Jewish-Indian friendship in Melbourne

September 4, 2014 by David Marlow
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The inaugural Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) Jewish – Indian Friendship Dinner has been held at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre to help build friendship and cooperation across the Jewish and Indian communities.

Dinner guests

Dinner guests

 

Presidents and representatives of twenty Indian community organisations dined and schmoozed with Jewish community leaders, discussing a variety of topics including Israel, multiculturalism and the Racial Discrimination Act. Family stories of coming to Australia and living in a multicultural society were also discussed.

Nina Bassat, President of the JCCV spoke about the increasingly strong trade, commercial and academic ties being developed between Israel and India, as well as the long historical connections between two of the oldest diaspora communities in the world.

Ms Bassat said, “Jews have lived in India without anti-Semitism and have been made welcome as an integral part of the Indian community.”

Mr Chin Tan, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) said, “This is the start of a journey of outreach and engagement between the Jewish and Indian communities in Victoria.” He thanked the JCCV for the extensive work undertaken by the JCCV in the multicultural space.

Mr C S (Srini) Srinvasan, Commissioner of the VMC welcomed the dinner as an opportunity to promote friendship between the two communities and spoke about the historic links between Jews and India going back to ancient times, where Jews had lived in India without the problem of anti-Semitism since 562BCE.

Mr Deepak Vinayak JP, Secretary of the South Asian Community Link Group Australasia said “It was absolutely a wonderful evening organised by The Jewish Community Council of Victoria supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Enjoyed every moment, new friends, warm hospitality, sharing and listening to heart-touching stories. No wonder Melbourne is world’s most liveable city.”

Ms Jennifer Huppert, Vice President of the JCCV thanked the VMC for their support of the dinner and for the good fellowship and mutual respect being demonstrated by the leaders of both communities.

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