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Joint Press Release – 26 October 2012

Israel from the ground up
Unique cultural aspects to be presented by author, commentator David Hazony

Individuals’ relationships with Israel are complex and unique, but there are certainly generalities which define groups and generations. Just as Israel’s economy has transformed from largely agricultural to one based on technology, science and intellectual endeavour, so has the dominant perception of Israel morphed from the kibbutz lifestyle as an exemplar of equality and egalitarianism to a more high-tech, culturally creative one.

The paradox of this culturally vibrant, creative and productive nation thriving in an environment where it faces geo-political and security challenges is a critical discussion for Israelis and diaspora Jews alike, and it is one of the themes that the Zionist Federation of Australia’s guest speaker David Hazony will be exploring during his November Australian visit.

Hazony is a contributing editor to the Jewish Daily Forward, and he was the former editor-in-chief of Azure magazine of the Shalem Centre. In his writing he has a broad repertoire of topics around the relationship of Israel and the Diaspora, Culture and Zionism.

“Israelis have secretly transitioned from poorly importing much of their cultural life to unselfconsciously striking out on their own, compiling and recombining and remixing and creating until things are produced that are not ‘Zionist’ or even ‘Israeli,’ but just whatever they are, amazing new expressions of human and machine and creative and artistic and bold,” Hazony wrote in a 9 April 2012 piece on the Forward.

Hazony will deliver an interactive presentation “From Homeland to Homeland: How Israel is Exporting its Popular Culture Around the World,” a Nov. 11 event presented by the ZFA and the Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV). Hazony is also the featured speaker at the ZFA’s 45th Biennial Conference, Nov. 11, in Melbourne.

“The ZFA is proud to bring such a highly respected, esteemed writer and Zionist thinker to the community,” said ZFA President Philip Chester. “David will bring to our community a contemporary take on the perennial issues – how we relate to Israel, what Israel means to us in the Diaspora and how we can improve our relationship. Whilst David has serious academic and literary credentials, he will explore these and other issues in an interactive and engaging way – as befits our times”.

“The Zionist Council of Victoria is proud of its record of bringing the Victorian community a range of opinions and insights into Israel and Israeli society,” said ZCV President Sam Tatarka. “David Hazony will bring his own unique perspective to our community in what I am sure will be a most interesting presentation.”

The Nov. 11 event is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre, 306 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South.

Further information:
Ginette Searle, Executive Director –, (03) 9272-5644
Joshua Cole, Communications Director –, (03) 9272-5618