Wishing you all a very Happy 96th Anniversary and more healthy ones to come.
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn"
Imagine if you will, London 11th July 1920 – the Federation of Women Zionists (FWZ) of the United Kingdom convened the first Zionist Conference of Women to “discuss Women’s questions with regard to the Reconstruction of Palestine”. Among the participants were: Mrs. Rebecca Sieff, Dr. Vera Weizmann, Mrs. Eder, Miss Helene Weisberg, Mrs. Paul Goodman, Dr, Strauss, and many others.
Rebecca Sieff, as President of the FWZ in the United Kingdom chairing the morning session on 11th July said: “That this conference of representative Women Zionists of various countries resolve to form a Women’s International Zionist Organization to promote the welfare of women and children in Palestine and to carry out specific work in the reconstruction of Palestine.” Discussions and debates followed and on 12th July 1920 in the morning session, Rebecca Sieff’s vision and dream came alive and brought about the birth of WIZO.
She saw the Jewish community and the society in which we live not as two separate entities – but as one and that dictated a very broad and universal point of view and purpose – allowing WIZO to keep up with and adapt to the changes and needs of time and, to maintain its relevance, continuity and vitality. Selfless giving and compassion for those less fortunate is a universal concept and surpasses religion, social status and circumstances, thus allowing Jewish women of all ages and walks of life to find in WIZO an organization to complement their lives.
For 96 years, WIZO has grown, evolved, developed and maintained those very same principles and goals, as perceived by Rebecca Sieff - serving the community in the broader meaning of the word, and WIZO is still going strong.
We can feel proud, privileged and humbled to serve as WIZO leaders and follow in our predecessor’s footsteps, for each of them added their own brand of leadership and stamp to our organization, as dictated by their roots, personalities, visions, dreams and the national needs at that time.
We can be proud of the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of lives we have touched – babies, toddlers, youth and women – who were dealt a bad hand in life and WIZO provided them with opportunities and a better future; furnishing them with choices that allowed them to reach the sky and far beyond.
May we have the wisdom to help our beloved movement in Israel and Worldwide overcome the many obstacles in its way; to nurture the future generation of leaders to continue in our footsteps, and may we always be blessed with such devoted volunteers that drive us to reach higher and better achievements.
Share this pride with other women, especially with those who are not yet WIZO members. Show them what they are missing. Encourage them to join WIZO, motivate and inspire them, to help even more children and women to have a brighter future.
President, World WIZO