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Press Release – 1 March 2012

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Major communal partnership announced for Melbourne’s Israel flagship events

The Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV) has announced the formation of a major communal partnership for its three flagship events connecting the Victorian Jewish community to Israel.

The Victorian divisions of the Jewish National Fund of Australia (JNF Victoria) and the United Israel Appeal (UIA Victoria) will be equal communal partners with the ZCV in the Yom Hazikaron Commemoration for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror on April 24; the Community Concert celebrating Israel’s 64th anniversary on April 25 and the Yom Ha’atzmaut Festival at Luna Park for families on April 26, 2012.

ZCV President Sam Tatarka is delighted with the partnership, explaining that it is an innovative, positive and natural way forward. “The forging of this partnership with the Victorian divisions of JNF and UIA demonstrates a unified and cohesive approach to our common goal of bringing Israel to as many Jewish Victorians as possible on these most important days in the modern Israeli calendar. Our community is strengthened when we work together” he said.

“UIA and JNF are a crucial part of Israel’s past, present and future, actively affecting the quality of life in Israel. Their tireless fundraising efforts and life changing programs have touched millions of Israelis and they are a vital part of the fabric of our Zionist community” he added.

Simone Szalmuk –Singer, JNF Victoria President said “JNF has for many years recognised the importance of investing in our local community as can be seen through the wonderful JNF education programs in the schools. JNF is extremely proud to be leading the way forward in communal cooperation; working together with key community partners to provide Melbourne with vital events is a logical extension of the JNF philosophy of growing our future both in Australia and Israel.”

Shlomo Werdiger, UIA Victorian President said “Our participation in local Zionist events is a natural expression of the UIA-Keren Hayesod, Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organisation family. Whilst our donors expect that their funds are channels for core projects in Israel, they also understand that our community reaffirms its connection to fellow Jews in Israel through these flagship events.”

The three organisations’ partnership will be seen in the presentation of the major events, particularly the Community Concert which will be reinvigorated with a connection to the land and people of Israel. “The Yom Ha’atzmaut Concert will take us on a journey through Israel, featuring not only beautiful Israeli music but also imagery of the land and it’s amazing, diverse people,” says Jane Rapke, ZCV Executive Director.

“If our events spark or refresh your love for Israel, her people and their achievements or even if they make you think that’s it’s been too long since you last visited Israel, then we have achieved our goal.”

SAVE THE DATE for major events commemorating Israel’s fallen and celebrating Israel’s 64th birthday:

*Tuesday 24 April, 7.45pm – Yom Hazikaron Commemoration for Israel’s Fallen Solders and Victims of Terror at Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Clayton campus

* Wednesday 25 April, 8.00pm – Yom Ha’atzmaut Community Concert at the National Theatre, St Kilda

* Thursday 26 April, 4.00-7.00pm – Yom Ha’atzmaut Festival @ Luna Park for families and youth

For more information contact:
Jane Rapke – Executive Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5544
Joe Krycer  – State Executive Director, Jewish National Fund of Australia 9272 5666
Daniel Lazar – General Manager, United Israel Appeal Victoria 9272 5533

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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