$2.2 million for security funding

Liberal Candidate for Wentworth, Dave Sharma (centre) with (from left) Peter Wise, Lesli Berger, Peter Wertheim and CSG head of security David Rothman. Photo Noel Kessel


THE NSW Jewish community’s vital security infrastructure will get a much-needed upgrade with a $2.2 million grant from the federal government.

The funding, which has been committed regardless of the result of the October 20 Wentworth by-election, was announced by Liberal candidate Dave Sharma during a visit to the Community Security Group (CSG) earlier this week.

Around $1.685 million will fund backbone security infrastructure such as command and control and nerve centres at CSG, while more than $500,000 will go to individual institutions, including schools and synagogues, to upgrade their own facilities like CCTV cameras and other security infrastructure.

The funding, which is predominantly for sites in Wentworth, is in addition to money already provided through the government’s Safer Communities Fund.

“What this will allow us to do is better protect the community and its institutions and people. It’s in response of course to identified community needs,” Sharma said.

“From a higher level, what it represents is the government’s commitment to keeping Australians safe, keeping communities strong, keeping the country together.”

The AJN understand the community has been seeking more than $3 million for much-needed security upgrades.

“It’s not the entirety that the Council [for Jewish Community Security] is seeking but we will certainly be looking at the whole, the entire body of requests over time. But we wanted to get this announcement done quickly in recognition of the quite acute needs.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Lesli Berger warmly welcomed the announcement.
“The federal government’s grant will help ensure that the security risks faced by the Jewish community are reduced,” he said.

“We thank Dave Sharma for his advocacy in securing this grant and we thank the federal government for understanding the fundamental needs of our community, which will go a significant way to ensuring that Jews can live their lives in safety and continue to contribute ­productively to Australia.”

ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim said, “This is a much-needed initiative to assist the Jewish community to meet its ever-increasing security costs, which the ECAJ has been advocating for some time.

“Ensuring the safety and security of all citizens is the first duty of any government,” he continued.

“Dave Sharma is to be congratulated for pursuing this matter so energetically. We thank him and the federal government for recognising the importance and urgency of this issue for our community.”

CJCS chairman Peter Wise said, “Over the years we’ve built the community’s security infrastructure and professionalism. The benefit we have in NSW is that we have a unified security infrastructure with oversight by CJCS and operations by CSG.

“This funding further enhances our unified capacity by enabling us to upgrade our infrastructure. Over the years so much more security considerations have come down to technology and we’ve become more dependent on it.

“Technology moves at a rapid pace and the cost therefore increases at a rapid pace, so this enables us to keep up with that and at the same time deliver to the Jewish community of NSW enhanced capabilities for their welfare and safety, and we’re very very grateful for it.”


Now is the time for stability and unity

Lesli Berger elected President of NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
2018 Annual General Meeting
August 21, Sydney Jewish Museum Education Centre


Deputies I have been Chair of the Public Affairs Committee for the last 3 years and Vice President the last two years, since that time under Jeremy Spinak’s extraordinary leadership we have persuaded the NSW Government to introduce effective criminal racial vilification laws, a law our community has wanted to reform for over 15 years.

Deputies, we have also significantly improved our position with the NSW Labor party. It is no longer the case that Bob Carr and Shaoquett Moselmanne can simply have their way with the NSW Labor conference and push their anti-Israel motions.

I stand before you because I have always been a passionate Jew and a Jew who is very passionate about his community. I don’t pretend to be religious, but I am ethical in my conduct and have a very strong moral centre.

I have strong political, media and business experience. I promise you to be a strong but fair President.

I promise you we will renew our focus on engagement with our Deputies and members of our community and to that end we will always have a microphone available at our Plenums and we will constitute a Working Party to focus on improving our engagement.

My passion for the Jewish Community and my love for the State of Israel came about as a direct result of my family and in particular my late grandfather Michael Berger who was a Holocaust survivor and an ardent Zionist. He loved Israel despite its flaws as every good democracy is flawed and I share that passion as I know you do.

One of the lessons I learned from Michael is that forgiveness is critical. He never hated the Germans for what they did to him and his family, a life lesson I have learned because I choose not to hate anyone, even when I have felt wronged.

