Early Rosh Hashana for Victorian State Parliament

August 26, 2013 by David Marlow
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A Rosh Hashanah Lunch with State parliamentarians has been held at Parliament House  in Melbourne with nearly 40 State Members of Parliamen, the leaders of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV).

Rabbi Reuvi. David Southwick, Nina Bassat, Premier Dennis Naphthine

Rabbi Reuvi Cooper,  David Southwick, Nina Bassat, Ted Baillieu and Elizabeth Miller

Nina Bassat AM, President of the JCCV thanked the over seventy Victorian politicians who had signed the London Declaration against anti-Semitism and welcomed the record number of attendees at the lunch which demonstrated the strong bipartisan support for the Jewish community in State Parliament.

Mrs Bassat spoke about a number of challenges facing the local Jewish community, including child protection, school and community security, youth alcohol abuse which reflected issues in the broader community, community poverty, anti-Semitism on campuses and online hate.

Rabbi Reuvi Cooper explained some of the traditions and importance of Rosh Hashanah to the Jewish people, as well as blowing the Shofar which sounded loudly through Parliament House.

The leaders of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel, David Southwick MP and Marsha Thomson MP distributed apple and honey to all the tables to provide a flavour of the forthcoming High Holydays and to welcome in the new year.

Jeff Morrison, Vice President of the ZCV spoke about the very positive relationship between Israel and Australia to Members of Parliament.  He welcomed the strong support for Israel from both major parties, which was underlined by the large number of parliamentarian who had visited Israel as part of AIJAC programs.

Mr Morrison also spoke about the peace process, and Israel’s hopes and prayers for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs, as was happening within Israel itself. He highlighted especially the cooperative relationships in academia and health services.

Both the JCCV and ZCV were very grateful for the support and assistance provided by Marsha Thomson and David Southwick in hosting the event.

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