Learning about Pesach

April 4, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Eighty senior academics from all five Sydney universities joined 20 Jewish leaders at an unprecedented Passover dinner on Monday night at the University of New South Wales.

Enjoying the Seder

The first time such an event has ever been held for academics in Australia, it was the sixth in a series of Passover dinners which the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies holds for key sectors of the wider community.

It has held previous Passover dinners for the trade union, interfaith, education, local government and non-government sectors.
In a keynote address, Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney, said students from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit far more greatly from a university education that do students from advantaged backgrounds – yet they comprise a small minority of the intake and often need to be “persuaded” to invest in a university education.

The high-profile guest-list included deans, professors and department heads from the Universities of NSW, Sydney, Western Sydney, Technology and Macquarie University. Also in attendance was NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Education Gabrielle Upton MP.

Held in the John Niland Scientia Building at the university, the proceedings were led by Board of Deputies non-government relations manager Lynda Ben-Menashe, with music by Judy Campbell, accompanied by seven singers and instrumentalists.

Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff: “Our Passover dinners are a great vehicle for the Jewish community to share key aspects of our culture and history with the broader community. The focus is the significance of the Passover story, its universal theme of freedom and emancipation, and the importance of history and memory. Jewish communities around the world have been retelling this story for 3000 years as a key pillar of the Jewish experience.”

Alhadeff added: “For the majority of our guests, it was the first time to savour the Pesach experience.”
The event was supported by the JCA LotBen Fund in memory of Lotka and Bernard Ferster.
The Jewish community will celebrate the first night of Passover on Friday night.

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