IT was all honey cake and high spirits last Thursday when senior members of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) descended on Parliament to meet with Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien.
The pre-Rosh Hashanah appointment is a long-standing tradition and is an opportunity for the rabbis to bless the state of Victoria for the upcoming Jewish New Year.
While RCV president Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn opened the meeting, co-vice presidents Rabbi Danny Mirvis and Rabbi Moshe Kahn presented a brief dvar Torah, and expressed gratitude for the Victorian government’s ongoing support of the Jewish community and Israel. They then gifted the Premier with the book, Voices from the Melbourne Jewish Community, and some Victorian honey.
With the meeting coinciding with R U OK? Day, immediate past president Rabbi Daniel Rabin delivered a prayer focussing on mental health, and Rabbi Heilbrunn blasted the shofar.
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,” he continued.
The Premier also reaffirmed the valuable contribution of Jewish leaders in our multicultural and multi-faith state and expressed his thanks for the work the community does “to support a better and more equal society where our diversity is celebrated and valued”.
The rabbinical delegation later met with O’Brien, who emphasised his steadfast support for the community and Israel over traditional sweet new year treats. The Opposition Leader also said he was looking forward to making his first visit to the Holy Land in the near future, accompanied by Member for Caulfield David Southwick.