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.

Office Bearers

Jillian Segal AO
President

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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).

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
Immediate Past President

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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
Deputy President

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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.

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
Honorary Secretary

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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 Wise
Honorary Treasurer

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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.

Professional Team

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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.

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Alex Ryvchin
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.

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Julie Nathan
Research Director

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. She is the chair of the Antisemitism and Racism Committee at the International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW), and the co-chair of the Antisemitism Portfolio at the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA).

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).

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Samantha Khavin
Public Engagement Officer

Deeply embedded in the Australian Jewish Community, Samantha’s family originates from the former Soviet Union. Samantha has a degree in Criminology from UNSW and is currently undertaking her graduate studies at ANU Law School.

Samantha was involved with the Australasian Union of Jewish Students at University, serving on its National Executive. Samantha also completed a public affairs internship with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies resulting in her being appointed a staff member where she worked in public affairs and community relations. She represented NSW Jewry in a range of intercultural initiatives including UNSW’s Ethnocultural Collective and the Council for Christians and Jews.

In recognition of her community work, Samantha was the recipient of the Millie Phillips Leadership Development Scholarship. She was featured in the Jewish Communal Appeal’s 2016 campaign representing the NSW JBD as a distinguished member. Samantha was recently selected by International March of the Living to represent Australia overseas as an Emerging Young Leader.

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Lynzi Bennun
Digital Strategy Manager

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 as their Digital Strategy Manager. Lynzi encourages others to embrace online engagement for the good of the community.

Day-to-day, the ECAJ works on:

  • Protecting our religious freedoms to observe and practise Judaism in Australia;
  • Acquiring government funding for the Jewish community’s security needs;
  • Monitoring and reporting incidents of antisemitism;
  • Securing compensation for Holocaust survivors;
  • Advocating for the national rights of the Jewish people and encouraging support for Zionism in Australia;
  • Liaising with the Federal government to stamp out child abuse;
  • Monitoring the content of school curricula in teaching about Israel and the Holocaust;
  • Supporting initiatives to commemorate the Shoah; remembering our wonderful Jewish ANZACs; and
  • Providing support for the smaller Jewish communities outside of Sydney and Melbourne.