Hen is an energetic activist and advocate for his people. As the son of Mizrahi Jewish refugees from Iraq and North Africa (Berber Jews from Tunisia), Hen has a unique and important voice in today’s discussions, sharing his family’s story as part of the 850,000 Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. As a young Israeli, Hen served in the IDF for almost five years as an openly gay commander. During his service as a lieutenant in the COGAT unit, he worked as an intermediary between the Israeli Defense Forces (the IDF), the Palestinian Authority, the UN, and many non-governmental organisations that operate in the West Bank.
SPEAKER Hen Mazzig Hen Mazzig is the son of Mizrahi Jewish refugees from Iraq and North Africa. He has written for the LA Times, NBC News, Haaretz, The Forward, Jewish Chronicle and International Business Times. Since 2016, he has worked as a freelance consultant to help pro-Israel and social justice causes, and has also volunteered as the head of the Transgender and Health department at the National Israeli LGBTQ Task Force “The Nir Kates Center” in Tel Aviv.
Jarod has had a long journey with his gayness. A longer one with his Judaism. His life has its share of conflict. Inner turmoil. Some painful memories. But the focus will be on the inspiring moments he has had on his Jewish gay journey. Ultimately, his life is a tale of unwavering love, positivity and understanding. Because he has waded through the darkness, the light shines twice as bright. And I’m here.
SPEAKERS Jarod Rhine-Davis Jarod is a Jewish gay man living his best life in Melbourne, and has a keen interest in bringing the Jewish and LGBTIQA+ communities together. He actively volunteers and as a job is involved in helping disadvantaged people to find employment. He is looking forward to sharing his story.
Adam Samuel Adam Samuel is a Jewish/gay award-winning radio broadcaster and journalist, working with KIIS, GOLD, 3AW and JOY 94.9, and notably associate producing the Melbourne AIDS Conference. Adam is also a festival and event MC, and is often seen walking along Glenhuntly Rd with a really large cup of coffee!
From the lounge-rooms of Sydney, we bring you a taste of HaSodot, our grassroots film club catering to queer Jewish women. Join us as we watch and discuss the portrayal of queer Jewish women in contemporary film and television. We will examine the ways in which television and film represent (or misrepresent) our experiences and how this may impact our lives and identities.
SPEAKERS Liora Baram Liora is somehow still a student at the University of Sydney, and works in research in the academic and corporate worlds. She is co-founder of the Jewish queer women’s community, HaSodot. Liora is also co-chair of Limmud Oz + NZ Online 2020.
Shoshana Gottlieb Shoshana is a writer and playlist maker based in sydney. She spends her time watching, reading about, and discussing film and television. her mother thinks she would’ve made a great doctor.
Aleph Melbourne is disturbed by the news of a pointless and senseless act of cowardly vandalism at Melbourne’s Cranbourne Golf Club.
The antisemitic and homophobic graffiti demonstrates profound immaturity and insensitivity by the perperator/s.
As a support group for LGBTIQ+ Jews we feel the pain doubly. We are targeted for being Jewish. We are targeted for our sexual orientation.
What makes this type of vandalism especially pernicious is that it was laced with hate. It wasn’t an ordinary case of self-expression on a fence or wall, but rather, a calculated and targeted act of intolerance designed to hurt people.
We hope that the perpetrator/s are brought to justice. More than that, we hope that they come to understand the nature of their crime and make amends for their actions.
MEDIA CONTACT Michael Barnett (pronouns: he/him/his) Co-convenor – Aleph Melbourne 0417-595-541 email@example.com
The third potential outbreak which concerns me is anti-LGBT vilification. That is, attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals – and the LGBT community more broadly – claiming that we are somehow responsible for promulgating the coronavirus, or deserving of infection because of our supposed ‘sinful lifestyles’.
