Communal events postponed amid coronavirus threat
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CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Communal events postponed amid coronavirus threat

Major events in Sydney and Melbourne, including the In One Voice festival and UIA women's and young leadership functions, have been postponed due to the coronavirus threat.

Photo: Peter Haskin
Photo: Peter Haskin

UNITED Israel Appeal (UIA)’s women’s division and young leadership events in both Sydney and Melbourne, and the NSW Board of Deputies’ (JBOD) March plenum, are among a number of Jewish communal engagements that have been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

It comes after the postponement of Melbourne’s In One Voice festival, which was due to take place this Sunday, and the closure until Monday of Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges.

Stating it had taken the decision to postpone its women’s division and young leadership events, UIA said in a message to supporters, “The escalating health risk associated with Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is obviously causing much concern and has forced us to re-evaluate all UIA activities across the country with the best interests of our Jewish communities in mind.”

The UIA fundraising campaigns themselves are proceeding as planned with supporters urged to make their donations online.

Similarly, JBOD said it had been compelled to “re-evaluate all our forthcoming public events in the interests of the health and well-being of community members and organisations”.

“We look forward to rescheduling the panel discussion which was planned for the plenum on ‘The LGBTQ+ experience in the Jewish community’ at the first available opportunity,” JBOD said.

Also in Sydney, the Australian Jewish Fertility Network cancelled a “Pathway to Parenthood” event scheduled for March 30.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA) Victoria announced on Thursday that it was cancelling an International Women’s Day event featuring actress Rachel Griffiths.

“Despite there being no official advice to cancel public events, we felt it was important for the well being of our community to be abundantly cautious and take proactive measures,” NCJWA Vic NextGen said.

Melbourne’s famous “Purim Spiel” has also been postponed. 

“We are taking this action in order to ensure that our audiences (not to mention our hardworking cast, crew and orchestra) are absolutely comfortable to attend the Spiel and enjoy themselves,” the Spiel Team said in a statement.  

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