Parliamentary speeches


December 07, 2020

Over eight days Jewish Australians and Jews right around the world will gather to light the Hanukkah menorahs, display them proudly and come together to appreciate both ancient miracles and more recent ones. The celebration of Hanukkah is inspired by the story of the miracle of the lamp: how a ration of oil—enough for one day—burned for eight. For more than 2,000 years, Hanukkah, the festival of lights, has reminded the world of the Jewish community's enormous strength, resilience and ability to find hope in times of despair. This message of hope will be particularly resonant in 2020, a year that has tested so many of us so much and forced us to spend long periods separated from family and loved ones. It will make this year's celebrations particularly special and one that I look forward to celebrating with Melbourne's Jewish community which I attend the Pillars of Light festival at Federation Square next week.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the huge contribution that Jewish Australians have made to our country, from Sidney Myer to Frank Lowy, Carol Schwartz, Harry Seidler and so many more. It's clear, I think, to all of us that modern Australia would be unrecognisable without the contribution made by so many Jewish Australians. And so, on behalf of federal Labor: Hanukkah sameach. Happy Hanukkah.