Election date falls on Jewish holy day

A Jewish community leader insists there is no problem that the date chosen for the federal election falls on Yom Kippur, despite concern from some Liberals.

Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the Jewish year, takes place on September 14, the same date as this year’s federal election.

Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull has tweeted he is "deeply disappointed that Julia Gillard chose to hold the election on Yom Kippur - the most solemn and sacred day of the Jewish year".

While influential Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg echoed the concern, taking to Twitter to say "this disenfranchises many Jewish Australians and is incredibly sloppy work".

Labor MP Michael Danby has already decided not to participate on election day, saying in a statement: "As a matter of personal conscience I will be unable to participate on election day. It is my practice, with my wife Amanda, to observe Yom Kippur."

However, Vic Alhadeff, Chief Executive of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, insists it is a non-issue.

“There is no issue for the Jewish community,” said Mr Alhadeff. “We can lodge postal votes or pre-vote. Every election takes place on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.”

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