THREE members of the Jewish community were honoured at Woollahra Council’s citizenship award ceremony held online last week.
Barry Joseph was named citizen of the year, Laya Slavin won for contribution to community while Merle Ware received the award for highly commended – contribution to community.
Presenting the awards, Mayor Susan Wynne noted Jospeh’s many years of service to Rose Bay Rotary Club, his work as executive director of the Australian Friends of the Hebrew University and as a board member at Monterfiore.
“Barry is a very well-known and highly-respected member of the Woollahra community and we just all want to thank you for your wonderful long term commitment to the voluntary contribution that you do,” she said.
“It’s a significant commitment to selfless public service. Barry, we’re just so grateful for your time, your energy, your commitment.
“We are very proud to have you as one of our local residents, and you know there aren’t enough words really to acknowledge the incredible work that you do.”
Presenting Slavin’s honour, the mayor noted, “For those of you that don’t know Laya, she is absolutely the soul of Our Big Kitchen.
“She is constantly looking for new ways to make the lives of those around her better, by continuing to make regular visits with other compassionate volunteers to the hospitals, nursing homes, women’s refuges, homeless shelters and individual’s homes, and she’s also opened a wig-lending library to provide those suffering with cancer.
“She’s collecting a range of awards for her work, that’s for sure, and rightly so.”
Ware’s recognition was for her volunteer work in the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia’s (NCJWA’s) Mum for Mum program.
“Merle has supported mothers by visiting them on a weekly basis … She’s been hailed as a lifesaver by many of her recipient mums and friends,” said Wynne.
“It is so important, that connection between mother and child at that early age. There’s research that demonstrates if you get that right, then you’re setting up the child for success in the future.
“And so you are laying the groundwork, not just for supporting the mother, but also future generations. So Merle, thank you for everything you do.”