Date: Wednesday 7 December 2022
Time: 7pm – 8pm
Chair: Steve Denenberg
Minutes: Cassandra Barrett
Location Online via Zoom

Meeting opened 7.00pm.

1.0 – Attendance

Persons in attendance (in order of joining):

Steve Denenberg; Helen Shardey OAM; Tony Leverton; Cassandra Barrett; Rabbi Dr John Levi; Philip Bliss; Philip Levy; Jerome Winston; Sefi Shalam; Kathy Kaplan OAM; Ayal Marek; Dr Sue Silberberg; Caroline Heard; Benjamin James; Janet Henrie; Rabbi Aviva Kipen; David Cohan; David Knoll AM; Alex Gajic; Howard Nathan QC.

Confirmed attendee numbers meet quorum requirements.

2.0 – Apologies and proxies

Apologies received from (in order of receipt):

Rabbi Fred Morgan; Dr Nick Dyrenfurth; Noa Abrahams; Charles Simon; Barbara Simon; Avishai Conyer.

One proxy received from Avishai Conyer, appointing Sefi Shalam.

3.0 – Approval of previous minutes

Motion: That the minutes of the 2021 AGM are accepted.

Moved: Philip Bliss
Seconded: Philip Levy
Passed unanimously.

4.0 – Matters arising


5.0 – President’s Report

  • Annual report circulated and taken as read.
  • Recent activities of highlight include: Dr Sue Silberberg and Benjamin James recently attended the Arzenu seminar in Israel as representatives of ARZA Australia; Committee Member Ayal Marek has been exploring opportunities for programs that offer tools to challenge antisemitism; Avishai Conyer and Ben James have planned to co-develop a paper on Progressive Zionism; and the Progressive Taglit cohort will soon depart for Israel.
  • President expresses thanks to the Board, noting that herself and the Treasurer are completing the final year of their terms; to outgoing Progressive Shaliach Sefi Shalam for his enormous contribution to ARZA and Taglit; to Noa Abrahams, with congratulations her successful term as Federal Mazkira of Netzer; and to attendees for their ongoing support.

6.0 – Treasurer’s Report

  • Treasurer’s Report circulated with annual report, including statement of income and expenditure and auditor’s report.
  • Relatively minor change overall – a net loss of $2500 compared with net surplus of $2100 for previous year. Expenses are modest. Moratorium on membership fees the primary driver. Priority of Executive will be to drive membership in order to restore previous position.
  • Treasurer expresses thanks to Board colleagues, and to financial assessor Janet Henrie and auditor Debra Arnold – a pleasure to work alongside them and appreciate their advice and support.


  • Dr Sue Silberberg: What did the Arzenu reimbursement relate to?
  • Treasurer: A one-off reimbursement of election costs that were paid in advance.
  • Philip Levy: Critical to reinstate collection of membership fees by shuls; is this under way? Have shuls agreed to do so?
  • President: Have recently spoken to Emanuel, who had stated that their policy is to include ARZA membership. TBI has reported that they will include in the next membership cycle – significant gain, as the decision to change under the tenure of the previous Board was impactful. President expresses appreciation for the support of the various synagogues in collecting membership dues.

Motion: That the Annual Report, including President’s Report and Treasurer’s Report, is accepted.

Moved: Steve Denenberg
Seconded: David Knoll AM
Passed unanimously.

7.0 – Re-appointment of Auditor and Honorary Solicitor

Motion: That Debra Arnold be appointed as honorary auditor.

Moved: Tony Leverton
Seconded: Philip Bliss
Passed unanimously.

Motion: That Janet Henrie be appointed as financial advisor.

Moved: Tony Leverton
Seconded: Philip Bliss
Passed unanimously.

Motion: That Norbert Schweizer be re-appointed as honorary solicitor.

Moved: Steve Denenberg
Seconded: Tony Leverton
Passed unanimously.

8.0 – Motion to amend Constitution [clause 25.1 (c)]

Background to proposed amendment:

  • Role of second Vice President has been vacant for some time.
  • The current constitution restricts the Vice President role to representatives from Melbourne and Sydney – an historic clause that was intended to ensure shared representation across Victoria and NSW.
  • Feel that the current clause is discriminatory, and not in the spirit of a national organisation. The proposed amendment enables all states to be represented at the leadership level. It also supports greater participation in leadership by younger people.

Motion: That the proposed amendment to the Constitution [clause 25.1 (c)] is accepted.

Moved: Helen Shardey OAM
Seconded: Philip Bliss.
Passed with majority.

Comment: David Knoll commends the cooperation between NSW and Victoria, and affirms the importance of supporting inclusion and representation of other states. The approved amendment is aligned to the UPJ’s efforts to seek active participation by smaller states and the Asia-Pacific.

9.0 – Election for the office of one [1] Vice-President

  • Following approval of proposed amendment, Ben James (South Australia) stands unopposed as candidate for Vice President. Mazal tov Ben.

10.0 – Election for the office of up to four [4] Ordinary Committee Members

  • One nomination received by Ayal Marek. Mazal tov Ayal.

Comment: Helen Shardey OAM notes that Avishai Conyer, who was previously an ordinary committee member, now becomes an Ex-Officio member as Netzer Federal Mazkir. Additional committee members, particularly from un(der)represented states, are welcome.

11.0 – General Business

  • Kathy Kaplan OAM: Reminder re: upcoming workshop on organisational governance and communication. Free for all PJV members.
  • Howard Nathan: Kehilat Zdot Zadav (Bendigo) recently unveiled a chanukiyah as part of a multifaith ‘peace park’ initiative.
  • Rabbi Aviva Kipen: Highlighted need to cultivate ongoing conversations re: political challenges in Israel that are balanced and respectful. May form the basis of some programming for ARZA in anticipation of the next World Congress. Helen affirmed importance of maintaining strong representation at WZC, particularly given loss of some mandates in the US. Possibility of an election at the local level – important to ensure that ARZA membership is strong in order to maintain or improve our mandates.

12.0 – Close

Chair congratulates President Helen Shardey OAM for her hard work.

Chair thanks all in attendance for their continued support and affirms invitation for additional committee members to support the current Board. Congratulations to Helen for her hard work.

Meeting closed 7:40pm.