Jeremy Spinak, Immediate Past President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, died tragically last week from cancer aged 36. Dozens of dignitaries paid their respects by attending his funeral service and minyan, including: Federal MPs Julian Leeser, Dr Kerryn Phelps and Mike Kelly; NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian; Ministers Gabrielle Upton and Ray Williams; Labor leader Michael Daley and Labor parliamentarians Luke Foley, Walt Secord, Penny Sharpe and Sophie Cotsis; and Nationals MP Tanya Davies.
Tributes to Jeremy have poured into the Board of Deputies office, whilst on Tuesday Michael Daley led the Labor Caucus through one-minute’s silence, an honour usually only afforded to former parliamentarians.
Statement by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian read by Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins at the funeral on November 18:
‘Jeremy was an outstanding community advocate and an amazing human being. He had a huge impact on everyone he met, including myself, and will be so sorely missed. Jeremy was dedicated to forging strong links between our multicultural and religious communities and was a champion of an inclusive and harmonious State. Whether mentoring young Jewish leaders, advocating for policy reforms or strengthening ties with the diplomatic community, Jeremy represented our State’s Jewry with pride and distinction. Jeremy’s leadership was crucial to the NSW Government’s passage of landmark reforms to protect our State’s communities from the incitement of violence, replacing section 20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act.’
Extract from NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard
TRIBUTE TO JEREMY SPINAK
Mr RAY WILLIAMS (Castle Hill—Minister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Disability Services) (17:19):
I offer condolences to Jeremy Spinak and the entire Jewish community. Today I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jeremy Spinak at the age of 36, a person who has committed so much to the Jewish community and multicultural communities more broadly across New South Wales. During Jeremy’s tenure as President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, which he held up until three months ago, the organisation has grown from strength to strength.
A much loved and greatly respected leader of the Jewish community, Jeremy’s presence will be sorely missed. A tireless supporter of social cohesion and harmony across our communities, Jeremy focused on building a safer New South Wales for all our multicultural communities. He was a bridge builder between those communities. My thoughts and prayers, as well as those of members in the New South Wales Parliament, are with the Spinak family and the Jewish community during this time of sorrow.