Connections between Australia’s Jewish and Indigenous Communities

July 10, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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The connections between Jewish and Indigenous peoples in Australia are based on shared values  including the ethics of caring and sharing societies, a profound attachment to land, a commitment to education, spirituality and mysticism, storytelling traditions, and their histories of persecution and genocide, said Dr Anne Sarzin, in a Radio Australia interview that also focused on NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week.

Aloma Sagigi, Anne Sarzen and William Cooper descendants Michael McDonogh, Alf Hamilton and Barbara McDonogh

The interview, broadcast during Radio Australia’s Pacific Mornings program, focused on reconciliation, respectful relationships, and the book Hand in Hand: Jewish and Indigenous people working together, which Anne co-authored with her daughter, Lisa Miranda Sarzin. The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies commissioned and published the book.


Addressing the NAIDIOC theme of ‘Change—the next step is ours’, Anne said that the authors hoped that the stories in the book might provide a template for other communities and ethnicities to reach out their hands in friendship to the ‘other’, as was demonstrated in the benchmark deed of the late William Cooper, who led an Australian Aborigines League march in December 1938 in Melbourne to protest against the Nazi iniquities of Kristallnacht in Germany and Austria.

Last night, Dr Sarzin was the guest speaker at a NAIDOC event organised by Sydney’s North Shore Discussion Group. She explored the themes of reconciliation and respectful friendships between Jewish and Indigenous peoples.


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