House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Constituency Statements

Bradfield Electorate: North Shore Synagogue

9:39 am

Photo of Paul FletcherPaul Fletcher (Bradfield, Liberal Party, Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects) Share this | | Hansard source

I am very proud of the fact that the electorate of Bradfield is home to the second largest Jewish community in the state of New South Wales. One of the pillars of the Jewish community in the electorate of Bradfield is the North Shore Synagogue, located in Lindfield and fondly known as the 'garden synagogue' for its beautiful surroundings.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the North Shore Synagogue. In 1940, the first Jewish service was held on the North Shore at Warringah Hall, in Neutral Bay. As the community grew, they established a building fund with the aim of creating a permanent home. Lindfield was chosen as the location in 1949—coincidentally, the same year that the seat of Bradfield was established. Over the following decades, the North Shore Synagogue and its community continued to grow in size as well as construct an impressive array of buildings, all of which have been well utilised, and, of course, help to found the Masada College and synagogue.

Much of the synagogue's history was under the guidance of the venerable Rabbi David Rogut, who joined the synagogue in 1975 and served until his retirement in 2003. In addition to his work with the North Shore Synagogue, he held many positions of distinction in the Jewish community, including as the dayan of the Sydney Beth Din.

I would like to pay particular tribute to the women's guild of the North Shore Synagogue, which has played an important part in the development of the synagogue since its founding in 1950, raising funds for such projects as supplying new office equipment, refurbishing the bathrooms, refurbishing the kitchen, supplying a new sukkah and contributing to the garden makeover.

Today, the North Shore Synagogue continues to be an integral part of the vibrant Jewish community in northern Sydney under the leadership of Rabbi Paul Lewin and president Trevor Collins. I was pleased recently to attend the gala concert to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the North Shore Synagogue. It featured the prominent Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi, who gave an absolutely dazzling performance. I was pleased to offer a letter of congratulations, which was included in the synagogue's 75th anniversary tribute book, which also featured letters of congratulations from many dignitaries, as well as fascinating information about the history of the synagogue.

The North Shore Synagogue has made an important contribution to the community life of both the broader community and the Jewish community on the North Shore of Sydney for 75 years. I congratulate all who have been involved. I wish the North Shore Synagogue well and wish it all the best for the future.