SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks arrived in Australia on his last official visit as chief rabbi of the commonwealth before stepping down after two decades in his post.
Sacks, who traveled with his wife, Elaine, was the guest of honor at a gala dinner Sunday attended by more than 300 people at Government House in Perth to mark the 120th anniversary of the Perth Hebrew Congregation.
In Sydney he will visit The Great Synagogue and Central Synagogue this week and attend a special dinner attended by New South Wales Governor Marie Bashir before heading to Melbourne as a guest of the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, which this year is celebrating its 155th anniversary. Sacks is scheduled to lead the procession of a double Torah dedication starting at Parliament House in Melbourne and ending at the synagogue.
In an interview with the Australian Jewish News last week, Sacks praised Australian Jewry.
“Australian Jewry is blessed with wonderful rabbis and exceptional lay leaders," he said, "and it’s just connecting and reconnecting with people. That’s the most important thing.”