Members of the Jewish and Hindu communities recently came together to celebrate Chanukah and Deepavali, a celebration of light after lockdown.
A partnership between the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) and the Hindu Council of Australia, the night was also an occasion to mark the communities’ history of collaboration and goodwill.
With more than 70 people in attendance including many Jews of Indian descent, guests were treated to an exhibition of watercolours of Indian synagogues, Indian dancing and Jewish music, as well as the lighting of the Chanukiah and Deepavali lamps.
JBOD president Lesli Berger said, “The relationship between us is a very special one. It is believed that the Jewish presence in India dates back to the time of King Solomon, almost a thousand years BCE. And India is one of perhaps only two countries in the world where Jews have lived in harmony through the ages, without any official or even unofficial antisemitism.”
The event took place amid work by both communities on the bill to ban the Nazi swastika in NSW. JBOD and the Hindu Council have lodged a joint submission in support of the proposal.