Training community leaders by We Are All Sydney praised by Dr Harinath

By: Lynda Ben-Menashe, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ “We Are All Sydney” Community Leadership Program brings together emerging and established leaders from Sydney’s diverse ethnic, faith and NGO communities and organisations. It includes 3 months of training, plus optional observerships in Jewish organisations and mentoring.

Two volunteers from Hindu Council of Australia have graduated in the 2019 class this year.

The graduates of WAAS 2019 program with Lynda, Dr Harinath and Joseph LaPosta.

“Thank you for the opportunity to establish relationships with friends from around the world, here in Bankstown. I walk away from this program seeing my friends, beautiful and humble people, here to help each other, to make a better community for us all to live in, seeing my friends in the cultural nation they are from – seeing Kate in every Vietnamese person, Isaac in every Ghanaian person, Ali in every Pakistani person, Lynda and others in every Jewish person I meet.”

These words from one of the 23 newest graduates of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies “We Are All Sydney” community leadership program sum up one major theme of the program: social cohesion, echoed in a Facebook comment by another: “I am so proud of my Friend list today.”

Having a ball at the graduation ceremony

A vibrant celebration in the presence of Multicultural NSW CEO Joseph LaPosta and Advisory Board Chair Dr Hari Harinath marked the graduation of the third cohort. 23 graduates from 17 different backgrounds completed the three-month course and brought their families and friends to enjoy the evening of music, food, speeches and dancing.

Some of the past and current graduates with dignitaries.

The 60+ graduates of the program have come from many backgrounds, including Aboriginal, Afghan, African-American, Anglo, Assyrian, Australian South Sea Islander, Chinese, Cook Islander, Ethiopian, Ghanaian, Greek, Indian, Iranian, Iraqi, Italian, Jewish, Kachin Burmese, Kenyan, LGBTIQ, Pakistani, Philipina, Rwandan, Samoan, Senegalese, Sierra Leonean, Sri Lankan, Syrian, Vietnamese and Zimbabwean.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Lesli Berger explained, “Perhaps the most famous saying of one of the most famous rabbis, Rabbi Hillel, was

‘If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am ONLY for myself, then what am I?’

The Jewish community sees it as both a moral duty and a logical undertaking to try to give back, and strengthen the social fabric of this city. It is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do, for the benefit of all.” 

Lynda speaking to new graduates

“Stronger, more connected community leaders can only build a stronger, more connected Sydney and this is the intended legacy of the program,” said Lynda Ben-Menashe, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Community Relations & Policy Manager 

The We Are All Sydney program is free of charge, with all costs being borne by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, supported by Multicultural NSW and the Department of Social Services.

To apply for a place in our program visit


email with enquiries.

Related Images: