Emanuel Synagogue to join “Walk Together”

June 21, 2012 by Immanuel Suttner
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As part of Refugee Week, Sydney’s Emanuel Synagogue will be joining “Walk Together” a walk to celebrate the fact that “although we all arrived via different pathways we share a common Australian journey.”

An achieving walk

The walk is a chance to celebrate diversity and look towards an Australia where “fear is replaced with welcome and a place where all can belong.” Walks are being held in every capital city and in Sydney will go from Parliament House to Belmore Park , Eddy Avenue. The walk is on Saturday 23rd of June from 1:00pm.

‘Given our own historical experience of wandering and displacement”, said Rabbi Kamins, “and our visceral understanding of the need to have safe haven, it seems appropriate to celebrate not just  our own welcome to Australia, but also to celebrate and welcome others who have escaped hardship, persecution and instability to make a home here.”

Robert Klein, an Emanuel congregant who volunteers at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Surry Hills, echoed these sentiments: “Given that most of our community are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, I believe we have a special responsibility to welcome new immigrants to Australia. On a personal note “Klein added, “as someone whose parents and grandparents arrived here escaping the Holocaust and were often not made particularly welcome, and allowed in only grudgingly by the government of the day. I think we have a particular responsibility to learn from the mistakes of previous generations.

Mia Freedman, media personality and publisher, who is also a congregant of Emanuel said she believed that new arrivals to Australia should be warmly welcomed with the generosity of spirit Australians are famous for.

As the walk occurs on Shabbat, the Emanuel group will meet at the synagogue after services at 12 and walk to Parliament House, then join the other walkers. It is going to be an incredible event and a chance for us to stand as a Jewish community and support this initiative.

 

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