Nostra Aetate

The past, present and future of the Jewish-Christian relationship
About 400 representatives of a range of faith groups came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate at The Great Synagogue.
The program included a series of panel discussions with the theme “The past, present and future of the Jewish-Christian relationship”. The Catholic Archbishop, The Most Reverend Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, and Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton, Chief Rabbi of The Great Synagogue, delivered keynote addresses, while NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Jeremy Spinak urged all present to work for peace “in our time”.
The event was hosted by the Australian Catholic University, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Sydney Jewish Museum.

Photos: Giovanni Portelli, Catholic Communications, Archdiocese of Sydney

Statement on Syrian refugee crisis

nswjbd-logoThe NSW Jewish Board of Deputies wholeheartedly supports the Australian Government’s decision to accept 12,000 refugees from Syria and to commit funds to humanitarian support for the thousands of Syrians and Iraqis who have been forced to seek refuge, many of them persecuted by Islamic State.

As a nation, we have a responsibility to be a sanctuary for those in need and play our part in the spirit of humanity and kindness. Now is the time for compassion and to ensure those who are most in need can establish a life in our country.

Through the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, our national roof body, we commend the Australian Government for taking the current humanitarian crisis into consideration in terms of refugee admission and in joining with the international community to extend support.

Vic Alhadeff 
Chief Executive Officer

The plight of Middle Eastern minorities is often overlooked by the West

This topic was highlighted by NSW Jewish Board of Deputies guest Sam Tadros at a recent lunch. Hear him discuss this issue on ABC Radio

Samuel Tadros is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC. He is an expert in minority persecution and the rise of Islamist movements across the Middle East. He recently spoke at a Luncheon club, and our monthly plenum. He is pictured here with from left Vic Alhadeff, Tavga Jelal, Paul Green MLC and Samuel Tadros.

Commemorations and celebrations with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies

70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Shanghai Ghetto

Over 200 members of the Jewish and Chinese communities, Chinese diplomats, members of NSW Parliament, mayors and local councillors, attended the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Shanghai Jewish Ghetto. Highlights included the personal testimonies of Professor Dan Yuan Tang and Mrs Gertie Jellenik and the recognition of all attendees who lived in Shanghai or are descended from those saved there. The event was co-hosted by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, The Chinese Australian Forum, the Australian Chinese Community Association and the Chinese Australian Services Society. Photos: Giselle Haber Photography.

Haifa Day

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Hindu Council of Australia held their second annual joint commemoration of Haifa Day. Over 100 members of Sydney’s Indian and Jewish community’s attended, including Jewish Australians of Indian background and residents of Haifa. The event has an historical focus and builds on the strong relationship between Jewish and Indian people both in India and locally.

 

The Mitzvah of Remembrance

Holocaust remembrance program
KTC students, and Dasia Black-Gutman (centre)

Now in its fifth year, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ Holocaust-awareness program “Mitzvah of Memory” has reached 500 day school students of bar/bat mitzvah age.. The brainchild of North Shore Temple Emanuel Rabbi Gary Robuck, the program aims to introduce the Holocaust in a sensitive and age-appropriate way. The format includes a DVD followed by a presentation by a child survivor. Dasia Black-Gutman (front, centre) is pictured with Kesser Torah College students.

Community leaders break bread at Masada

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and Kehillat Masada Synagogue co-hosted a unique Shabbat Dinner at Kehillat Masada, with 140 leaders attending from across the full spectrum of society, including federal and state Members of Parliament, mayors, education, faith and community leaders.
Guests were welcomed by synagogue president Howard Sher and taken on an informative tour by Rabbi Gad Krebs, after which they attended the Sabbath service and sat down to a Shabbat dinner.
Participants included Member for Bradfield Paul Fletcher MP, Member for Berowra Phillip Ruddock MP, Member for Ku-ring-gai Alister Henskens SC MP, Member for Davidson Jonathan O’Dea MP, Scott Farlow MLC, Ku-ring-gai Mayor Jennifer Anderson and Ku-ring-gai Councillor David Ossip.

They also included representatives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Australia, Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay, Chinese Australian Forum, Chinese Australian Services Society, Frenchs Forest Catholic Parish, Holy Name Catholic Parish, IABBV Hindi School, the Liberal Party, Lindfield Community Bank, Macquarie University, Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Parish, Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral Parish, Peter Canisius House, St Ives Family Church, St Ives Lions Club, St Ives Rugby Club, St Ives Uniting Church and numerous officials from public and private schools.
Guests were welcomed at the dinner by Board of Deputies Community Relations Committee chair Julian Leeser, who urged all present to work together in the interests of an inclusive society. He said “This Shabbat dinner is an opportunity for the north shore Jewish community to invite the civil and political leadership of the local area to understand more about community. It is something that we probably have not done enough of in the past.”

Closing the evening, Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff said: “We have the opportunity to work in tandem towards our shared goal of building a harmonious and inclusive society. This reflects the values of all the organisations represented at this event and mirrors the core Jewish belief that is captured in the Hebrew expression Tikkun Olam, which translates as `Healing The World’.”

ABRAHAM CONFERENCE 2015 

Abraham Conference speaker
Rabbi Gad Krebs

Rabbi Gad Krebs (pictured) of Kehillat Masada Synagogue represented the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies at the Abraham Conference, which was themed “Respecting the Other’s Religious and Cultural Narrative”.This year’s conference attracted over 100 participants from all three Abrahamic faiths. The Board of Deputies has been a partner organisation in the Abraham Conference for almost 10 years.

Opinion makers at lunch

OPINION MAKERS AT LUNCH  The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Luncheon Club continues to see opinion-makers engage with the community around a boardroom table. Recent speakers included Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen MP, Israel’s foremost expert on counter-terrorism Professor Boaz Ganor, Member for Ku-ring-gai Alister Henskens SC MP and Deputy Premier, Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant MP.

Young Liberal Shabbat

James Wallace, NSW Young Liberal President.
James Wallace, NSW Young Liberal President.

Jewish and Liberal Party values  were celebrated at a NSW Young Liberals Shabbat Dinner which the Board of Deputies hosted at the Great Synagogue. Seventy Young Liberal leaders attended the Friday night service, followed by a tour led by Great Synagogue President Justice Stephen Rothman AM.

At dinner, Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff delivered a brief address, drawing a connection between Jewish values, Liberal values and responsible political leadership.

The highlight of the evening was guest speaker Yaron Finkelstein, CEO of CrosbyITextor Australasia and Board of Deputies Vice-President, who provided meaningful insights into polling, campaigning and political messaging.

Journalists are often too focused on polls, crisis and process, he said, while voters would like to hear about issues that actually affect their lives. The electorate is far more likely to listen to politicians when they have something to say about the issues that matter to people, Finkelstein added. “Polling day is when it boils down to. A choice and a good campaign define and sharpen the choice offered to voters,” he stressed.

During his closing remarks, NSW Young Liberal President James Wallace reiterated Young Liberal support for the Jewish community and Israel and praised the Board of Deputies for bringing together so many Young Liberals for a collegial and enjoyable evening.