The experience of LGBTQ+ members of the Sydney Jewish community has ranged from celebration to rejection. After the success of the marriage-equality vote in 2017, the movement for greater acceptance of LGBTQ+ people is growing. Yet a 2020 study showed that four out of five LGBTQ+ people felt worse than they did after the same-sex marriage vote. What further changes are needed?
This month’s NSW Jewish Board of Deputies plenum will feature a panel discussion moderated by Josh Kirsh, chair of the Board of Deputies LGBTQ+ Working Party.
The panellists will be: Dr Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker-Phelps, both of whom campaigned for marriage equality, Jonathan David, president of the Jewish LGBTQ+ support group Dayenu, Danielle Meltzer, a transgender woman who grew up in Sydney, and Galit Taub, a graduate of Moriah College who aims to make religious Jewish spaces more inclusive for LGBTQ+ individuals. The plenum will be held both in person and online on Tuesday 16 March at 7:30pm.JBOD plenum: More changes needed for the LGBTQ+ community? | J-Wire
The Council for the Order of Australia should hang its collective head in shame for honouring Margaret Court, a purveyor of bigotry.
JANUARY 26 2021
ALEPH MELBOURNE DISGUSTED BY
AUSTRALIA DAY HONOUR AWARDED TO MARGARET COURT
The Australia Day 2021 Honour bestowed to Margaret Court “for eminent service to tennis as an internationally acclaimed player and record-holding grand slam champion, and as a mentor of young sportspersons” flies in the face of good taste and decency.
As an organisation representing Jewish LGBTIQ+ people we have been doubly impacted by Margaret Court’s incessant demonisation, with her comparison of the work done to protect LGBTIQ+ children to what Adolf Hitler did, and her rabid transphobia and homophobia.
Margaret Court may be capable when it comes to mentoring in tennis, but as a community leader she is a danger to impressionable young people by telling those who are LGBTIQ+ that they are the work of the devil and making them feel bad about themselves.
The Council for the Order of Australia should hang its collective head in shame for honouring a purveyor of bigotry.
Michael Barnett – Co-convenor
Multicultural voices in support of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020
Wednesday 9 December 2020
Various multi-faith, multicultural LGBTQ+ and allied voices have written an open letter in support of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 currently before the Victorian Parliament.
The letter is signed by:
- Ghassan Kassisieh, Legal Director, Equality Australia and author of the ‘We’re Family Too’ report
- Dr Judy Tang, Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and ex-President of Australian LGBTIQ+ Multicultural Council
- Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Research lead and founding member of Australian LGBTIQ+ Multicultural Council (AGMC); Gender & Sexuality Studies, Deakin University
- Cedric Yin-Cheng, Chief Executive Officer, Australia & New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance Inc (ANTRA)
- Abanob Saad, Conversion Practice Survivor and Founder, Queer Middle-Eastern and African Christians in Australia (QMEACA)
- Benjamin Oh and Molina Asthana, Co-Convenors, Asian Australian Alliance (AAA)
- Budi Sudarto, Director, Ananda Training & Consultancy and Member of Queer Muslims in Australia
- Ken Dumandan, President, Acceptance Melbourne LGBTIQ+ Catholics
- Dr Reem Sweid, Founder and former President of Muslim Collective; Faculty Member, Alfred Deakin Research Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University
- Nathan Despott, Brave Network
- Michael Barnett, Co-convenor, Aleph Melbourne
- Bhante Akāliko Bhikkhu, Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community
0418 432 030
Whilst grateful for the Jewish Community Council of Victoria’s sincere apology to Aleph Melbourne in 2019, the apology was not exactly for “[Aleph’s] 1999 exclusion from the JCCV” as stated here by outgoing President Jennifer Huppert:
Oboler takes the reins from Jennifer Huppert, who served two three-year terms. The lawyer and former Labor MLC told The AJN the JCCV’s role in the Victorian Jewish Community Bushfire Relief Appeal and in the Jewish Community COVID Taskforce were key developments on her watch, as was obtaining funding for communal security. Bringing in LGBTIQ group Keshet and the apology to gay-rights group Aleph for its 1999 exclusion from the JCCV were milestones. She noted, “Gen17 showed that Jewish people identify in many different ways.”“Andre Oboler takes the JCCV reins” | AJN (Nov 19 2020)
The exact wording of the JCCV apology, as taken from the Motion to JCCV Plenum – April 2019, is:
Accordingly, this Plenum now apologises unconditionally to all members of our community who were impacted by the rejection of the membership application and for the unacceptable homophobic views expressed during the debate.
We apologise for the deep offence and humiliation caused by the hateful words spoken in the course of the debate.
We apologise for the subsequent distress, further marginalisation and stigmatisation caused by the rejection of Aleph Melbourne’s membership application.
On August 2 2020 Michael Barnett from Aleph Melbourne participated in “The Aguda – Pride in the Livingroom” Project. Watch Michael tell his story:
The Aguda – The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel has organised a diverse series of international Jewish LGBTIQ+ speakers who will be coming to you live from their living rooms over the week of August 3-7 2020.
“Pride In The Living Room” was founded in memory of the 2009 “Tel Aviv Gay Center” shooting victims, and in memory of the Jerusalem Pride parade stabbing in 2015. The project arose from the need to share and expose the public to personal stories of the LGBTQ community. Through these stories, we as Jewish LGBTQ community members – can build inspiring and powerful connections between the LGBTQ community and the general public – ALL ACROSS the world, inside our local Jewish communities, in Israel and abroad.
Join “The Aguda” – the Israeli Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, in hearing the unique stories of our Global Jewish LGBTQ community, and help us in spreading our common values of love, acceptance, tolerance, and “Tikun Olam.”
Check out the speaker list and event details on their Facebook page here.
Speakers from Aleph Melbourne include founding member Shaun Miller and co-convenor Michael Barnett.
Join Michael at 7pm on Sunday August 2. Details here.
Join Shaun at 7pm on Thursday August 6. Details here.
Events will be streamed live on both Zoom and Facebook.
Aleph Melbourne commends Caulfield Hebrew Congregation on significant LGBTIQ+ diversity reform
July 12 2020
Aleph Melbourne commends the board of Caulfield Hebrew Congregation (CHC) for taking an unequivocal stance against all intolerance of LGBTIQ+ people, and accepts a sincere apology from the board for recent comments made on social media by a CHC Vice President.*
By committing to undertake diversity training, and by accepting that intolerance and vilification directed at LGBTIQ+ people is unacceptable, the CHC board sends a strong message to trans and gender diverse, same-sex attracted, and intersex people in the Jewish community that they are valued, important and worthy.
We acknowledge CHC Rabbi Ralph Genende for his decade-plus leadership in being a proponent for the acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people.
Now with Caulfield Hebrew Congregation sending a clear message that Orthodox Judaism can embrace LGBTIQ+ diversity, Aleph Melbourne calls on all Orthodox synagogues in Melbourne and across Australia to stand in solidarity on this important stance.
Michael Barnett (pronouns: he/him/his)
On July 3 2020 the Australian Jewish News published an opinion piece by Michael Barnett from Aleph Melbourne addressing in part some concerns from a May 15 AJN opinion piece criticising the Zionist Federation of Australia for participating in Pride March.JNMEL_A_03072020_015