Deputies, as a community we face enormous political and security challenges.

We face constant security threats that our community must be appropriately protected against.

According to Ambassador Dore Gold, world Jewry faces the ugly headwinds of the rise of anti-semitism. What is happening in Europe and the British Labor Party all too easily could happen here and we must remain vigilant.

Just last week, we had a Muslim member of Parliament deny entry to our CEO Vic Alhadeff to a multi-cultural event and so far that member has received no sanction from his party.

We also heard Senator Anning’s vile speech where he referred to the “final solution” in relation to Muslim immigration, reminding our community of the horrors of the holocaust, a fate we would not wish on anyone. To their great credit, both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition condemned these vile comments.

The challenge for us as a community is how can we best address the ongoing political and security challenges we face in the context of the rise of extremism whether it be from the far left or the far right.

 Our purpose is to stop ANTI-SEMITISM, strengthen our SECURITY and strengthen our ties with ISRAEL.

 The first question: What are the main political challenges we face?

  1.  The need to maintain bi-partisan support for the State of Israel. Too often criticism of Israel is used as a pretext to delegitimise the world’s only Jewish state.
  2. The constant need to monitor politicians, community leaders and educators to ensure they do not inappropriately reference the Holocaust or even worse make anti-Semitic statements;
  3. The need to manage our relationship with the NSW Greens and ensure that their extreme elements are marginalised.
  4. The need to ensure that the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Policy receives no public support and that we shame all those who support this policy;
  5. The need to ensure our community has adequate burial space;
  6. The need to ensure our community receives appropriate security funding particularly for the CSG (The community security group). The NSW Government has not yet committed the funds our community so desperately needs.

Everyone in our community must play their part.
The second question: What can you do to help?

  1. Donate to the JCA, every donation counts;
  2. Encourage every member of our community to become an active member of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, unity and stability are key;
  3. Follow the JBD’s Facebook page, like our posts and share them with your friends;
  4. Tell people you are Jewish – to know a Jewish person is to like a Jewish person
  5. If you are politically minded, join your political party of choice;

The third question, what can I as President do to help strengthen our community? We will focus on 3 key areas:

 1. Campaigning:

 (i) We will continue to professionalise the operations of the Board and use the resources of our community efficiently and judiciously;

(ii) We will improve our use of data and become the professional campaign headquarters of our community which has a grass roots focus;

(iii) We will strengthen our social media capacity;

(iv) For those who wish to delegitimize Israel, we will normalise Israel;

(v) For those who hate our community, we will humanise our community

2. Coalition Building:

 (i) We will continue to build coalitions with other like-minded communities and groups;

3. Our community:

 (i) We will strengthen our engagement with members of our community, Deputies and our Constituent organisations; and critically

(ii) We will mentor and develop the next generation of leaders of our community.

Deputies, I know you share my sentiments in wishing Jeremy Spinak and his family good health and happiness and every success in his treatment.

All of this work has begun under the capable leadership of Jeremy Spinak and Deputies, with your help, I promise to continue Jeremy’s extraordinary legacy and I am honoured and privileged to serve our community to the best of my ability.

AGM 2018 – New Executive

Dear communal member,

The 73rd Annual General Meeting of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies took place on Tuesday, 21 August 2018.

At the AGM, the following Executive was elected:

Honorary Officers
President – Lesli Berger
Immediate Past President – Jeremy Spinak
Vice Presidents – Yaron Finkelstein, Isabelle Shapiro OAM
Hon. Secretary – Melissa McCurdie
Hon. Treasurer – Sam Zweig

Executive Members
Dane Stern
Michelle Filler
Natalie Rubinstein
Glen Falkenstein
Yosi Tal

War Memorial Representative
Dr George Foster

Committee Chairs
Shoah Remembrance – Daniel Hochberg
Education – Sandy Hollis
Public Affairs – David Ossip
Community Relations – Gael Kennedy
Social Justice – Liam O’Callaghan

Please note the changes and alter your records accordingly.
If we can be of assistance in any way please contact our CEO, Vic Alhadeff vic.alhadeff@nswjbd.com or telephone 9360 1600.

