Special Religious Education Celebration at the NSW Parliament

November 16, 2016 by Sophie Deutsch
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The 2017 Special Religious Education event celebrating the potential for religious teaching to unite, rather than divide, communities within NSW was addressed by the CEO of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.Opening the evening, the Master of Ceremonies, Rob Neil, shared a sentimental remark made by an attendee: “It’s just like heaven here. We are all in the same room, all the different faiths, religions and there is no bickering.”

Vic Alhadeff  Photo: Sophie Deutsch

Vic Alhadeff Photo: Sophie Deutsch

The importance of building tolerance and celebrating diversity in schools, through SRE and other measures, was emphasised by Vic Alhadeff, CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

Mr Alhadeff recalled the experience of a student at Masada College, who, on her walk home from school, was abused with racist remarks from students at a nearby school. Mr Alhadeff stated, “instead of punishing the offending students, it would be far more productive if a cohort of students from the Jewish school spent a day together with a cohort from the offending school”.

From there, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies program, ‘Respect, Understanding, Acceptance’, was born. The initiative celebrates diversity by bringing together students of different religions to foster greater understanding of various faiths, religious positions, and cultures.

Alhadeff comments, “such proactive measures hold an important key to the future of our society, as a peaceful blending of the 200 faiths and cultures which comprise this greatest of countries.”

The NSW Government and the opposition are proud supporters of SRE. Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, spoke of the values we want our children to espouse. “Those great ethics of faith around love and kindness,” said Minister Piccoli. “We don’t want to just send out children to be people who fill factories or fill offices in towers in the CBD. We do, as a civil society, want more than that.”

SRE helps to shape the beliefs of young people, promoting diversity, acceptance and understanding of the other.

Minister Piccoli expressed his great appreciation for SRE teachers and the valuable contributions they continue to make in school communities.



One Response to “Special Religious Education Celebration at the NSW Parliament”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Why is it then that it’s everyone else who has to show love, kindness, respect, understanding, acceptance of religious and cultural position, diversity and tolerance except Muslims? Please answer that one Vic.

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