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Press Release – 30 May 2011

New ZCV leadership team looks to the future

The Zionist Council of Victoria is entering a fresh era of professional and lay leadership with newly-appointed executive director Jane Rapke at the helm in the Beth Weizmann office, working together with president Sam Tatarka, who began the honorary role late last year.

“We come to these key community roles open to ideas and open to discussion, as were our predecessors” say Rapke and Tatarka.

Rapke and Tatarka replace Ginette Searle and Dr Danny Lamm respectively. “Ginette and Danny were a successful team and displayed exemplary professionalism in their longstanding leadership of the ZCV. We have big shoes to fill” they say.

“In one sense the ZCV continues to be dynamic, multi-faceted organisation – a community roof body of more than 50 varying organisations striving to connect the community with Israel.”

“We continue to be unapologetically supportive of Israel and eager for both the Jewish and general communities to get to know the issues behind the headlines.  There is much to do in terms of education and information.”

“Change is also a positive thing” say Rapke and Tatarka. “We intend to utilize our new leadership and our own passionate approach to Israel and the issues she is faced with. With new leadership comes a fresh perspective.”

“Israel is today hounded by misperception at the best of times and tainted with outright lies at the worst of times. The tasks of advocacy and communication are challenging but we intend to speak out positively on behalf of Israel, and also urge community members to be as active as they can” encourage Rapke and Tatarka. “We can all be activists for Israel in our own home, circle of friends and workplace. We should all be activists for Israel”.

Ms Rapke’s first official engagement as ZCV executive director will be this week, at the annual joint Zionist Council of Victoria – Jewish Community Council of Victoria cocktail reception celebrating Israel’s 63rd Independence Day on June 1st at The Hotel Windsor. The prestigious reception traditionally hosts about 350 Victorian parliamentarians, community leaders and guests of all faiths in the presence of Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and Israel’s Ambassador to Australia Yuval Rotem.

Rapke has a very strong Zionist background having grown up in Betar before making Aliyah as a young adult. Since returning to Australia she has been a vice president of WIZO Victoria and currently heads the Public Affairs and Public Relations portfolio on the WIZO executive.

Tatarka, a graduate of Yeshivah College, is a barrister by profession and has been active in many communal organisations over the years.  He has been a member of the Zionist Council of Victoria since 2004 serving in the role of Public Relations Chair before being elected to lead the Council at last year’s Annual Assembly.

For more information contact:
Jane Rapke – Executive Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5544
Elly Shalev – Director Public Affairs, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5519

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