By Felice Caspar
The B’nai B’rith Shalom Menorah Unit in the Melbourne, Australia suburb of Caulfield, has, for 22 years, organized an annual arts show and competition. It provides Jewish students with an extraordinary opportunity to showcase their talent and win prizes and scholarships. This year, students aged 11 to 18 submitted more than 200 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, mixed and digital media.
The 2017 exhibition was held in the Glen Eira Arts Complex in August. Leah Black, chair of the Shalom Menorah Unit Jewish Art Competition Committee, welcomed a large crowd to the opening and award ceremony. Three councillors from the city and representatives from other organizations were recognized and appreciation was extended to the sponsors, advertisers and art judges. A special expression of gratitude was given to the event’s honorary patron, Lady Anna Cowen.
The program’s featured speaker was Sonia Payes, an award-winning sculptor, photographer and new media artist whose works have been exhibited in Los Angeles, London, Shanghai, Auckland, Brisbane, Perth and in her hometown of Melbourne. The artist spoke of the value of encouraging young people to express their creativity. She presented the Bencjan Rozencwajg Memorial Scholarship for the work that showed the most potential to Natasha Kane, of the King David School.
“His interest in fostering art amongst Jewish youth was prompted by watching his grandson's artistic abilities developing. He realized that to encourage the interest and confidence of children in art there must be interaction with the public.
“Having been a member of B'nai B'rith for some time, Morrie felt it was the right organization to fulfill his wish of running an Annual Jewish Youth Art Competition. And so this competition was born.
Morrie Gold died in 1993 and is survived by his wife Marie, two daughters and grandchildren.”
His bequest to B'nai B'rith inspired this annual Jewish youth art competition.