I would like to clarify my intent in the article in this week’s Newsletter – “The Myth of Annexation,” and encourage further conversation.
In the article I present a point of view, knowing that there are many varying and legitimate viewpoints across our community.
I note that the views expressed in this article may not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Board of Directors, the staff or pupils of the College, or of the wider Jewish community. It is also important to note that some of the fundamentals of the proposed extension of Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank, if it proceeds, have yet to be announced.
Part of our core values as a school, is our desire to foster a passion for Zionist ideals, and a deep connection to Israel. We want our children and our community to feel, think, speak about, and advocate for, issues and events that impact Israel and the Jewish world.
Moriah, as the largest Jewish day school in Australia, and a cornerstone of the Sydney Jewish community is committed to being an authentic place of learning and legitimate ideas, within the realm of our values, our integrity and our ethos.
We have an obvious aversion to fake news, alternative facts, post-truths, or ideas and ideologies that aim to harm others. However, when it comes to items of importance such as this, we encourage dialogue and expression of different views.
We are committed to educating and exposing our children to a range of views, with intellectually honesty, in a safe and respectful environment. In fact, when we listen to views that differ from our own, we learn to defend our viewpoint and develop a deeper conviction in our own beliefs. Our understanding and empathy of others deepens and we grow and enrich our world view, our ideas and ideals. At Moriah, we encourage our students to be passionate about issues that matter, to grow in knowledge and confidence, to express their voice, to be heard and to make a difference.
In that vein and in order to provide other perspectives on the complex matter of “annexation” we are publishing an article written by Robert Goot AO SC, who is Chairman of the Trustees and a Life Patron of Moriah College, the Co-chair of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and a past President and current Deputy President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). The views in his piece are his and not necessarily those or any organisation with whom he is associated, nor the staff or pupils of the College.
Over the coming weeks, if and when events unfold, we intend to teach and discuss various points of view on this matter. Please discuss this as a family, look at the different points of view, beg to differ and express your own standpoint, and let’s increase our engagement with and passion for Israel and encourage our voices to be heard about issues that matter.
Wishing you all a wonderful and safe holiday. Enjoy some special family time and we look forward to seeing your children back next term.
Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler