Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: just call for marriage equality

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wants to know how to respond to same-sex relationships.

It’s really simple.  Call for marriage equality.

Shmuley same sex relationships

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City of Glen Eira embraces LGBTIQ inclusion in its care for older adults

Aleph Melbourne congratulates the City of Glen Eira for embracing same-sex attracted, intersex, and gender diverse (SSA/I/GD) people in its Positive Ageing Strategy 2015-2020 [PDF].

In July 2015 Aleph Melbourne responded to a call for feedback on the draft strategy, which at that time had no inclusive language on SSA/I/GD issues.  Our submission, with valuable input from gerontologist Dr Jo Harrison, along with the endorsements of Jewish Care and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, offered a number of recommendations to the strategy.

Aleph Melbourne convenor Michael Barnett also met in person with council staff to discuss these recommendations and how they would benefit those SSA/I/GD people living in the City of Glen Eira.

The professionalism and sensitivity of the staff at Glen Eira was exemplary and every step of the way was heartening.

In addition to the council approving the strategy on March 15 2016 they simultaneously released their Older Adults Guide to Glen Eira [PDF].  This is a beautiful resource packed with helpful information.  It also contains a number of resources for SSA/I/GD people and a magnificent photo of a same-sex couple.

Thank you very much City of Glen Eira for providing support and giving a face to an historically neglected and previously invisible segment of your community.  This step forward is most deeply appreciated and will hopefully go a long way to improving the quality of life of these people and their families.

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Jewish LGBTI Youth! – Jews All Diverse & Equal | Minus18

At the JCCV Plenum tonight, the Hon Robin Scott, Minister for Multicultural Affairs launched a 8.5 min video developed by the JCCV young LGBTI advisory group, which aims to highlight that you can be Jewish and LGBTI. The aim is for a fully welcoming and respectful Jewish community, where Jews of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity participate actively in the community. Everyone is to be treated with respect, dignity and equity.

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Bialik Principal issues statement on school’s support for marriage equality

Following on from the announcement of Bialik College becoming the first school in Australia to declare support for marriage equality, the school’s principal Jeremy Stowe-Lindner has issued the following statement on their Facebook page:

Bialik College is proud to join Monash University, Swinburne and over 800 other organisations, in confirming our support…

Posted by Bialik College on Wednesday, 17 February 2016

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ECAJ & Marriage Equality

From: Michael Barnett
Date: 16 February 2016 at 22:06
Subject: ECAJ & Marriage Equality
To: Peter Wertheim <PWertheim@ecaj.org.au>, Robert Goot <president@ecaj.org.au>

Hi Peter, Robert,
 
I see the ECAJ are keen to discuss “LGBT equality” for it’s ideological purposes:
 
http://www.ecaj.org.au/2016/open-letter-to-the-anti-israel-left
 
Ordinarily this use of LGBTI people would not bother me but given Australia doesn’t have LGBTI equality and given your organisation exists to promote the welfare (eg equality) of Australians, it seems you’re taking a liberty with the liberties LGBTI Australians don’t yet have.
 
Allow me to remind you of your platform:
 

This Council:
1.1 NOTES that it is the vision of the ECAJ to create and support a community in which all Australians, including all Jewish Australians:
(a) feel valued and their cultural differences are respected;
(b) have a fair opportunity to meet their material and other needs; and
(c) are equally empowered as citizens to participate in and contribute to all facets of life in the wider community;

Right now I’m not feeling especially valued, not do I have fair opportunity to meet my needs, and am not empowered to participate in or contribute to all facets of life in the wider community.  I am sure I speak for others too.
 
On this particular ground, I’d really like your organisation to sign its name to marriage equality so LGBTI people in Australia can have equal rights, similarly to those of the people you are so proud to show off in your open letter.
 
To this end, Australian Marriage Equality have provided a simple mechanism to facilitate your addition to their list of over 800 supporters:
 
http://www.australianmarriageequality.org/non-profit-support
 
It would also be an ideal opportunity for the ECAJ to follow in the footsteps of Bialik College, a proud supporter of marriage equality.
 
How soon can you arrange this support?
 
Regards,
Michael.
0417-595-541.

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Bialik College first Australian school to support Marriage Equality

MEDIA RELEASE
Bialik College first Australian school to support Marriage Equality
February 16 2016

Adding its name to an impressive list of over 800 supporters, Bialik College takes pride of place as the first Australian K-12 school to support marriage equality.

20160216 Bialik College support for marriage equality

As a member of the Safe Schools Coalition, Bialik College is showing genuine leadership and vision by supporting marriage equality.  The school clearly understands that giving children equal opportunities in life enables them to achieve their full potential.

Michael Barnett, convenor of Aleph Melbourne, reflects on this significant moment:

“As a former student of Bialik College, I am exceedingly proud of my first high school today.  They have come a long way since I attended in the early 1980s.  I would have had an easier time at school, experienced less bullying and felt less isolated if the school had told me it was ok to love boys and that I could even marry a man when I grew up.  That validation would have made a huge difference to me, particularly at that formative stage of my life”.

Every current and future student at Bialik can now know that when they attend school, their friendships and relationships will be equally valued within their school community and that gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex status will not be a barrier to full inclusion.

This is a proud moment for the Jewish community in Australia.  It also brings Australia one step closer to removing the hurtful and pointless discrimination in the Marriage Act.

All Jewish schools, and those beyond the Jewish community, must step up to the mark, in the name of equality and for the best outcomes for their students, and similarly add their name to the Australian Marriage Equality list of academic supporters.

