First signs of Chanukah

November 13, 2019 by Henry Benjamin
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NSW Liberal MP Gabrielle Upton has MC’d this year’s Chanukah event in the NSW Parliament building.


Both Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Leader of the Opposition Jodi McKay attended the event with leaders of many other faiths, parliamentarians and members of the Jewish community.

Rabbi Nochum Schapira and Rabbi Eli Feldman

Gabrielle Upton

Newtown Synagogue’s Rabbi Eli Feldman and Rabbi Nochum Schapira from Chabad North Shore lit the Shammas for the menorah following the invocation prayer recited be The Great Synagogue’s Rabbi Ben Elton.

Premier Gladys Berejikilian said: “We respect and celebrate the resilience of the Jewish people and as Premier of New South Wales can I also say how proud I am of the contribution the Jewish people have made to the strength of New South Wales.”

She thanked all those attending not of the Jewish faith of how they go through difficult times and also celebrate each other’s happier occasions. She added: ” As we light the Menorah together, we celebrate all those positive attributes and I am pleased to be here.”

Premier Gladys Berejekilian

Leader of the Opposition Jodi McKay acknowledged the work Vic Alhadeff has done as CEO of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, as well as president Lesli Berger, thanked them for organising the event.

She said that she had been at the first event in 2009. She said Chanukah brings a universal message and she talked about “the importance of our diversity”. She added: “Can I also pay my respects to the Jewish community. At a time when we always vigilant about racism and antisemitism. Today we have to reaffirm our support for the Jewish community. We will always be here to support you.”

Gabrielle Upton invited eight members of the community to light the Menorah.

Jody McKay

The North Shore Synagogue’s chazan Zvi Teichtahl sang Maoz Tzur.

President of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Lesli Berger thanked Multicultural NSW for sponsoring the event. He asked: “How many places in the world could cultural groups celebrate there special days in Parliament House?”

He said that this is for him personally a Chanukah miracle.

He announced that during the full month of February, the NSW Parliament will host an exhibition named “Beyond Duty”, honouring Righteous diplomats. He said: “The exhibition will feature 34 diplomats from various countries who risked their lives to save Jewish people during the Holocaust.”

Gabrielle Upton and Lesli Berger


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