$53,000 from New South Wales for the Jewish House

April 27, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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Premier Kristina Keneally presented the Jewish House with a cheque for $53,000 at the care organisation’s inaugural business luncheon today.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel, Jewish House founder Roger Clifford, Premier Kristina Keneally pic: Henry Benjamin

More than 300 guests, including corporate tables hosted by many of the country’s largest banks, heard Premier Kristina Keneally say that 2010 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Jewish House Crisis Centre…an organisation with which she was very familiar. She said: ” I would like to acknowledge the work they do in Sydney and indeed across New South Wales. As an individual, I have long held the belief that society runs at its best when socially, culturally and economically we all get that  ‘fair go’. The JewishHouse is definitely the ‘fair go’ in action.  This organisation is so eager to help others to  relieve suffering, to bring comfort to those who are distressed and to those who may be experiencing an emotional or spiritual crisis…to bring support to anyone…regardless of their faith or background. The Jewish House is not just for people of the Jewish faith. Its mission is for all humanity…captured openly in its model…’people who help people’.”

She told the meeting that Jewish House counsels those suffering from depression or addiction or the threat of violence…and “offering first aid for the soul”.

Premier Keneally paid a special tribute to the Jewish House’s CEO, Rabbi Mendel Kastel. She reminded the meeting that he had counselled the troubled kids on the streets of Double Bay. Talking about the work he had done with people on the streets of Pittsburgh when he was teenager, Premier Keneally said that Rabbi Kastel had had “an impressive career”.

The Premier made reference to the foundation ot the Hebrew Philanthropic Society in Sydney in 1883. She said that it has been a continuing process ever since…helping “those in need”.

Premier Keneally's heart-felt address pic: Henry Benjamin

She said: “It is not surprising that a culture which has endured the worst example of Man’s inhumanity to Man continues to set an example of humanity in their treatment of fellow human-beings. Our concern for other, expressed by the Jewish ideal of Tikun Olam  or repairing the world is something to be expressed by each one of us in practical and positive ways to help people. That’s why the work of Jewish House is so inspiring ” You don’t ask questions…. you offer immediate comfort or shelter.”

My Government recognises the great benefit of the work of Jewish House for the help and the well-being of our society. So today I am pleased to announce a $53,000 grant under our Community Building Partnership Program. This money is to support the renovation of the crisis accommodation premises at Jewish House. It comes with our best wishes on behalf of the people of New South Wales.”

Corporate Australia was earmarked by the Premier as having “responsibility and a vested interest in supporting those in need.”

She finished by telling the luncheon guests that “a happy and stable society is good for all of us. Help people who help people”

Treasurer Eric Roozendaal was one of the acknowledged guests.

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