National Council of Jewish Women of Australia
The Voice of Australian Jewish Women

"Women working together can achieve anything"
Dr Fanny Reading MBE

The History of NCJWA

1923Council of Jewish Women formed by Dr Fanny Reading in Sydney.
8 July - First Council meeting held at home of Mrs Morris Symonds, Bellevue Hill.
Immigrant Welfare Committee established.
377 members in first year.

1925Council of Jewish Women affiliated to ICJW.

1926First Council property bought in Francis St, Sydney.
September - First issue of The Council Bulletin, edited by Miss Dora Abramovitch.

1927Victoria Section formed, President Mrs Marie Patkin, with 80 members.
Brisbane Section formed, President Mrs E R Isaacs.

1929South Australia, Western Australia, Ballarat, Geelong, South Brisbane, Newcastle and Kalgoorlie Sections formed.
First Conference of Jewish Women of Australasia held in Sydney 21-29 May. 115 delegates including women from NZ
Organisation became known as National Council of Jewish Women.
Council Juniors formed. First National Council Junior President was Edna Luber-Smith in Perth.
Affiliated to National Council of Women.
First National Israel project adopted – Misgav Ladach Hospital, Jerusalem.


19322nd Australasian Jewish Women’s Conference, Sydney.
Hobart Section formed.

19343rd Australasian Jewish Women’s Conference, Melbourne.

19364th Australasian Jewish Women’s Conference, Adelaide.

19385th Australasian Jewish Women’s Conference, Sydney.
JNF Queen Competition begins.

1939World War II. NCJW involved in fundraising for war effort.


19436th National Council of Jewish Women of Australia Conference, Sydney.

19457th NCJWA Conference, Melbourne.
World War II ends.

19468th NCJWA Conference, Brisbane.
Increased effort to meet and settle post-war migrants.

1947UN vote on establishment of Israel.

19489th NCJWA Conference, Sydney.
Establishment of the State of Israel.


1950First National project in Israel – Kfar Hanassi.

195210th NCJWA Conference, Melbourne.
Neve Zipporah settlement in Gan Yavneh with Vera Cohen Communal Hall and Gladys Slutzkin Library.

195511th NCJWA Conference, Sydney.
Mrs Vera Cohen elected 2nd National President.
Canberra section formed.

1957NCJW Australia Park in Jerusalem.

195812th NCJWA Conference, Brisbane.


1960The “Leah Simon” swimming pool opens at Kfar Hanassi.

196113th NCJWA Conference, Melbourne.
Dr Fanny Reading awarded MBE.

196414th NCJWA Conference, Melbourne.
ILAN becomes a National project.

196715th NCJWA Conference, Perth.
Mrs Mina Fink elected 3rd National President.

1969Gold Coast group formed.


197016th NCJWA Conference, Brisbane.
Dormitory in Australia House, Hebrew University, endowed.

197317th NCJWA Conference, Sydney.
Mrs Sylvia Gelman elected 4th National President.

1974Dr Fanny Reading passed away.

197510th Triennial Convention of ICJW held in Melbourne.
Annia Castan opens ILAN kindergarten in Tel Aviv.

197618th NCJWA Conference, Canberra.

197919th NCJWA Conference, Perth.
Mrs Ray Ginsburg elected 5th National President.


1980Protests on behalf of Ida Nudel and all Soviet refuseniks.

1981ILAN in Ramat Gan officially opened. Funds for “Open Door” in Jerusalem.

198220th NCJWA Conference, Surfers Paradise.
Completed Golden Jubilee Forest project.

198521st NCJWA Conference, Sydney.
Mrs Malvina Malinek elected 6th National President.

1986Funded 2 tennis courts in the Galil.
First Scholar-in-Residence, Judith Karp, Deputy Attorney General, Israel.
First Study Tour of Israel.

198822nd NCJWA Conference, Melbourne.

1989Scholar-in-Residence, Mrs Leah Rabin.
Scholarships for Ethiopian female students at Haifa University established.


1990Second Study Tour of Israel. Dedicated project at Uvdah in Negev.

199123rd NCJWA Conference, Brisbane.
Mrs Lynne Davies elected 7th National President.
Petition re Gett launched. Commenced project in Karmiel.

199424th NCJWA Conference, Canberra

1995“Vera Cohen Besor Reservoir” project adopted.
Scholar-in-Residence, Mrs Alice Shalvi.

199725th NCJWA Conference, Perth.
Dr Geulah Solomon elected 8th National President.


200026th NCJWA Conference, Gold Coast.
Launch of Making a Difference, a history of NCJWA by Marlo Newton.

200327th NCJWA Conference, Melbourne.
Scholar-in-Residence, Yafa Tarkay.
Launch of Superwomen? A Contextual Study and Report of Jewish Sandwich Generation Women Balancing Intergenerational Family Responsibilities in Multicultural Australia.
Haifa Rape Crisis Center adopted as National Project.
Robyn Lenn elected 9th National President.

2005NCJWA Study Tour of Israel.

200728th NCJWA Conference, Sydney.
Rysia Rozen elected 10th National President.

2009NCJWA Study Tour of Israel.


2010Scholar-in-Residence, Sharon Shenhav.

201129th NCJWA Conference, Melbourne.
Di Hirsh elected 11th National President.

2013NCJWA Tour of Israel Projects.
NSW Division celebrates 90 years since its establishment.
Visit by Silvina Freund, Director of ILAN Tel Aviv.

2015NCJWA Conference, Sydney.
Rysia Rozen OAM elected 12th National President

2016Scholar-In-Residence, Dr Elana Maryles Sztokman - sociologist, educator and activist.

2017NCJWA Plenary, Canberra.
Sylvia Deutsch OAM, Victoria Nadel elected 13th Co - National Presidents.