Old Parliament House goes kosher for launch of the ACT Jewish Community’s Capital Campaign

September 1, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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August 30th was a busy day in the nation’s capital, not only was the 45th Parliament opened, but just down the road at Old Parliament House, the ACT Jewish Community held the launch of their 2016 Capital Campaign.

David Reiner, Rabbi Alon Meltzer, Jillian Segal, Senator Zed Seselja, Yael Cass, Peter Wertheim, Robert Goot

David Reiner, Rabbi Alon Meltzer, Jillian Segal, Senator Zed Seselja, Yael Cass, Peter Wertheim, Robert Goot

Bringing in Sydney based caterer, L’amour, and a KA mashgiach to provide a sumptuous kosher feast was a rarity for such a prominent venue, but it set the tone for an evening focussed on the importance of a strong and vibrant national Jewish community.

It was a savvy affair with a number of dignitaries including Senators, Members of Parliament, heads of the Jewish community from around the country, and the local community. The launch of the campaign to raise $6.3 million is only the beginning of the journey, which will see events held in both Melbourne and Sydney, to extend and redevelop the National Jewish Memorial Centre.

The project which will include a National Jewish War Memorial, a museum space, and upgraded facilities, is aimed at enhancing national advocacy. Rabbi Meltzer said in his address during the event “In a world where advocacy is becoming ever more important we need to be able to represent our national community, in a home that is modern, elegant and truly representative of Australian Jewry”.

Yael Cass, Rabbi Alon Meltzer, Chief Minister Andrew Barr, David Reiner

Yael Cass, Rabbi Alon Meltzer, Chief Minister Andrew Barr, David Reiner

Yael Cass, the President of the ACT Jewish Community noted “We have invested time, effort and resources to deliver a program of events and services to bring the local community into our Centre.  Now is the time to expand and rebuild the bricks and mortar of the Centre to provide a modern National Jewish Centre.  The centre will have the amenities to match our spirit and our activities.  A Centre where we can proudly live a Jewish life and represent Judaism to the broader community.”

Keynote speaker, Alex Ryvchin, Public Affairs Director of the ECAJ said “This appeal is about writing the next chapter of Jewish contribution to this country. This will be a world class facility, complete with museum and war memorial, where visitors can learn from the national heroes that our community has produced, people like Sir John Monash, Sir Isaac Isaacs and Rose Shappere, that as Australians we have the power to overcome and the duty to contribute.”

Focussing on the national role, Senator Zed Seselja, representing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, spoke of the growth of our local community and the long history of the community’s impact with the political and diplomatic community.

Dr Andrew Leigh MP, representing the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten MP, spoke about the rise of anti-Semitism in Australia and the need for a centre that educates the broader public, including those in the corridors of power, about the impact of the Australian Jewish Community to Australia as a whole. Remarking on the incredible location of the ACT Jewish Community, with 17500m2 of land just 650 metres from Parliament, Dr Leigh said “You have a strong community and an extraordinary site. As that video drone rose over the top of the site you could see where the new building would be and its close proximity to Federal Parliament. It’s a reminder of how much good can be done from that site.”

The event was attended by 130 people and all were asked to pledge towards the campaign. Chief Minister of the ACT Andrew Barr closed the evening with a toast to the local community and the importance of a national Jewish centre, and a pledge of $5000 towards the campaign.

The campaign has already raised $2.5 million towards the goal and will move to events located in Sydney and Melbourne as part of its national campaign.

Comments

One Response to “Old Parliament House goes kosher for launch of the ACT Jewish Community’s Capital Campaign”
  1. ben gershon says:

    with a 5 acre block suitable for sub dividing for an income producing building and giving the ACTJC a secure financial base down the track. The Poo-bahs of community are on a mission to build a white elephant . condemning the future members to ever be mendicants .

    ben

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