SENIOR members of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) met with Premier Daniel Andrews last Thursday, in what has become a tradition preceding Rosh Hashanah each year.
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss areas of mutual concern, and for the RCV to thank the Premier for the ongoing support of his office and that of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship.
At the meeting, the Premier expressed his appreciation for the RCV in providing religious leadership for the community, and reaffirmed the Labor government’s commitment to the safety and security of the local Jewish community and to Israel.
“It is always a pleasure to meet with those who dedicate their lives to enriching their community,” Andrews told The AJN. “I thank the rabbis for visiting Parliament and for the ongoing work they do for Victoria’s Jewish community.”
RCV vice-president Rabbi Daniel Rabin lauded the meeting as a success. “It was a great honour for the RCV to meet with the state’s Premier prior to the Jewish New Year,” Rabbi Rabin said.
“Premier Andrews has been extremely supportive of the important and crucial work that the RCV provides to the Jewish community of Victoria … We look forward to a continued strong and close relationship with the Premier’s office.”
The RCV presented Andrews with a special gift on the day. “The Premier was delighted with our gift of his very own shofar, and he assured us he would practise sounding it before our next meeting!” Rabbi Rabin enthused.
Also in attendance to meet the Premier were RCV committee members Rabbi Ralph Genende, Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn OAM, Rabbi Moshe Kahn and Rabbi Menachem Stern, together with member and past president Rabbi Yaakov Glasman.
Though not in attendance, RCV president Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick issued well wishes to the community.
“I extend blessings on behalf of the Victorian Rabbinate that we will be inspired by all the emotions and feelings that the shofar should evoke, but most of all I hope that it, and the rest of the Rosh Hashanah services, truly succeed in touching our hearts and souls.”
The rabbis also met with Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Member for Caulfield David Southwick on the day, with Guy making a wholehearted attempt to blow the shofar.