Carly Adno
The Australian Jewish News
October 27, 2022

A MOTION was passed in the NSW Parliament last week recognising the important work of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) in both the Jewish and broader community.

Introduced by Liberal Scott Farlow, the motion also acknowledged the contribution of recently retired NSW JBD president Lesli Berger.

Farlow, NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel chair, said he recognises the role the JBD plays in NSW to combat antisemitism and discrimination and praised its “Respect, Understanding, Acceptance” program, which has brought together thousands of high school students to share stories about their culture and discuss issues of racism.

“The organisation represents a collective of hardworking Australians who support a prosperous, harmonious and inclusive Australia,” Farlow said.

“Our state empowers like-minded individuals to collaborate and innovate for the wellbeing of their communities, and the JBD exemplifies this year after year.”

Other MLCs who supported the motion included Walt Secord, Natalie Ward and Sarah Mitchell. Anthony D’Adam also expressed his support, though said he was “saddened” that the Coalition “has decided to use a motion on the JBD to try to create a polarising debate and wedge Labor on the issue”.

Farlow said the JBD has gone from “strength to strength” under Berger’s leadership and added how honoured he was to work alongside Berger to support the government’s adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism and the banning of the display of Nazi symbols.

“One of the great achievements in recent years is the board’s ever stronger role with other community groups,” Farlow said.

“We have seen this through the formation of the Keep NSW Safe coalition and its recent work with the Hindu Council of Australia to address the display of Nazi symbols.”

Farlow also took the opportunity to formally congratulate David Ossip on taking over the presidency of the NSW JBD and looks forward to seeing it grow stronger “under the stewardship of the Masada College duo” of him and JBD CEO Darren Bark.

“With antisemitism on the rise, Farlow said the NSW government remains “incredibly supportive” of the JBD as it continues to promote tolerance and awareness.

“Antisemitism in Australia remains an issue that continues to impact the lives of members of the Australian Jewish community,” Farlow said.

“This group of Australians should not be forced to suffer in silence.”

Responding to the motion, Ossip and Bark said: “Thank you to Scott Farlow MLC for introducing the motion and to the NSW Parliament for supporting our work.”