Meet Our 2016-17 Naomi Chazan Fellows

Just a few days ago, the second cohort of our Naomi Chazan Fellowship began its journey in Israel.

Our latest group of four young people – Adam, Dana, Deb and Yuli – come from Sydney and Melbourne, all with a history in different Zionist youth movements. They’re committed to Israel, to the Jewish community in Australia, and we’re proud to have them as part of our Fellowship.

Over ten days, in partnership with a cohort of Fellows from NIF in the United Kingdom, they’ll be meeting with groundbreaking changemakers in Israel. They'll be witnessing firsthand NIF’s work, which is making Israel a more just and democratic state.

They’ll meet with Anat Hoffman, who’s working for gender equality and religious freedom; with Gadi Gvaryahu, whose Tag Meir organisation is combating racism and violence; visit the Holot detention centre, where thousands of people seeking asylum live in legal limbo; and take in tours of East Jerusalem with our grantees, the Peace and Security Association and Emek Shaveh. They will also meet with Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, to hear about his work.

Every day we’ll be posting photos and videos from the Fellows' trip on social media. You can stay in touch with us on the hashtag #NIFfellowship16.

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We’re really excited to see where this program takes our NIF community. We want to build a cohort of young people who are passionate about Israel, and deeply engaged in the work of Israelis to further the values of tikkun olam. We're very grateful to our generous donors who have helped make this program a reality.

I’m looking forward to sharing with you the Fellows' work over the next year as they bring their experiences and what they’ve learnt into the Australian Jewish community.

A bit about this year's Fellows:

Adam Grodeck is 21 years old and lives in Melbourne. He completed his schooling at Mount Scopus College in 2012, and spent 2013 in Israel on a gap year program with the Hashomer Hatzair. Currently, he is in his final year of study of a Bachelor of Science at Melbourne University. In addition, he volunteer as a facilitator for If Not Now, a social justice program for year 10 Jewish students.

Dana Klas was born and raised in Melbourne, her Jewish and Zionist identity developed through family and her involvement in the Betar Youth Movement. Her first trip to Israel in 2004 on the Betar Shnat program was where she truly fell in love with the country and the vibrant people that fill it. Since then she has returned to Israel many times, and on her most recent visit hiked the country's stunning landscapes of the National Trail, navigating 1000 kilometers from north to south. Currently Dana works in Melbourne as an osteopath and in her spare time enjoys practicing circus skills, studying Japanese and perfecting the art of baking sourdough bread.

Deb Neumann was brought up in Melbourne in a vibrant Jewish household, developing an appreciation for community and social justice through her family and Jewish education. Deb has been active in several Jewish community organisations, including youth movement Hineni, Stand Up, Bialik College, Shira Hadasha Synagogue and most recently was a resident in the Melbourne Moishe House. Her strong connection to Israel and love of languages led her to study Hebrew Literature at university, including a semester abroad in Tel Aviv. Passionate about education and its power to bring about change, Deb recently qualified as a secondary school English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and is currently completing her teaching Masters. When she’s not studying or teaching, Deb enjoys playing music, gardening and crocheting beanies.

Yuli Dar is currently studying a Masters of Clinical Psychology. She also completed a Bachelor of Psychology. She is very interested in mindfulness and the benefits it can have on people's wellbeing. Yuli was in Habonim Dror throughout her childhood and progressed to becoming a leader as well as attending the Habonim Shnat program.

All the best from Jerusalem,

Liam Getreu
Executive Director

P.S. If you’re interested in a similar experience, NIF is running a tour this January which is open to all ages! Click through to our website for more information.