Jewish Muslim comedy debate

March 22, 2017 by David Marlow
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During Cultural Diversity Week, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) teamed up together to host the 2017 Jewish – Muslim Comedy Debate with the topic ‘North of the Yarra is Better than South of the Yarra.’ 

Rana Hussain, Louise Baring and Justine Sless

This was the second time the event has been held, following on from the inaugural Jewish – Muslim Comedy Debate in 2013.

A capacity crowd of over 280 people witnessed a ferociously funny debate in the Swanston Hall at the Melbourne Town Hall with Father Bob Maguire as Moderator.  panelists for the South featured Mo Elleissy, Steve ‘Bedders’ Bedwell and Michael Shafar.  The panelists for the North, and ultimately the winning team by popular acclamation, were Justine Sless, Rana Hussain and Louise Baring.

ICV General Manager Ayman Islam said: “By creating open dialogue and doing positive works together, we aim to prove that we can build and maintain inter-community harmony and demonstrate Victorian multiculturalism in practice with a smile. Most importantly we had a lot of fun together.”

JCCV Executive Director David Marlow added:“We demonstrated that Jews and Muslims can work together, with a smile  and in good faith.  We believe that we have more in common than areas of difference, with our Abrahamic faiths, love of family and experience of immigration to Australia.  The aim of the event was to break down stereotypes and demonstrate that our communities can work together, harmoniously and in good will, building trust and friendships.”

JCCV President Jennifer Huppert thanked the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne for their support of the event.  The Comedy Debate also raised $3700 for the Bourke Street Fund through ticket sales and a silent auction.

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