Women of Worth weekend set to inspire Sydney

From left: Author Kerri Sackville, Gennarocity Abroad founder Genna Radnan and the Great Synagogue’s vice-president Caroline Lewis. Photo: Shane Desiatnik

MORE than 20 inspiring Australian Jewish women from all walks of life will headline the inaugural Women of Worth (WOW) festival’s 14 sessions on July 28 and 29 as part of The Great Synagogue’s 140th anniversary celebrations.

Brainchild of WOW, the shule’s vice-president Caroline Lewis, told The AJN she’s been “absolutely blown away by the number of amazing Jewish women that were keen to be involved from the beginning – that was a real eye-opener”.

“They’re all achievers, and WOW is about sharing the processes they took to get there, and exchanging ideas,” Lewis said.

“We’ll launch it by supporting two bat mitzvah girls on the empowering start of their journey to womanhood, and conclude with a talk about the future of women’s roles in the community led by Associate Professor Leanne Piggott.”

Speakers include Dr Lisa Jackson Pulver who is of Jewish and Indigenous heritage, FoodFaith founder Judy Friedlander, Holocaust survivor Olga Horak, author of Out There: A Survival Guide for Dating in Midlife Kerri Sackville, and Gennarocity Abroad founder Genna Radnan.

Other highlights include a speed friend-making session, Shabbat activities with the Women’s Tefilah Group, and a continuation of Yom Limmud’s controversial ‘Modesty Stripped Bare’ session on the theme of women’s roles, featuring a dynamic five-woman panel.

Radnan, 27, established her charity when she was just 19, despite being told by many people that she was too young. It’s already built a kindergarten and a training centre in the Kenyan village of Karunga, and is fundraising to establish a hospital for women in the city of Nakuru.

“I was carjacked and kidnapped in Kenya when I was 21, but I’ve returned there six times since to do humanitarian work, as I was determined not to let what happened phase me” Radnan said.

“My main message is that your age, your gender of anything else should not be a barrier to you pursuing your passion and dreams.”

For bookings and more information, visit www.greatsynagogue.org.au/wow2018.

SHANE DESIATNIK