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Press Release – 14 March 2008

Melbourne’s Jewish community expresses solidarity with Israel and the victims of the terror attack at Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav

Melbourne’s Jewish community held a moving prayer service last night at the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation to express solidarity with Israel following last week’s horrific terror attack at the Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav in Jerusalem.

To mark the end of the week-long mourning (shiva) period, 250 community members attended a commemoration of prayer and solidarity for the 8 murdered students, their families and the Israeli people suffering under the unrelenting threat of terror.

The service was coordinated by The State Zionist Council of Victoria, Caulfield Hebrew Congregation and the Zionist Federation of Australia. 

Rabbi Ralph Genende, Senior Rabbi at Caulfield Hebrew Congregation; Rabbi Sprung of the Mizrachi Organisation and Dr Danny Lamm, President, SZC Victoria addressed the crowd. 

Eight moving psalms (tehilim) were read for each of the victims: Segev Peniel Avihail, 15; Neria Cohen, 15; Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar, 16; Yehonadav Haim Hirschfeld, 19; Yohai Lifshitz, 18; Doron Meherete, 26; Avraham David Moses, 16 and Ro’i Roth, 18.

Prayers for the victims, the State of Israel, the IDF and for the 11 boys still injured, 3 critically were recited by Rabbi Heilbrunn, Rabbi Genende and Chazan Adam Segal respectively. 

The service concluded with an emotional singing of  Acheinu, ‘Our Brothers’, a fitting tribute to the deep and inherent connection the Melbourne Jewish community feels with the people of Israel, and which is painfully intensified  during such periods of darkness and grief.

Printed booklets with information about the attack and the  8 students killed so brutally were distributed, together with a  message from Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski. The booklet will be available online at

In an email message sent earlier in the week Bielski wrote: “On this day, I turn to you, heads of Jewish communities, organizations and movements throughout the world, synagogues and schools, young people, emissaries of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, friends of the Jewish People and the State of Israel in the free world – I call on you to demonstrate your solidarity with the State of Israel and express your support for Israel at this difficult and painful hour. It is our duty to come together as one and spread the word of this horrible terror attack to every corner of the world, in order to widen the circle of support of the State of Israel and the solidarity with the continuing struggle against terror.” 

For more information contact:
SZCV Executive Director, Ginette Searle 9272-5544 SZCV Director of Public Affairs, Elly Shalev 9272-5519
The State Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel.
For more information, please visit the State Zionist Council of Victoria website