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Message of the President of Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Nina Bassat AM for the New Year 5775

Message of the President of Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Nina Bassat AM for the New Year 5775

18 September 2014

The recent months have been fraught with difficulty for Israel and indeed for the Jewish world. Israel has had to contend during the months of July and August with an unprecedented threat against the safety of its civilian population and with an unprecedented attack by the world's media. The Diaspora, including in Australia, has had to contend with antisemitism and security threats at a level not seen for many years.

For some in our community, this has been their first experience of anti-Israel virulence and of overt antisemitism on their home ground. This has been unsettling and distressing for the younger members of our community and for their parents. For others, mainly the Shoah survivors and their children, it has been like the 1930’s revisited.

But we are a strong people, an enduring people. And whilst the anti-Israel sentiment and the rampant antisemitism in Europe and to a less physical extent elsewhere has had an impact, raising concerns and necessitating heightened security levels, we continue our daily lives and we continue our lives as Jews, undaunted.

We are a strong community, on the whole a united community, and above all, a resilient community. Let us draw on that strength, let us draw on that unity and let us draw on that resilience and usher in the New Year with a determination to do all that we can to make it a better year, all that we can to be advocates for peace and for civility in our society.

We are about to commence the year 5775. There is symmetry in this number, and there is also symbolism. Five is the number of protection; seven is one of the most powerful numbers in Judaism, representing Creation, good fortune, and blessing and appearing again and again in many contexts.

May this coming year indeed be a year of symmetry, of harmony and proportion; a year of blessing and protection, a year of contentment and above all, a year of peace.

שנה טובה ומתוקה

Nina Bassat AM
President, Jewish Community Council of Victoria

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