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Zionist Federation of Australian News


ZFA News


The past two weeks have seen a number of changes in Israel, there have been moments of quiet and possible talks of a truce to renewed rockets fired and talks taken off the table. Israel confirmed it killed three top Hamas commanders on Thursday and now there is much talk about it affecting Hamas's military wing, but to what extent this will change the war against Israel we are not sure at this stage
What we do know is that around the world anti-Semitism continues to rear its’ challenging head. Sainsbury’s in London has removed kosher food from the shelves, in Belgium, a café has displayed a sign banning Jews from entering. France has seen rioters loot and burn Jewish shops and attack Synagogues and this week Melbourne saw a billboard erected on one of its busiest streets along the Kings Way overpass in Southbank, which equated Israel with apartheid-era South Africa and depicted photos and quotes from Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.
In response to the "Apartheid" billboard in Melbourne, ZFA President Dr Danny Lamm and Zionist Council of Victoria President Sam Tatarka said,
“Comparisons with the situation of Palestinians under either Israeli or Palestinian rule with the situation of blacks in Apartheid South Africa are demonstrably false. It is an insult to the millions of black South Africans who were truly oppressed and weakens the crime that was Apartheid by applying it to a situation where Israel has for decades actively attempting to bring self-determination for Palestinians, despite the best efforts of Hamas and other terrorists.”
Matthew Guy, State Multicultural Affairs Minister has asked those responsible to reconsider the billboard, he said - “This type of advertising achieves nothing except to cause more friction in our community.’’
In good news, yesterday the billboard, which was meant to be stay erected for 4 weeks had been taken down. Followers of the ZFA facebook page are aware of the action taken by many individuals in expressing their concern about such a billboard and no doubt the advocacy of the community contributed to the outcome of removing the board. As one of our facebook posters quipped - "beer is better".
The billboard incited further tension in Sydney, where NSW police obtained a Supreme Court order to prohibit the Palestine Action Group from protesting at the Sydney Film Festival which opened last night, needless to say they did protest with many making their way to the cinema.

In these difficult and divisive times, we can only work towards, hope and pray for peace.

Till then Shabbat Shalom

For news and updates please click here or like our ZFA facebook page or follow us on Twitter

Please feel free to contact us for more information on 03 9272 5644 or zfa@zfa.com.au

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  • 8 August: When the fog lifts
  • 6 August: 60 Minutes report on the unholy war is an unholy mess
  • 1 August: The Unbearable darkness of 60 Minutes and Mike Carlton’s blood libels
  • 31 July: No light at the end of Hamas' terror tunnels
  • 21 July: The Unconventional Battlefield
  • 11 July: How many rockets would you tolerate
  • 7 July: ZFA Joint Statement on the arrest of 6 Israelis for the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir
  • 3 July: United in hope and grief
  • 1 July: ZFA Statement on the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens
  • 24 June: Chasing Hamas
  • 17 June: Special Alert, ZFA keeps you up-to-date with all the latest info in one place
  • 6 June: The joke of Palestinian Unity... Is Anybody Laughing?
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The Zionist Federation of Australia Educators’ Conference held in Melbourne over the 17-18th August was a resounding success with record numbers in attendance.

This year there were over 500 participants that joined in the two day event - The role of Israel in Jewish education was a key theme explored in this year’s Conference, with the theme of “Lifelong Teaching, Lifelong Learning,” which was held at Mt. Scopus College.

Operation Protective Edge and the impact of a war in Israel in educational frameworks was a significant issue, which the conference addressed. The opening session focused on the topic: "Talking and teaching about Israel in a time of war" with panellists Dr Michael Gillis (Melton Centre for Jewish Education, Hebrew University) and educator and psychologist Ricki Bernstein.

There were 82 presentations, 16 international presenters and 48 local presenters and each provided something of interest and value for every type of educator. From secondary to primary and early learning, formal to informal education, text based Jewish studies, Hebrew, informal Israel studies to Jewish values all sessions were designed to enhance and strengthen our Jewish educators' knowledge and teaching practices.