Yours sincerely

Melissa McCurdie
Honorary Secretary



Labor MP accused of excluding key figures of Australia’s Jewish media from multiple events

17 August 2018
, EXCLUSIVE, The Daily Telegraph

LABOR MP Shaoquett Moselmane has been accused of excluding key figures of Australia’s Jewish media from multiple events that were billed as celebrations of multiculturalism.

It is the second serious allegation this week against Mr Moselmane of excluding the Jewish community from multicultural events.

It comes as the government targeted Mr Moselmane in parliament with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet dramatically accusing Labor of holding “anti-Semitic views”.

“(The media have been) accurately representing anti-Semitic views they have on that side,” he said.

Both J-Wire and the Australian Jewish News told The Daily Telegraph they could not recall being ­invited to the Multicultural and indigenous Media awards which Mr ­Moselmane established in 2012 and ran until 2016.

Shaoquett Moselmane has come under fire for excluding the Jewish community from multicultural events.

The events were held at NSW Parliament House. Australian Jewish News CEO Joshua Levi accused Mr Moselmane of not sharing values of multiculturalism.

“We didn’t even receive an invitation from Moselmane … seemingly he has a problem with the Jewish community. Luke Foley is a friend of the Jewish community, but if he ­really cares about that relationship it’s about time he take real action against someone that doesn’t seem to share his values of multiculturalism.”

Labor leader Luke Foley declined to address the latest allegation with a spokesman saying the media awards were not an official Labor event and were started by Mr Moselmane as a “private individual”. The complaints about the media awards come days after Mr Mosel­mane was accused of “excluding” Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff from a Labor event.

New South Wales state opposition leader Luke Foley declined to address the latest allegation (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

“Mr Moselmane’s hostility to Jewish Australians is pretty clear now.

“It’s a pattern of behaviour that should rule him out of leading a Labor multicultural organisation,” Mr Alhadeff said.

Mr Perrottet raised the Jewish community’s concerns in parliament, saying Labor held “anti-Semitic views”. The issue erupted in parliament with Labor’s only Jewish MP Ron Hoenig saying Mr Perrottet’s comment was “deeply offensive”.

“I am the only Jewish member of the Labor Party, most of whose family was exterminated in the final solution. I take exception to suggestion that I would join an anti-Semitic party in any circumstance … neither I nor the Jewish community regard the Labor Party as anti-Semitic. And I find the Treasurer’s comments to be deeply offensive,” Mr Hoenig said.

Mr Moselmane did not respond to request for comment.

NSW Muslim MP Shaoquett Moselmane blocks Vic Alhadeff from Labor event

The Australian
August 14, 2018

By Andrew Clennell, National Political Editor

The first Muslim MP in the NSW parliament has sparked a row overnight, refusing entry to a respected Jewish leader to a Labor party multicultural launch.

Upper House MP Shaoquett Moselmane refused entry to Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff at the launch of the Labor Union Multicultural Action Committee launch last night saying, according to Mr Alhadeff, that he was not a Labor party member before offering him a baklava on the way out.

The baklava was declined.

Mr Alhadeff had had an invitation to the Sussex Street event by Labor General secretary Kaila Murnain and Unions NSW chief Mark Morey.

But his invitation only came after Mr Alhadeff had questioned why Mr Moselmane had not invited him in the first place.

“While I appreciated the goodwill in receiving an invitation from Kaila Murnain and Mark Morey, it is unfortunate that Mr Moselmane would defy his party leadership and deny entry to a leader of the Jewish community,” Mr Alhadeff said.

“Given that the invitation which Mr Moselmane sent to others specifically said he hoped this new organisation would become a conduit between the multicultural community and Labor and the union movement, it made no sense to exclude the CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies when we represent the Jewish community and are an active component of multicultural NSW.”

Labor deputy upper house leader Walt Secord condemned Mr Moselmane.

“Vic Alhadeff had an official personal invitation from the NSW Labor General Secretary and was welcome to attend,’’ Mr Secord said.

“It was stupid, malicious and vindictive to refuse him entry into a multicultural event.

“The actions do not reflect the views of NSW Labor.”

