Australasian Union of Jewish Students

Board

Board

AUJS board overview

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) is guided by a volunteer board consisting of student leaders and a diverse group of professionals to support the work of the student movement. The board has three main objectives:

  • To provide financial support to AUJS through fundraising and financial management.
  • To run international programs for the growth of the student movement.
  • To engage professional support in legal and regulatory matters – and the recruitment and management of staff – to facilitate the company's objectives and support the student movement.

AUJS is a public, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, regulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

The student movement's mission is to develop and strengthen Jewish identity among Jewish tertiary students across Australia and New Zealand.

AUJS Ltd Board Directors

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Gil Orski

Non-executive Director

2014 NSW Gil is a Director and Chief Operating Officer at Aberdeen Standard Investments where he first joined as legal counsel in 2006. His previous experience includes roles with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in the Financial Services Regulation Regulatory Operations area and the Financial Planning Association in the Policy and Government Relations area. He also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in its global risk management solutions area. Gil was appointed company secretary of Aberdeen Leaders Limited, a listed investment company, in February 2007.

Gil qualified with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Banking and Finance) from the University of New South Wales and has a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. He is also admitted as a solicitor of the supreme court of New South Wales and participated in the INSEAD Aberdeen Leadership Development Program.
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Elenore Levi

Non-executive Director

2014 NSW

Elenore (Eli) has been involved with AUJS since 2013, serving as Vice Chairperson in 2015 after a year as NSW Political Officer in 2014. Her involvement as a director centres around employment matters, the Susan Wakil Fellowship, and general oversight. Eli has a Bachelor of International and Global Studies, and a Juris Doctor, both from the University of Sydney.

During her degrees and after graduation, she worked at The Australian Jewish News and The Shalom Institute. For the last year, Eli studied as a Fellow at an intensive yeshiva program in New York City. She is now the Digital Strategy Officer at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and was recently elected as a Deputy on the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. Eli was appointed the chair of Yom Limmud for 2018. In her spare time, she is a keen student of the weekly parsha (Torah portion).

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Cameron Graf

Non-executive Director

2015 NSW

Cameron has been involved in AUJS for four years, taking on the role of Vice Chairperson in 2016 and previously holding positions at the University of New South Wales as campus President, Vice-President, and Treasurer. Drawing upon leadership experience gained in other organisations during university and high school, in 2015 he was selected as a madrich on an AUJS Taglit-Birthright program to Israel.

Currently studying Bachelors of Law and Commerce (Accounting), Cameron holds positions on the employment and financial subcommittees of the board.
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Isabella Polgar

Non-executive Director

2016 NSW Isabella graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Medical Science in 2015. Isabella has been involved in AUJS since 2014, holding positions of UNSW Secretary and New South Wales Vice-President. She was the Chairperson of AUJS in 2017. Isabella is passionate about Welfare, Employment, International Programs and Financial aspects of the AUJS Board. Isabella chairs the employment subcommittee.
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Lexi Kowal

Non-executive Director

2016 VIC Lexi Kowal graduated from Bialik College in 2014 as the Chaim Nachman Bialik award winner. Upon graduating high school, Lexi found her passion in Jewish tertiary engagement, immediately joining the Australasian Union of Jewish Students leadership team. Now in her fourth year of a bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash University, Lexi has held positions as Victorian Social Officer, Victorian President, and Vice Chairperson. 
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Daniel Kahan  

Chairman

2017 VIC

Daniel has been involved with AUJS since his first week at university. Starting as a First Year Representative at the Monash Jewish Students’ Society, Daniel then held the position of President the following year and in 2018 served as AUJS’ Treasurer.

Daniel is passionate about youth empowerment. With this, he has volunteered as a teacher in Ethiopia, with the United Jewish Education Board, as a tutor for Sudanese refugees, at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, and in the Office of the Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

In his time as President of MonJSS, Daniel oversaw the introduction of mentorship and leadership programs, the strengthening of partnerships with other Jewish youth-led organisations, and the nomination of MonJSS for the Local Jewish Student Association Award at the World Union of Jewish Students Congress.

Daniel is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce. In his spare time, Daniel loves to travel and experience new cultures. 

Saul Burston

Non-executive Director

2017 VIC

Since undertaking the five-month AUJS Aviv gap-year program, Saul is studying a Property and Real Estate degree at Deakin University in Melbourne.

Saul is passionate about the Jewish community, having been involved in several community organisations including volunteering with the Friendship Circle and Flying Fox camps and serving as Co-Project Manager of Challah for Hunger Melbourne in 2017.

Saul has held multiple leadership positions within AUJS, including Victorian Tikkun Olam (social justice) Officer, Victorian Vice-President, and President. Saul was the 2018 Chairperson.

Saul has a large extended family, with whom he enjoys Shabbat meals and Chaggim. In his spare time, Saul enjoys nothing more than binge-watching Netflix and cheering on his beloved Brisbane Lions.

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Gareth Milner

Non-executive Director

2017 NSW

Gareth Milner immigrated to Australia from South Africa in 2003. He is an avid sportsman, having played soccer all his life. He attended Moriah College throughout high school, and then went on the AUJS Aviv gap year program in 2014.

Gareth joined AUJS in 2015 and was elected secretary of the campus executive at the University of Technology Sydney. He has served as NSW Head of Events and Vice-Chairperson. Gareth is involved in the employment, finance, and fundraising subcommittees of the board.

 

Josef Wilkinson

Executive Chairperson

 

2018

 

VIC

Josef has been involved in AUJS since 2017, serving on the Deakin campus executive, before being elected Vice-President of Victoria in 2018. In April of 2018, Josef also took on the role of Assistant Treasurer.

Josef will serve as Chairperson for 2019 after being elected in September 2018.

Josef is passionate about the Jewish community, especially youth engagement, drawing on experiences as a volunteer in the community and as a leader at the Reach Foundation and Beyond Blue.

Studying Law and Political Science at University, Josef hopes to eventually enter the world of politics, having previously worked as a speechwriter and campaign staffer for the Australian Labor Party.

 

Ariel Mekler-Peled

Executive Vice Chairperson

 

2018

 

NSW

 

 

Natasha Connors

Executive Treasurer

 

2018

 

VIC

Natasha graduated from Mount Scopus Memorial College in 2015 with The Tammy, Joanna and Danielle Rogers Yahadut Award for Exceptional Involvement in School Life, and the  College Leadership Award. Passionate about community and Judaism, she has previously volunteered as a Madricha at Hineni Youth and Welfare, and as a buddy on Camp Sababa. 

Natasha has been involved in AUJS since 2017, when she served as the Monash Jewish Students’ Society Political Officer. She was also the Victorian Campaigns Officer in 2018. Natasha is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Commerce at Monash University.

In addition to the Jewish community, her interests include women in leadership and law reform in addressing gendered violence and sexual assault. Natasha is the 2019 union Treasurer.