Among those keen to get to know our community better were Liberal leader John Pesutto, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll and Speaker Maree Edwards. There were also many new faces, including recently elected Labor MPs Matthew Hilakari, Daniela De Martino, Belinda Wilson, Kathleen Matthews-Ward, Michael Galea and Ella George, and recently elected Liberal MPs Trung Luu, Jess Wilson and Moira Deeming.
The event was opened by Paul Hamer MP and David Southwick MP, co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel. Jewish Care’s Rabbi Ralph Genende, senior educator Jenny Better and JCCV’s Naomi Levin explored the diversity of our community, the key tenants of Jewish faith and values and the importance of accurate data in addressing antisemitism. Daniel Aghion KC, President of the JCCV, closed the event.
“One of the JCCV’s key objectives is to advocate for our Jewish community,” Aghion said. “To effectively do this, we need to help our political representatives better understand our community’s diversity, strengths and challenges.”
“As we countdown to Rosh Hashanah, this event was a special opportunity for MPs to ask questions, build relationships with our community’s peak body, the JCCV, and even hear the shofar.”
“We appreciate the time and commitment from all MPs who attended during a busy sitting week in Victorian Parliament. Earlier in the day, these MPs had sat in Parliament as Minister for Police and Crime Prevention Anthony Carbines introduced new laws to ban the Nazi salute in Victoria.
“The Victorian Government and Opposition have demonstrated that they acknowledge and take seriously antisemitism in our state and are prepared to act to protect members of the community from vilification and intimidation. The JCCV looks forward to continuing to work closely with Victorian MPs to address challenges our Jewish community faces.”