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 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.

Shared Table Project

Shared Table 
The “Shared Table” project fosters ties between Jewish and Muslim women, organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and Muslim Women’s Association. The first cooking session, hosted by North Shore Synagogue, began with a tour of the synagogue led by Rabbi Paul Lewin and included discussion on the similarities between the faiths. Inquiries . 

Shared Table Project is on FACEBOOK or their blog


Child Protection Forum draws 60 leaders

Jeremy Spinak, Emeritus Professor Bettina Cass AO.
Jeremy Spinak, Emeritus Professor Bettina Cass AO.

Over 60 representatives from various organisations attended the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies symposium on child protection.

The purpose of the symposium was to prioritise the development of protocols for child protection for the NSW Jewish community. The protocols will be adopted by all organisations in the NSW Jewish community

The founding principle behind the Task Force into Child Abuse is to ensure the ongoing protection of children in our community from any form of abuse.

The symposium was chaired by Emeritus Professor Bettina Cass, Chair of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Task Force on Child Protection. Other speakers included Dr Kathy Kezelman, President, Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), Deborah Blackman, Prevention Trainer, EduCare- Protecting our children together, Rabbi Mendel Kastel, CEO Jewish House, and, Lana Carneiro Gomes, Compliance Officer from the Office of the Children’s Guardian, who explained the statutory obligations of community organisations and services in accordance with their Working with Children Check requirements.

A highlight was a panel discussion by representatives from Jewish day schools and Maccabi, sharing examples of child safe policies and practices that they have developed. The session was moderated by Jacquie Seemann Charak, a partner in Employment and Safety at Thomson Geer.

In his closing remarks NSW Jewish Board of Deputies President Jeremy Spinak stressed that the forum was “just a beginning” and that the task force and the community would come together on numerous occasions to collaborate to create protocols and procedures for the entire NSW Jewish community  to ensure that children are able to be in a safe  environment.

You can access either Professor Bettina Cass’s paper or the Dr Cathy Kezelman’s powerpoint slides here.