The Jewish National Fund (JNF) annual gala in Melbourne last week raised more money than last year’s event.
That’s according to JNF Victoria president Ronit Fraid, who said the funds will go the Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba.
More than 600 guests attended the gala, which featured guest speakers actress and activist Noa Tishby and former IDF chief of staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi.
Kochavi told the audience there is a moral dimension to the way the IDF wages war, giving the example of an operation in the Gaza Strip when the IDF had intelligence about the exact whereabouts of the southern commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“He thinks of course that he is successfully hiding from us, but we knew the exact location, and everything was ready and I gave the approval to strike. And then we saw on the streets, three little kids playing around the house,” he said.
Kochavi said it was a dilemma because if the man left the area, the chance to kill an arch terrorist responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people might be lost.
In the end the decision was to wait, and after two hours the children left, leaving the target clear for a strike which was successfully carried out without harming civilians.
Fraid said she was very satisfied at the turnout and glad everyone enjoyed the event and that both speakers were well received.
“Noa Tishby appeals a lot to the younger people and inspires them to understand that you can be proud to be a Zionist.”
Fraid said Kochavi’s leadership qualities were obvious when he met with year 10 and 11 Jewish school students the day after the gala.
“He was just magnificent, he really was, he was educating them about the Israeli military, and how moral they are, and how they go to such great lengths to ensure no civilian casualties.
“He was inspiring them … that’s a true leader, someone who can educate, help people to understand things well, and also to inspire, to get them to move forward with pride in who they are,” she said.
The money raised on the night by the JNF for the Soroka Medical Centre will go towards a healing garden at the children’s hospital for young patients with chronic issues, and beautifying the main entrance.