Mr Moselmane confirmed he had told Mr Alhadeff that only Labor party members were present and said after that Mr Alhadeff had left.

“He came into last night’s event, it was not a function .. it was a meeting of the Labor party action committee.

“He was offered some refreshments and he left.

“He came in with the impression it was a multicultural … committee meeting.”

Mr Moselmane sparked outrage in 2013 when he gave a speech in parliament comparing resistance to the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon with that against Nazi Germany.

Women of Diversity Dinner 2018

Approximately 300 women of many ages from over 20 cultural backgrounds came together for a night of singing, dancing, eating and laughing at the 2018 Women of Diversity Dinner (WDD) held at the Emporium Function Centre.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Community Relations & Policy Manager Lynda Ben-Menashe said, “the WDD is the city’s premier multicultural event for women, giving them the opportunity to celebrate their own cultures, embrace others’ and just have fun. Our message is simple – whether you were born in Australia, or arrived recently, we all want this home of ours to be a harmonious and peaceful place for our families. The WDD is an avenue to express this sentiment.”

Lynda Ben-Menashe, Miri Orden, Bernice Bachmayer, Shanti Raman

The WDD organising committee was thrilled to have the host of SBS Living Black, Karla Grant, emcee the event – which was held during national NAIDOC month. Guests were treated to songs in French, Arabic, Hebrew and Hindi by multilingual performer Dahlia Dior and had fun learning Bollywood dance moves from classically-trained Indian dancers, sisters Varsha and Megha Krishnappa.  Another highlight of the evening was the traditional dress Afghan fashion parade.

Karla Grant

“The annual Women of Diversity Dinner was a joyful event that brought together women of many different backgrounds. Everyone involved had a fun time, the hall was filled with laughter, singing and dancing with the singer Dahlia Dior’s Hindi number welcoming new Indian arrivals setting the scene for an inspirational and colourful fashion parade by women from the Afghani community followed by traditional South Indian dancing. To our surprise, we even had a swift Bollywood dance lesson, which was the icing on the cake, making most of us jingle and mingle even further”, said Zubeda Raihman, President, Muslim Women’s National Network of Australia, Inc.

The WDD is organised by a partnership of organisations including the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW, Afghan Women on the Move, Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI) – Port Jackson, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Muslim Women’s National Network, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, SAHELI, Settlement Services International, Uniting Church, and individual women.


Australian Jews savage Zuckerberg’s ‘assault on truth’

The Australian
July 20, 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Picture: AFP

Australian Jewish leaders have lambasted Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg for allowing Holocaust denial to be a protected form of speech on Facebook.

Zuckerberg defended the rights of Facebook users to publish Holocaust denial posts, saying he didn’t “think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong”.

Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich denounced Mr Zuckerberg’s remarks — made to website Recode — as “profoundly disappointing and troubling”. “The agents of this vicious and ­deliberate assault on the truth should not be provided with a welcome mat and platform on the world’s most popular social networking website to preach hate, to gain legitimacy for their sickening lies and to attract new members to their cause,” Dr Abramovich said.

“By allowing these despicable pages to stay, Facebook is contributing to the social accept­ability of racism and is enabling the flourishing of a long, and bone-chilling campaign of dehumanisation and incitement that has led to the extermination of millions.

“I have no doubt that Holocaust deniers are smiling, empowered by the knowledge that they can continue to exploit this new technology to demonise Jews, to label survivors as hoaxers, and to keep inflicting grief and suffering on the victims. The Nazis would have found much to like in the way Facebook has allowed hatred to invade its reputable space.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff said: “The Holocaust was the most thoroughly documented genocide in history, documented by the perpetrators themselves. There have been thousands of trials in which the magnitude of Nazis war crimes was placed on the public record. For anyone to suggest Holocaust denial is not pernicious or malicious is simply mind-boggling. Facebook has a responsibility to uphold community standards, which means not giving a platform to those who spread lies and bigotry.”

Sydney Jewish Museum chief executive Norman Seligman said: “Holocaust denial is not another version of fake news: it’s hate speech and anti-Semitism.”

Facebook is struggling to clamp down on misinformation and fake news after Russian-backed groups spread propaganda on the platform.