Highlights 2015

Menorah Lighting at Parliament House
The annual menorah lighting at Parliament House took place on 7 December 2015.  Michael Sutherland, MP, hosted the occasion, and a delegation from PHC, consisting of Chief Rabbi Dovid Freilich and Rabbanit Aviva, PHC President Julian Sher and other PHC representatives attended this event along with clergy and parliamentarians. Rabbi Freilich said at the event that Chanuka is celebrated by lighting candles in our homes to show that not by persecution, not by war, not by violence but by lighting in each of our homes the candle of love, the candle of compassion, the candle of faith and the candle of hope.
Through this he said we should enlighten the world
50th Anniversary Commemoration of Nostra Aetate - 18 November 2015
Six hundred people  from both the Jewish and Catholic communities of Perth joined together to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate.  It was the first time that the Chief Rabbi of the Perth Hebrew Congregation together with the Catholic Archbishop of Perth occupied the pulpit to address the congregation.  Prayers of thanksgiving were offered by both faiths.  A special prayer was composed by Rabbi Freilich and recited by emeritus Chief Rabbi of the Perth Hebrew Congregation Rabbi Dr Shalom Coleman acknowledging the importance of this occasion and the harmony established by that declaration known as Nostra Aetate.  Nostra Aetate was created 50 years ago by Pope Paul VI which formed close ties between the Catholic religion and the Jewish people after so many years of suspicion and enmity between them.
                                                    GreatBigChallahBake 2015
On Wednesday 21 October, Perth WA was the first country to launch the global Shabbat Project 2015 with the GreatBigChallahBake organised by the PHC.  Thank you to the Jewish Centre for hosting the 350 women and girls from across the Perth Jewish community, who unified and shared in the special mitzvah of hafrashat challah in the merit of Shabbat.  Thank you to Rabbanit Aviva Freilich, guests Rabbanit Odeya White and Shula Lazar and the PHC organising committee Nadine Shainfeld, Kerri Altschuler, Judith Lawrence, Jian Gabriel & Gaby Reubensohn.  PHC looks forward to hosting and KneadingItTogether again next year - and have already secured a venue to accommodate even more people!
GreatBigChallahBake 2015
On Wednesday 21 October, Perth WA was the first country to launch the global Shabbat Project 2015 with the GreatBigChallahBake organised by the PHC.  Thank you to the Jewish Centre for hosting the 350 women and girls from across the Perth Jewish community, who unified and shared in the special mitzvah of hafrashat challah in the merit of Shabbat.  Thank you to Rabbanit Aviva Freilich, guests Rabbanit Odeya White and Shula Lazar and the PHC organising committee Nadine Shainfeld, Kerri Altschuler, Judith Lawrence, Jian Gabriel & Gaby Reubensohn.  PHC looks forward to hosting and KneadingItTogether again next year - and have already secured a venue to accommodate even more people!
Yom Kippur
The pre Yom Kippur shiur entitled The Essence of Teshuva was delivered by Arik Singer and Rabbi Kitay.  The feedback from attendees was that the shiur was both informative and inspirational.   
Exploring our Roots: A Journey Back to the Shtetl - A Presentation by Eli Rabinowitz
A cross section of the community enjoyed Eli Rabinowitz’s presentation at the
PHC on Tuesday 16 June 2015.  The presentation gave the audience a clear
overview of what to look for when searching for one's roots.  Eli uses his own
success stories to illutrate the principles and research techniques that can be
applied when researching one's own family history. 

Eli shared information gained on his recent trips to Europe, including his
attendance at a memorial ceremony in Seduva, a visit to the ORT Sholomo
Aleichemo school and the Atzalyno Gimnazija High School, which was a
highlight of his trip this year.  Eli assured the audience that in the Baltic countries and Poland there is now a greater awareness  of Jewish history, the Holocaust and Jewish culture, achieved largely via education, museums and more exposure to Jewish people visiting!  He did however remind us that Australian Jews need to be better informed about their family and cultural history and yiddishkeit, and encouraged everyone to visit and experience the heritage sites and cities themselves!
Le'Chaim! 

The Whisky Tasting event on 11 June was a resounding
success and an evening that was enjoyed by all!    
World Convivence of Rabbis, Cardinals and Bishops Organised
by the Neo-catechumenal Way of the Catholic Church,
supported by the Vatican 
Rabbi Freilich with Cardinal Pell, originally from Australia
and now the Minister for Finance in the Vatican
and Perth Host to the conference, Fr Toto Piccolo
Rabbi Freilich and Rabbi David Rosen, the Israeli government’s representative to the Vatican
Centenary of ANZAC Commemorative Service
On Sunday 19 April 2015, a service to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings was held at the Perth synagogue under the auspices of the Jewish Community Council of Western Australia and Western Australian Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men & Women.

At a well attended and moving event, attendees included the Honourable Wayne Martin, Lieutenant Governor and Chief Justice of Western Australia, representatives of the State and Commonwealth governments, the armed services and various community organisations. Participants in the service included the rabbis of the orthodox and liberal congregations and the Perth Jewish Male Voice Choir. Addresses were delivered by Rabbi Freilich AM, the Chief Rabbi of PHC and by Emeritus Professor, Dr Keith Shilkin AM, President of Jewish Community Council of Western Australia.

Dr Shilkin’s keynote address told the story of Jewish ANZACs from Western Australia, who distinguished themselves in the terrible experience of the First World War, at Gallipoli, the Western Front and in Palestine.  

The event was well received by all who attended and was a fitting commemoration in this centenary year. 
Anzac Day Commemoration Service at the War Memorial 24 April 2015
Lest We Forget
Wine Launch & Art Exhibition - February 2015

PHC was proud to launch Australia's newest kosher and only multi-regional wine in Perth!  
More than 60 people attended the event and many commented that they not only enjoyed sampling the wines but also found the artwork interesting and the evening relaxed and enjoyable.    

 
Thank you to Astrid Harries for sharing her gorgeous new work with us and to David Sandler for sharing the late Eli Zagoria's works with us.

To order from the new Six Parallels South wine ranges, contact Mark Sztar via the Six Parallels South website or email msztar@bigpond.net.au.
"Stirling" Voluntary Work brings Honour and Recognition

A big mazel tov to Michael Sebbag, our Vice President and the Chairman of the
Ruth Landau Harp Early Learning Centre.  Michael was one of the nominees for the
City of Stirling Active Citizenship Awards which were presented by the Mayor of the
ity of Stirling on Australia Day 2015.  Michael was nominated "for creating a world
class accredited childcare service for the Jewish and broader local community – all
in a voluntary capacity".  Michael invests a great deal of time and effort into the PHC. 
The award ceremony was an appropriate forum to acknowledge the exceptional service that he has performed. 

Another of the nominees was Bev Cohen, also a PHC member.  Bev was nominated for the wonderful volunteer work that she does for the Starlight Children's Charity.  She has been instrumental in granting over 90 wishes to seriously ill children.

While many nominations were submitted, there were only five finalists.  So, to have two members of the Jewish (and PHC) community recognised in this way is indeed an achievement.  Mazel tov to Michael and Bev!  We look forward to you both continuing to serve the Jewish and wider communities for many years to come.