WIZO AGM held on Wednesday 8th May

wizo logo hostages

An heartfelt and wonderful 81st WIZO AGM this evening. A financially successful 2023 was reported, even with the heartache that was 7th October. Awards this year were emotional! Anita Fisher and Bertha Milner were each awarded the Rebecca Sieff Award, the highest of all WIZO honours world wide. A huge thank you to our guest speaker Alex Ryvchin.


anat shechter vidor

Anat Vidor, World President

Dear Chaverot:

I am delighted to greet you on the occasion of your Annual General Meeting.

It is an honour for me to be writing to you, as of course I have a special place in my heart for WIZO NSW.

I would like to thank Nilly Berger, President of WIZO NSW, for your leadership and we are all grateful to you, the Executive, your members and supporters for your devotion to Israel and to WIZO.

October 7 changed our world, from the devastating massacre of 1,200 people to the shocking antisemitism sprouting around the globe.

I truly believe that these events were a dramatic wake-up call to Jews everywhere, and the events of the last 7 months have provided us all with a clarity about the role and fate of the Jewish people, of Israel and of Zionism, that we did not have before.  

Here in Israel, we were deeply touched and encouraged by the outpouring of support we are receiving from you. You not only contribute critically needed funds to support WIZO at a time of grave emergency and uncertainty, but you also stand at the forefront of the international effort to expose the truth about the atrocities of our depraved enemies and their supporters and apologists.

WIZO is a powerful, global movement of passionate women Zionists. Our strength is in our unity and our devotion to our people and our nation.

Our strength allows us to carry out the vision of our movement, which is to strengthen the people in Israel through the hundreds of super impactful projects we operate throughout the country.

If I had to choose 2 words that accurately illustrate our essence its feminism and Zionism.

Both feminism and Zionism rely on the ability to take responsibility for one’s destiny, to fight for one’s values, to change, to influence, to improve, to create a better world. And together we will.

I’m Looking forward to welcoming the Lev Echad girls very soon in  Israel in your upcoming Succession & Solidarity mission. Thank you for your partnership.

Mazaltov WIZO NSW on your 81st AGM and all that you have achieved. Kol Hakavod.

Thank you

anita friedman

Anita Friedman, World WIZO Chair Person

Dear chaverot of WIZO New South Wales,

I am delighted to convey my warmest wishes to you for a successful 2024 AGM.

My heartfelt appreciation to Nilly Berger, President of WIZO NSW, and to the members of the executive and the donors, for your profound dedication to Israel and WIZO. WIZO NSW is uniquely responsive to our needs, both for your historic institutions such as WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim, but also for numerous other important WIZO projects. In this way, you carry the flag for WIZO Australia with generosity and love.

We know you have our back all year round, but this has especially been true since that awful and devastating day of October 7th, when our world was turned upside down. It is hard to put into words how important your solidarity with us is, how much it encourages us and gives us the strength to continue our work benefiting Israeli society, and now, in particular, those women, children, youth and families that have been so hard hit by the war.

Though you are so far away from us physically, we are constantly aware of the work you do, and I hope you will never forget that you are an integral part not only of Israel’s largest and most important educational and social welfare organization, but of a great worldwide movement of Zionist women, standing for Israel in 38 countries on six continents: The global WIZO family.

With warm regards,

Anita Friedman
Chairperson, World WIZO

agm benita

Executive Report, Benita Kam

Good evening everyone, the following is my executive report for 2023.

WIZO NSW had a healthy start to 2023, launching the Membership Campaign at the end of January. We have a fantastic mop up team ably led by Michelle Placks and volunteers, and we reached our goals by the end of March.

The success of the Sponsor A Child campaign was evident in the response from you, our members – a hard and fast marketing campaign followed the launch at the AGM, and an excellent mop up from the office brought us just over $200,000 – quite incredible when just nine years ago we started with 20 SAC donors.

Kerry Sackville was guest speaker at the thank you morning tea, graciously hosted by Sharon Ivany in her beautiful home – Kerri is an Australian Jewish author who was both entertaining and informative.

Late March, the Executive agreed to fully fund the renovation of the Staff quarters at WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim, through the generosity of the Joy Balkind Estate – the accommodation was about to be condemned by the local authority in Haifa, so the decision to fund was easy. We are so looking forward to the official opening next week when members of WIZO NSW will be at the site.

Once again, our major fundraiser in August was spearheaded by a strong marketing campaign, The Sky is The Limit. The campaign  was two pronged: The Major Donor event was held in a beautiful harbour side home, and while the date conflicted with Rabbi Wolf’s 40th birthday, the event was a resounding success and we are planning to host a similar- event this year.

The General event at The Venue drew a crowd of just under 400 guests, many of whom were attending a WIZO function for the first time.

Keynote speaker for both was Major General Amikam Norkin recently retired head of Israeli Air force, and he was outstanding – It was an honour for WIZO NSW to host a speaker of this calibre.

Feedback received, for both events, was fantastic. The Moriah School Choir sung the anthems and a few songs, and of course the children were an added bonus to the evening.

In September the decision was made to engage professional social media expert Michelle Falk, who has completely reinvented WIZO in the social media arena – we are all delighted with the results.

In addition, and with the succession of WIZO NSW in mind, Michelle has led the way to creating a brand new WIZO group, Lev Echad, which means ONE HEART. Each of the new members is an professional member of our community and a huge Zionist. The women of Lev Echad have come together ensuring THAT THE YOUNGER GENERATION PLAY THEIR PART TO SUPPORT WIZO into the future.

The group is leaving for Israel Saturday evening on a Solidarity and Succession Mission – follow their journey on Instagram!

We entered the start of the Chagim full of joy, reporting all the success of our most recent campaign, knowing that as the year was drawing to a close, our commitment to both quota and to earmarked funds was being met – a very satisfying feeling.

