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Highlights From the B’nai B’rith Australia/New Zealand Triennial Meeting


B’nai B’rith UNESCO Representative Stéphane Teicher (r) and Morris Tobias, whose leadership during six years of service as president of B’nai B’rith Australia/New Zealand was recognized during the District’s September convention and gala. Both men are currently senior vice presidents of B’nai B’rith International.
Photos credit: Arie Offenberger


B’nai B’rith Australia/New Zealand’s new president, David Samuels, (l) and B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman, who installed new officers and spoke at the convention.
B’nai B’rith Australia and New Zealand delegates, during their triennial meeting in Melbourne in September, elected a new set of officers, to be led by President David Samuels. They also commended outgoing president Morris Tobias for his past six years of leadership. Tobias currently serves as a senior vice president of B’nai B’rith International.

International President Charles O. Kaufman installed the new officers and delivered an address about surging anti-Semitism around the world, including recent events in Australia. He suggested an annual Seder-like event that would tell the story of blood libels and lies that have been used to promote anti-Semitism for millennia.

“We retell the story of the Exodus every year at Passover,” he said. “We know how it begins and ends. We must educate and remind our community and society about anti-Semitism. A Seder-like event would be an important tradition.”

The meeting highlighted two highly successful B’nai B’rith Australia/New Zealand initiatives. For many years, Courage to Care has fought hatred by bringing Holocaust survivors and rescuers into the schools to augment the work of specially trained educators. Click and Connect is a new program in which B’nai B’rith members help underprivileged youth in Israel improve English skills through engaging conversations and online videoconferencing.

David Southwick, a member of Parliament in Australia, addressed the convention and presented a Heroes of Caulfield Award to Tania Tobias. The award recognizes the work of “unsung heroes” in this community in Victoria.

Stéphane Teicher, a senior vice president of B’nai B’rith International, discussed anti-Semitism in France and elsewhere in Europe. He also spoke
about his work as B’nai B’rith’s representative in Paris to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).