MARKING the start of the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah is a time of celebration, hope and renewal.
It is an opportunity to gather with family and friends, to reflect on the past year and to look to the future with optimism.
At the dawn of a new year, Jewish people in Australia and around the world express their hopes for a year filled with happiness, health and prosperity.
Faith provides meaning, purpose and inspiration for many Australians and Rosh Hashanah is a time for Jewish people to rededicate themselves to their faith.
The concept of tikkun olam – repairing the world – lies at the heart of the Jewish tradition, and Jewish Australians have done as much as any community to enrich our national life.
Australia benefits immensely from a large and strong Jewish community whose hard work, entrepreneurialism and community spirit continue to shape our modern nation.
I wish everyone observing Rosh Hashanah a sweet and happy year, and well over the fast.
Leader of the Opposition
ON behalf of the federal Labor Party it gives me great pleasure to send my best wishes to everyone observing Rosh Hashanah.
With the stirring call of the shofar, Jews around the world will begin a period of introspection and atonement, and reaffirm their commitment to lead lives of integrity and compassion.
The Jewish New Year is also a joyous occasion of rebirth and optimism – a time to welcome the promise of the future with a spirit of renewal and hope.
As we reflect on the universal message of brotherhood and tolerance which the High Holy Days bring, let us celebrate the contributions of Jewish Australians woven into our national fabric and renew the enduring bonds of friendship between Australia and Israel.
As Israel’s distinguished representative Abba Eban noted when Australia cast the first vote in the United Nations General Assembly in favour of the establishment of Israel – “the warmth and eloquence with which you welcomed Israel into the family of nations, have earned for you the undying gratitude of our people”.
May this solemn period bring forth a sweet new year full of peace and prosperity.
Premier of Victoria
ON behalf of the Victorian government, I’m proud to extend my best wishes to members of Victoria’s Jewish community for a good, healthy and sweet new year.
The celebration of Rosh Hashanah is an ancient tradition but its values and symbols are just as significant today.
For everyone in Victoria, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on how the Jewish community has enriched our society with its values and achievements over this past year.
The hope and optimism of the Jewish people – in Israel, in Victoria and across the Diaspora – is continuing a source of inspiration. The Victorian people stand with you.
May you each welcome the arrival of this special occasion with prayer and celebration, and may your name be inscribed in the Book of Life. L’shanah tovah tikatevu.
Victorian Opposition Leader
I WISH the Victorian Jewish community a happy, healthy and sweet new year on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah 5776.
While Rosh Hashanah is a time for reflection, it is also an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends.
Whether it is apple dipped in honey or the blowing of the shofar, the traditions around Rosh Hashanah are just as significant today as they were hundreds of years ago.
These occasions remind us of the significant role the Jewish community plays in our multicultural society.
I have been fortunate to meet with leaders of the Victorian Jewish community this year and hear about the contributions they continue to make to our great state.
On behalf of the Victorian Liberal Party, I wish the Jewish community l’shanah tovah umetukah.
Premier of NSW
I WOULD like to wish readers of The Australian Jewish News a happy Rosh Hashanah.
This is a time of faith, prayer and contemplation and may you take the opportunity to reflect upon the challenges of the past 12 months as you welcome the new year.
The Jewish community makes a great contribution to all aspects of public life in New South Wales, particularly in the arts, academia, politics, business and social services.
I welcome the eager involvement of the Jewish community in helping to promote social harmony and interfaith understanding.
The NSW government also has a strong diplomatic relationship with Israel that is complemented by our strong cultural and business links with the Jewish community and I look forward to visiting next year.
I wish you all a happy new year. L’shanah tovah!
NSW Opposition Leader
IT is my pleasure to send my warmest wishes to the NSW Jewish community on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah. At this time, it is tradition to reflect on the year just past and the year ahead of us – providing us with the humbling opportunity to look towards those parts of the world that do not enjoy the great life that we do, here and now.
