"Creating a New Tomorrow"










25 - 31 May 2014: Santiago, Chile
I was thrilled to find myself the guest of Agnes Manheim, the lovely president of WIZO Chile & her wonderful dedicated team (Yael, Dalia, Vivi and many others). to attend & address the Congreso Latinamericano 2014. It will be remembered by all of the almost 400 delegates for their outstanding program & magnificent attention to detail. It was my privilege to address the congreso (a first in Spanish) alongside esteemed guests such as the legendary Dr Jorge Bucay, Dr Mikki Doron, the Israeli ambassador, psychologists, journalists, and our own President Tova Ben Dov & Chairperson Rivka Lasovski.

Although I was disappointed by how few Latinamericano presidents had the foresight to bring their young leadership to experience the congreso, I felt encouraged by their reception though and hope that they took home some of my enthusiasm home to their Aviv’s!

Personal highlights were a one night mini congreso for local Aviv’s & interested potential young members with an international panel, goody bags & a light supper; and an authentic Chilean luncheon in Valparaiso with an enthusiastic group of young & lovely Aviv’s who are reviving their WIZO group in their historic town.

A memory I will treasure forever was the private performance for our congress by the Chilean Phil-harmonic Orchestra, accompanied by 2 of the country’s finest tenors & a soprano. But that was not all! Also performing on the evening for us were other international artists. What a privilege to be part of WIZO!

I will especially remember the hospitality of the wonderful WIZO Chilean ladies!

4 - 6 June: London, England
Wonderful time spent brainstorming & collaborating in the WIZO UK office with Ronit, Lauren & the team. Such professionalism and generosity is a great trait of our WIZO family.


9 -10 June: Athens. Greece
Heather Nahmias, president WIZO Greece took the shortage of young interest in WIZO very seri-ously & decided to bring me to Athens to ‘ignite’ & inspire local ladies.

I had two opportunities to speak to different groups of young Jewish ladies who were mostly not involved in WIZO until these events. Both were warm gatherings in lovely homes & on both occa-sions the enthusiastic, energetic ladies immediately began to plan WIZO events for the near future. I am VERY proud to share the success of these evenings.

11 - 12 June: Vienna, Austria
The creative & energetic Daphna Frucht & her team designed an intriguing ‘Secret Event’ in a stylish new restaurant/bar in a contemporary area of Vienna. The young ladies who attended were treated to an adventure in WIZO complete with cocktails, designer food & a Brainstorm session with the opportunity to select the Young WIZO event they would like to make happen! The stylish event is surely still the talk around town!

Every opportunity to visit an Aviv group expands my overview of our wonderful warm international WIZO family. it creates new stories for me to share between our groups that link us by understanding that our hopes, challenges & motivation no matter where are mostly the same. 


Meeting of Representatives (MOR) 2014

Laurienne Baitz was reelected as Aviv Representative to the World WIZO Executive for a further term of 2 years. She returned to Israel in January 2014 with Tamar Lazarus and representatives from 30 countries around the world to attend the annual WIZO MOR (Meeting of Representatives) a 5-day plenary conference in Tel Aviv, Israel. WIZO also ran its 1st Leadership Empowerment Seminar concurrent with the MOR. Federation Presidents were encouraged to bring their young leadership to attend and benefit.

Laurienne addressed both the Leadership Seminar and the MOR on WIZO Aviv and presented ideas & projections for the future improvement of WIZO.

The conference was dedicated to brainstorming new ideas on the issues of Membership, Leadership & Connectivity.

‘As part of the conference, we visited the Knesset where delegates met with the Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein. We participated in an enlightening debate on Gender issues with representatives of the Knesset chaired by MK Aliza Lavie, chairwoman of the Committee on the Status of Women.

‘The highlight for a select few, myself included, was a private audience with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu! He thanked WIZO leaders for all they are doing for the betterment of Israeli society.’

Laurienne says that only through the influence and reach of WIZO would she ever have had the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister face to face. What an honour!


Laurienne Baitz has been an active WIZO member for 17 years and currently co-chairs WIZO Durban with Colleen Mervis & Michelle Nathan as well as the Durban Chaya Aviv group. Together they form ‘The Durban WIZO Trio’ and are a dynamic force to be reckoned with!
She was elected International Aviv Representative to the World WIZO Executive at the 25th World WIZO EGM 2012.
Laurienne takes her position very seriously, acting on the understanding that the Aviv’s are the future of World WIZO and have a responsibility to connect, contemporize and refresh the WIZO Brand.
Her motto for her term is: ‘UNITE & IGNITE’ the WIZO Aviv’s worldwide!

L to R: Colleen Mervis, Tamar Lazarus (President WIZO South Africa), Michelle Nathan and Laurienne Baitz



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Laurienne Baitz's European Turbo Tour

Laurienne Baitz speaks to WIZO Avivs across Europe

Laurienne Baitz, Aviv Representative to the World WIZO Executive, recently did a 'Turbo-Tour' to some of the European WIZO Federations to meet with groups of Avivs and motivate them. She visited five countries where she spoke to seven different groups explaining the function of WIZO and the importance of the Avivs.

 In 1957, during a mission to Latin America, Mrs. Faye Grove-Pollak, then Head of the World WIZO Department of Organization and Education, realized that the "generation gap" often prevented young women from joining their mothers and grandmothers as WIZO members. This situation required a solution.

With this in mind, Mrs. Grove-Pollak founded a group of young women who were to be a continuing generation and a source of future leadership, called "Aviv" - Spring. As she traveled from one country to another, on this mission and others, she continued forming Aviv groups. Later, other Federations established Aviv groups at her suggestion.

Today Aviv groups work in concert within local Federations in addition to functioning independently in the areas of organization and education and in initiating their own fundraising events.