Generous bequest heralds a new era for JewishCare

JewishCare has received a bequest in excess of $25M from Julianna (Julie) Lowy which is one of the largest bequests our community has ever seen.

Jason Sandler President of JewishCare said “we are honoured to have received this bequest. It will enable JewishCare to continue to fulfil its role as the major service provider in the community while greatly reducing the organisation’s annual allocation from JCA. The JewishCare Foundation Trust was formed in 2011 with the aim of making JewishCare more self-reliant and Julie’s generosity will help this to become a reality”

Julianna Lowy (nee Szilas) was born in Budapest, Hungary in September 1922 and passed away in August 2019.

Like many Hungarians who lived during this time, Julie and her family were victims of two extreme political systems.  They were persecuted firstly as Jews by the Nazis and then by the communist regime.

Despite these extreme hardships, she left an incredible legacy which changed many lives as well as the cultural landscape of Sydney.

Julie married, Pista known as Stephen Lowy a successful restauranteur in Budapest in January 1949 and they emigrated to Australia in 1957 and opened the Rhapsody Cafe in Kings Cross which became a instant hot spot for Europeans, artists and journalists.  The Cosmopolitan followed in the 60s which helped establish Double Bay as the epicentre of the Eastern Suburb’s Hungarian community.

Following this Julie and Pista together with Ervin and Lotte Vidor, opened the Glenview Hotel on the North Shore with the Bellevue Restaurant fast becoming the go to place for the best European food on the North Shore together with renowned Hungarian Gypsy musical evenings.

Despite their commercial success Julie and Stephen chose to live a comfortable but never extravagant life.

Their earlier years of persecution strongly shaped their views and indeed her fears of any form of extremism.  Scars of a Communist regime remained and in 1970s her fear of socialism led to her to become involved with the Liberal Party.  Former Prime minister John Howard said “Julie Lowy was a generous and enthusiastic supporter of the Liberal Party.  She and her husband were great examples of people who put the horror and persecution of war time Europe behind them and built impressive and happy lives in Australia.”

Her Darling Point home was a far cry from Communist Hungary. Beyond the spectacular harbour view and expensive postcode there was a “no frills” humility about Julie that many found captivating.

Former President of JewishCare Allan Vidor said “Julianna had a beautiful and undemanding presence and a sincere kindness. She touched so many lives and was always concerned with the welfare of others, always avoiding any focus on herself. Not only will her bequest help JewishCare to help people in need, but equally importantly, it demonstrates the faith and trust that the community has in JewishCare”.

Gary Groves JewishCare’s Chief Executive Officer said “ The financial generosity of people like Julie, as well as our 500 volunteers and 300 dedicated staff, enables us to provide a wide range of high quality services now and into the future of which our community can be very proud”.

Gary Groves announced as new CEO of JewishCare

Gary Groves

Following a comprehensive recruitment process the Board has announced the appointment of Gary Groves to take over from Claire Vernon as Chief Executive Officer of JewishCare.

Claire announced her decision to vacate the position after 14 highly successful years in the role and Gary will be commencing in February 2021.

Gary has been a senior executive of the NSW Government with a superior track record of providing strategic and operational leadership while creating environments that build and empower individuals to achieve organisational goals.

JewishCare’s President Jason Sandler said “We are grateful to Claire for her many years of outstanding service and are glad to have found a leader of Gary’s calibre to replace her. We are confident that Gary is the right leader for our next phase of development. Gary is dedicated and culturally aligned and is very excited to take on this new opportunity.

Over the last 22 years Gary has dedicated his public service career to protecting the most vulnerable in our community, especially vulnerable children and young people in the areas of trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, disability, carers, out-of-home care and Aboriginal disadvantage. He has worked in numerous roles within the NSW Police Force, the Ombudsman, Department of Family & Community Services (FACS), Department of Communities and Justice and has been at the helm of numerous major reforms in NSW Government.

Gary said “I am extremely excited to be joining JewishCare.  I’m really keen to continue with Claire’s legacy and grow, innovate and deliver the best services to the Jewish Community that provides amazing outcomes to clients and a high level of staff satisfaction.   Listening, observing and working with frontline staff, the management team and members of the Board will be my top priority.”

