The day-to-day work of the ECAJ is carried out by a professional team of staff, led by co-Chief Executive Officers Peter Wertheim and Alex Ryvchin.
Jillian Segal AO
Jillian has held executive and non-executive positions in a variety of Australian corporations and across the financial sector. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors, Member of the Harvard Club of Australia, Member of Chief Executive Women and Founding Co-Chair, WomenCorporateDirectors (Australian Chapter). She is also a member of the Council of the Order of Australia.
After completing her Masters at Harvard Law School and working in a New York law firm, Jillian returned to Sydney to become a Senior Associate and later a partner at Allen, Allen and Hemsley in the corporate and environment fields.
She then went on to become a Commissioner and later Deputy Chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. After completion of her five year term she was a review member of the Dawson Review into the Trade Practices Act. In 2003 she set out to pursue a non-executive career and has held a range of corporate and government advisory board positions since then.
Anton Block AM
Immediate Past President
Anton has been involved in Jewish community work for over 27 years, including as part of B’nai B’rith Young Adults, as a co-convener and president of B’nai Mitzvot, on the board of management of the North Eastern Jewish War Memorial Centre Inc., as chairperson of the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation Commission, as president of the St. Kilda Hebrew Congregation, and as an active member and conductor of his synagogue choirs.
In 1998, Anton joined the executive of the JCCV, and became president in 2005. During this time, he served as a Victorian Councillor on the ECAJ. In 2015, Anton was re-elected by the JCCV as a Victorian ECAJ Councillor, and in 2016, Anton was elected as the 19th president of the ECAJ.
When not working for the community, Anton is a partner at KCL Law (formerly Kliger Partners).
Robert Goot AO SC
Robert is a barrister practicing at the NSW bar and was appointed as Senior Counsel in 2000. He has held a number of leadership positions in the Jewish Community over the last 40 years. In 1988 he was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for services to the Jewish Community. In 1994 he was awarded the Jewish Community Services: Communal Leadership Award and Outstanding Jew Award. In January 2020 he was decorated as an ‘Officer of the Order of Australia’ for distinguished service to the Jewish community through executive roles with educational, cultural and social welfare bodies.
On 26 November 2007 he was elected President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the elected representative organization of the Australian Jewish community. On 26 January 2009 he was elected as a Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress.
In addition he is currently active as Hon. Life Member of NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (since 1986) and Life Patron and Trustee of Moriah College (since 1999).
Daniel Aghion KC
Daniel has served the Jewish community in several public and private capacities. This has included the JCCV executive and as an ECAJ councillor. In 2013 and 2014 and together with Nina Bassat AM and Harry Rosenberg, Daniel was a member of Maccabi Australia’s Committee of Review into member protection matters.
Chambers and Partners ranks Daniel as one of Australia’s leading junior barristers. Best Lawyers lists Daniel as a leading Australian lawyer in the areas of professional malpractice litigation and real property law. In 2017, Best Lawyers listed Daniel as a “Lawyer of the Year” in the field of professional malpractice litigation.
In 2014, Daniel received the Ron Merkel QC award from the Victorian Bar for his pro bono advice and advocacy in respect of homelessness and elder law.
Peter is a Company Chairman and Director with many decades of experience in a range of commercial enterprises. He has served the Australasian Jewish community in a number of leadership positions over many years. He was previously active in a variety of organisations in New Zealand, including the NZ Zionist Federation and the NZ Jewish Council, which he chaired for a four-year term. He variously served first as Appeal Chairman and then President of the NSW Jewish Communal Appeal during the 1990’s and 2000’s. He is an Honorary Life Governor of JCA and a current trustee. He is currently the Chairman of the NSW Council for Jewish Community Security which has oversight over all communal security matters. This is Peter’s third term as ECAJ Honorary Treasurer, having previously served between 2007-2010 and 2013-2016. He has been a director of the ECAJ Harm Prevention Fund since 2010.
Peter Wertheim AM
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Peter Wertheim has been involved with the ECAJ for nearly 30 years and is currently its co-CEO. Peter previously worked as a lawyer for 32 years, during which he acted as honorary solicitor for a number of charities in the Jewish and wider communities. Peter was one of the lawyers who acted for the ECAJ in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s in a series of racial vilification cases in the Federal Court of Australia.
