Now a Liberal tribute to Vic Alhadeff

November 13, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Following a glowing tribute from Labor leader Jodi McKay, Liberal member Natalie Ward has told the NSW parliament the community will lose a valued member when retiring CEO Vic Alhadeff leaves The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.

Ben Ezzes (Educator), Natalie Ward MLC (Chair, NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel), Peter Wertheim (co-CEO, ECAJ), Vic Alhadeff (CEO, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies), Sarah Mitchell MP (NSW Minister for Education), Murray Norman (Christian SRE)

Natalie Ward said: “There will be truly big shoes to fill when Vic Alhadeff leaves the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. After serving as the CEO for 16 years, on 22 October 2020 Mr Alhadeff announced his retirement.

Vic always sets a fast pace. Three years ago to the day was the day of my first pre-selection to enter this place and as a newly minted member of Parliament in 2017, Vic was the very first official visitor who requested a meeting with me—he was right in there. I was proud and excited to meet with him.

His reputation preceded him that first day; he was impressive, charming and forthright. He has been consistently passionate in his work every day since.

I was humbled to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor and become the chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel. At Vic’s kind instigation, the Parliament of New South Wales was able to host the righteous Among the Nations exhibition in the New South Wales Parliament House foyer in 2019. His work on that event was incredible. The exhibition included the story of his own family’s experience during the Shoah and I thank him for bringing to the New South Wales Parliament those incredible stories of bravery and human kindness by those people who took risks with their own lives to save people during the Holocaust.

Under the generosity of Vic and the Jewish Board of Deputies, a parliamentary delegation of MPs was privileged to have undertaken a mission to Israel in January 2020, just before the pandemic. It was such a privilege. I will forever be indebted to the Jewish Board of Deputies for the incredible experience we all enjoyed. Standing at the Western Wall and seeing the Yad Vashem with my own eyes was truly life-changing. It was a gift of education and experience I will never forget.

Most importantly, I have been privileged to have worked closely with Vic to call out anti-Semitism and hate speech. It was an honour to stand in this Chamber and vote to support the changes to section 20D of the Anti‑Discrimination Act to criminalise incitement to violence. This is the culmination of years of tireless advocacy and work by Vic. We can all be very proud of his achievements, especially as spokesperson for the Keep NSW Safe Coalition. At each and every opportunity Vic serves and protects our beloved Jewish community with all his heart. Prior to his work at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies he was well-known as the editor of the Australian Jewish News, working at that newspaper for 18 years.

I have been so humbled to have had the opportunity to walk beside him. As chair of and on behalf of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel, I thank Mr Vic Alhadeff for his service. I sincerely hope that he enjoys more time with Nadene and his beloved grandchildren, more running, more swimming and more watching his beloved rugby. Hopefully, he might even improve on his cooking. I understand that last time he worked on his cooking some fire engines arrived at his home. I look forward to continuing our work with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the new CEO, but will always look to Vic for his sage advice, guidance and friendship. Best wishes, Vic Alhadeff.

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