Mosque attacks  |  17 Jul 2019

More than $1 million raised by Jewish communities in New Zealand, Australia and America has been gifted through the Christchurch Foundation to the victims of the March mosque attacks.

The majority of the money donated was raised by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburg in the United States of America, who lost 11 members of their community in a deadly synagogue shooting in October last year.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel receives a cheque from the Australian jewsih community.

Vic Alhadeff (left) from the New South Wales Jewish community, hands over a cheque to Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel as Stephen Goodman (seated right), from the New Zealand Jewish Council, and senior members of the Muslim community watch on. 

The New South Wales Jewish community also donated money, along with the American Jewish Committee and the New Zealand Jewish community.

The money has been pooled together to form the Abrahamic Fund. It will be mainly used for counselling and support services, medical treatment, financial planning services, education and vocational training for the victims of the mosque shootings and their families.

The Jewish community has asked that some of the donated money is used for interfaith activities to foster greater connection between the Jewish and Muslim communities. 

“Our faith has a shared Abrahamic tradition and Jews and Muslims have both suffered persecution and racism historically, and unfortunately still do today,’’ says Stephen Goodman, of the New Zealand Jewish Council.

“The Jewish community, both in New Zealand and overseas, wanted the victims of the mosque attacks to know that we see them, we empathise with them, and we support them.’’

Visiting New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Chief Executive Vic Alhadeff says an attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths.

“The massacre occurred at a time when people were at their most vulnerable – at prayer in a house of worship.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the Christchurch massacre and we extend our hand in friendship in calling for an end to racism, an end to anti-semitism, an end of Islamaphobia, and an end to bigotry in all its forms,’’ Mr Alhadeff says.

Ibrar Sheikh, from the Federation of the Islamic Associations NZ (FIANZ), says the Muslim community is very grateful for the support shown by the global Jewish community.

“The events of 15 March have had a deep and lasting impact on the Muslim community in New Zealand, and indeed the people of Aotearoa as a whole. To know that our Jewish brothers and sisters understand what we have gone through, and are still going through, and are there to help us in our recovery is very important to us.’’