Interfaith Shabbat

October 26, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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100 people representing a broad cross-section of cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds visited Sydney;s the Great Synagogue for Shabbat last week.

The Great Synagogue’s Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence shows the Torah to visitors of many faiths

An initiative of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the event was one of a series of three which the NSW Community Relations Commission has embraced under the rubric of “Respect, Understanding and Acceptance” and aimed at the young-adult demographic. The CRC funded the dinner through its Community Engagement Project.
The evening began with a guided tour of the synagogue, led by Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, followed by their attendance at a service and a catered dinner in the synagogue hall.
The guests included the presidents of the Australian Hellenic Council of NSW, the NSW Council of Indian Australians, the Federation of African Communities Councils, The Philippine Community Council of NSW and the Hindu Council of NSW, as well as officers of the Vietnamese Community Council of NSW, the Armenian National Council, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the Council of International Students and the Malaysian Students Council of Australia.
In addition, members of the Muslim, Buddhist, Christian and Jewish communities attended.
Welcoming the guests, Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff said: “Paramount in the work that we do at the Board of Deputies is relationship-building on behalf of the Jewish community with the wider community. The objective is to build bridges and advance understanding between the various sectors of our society. Doing so strengthens the notion of civil society, which has the effect of generating respect for each one of us – as individuals, as representatives of a faith, ethnic or cultural group, as Australians.”
He also extended “a special welcome to our great friend, Stepan Kerkyasharian, Chair and CEO of the NSW Community Relations Commission, who is not only a great ally of every community which falls under the umbrella body of multicultural NSW, but advances the cause of multiculturalism through his tireless advocacy and personal championing of this important principle.”


4 Responses to “Interfaith Shabbat”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    There is nothing wrong with educating others about Judaism and Jews. More knowledge and understanding of Jewish practices and life can only help in dismantling the dreadful stereotyping of Jews and the incorrect assumptions and accusations handed down through generations in communities that are not Jewish.
    This kind of gathering is not a threat. It’s ignorance and the fear that engenders that makes for threat. One has to choose with singularity and accuracy who to attack on behalf of the Jewish world, not brand everybody as enemy – not even all the ‘Left’ are the enemy.

  2. pam says:

    I’m all for “Respect, Understanding and Acceptance” .

    But I do draw the line at doing ‘interfaith’ with any belief system which demonises Israel via
    the BDS campaign and Israel Apartheid Week. and whose teachings urge followers to kill Jews.

    Other than that, a great initiative!

  3. michael says:

    Embarrassing making fools of themselves , its obvious these people have too much time on their hands .

    • Shirlee. says:

      It’s all about the ‘Left’. That’s why people don’t join the B of Deps.

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