A Premier lights the Shammos

December 17, 2014 by Michelle Coleman
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The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has lit the Shammos of Melbourne’s Chabad of CBD menorah.

Premier Daniel Andres lights the Shammos watched by Rabbi Chaim Herzog

Premier Daniel Andres lights the Shammos watched by Rabbi Chaim Herzog     Photo: Steve Yarrow/J-Wire

Newly elected Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, attended his first engagement with the Jewish community – indeed his first engagement with any faith community since election – at Parliament House on Tuesday night.

The event, which was hosted by Chabad of Melbourne CBD together with Caulfield Hebrew Congregation and Kew Hebrew Congregation, took place in Queen’s Hall and celebrated the first night of the eight-day festival of Chanukah.

Premier Andrews addressed the standing-room only gathering and spoke about the meaning of Chanukah and its place in Victoria’s multi-cultural society. Referring to the tragic events in Sydney’s Martin Place earlier that morning, the Premier stressed that faith was not to blame. Rather, the events in Sydney were, he said, “a betrayal of faith”.

Premier Andrews lit the Chanukah menorah together with Chabad of Melbourne CBD’s Rabbi Chaim Herzog.

In a bipartisan show of support for the Jewish community, opposition leader Matthew Guy also addressed the event, which was attended by Member for Caulfield David Southwick, Member for Footscray Marsha Thomson and former parliamentarian Helen Shardey.

Speaking on behalf of the Jewish community were Caulfield Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Ralph Genende, Chabad of Caulfield’s Rabbi Joseph Gutnick and Graham Smorgon  as Master of Ceremonies.

Musical entertainment was provided by Didi Levin and the Central Shule Choir, and the evening ended with traditional Chanukah foods of latkes and doughnuts.

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