Further comment available from Aleph Melbourne convenor Michael Barnett on 0417-595-541.

ENDS

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Biggest ever Jewish contingent at Pride March 2016

Melbourne’s Jewish Community came out in force on Sunday January 31 2016 to participate in the annual Pride March in St Kilda.  The largest contingent to date, this year saw community stalwarts Aleph Melbourne and the Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria joined by a strong presence from youth groups Habonim Dror, SKIF, Netzer and Hashomer Hatzair.  Members of AUJS and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria also marched in solidarity.

From 20160131 Pride March

Pride March celebrates the rich diversity of Melbourne’s LGBTIQ community.  Aleph Melbourne has participated every year since 1997.  The significant presence of Jewish youth groups in Pride March over the past three years shows that increasingly, young people are passionate about equality, inclusion, respect and social justice.

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Michael Barnett of Aleph Melbourne on LGBTIQ issues | The Shtick S42-07


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Statement on Moshe Feiglin’s Visit to Australia | NIF

Twelve Jewish and Zionist organisations in Australia from across the religious, political and social spectrum have come together to issue a statement regarding former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin’s visit to Australia this month.

Moshe-feiglin.jpg

The statement reads:

“Moshe Feiglin’s views on women, homosexuality and Palestinian citizens of Israel are inconsistent with Jewish values. They have no place in a modern democracy such as Israel that was established on the principle of respecting the human rights of all its minorities.”

The following organisations have signed on to the statement:

  • Aleph Melbourne
  • Ameinu Australia
  • Australian Reform Zionist Association
  • Habonim Dror Australia
  • Hashomer Hatzair Australia
  • Hineni Australia
  • Jewish Labour Bund and SKIF
  • Keshet Australia
  • Netzer Australia
  • New Israel Fund Australia
  • Progressive Judaism Victoria
  • Shira Hadasha Synagogue

In addition, a number of the organisations’ leaders have commented:

Dr Ilana Snyder, President of New Israel Fund Australia, said:

“The views of many people in the Australian Jewish community do not line up with Moshe Feiglin’s which is why it is important to point out when such anti-democratic values are being promoted. NIF is working hard in Israel to bring different sectors together, promote shared society and coexistence, and uphold the values of the Declaration of Independence.”

Johnny Baker, President of Ameinu Australia, said:

“Whilst we respect the right of different voices to be heard in our community, we are equally concerned that the impending visit of Israeli extremist, Moishe Feiglin, will bring the Jewish community into disrepute and play into the hands of our adversaries.”

Daniel Stiglec, Meta’em (Vice President & Community Liason) of Hashomer Hatzair, said:

“Hashomer Hatzair Australia believes Moshe Feiglin’s views about minority groups in Israel are divisive and detrimental to the character of the Jewish State. Whilst he has the right to freedom of speech, we condemn his views and would like to highlight the fact that these are not the views of Australian Jewry and the larger Israeli mainstream society.”

Shira Appelboom, Federal Mazkira (Chairperson) of Netzer Australia, said:

“Moshe Feiglin’s disrespect for marginalised groups in Israel goes against Netzer Australia’s fundamental beliefs in equality and respect for all human life. Though he is entitled to his views, we strongly believe they are an obstacle to the pursuit of peace and democracy in Israel.”

Brian Samuel, President of Progressive Judaism Victoria, said:

“We are concerned about Mr Feiglin’s visit to Melbourne. He is a disruptive person in the Jewish world and shares few values with the Jewish community.”

Jonathan Barnett, President of Keshet Australia, said:

“The board of Keshet Australia, wishes to express our concern regarding the proposed visit by Mr Feiglin to Australia. Keshet aspires to encourage and teach inclusivity. Mr Feiglin’s philosophy is diametrically opposed to our core values. Mr Feiglin has expressed views which seek to oppose the inclusivity and rights of GLBT Jews. Keshet Australia believes his views are damaging and hurtful to people here and in Israel. We feel it is incumbent on us to highlight to the greater community that such views are not held or supported by most Jewish people in Australia or elsewhere.”

Barbara Ford, Acting President of the Australian Reform Zionist Association (ARZA), said:

“ARZA Australia supports discussion about sensitive issues in Israel, including the treatment of minorities, the status of women and the issues of pluralism and sexual orientation. However, such discussions should be respectful and focussed on constructive dialogue. It is highly questionable if the views and presentation of Moshe Feiglin meet these basic criteria.”

New Israel Fund Australia
Ameinu
Hineni
Habonim Dror
Hashomer Hatzair
Progressive Judaism Victoria
Keshet
ARZA
Shira Hadasha
Dayenu
Netzer

### ENDS ###

For more information, please contact:

Liam Getreu
Executive Director, NIF Australia
liam@nif.org.au
0413 374 401

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JCCV Statement on Moshe Feiglin Visit

JCCV Statement on Moshe Feiglin Visit

12 October 2015

Jennifer Huppert, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) stated,

“Moshe Feiglin has expressed extremist views in the past regarding women, sexual orientation and political issues which are inconsistent with the values and policies of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV).  These sorts of views are not representative of the Victorian Jewish community.  They are damaging to social inclusion and social cohesion in our community, and we strongly condemn these divisive and corrosive statements.

In particular, the JCCV is opposed to any homophobia, biphobia or transphobia by whomever or whoever expresses it. It has no place in our community. Everyone of any sexual orientation or gender identity should be respected and be given equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to the community.”

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