The senior leadership of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) visited NSW Parliament on Monday morning.
WUPJ chair Carole Sterling and president Rabbi Sergio Bergman were brought to Parliament by Asia-Pacific UPJ co-President David Knoll and hosted by former NSW Labor frontbencher Walt Secord, who is also the deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel.
Secord also attends the Emanuel Synagogue with his wife, Julia, and is a member of the Progressive Judaism movement. Over the weekend, he spoke at the opening night of the UPJ conference in Sydney.
Sterling and Rabbi Bergman were in Sydney for the conference.
They also met with NSW deputy Labor leader in the NSW Legislative Council Penny Sharpe, who is Labor’s spokesperson on the environment. In a separate meeting with Sharpe, they discussed the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Unfortunately, they were unable to meet with senior Coalition members due to COVID.
Though Parliament is not in session due to the forthcoming March 2023 state election, Secord took Sterling and Rabbi Bergman onto the floor of the Upper House. Sterling was given the honour of sitting in the NSW Legislative Council president’s chair.
Rabbi Bergman leads the international network of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist Jewish movements, which serves 1.2 million Jews worldwide, in more than 1250 congregations across more than 50 countries. He was also Argentina’s minister for the environment and sustainability, and led the Argentinian delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Summit.