NSW Board of Deputies to launch Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy   

March 14, 2018 by Community Editor
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Twenty organisations have come together to devise a suicide prevention strategy within the NSW Jewish community.

Julian Leeser

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15-44. Eight people take their own lives in Australia every day, while for every one of those deaths it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt to end their lives.

Julian Leeser MP will be one of three guest speakers at the launch of the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy (JSPS) at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies plenum next week. The initiative is supported by the JCA.

Mr Leeser, who is Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Suicide Prevention and has suffered a bereavement due to suicide, said: “Our tradition is a life-affirming tradition. G-d asks us to `choose life’, and this initiative will help people to make that choice. I am proud to launch the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy.”

The JSPS is a unique community-wide collaboration that brings community organisations, synagogues and Jewish schools together with suicide-prevention organisations in the broader community – the Black Dog Institute, the Eastern Suburbs Suicide Prevention Network and Suicide Prevention Australia.

Isabel Shapiro

The initiative was the brainchild of a JewishCare specialist in mental health, who invited Woollahra Councillor Isabelle Shapiro to chair the JSPS. Shapiro, a Deputy on the Board of Deputies and former vice-chair of the Eastern Suburbs Suicide Prevention Network, chairs Woollahra Council’s Community Safety Committee and initiated  the award-winning Gap Park Master Plan for suicide prevention. “It gives me great pride to see our community being proactive in reducing suicide rates and implementing a best-practice strategy that will be culturally-specific and age-specific,” she said. “The JSPS will  raise awareness and educate and empower individuals in the community to recognise the signs of people at-risk, what to say to them and where to refer them for help.”

To this end, JewishCare has employed a part-time Suicide Prevention Co-ordinator to assist its Manager of Mental Health & Wellbeing to implement the strategy.

Leeser and Shapiro will be joined by Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) Chair Matthew Tukaki, who said: “Suicide prevention is very personal to me. I am motivated by the resilience shown by the Australians I meet each day. Congratulations to the Board of Deputies for taking action to prevent suicide. It is pleasing to see the work of SPA organisations reflected in the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy’s approaches and activities. We can make a difference. Thank you for contributing to our collective effort to support more Australians to live.”

Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff said the organisation “is pleased to be a partner in this vital initiative and we look forward to working with our 19 partners to ensure the strategy is implemented successfully. We are grateful to the JCA for supporting this program.”


The Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy launch will be hosted by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies next Tuesday March 20 at 7:30pm in Darlinghurst. All welcome.


If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance, call 000 or Hatzolah on 9371 222 or the contacts below:  

24/7 Crisis Services

Lifeline 13 11 14

Jewish House 1300 544 357

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Support Services

JewishCare 1300 133 660

Mental Health Access Line 1800 011 511

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636


Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy partners:

Australian Zionist Youth Council

Black Dog Institute -Lifespan

Eastern Suburbs Suicide Prevention Network

Emanuel School

Emanuel Synagogue




Jewish House

Kesser Torah College

Masada College

Moriah College

National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NSW)

North Shore Temple Emanuel

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies

Our Big Kitchen

Rabbinical Council of NSW

Shalom College

Suicide Prevention Australia



One Response to “NSW Board of Deputies to launch Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy   ”
  1. Mary Anne Brifman says:


    For those that are depressed or struggling emotionally this article will be helpful and have a list of contact numbers for all ages to reach out.

    What a marvellous contribution to have a collective consciousness help in the helplessness, purposelessness and emotional pain and loneliness that increases depression.

    Our current Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) passionately proclaimed at the last debate with Bill Shorten MP when asked what his priority is and wittingly raised YOUTH SUICIDE.

    I have heard so little in the press about this since his announcement but many households in Australia are suffering with depression created from the enormous pressure of broken families, divorce or long term relationships that bore children and are given even less rights in outdated systems and the rise of Australian society and youth having illegal drugs so easily available to our youth.

    MP Tony Abbott supports our veterans cycling with returned soldiers to support these brave men and women returning to Australia and are effected by the terror and grief they have witnessed and trying to integrate not only successfully but usefully into modern, often indifferent or totally unaware of how much fighting on the battlefield and the silent culture war that has been increasing in Australia significantly especially in the last twenty years.

    We must not forget evil is a real force and unless goodness is taught and courage learnt to stand up against false words that poison unaware minds and seriously concerning is the increased attacks towards Jewish society, Christians and Orthodox Churches and schools are new targets.

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