Surprise for Vic

April 28, 2021 by Henry Benjamin
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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian addressed 330 guests at the NSW Board of Deputies Yom Ha’azmaut cocktail party and followed her message on Israel’s 73rd birthday with a surprise presentation to CEO Vic Alhadeff.

NSWJBD President Lesli Berger, Ambassador Jonathan Peled, Vic Alhadeff, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, ZFA President Jeremy Liebler, ECAJ President Jill Segal, and ZCNSW President Rodney Naumburger                         Photo: Giselle Haber

In her speech, the Premier said: “Whilst Israel continues to thrive as a nation we cannot deny that the threats to safety and security are ongoing.

Whilst tonight is an evening of celebration, it must also be an evening to renew our vigilance against anti-semitism and injustice.

During my Premiership, I have had the honour of meeting with both the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Rivlin.”

Vic Alhadeff and Premier Gladys Berejiklian             Photo: Giselle Haber

After toasting Israel and its people, Gladys Berejeklian surprised the guests by saying “In 2004 one Vic Alhadeff took on the role as the CEO of the Jewish Board of Deputies.  I understand that tonight is his last official function in that role.  His advocacy, vigilance and persistence over almost 17 years have been truly outstanding.

As a colleague and friend of long-standing, I can also attest to his contribution to the harmonious multicultural society we enjoy in NSW.  His work in strengthening interfaith ties and at times dealing with very difficult and sensitive issues has endeared him to the broader community.

I, therefore, take great pleasure and pride in presenting him with an award on behalf of the people of NSW.”

After being caught on the hop, Alhadeff told J-Wire: “I was overwhelmed, honoured and completely caught unawares. The Jewish community is blessed to live in a country where we enjoy the great friendships that we do with the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition, politicians on all sides and the many leaders of civil society who honoured us with their presence.”

The keynote speakers at the event held at The Four Seasons were the Premier and acting Israel’s Ambassador Jonathan Peled, with Board president Lesli Berger opening and Zionist Council of NSW president Rodney Naumburger closing.

Vic Alhadeff’s award   Photo: Giselle Haber

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