Mizrachi Organisation of Australia and our Vice-Chairman Dr Danny Lamm got a nice mention in former MK Rabbi Dov Lipman’s recent article in the Jerusalem Post entitled “Zionism is not a dirty word“.
Rabbi Lipman, who is currently Director of the Department for Zionist Operations and Public Diplomacy at the World Zionist Organization, was writing about his experiences in Australia at a conference organized by the ZFA (Zionist Federation of Australia), which is led by Danny Lamm.
Lipman was impressed with the level of passion among the Zionists and wrote the following:
It’s clear that the local leadership, led by Dr. Ron Weiser and Dr. Danny Lamm, gets it: In order to inspire our youth to be Zionists and filled with Zionist pride, they must be surrounded with Zionism at every stage of their development…
As one experiences the Australian Jewish community, one sees and feels how a Zionist spirit and the word “Zionism” permeates the atmosphere. This is best captured in a stunning site in the Mizrachi synagogue in Melbourne, which has two adornments on the walls on either side of the Holy Ark. On one side is the prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel, on the other, a prayer for the safety of IDF soldiers. Such a prominent display has a major impact on the community’s Jews, and I saw an unashamed connection to Israel expressed amongst the Australian youth that was stronger than I have seen in any other country.
But the most significant result of Australia’s Zionist-focused education is the high percentage of aliya. As Ginnete Searle, executive director of ZFA, explained, “Aliya is a key priority of the ZFA, the pinnacle of Zionist expression. Aliya is celebrated in our community – prior to their departure, at our ‘mezuza ceremonies,’ we send off olim with blessings for their new homes.”
ZFA President Lamm points to the high integration rate among Australian immigrants as a result of the ideology infused in the community, and by the work ZFA does to help prepare the new immigrants for a successful transition…
Given the sad reality of a Jewish world at risk of losing even those who are already affiliated, the success of the Zionist Federation of Australia model has me convinced that all Jewish communities must re-embrace very open and unapologetic Zionism.
No, it’s not a dirty word: Zionism must be the driving and central force for all communal organizations.