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Faiths Unite Over Chanukah

Faiths Unite Over Chanukah

23 December 2011

Members of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Baha’i faiths gathered together in Caulfield Park over cocktails and canapés on Wednesday night in a celebration of multicultural life in Victoria.

The occasion was an interfaith Chanukah party hosted by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), designed to showcase our festival and faith to the wider community.

In addition to the JCCV’s many interfaith contacts, members of the wider Glen Eira community were also invited to attend, and represented a diverse range of organisations from local churches and schools to sporting and senior citizens’ clubs.

JCCV president Nina Bassat AM said: “Chanukah is a festival of celebration, of commemoration, but above all, a festival about the possibility of miracles. That we are here today, a disparate of group of people of different faiths, may not be the same miracle as that which occurred in the 2nd century BCE, but it is a miracle nonetheless.

“It is the miracle of modern day Australia, where multiculturalism in its best form flourishes; where we can live side by side amicably, respecting each other’s differences and appreciating the best of all the cultures which surround us.”

JCCV treasurer Ian Jones explained the origins of Chanukah and its message of religious tolerance that is just as relevant today as it was more than 2000 years ago.

Brief addresses were also given by Federal Member for Higgins Kelly O’Dwyer, Member for Caulfield David Southwick, Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Andrea Coote and newly elected Glen Eira Mayor Cr Jamie Hyams.

John Searle, immediate past president of the JCCV and Chair of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and new JCCV executive member Daniel Fox lit the Chanukah lights, and were ably assisted by Kelly O’Dwyer.

Guests were treated to a feast of Klezmer music and the evening concluded with that traditional Chanukah ‘delicacy’… doughnuts.

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