8 May 2019
Jewish Care Victoria hosted the 36th Annual Friends of Montefiore Lunch at Leonda by the Yarra, Hawthorn on 30 April 2019. Over 300 guests attended the event which included an address by guest speaker, author Kirsty Manning.
Sponsored by the Pratt Foundation, the annual event raised more than $80,000 towards the new Wellness Centre that will be located in the Anne & Eric Smorgon Active Living Centre in Caulfield, which is due for completion in early 2020.
Kirsty Manning, a journalist and author, shared the inspiration behind her popular work of historical fiction, The Jade Lily. Whilst on a family holiday in Shanghai and having recently completed her first novel, Manning learned of the little-known history of Jewish refugees in Shanghai during World War II. Sparked by the melting pot of languages, architecture, and culture of Shanghai, it was here that the foundations for The Jade Lily were laid.
Manning also discussed the power of fiction in helping to shape the ideas of readers, positing that fiction encourages the audience to tackle tough questions posed in today’s society and feel injustices faced by those in our community who, on first appearances, may seem unlike us.
Jewish Care General Manager- Community Mark Joel also addressed the audience, urging those in attendance to reflect on the vital and unique role Jewish Care plays in providing support services to the Jewish community.
“Domestic Violence, disability, mental illness, addiction, suicide, and unemployment happen in our community every day,” said Mr. Joel, “and when crisis hits, it does so without discrimination. Whether affiliated or not, the organisation to which so many people in our community turn to at these moments is Jewish Care.”
The event was organised by the Friends of Montefiore Committee, which has been chaired by Delysia Pahoff OAM, who has coordinated the event since its inception 36 years ago.