Peter was the elected President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies from 1996 to 2000. In 2003 he was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to the Jewish and wider communities and for work in a variety of projects promoting communal harmony and understanding. From 2004 to 2015 Peter was a Statutory Board Member of the New South Wales Anti Discrimination Board, a State government body. In July 2010, Peter was appointed by the Australian Federal Government as a member of its Australian Multicultural Advisory Council and from 2011 to 2013 its successor body, the Australian Multicultural Council. He continues to be widely published and quoted in the media on a broad range of policy matters relating to freedom, democracy and social cohesion in Australia.
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Alex Ryvchin was born in Kiev, Ukraine. His family left the Soviet Union as refugees and refuseniks in 1987. He attended Sydney Boys High School, and went on to study law and politics at the University of New South Wales.
Alex worked for a member of the state legislature as a researcher and speechwriter before practising law at two of the world’s largest law firms, in Sydney and in London. He served as a spokesman for the Zionist Federation UK, and was awarded a prestigious Israel Research Fellowship to work as a research fellow and staff writer at a Jerusalem-based think-tank. In 2013, he joined the ECAJ and became its co-CEO in February 2018. Alex is also a member of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps.
He writes for leading publications and is a regular commentator on TV and radio. His first book is the internationally acclaimed, “The Anti-Israel Agenda – Inside the Political War on the Jewish State”, (Gefen Publishing House, 2017). His new book, Zionism – The Concise History (Connor Court Publishing) will be released in October 2019.
Julie has worked as the researcher at the ECAJ since 2010 and has authored the ECAJ’s annual ‘Report on Antisemitism in Australia’ since 2013. Julie attended the ‘Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism’ held in Jerusalem in 2015 and 2018 as the ECAJ’s delegate. Since 2021, she has been a delegate to the World Jewish Congress Working Group on Online Antisemitism.
Julie’s articles on antisemitism and related topics have been published in The Australian, ABC, J-Wire, The Jerusalem Post, Israel National News, and The Times of Israel. Academics, journalists, university students, and others, both Australian and international, sought information on antisemitism from Julie. As well, Julie has been a panellist at many forums, particularly on antisemitism.
Julie also represents the ECAJ in interfaith dialogue, including at the ECAJ / Uniting Church of Australia (UCA) dialogue, and the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews (AND CMJ).
Director of Digital
Born and raised in Johannesburg South Africa, Lynzi has had a passion for advocacy since her days as an active member and leader of Habonim Dror South Africa.
After completing her Undergraduate Degree in Law and Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, and her Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management at Wits Business School, Lynzi began her career in digital marketing in Johannesburg. She relocated to London and then Dubai, working with a wide range of organisations before settling in Sydney, bringing her worldly experiences and knowledge with her.
Lynzi has been an active member of Jewish communities around the world. Her passion for Judaism and Zionist spirit lead her to join the ECAJ in November 2018 to lead their digital department in strategy, advocacy and new Israel missions. Lynzi encourages others to embrace online engagement for the good of the community.
Project Manager – Jewish Advocacy & Leadership Corps
Born in Israel and raised in New York, Kareen has a strong Israeli and Jewish identity. She studied finance and marketing at NYU’s Stern school of business before embarking on a career in insurance. She later moved back to Israel in order to complete her MBA in international business at Tel Aviv University.
Although Israel will always be home, Kareen fell in love with Sydney and moved to Australia in 2010. She immediately became involved in Jewish communal organisations in both volunteer and paid positions. Kareen has utilised her business training and acumen to benefit and give back to the local Jewish community.
Kareen joins the ECAJ to oversee the recently launched Jewish Advocacy and Leadership Corps. She looks forward to expanding the program and supporting the development of the next generation of leaders in the Jewish Australian landscape.
Public Engagement Officer
Originally from Israel, with a keen interest in diplomacy and international politics, Ronit spent many years in France holding different positions at the Israeli Embassy in Paris. After finishing her MA studies in Political Science at the Tel Aviv University and a BA in International Relations and French Literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working for the Israeli foreign service was a very natural choice.
Ronit served as a policy advisor at the Permanent Delegation of Israel to the OECD and as a defence cooperation coordinator at the Defence mission in Paris. These positions gave her valuable experience advancing Israel׳s interests internationally. In 2019 Ronit moved to Australia to take the role of cultural and academic advisor at the Israeli Embassy in Canberra, an excellent opportunity to get to know the richness and diversity of Australian society and heritage.
After completing her term at the Embassy, Ronit joined the ECAJ team as the Public Engagement Officer in Canberra. She is looking forward to continue working for the benefit of the Australian Jewish Community and promoting its interests and values.