There is no time of the year that highlights the duties of dual loyalties like these past weeks. As Jewish Australians, our students stood with respect and paid tribute to the Israeli soldiers who gave their lives for the State of Israel on Yom Hazikaron. These brave men and women gave their lives so that Jews everywhere can live in peace and security, for which we will always be grateful.

And less than a week after donning blue and white and dancing in joyous elation to celebrate Yom Ha’aztmaut and 70 years since Israel’s independence, we stood in sombre reflection for a moving, educational and inspirational assembly to honour our ANZACs. Written and directed by Lynda Fisher, the assembly was a fitting tribute to our Australian soldiers who fought valiantly with our Allies to come to the aid of those in need.

Two reflections on the light horse brigade in Be’er Sheva, delivered by members of our community who have recently been touched by visits to this part of Israel, elegantly tied together the feelings and emotions of these past few weeks. To learn how Australia made its mark on Israel and, as always, held out a hand in solidarity is both relevant and important for our students to know.

Our students here at Carmel are exemplars; their conduct, outlook and devotion to both Australia, the country in which they live, and Israel, the country of our people, is admirable. There is a Yiddish saying that ‘you can’t dance at two chasunahs (weddings). Well, our students at Carmel do dance at two weddings. And they do so with elegance and grace.

May the memory of our ANZAC soldiers be a blessing to us all, and may we know no more wars.

Shabbat Shalom,