Senior members of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) Executive, met last Thursday afternoon with the Premier of Victoria, the Hon Daniel Andrews MP.
The meeting, a long-standing tradition, was an opportunity for the Rabbis to bless the State of Victoria preceding the Jewish New.
President of the RCV, Rabbi Phillip Heilbrunn OAM, opened the meeting followed by co-Vice Presidents, Rabbi Danny Mirvis and Rabbi Moshe Kahn who presented a brief Dvar Torah, expressed gratitude for the Victorian Government’s ongoing support of the Jewish community and Israel and presented the Premier with a book ‘Voices from the Melbourne Jewish Community’ together with some Victorian honey.
The Premier welcomed the RCV to Parliament and reflected on the proud partnership between the RCV and the Government. Commending the RCV on its leadership, the Premier said “the Council’s work is integral, not only in its support for Jewish communities, but as a leader in interfaith dialogue. It’s this work that makes Victoria a safer, more connected and more cohesive state. As a Government, we are very grateful for your efforts”. The Premier reaffirmed the valuable contribution of Jewish leaders in our multicultural and multifaith state and expressed his thanks for the work the Jewish community do to support a better and more equal society where our diversity is celebrated and valued.
The Premier and rabbis enjoyed traditional honey cake and the Premier reaffirmed his government's continued commitment to the RCV’s future projects and activities.
Following a prayer delivered by Rabbi Daniel Rabin focussing on supporting one another’s mental health in line with the significance of the day – “R U Ok Day” and Rabbi Heilbrunn OAM’s traditional blowing of the Shofar, the Premier delivered a video message, wishing the entire Jewish community a sweet and happy new year - Shanah Tovah U’metuka.
Subsequent to the meeting with the Premier, the RCV executive committee met with the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Michael O’Brien MP and Mr David Southwick MP where the rabbis had an opportunity to introduce their congregations to Mr O’Brien and all enjoyed the New Year delicacies. Michael O’Brien reaffirmed his steadfast support for the Jewish Community and the State of Israel and said that he was looking forward to joining David Southwick on his first visit to Israel in the near future. At that point a number of the Rabbi offered to accompany them on the trip.