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The Australian Jewish News
Friday, January 11, 2013
New PJV president’s 2020 vision
NEW president of Progressive Judaism Victoria (PJV) Brian Samuel said he was confident of exciting times ahead, as he took office at the annual general meeting.
Samuel, who has spearheaded PJV’s new marketing strategy, has also worked on its Vision 20-20 program, looking at the organisation’s goals for the year 2020.
The past president of Temple Beth Israel, Samuel paid tribute to Dr Philip Bliss – who stepped down as PJV president after a three-year term – crediting him with transforming the organisation from a synagogue-based body into a communally based one, which incorporates The King David School and Netzer youth movement.
Samuel signalled further changes in the coming year, with a strategic development day on February 10 to lay the groundwork for Progressive Judaism at the end of the decade.
He welcomed former state MP Helen Shardey, who has taken on a community-relations portfolio, and will strengthen links between the PJV and the broader Jewish community, and within State Parliament.
In his report, Bliss outlined advances in outreach to smaller regional communities during the past year, as well as in education, Israel awareness, the United Israel Appeal Progressive Trust, shlichut (recruiting volunteers from Israel), and gay rights. “As I stand down, I know this year will be very exciting and rewarding.”
The meeting was addressed by Menachem Leibovic, deputy chair of Keren Kayemeth LeYisrael – Jewish National Fund, who have an update on his organisation’s ties with the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.
PJV board member Jonathan Barnett – a fire safety and forensic engineer who was on the investigative team set up by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York – spoke about how the 9/11 experience has led to preventative engineering for the future.