A farewell to Vic

May 4, 2021 by Henry Benjamin
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Vic Alhadeff is leaving the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies of which he has been the CEO for 16 years.

Vic Alhadeff and Stephen Rothman            Photo: Giselle Haber

The Board hosted a function at the Sydney Jewish Museum attended by community leaders, a raft of politicians and others in public life.

In introducing Vic Alhadeff, Justice Stephen Rothman said that he had led the team which appointed Vic to the CEO position following a long run as editor of the Australian Jewish News.

He pointed out that some members of the Zionist movement and some rabbis were “critical of his appointment but now they take the credit for it”.

Stephen Rothman addresses the farewell event   Photo: Giselle Haber

Stephen Rothman said that Vic is a product of his environment.

He continued: “Vic’s courage and support for the reconciliation were moving and inspiring. His championing of the Kosovo refugees was heartwarming and principled. But his courage in supporting Dayenu’s Jewish Mardi Gras float was controversial and empowering. He was criticised. When Dayenu announced they were participating in the Mardi Gras there howls of derision from some quarters. As editor of the AJN, Vic supported Dayenu’s right to have front-page articles.”

Vic’s involvement in supporting Sydney gay Jewish community empowered them to discuss their sexuality with their parents and communal colleagues. For his efforts, Vic Alhadeff received recognition and an award for the support given to the gay community from a non-related publication.

Stephen Rothman was the president of the JBD between 2000 and 2004. He said that this period showed up the deficiencies in the Jewish community. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry had no full-time staff and the JBD was the only representative body with any resources.

He explained that at that time there were limitations for the Board’s leadership and it became obvious that a CEO be appointed.

Vic was chosen for  “his history and his knowledge of the community and his spokesman capacity.”

“He is so well-liked by both sides of politic, The receptionist at the NSW State Parliament remarked to me that Vic was at the parliament more often than most MPs. That was Vic. Building up relationships with political leaders, with other communities and representing our views.”

Vic’s address was the timeline of his professional career and family history. He thanked his staff at Board and his family for their support.

J-Wire spotted many community figures at the function including the president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Jillian Segal. Among the politicians attending were Federal MP Julian Lesser,  MLC and Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord, State Labor leader Jodi McKay and State MPs Gabrielle Upton, Jonathan O’Dea and Ron Hoenig.

Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire that Jodi McKay is currently campaigning for the upcoming by-election fir Upper Hunter currently held by the Nationals.

“She left campaigning to return to Sydney for this function,” a proud Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire.

The next day, was back to work for Vic Alhadeff dealing with a small auction house in Paddington putting up for sale Nazi memorabilia.

Vic Alhadeff told The Australian: “The display and sale of Nazi items is hurtful and offensive to all well-meaning Australians, given that 27,000 Australian soldiers lost their lives fighting that regime, while six million Jews were murdered by that same ­regime.

That said, the Nazi artefacts comprise a small fraction of the memorabilia on sale at this ­location, and as long as they are not being promoted or glorified, they comprise a key part of our history which we forget at our peril.”

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