A community in furore

August 27, 2021 by Henry Benjamin
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A leaked email revealed a plan to appease the Sydney Jewish community by maintaining requests to NSW Health to give special permission to blow Shofars in various parts of the city and allowing congregants to walk by as they did…but the email to NSW Police from the Community Security Group stated that the application would be withdrawn three days before Rosh Hashanah.

Rabbi Kaiser

The email said that the CSG had been in discussion with the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies stating: “JBOD will continue to liaise with NSW Health and request the application to be knocked back a few days before the festival”.

The email went on to say that the ‘Synagogues and the Community that the perception is JBOD is working on the process up until the festivals begin’.

The CSG has apologised for the email stating:

CSG has corrected the comments made in an email sent to the NSW Police Force.

CSG has apologised to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the community for any confusion caused.

CSG notes that the email was a single communication in the context of complex and ongoing discussions with NSW Police regarding the operational response and co-ordination in the lead up to the High Holy Days and a CSG assessment that any decision in relation to the exemption may only be determined a few days prior.

CSG is proud of its record of service to the NSW Jewish community and is ready, willing and able to protect and serve the community during the High Holy Days as always.

President of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Lesli Berger added: “With Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on the horizon, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies continues to work with the NSW Government to determine how the community can observe and celebrate this year.

With Synagogues closed, limits on gatherings and restrictions on travel, this year’s High Holy Days will look unlike anything we have seen before.

When the lockdown started, the Board quickly reached out to the NSW Government to open a discussion on what the restrictions meant for the community.

While our communal institutions have come together to unite the community at home this year, one of the key ongoing discussions with authorities involves restrictions surrounding the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.

The Board has worked tirelessly since July, in conjunction with communal Rabbis and the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales, to lodge an application for an exemption from health orders, to allow for the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah in a COVID-safe manner. Our efforts will continue until a decision is made on the application by the NSW Government. Any reports to the contrary are completely untrue.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has only recently become aware of the email and acknowledges CSG’s correction of the record and apology and appreciates the hard work and dedication of the team at all levels of CSG.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies will continue to work right up until the last moment to allow the community to hear the Shofar over Rosh Hashanah.”

But this is not the end of the story with rabbis using WhatsUp to message: “Why can’t the Rabbinical Council of NSW hold its own independent discussion with the government?
Why do we always need to rely on those who are not sensitive to Halakha to represent the frum community?

With another rabbi messaging back: “The time has come for Orthodoxy to be represented by the Rabbonim. As a result of this email Rabbonim and the Beth Din with the help of some frum baalei batim have started our own direct negotiations with government. But for the future we must all unite in creating a form, Rabbinic representation to govt. We can’t expect people who do not believe like us to present our case with the passion and sincerity it deserves.”

A high-ranking of the community told J-Wire: ” It’s a formal letter to the government from the CSG saying that the Board of Deputies  is going to still tell the community that they’re agitating for this but we know that they really don’t want to.”

Rabbis had originally had requested JBOD to seek permission for the shofar-blowing.

More to come





2 Responses to “A community in furore”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    What is this “woke” term all about? I don’t understand what it means.

  2. michael Burd says:

    It is bad enough NSWJBD have taken on such a woke leftist ideology over the years and only catering for those jews with similar Woke Left views but this takes the cake getting CSG to backtrack and cover up for them , disgrace no better than JCCV !

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