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Chairman's Message - 2017 Awards

Good evening everyone and welcome. Firstly, I would like to say a special thank you to Dana Ben Chail for organising such a wonderful evening as part of our 70th anniversary celebrations. This is just one of the many events planned for this occasion.

Tonight is a special evening in a number of ways. It’s one of my first public appearances as the new chairman of Telfed and it really is a great honor for me to be here. If you had told me 10 years ago when I first started volunteering on the Aliyah committee in Raanana that one day I would be standing here as chairman of Telfed I would have laughed politely and said you must mean someone else. But in the words of Mahatma Ghandi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”, and through the years I’ve come to see what an incredible organization this is supported by such dedicated people who give so selflessly to help others.  

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. Tonight we have the opportunity to pay tribute to our exceptional volunteers who have made such a difference to our community through their work in Telfed.  

This evening we will be giving out several awards including the Yakir Telfed Award to Sidney Shapiro. The Yakir Telfed award was created to acknowledge and honour those who have contributed in extraordinary ways to Telfed and consequently to the society it serves. This award has only been awarded 5 times in the history of the organization and previous recipients include Meir Nitzan, Eliot Osrin, Simie Weinstein, Hertzel Katz and Annette Milliner-Giladi. I would like to extend a special welcome to Hertzel Katz and Annette Milliner Giladi who are with us here this evening.

We also have the privilege of presenting the Telfed Special Merit Award to Josie Shlain. This award has also only been awarded 5 times in the history of Telfed. Previous recipients include Nick Alhadeff, Itz Kalmanowitz, Annette Milliner Giladi, Morris Borsuk and Leon Charney.

We will also be awarding The Blanche and Archie Isaacson Memorial Award , The Harry and Anita Alter Memorial  Award and the Telfed Volunteer of the Year Award. A warm welcome to Maish and Jocelyn Isaacson and Darryl and Dianne Alter - thank you for joining us this evening.

As Telfed enters its 70th year of operations we have a lot to be proud of and so much more to look forward to. Our scholarship programs are flourishing and our newest initiative, SASI (Southern Africans Studying in Israel) has been very successful.  We continue to provide financial assistance to those in need and our  housing projects are at full capacity. In addition we have a multitude of social activities and regional events including day trips, picnics, Shabbatot, bingo evenings, social gatherings and lectures. We also take great pride in helping to facilitate Australian and Dutch aliyah in addition to southern africa aliyah. It really is thanks to your hard work that we are able to do what we do.

Winston Churchill said that "we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give". Thank you to all of you that continue to give of yourselves to Telfed and the community and congratulations to all of the recipients this evening.

Batya Shmukler
Telfed Chairman

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