Inaugural JBD Bus Tour of Jewish Sydney

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ inaugural Bus Tour of Jewish Sydney gave an historic, demographic and geographic overview of our community.Forty three people from the Aboriginal, Australian South Sea Islander, African-American, Ethiopian, Indian, Assyrian, Greek, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghani, Armenian and Anglo communities (including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Mandaeans, Christian Scientists, atheists and others) enjoyed a day of visiting Jewish institutions including Newtown Synagogue, The Sydney Jewish Museum, The Great Synagogue and Emanuel Synagogue, in addition to driving past Moriah College and the site of the old Bankstown Synagogue. Photography by Mark Zworenstine

Theatre review: Kindertransport

A harrowing aspect of the Holocaust which does not attract the attention that it might was the focus of a powerful play which has come to an end at the Eternity Theatre in Darlinghurst.

Kindertransport conveys the painstaking decision by thousands of Jewish parents to send their children to England from mainland Europe to escape the Holocaust. About 10,000 children were sent as part of what became known as the Kindertransport – saving them from certain death at the hands of the Nazis, but inevitably causing untold and often-undocumented anguish, for parents and children alike.

Directed by Sandie Eldrige, the play skilfully interweaves the traumatic experiences of a nine-year-old child who is despatched to England with her later narrative after she is adopted by an English family and grows up and goes on to have a daughter of her own. The subsequent interplay between the nightmares of her enforced separation from her parents and her angst-filled present is poignantly and movingly captured, with the minimalistic stage props imaginatively alternating between train and home. A superb piece of theatre, well worth seeing the next time it comes your way.   – Vic Alhadeff


Second annual Women of Diversity Dinner

“Let us,
Snap the stereotypes of,
The “perfect woman,”
The “perfect leader.”
Leave these fictions of
Unattainable ideals
On the bookshelf and,
Give me something real to read like,
She failed, yet she got back up
She lost everything, only to gain it back.
She struggled to cope, yet she found peace.
She had little, yet cared for others’ needs.
Let us,
Break the headlines once again,
Because great women
Are not new news.
And some of the greatest women
I know, aren’t even on the news.”

Excerpt from slam poem written and performed by Ethiopian-Australian Ruth Fessaha (pictured above), at the second annual Women of Diversity Dinner.

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Board of Deputies AGM

Former Ambassador to Israel David Sharma will give his first formal address to the community since the completion of his term at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies AGM on August 15.

The youngest person to be appointed an Australian ambassador, and the second Australian ambassador of Indian heritage, Sharma was appointed Canberra’s representative in Israel in 2013.

While there, he and his wife Rachel visited the Ziv Medical Centre in Sfatl, making him the first international representative to visit casualties of the Syrian civil war. He also distinguished himself by visiting the sites of terrorist attacks and making emphatic statements which condemned the incidents.

The day after the attack on the Sarona shopping centre in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016, he took his staff there as “a gesture of solidarity with the people of Israel. We wanted to say that if you are not afraid, we are not afraid. We received amazing and heartfelt responses from the Israelis, but we did not do it for the responses. We wanted to do something meaningful.”

Prior to his appointment, Sharma held a number of senior positions in government, including as head of the International Division in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2010 until 2012, and at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC from 2006 to 2009.

In an interview with Ynet last month, he spoke of some of his greatest achievements as Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, including the burgeoning Australia-Israel trade relationship. “We also succeeded in advancing the hi-tech relations between the two countries, despite the massive distance – a 20-hour flight and 15,000 kilometres,” he said. “Australian start-ups are coming to Israel to get to know the local market, as do Australian investors. Today, 14 Israeli companies are on the Australian Stock Exchange. When I arrived in Israel, four Australian delegations visited a year; this year, there were 14.”

The Board of Deputies AGM will be held on Tuesday 15 August at 7:30pm in Darlinghurst. Inquiries: 9360 1600.

Arab hate for Jews is what’s holding them back


The Australian
July 27 2017

In a Facebook post a few hours before he stabbed three Israeli Jews to death as they were enjoying a Shabbat meal, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed made clear what he thought of Jews: “You, sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of al-Aqsa, I am sure that men will follow me and will hit you with an iron fist, I am warning you.”

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Nod to Palestine an ignorant and regressive idea


The Australian
July 13, 2017

The NSW Labor Party, under the shameful influence of its once great right-wing faction, is about to pass a resolution on the Middle East that is a disgrace in principle, is semi-publicly but earnestly opposed by Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Richard Marles and Penny Wong, and will be an embarrassment to the Labor Party.

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Time to put up or shut up


The Daily Telegraph
July 7, 2017

Former NSW Premier Bob Carr’s been at it again, this time out and about in NSW Labor dealing with the pressing issues in western Sydney. You know, the subject on every punter’s lips, the major vote-winning concerns around the kitchen tables of working families from Double Bay to Lithgow.

The recognition of Palestinian statehood. Of course.

And as a supporter of the State of Israel, I for one am with him.

Yes, I support Bob Carr’s push for NSW Labor to recognise Palestinian statehood at its conference later this month. Leave aside the facts that New South Wales has not, as far as I am aware, got a foreign policy, or a Foreign Minister, or embassies in the great capitals of the Middle East or a vote at the United Nations. These are but technicalities in our grand plan, Bob and I, to bring peace to Jerusalem from Lakemba and Vaucluse. No, really. And I’ll tell you why.

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Lady Anna Cowen’s My Vice-Regal Life: diary of a true partner in public life