There were multiple sessions on simultaneously in one room 70 people listened attentively to Dr David Bernstein on the ‘’Connection between the Shoah and the creation of the State’’ whilst next door a group learned about Israeli politics through the interactive “Monopolity’’ game with ZFA/WZO shaliach Ittai Aminoff

Significantly it was the first time we had a number of public school teachers attend from both New South Wales and Victoria along with a delegation of educators from the Kadimah School in New Zealand. It was also great to see 160 AZYC Bogrim close their Bogsem by attending the conference.

Every two years, the ZFA hosts the Australian Jewish Educators’ Conference – a unique forum for several hundred Jewish educators who seek professional and personal development in a stimulating environment. Participants also included community leaders, principals, youth leaders, departmental heads, and teachers from Australia’s Jewish day schools and other educational institutions.

The conference boasted a comprehensive schedule that catered for the rich diversity of Jewish learning and offered professional development for Jewish educators.

Dr Danny Lamm, President of the ZFA: - “It is a forum that attracts exceptionally qualified presenters from all over the world. We were proud to offer this conference to our community in Australia.”

The conference had a number of exceptionally high calibre speakers; Professor Avigdor Shinan, a full professor in Jewish Studies at The Hebrew University. Dr David Bernstein, Director of Machon Pardes, Sarah Mali, Director of the Machon Institute for overseas leaders at the Jewish Agency. Dr Jen Glaser, the founder and co-director of the Israel Centre for Philosophy in Education and Rabbi Dr Eli Kohn, curriculum writer and lecturer at Bar Ilan University. He is also the Educational Director of the JCP which develops Jewish Studies curriculum in over 35 schools in Australia and the UK.

Dr Miriam Munz, who is the Education Chairperson of the conference said: - “Many outstanding international and Australian presenters made this an exciting, intellectually stimulating and practical conference."

Almost 9,000 students are currently enrolled in Australia’s Jewish day schools, and several thousand others enjoy supplemental Jewish education. The ZFA biennial conference afforded attendees a wonderful opportunity for enriched professional learning - for teachers to learn from each other, and to network. The stress was on pedagogy – teaching practice – in both formal and informal educational settings with students the beneficiaries.

We thank all those whom attended, facilitated and presented at our ZFA 2014 Educators’ Conference 


Taglit-Birthright Israel - December 2014

Applications for the December/January 2014 round of Taglit-Birthright Israel will open 9th September. If you would like to be added to our expression of interest list, please send an email to israelprograms@zfa.com.au


On Tuesday night 21st August there was the first Birthright '14 Reunion. It was held at Pause Bar on Carlise St in Melbourne and we had 30 out of 32 participants attend. It was fantastic for everyone to catch up with each other and reminisce about their wonderful time exploring Israel. We look forward to all catching up again soon!

For more information please contact us on (03) 9272 5584 or email israelprograms@zfa.com.au

We also have our new Israel Programs Brochure for everyone to read and download here


Vareniki Night
Who wants AWESOME food?? VARENIKI NIGHT - two kitchens come together for an amazing night of cooking Russian/Israeli food and dinner to top off the night! Yeah, you heard it right!

Wednesday 3rd September at 6:30 pm

RSVP: dana@zfa.com.au

Proudly supporting the Russian Jewish Community!

Moroccan Friday Night Feast

We have an amazing Moroccan style Friday night feast planned for you! Heaps of surprises – so get into the mood!

Keep posted – we will announce the speakers shortly…

Topics: Israel in the media – why do we only see one side? Crossing the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

Friday 19th September 2014 at 7pm
Bookings: Network.org.au

CINEMAtek – Israeli Film Club
CinemaTEK continues to be a great success, bringing the latest Israeli film releases alongside the classics, to the young adults of Sydney. 20 Young Adults joined us last week for the screening of the movie Beaufort.

We chose to screen this special movie because of the current situation in Israel.

CinemaTEK is Hagshama's Israeli Film Club that screens contemporary & thought-provoking Israeli films for young adults either at private homes, cafes or venues.

