A registered not-for-profit organisation, Courage to Care began in 1992 as an initiative of B’nai B’rith. The NSW division was established in 1999.
B’nai B’rith is the world’s oldest Jewish Service organisation, with a presence in 50 countries and headquarters in Washington DC. In Australia, a large part of its work focuses on the advocacy and promotion of human rights and social justice.
In 1992, inspired by the many stories of rescue and courage displayed by non-Jews who saved or helped Jews during the Holocaust, the Raoul Wallenberg Unit of B’nai B’rith Victoria mounted the first Courage to Care exhibition in the Jewish Museum of Australia in Melbourne, Victoria. In 1998, B’nai B’rith established Courage to Care in New South Wales. The NSW division of Courage to Care later expanded into Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
Courage to Care soon developed an education program to accompany the exhibition. This later gave rise to a classroom-based program, teacher training, workplace and other programming.
Courage to Care programs utilise stories of personal courage to inspire social harmony and upstander behaviour. These stories highlight the courage of individuals who, stood up and confronted discrimination and injustice, often risking their own lives and sometimes those of their loved ones, to save others.
Their stories are an enduring example of the power of the individual to make a difference, and a poignant reminder that it is our own choices that determine if we remain bystanders or become upstanders who take positive action in the face of prejudice and discrimination in our everyday lives.
Growing in reach year after year, we have now delivered Upstander Programs to more than 100,000 students in NSW, ACT, and QLD. We currently see approximately 15,000 students each year.