The following motion was put by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society to the Jewish Community Council of Victorian Plenum meeting on March 4 2019. After significant debate at the meeting it was decided that the motion not be voted on, but rather, redrafted through a consultation between Aleph Melbourne, the AJDS and the JCCV.
Motion to JCCV Plenum – March 2019
To acknowledge the 20-year anniversary of Aleph Melbourne being denied membership of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria
Moved by AJDS:
1. On the occasion of 20 years since the failed attempt by Aleph Melbourne to join the JCCV, this Plenum places on record that:
- Aleph Melbourne submitted an application for membership of the JCCV in January 1999 with the backing of the then President Phillip Bliss and the executive of the JCCV.
- Aleph Melbourne met all requirements for membership of the JCCV.
- Aleph Melbourne’s membership of JCCV would have given the Jewish LGBTIQ community visibility, within the Jewish community and provided them an important support base.
- When the application was brought to the Plenum on 10 May 1999, much was said that was supportive and welcoming for Aleph Melbourne but much was remarkably hurtful, shameful and homophobic, including remarks from some leading Melbourne rabbis at that time.
- When the Plenum voted on the application, the vote was 39 For and 49 Against, resulting in the application being denied.
2. Accordingly, this Plenum:
Apologises to Aleph Melbourne, its past committee and members, and to all LGBTIQ Jews for the denial of the safe space at the JCCV Plenum on the day of that vote as well as the subsequent distress, further marginalisation, and stigmatisation caused by the rejection of membership by the JCCV, and for the subsequent decade of inaction by the JCCV in terms of any outreach to LGBTIQ Jews.
Acknowledges Aleph Melbourne’s significant efforts to encourage us all to speak out against hate and intolerance of LGBTIQ people, and that as a direct result, and following the attack on the LGBT Youth Centre attack in Tel Aviv in 2009, the JCCV then undertook its first actions in support of LGBTIQ Jews.
Correction: the 1999 vote was actually 39 For and 46 Against