23 Feb. 2016
As President, I see myself as the senior representative and ambassador of the WIZO movement in the Jewish and Zionist forums and in the national and international, arenas. In this capacity, I have taken upon myself to strengthen and intensify the ties between WIZO, your Federations & projects in Israel, with your respective Embassies in Israel. This is because I truly believe that WIZO can expose the Ambassadors, their spouses and staffs to different facets of Israel's society that they do not usually have access to. By doing this, WIZO is performing public diplomacy of the highest degree and fulfilling another of its many duties to the State of Israel.
This is why, I would like to share with you my impression and experience from a very special event I attended last Thursday (18 February 2016).
For some years now I have been in close rapport with the Italian Embassy that has a long tradition of support for WIZO endeavors, on behalf of the younger generation, with a series of ambassadors opening their Residence for WIZO events. Former Ambassador Luigi Mattiolo, for instance, hosted four WIZO functions. Therefore I was thrilled to be invited by the current Ambassador of Italy and Mrs. Francesco M. Talo to a dinner in honour of HE Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Italy (standing to my right).
I made the former Minister's acquaintance in 2003. I had just established "Friends of WIZO" and he was serving as Ambassador of Italy in Israel. He graciously hosted the first Gala event for "Friends of WIZO" at his residence and invited the famous Italian Soprano Katia Riccarelli and a tenor to appear before the chaverot – all on his own expense. "Friends of WIZO" collected a record sum that evening and their Gala events took on a new style.
After a warm welcome and a chat between old friends, I was very surprised when Ambassador Talo and former Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata publically congratulated me on being elected President of World WIZO, Calling me "one of us" they said they were thrilled that, at last, "there is one Italian President in the Holy Land". Suddenly I was surrounded by applause, handshakes and calls of "bravissima". It was exciting and a bit overwhelming, but it is a wonderful memory that I will cherish always.
Other guests at the dinner included Former MKs (and ministers) Gidon Sa'ar, Dan Meridor & Colette Avital.
During my term as President, I hope to share many more such wonderful moments with you.