Jewish Ozzies' Inter.Net
The electronic voice of the Australian Jewish Community

The Hon. Philip Ruddock
Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs


Jewish New Year 5757 (1996)

It gives me great pleasure to send a message to the Jewish community on the occasion of your New Year celebrations. I am particularly pleased to be able to greet Internet users in many countries through JOIN's Wide Page and its E-Mail lists, which I understand are accessed regularly by people in such locations as Israel, South America, Europe, North America, Scandinavia and Asia.

The Jewish community in Australia is frequently at the forefront of our nation's ethnic and multicultural affairs. For their community, Rosh Hashanah begins the ten most holy days in the Jewish calendar. While communities' traditional celebrations of a New Year may vary according to the time of the year or religious practices, they invariably mark a time of symbolism, thanksgiving, reflection, celebration of common cultural heritage, commitment to achievements in the year ahead, and recognition of the value of family and friends.

This occasion reminds us that, for over fifty years, Australia has welcomed newcomers from many diverse backgrounds into the mainstream of its society with a minimum of friction. It has been able to dod this by valuing the various religions, languages and cultures represented in our population and by drawing strength from diversity.

I believe that modern communications technology such as the Internet holds great promise for Australia to spread news of our peaceful and instructive multicultural society to the so-called 'world village', which, sadly, is often afflicted by bitter ethnic and cultural tension. Certainly, recent years have been traumatic for communities in the Middle East and I am sure your community will use the New Year period to reflect on prospects for a brighter outlook.

I wish all members of the Jewish community in Australia and elsewhere a happy and prosperous New Year.

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