Anti-Defamation Commission response to Jerusalem knife attack

Anti-Defamation Commission

B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission denounces stabbing at Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem

July 31, 2015

The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) has denounced the stabbing of six people during Jerusalem’s annual Gay Pride Parade. According to news reports, the suspect arrested by police, Yishai Shlissel, carried out a similar attack in 2005 in which three marchers were wounded.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the ADC, issued the following statement:

“We are shocked  and outraged by this despicable and senseless hate crime. We agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu that, “In the State of Israel the freedom of personal choice is one of the basic values we cherish. We must guarantee that in Israel, every man and women will live in safety in any way they choose.” Individuals must never be deliberately singled out and attacked because of their sexual orientation, and it is the duty of every political and religious leader to speak out against such brutal violence. We commend the police for the quick arrest of the suspect and look forward to seeing those responsible for this heinous act prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims, their families, and the LGBTI community, and we wish the injured a full and speedy recovery.”

For more information, please contact Dr. Dvir Abramovich on, 9272-5677

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Michael Danby MP signals intent to denounce Jerusalem knife attack

Aleph Melbourne is optimistic Michael Danby MP will issue a statement condemning the  knife attack at the Jerusalem Pride March further to his positive signalling of a call via Twitter for him to do so:

Michael Danby Twitter favourite re Jerusalem attack

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Jewish Community Council of Victoria issues statement against Jerusalem knife attack

Adding to a strong statement against the Jerusalem Pride March knife attack from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria have added the following message:

“The attack in Jerusalem is a despicable act.  Bigotry, intolerance and hatred are not acceptable in any community, here, in Israel or anywhere.  We join with the ECAJ in condemning this terrible incident, which demonstrates where hate can lead.  Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity should feel free and safe in their daily lives.” — Jennifer Huppert JCCV President

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Australian Jewish community leaders denounce Jerusalem Pride March knife attack

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has issued a welcome statement [PDF] in response to the despicable knife attack in the Jerusalem Pride March overnight.


MEDIA STATEMENT
31 July 2015
STABBING ATTACK IN JERUSALEM

We are appalled and shocked by the knife attack at the Pride March in Jerusalem where six people were stabbed. We understand that two of them are in a critical condition. The Jewish community in Australia condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms, and we are pleased to see statements from Jewish community and religious leaders across the world expressing outrage at the attack.

A purportedly religious Jewish extremist has been arrested in connection with the attack. That person was released from prison three weeks ago, after serving a ten year sentence for a similar attack. We have confidence that the Israeli Justice system will deal with him appropriately.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. We wish all the injured a speedy recovery. Israel is known for its welcoming acceptance of Jews of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity, and for providing asylum to Palestinian gays who are in mortal danger from their own community.

Israel is a beacon to other nations, not just in the Middle East, but throughout the work in its inclusion of the LGBTI community and its embracing of diversity.

This incident hits at the heart of the freedoms and social inclusion that we promote and welcome in the Jewish community in Australia and in Israel. We must all condemn this attack and increase our focus on promoting inclusion, tolerance and acceptance of every member of our community.

Robert Goot AM SC          Peter Wertheim AM
President Executive          Director

Contact:
Peter Wertheim AM Executive Director
ph: 02 8353 8500 | m: 0408 160 904
e: pwertheim@ecaj.org.au | www.ecaj.org.au


 

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The standard you walk past…

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Australian orthodox rabbis interfering in civil marriage (again)!

A little over three years ago, in April 2012, orthodox rabbis in Sydney and Melbourne submitted letters to a Senate enquiry, opposing marriage equality.

As reported in yesterday’s The Australian (June 9 2015), rabbis are among 38 signatories to a letter (PDF) addressed to the Prime Minister opposing marriage equality.  The three Orthodox rabbis, one from Melbourne and two from Sydney, are:

Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick
President Rabbinical Council of Victoria
Senior Dayan – Melbourne Beth Din (Jewish Ecclesiastical Court)

Rabbi Moshe D Gutnick
Senior Dayan – Sydney Beth Din

Rabbi Yehoram Ulman
President Rabbinical Council of NSW
Senior Dayan – Sydney Beth Din

Aleph Melbourne notes that any proposed changes to the Marriage Act to broaden the definition of marriage from “one man and one woman” to wording similar to “two people” will safeguard ministers of religion and not require them to perform marriages between two people of the same-sex.

As it stands, ministers of religion are authorised to refuse to marry any two people, a protection that would carry through with proposed marriage equality amendments.

Exactly why these rabbis are opposing changes to the Marriage Act is incomprehensible in terms of their religious obligations, as any such changes will have no impact on their professional responsibilities.  Therefore is would seem that these rabbis are commenting on matters of civil law beyond their purview, which begs the question: why?

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Rabbi Is Out Of Line & Out Of Touch With The Community | JCCV

Rabbi Is Out Of Line & Out Of Touch With The Community

16 February 2015

Jewish Community Council of VictoriaMuch of the evidence presented at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over the past two weeks has been seriously disturbing, appalling and distressing. One of the lows was the statement made by Rabbi Zvi Telsner, a senior rabbi in the Yeshivah community, that homosexuals can be ‘cured’.

This is repulsive, ignorant and insulting, demonstrating a serious departure from the views of the mainstream Jewish community.

Rabbi Telsner also linked paedophilia and homosexuality in his testimony. Any such linking is disturbing and indeed toxic. Those comments are poisonous to people of diverse sexual preference, their families and friends.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) signed up to the ‘No To Homophobia’ campaign in 2013, the first and possibly only faith community to do so and we urged our affiliates to do likewise.  26 Jewish community organisations have also signed up to the campaign, including the Australian Union of Jewish students (AUJS), Progressive Judaism Victoria, Jewish Care, Jewish Aid, the Jewish Holocaust Centre and the Jewish Museum. Obviously Rabbi Telsner, whose organisation is not affiliated to JCCV, did not sign up.

