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Press Release – 24 September 2007

Melbourne’s Zionist community gathers to welcome Israel’s new Ambassador

The State Zionist Council led Melbourne’s Jewish community organisations in a series of events to welcome Israel’s Ambassador Yuval Rotem last Wednesday evening September 19.

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Together with the SZCV, a cocktail reception was cohosted by the JCCV; ZFA; JNF; Magen David Adom; UIA Victoria; VUPJ and WIZO. More than 140 community leaders, heads of organisations and community members attended the function held at a private home.

(Left: Anton Block, President JCCV; Ambassador Yuval Rotem and Dr Danny Lamm, President SZCV)

In his welcome, State Zionist Council President Dr Danny Lamm revealed Ambassador Rotem is only 1 of some 20 Israeli diplomats who are actually appointed the official
rank of ‘ambassador’.

Dr Lamm said he was proud to be hosting Ambassador Rotem and that the community eagerly looked forward to cooperating and collaborating with the ambassador and an expanded embassy staff. “Much work is to be done and given the Ambassador’s extensive diplomatic background, we anticipate an extremely fruitful relationship”, he enthused.

In his speech, Ambassador Rotem shared that he already felt at home in Melbourne, having spent Rosh Hashanah here. He also commented on his young and dynamic embassy that was already working hard.

Following the reception, the Ambassador addressed a full meeting of the State Zionist Council Executive and answered a wide range of questions about current Israeli issues.

As has become customary at SZC Executive meetings, the gift of a mezuzah was presented to a community member poised to make aliyah. This time Ambassador Rotem made the special presentation to new olah Nicole Potter, together with Aliyah Shlicha Avigail Zeiri. Nicole, a graduate of Mount Scopus College and Habonim Dror will be making aliyah next month.

At this first meeting of the New Year B’nei Akiva Shaliach Ori Meir was also welcomed to the community and spoke of the outpouring of hospitality that he and his family have felt since arriving in Melbourne just a few weeks ago.