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The Waikato Jewish Association (WJA) was formally established on 16 March 1996 by a small local group of long-time Jewish  residents of Hamilton. Prior to that, Jewish families and individuals extended support and affirmation to each other on a family to family basis, but it was difficult to sustain regular activity or to be contacted  by new residents.  Forming an Association recognised the importance of being able to respond collectively on a number of levels, and  to ensure there is consultation on matters of community-wide concern. Elected by the membership, and guided by the WJA Constitution, our Executive Committee are all volunteers and represent the community more formally in public interactions that affect the whole community. Our Constitution ensures this accountability and having a committed membership allows us to develop the capacity to consult widely and to organise activities & events and to seek skilled and appropriate support for Jewish observances, learning and other enrichments for the benefit of the wider community.

Core Values


The WJA, guided by our Constitution, embraces and is committed to upholding the following core values:

  • Nurturing of Jewish traditions and Jewish education for people of all ages.

  • Embracing Jewish pluralism that allows for a wide variety of political, religious and socio-cultural perspectives. 

  • Nurturing social, cultural, religious and economic relationships with other Jewish communities in New Zealand, Israel and other countries worldwide.

  • Supporting Israel as a homeland for all Jewish people, and as a Jewish democratic and sovereign state.

  • Inclusiveness and welcoming participation of members and friends in an atmosphere of safety and security.

  • Treating each other with dignity and respect at all times.

  • Exercising dignity and respect of other religions, ethnic groups, cultures and beliefs.

  • All members, their families and their invited guests are expected to be familiar with and to adhere to these Core Values at all WJA events, activities and functions. 

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