On Friday 4th of March Coalition members of Victorian Parliament, came to Caulfield to learn about the Victorian Jewish community and meet Jewish community organisations. David is deeply proud of the role the Australian and Victorian Jewish community has played in contributing to the local community here in Caulfield and to the wider Victorian and Australian communities and he shared his passion with the other MPs as they learnt about Jewish history and culture.
They first travelled to the Jewish Holocaust Museum where they were given a tour by a Holocaust survivor, giving them a greater appreciation of this terrible event and of the obstacles faced by survivors, many of whom fled to Victoria and Australia after the war and became integral members of our community.
Following this, David took the MPs to meet with 17 different Jewish community organisations over lunch, including groups such as Maccabi, which runs sporting clubs and sport events, Hatzolah, a volunteer run organisation providing first responder medical care, and the Women’s International Zionist Organisation, which aims to promote Jewish education and women’s issues. David shared his deep admiration for the tremendous work these groups, their staff and volunteers do every day for the Jewish and broader community.
The politicians then proceeded to the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation where they heard from Rabbi Phillip Heilbrunn about the Synagogue’s rich history and explored the historic building. The Rabbi even showed them the Torah scroll and it is read during Shabbat services.
Finally, David took the MPs to the Jewish Museum of Australia, where they learnt about history of the Victorian Jewish Community and the many diverse roles its members play within society and the community.
The entire day allowed the MPs to gain a greater understanding of the structures and organisations that make up the Victorian Jewish community, but also the threats that it faces. David explained that a recent survey demonstrated that up to 25% of Victorians have some negative feelings towards Jews, and this needs to be tackled through education.