By Tzvi Brivik
What gives me great Yichus, defined as ‘bragging rights from a respected history’, is our community.
Its width and breadth, its scope and capacity of action and for good deeds. This enthusiasm for who we are and where we are as well as the desire to do good is shared by all members of the newly elected Board.
The elections themselves were the culmination of many months work, and over a year’s preparation. Much thought has been put into how our community could best be engaged to ensure that both the members of the public and the our affiliate organisations participated in the election meaning that they knew who we were, what some of our ideas are, and skills each member brings to the table. In other words this was a democratic and well-informed election.
The election itself could not have been pulled off so smoothly without the support of the outgoing Board, led by Rael Kaimowitz, as well as Stuart Diamond and the Electoral Commission.
The Electoral Commission is an independent body established by the Board in terms of its new constitution to oversee the elections, it is currently chaired by Advocate Anton Katz SC and includes Advocate Doron Goldberg and Richard Friedman. The Electoral Commission has advised us that the elections were free, fair and democratic.
This community was established over 170 years ago and the Board itself was established roughly that many years ago. In the time our community grew, and so did its needs. The needs are both inward facing and outward facing.
The inward facing needs included Jewish day schools, shuls, an ability for us to take care of each other from birth, through pre-schools all the way into our old age, in addition services to take care of the disabled, and less advantaged in the community. In time, that developed even more to include leadership programmes and higher learning institutions. This gives me great Yichus!
Outward facing projects included advocacy groups to promote our community and ensure a harmonious relationship with the current government, protect our Jewish way of life and encourage interaction with other communities. We are not alone on this peninsula and in this country. We also stand firmly behind the State of Israel. This also gives me great Yichus!
These different organisations are referred to in our constitution as affiliates meaning that they are officially connected or attached. Many of the affiliates were created by ideas brought to the Board by elected representatives and developed into independent organisations by the Board.
We speak for those affiliates, and for all the unaffiliated members of the public.
But what about Nachus defined as ‘Happy and proud of someone’s accomplishments’? That is what we, as the new Board, intend to give back to you.
We are bound by our constitutional mandate to secure our Jewish way of life so that we can practice our religion without interference. We will do what is necessary to fight antisemitism using all means possible — it cannot be tolerated.
In addition — and within our No Place for Hate campaign — we will, where possible, intervene to ensure that our community is a peaceful one. We have for ourselves set the bar high and will lead by example.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a healthy and happy 5781.
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