Saturday, February 18, 2006

Kiwi-Israeli Group Established

Even though we've lost Conrad Smith for the season, NZ rugby fans in Israel can still ghold their heads high after the new INZFA (Israel-New Zealand Friendship Assocation) established last week. There was a launching event in Ra'anana covered by the Jerusalem Post and though the rain (which Israel needs) caused many to decide aginst the drive north, it was still a successful event which saw Kiwis, their families and ex-shlichim reunite.

The INZFA's main goals are to establish cultural and sporting exhanges between the land of the long white cloud and the land of our longing. G-d willing we'll see artists, musicians and sportspeople climbing on board the INZFA initiative.

My only hope is that next time we can get some younger faces there. In my role on the INZFA committee I hope to bring in those younger faces, encourage Aliyah and build a support network for New Zealand olim/immigrants. This is something Nefesh b'Nefesh and the like do well. We might not have the same money but we can still set up a supportive environment for the Kiwi olim. I'll also be looking to encourage Israel year programs of Habonim, Bnei Akiva and AUJS and help to provide Kiwi support and open homes for those participants too. I also hope to encourage and work towards the sending of more educators and support toNew Zealand Jewry from Israel.

There are a lot of bridges to be built and rebuilt between New Zealand and Israel. To get involved with the INZFA in New Zealand or in Israel contact Yitzchak Treister.

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