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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8466

Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (10:38): L'shanah tova. From sunset yesterday, Jewish Australians marked the start of Rosh Hashana. It's one of the holiest days for our Jewish community and signals the beginning of the new year and the High Holidays, a period of celebration which lasts 10 days up to Yom Kippur. What better place to mark this time than with family, friends and community. The shofar, a trumpet made from a ram's horn, is blown to acknowledge the start of this occasion. With the old year now past, it's a special time of introspection, reflection and forgiveness. Stale bread is thrown out to represent throwing away the sins. As with any new beginning, Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to look to the future and renew optimism about a prosperous year ahead. Sweet fruits of the season are shared, with apples dipped in honey as a symbol of hope for a sweet new year ahead. I want to thank those constituents from my community who popped into our office on Friday to offer such gifts and to symbolise Rosh Hashana.

Jewish Australians have made and continue to make a significant contribution to our national life and, indeed to the local community that I represent. On 16 August this year, I was quite fortunate to join many leaders and representatives of our community for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Maroubra Synagogue, a pillar of the thriving Jewish community in the electorate of Kingsford Smith. The synagogue was established in 1948 by Holocaust survivors, with the support of their family and friends. Building the synagogue was an act of faith, belief and defiance. It stood as an everlasting memory for the relatives and friends who perished during the Holocaust. But it also marked the start of a new chapter for the Jewish community in Maroubra and beyond. More than 400 member families now belong to the Maroubra Synagogue. It's known for welcoming, caring and inspiring services, along with opportunities for educational advancement through the Mount Sinai College. Mount Sinai College began as a kindergarten in Snape Street, in a little house, and has now grown into a thriving primary school. I know this because I attended the kindergarten as a student prior to going off to school in Maroubra.

I was honoured to attend the synagogue's 70th anniversary jubilee dinner. The focus was on celebrating the past, acknowledging the present and embracing the future. I want to thank Rabbi Yossi Friedman, Daryl Robinson, Dr Archie Platt and the Maroubra Hebrew congregation for the invitation to join them all for this special occasion. I pay particular tribute to all of those volunteers who've built that synagogue into the wonderful service that it is today. Once again, happy new year, L'shanah tova! (Time expired)