12 July, 2017
As President of our glorious WIZO movement, I would like to say: Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu melekh ha'olam, shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigi'anu lazman hazeh, Amen.
Mazal Tov WIZO. May our 97th year old movement and our 18 year old Amuta go from strength to strength – in unity and harmony for the wellbeing and advancement of women, youth and children in Israel.
As we are three years away from our centennial, in lieu of praising ourselves, I believe we should look long and hard at ourselves and ask if we are doing enough and how we compare to our founding mothers and our predecessors in whose footsteps we follow.
They were incredible women of vision, inspiration, passion, chutzpa and exceptional abilities that allowed them to unite Zionist women from all over the world and create a movement that is still going strong and is still relevant after 97 years. A movement that continues to benefit the society in Israel.
They had no representation in Parliament or Government, no social laws to support equality or women's rights in general, no State of Israel, no technology…...
They did not have the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. We may see Rebecca Sieff, Dr, Vera Weizmann, Edith Eder, Romana Goodman and Henrietta Irwell and others as pioneers and heroines, but back in those days – even when they were allowed to be members of the Zionist movement – no one actually expected them to say or do anything.
Yet, they wanted more out of life for themselves and for other members of the male dominated societies in which they lived. After they visited Eretz Israel Palestine, they could no longer ignore their calling. - so they created something from nothing – WIZO - and the rest is history.
Given the same conditions – could we have achieved what they did – I think not, for they were unique. Can we honestly say that our one and only goal is to improve the society? Each one of us must look into her own heart for a truthful answer.
We inherited their legacy and their movement and it is our duty to maintain it and guarantee its continuance. We have much work ahead of us and only by working in unity, harmony and full transparency – which we talk a lot about but will we be able to face the daunting challenges ahead of us, and reach or surpass our goals?
At the end of the day, we are but chapters in the WIZO chronicles, where failure is not an option – because if we fail – those that depend on us – will suffer. We cannot let them down, we cannot let ourselves down. WE MUST SUCCEED.
For myself – I am doing everything I can for the unity and success of the WIZO movement worldwide. I look to Rebecca Sieff z"l as a role model and to my dear friend and mentor Michal Modai z"l and hope they find us all worthy of the faith placed in us.
Let us join our hands and hearts and continue on for the women, youth and children of the State of Israel, who still need WIZO in their lives.
President, World WIZO