This is not a hypothetical fear, either. At the start of April, Melbourne Jewish radio station J-AIR broadcast the following homophobic and transphobic comments from a Rabbi Kessin:
But there is also no anti-LGBT vilification coverage in Victoria[iii] (meaning the earlier comments on a Melbourne Jewish radio station were likely lawful), or in Western Australia, South Australia or the Northern Territory.
Published results of J-AIR inquiry (forwarded to Michael Barnett via email on 5 May 2020).
1) The J-AIR complaints resolution committee, comprising J-AIR radio’s executive committtee, inquired into comments by Rabbi Mendel Kessin on The Tamar Yonah Show (30 March 2020) broadcast and podcast by J-AIR. Rabbi Kessin’s comment were originally aired on 24 March on the INTR program The Mystical Meaning of the Coronavirus with Rabbi Mendel Kessin. The complaints resolution committee found Rabbi Kassin’s comments were contrary to Australian law in that they vilified members of the homosexual (and LGBTIQ+) community. 2) An unreserved apology was issued immediately to the homosexual (and LGBTIQ+) community via Michael Barnett, who wrote about the TYS broadcast on the Aleph.org website on 4 April. The apology was distributed to The Australian Jewish News, J-Wire, JMedia and J-AIR’s Facebook group and page. 3) The apology was posted on the landing page of J-AIR’s website (j-air.com.au) and the apology in audio form was broadcast for several days following the original broadcast. 4) Michael Barnett, who brought the TYS broadcast to J-AIR’s attention, was engaged by telephone by the J-AIR assistant station manager. 5) Tamar Yonah was contacted for her comment. She noted in part: “Israel News Talk Radio is an Israeli Jewish station based on Torah values. We have on a variety of guests including rabbis who express different opinions on current or historical/biblical issues. Guests and listeners may, and do, hold very diverse views. Our live shows offer listeners to call in and agree, disagree, ask a question, or make a comment. Live talk-radio is very dynamic and is not a closed forum, and knowing that people express very diverse views, we have a disclaimer on our site stating that the many different views and opinions expressed on INTR do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Israel News Talk Radio or its staff.” J-AIR carries a similar disclaimer hourly. 6) J-AIR will begin an updated education program for all presenters about Australian vilification laws, and advise them to remind guests before interviews to be wary of what they say. 7) Tamar Yonah has requested her program be replaced by other programs from INTR. J-AIR’s programming committee is looking into replacement programs.
Aleph Melbourne is pleased to hear that J-AIR are reinforcing anti-vilification requirements to their presenters, and also that the station is replacing the problematic Tamar Yonah Show syndication with alternative content.
Received from the Legislative Assembly on 12 September 2019:
An inquiry into current anti-vilification laws, their possible expansion, and/or extension of protections beyond existing classes to the Legal and Social Issues Committee for consideration and report no later than 1 September 2020.
The Committee should consider:
1) The effectiveness of the operation of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (the Act) in delivering upon its purposes; 2) The success or otherwise of enforcement of the Act, and the appropriateness of sanctions in delivering upon the Act’s purposes; 3) Interaction between the Act and other state and Commonwealth legislation; 4) Comparisons in the operation of the Victorian Act with legislation in other jurisdictions; 5) The role of state legislation in addressing online vilification. 6) The effectiveness of current approaches to law enforcement in addressing online offending. 7) Any evidence of increasing vilification and hate conduct in Victoria; 8) Possible extension of protections or expansion of protection to classes of people not currently protected under the existing Act; 9) Any work underway to engage with social media and technology companies to protect Victorians from vilification.
Note: contrary to what is stated in this article, Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett did not contact J-AIR. The station approached Michael Barnett after independent concerns about the broadcast were brought to their attention.
Note: contrary to what is stated in the introduction to the interview, Michael Barnett did not raise a complaint with J-AIRregarding the offensive material. Station management chose to initiate their complaint handling process after concerns appearing on the Aleph Melbourne web site were independently brought to their attention.