Rosh HaShanah in the NSW Parliament

September 18, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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On the NSW Parliament’s last sitting day before Rosh Hashanah, NSW Shadow Treasurer and NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair Walt Secord sent out a message of goodwill to the Jewish community – as NSW Jewry worships in a COVID world.

Julia Levitina and Walt Secord

The Rosh Hashanah message occurred during yesterday’s debate on unemployment data after Question Time in the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council.

Mr Secord told the State Parliament that Friday September 18 marked the beginning of the Jewish high holy days.

“These are a very unusual times,” Mr Secord said.

Mr Secord made the comments in the context that he was reflecting on the Jewish community marking Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with strict social distancing in a COVID world.

Mr Secord told State Parliament that the NSW Jewish community had marked Rosh Hashanah in homes and in synagogues across the State for more than 175 years, however, this year’s activities would need to be marked in a “very different way” with families connected online rather than in person.

He also said Progressive Judaism services would be conducted by Facebook live or Zoom; or they will be pre-recorded and relayed for the Masorti movement and in Orthodox synagogues services will be conducted in staggered services.

“I am sure that Jewish families will find themselves connected to celebrate in a COVID-safe environment as we mark the high holidays.

“I wish everyone in the Jewish community, Shana Tova. May we have a sweet and good year ahead.”

“We can get through this together,” Mr Secord added.

Outside NSW Parliament, Mr Secord said he felt it was important to remind legislators that the Jewish community is marking its high holidays in a COVID-context.

Mr Secord and his fiancé, Julia Levitina are members of the Emanuel Synagogue.

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