Labor leader meets the NSW Jewish community

July 8, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Within nine days of being elected, NSW Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Jodi McKay has formally met with the NSW Jewish communal leadership.

Walt Secord, David Ossip, Jodi McKay, Isabelle Shapiro and Vic Alhadeff

Ms McKay met with NSW Jewish Board of Deputies vice-president and acting president Isabelle Shapiro; Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff;  and Board executive member, David Ossip. She was also joined by NSW Shadow Treasurer and NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair Walt Secord.

At the meeting, the Board of Deputies also issued a formal invitation to Ms McKay to address the Board plenum in 2020 and participate in the annual Chanukah lighting ceremony at State Parliament later this year.

Among the matters discussed were Jewish communal security; the recent increase in antisemitic activity; the need for more cemetery space; anti-racism measures in NSW; and Jewish community support for the victims of the recent Christchurch mosque terrorist attack.

“I look forward to working with the Jewish community and other community groups to combat racism and intolerance in all forms,” Ms McKay said.

“The NSW Jewish community has been at the forefront of the fight to combat intolerance and discrimination from LGBTIQ communities to anti-racial vilification laws as well as awareness of the Holocaust.”

“My own community – the electorate of Strathfield – has a wide range of community groups including Korean, Chinese and Maronite Christian communities – so I understand the importance of putting mutual understanding and recognition of our diverse society at the heart of decision-making.”

Mr Secord described the meeting as “warm and friendly” and said he hoped it was the start of a strong two-way relationship.

Last week, Ms McKay acknowledged the contribution of the NSW Jewish community to building a tolerant and cohesive multicultural and multi-faith society.

She also described the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the official roof-body for the NSW Jewish community as an organisation respected for its inter-faith and inter-communal activity.

One of the first steps by Ms McKay was to assume the responsibility of Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism.

“One of my first priorities as newly elected Labor leader was to put multiculturalism at the centre of my administration.” Ms McKay said.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies acting President Isabelle Shapiro commented: “We greatly appreciate the fact that Ms McKay met with the community leadership so early in her tenure as leader of the opposition. Our meeting was exceptionally warm and positive, and we discussed a range of matters which are of concern to the community. We also acknowledged the constructive role that NSW Labor played in both the legislative reform which happened last year and support for funding the community’s security needs.
“We look forward to building on today’s meeting and working closely with Ms McKay, going forward.”



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