A Rosh Hashanah message for the Australian Jewish Community

September 3rd, 2021


“Dear Friends

I want to begin by conveying my best wishes to you all as we approach Rosh Hashanah and our Yamim Noraim.

There is no sense in pretending that these high holydays will be like every other for our Australian Jewish community. We all labour under various restrictions, and many of us are prohibited from sharing the most meaningful days in the Jewish calendar with those we love. For me, this means that my husband and I won’t be attending our synagogue in Sydney on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It means that we won’t be enjoying a family meal with our children and grandchildren and extended family. This is the reality of our time and it is a painful one.

I want to convey to you though a sense of hope. These difficult times WILL pass. Those of us in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT will soon be able to meet our friends and family in person. We will soon be able to pray together and share in each other’s simchas and comfort each other in our grief. Unfortunately that is not the case for these high holidays. This year we each have to strictly observe the restrictions and health orders that apply in our states, cities and local government areas. We have to do this because of our paramount duty as Jews to protect our health and abide by the laws of our land. We must also protect each other and the community itself. For our communities in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT, staying home is our duty this year. Yom Kippur this year can still be a time of reflection and introspection – even for those who have to spent it at home. We can still find joy in our history and our traditions but please follow the rules.

Be healthy, be well, and may you and your loved ones have a sweet and healthy new year and may you each be sealed in the Book of Life. On behalf of everyone at the ECAJ I wish you Shana Tova um’tukah and Gmar Chatima Tova.”

Jillian Segal AO, ECAJ President