Children and several day care Centres around the country.
However its flagship project is WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim Boarding School in Haifa. Founded in 1939 it offers a last resort for troubled teenagers who have suffered abuse, rejection and neglect. It is an opportunity for these youth to find stability, safety and to a way to overcome their difficulties.
“We have a lot of social challenges that we must address – we want an equal society with true personal, familial, public and economic social justice. WIZO is still relevant and it is a breakthrough organization - we are the first social start-up in Israel, summed up Tova Ben-Dov, president of World WIZO in her interview to Jerusalem Post this week. “
The WIZO Australia delegates travelled to Israel to tour the many projects set up by their organisation, and to attend WIZO’s 26th Extended General Meeting.
Photo: Gilla Liberman, Tova Ben-Dov and Ambassador Dave Sharma
The Australian Embassy welcomes Nipper lifesavers teams
The Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and Surf Life Saving Israel (SLSI) teams took a reprieve from their hectic schedule training children, to be the guests of honour at the Australian Embassy in August. Steve Rubner, originally from Sydney and now the President of SLSI, thanked the Embassy for the advice and assistance he has received since he approached the Ambassador eighteen months ago with his dream to bring the Nipper progr...am to Israel. James McGarry, the Embassy’s Chargé, said that he hoped next year to see the red and gold colours of the SLSA would be flying prominently along the Israeli coast.
The SLSI surprised the Embassy with a gift of the iconic red and gold flag of the SLSA.
The Australian Nipper program is already enjoying a huge success in Ashdod and has attracted the interest of the municipalities of Herzliya, Haifa, Netanya and Tel Aviv. Ashdod is anticipating that 300 of their local children will participate in next year’s program.
So now that we have the next generation of Nippers watching out for us the only thing we need to be wary of at the beach is the jellyfish!
Photo: Royi Levy, General Manager, SLSI, James McGarry, Australian Embassy DHOM and Steve Rubner, President of SLSI