Rosh Hashana Greeting – 5775
Dr Danny Lamm
President, Zionist Federation of Australia
It is with great pleasure that I extend warm Rosh Hashana greetings to the Australian Jewish community on the eve of Rosh Hashana, 5775.
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.
It has been a very challenging year for Israel. The Israeli summer began with the kidnap and subsequent murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas operatives, and the increase in rocket fire from Gaza into Israel made life unbearable for Israelis living in Southern Israel. Operation Protective Edge was launched, and we watched on as over 5 million Israelis became within rocket range, while the subsequent ground operation put thousands upon thousands of soldiers of the IDF in grave danger. We mourned along with all of Israel at the deaths of 66 soldiers and 6 civilians during this incredibly difficult time. We increased our advocacy, our awareness, and we made sure that our unwavering support for the safety and security of all citizens of the State of Israel was always on display. Additionally, we have had a remarkable year of Aliyah, with record numbers in 2013.
The recent rise in anti-Semitism around the world, and indeed within our shores, has been a cause for great concern among our community. But we are very fortunate to live in a country where there is bipartisan support for Israel as well as a strong recognition of the Jewish community’s rightful place in all states. We are grateful for this unwavering support, particularly through difficult times.
The Zionist Federation of Australia has had a busy year with our Biennial Conference at which Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky was our special guest speaker and the very successful ZFA Jewish Educators’ Conference with a number of international speakers and over 500 participants from all over Australia. In addition, we continue to provide an abundance of activities and initiatives to engage the community and to connect Australia and Israel, including increased engagement with the Russian and Hebrew speaking communities through the RSJC and Habayit respectively.
On behalf of the Zionist Federation of Australia, may I wish the entire Australian Jewish community Shana Tova ve Gmar Chatima Tova. May the New Year 5775 bring peace, security and prosperity to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
Dr. Danny Lamm