Originally named Keshet, Stand Up was established in 1994 in response to the tragic Rwandan genocide.
In the late 90’s the Keshet founders established FareShare as well, a food rescue organisation that today prepares and delivers over a million meals a year to Melbourne’s hungry and homeless.
For many years Stand Up was fuelled by volunteers around dinner tables, discussing and responding to the social injustices around them.
In 2000 Jewish Aid Australia (JAA), Stand Up’s precursor, shifted focus towards investment in long-term partnerships. Strong ties were forged with the Sudanese refugee communities in Melbourne and Sydney through the organisation’s Refugee Programs, and several Indigenous communities through our Indigenous Partnerships Programs. JAA also built a vibrant social justice education department that delivers innovative programs for youth and young adults on a range of contemporary global issues.
When establishing Stand Up, our aim was to create within the Australian Jewish community a recognisable organisation that could provide a collective response to important humanitarian issues in the non-Jewish world.
Dr Arnold Shmerling, Co-Founder of Stand Up
In the last two decades, Stand Up has enabled Jewish Australians of all backgrounds to respond to humanitarian disasters, provide food security to the hungry, engage with indigenous communities, and assist Sudanese refugees integrate into Australian society.
Stand Up has mobilized hundreds of volunteers to create a meaningful difference in disadvantaged communities. Its volunteers reflect the diversity of the Jewish community; in age, skills, and religious affiliation.
A central value of the organisation has always been increasing awareness within the Australian Jewish community of important social justice issues and promoting understanding between the Jewish community and other communities.