2018 Spring – Summer Newsletter

A Lesson in Hope

Although I was only four when I left Hungary, hurtling over the border to Austria with my mother who had survived Auschwitz, it would surely have been inconceivable to her then, that the child in her arms, would one day return to Hungary as a board member of the organisation that would go on to save our shattered lives. That organisation was The Joint.

That this same ‘Joint’ (short for The Joint Distribution Committee), which orchestrated safe passage to Australia for me—and 25,000 other Holocaust survivors—could still be a beacon for Jews in need around the world today, is in my eyes, a modern-day miracle. That The Joint is also near-singlehandedly revitalising Jewish life in places where Judaism was nearly eradicated or simply in danger of dying out, is something that needs to be seen to be believed.

Fortunately, I was recently given that opportunity when I was invited by The Joint to visit Szarvas last month. Although I had heard and read about Szarvas, seeing the ‘revival of Jewish life’ being played out in real time before my own eyes, was a sight for which nobody could have prepared me.

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2018 Winter Newsletter

Make The Joint a part of your calendar for 2018

With so much instability and uncertainty in the world and headlines dominated by threats of dissolving and emerging global alliances, it’s comforting to know that there is a steady hand in the Jewish world ensuring that Jews are safe and cared for, no matter their political and economic circumstances.

For those of you who were able to join us at our Spring Speaking Tour last year, you will no doubt recall how our speakers, Amir Shaviv and Oksana Galkevich, told the stories of modern day Jewish rescue and relief and reassured us of the constant vigilance that The Joint undertakes on our behalf.

So, for this year’s upcoming Spring Tour, we invite Asher Ostrin back to our shores to better understand how this new world is impacting Jews living in Russia and the former Soviet Union—and how a new resilient generation of Eastern European and Russian Jewry is mobilising itself to deal with the challenges and opportunities ahead.

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2017-18 Summer Newsletter

Make The Joint a part of your calendar for 2018

I’m writing to you from Jerusalem where I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some of our incredible programs that are changing the lives of Israelis living on the margins. Perhaps I’ve been lifted by the mood of the 70th celebrations but travelling around the country to visit our programs this year, I’ve been struck anew by the scale of The Joint’s impact on people living with hardships.

As you know, The Joint is in financial partnership with the Government of Israel whereby every donor dollar is matched by at least two dollars by the government. The Joint designs innovative new programs to address Israel’s most difficult social challenges, pilots the programs to ensure that they’re effective and then hands them over to the government so that they can be rolled out nationally to reach the widest number of people.

Crisscrossing the country to see our projects within the various stages of handover, I came to realise that herein lies the disconnect between The Joint’s profile and its colossal impact not just in Israel but around the world.

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2017 Winter Newsletter

Everything you do can make a difference

With so much chaos and uncertainty around the world, it can sometimes feel as though nothing we do matters or makes a difference. I know I’ve felt this sentiment many times over the last six months. But each time I meet with people who benefit from the work we do at The Joint (as I recently did), I’m reminded that the obverse is true. It’s especially when all avenues seem closed and when there’s so much darkness, that extending a hand in help, means so much. It’s precisely when we ask ourselves whether our Jewish Australian contribution can be meaningful to the lives of people suffering around the world, that it turns out that it is.

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