NIF Australia has renewed its leadership team, electing Irving Wallach as its new president and Mandi Katz as vice-president. Former president, Robin Margo SC, retired from the board and joins Assoc Prof Mark Baker, Justice Stephen Rothman AM, Ronald Sackville AO QC and Robyne Schwarz AM on its Advisory Council.
Former vice-president, Ric Benjamin, remains on the board as Honorary Treasurer. Sydney solicitor Steven Lewis, a deputy of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and former active AUJS member, has joined the board as a new director.
Irving, a Sydney barrister, is a deputy and former executive member of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, a former Secretary-General of the World Union of Jewish Students, a former head of Betar Australia, and former chair of the Zionist Youth Council of NSW. His wife, Ronni Kahn, the founder and CEO of OzHarvest, became first co- patron of NIF Australia with Ambassador Martin Indyk.
Mandi, a Melbourne-based risk and governance specialist in the financial services sector, is secretary of her shul, Shira Chadasha, the co-chair of this year’s Limmud Oz in Melbourne, and a former chairperson of AUJS Victoria.
Both were founding board members of NIF Australia.
Wallach said: “I am honoured to accept the position.
Over the last three years, under Robin’s stewardship, NIF Australia has become a communal home for Australian Jews who support human rights and liberal values and want a meaningful, active connection with Israel. It has added a clear community voice on issues such as religious pluralism, civil marriage, protection of minorities, social and economic justice, equal opportunity for women, and supporting Israelis working for a more open and just society.
NIF Australia has just completed an extensive consultation with Australian Jews about Israel as a Jewish democratic state and we will be working hard in the year ahead on new strategies to promote our and NIF’s objectives.”