Author: Philip Feinstein

Jews and Muslims celebrate Sukkot

With the conclusion of the Jewish New Year celebrations comes Sukkot—when Jews expose themselves to the elements in greenery-covered huts.  Sukkot is a week-long Jewish holiday that comes five days after Yom Kippur and celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection God provided for the children of Israel when they left Egypt. Muslims mark this event on Ashura on 10th of Muharram, first month in the Islamic Calendar with optional fasting on either 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th of Muharram. Jews celebrate Sukkot in a foliage-covered booth and take special species of vegetation—the...

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The Science of Sydney Alliance

The organisation Sydney Alliance has a reputation of bringing together various groups who have the common goal of helping people.  The organisation puts citizens back at the heart of democracy, achieving change collectively, and using their diversity for good. They are made up of over 30 organisations including many civil society organisations founded for, or connected to, Muslim communities including the National Zakat Foundation, United Muslim Women’s Association, and the Arab Council Australia. Many of their organisations are also connected to refugees and people seeking asylum, communities such as Settlement Services International and Community Migrant Resource Centre. The recent...

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Refugee Council CEO’s concerns re Manus Island closure

With the imminent closure of Manus Island, The Australian government may find itself in a quandary. The local PNG population has not taken kindly to the refugees; the Americans are only looking at taking a small number, if any; and the balance have been given the poor choice of returning to their homeland and facing the dire consequences. Meanwhile the Australian population is not happy with the situation at all. The Chief Executive Officer of the Refugee Council of Australia*, Mr Paul Power, has pleaded with the Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, in an especially poignant letter outlining many of the points needing immediate addressing. He reminded him that the fourth anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s decree of the ‘Regional Resettlement Arrangement’ had passed and resulted in over 2,000 people who sought Australia’s protection being sent to long term detention in PNG and Nauru. Apart from the psychological harm done to these human beings, Australian taxpayers have paid over $5 billion for the project and has a poor reputation within the international community. In addressing the fears of uncertainty and psychological suffering sustained by the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru, Mr Power pointed out that “none of them has ever wanted to be in detention and all have constantly asked for their detention to end.” However, now that they are being told that they must leave the detention centre...

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Survey of visitors to detention centres

Many people visit Villawood and other detention centres throughout Australia to give stressed refugees some company, as well as news of the outside world.  Some of these visitors are ordinary people, while others are volunteers teaching art, music and other pleasantry and stress relieving activities The Refugee Council of Australia came to realise that things were not easy when it came to visiting centres and accordingly conducted a survey of challenges faced by people visiting immigration detention. The questions in the survey ranged from asking what barriers the visitors faced, what issues refugees in detention asked them, how effective...

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Learning about peace for Palestine and Israel

In January this year, a group of 22 Australian Jewish and Christian community leaders sat around a table with Dr Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian Prime Minister, in Ramallah. Later that day they shared dinner with members of a group of Israeli and Palestinian ex-fighters, Combatants for Peace that works across borders for an end to the Occupation and to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    So what brought the Australians to this part of the world and this kind of encounter? A few years ago tensions emerged between Uniting Church and Jewish organisations in Australia—specifically related to their positions on...

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Other News

november, 2017

22nov10:30 am- 1:30 pmLadies High Tea For Rohingya

23nov7:30 pm- 10:30 pmSounds of Light PerthCharity Concert

24nov6:30 pm- 9:30 pmSounds of Light AdelaideCharity Concert

25nov6:00 pm- 9:00 pmSounds of Light SydneyCharity Concert

26nov3:30 pm- 6:30 pmSounds of Light MelbourneCharity Concert

27nov7:00 pm- 10:00 pmSounds of Light BrisbaneCharity Concert

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