Jewish lawmakers sworn into Australia’s parliament

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Two Jewish lawmakers were sworn into Australia’s new parliament wearing kipot and taking their oath on the Old Testament.

The Labor Party’s Michael Danby and the Liberal Party’s Joshua Frydenberg — the first Jewish lawmaker representing his party in the lower house — were sworn in Sept. 28 in Canberra. They join Laborite Mark Dreyfus, a third Jewish lawmaker, in the nation’s first hung parliament in 70 years.

Also sworn in was Ed Kusic, the nation’s first Muslim lawmaker, who placed his hand on the Koran, and the Liberal Party’s Ken Wyatt, the first Aboriginal member of the House of Representatives, who wore a traditional kangaroo skin for the ceremony.

Frydenberg was sworn in using the same Bible as Sir Zelman Cowen used in 1977 when he became governor-general, the nation’s second Jewish head of state. The ornate Bible, which is in English and Hebrew, was printed in 1971 made from the plates of the London edition of the 1881 Jewish Family Bible.

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