Police Remembrance Shabbat

October 25, 2015 by Henry Benjamin
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Sydney’s Central Synagogue has hosted the NSW Police Remembrance Shabbat in an event marked with musical entertainment and sombre prayers.

The congregation rose to applaud when Rabbi Levi Wolff welcomed the members of the NSW Police present including Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas.

Commissioner Scipione spoke of the importance of the police work within the community.

Deputy Commissioner Kaldas read out the names of fallen police officers.

State Member of Parliament said kaddish for the fallen officers and El Mole Rachamim was sung by Central cantor Rabbi Yehuda Niassoff.

The event was hosted by The Jewish House whose CEO Rabbi Mendel Kastel told J-Wire: “There were Jewish police in shul for the Remembrance Service including three Jewish police women. We presented our guests with Shabbat packs which included candles, grape juice, a kids cup and spices…our plan is to deliver these to Jewish police officers in the local area.”

Rabbi Kastel told the story of Jewish convict John Harris transported to NSW for stealing eight silver spoons. In 1789, Harris got permission from Judge-Advocate David Collins  to create a night watch to stem the flood of criminal activity in the fledgling colony. This was in effect the beginnings of the NSW police force.

Before Shabbat itself started, the synagogue was treated to a musical performance by the synagogue choir lead by saxophonist Sam Weiss and Cantor Niassoff  accompanied by musicians. Both Commissioner Scipione and his Deputy Nick Kaldas joined in the festivities dancing a hora with Rabbis Wolff and Kastel.

Also attending the Remembrance Service was NSW State Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton.

All photos Henry Benjamin    © J-Wire 2015

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