MEMBERS of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Victoria Police community came together on Monday to share the light of the chanukiah in a special annual event hosted by the ADF Jewish Chaplaincy.
In a first, the event was co-hosted by the Victoria Police Jewish Network in acknowledgement of the operational collaboration shared by the ADF and Victoria Police this year – firstly in response to the bushfire emergency, and secondly in dealing with COVID-19.
Senior rabbi to the ADF and RACS member Rabbi Ralph Genende, ADF chaplain Rabbi Dovid Gutnick and Victoria Police chaplain Rabbi Shmuel Karnowsky addressed the attendees.
“It was inspiring to see the amount of dedication and sacrifice that so many people of the Jewish community and beyond have put into supporting each other to overcome the challenges of this year,” reflected Rabbi Gutnick, citing the willingness of all involved from each force in finding helpful solutions and the mutual respect on display.
Victoria Police chaplain Rabbi Daniel Rabin recited the blessings over the chanukiah, lit by various members of the ADF and Victoria Police and the grandchildren of Felix and Yvonne Sher (pictured with Rabbi Genende), the parents of fallen Jewish soldier Private Greg Sher.
Rabbi Rabin said the joint event added “a beautiful dimension” to the chag.
“These women and men of both organisations work every day to bring light into dark places, to spread goodness into the world.”