For more information call Warren Hurst, Executive Officer 93028005

Jayne’s Story

Sadly it is inevitable that sometimes a client passes on while we are supporting them.

Jayne wanted the world to know how we changed her life.


Big Brother Big Sister Video

Please click on the link below to view our latest Big Brother Big Sister Video proudly produced and directed by a former Big – Ben Strum.


Lina’s Story

Lina was born in Odessa and came to Australia in 1975 with her mother, husband and two children. The move was prompted primarily by her son, then 18 years old, who wanted to be a doctor but knew that the chance of releasing this dream in the Soviet Union was non-existent.

In 2014 Lina had a serious fall in her kitchen. The result was a broken right hip requiring months of rehabilitation. She also started experiencing breathing problems and the three flights of stairs to the ground floor now constituted a barrier which kept Lina isolated in her unit. “l had lost interest in life. I was so scared of falling again I was like a prisoner in my own home. I was feeling worse every day. Then JewishCare came to my rescue and my life improved dramatically” said Lina.

JewishCare Case worker Yuliya helped Lina to get a Level 4 CDC (funded by government) package which provided a wide range of services and supports including podiatry, walking frames, continence products and importantly physiotherapy. The twice weekly physio provided by My Mobile Physio helped her to dramatically improve her mobility. One of Lina’s physios, Hayley, commented on her progress. “Initially she could barely manage a few stairs at a time but now she can do all three flights. Its quite remarkable” said Hayley. See the photo on L/R which shows Lina’s elation at conquering the stairs for the first time.

“I couldn’t believe that I did this, even my daughter couldn’t believe it. I am now so much more mobile. I am now attending Russian Day at the Burger Centre with my husband, to catch up with some old friends. It’s like I have new life and I have to thank Yuliya from JewishCare for putting everything in place for me.” said Lina

Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy Video

The first and only Jewish specific suicide prevention strategy in Australia, the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy (JSPS), initiated and coordinated by JewishCare NSW, was developed in response to a number of people attempting and taking their own lives within the community.

A steering committee was formed, comprising representatives from 20 communal organisations, including local Jewish schools, Rabbis, Jewish crisis and emergency medical services, and Jewish Youth Groups and mainstream organisations.

Ruth Cromer Video

JewishCare provides the widest range of services that help older people to live active and independent lives. This may include access to JewishCare’s Mental Health, Disability, Domestic Violence or other relevant programs.

JewishCare also employs an experienced Intake Officer who can provide information, referral and access to programs provided by JewishCare as well as other service providers

JewishCare has a number of ways that it can provide material and financial assistance for members of the community in a crisis.

Print35 Video

Please click on the link below to view a short film showing a day in the life of Print35 Design Studio.

Press Release

Press Release – Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

JewishCare NSW with a long history of counselling survivors of child sexual abuse is working with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to ensure that victims and others impacted during the hearing can access culturally appropriate support from experienced professionals.

JewishCare NSW recognises that the hearings can provide both a positive experience for victims to tell their story and help to identify where systems have failed to protect children from sexual abuse but it also realises that this experience may also trigger many traumatic responses.

Claire Vernon CEO of JewishCare has considerable professional experience dealing with these matters having worked in the area of services for victims of sexual abuse for a number of years.

Claire said “Often people coming to us for a range of issues including mental health do disclose a history of child sexual abuse, usually within the family. Abuse that occurs within an institution adds yet another potentially damaging layer resulting from the inevitable cover ups and power imbalance between the victim and the institution. While there are a number of organisations who are being funded to provide counselling support for those affected by the Royal Commission, JewishCare NSW also offers its resources to the community”.

Anyone who would like to contact JewishCare NSW can be assured of appropriate confidentiality. They should contact FirstCall on 1300 133 660 and ask to be put through to one of our team working with the Commission.

Little Big Video

Research shows that having a mentor improves a child’s personal, family and school life.

Big Brothers Big Sister of JewishCare aims to improve the confidence, resilience and overall wellbeing of young people

Click below to view the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jewishcare Video

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