Celebrating change makers

B’NAI B’rith and JNF are again calling for nominations for their annual Jewish Change Makers Youth & Young Adult Achievement awards, in which they recognise the efforts of young people helping to make the world a better place.

“The main objective is to recognise people who have contributed to society, whether it’s for Australia, for Israel, or for our Jewish community,” said Ernie Friedlander, president of the B’nai B’rith Alfred Dreyfus Unit.

In this climate, the categories for the national awards are “Contribution to the Jewish Community”, “Contribution to Australian Society”, “Support for the State of Israel” (new this year), and “Leadership”.

All categories will be awarded in a youth age group (up to 18), and a young adult age group (18-35), with the exception of “Leadership”, to be awarded only in the young adult demographic.

In addition to recognising deserving young people, Friedlander told The AJN he hopes the awards will spur other young people into action for the greater good.

“We need to make a concerted effort to get people engaged and encouraged to do things which are badly needed in the community and in Australian society,” he said.

He encouraged those from further afield to submit nominations, to “give them exposure and give them a connection to the mainstream community”, citing Canberra, Newcastle and Parramatta as locales from which he would like to see nominees.

Etty Ayalon from JNF similarly encouraged people to take notice of this initiative.

“Our community is blessed with young achievers and visionaries and the Change Maker awards are our opportunity to nurture and embrace our future generation,” she enthused.

This is the fourth year of the Change Maker awards. All nominees will receive a certificate of acknowledgement and have a JNF tree planted in their name, while the winners are set to share in the $4500 prize money.

The winners will be judged by a panel comprising five communal leaders, and will be presented with their accolades at a ceremony on Sunday, March 29.

In addition, the Communal Security Group will receive a special $1000 prize on the night, recognising all of its volunteers.

Nominations close this Friday, February 27. For nomination forms and further details, contact B’nai B’rith on (02) 9321 6300 or ernie.friedlander@bbnsw.org.au, or JNF on (02) 9386 9559 or etty@jnf.org.au.


Liron Smith (centre) received a Change Maker award last year. He is pictured with Rabbi Orna Triguboff (left) and Ernie Friedlander.

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