Rebuilding the Dream: Uniting Hearts & Rehabilitating Israel at UIA Australia Gala events

28 March 2024

UIA Australia was proud to host over 4,000 attendees across its 2024 Campaign events in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in support of the People of Israel.

In NSW, supporters were privileged to hear an engaging discussion between Steven Lowy AM, Chairman of the World Board of Trustees of Keren Hayesod-UIA (KH-UIA), Maj Gen (ret.) Doron Almog, Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and UIA CEO Yair Miller OAM. Michal Uziyahu from the Eshkol Regional Council, situated along the border of Israel and Gaza, moved supporters with her words of courage, determination and hope that will be needed as we pave the way forward with the People of Israel. Additionally, Major Dafna Admati, a survivor of the Kibbutz Be'eri massacre, lit a memorial candle in honour of those who have lost their lives since October 7 and called for the release of the hostages. 

Speaking about JAFI’s responsibilities, especially in the wake of October 7, Doron said: “We are focused right now on empowering and rehabilitating the South and the North.” Doron disclosed that more than “8,000 new Olim have arrived in Israel” since October 7 and more than 10,000 beneficiaries have received grants through the Victims of Terror Fund, a combined effort of both JAFI and KH-UIA.

“As a community, Australia was one of the largest funders globally of the Victims of Terror Fund,” Yair Miller OAM said. “Within days, we had money from Australia on the ground, in the hands of the victims of terror with 100 cents in the dollar going to the victims.” 

Steven Lowy AM expanded on this sentiment, saying: “I can assure you that the governance of KH-UIA and JAFI, our strategic partner, is of the highest order, and treated like a public company with strategies designed to help those most in need.” Steven said that the Sydney community is united with Israel when its strong and when its struggling. “We will do everything possible to be with you, with the State of Israel and our brothers and sisters in Israel.”
Despite the trauma she has endured, Dafna showed her strength and resilience, saying: “Although they hit us hard…  they cannot extinguish the light within us. I want to thank all of you, our dear brothers and sisters, supporters of UIA for all you have done for me, my family and community since that horrific day.” 

Michal Uziyahu shared a similar outlook, saying: “We are heartbroken, but don’t get confused - we are strong and determined, and we will rebuild our community.”  

UIA NSW supporters, including members of the Young Leadership Division, were also treated to an uplifting rendition of ‘Am Yisrael Chai’, performed by students from Moriah College, Isser Feiglin and Sarit Spira, which raised the crowds from their seats as they joined in to sing the eternal words of our eternal nation. Isser Feiglin also stirred hearts with an emotional Prayer for the IDF and State of Israel.

UIA WA hosted a successful, theatre-style event while UIA VIC hosted a seated event, with both states hosting and hearing from Maj Gen (ret.) Doron Almog, Michal Uziyahu and Major Dafna Admati. Melbourne supporters also enjoyed an abundant, Israeli-inspired supper and Isser Feiglin and Dov Farkas performed Am Yisrael Chai and a beautiful rendition of the Prayer for Israel the IDF. In addition, Mia Singer recited Hatikvah with Dafna Admati – a performance that is sure to remain in the hearts and minds of supporters forever.

Doron, Michal and Dafna also addressed hundreds of students from local Jewish day schools – reminding students and their parents of the pivotal role they play in the rebuilding process of our beloved State during the difficult time.
“Over five nights, our events drew over 4, 000 attendees, where the outstanding contributions of our guests, Maj Gen (ret.) Doron Almog, Michal Uziyahu and Dafna Admati were truly remarkable. The incredible sense of community solidarity emphasised our vital role, and we had the privilege of hearing firsthand how our emergency campaign has made a significant impact through the Victims of Terror Fund. Acknowledging the growing necessity means our dedication to sustaining efforts for our beloved homeland is stronger than ever. We are confident that our incredible Australian Jewish community stands united with us on this impactful journey,” UIA Australia President Esther Frenkiel OAM said.