Our Team

Daniel Bolotin - Philanthropy Manager

Photo of Daniel BolotinIn 2014, my wife and I lived in The Netherlands at a time of enormous human migration and displacement in the world, particularly from war-torn countries like Syria. As people seeking asylum arrived by train into Den Haag, the city where we lived, I was both inspired and deflated by how the local people responded. On the one hand, families would await new arrivals at train stations with welcome hampers and offers of heartfelt support. On the other hand, there was news of arson attacks at refugee shelters.
What struck me was the power that ordinary humans have to affect the lives of those at their most vulnerable – for good or bad. The very human nature of forced migration was an eye-opener for me. In Australia, it is easy to think that our response to refugees and people seeking asylum is the domain of governments and politicians. And yet, at the heart of it, it is up to each and every one of us to act in a way that is in accordance with our values, and these actions can make a profound difference (including to those politicians)!
When we got back to Australia, my wife and I started a not-for-profit social enterprise in Melbourne empowering people seeking asylum and refugees to share their incredible talents, passion and knowledge in food and cooking with the wider community – a vehicle for connection. I’m immensely proud of the impact the organisation has had, the experience only further reiterating my realisation that each of us has a part to play in the lives of our fellow humans. It is dangerous to leave it in the hands of our politicians – we need to lead them!
Having now moved to Sydney with my family, I am excited to have taken up this role as Philanthropy Manager at JRS Australia. The notion of accompaniment for people who have experienced forced displacement, in particular – at the centre of JRS Australia’s mission – sings to my heart. It has never felt more important to accompany one another – with mutuality, respect, empathy, a listening ear and an open heart – at a time in which our social fabric often feels like its fraying at the seams.
Philanthropy is all about love. My dream is to foster and nurture the love and support that already exists within the Australian community for our fellow humans, no matter the circumstances of their arrival in our country. At the end of the day, we are infinitely enriched by the diversity of people who, by choice or not, seek to call Australia home.