Mr SOUTHWICK — I would like also to congratulate the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) for voting in its plenum on 3 August in support of the affiliation of Keshet Australia, JCCV’s first GLBTI affiliate. I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to JCCV members, including their president Jonathan Barnett, on this historic moment. This is the first time a GLBTI organisation has joined a Jewish community roof body in Australia and one of the few that has done so around the world. It is fitting that it happened on the JCCV’s — —
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Angus) — Order! The member’s time has expired.
In a momentous and shameful vote of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, on Monday 10 May, the Jewish Gay support group, ALEPH was refused membership of the JCCV. It has been only a generation since Jews and Homosexuals were forced to wear badges of coloured cloth – how quickly we seem to forget that we are inseparably linked by a very common but tragic history.
The criteria for acceptance onto the JCCV – the roof body of Victorian Jewry are simple indeed: A Victorian Jewish organisation aiming to advance Jewish ideals for its membership.
In an unusual secret ballot, affiliate organisations including Synagogues, Sporting groups, Youth Organisations, Cultural, Political and Women’s groups were asked to vote after some months of debate. Many expressed their dismay that they were forced to vote against their consciences by their affiliates. History does not accept such lame excuses when what was required from our community representatives was compassion and understanding, not religious bigotry.
The meeting voted clearly on religious lines – with the Orthodox representatives vehemently rejecting the view that Jewish Gays have a legitimate place in the Community! This despite an impassioned plea by Dr Phillip Bliss, president of the JCCV for Aleph’s acceptance.
The week prior to this opprobrious vote, Aleph published in the AJN an impressive and impassioned plea for acceptance – only to be refused and have the door to the closet slammed in their faces once again!
I can only say how ashamed I feel to be part of such a community that has turned its back on our fellow Jews.
Perhaps wearing a Pink Triangle with a yellow Star of David on it as a symbol of solidarity will finally bring the message home to the bigoted minority.
The Australian Jewish Democratic Society
Pride March 2018 will see the strongest ever Jewish contingent in its two-decade history, bringing together a dynamic range of organisations from our community.
After months of planning by Aleph co-convenor Colin Krycer we can now announce that for the first time “Barbra the Beaut Ute”, resplendent with rainbow Magen David decals, will lead the Jewish groups, pumping out professionally remixed upbeat Jewish and Israeli hits.
Colin’s idea for the combined Jewish contingent was to demonstrate the harmony, inclusiveness and togetherness within the Jewish community. His dream is to see everyone dance their way down Fitzroy Street to the liveliest Jewish music.
Participating in the “Jew Crew”* are Aleph Melbourne, Jews of Pride, Temple Beth Israel, Keshet Australia, Hashomer Hatzair, Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria, Progressive Judaism Victoria, and Netzer Melbourne.
Be at the marshalling area, corner of Lakeside Drive and Fitzroy Street St Kilda this Sunday January 28 by 1:30pm for a 2pm sharp start.
Everyone is welcome to attend and show their support for LGBTIQ Jews. Bring your family, friends, allies and even your pets.
CONCERNS OVER SECRECY OF RUDDOCK RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REVIEW
Aleph Melbourne is deeply concerned with the announcement that all public submissions to the Ruddock Religious Freedom Review will be kept secret.
There is a lot at stake for the respect and dignity of LGBTIQ people alongside that of members of religious communities. Any review of freedom of speech requires a full, frank and honest exchange of views.
The notion that submissions to an inquiry should be kept secret flies in the face of the very intention to investigate the freedoms that are under threat.
It would be better for the Turnbull Government to provide full transparency rather than create a tension in our communities. There should be no freedom that is so important that the decision-making process needs to be hidden from view.
The Jewish community is well aware of the risk that discrimination carries. For decades we have been at the forefront of ensuring that people of all backgrounds are free to go about their lives with minimal impact to their personal liberties.
The potential is that the Ruddock Review will see the introduction of new rights giving faith-based organisations greater freedom to discriminate. It may well be that a Christian business that could refuse to provide goods or services for a same-sex wedding, because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, could also refuse to serve a Jewish wedding based on the same sincerely held beliefs.
For further comment contact Michael Barnett – 0417-595-541