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Press Release – 18 August 2010

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Outspoken and well-spoken: Michelle Rojas-Tal in Melbourne next week

Not many 25 year olds can communicate like Michelle Rojas-Tal. When Rojas-Tal speaks about Israel, she is clear, concise, passionate and dynamic. What she says makes perfect sense and you immediately want to do something about the numerous examples of anti-Israel rhetoric and propaganda she describes. 

A campaigner for human rights, she’s not afraid to make controversial statements or stand up for her beliefs.

Michelle grew up in a different environment to many in the Jewish world. As the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Hispanic father, Michelle had very little connection with the Jewish world in her younger years.

During high school living in New York, she witnessed the horrific events of September 11th. The event had a domino effect on her life and led her to look differently at the impact of global events on her own life.
Michelle began her work at StandWithUs in 2005 in Israel, as the Jerry Seinfeld Family Scholar. She then returned to New York to serve for 2 years as the StandWithUs Community Outreach Coordinator, working with numerous organisations in the field of education.

Michelle made Israel her home in July 2007, joining the StandWithUs International team as Diaspora Education Director. In her position, Michelle coordinates all programs for International students in Israel. Michelle also handles outreach to activists abroad in South America, Australia and South Africa.

Michelle’s position has taken her to Switzerland, South Africa, Turkey, and Australia, being featured as a keynote speaker at numerous conferences and forums.

This will be Michelle’s second visit to Australia, after wowing audiences in both Melbourne and Sydney, with her passion and eloquence, last year.

ZCV Executive Director Ginette Searle says she has been swamped with requests for Michelle to speak around the community.

“This time around Michelle will speak to more than 1,500 community members. From our public forum on Israel and the Media attended by some 200 people, the ZFA Educators Conference attended by more than 300 teachers and informal educators Australia-wide, to high school students at Jewish dayschools, university students on campuses, young professionals and community leaders. Michelle has a jam packed schedule and we encourage you not to miss out on hearing her” she said.

“In particular we invite the women of our community to attend the forum on “Ethical Shopping” on Wednesday morning August 25 at BW. Michelle will give us invaluable insight and tools, to empower us to be active against the boycott movement on Israeli products.”

The BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) movement against Israel has recently begun gaining dangerous traction in Melbourne, even gaining support within our own community.

“As Michelle emphasized on Sunday night, this is a critical time for Israel; the public relations war is the number one war.”

Michelle Rojas-Tal will be special guest speaker at a Women’s Forum and Morning Tea “Ethical Shopping: Ideas and Strategies to combat the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement on Wednesday morning, August 25 at 9am, Beth Weizmann Community Centre – 306 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South. Admission is $15.

Proudly presented by the ZCV, UIA Women’s Division and NCJWA (Vic).

Please RSVP as places are limited. To book call the ZCV office 9272 5544 or email zcv@zionismvictoria.org.au

For more information contact:
Ginette Searle – Executive Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5544
Elly Shalev – Director Public Affairs, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5519
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The Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel. For more information, visit the Zionist Council of Victoria website www.zionismvictoria.org.au

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