Young Boardroom Professionals – Yesod: A Pioneering Program

By Eyal Genende


We live in a rapidly changing world. As the digital revolution continues to unleash disruptive waves across the economy, a younger generation of digitally native professionals has valuable insight and perspective to offer at a board level. But how do we ensure these capable young professionals are prepared for the rigor and responsibility of board life?

Jewish Care Victoria examined this question through its inaugural next-gen board training program, aptly named ‘Yesod’, meaning ‘foundation’ in Hebrew. Together with nine other young professionals, I was given the chance to consider this and other governance issues. In the process we gained greater insight into the board management of Jewish Care, a not-for-profit organisation which supports more than 5,000 people annually in the Victorian Jewish community primarily through the provision of disability, aged care and other social services.

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Lack of Humanity

Lack of Humanity is the 4th video in our series ‘Rising From The Ashes’ where Holocaust survivors talk about the horrific and cold-blooded scenes they witnessed and experienced during the Holocaust.

How did their experiences influence their attitudes towards Germans? How do they feel about the world today?

As Henry Salter says in the opening scene, “If you didn’t go through, you couldn’t understand.”

We proudly publish this video a few days before Yom Hashoah (24 April 2017) so that we can ensure that we never forget.

**Jewish Care warns that this video contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some viewers**

A Safe Place To Live

Our Jewish community is a place we can all call home.
But what about those people, who, for one reason or another find themselves at risk of being homeless?

Did you know that every night, over 200 Jewish people in Victoria are presumed homeless? What happens to them? Who is there to support them and find them a place to live?

How does it make you feel to know that Jewish Care Victoria is here to assist individuals, families, women with children and the elderly experiencing housing difficulties to find safe and affordable accommodation, where they can feel comfortable, supported and connected to the Melbourne Jewish community.

With this video we launched our 2017 Annual Appeal. We need to raise $3 million to help fund our vital social justice programs and services that receive little or no government funding.

By donating to Jewish Care you can make a difference to someone’s life!
If you are able to donate, please go to today!

Generations Connecting Through Tech, Tea & Tales


On Monday 13 February, we were happy to have Norman Hermant, ABC News Social Affairs Correspondent visit Jewish Care to produce a story about a new program called Tech, Tea & Tales.

This exciting inter-generational program is being run by Humankind Enterprises (StoryPod) and Lively in partnership with Jewish Care. The 6-week program, the first of its kind in Australia to be run in an aged care facility, involves young ‘story helpers’ working one-on-one with Jewish Care residents, to help them use technology to connect with friends, family and their interests, and record their stories and life experiences on film.

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Strength to Survive

When lives are being slaughtered around you and you know you are next in line, how do you build up a resilience so strong that gives you a strength of body and soul to survive?

‘Strength to Survive’, the 3rd in the ‘Rising From The Ashes’ series, recounts the stories of Holocaust survivors who did whatever they could to escape the atrocities surrounding them.

Some say they survived because of a miracle, while others performed unbelievable acts of bravery, daring and determination. Whatever their reasons may be, their stories are true examples of the strength of the human spirit that must be recorded and shared for generations to come.

This video was launched on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January 2017. We hope that you all help us in sharing the message around the world to show that we will #neverforget and the #weremember.

Lack of Affordable Housing in the Jewish Community

By Hugh Cattermole & Melinda Kidgell  


Addressed in Pro Bono Australia’s article on 18 January, ‘NFPs Warn Moving On the Homeless Does Not Make Them Disappear’, the open letter signed by 36 funded Victorian homelessness, housing and social services organisations is a powerful commentary on the root causes and stigma surrounding homelessness.

Jewish Care is an unfunded provider of housing services to our community. Jewish Care addresses the root causes of homelessness, and provides transitional housing support to those experiencing homelessness, or those at risk of homelessness.

Each issue raised in the letter parallels the experience of being on the front line of the current affordable housing crisis in the Victorian Jewish community. We also urgently need more housing – the numbers just don’t add up. There have always been long waiting times for public and community housing, however what we have seen escalate in the previous 12 months is the numbers of people in the Victorian Jewish community being squeezed out of the private rental market. This has had a significant impact on the poor and those on a fixed or low income.

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It’s Our Duty to Tackle Family Violence

By Bill Appleby, CEO Jewish Care


Aged care is one of Australia’s largest service industries, employing over 350,000 staff who deliver services to over one million people.

As an industry, not only are we well positioned but we have a social responsibility to take a lead role in tackling the hidden scourge of family violence in Australian society to create a better society for future generations.

We, as employers, should challenge ourselves to take a broader perspective regarding the role our organisations play in the communities that we support.

At the end of the day, our organisations are not just workplaces; they are communities of people – staff, volunteers, residents, clients and families who derive a sense of purpose and belonging from their involvement.

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Changing Perceptions – Showtime

We are pleased to release the 8th video in our series ‘Changing Perceptions’.

This video is titled ‘Showtime’ because we get to hear what the clients of Jewish Care’s Disability Service enjoy from the world of entertainment and sport. If this video teaches us anything, it’s that no matter our background or ability, we all have something in common, whether it be the same sporting team we support or who we love as our favourite actors.

Take 2 minutes to watch this video and see how many things in common you share with them.

Not Violent. Not Silent.

dsc_2237exThe below excerpt is part of a presentation by Hugh Cattermole, Chief Operating Officer of Jewish Care Victoria, in support of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25).

My name is Hugh and I am the Chief Operating Officer here at Jewish Care. I am also a member of Jewish Care’s recently-formed men’s committee: a group of men who have come together to act as “gender champions” of the organisation, in order to help create awareness of family violence and promote gender equity. I’m also father to two young children.

I’m here today to talk about violence against women, and in particular, men’s responsibility.

Violence against women occurs with frightening frequency, both in Australia and around the world.

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Dov’s Story – Living with Bipolar Disorder


The below excerpt is part of a presentation by Dr Dov Degen at the launch of Jewish Care’s Reach Out, Speak Out campaign.

My name is Dov and I am a medical doctor. Outside the hospital, I enjoy socialising, exercising, travelling and spending time with my fiancé and our pet dog. I also happen to have bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression.

When I first tell people about my diagnosis, they are generally surprised because I am so high functioning. I have lived with bipolar disorder for nearly 15 years and although I have been affected by episodes of both soaring heights and soul-destroying lows, I have, for the most part, led a productive and relatively balanced life.

I was first hospitalised during medical school but despite this setback, I successfully completed my medical degree with honours and am currently completing my specialist training. When I am well, I am a high functioning and successful individual. I acknowledge my illness, but it is not who I am. Bipolar disorder does not define me anymore than an individual diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes.

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