NSW state election candidates for the seats of North Shore and Willoughby shed light on their commitments to meeting the ongoing security needs of the area’s Jewish communal institutions at a forum on Monday night at North Shore Temple Emanuel.
Liberal MP for Willoughby Tim James said, “It is the responsibility of government, working with community, to ensure that people can go about their lives with all due safety – this should be above politics, and I think it is.”
Addressing antisemitism through education is also important, he said, adding after he visited the Sydney Jewish Museum, he “wrote a letter to the principals of 19 schools in the electorate, to encourage their staff and students to visit it”.
Labor candidate for Willoughby, Sarah Griffin, said, “I’m committed to a successful, multicultural, multi-faith society, because it’s enriching to all of us,” adding she “fully supports” taking a bipartisan approach “to make sure funds are available for [communal] security”.
Recently announced independent candidate for Willoughby, Larissa Penn, could not attend.
North Shore Liberal MP Felicity Wilson, who visited Israel in 2016, said she understands the risks the Jewish community faces, and was pleased to work with Cremorne Synagogue “to get some funding for their security upgrade”.
North Sydney deputy mayor and Labor candidate for North Shore, Godfrey Santer, and independent candidate for North Shore, Helen Conway, both committed to supporting policy and funding decisions that ensure all can practise their faith safely, and to tackle discrimination based on religion, wherever it occurs.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark said, “We hope you [the audience] got a lot out of this forum, and it helps inform your decision-making.”
The forum was the first in an ongoing series hosted by JBD, supported by JCA and The AJN.
For more information about the series, visit nswjbd.org/events
Tim James and Sarah Griffin.
Photo: Shane Desiatnik