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Chanukah at Malvern Central

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Chanukah at Malvern Central

26 November 2009

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has been instrumental in ensuring that a Menorah (ceremonial candelabra) will be prominently displayed at Malvern Central Shopping Centre during Chanukah, the Festival of Lights.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has been instrumental in ensuring that a Menorah (ceremonial candelabra) will be prominently displayed at Malvern Central Shopping Centre during Chanukah, the Festival of Lights.

Following an initial rejection by Centre management, Rabbi Reuvi Cooper from Chabad House of Malvern asked the JCCV for its assistance. With the support of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), JCCV executive director Geoffrey Zygier discussed the matter with senior personnel from Jones Lang LaSalle, which manages Malvern Central.

Zygier advised them that the public lighting of a Menorah during the eight days of Chanukah is a symbolic reconfirmation of faith and hope and a universal message of religious freedom and the unity of all religions. As such it embodies the Victorian Government’s longstanding commitment to cultural diversity. This message was subsequently reinforced by Stephen Dimopoulos, the VMC’s Manager of Strategic Policy & Projects.

In their conversation Zygier further noted that many members of the Jewish community from surrounding suburbs are loyal patrons of Malvern Central. Both they and non‐Jewish shoppers would greatly enjoy an experience unique, yet very appropriate, to the holiday season, with obvious benefits for the Centre.

It was finally pointed out that Malvern Central had already put in place a range of Christmas decorations, including numerous Christmas trees, and that it would not be in the spirit of the Victorian Government’s policy of multiculturalism to deny Malvern Chabad’s request.

In light of these issues, Jones Lang LaSalle was happy to reconsider its decision, thus ensuring a Happy Chanukah at Malvern Central. Zygier noted, “This result is a win‐win for all parties and a powerful affirmation of multiculturalism and religious freedom in Victoria.”

The JCCV will also hold its own ‘Chanukah in the City’ celebration commencing at 4.30pm on Thursday 17th December in Federation Centre.

For further information call Geoffrey Zygier on 03 9272 5579

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