20 young adults arrived, the atmosphere was amazing! The Cinema was in the heart of Darlinghurst – Govindas, people from all over Sydney joined the event. After a bit of mingling, chit-chat, and enjoying some snacks and drinks, the evening began with a short intro by WZO/Hagshama Shaliach  (Emissary) Ittai Aminoff.

BEAUFORT tells the story of LIRAZ LIBERTI, the 22 year-old outpost commander, and his troops in the months before Israel pulled out of Lebanon. This is not a story of war, but of retreat. This is a story with no enemy, only an amorphous entity that drops bombs from the skies while terrified young soldiers must find a way to carry out their mission until their very last minutes on that mountaintop. As LIRAZ lays the explosives which would destroy that very same structure that his friends had died defending, he witnesses the collapse of all he's been taught as an officer, and his soldier's mental and physical disintegration.
A special event for Israelis
בואו לסרט ישראלי מצחיק שנוגע בזהותנו הישראלית מזוית שונה מעט. הסרט, הרמת הכוסית והדיון שלאחריו יתקיימו בעברית ומיועדים לחברי הקהילה הישראלית, אתם מוזמנים מאוד להביא חברים.
לאחר הקרנת הסרט נקיים שיחה על הסרט.
בארוע יוגש יין וכיבוד קל.
מתי: יום ראשון ה-31/8/201 בשעה 16:00
איפה:המוזיאון היהודי של סידני בדרלינהארסט
כניסה 10$ (כולל כיבוד קל ויין)
אנא אשרו למייל: rsvp@sjm.com.au



We extend our condolences to Dr Danny Lamm and family, his mother Ilsa Lamm and sister Gilda Moss and family on the passing of their father and husband Erwin Lamm.

Erwin was a longstanding leader in the Zionist community, having held executive positions on both the ZFA and the Zionist Council of Victoria for decades as well as his leadership of the Friends of Likud organisation.

We wish the family long life and no more sorrow.


We are very excited to introduce two new members of the ZFA team. 

Joining us as the Israel Programs Co-ordinator we have Sarit Braver

My name is Sarit, I am the new Israel Programs Coordinator.

I am originally from Sydney where I studied a Bachelor of Business Majoring in Marketing and Events. I moved to Melbourne two and a half years ago and prior to joining the ZFA team I worked in Media and Advertising.

Having grown up in a youth movement and having participated in a shnat gap year in 2006  I am thrilled to be overseeing and promoting all the amazing Israel programs on offer.

As the new Hagshama Melbourne Co-ordinator we have, Mina Cohen

My names Mina Cohen, I'm the new Young Adult Coordinator for the ZFA. I grew up in the Melbourne and attended school at Beth Rivkah Ladies College.

After high school I took a gap year with Bnei Akiva and became completely immersed in Zionism. Upon my return to Melbourne, I led in the Bnei Akiva youth movement for two years whilst studying Event Management.

I couldn't be happier in my new role, being able to spend my week immersed in Events and Zionism - two things I am extremely passionate about!

We welcome both Mina and Sarit and wish them the best of luck in their new roles – we’re sure you will be hearing a great deal more from them soon!


We wish besha'ah tova to Hayley Hadassin - our communications and marketing director (and author of this newsletter) who leaves on maternity leave today. We wish her a healthy delivery and lots of nachat and joy from the new arrival.

We look forward to her return early in 2015!


HABAYIT - The Home of Hebrew and Israeli Culture

Hebrew Lessons for VCE students!
When: Sundays

Time: 2:30-4:00pm 

What: Our first Hebrew lesson for VCE students units 1&2 and 3&4. Shira Golombick, an experienced VCE teacher has previously organised our successful VCE marathon that was held last year

Where: Lamm Jewish Library of Australia 

The weekly lessons are open to participants from any school and the cost per lesson is: $15

Please register for the program here 

Simply Hebrew at Habayit
When: Mondays
Time: 4-5pm  
What: The first Hebrew lesson of Simply Hebrew at Habayit.
The weekly classes are designed for primary school children and are open for Hebrew speakers and non Hebrew speakers (in separate groups.)
Where: Lamm Jewish Library of Australia

Please register here 

Hebrew Now!!!

