9 November, 2017
"You are lucky to be in WIZO,
we are luckier to have you with us"
On the morning of 6 November 2017, I was invited for a very brief meeting with the Aviv delegates that are participating in the WIZO Aviv Seminar 2017, at WIZO Nachlat Yehuda Youth Village.
It was wonderful to see them all gathered here, from all over the world – Australia, Europe, North South and Central America, Asia and Africa.
I told them that as a mother and grandmother, I know how complex their lives are - young women with careers, families and obligations, and applaud their efforts to find time to be active WIZO members, to be part of WIZO's illustrious Zionist sisterhood, to be part of the international WIZO network, that allows them to meet with women just like themselves, from all over the world.
I expressed my appreciation for their love and commitment to WIZO and to Israel; for observing the ancient Jewish values of pursuing justice and helping the weak, vulnerable, and poor in their respective communities and in Israel; for their desire to improve the society in Israel through education, enrichment and empowerment; for striving to strengthen their Jewish identity and culture. Wishing them a very exciting week, I hope they indeed find purpose, satisfaction and joy through sharing in the building and development of children and women in Israel, while preserving the Jewish education and culture in the Diaspora – as we have all done.
I reminded them that they are our future leadership and are charged with the task to carry the WIZO torch forward through modern technology and networking; to rebrand WIZO's image, to increase our membership and empower our movement.
I believe in direct contact and therefore, took the opportunity to mingle and speak personally with each one. It is amazing how WIZO really bridges the distance between Israel and all parts of the World. Oshrith Gadkar from India was surprised when I addressed her in Hindi and spoke about many places she and I know of.
I met Daisy Nachari during my mission to WIZO Chile. I was invited to participate in the celebrations marking the 80th Anniversary of WIZO Vino Del Mar – Daisy's home town. It was wonderful seeing her again and we recalled magic moments we had shared.
I gave Mandy Bernstein regards from WIZO South Africa President Moonyeen Castle, and requested she tell Moonyeen that I hope to see her at the AGM in January. Mandy looked at me and said "And we are so happy that you will be with us in February, you are coming aren't you? I replied that please G-d, I will be there.
Tetenia Pechernyk from WIZO Austria was born in the Ukraine and aspires to help WIZO in both countries, Shirley van der Veldt from WIZO Holland told me that she met me during my mission to WIZO Holland earlier this year and heard my speech on empowerment and anti-Semitism.
One of the WIZO USA delegates said that she saw me at the evening event at Ellis Island during the 15th WJC Plenary Assembly that took place in New York in April this year, Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States from 1892 until 1954, was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965 and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990. As I said it's a small world after all.
Some of the delegates were 2nd and 3rd generation WIZOites. Alexandra Lancz from WIZO Hungary is the granddaughter of Former President Eva Lancz, and when I spoke to Frieda Assis from WIZO Panama, we discovered that I grew up with, and am still very friendly with her aunt – Fifi Esses.
The delegates from Germany knew I visited WIZO Munich last year and that I will be in WIZO Berlin at the end of next week.
In conversation with the WIZO Israel delegates, I asked them to share as much information as possible with the delegates from the Federations, so that they return to their countries motivated and inspired, by having experienced firsthand, the blessed work carried out in our DCCs, Youth Villages, Schools and Centres.
We can all be proud of our younger WIZO generation and hopefully future leadership. They have the desire and the motivation and I am sure that this week will increase their thirst to do more. In order to maximize the effect of their visit, their enthusiasm, their drive and to guarantee that their interest continues to grow, it is our duty to make sure that they have an active role and responsibilities within our Federations and Executives. It is up to us to make them feel needed, because Israel needs WIZO and WIZO needs Aviv members to continue our movement.
G-d bless you and G-d bless Israel.
President, World WIZO