MORE than 220 members of Canberra’s Jewish community, including around 80 politicians and their staffers, converged on the Mural Hall in Parliament House on Tuesday (November 29) to light an historic chanukiah.
With Melbourne Ports MP Michael Danby and NSW MP for Berowra Julian Leeser as MCs, Victorian MP Kelly O’Dwyer and deputy ALP leader Tanya Plibersek respectively conveyed Chanukah wishes from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition leader Bill Shorten.
On a chanukiah given by the Jewish community and the Israeli government to former PM John Howard, candles were lit by MPs O’Dwyer, Plibersek, Danby, Leeser, Josh Frydenberg, Mark Dreyfus, Mike Freelander and Stirling Griff, with Israeli minister Tzachi Hanegbi lighting the shamash.
Rabbinic Council of Australia, New Zealand (RCANZ) president Rabbi Yaakov Glasman told The AJN that “it was incredibly moving to participate in a Jewish event in the corridors of power of our wonderful country”. Rabbi Alon Meltzer of the ACT Jewish Community described it as “something that we as Jewish Australians should never take for granted”.