Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Australia, attended a Shabbat service last at Sydney’s Great Synagogue with his wife.
The synagogue’s Chief Minister Rabbi Benjamin Elton met the couple at the synagogue’s gates. The conregation’s roots date back to 1828, 40 years after British colonists first came to Australia.
“Their Excellencies had wanted to visit for some time and the synagogue was honoured to welcome them to the Shabbat service,” a spokesperson for the synagogue said.
Following the service, the couple conversed with congregants. Elton said the visit “highlighted the good relations between the different faith groups in Australia.”
“For decades The Great Synagogue has welcomed the leaders of the nation,” Elton said. “We were honoured to do so again. We understand the significance of this visit as a sign of respect for the Jewish community.”