Youth influx to JBOD

David Ossip with former JBOD president Yair Miller in 2015. Photo: Noel Kessel.

THREE people under the age of 35 were elected to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies executive at the organisation’s annual general meeting last week.

Ku-ring-gai Council deputy mayor David Ossip, member of the Labor Israel Action Committee (LIAC) Joel Ginges and Dane Stern, who has been a JBOD deputy for six years and is a member of the organisation’s Shoah Committee, were all elected last Tuesday night.

The three will join Michael Jaku and Michelle Filler as elected executive members who will serve under president Jeremy Spinak and vice- presidents Yaron Finkelstein and Lesli Berger.

“It’s a great honour and responsibility to be able to serve the community in this capacity,” Ossip told The AJN.

When Ossip was elected to Ku-ring-gai Council in 2012 he was only 20 years old and one of the youngest elected officials in Australia.

He was instrumental in gaining approval for the North Shore eruv in 2016 and helped end the controversial decade-long community struggle to install this religious structure.

“The strong representation of young people on the executive shows that the next generation is willing to play its part in ensuring the security and well being of our community.”

Stern said JBOD has been the envy of many ethnic and religious communities in NSW, and that it is leading the community when it comes to embracing youth leadership.

“I am proud that the Jewish community values the fresh ideas and energy of its young adults,” Stern said.

“I urge all communal boards, in both lay and religious organisations, to follow the lead of our roof body in encouraging young adults to actively contribute their talents.”

The 31-year-old said he will help facilitate projects to inform the community and general public about the little-known injustices suffered by the once-sizable, and now almost extinct, Jewish communities in Arab countries and Iran, including many who now live in Australia.

Ginges, whose professional background is in infrastructure development and environmental approvals, said he has dedicated a lot of time to the community at previous organisations, including the LIAC and the Cremorne Synagogue, and hopes to be able to continue to help the Jewish people of NSW.

JBOD CEO Vic Alhadeff said at a time when many organisations lament the absence of young adults, the new board reinforces the JBOD’s reputation as a collaborative and innovative organisation that encourages input from all demographics.

“It points to heightened awareness among young adults of the relevance of the board’s work in today’s increasingly challenging political landscape,” Alhadeff said.