With funding from the Federal Department of Social Services, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies is piloting a six-session community leadership development course for women from a wide range of ethnic and religious groups across Sydney.
The project is called We Are All Sydney – WAAS, and is based on a successful program that has been running in the United States for decades, developed by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York.
During the first session, participants introduced themselves to each other and learnt about principles of communal organisation. The participants represented diverse communities from across Sydney including: Iranian-Persian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Chinese, South Sea Islander, Syrian, Lebanese, Israeli, Assyrian, West African, Iraqi and Anglo-Irish. The Sydney course was developed by Community Relations & Policy Manager, Lynda Ben Menashe who is assisted by WAAS Project Coordinator, Ruth Cohen.
Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu received an enthusiastic welcome to Australia last month. During this historic visit, the first for a sitting Israeli Prime Minister, he met with trade officials, Federal and State Ministers, business leaders and Jewish leaders. For more photos please visit FACEBOOK
The Board of Deputies was honoured to host Matan Katzman, Captain in the Israeli Army (Res.) and Chairman of My Truth, who discussed the many challenges and ethical dilemmas faced by soldiers in the Israel Defence Force. My Truth is a not-for-profit organization whose members are reservists in the IDF that seek to share their experiences. Matan addressed an audience of TAI graduates who found his stories enlightening and were confronted by the moral complexities he has had to face when under fire. The Board looks forward to maintaining a relationship with Matan and My Truth in future. #ozisrael #mytruth #nswjbd
The inaugural ‘Solidarity with the persecuted minorities of the Middle East’ event was held on November 23, attended by approximately 150 people. The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies hosted the event at the Sydney Jewish Museum and partnered with the NSW Council of Christians and Jews, NSW Ecumenical Council and the Baha’i, Yazidi, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Assyrian and Greek Orthodox communities. Dr Rachael Kohn from ABC Radio’s ‘The Spirit of Things’ moderated the panel discussion which included: (alphabetically) Ninos Aaron, Assyrian community; Dr Panayiotis Diamidis, Hellenic community; Venus Khalessi, Baha’i community; Nikki Marczak, representing the Yazidi community.
Approximately 200 people attended this second annual event at the Sydney Jewish museum which focused on the Farhud – the pogrom against the Jewish community in Baghdad, Iraq in June 1941. Survivors of the pogrom and their descendants attended the event along with other members of the Sydney Mizrahi community and friends from the Coptic, Assyrian and Aboriginal communities and representatives from the Uniting Church and Sydney Alliance.
The keynote address was delivered by academic Dr Celia Romm Livermore and Julie Lippmann gave a personal testimony of the Farhud.
A moving video of Elisha (Marvin) Cohen was played, detailing the tragedies and brutal treatment his family suffered living in Iraq under the Baath Party and Saddam Hussein.
During the event, Sydney Jewish Museum CEO Norman Seligman, announced they would provide space for an permanent exhibition for the Australian Middle Eastern Jewish community as part of the museum’s expansion program.
The Board of Deputies Community Relations Committee arranged an intensive, 10-day speaking tour for Rabbi Bob Kaplan – a trailblazer in the world of inter-communal relations and Director of Intergroup Relations at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York Inc.
Rabbi Bob (as he is affectionately known) met with a broad range of individuals and organisations in Sydney including: Multicultural NSW, Rabbinical Council of NSW, Sydney Alliance, Rotary Peace Building Group, Limmud Fest (Central Coast), AUJS leaders and faith leaders from numerous groups such as the Uniting Church and Muslim Women’s Association. Rabbi Bob also provided expert advice to Board of Deputies staff on a number of projects and upcoming youth fellowships.