Getting to know you

March 14, 2014 by David Marlow
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and David Southwick, State Victorian Member for Caulfield have hosted a Jewish Familiarisation Day.


Victorian State and local Politicians visiting the Jewish Holocaust Centre as part of the JCCV Politicians’ Jewish Familiarisation Day

Victorian State and local Politicians visiting the Jewish Holocaust Centre as part of the JCCV Politicians’ Jewish Familiarisation Day

This opportunity was extended to Victorian State MPs and Local Government Councillors.

“I feel it’s really important to give my colleagues the opportunity to have a greater understanding of the Jewish culture, and the contributions which our Jewish institutions and community groups make,” Mr Southwick said.

“This is a great initiative to give a cross party group of MPs an even better understanding of issues facing Melbourne’s Jewish community,” Member for Southern Metropolitan John Lenders MLC added.

Those who attended included: Andrew Elsbury MLC, Andrew McIntosh MP, John Lenders MLC, Sue Pennicuik MLC, Elizabeth Miller MP; in addition to Glen Eira Mayor Neil Pilling and Councillor Jamie Hyams.

JCCV President Nina Bassat AM and Executive Director David Marlow, in addition to representatives from the Zionist Council of Victoria and the Community Security Group all guided MPs through the day.

The Mayor of Glen Eira, Neil Pilling added how impressed he was by familiarisation day and in particular the work of the JCCV.

“It was great to view such wonderful facilities like the Beth Weizmann Centre that serve our local Jewish community so well here in Glen Eira and to personally meet many of the staff who help deliver these services” Cr Pilling said.

The day saw the politicians visit Jewish Care, the Jewish Museum of Australia, Temple Beth Israel, the Jewish Holocaust Centre, the Beth Weizmann Community Centre, and the Lamm Jewish Library.

Andrew Elsbury MLC, who represents the Western Metropolitan region of Victoria, was particularly moved by his visit to the Holocaust Centre.

“Hearing a holocaust survivor sharing firsthand the atrocities faced by the Jewish people was deeply moving” Mr Elsbury said.

“Through hearing their story in which they remember their loved ones lost, history stops being distant and is realised in the person standing with you.”

Nina Bassat said “We greatly appreciate that politicians and Council members were prepared to give up so much of their very busy day to enhance their understanding of the Jewish community. We also appreciate the time and energy devoted by the hosting organisations, which ensured that our visitors received a sound briefing on many aspects of our communal life.”

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