The Governor-General goes to shul

December 8, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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The Queen’s Australian representative Governor-General, His Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove, together with Lady Cosgrove have attended a Shabbat service at Sydney’s Great Synagogue.

Lady and Sir Peter Cosgrove

Lady and Sir Peter Cosgrove

A spokesperson for the synagogue said: “Their Excellencies had wanted to visit for some time and the Synagogue was honoured to welcome them to the Shabbat service.”

The Chief Minister, Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton, met Their Excellencies at the iconic gates of The Great Synagogue. The Governor General sat with Mr Wesley Browne, an old friend, who had invited him to the Synagogue. Lady Cosgrove sat with Mrs Sari Browne and Hinda Young, wife of the Chief Minister.

The Governor-General’s visit coincided with hundreds of people present for an aufruf  when a groom is honoured before his wedding. The Governor-General, congregants and visitors the warmth of the atmosphere, the beauty of the service and quality of the singing by Cantor Joshua Weinberger and choir. It was a great showcase for the visit of our nation’s leading citizen.

Following the service congregants were given the unique opportunity to attend a Kiddush with Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove and they both spent quite some time engaging with those who attended.

Manchester-born Rabbi Elton said: “For decades The Great Synagogue has welcomed the leaders of the nation. We were honoured to do so again. We understand the significance of this visit as a sign of respect for the Jewish community. It has also highlighted the good relations between the different faith groups in Australia. This was a semi private visit, and we hope he will return soon in a full and official capacity.”

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