Menorah Lighting at Parliament House
The annual menorah lighting at Parliament House took place this week, 17 December 2014. 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. The Anglican Archbishop, The Very Reverend Roger Herft and his wife Cheryl, other parliamentarians and civic dignitaries were also invited to the lighting of the menorah. At the event Rabbi Freilich said that our WA Parliament is also a beacon of light, of freedom of religion, and the dignity of every citizen, no matter what religion or ethnic background.
Rabbi and Rabbanit Freilich, Speaker of the House, Michael Sutherland, Arch Bishop Herft and other guests at Parliament House
for Channuka Menorah lighting
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in Perth
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the 11th Chief Rabbi
of the United Hebrew Congregations of the
Commonwealth arrived in Perth on Wednesday
18 November on his first official visit to Australia.
More than three hundred people attended and
enjoyed Chief Rabbi Mirvis' dynamic address at
the PHC on Wednesday night.
Chief Rabbi Mirvis highlighted the importance of connection - one of the key themes of his spiritual leadership for the immediate future. He demonstrated how the fact that each and every one of us is created in the image of Hashem and how because of this, our connection to others through kindness, consideration and love, is one of the foundations of Judaism. The theme of connection formed the basis for Chief Rabbi Mirvis discussion about Jewish identity, facing the challenges and opportunities of C21, educating future generations of Jews who are passionate about and committed to Judaism and Israel.
After his entertaining and informative address, Chief Rabbi Mirvis responded to a number of questions posed by members of the audience, before he and his wife, Rebbetzin Valerie Mirvis spent time meeting with the community and 'catching up' with old friends.
Israel Through Chinese Eyes
On Monday night, 1 December 2014, the PHC was privileged to host
Prof Xu Xin, a leading Chinese academic, who discussed the topic
"Israel through Chinese Eyes”. Prof Xu Xin’s dynamic talk explored
the significant and vibrant changes in the China/Israel relationships.
His presentation included insight into the development of an
enhanced and productive outlook, by China, towards the growth
and sustainability of Israel. This has been in more recent years
driven by the need to access Israel’s cutting-edge technologies and
irrigation know how.
This was his first visit to Australia and the PHC acknowledges Rabbi Moshe Bernstein’s role in facilitating Prof Xu Xin’s presentation in Perth. The significant attendance by many people from the wider community and the fascinating question and answer session are evidence of the relevance of this topic to the Perth Jewish community and Australia. We look forward to hosting Prof Xu Xin again in the future.
XU XIN, Diane and Guilford Glazer Chair Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies and Dean of the Institute of Jewish Studies at Nanjing University in China, is President of the China Judaic Studies Association. He is also Editor-in-Chief and a major contributor of the Chinese edition Encyclopedia Judaica. He has authored a number of books including, Anti-Semitism: How and Why,A History of Western Culture and The Jews of Kaifeng, China: History, Culture, and Religion. He teaches undergraduate courses on Jewish history, culture and religion and conducts both MA and PhD programs at Nanjing University. In 2003 Bar-Ilan University awarded him the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa in recognition of the significant research he has undertaken on the Jewish presence in historical and contemporary China.
"Thank You!" to our Fantastic Teachers
On National Teacher's Day, 31 October the PHC President (Julian Sher) and Board of Management hosted morning tea for the teachers and staff of The Ruth Landau Harp Childcare Centre (RLHCC). Founded by Rabbi & Rabbanit Freilich and now under the active leadership of PHC Vice-President Michael Sebbag, Director Allicia Goodwin and Educational Director Judith Lawrence, the Ruth Landau Harp Childcare Centre is a professional, accredited and well-recognised Childcare, Kindergarten and Outside School Hours Care service provided to both the Jewish and broader local community.
THANK YOU to Michael Sebbag, the directors, teachers and staff - your commitment, energy, empathy and professionalism ensure that the Ruth Landau Harp Centre continue to grow from strength to strength!
In the Rear-View Mirror
The first five months of 2014 were a whirlwind of activity at the PHC as usual! In additional to the daily minyanim and shiurim, the weekly kiddushim and routine pastoral, educational and communal services, bar and bat mitzvot and a wedding, we were been busy with a lot more!
In January we were thrilled when our shule 'blushed pink' when hundreds of members and their guests from all over Australia joined us for the Shabbat services during Perth Carnival 2014!
The Mad Hatter's Purim Tea Party & Se'udah was a hit in March! Over 250 people donned their 'maddest hats' and came to celebrate Purim by enjoying a delicious high-tea with friends, riding the cups & saucers, watching an exciting illusionist show and slurping icy slushies.
Next on our calendar was the Pre-Pesach Ladies Night where over 35 ladies came out to do a spot of late-night Pesach shopping, before enjoying a dynamic talk presented by Rabbanit Aviva Freilich. A couple of days later Rabbi and Rabbanit Freilich hosted more than 80 people at the PHC communal Pesach Seder to celebrate our freedom from slavery in Egypt.
In May the PHC was privileged to welcome the Solicitor General of Western Australia as the guest speaker at our annual Law Week Cocktail party which was attended by both members and the broader Perth legal community.
And then, we had a sleepover! Bnei Akiva hosted a Shabbat dinner and sleepover for over 90 children and the feathers in the Beit Midrash the following morning hinted that the night had been filled with pillow-fights and sleepover fun for all!
Forty seven days after Pesach we hosted the second Ladies Night function exploring 'What Women Want' while sipping chilled Chardonnay and nibbling cheese snacks. And then we celebrated Shavuot with a host of different functions and activities including informative talks by Rabbis Freilich and Greenbaum, a mouth-watering milchic communal Shavuot dinner, all-night learning in the Beit Midrash and an ice-cream party for the kids on yom tov day.
In June, we hosted the Lost & Found Opera Company for the presentation of the Emperor of Atlantis opera. The PHC was honoured to welcome more than 350 people per night (for three nights) to our synagogue to enjoy this moving work in context.
And then we celebrated the contribution made by our talented choir to uplifting our services with a special 'Choir Kiddush' and then we sponsored a kiddush to recognise the achievements of Jenny Shub and Michelle Urban who were recipients of the OAM on the Queen's Birthday List 2014.
We also ran five 'pop-up shops' in the car park to make buying yom tov, bar and batmitzvah and shabbat gift purchases easier and more convenient for our members and the community.
All of these functions and events would not have been possible without the talents, time, energy and committed participation of a host of people and staff. Thank you also to our army of generous volunteers - none of the functions, events and activities over the past six months would have been possible without you!