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Op-eds

The Duke of Edinburgh International Award

  • WIZO
At the beginning of November, the Israeli Youth Award Ceremony was hosted by the British Ambassador to Israel. This distinguished international award programme has been in place since 1956, and began as the “Duke of Edinburgh International Award”.
by MOONYEEN CASTLE | Nov 16, 2017

Among the 115 award recipients of the “gold medal”, 56 were WIZO students from WIZO schools and youth villages. Gold awards were presented to students who have proven to be tomorrow's leaders in the State of Israel.

Guests included Knesset Member Revital Swaid; and the co-chairmen of the International Youth Award-Israel, Hilton Nathanson and Amir Amar. The guest of honour was Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.  In addition, members of the World WIZO Executive came to show their pride in our WIZO award recipients.

This dignified award is open to all youth in Israel, from all walks of life, religions, and ethnicities throughout Israel. Recipients of the gold award have demonstrated true leadership qualities, aspiring and inspiring not only others, but themselves to be the best they can be.

Our WIZO gold award winners are our most effective hasbara tool. They will go out into the wider world, equipped with values that we, WIZO chaverot, live by: the values that we teach, the values of self-worth, volunteerism, humanity, and excellence. These students are Israel's ambassadors of the future.

WIZO prides itself on being the only social welfare organisation that has partnered with this important international programme. Each and every year WIZO students excel, and we are so proud of their achievements and of WIZO's partnership that benefits not only them, but Israeli society, and indeed, the wider world by their shining example.

Thanks to you, our chaverot, who partner with us, an initiative such as this is an integral part of the success of all those who benefit from the greater impact of WIZO on their lives!

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration which recognised officially for the first time, the 2 000-year-old aspirations of the Jewish people to return to their country from which they had been dispersed. As Jews continue to return to Israel, WIZO’s help in integrating these often distressed families, remains invaluable.

The year 2017 has been a very productive one for all the WIZO centres in South Africa, and we were proud to have this unity, with all our shining lights, at our challah bakes as well as over the Shabbos Project weekend.

The prestigious Rebecca Sieff Awards took place around the country where members were honoured for long service in recognition of their dedication to the organisation.

Our very own Mandy Bernstein has just left for the WIZO Aviv International seminar in Israel, and we look forward to hearing her report back.

Wishing you all happy holidays, safe journeys and happy Chanukah.

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