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JCCV Connects the Jewish Indian Community

JCCV Connects the Jewish Indian Community

12 September 2011

Melbourne’s small and vibrant Jewish Indian community came together for the first time on Sunday to connect with key Jewish organisations in an initiative organised by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV).

Upon learning in early 2011 of more than 80 Indian Jews living across Melbourne, JCCV reached out to learn more about the community and their needs, and found a group of people looking to engage their youth, young adults and seniors to Jewish life and activity.

JCCV President John Searle met Nathan Elijah and Solomon Erulkar, the unofficial spokesmen of the Indian community, in March 2011 and together they agreed to informal introductions to education, sports, aged care, youth, young adults and women’s groups, as well as a possible Indian-Australian cricket match/BBQ during summer.

In a statement released today, Searle said: “It was wonderful to see Beth Weizmann buzzing with children of all ages, their parents and grandparents and so many people interested in age-specific Jewish activities that will enrich and link them into a community with which many have had little or no contact”.

Searle continued: “People drove for up to an hour, with one young man driving from Mt Evelyn on a Sunday morning to be at the function. Everyone present signed up with a group of interest”.

The morning consisted of an excellent presentation by Nathan Elijah outlining the background of Jews in India from the Alibag shipwreck centuries ago to their arrival in Australia. This was followed by Julian Silverman’s DVD of the Mumbai Jews (

Each of the organisations present will involve the Indian community in programs and the JCCV hope to host a larger event for the group into the future.

Image caption (from left): Sharene Hambur, Hilary McMahon, Solomon Erulkar, John Searle, Jane Rapke, Nathan Elijah, Jo Silver, Michelle Coleman.

For further information, please contact
:John Searle, President JCCV – (03) 9272 5566
Michelle Coleman, Executive Director JCCV – (03) 9272 5579


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