The Jewish community has been a deeply valued part of New South Wales’ rich multicultural society since the first days of European settlement, and has made an enormous contribution to every aspect of our society.
As Opposition Leader, it has been my honour to work with our state’s Jewish community and to experience first-hand your customs, your warmth and your generosity of spirit. So both personally and on behalf of NSW Labor, I would like to wish you all shanah tovah.
It is my hope that Jewish communities everywhere will enjoy the blessings of peace, prosperity and security in the coming year.
President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry
AT this time last year, we reflected on the murders at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and Jewish community centres in Kansas. We wondered whether more people would die simply because they happened to be Jewish.
Our gravest fears were confirmed by the heinous terrorist massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the singling out for murder of a female Jewish employee, and the targeting of a kosher supermarket by a terrorist shortly afterwards and the slayings of four Jewish shoppers. The following month, the pattern of terrorism was repeated in Copenhagen, when an Islamist gunman attacked another prominent symbol of free speech and then turned his attention to the city’s Jews. Just a few months earlier, Sydney was the target of a deadly hostage-taking, ostensibly motivated by political Islam, in which two young Australians, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, were murdered.
Our vulnerability as Australians and as Jews has been profoundly demonstrated over this past year. Once again, the world faces a totalitarian movement bent on global domination and determined to impose its ideas on the rest of humanity; and once again, the Jewish people find themselves, not by choice, at the forefront of humankind’s confrontation with that evil.
To meet the enormous challenges we face, we as a community must stand united, vigilant and defiant. We must allow no quarter to those who preach hatred, who spout conspiracy theories and seek to incite hatred and acts of violence against our community and our fellow Australians. We have a duty to defend ourselves and the State of Israel from vile slanders that attempt to justify anti-Semitism, invert the history of the Holocaust and blame the Jewish State for all the ills of the world.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry will continue to meet the immense challenges before us. We acknowledge with gratitude the indispensable support we have received from so many members of our community in so many forms. As a community, our spirit and sense of solidarity is stronger than ever. We ask you to stand with us again in the coming year and support our work representing the interests of the Jewish people in this country and throughout the world.
On behalf of all of us at the ECAJ, we extend best wishes to each and every person in our superb community for a shanah tovah umetukah k’tivah v’chatimah tovah, a year of health, happiness, prosperity and peace.
President of the Zionist Federation of Australia
I WISH to extend warm Rosh Hashanah greetings to the Australian Jewish community on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, 5776.
The start of the Jewish New Year is the perfect time for introspection and reflection. It gives us time to consider the accomplishments and challenges over the past year, both within the Australian Zionist movement and in Israel.
The year to date has been one of change, initiative and development, both in Australia and in Israel, but also a period of tremendous challenge.
The place of Israel in the global arena, and our responses to these challenges, have been a prime object of concern for the Zionist movement in Australia and worldwide.
Most recently the P5+1 agreement with Iran represents a policy of weakness and appeasement in the face of a dangerously evil regime that imperils not merely Israel and the Middle East but the entire free world. The Zionist Federation of Australia has no hesitation about publicly voicing its opposition to this dangerous agreement.
Notwithstanding these challenges, Israel continues to lead the world in the fields of technology, health, agriculture and the arts. The Australian connection to Israel is strengthened through our Israel programs, our partnership with the Arava and the Golan, the commencement of the world-renowned Diller Fellows Program, Habayit – the home of Hebrew language and Israeli culture, and the incredible group of shlichim that form our Australian mishlachat.
Our Israel advocacy efforts respond to misinformation and disinformation about Israel in the media and also strategically presents positive messages about Israel. We have made sure that our unwavering support for the safety and security of all citizens of the State of Israel is always on display and we will continue to do so in the future.
On behalf of the Zionist Federation of Australia, may I wish the entire Australian Jewish community:
Shanah tovah umetukah, k’tivah v’chatimah tovah.
May the New Year 5776 bring peace, security and prosperity to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.