Author: Philip Feinstein

The forgotten Jews of Arab lands

On Thursday evening 30 November 2017, around 400 people attended an event at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park, Sydney which included the screening of the short film The Forgotten Refugees and the telling of personal stories by members of the Jewish community from Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. The evening recognised the plight of the around 850,000 Jews who were expelled or had to flee from Arab lands. The events were hosted by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, together with the Sephardi Synagogue and the Sydney Jewish Museum, to tell the forgotten story of the ethnic cleansing...

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Playing to bring humanity together

Around 7 pm on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at the Sydney Football Stadium when the referee blew his whistle for the start of the Australia versus Honduras game of soccer. A lot was at stake in this game as the winner would be off to Russia next year for the finals.  At the same time another game also began: This was a game of well-being where everyone was in the same team  –  it was called Together for Humanity. At stake in this game was the coping and growth of our children. Together with a group of around 230 people were...

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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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may, 2018

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