THE sounds of the NSW Police Band filled Central Synagogue last Friday night as it hosted the annual Police Remembrance Service.
An opportunity for the community to recognise the contribution of the NSW Police, the service attracted MPs, local government representatives and other dignitaries.
“There was a good attendance. The band was fantastic, playing Jewish music and there was great community participation,” said Jewish House CEO and police chaplain Rabbi Mendel Kastel, who organised the event.
“The police were very grateful we put on this service and that we show gratitude for their support.”
Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing gave the keynote address, Wentworth MP Dave Sharma read a list of officers who had lost their lives in the past year, while NSW MPs Walt Secord and Ron Hoenig recited prayers.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff delivered a vote of thanks.
Meanwhile, from Friday synagogues will be able to host up to 300 worshippers – subject to having a COVID-19 safety plan – under an easing of NSW’s COVID-19 safety restrictions. The four square metre rule still applies, while funerals must still not exceed 100 people and weddings 150.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government’s aim “is to provide as many opportunities as we can for organisations and the community to carry on with their work and lives as much as possible”.
“We want to keep moving forward but for that strategy to be successful we need everyone to follow the COVID-19 safety plans,” he said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the further easing of restrictions “is another cautious step towards a ‘COVID-normal’ life”.
“COVID-19 is still lurking among us, so I urge all leaders to continue encouraging everyone at their religious gatherings and places of worship to comply with the health advice to keep themselves and others safe.”
People attending a religious service will be required to provide their name and contact details for contact tracing and are being urged to wear a mask.
From December 1, 300 people will be allowed to attend weddings subject to the four square metre rule indoors and two square metre rule outdoors.