Governor and Mrs Hurley attend farewell dinner at The Great Synagogue

April 9, 2019 by J-Wire
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The Great Synagogue hosted a farewell dinner for the Governor of New South Wales and Mrs Linda Hurley this week, with many of the leaders of the Jewish community in attendance.

Governor David Hurley [centre front]

Governor Hurley will take up his new position as Governor-General in June.

Justice Stephen Rothman, President of The Great Synagogue, welcomed the Governor and his wife, and remarked on the special times they have attended Jewish communal functions, including the 2015 ANZAC Centenary Service and The Great Synagogue’s one hundred and fortieth anniversary service in 2018. 

Rabbi Elton proposed the toast to the Governor and Mrs Hurley. He said:

“I offer the Governor and Mrs Hurley the highest compliment. They would make an outstanding Rabbi and Rebbitzen. They are people of profound faith, who do not just meditate on their beliefs, but actualise them through acts of goodness and kindness.

“They are very hospitable, opening their home very frequently to good causes, individuals that deserve recognition and visitors to the State.

“They are very busy, always out and about, in Sydney and around the State, on a constant round of engagements. When they were here for our anniversary last year, I know they inserted our event into to an already full schedule, while others might have politely declined.”

Rabbi Elton concluded by saying:

“Jews around the world are now only a couple of weeks away from Passover. Saturday is the final Sabbath before the onset of the Festival, when we will read from the Book of Malachi. It gives a vision of the coming of Elijah the Prophet and the onset of the Messianic Era:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awe inspiring day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.

“That is at the core of the Messianic vision: a society reconciled with itself, in peace, living in unity. That is the goal of all nations, all communities and all clusters of communities such as ours. Promoting that, is the ultimate role and responsibility of the Governor of each State and of the Governor-General of the entire Commonwealth.

“We know that the Governor and Mrs Hurley will carry out that task with high distinction, they go to Canberra with our blessings and best wishes and it is with great pleasure that we know that we are not losing a Governor, but gaining a Governor-General.”

The Governor responded with great warmth, paying tribute to the contribution of the Jewish community to New South Wales. He spoke fondly of the time he has spent with Jewish communal organisations. He revealed that he is attending only four farewell events, from the State Government, State Parliament, Diplomatic Corps and the Jewish community. The honour he paid to the Jewish community was not lost on those at the event.

Lesli Berger, President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, concluded the evening with a vote of thanks, remarking on the faith, public service and dedication of the Governor and Mrs Hurley. He pointed out how rare it must be for a Jewish community anywhere in the world to host the Head of State in such a way. He thanked them for their service and wished them the best for their new role o behalf of the entire Jewish community. 

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