View Related Article in “Star Observer”

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Aleph Melbourne convenor Michael Barnett on JOY 94.9 Saturday Magazine – April 15 2015

JOY 94.9 Satuday MagazineThe Saturday Magazine program on JOY 94.9 invited Aleph Melbourne convenor Michael Barnett to talk about work of the organisation and LGBTIQ issues in Melbourne’s Jewish community.

This interview was broadcast live to air from the JOY studios on April 4 2015 at 10:45am. Program host was David ‘Macca’ McCarthy with guest host Wil Anderson.

(Download MP3 10MB)

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The Good Son | JIFF

The Good Son

, 2013

Please select your session time to purchase tickets:

“The Good Son tells the poignant story of a young Israeli man … who takes the radical step of changing his gender: without telling his family first.” – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 2013.

This is the incredible story of Or, a 22-year-old Israeli man who plans to secretly have sex reassignment surgery. Or’s own home videos make up the first part of the film – the emotionally gruelling lead-up to the procedure, lying to his family about his acceptance to university abroad and stealing from them to pay for the operation in Thailand. Then he teams up with filmmaker Shirly Berkovitz, who not only documents the remainder of Or’s lonely and guilt-ridden journey through recovery and personal reinvention, but also acts as friend and confidant. Berkovitz captures Or’s first steps in her new life as a woman, talking with fellow transgender people and finally, confronting her family and the price of seeking her true identity. This is an extraordinary tale about overcoming self-doubt, conflicted loyalty and being true to one’s self.

SCREENING WITH SHORT FILM Salomea’s Nose

52 mins/ English, Hebrew (English Subtitles)

Director — Shirly Berkovitz

Category — Other Israel

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My story: coming out as trans | Star Observer

My story: coming out as trans

To mark the end of Mental Health Week and yesterday’s National Coming Out Day, Marco Fink pens a piece in which she comes out as trans, after realising she is not alone and that support is always available.
Marco Fink — October 12, 2014
Marco Fink

YESTERDAY, I told the world that I’m a girl.

First, through a conversation with my parents, second by a Facebook post, and now via this article.

I’ve been thinking for a long time about the right way to talk to everyone about something so big. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of figuring out, but I’m ready and I want to be open and honest.

Growing up, everyone always said to “be a man” and others always told me I was a boy. Even though I didn’t always feel as though it really fit or felt right, I went along with it anyway.

As I got older I started to figure things out more. I was probably about 10 or 11 when I discovered the idea of a “transgender” person.

I was pretty freaked out. All the transphobia and horrible stereotypes I saw on TV and in movies had given me a pretty warped idea of what it meant to be trans*, and as an 11-year-old kid it was overwhelming. I hated it.

I buried my feelings and tried to make myself forget. It was the only way I could cope. I figured denial was easier, pretending I was fine and just forcing myself to power through. My logic was maybe if I ignored it and tried to force myself to “be a man”, maybe eventually I’d just “learn” to be like everyone else.

That didn’t work. Maybe for a few months, even sometimes a year or two, I’d be okay, but it would always come back. I’ve never been able to shake it.

When I was younger, I struggled with depression for many years, and like anyone battling mental health problems, I had some dark and low moments. Then one day one of my friends came out as a trans man. I’d met him through Minus18 a few years back at one of their summer social events. He was a year older than me and a close friend, I really looked up to him.

It was the first time I’d actually knowingly met another trans* person.

All the misconceptions I had about what it meant to be trans started melting away. My friend was still the same nice, kind, funny person as always. The only thing that changed was the name and pronouns we used when talking about him.

Up until that moment I hadn’t been able to accept myself. I had refused to accept myself because that meant admitting I was “different”. I thought it meant being alone. I thought it meant being excluded and mocked. But watching people love and accept my friend for who he was changed everything. It showed me how wrong I was about it all.

It hadn’t even occurred to me that my friends wouldn’t reject me, that society wouldn’t despise me, that my family would maybe even be able to accept me, just like his family did.

For LGBT youth it seems that that’s always the hardest part; feeling alone and isolated. So many people aren’t even aware of just how many other people are out there that can relate and share similar stories.

I found these stories by joining Minus18. It changed my life, and suddenly I was exposed to hundreds of other young people who “just got it”, who could help me through everything, and who would rebuild my confidence.

Marco Fink

Marco Fink

I finally worked up the courage to come out this week. I’d been waiting eagerly for National Coming Out Day.

My parents were shocked for sure, but they told me they loved me no matter what. The reactions on Facebook have been just as incredible. It’s been so freeing to finally be able to be myself and tell the world this is the girl I’m meant to be.

The sense of community and support Minus18 has given me has been enormous, and has provided that for thousands of other LGBT young people all over Victoria and Australia.

Sadly, the incredible support and love I’ve received by coming out as trans* isn’t the norm for Australian youth. With 66 per cent of gender-diverse and trans* young people experiencing transphobic abuse, there’s still such a long way to go before we can say they’re safe.

Minus18’s next big step, the Atrium, is a safe space where young people can meet other LGBT youth. It’s a space where young people come from all over Melbourne can come and be themselves. If I can provide just one more trans* young person with the amazing, supportive space that I was given, it’ll be the most incredible thing in the world.

Marco Fink is the Communications Manager at Minus18, Australia’s National Organisation for LGBT youth. She’s been involved with the organisation for four years, working on written resources, campaigns, and videos to help support LGBT young people like herself. Follow her on Twitter: @marcofink

CLICK HERE to make a donation to Minus18’s crowdfunding campaign for the Atrium.

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