Sadly, that joy did not last. The terror attack report of 7th October and subsequent social media, email and television reports filled our hearts with the most immense and crushing sadness.  It was hard to watch. And hard to stay away. Watching our beloved Israel under attack was devastating, and more so because we are so far away.

The office put together an emergency appeal and sent out to the extended database on Wednesday 11 October.  The response was simply astounding. We received funds from members and donors who had just given to the Annual Campaign, and funds from people who hadn’t given to WIZO in years.

The decision to hold back the 2023 Raffle in light of the war was a good one – the team changed tack, deciding that funds raised this year would be used to purchase gift vouchers for children living in the south of Israel, children, families, those who had lost everything on 7/10. The raffle was launched, and predictably, members and donors helped us to more than double our raffle total – closing at $36,000.

World WIZO sprung into action, executing numerous projects aimed at supporting the home front,

The greatest challenge for WIZO in Israel is to be reimbursed from the Israeli government for the huge damage to income resulting from most of our day-care centres being closed, and the salaries, millions of shekels, that World WIZO need to each month to pay the staff.


  • Providing shelter for evacuee families – offering them not just a place to stay, but also a supportive environment, helping families get through this challenging time. We had evacuees and parents who had children in Ichilov Hospital take up residence in brand new rooms in our Parents Home – an initiative was was funded by donors right here in Sydney.
  • Operating 11 day care centres in hospitals across the country so that children of essential medical staff can receive care while their parents continue the critical work of saving precious lives – WIZO pushed the army for approval to open these  centres, and managed to have them up and running on day 4 of the war. Quite a remarkable stat, in such trying times
  • Emergency assistance for vulnerable populations within missile range – those at-risk children and youth who were anxious, hungry, homeless. WIZO offered warmth, love, and support to young people who were on their own, and assisted women and children who were suffering from violence, helping them all to cope with the trauma.
  • A commendable WIZO initiative where hundreds of female volunteers, led by the Israeli federation, and WIZO staff, contribute to the home front by assisting families whose spouses had been called up to the army, helping with daily chores, packing donation boxes, visiting the elderly and alleviating loneliness.
  • The Safety Net Program through which WIZO is currently supporting 140 women and 250 children who have left domestic violence shelters, trying to build independent lives. Our aim is to ensure that these women don’t return to abusive spouses

Our colleagues at World WIZO have very full hands. The team on the ground is doing its best to meet each challenge as it arises. In turn, Federations around the world, along with us, have been able to help enormously, and will continue to do so with your help.

We will continue to send much needed funds, whenever we can. We will continue to support each initiative that World WIZO sends us, safe in the knowledge that every cent will go wherever the need is greatest.

Sadly, as successful as our WIZO year was,  2023 ended with many of our beloved hostages remaining in GAZA and still do so, to this very day – we all pray for their speedy return, we pray for our soldiers and for the day that Israel is once again at peace.

Thank you.

Please welcome NSW Treasurer, Julie Ross to the podium

Treasurers Report, Julie Ross

Good evening everyone

The treasurers report serves as a testament to the collective effort and dedication of everyone involved in advancing WIZO’s mission and insuring the prudent management of our resources.

In 2023 WIZO NSW was fortunate to receive donations from many members of the community and we are grateful for their generous support. In addition, the collective efforts of our groups in a variety of fundraising events and state activities raised further funds.

Using funds from the generous bequest from the estate of the late Joy Balkind , WIZO NSW was able to completely refurbish the Staff Quarters at Ahuzat Yeladim. These quarters were in a state of disrepair and well overdue for refurbishment. This was very important upgrade, given that the staff are the most important element in the education, wellbeing and growth of the students.

A big thank you to those of you who chose to celebrate your special occasions by asking family and friends, in lieu of gifts, to make donations to WIZO. This adds another arm to our fundraising efforts.

Our Sponsor a Child Campaign was once again extremely well supported by our members. Thank you to all those donors who annually support this valuable initiative. It is extremely satisfying that each year our donor base increases.

Our Major Function raised funds in support of Nahalal Tech.  The tech is is a specialised school within WIZO Nahalal which garners the most exceptional students from Israel and abroad, to educate and further their tech knowledge which in the future will support the IDF and the security of Israel.

October 7 was a morning none of us will ever forget. The emergency fund was launched immediately and the response from WIZO members and friends was overwhelming, and donations continue to this day.

During 2023, Funds raised were also sent to support the following programmes:

  • PJ Library
  • Safety Net
  • Beit Hakerem Food Fund
  • Ahuzat Yeladim for the purchase of new industrial washing machines.
  • The Upgrade of the Sensory Motor Room at Raya Yaglom
  • Emergency accommodation at Beit Horim Parents Home which allowed for parents of injured soldiers at Ichilov Hospital to be close by at this terrible time
  • Emergency money raised was also used in opening  up WIZO day care centres in hospitals in order for the medical and nursing staff to attend work, and in meeting the many needs of the  population of the south.

In summary, WIZO NSW was able to send over $2 million dollars in order to support our projects in Israel.

We could not have done it without the support of all of you here, our generous donors and volunteers, we are so grateful for your continued support.

WIZO NSW is very grateful for bequests. Leaving a Legacy to WIZO is a vital element of our fundraising. Please remember by including WIZO in your Will.

Thank you to our NSW Executive, Group Presidents and membership for their tireless efforts and loyalty to WIZO.

A big thank you to our Executive Director Lorna Berger ,who breathes, eats and sleeps WIZO 24/7 and  to our office administrator Avril Moss.

And finally thanks to Joe Staub and staff from Joe Staub and Associates for their efficient audit for 2022. The audited report is available in our office on request.



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