Celebrating Israel’s Independence Day

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NSW Premier Mike Baird with Dr Yadu Singh at the Israeli Independence Day function.

Israel’s Independence Day Celebrations in Sydney has always been one of the key events of the city.

This year’s celebration on 12 May 2014, at Four Seasons Hotel, was no exception, and in fact, it was bigger and better.

NSW Premier Mike Baird delivered the keynote address as 500 people – diplomats, politicians and community, faith and business leaders – gathered to mark the 66th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day. The event was hosted jointly by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Zionist Council of NSW, Executive Council of Australian Jewry and Zionist Federation of Australia. The event was also addressed by Israeli Ambassador Shmuel Ben-Shmuel and Board of Deputies president Yair Miller.

A toast was raised to mark the 66th Independence Day of Israel.

Israel’s Independence Day is the celebration of the anniversary of the day on which Israel independence was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, who read the Israeli Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1948.

In a very Israeli welcoming style, key leaders of the hosting bodies welcomed each and every guest entering the venue. Guests enjoyed the celebration with drinks and traditional Israeli food.

Key political leaders included Mike Baird (Premier of NSW), John Robertson (Leader of Opposition), David Clarke (Parliamentary Secretary), David Elliott (Parliamentary Secretary), Matt Kean (Parliamentary Secretary) and Paul Fletcher (Federal Parliamentary Secretary).

Other notable people attending the celebration included Vic Alhdeff (Chairman, Community Relations Commission), Stepan Kerkyasharian (President of the Anti-Discrimination Board), Dr Tim Soutphommasane (Race Discrimination Commissioner,) and Tim Wilson (Human Rights Commissioner).

Community leaders included Dr Yadu Singh (Indian Australian Association of NSW), Ahmet Keskin (Affinity Intercultural Foundation) and David Ossip (Hornsby Councillor), in addition to many others representing various faiths and ethnic backgrounds.

More than 30 diplomatic representatives were present too, with media and business leaders.

Published in The Indian Sun, Indian magazine in Sydney

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