Vic Alhadeff honoured in NSW parliament

November 11, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay has hosted a morning tea at State Parliament House with Labor Party shadow ministers and MPs to honour NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff, who has announced his resignation.

Sophie Cotsis MP, Walt Secord MLC, Opposition Leader Jodi McKay, Ron Hoenig MP, Jo Haylen MP, Vic Alhadeff, Penny Sharpe MLC, Hugh McDermott MP, Jihad Dib MP

McKay spoke movingly about her longstanding friendship with Alhadeff and the strong and mutual respect she had experienced when engaging with him on various issues. He always understood our perspective when presenting the Jewish community’s case, she added.

Shadow Minister Jihad Dib, who is Muslim, cited numerous instances when he and Alhadeff publicly spoke up for each other when the other’s faith group had been denigrated. “I shall never forget Vic’s friendship, particularly during some particularly tough times,” he said, also referencing the crowdfunding campaign which Alhadeff organised for the Christchurch Muslim community after the 2019 massacre at two mosques. Pointing to the campaign to outlaw incitement to violence which Alhadeff led, Dib said the remarkable feature of the many speeches during the parliamentary debate on the issue was the many MPs who emphasised their relationship with Alhadeff as a key aspect of the campaign. “On behalf of the Muslim community, I thank you,” he said. Dib is Shadow Minister for Skills and TAFE, Youth and Juvenile Justice and Assisting Minister on Multiculturalism.

Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord MLC reflected on the 30 years in which he and Alhadeff had been colleagues, dating back to their respective careers at the Australian Jewish News three decades ago. “Vic always surprised me,” he said, “not least when he campaigned for Jewish gay rights during the Mardi Gras in 2000.”

Thanking McKay, Secord and the Labor MPs for honouring him, Alhadeff acknowledged “your friendship – to me and to the Jewish community, and your unswerving support. It is the nature of politics that there are challenges along the way, but at the end of the day the ALP and the Jewish community share the identical ideal – to do what we can to strengthen this greatest of countries in terms of social cohesion, social inclusion, respect for diversity and the concept that we are all Australians sharing one small planet.”

Board of Deputies president Lesli Berger, vice-presidents David Ossip and Nathalie Samia, past president Yair Miller and Treasurer Sam Zweig attended the function. Alhadeff has entered into a phased-withdrawal arrangement with the Board of Deputies over several months in order to give the organisation time to recruit and embed a new CEO.

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