When: Tuesdays 
What: Hebrew lessons for students and adults with a professional teacher in a small group.
Cost: $10 for students $15 for non sudents

Please register in advance here 

H.O.L (Hebrew over lunch)
Times: Advanced classes- Mondays at 12:30pm Wednesdays                               at 11:30am 
            Intermediate classes -Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 12:30pm
            Beginners - Thursdays at 1pm
Cost: $15
Come and join the class that suits you for an hour of fun to improve your Hebrew conversational skills.

Please register here 



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Your feedback and comments are very welcome

ZFA in the News


22 August - Australian Jewish News, Court rules against film fest protest
22 August - Australian Jewish News, Teachers' turn to learn
22 August - Australian Jewish News, in Focus, The Moment
22 August - Australian Jewish News, in Focus, A week in the life of...
18 August - J-Wire, Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitism?
13 August - The Jeusalem Post, Over 3000 gather at Israel rally in Melbourne
12 August - J-Wire, Educators' conference in Melbourne
10 August - The Heral Sun, Hundreds rally in Melbourne to support Israel in Gaza conflict 
10 August - The Age, Melbourne's Jewish community holds solidarity rally
10 August - J-Wire, Rallies supporting Israel at both sides of the Tasman
08 August - Australian Jewish News, Visiting Israel at a time of war
08 August - Australian Jewish News, Sydney unites for peace
08 August - Australian Jewish News, Rally for Israel, In focus
08 August - Australian Jewish News, Rally for Israel, In focus
08 August - Australian Jewish News, Rally for Israel, In focus
08 August - Australian Jewish News, Fed Square flash mob Sydney
08 August - Australian Jewish News, Gen 3ers connecting with the Holocaust Melbourne
08 August - Australian Jewish News, AAP Advertisement Melbourne
08 August - The Jewish Report, 10,000 gather in Sydney to stand with Israel
08 August - The Jewish Report, A Rollercoaster Month For An Israeli Shaliach
07 August - Triple M Grill Team, The Grill Team On The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
07 August - The Age, Forced to Arms
04 August - Sydney Morning Herald, Marches for Israel and Palestine have same call
03 August - SkyNews.com.au, Thousands rally over Gaza in Sydney
03 August - SBS World News, Thousands rally over Gaza in Sydney
03 August - 7 News, Middle-East protests 
03 August - 9 News, Thousands attend opposing rallies over Israel-Gaza conflict
03 August - Sydney Morning Herald, Thousands attend opposing rallies over Israel-Gaza conflict
03 August - J-Wire, Stand with Israel
03 August - News.com.au, Thousands rally over Gaza in Sydney
03 August - Haaretz, Australian Jews come out in support of Israel
03 August - The Times of Israel, Australian daily apologizes for 'anti-Semitic' cartoon
03 August - Honest Reporting, The Unbearable darkness of 60 Minutes and Mike Carlton's blood libels
03 August - Farmonline, Thousands attend opposing rallies over Israel-Gaza conflict
03 August - NRG, 20 thousand protestors at rallies in support of Israel
29 July - Haaretz, Sydney Jewish board: Newspaper cartoon 'racially vilifies' Jews
29 July - J-wire, ZFA responds to politicians' condemnation of Israel
29 July - JTA, Newspaper cartoon 'racially vilifies' Jews
29 July - JTA, Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA
25 July - Australian Jewish News, Rallying for Israel Pg 3
25 July - Australian Jewish News, in Focus, Communal solidarity gatherings
25 July - Australian Jewish News, in Focus, Communal solidarity gatherings Rally for Israel
25 July - Australian Jewish News, Communal solidarity gatherings Rally for Israel
25 July - Australian Jewish News, Communal solidarity gatherings Rally for Israel
25 July - Australian Jewish News, Communal solidarity gatherings Rally for Israel

For the full list, visit ZFA in the News on our website

Visit the ZFA Website