Aleph Melbourne launches 2022 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ+ Equality

MEDIA RELEASE
13 NOVEMBER 2022

ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2022 VICTORIAN STATE ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE FOR LGBTIQ+ EQUALITY

Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2022 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ+ Equality. 

The Voters Guide is designed to inform voters who want to select candidates who have comprehensively demonstrated or pledged support for LGBTIQA+ equality and inclusion.

This election the guide covers Victorian electoral districts (as per 2022 electoral boundaries) with 700 or more people with Jewish religious affiliation as at the 2021 census. The selected districts are Albert Park, Bentleigh, Brighton, Caulfield, Clarinda, Hawthorn, Malvern, Oakleigh and Prahran.

LINKS

KEY FEATURES

  • Individual candidate statements indicating commitment to LGBTIQ+ issues
  • Indicators advising whether a candidate is LGBTIQ+, an ally, or opposed to LGBTIQ+ equality
  • Indicators advising whether a candidate is Jewish, or is perceived to hold antisemitic views
  • Links to candidate/party platform/policies on LGBTIQ+ issues
  • Links to How To Vote cards (available from November 18)

We encourage voters to locate their voting district, review their candidates’ levels of support for LGBTIQ+ issues and vote in a manner that prioritises LGBTIQ+ equality.

HISTORY

This guide is the seventh in our series of election guides since 2013:

MEDIA CONTACT
Michael Barnett | 0417-595-541 | contact@aleph.org.au

ENDS

Caulfield Chabad Lamplighter editor Mendy Rimler recycles homophobic drivel in time for Yom Kippur

Disappointingly, the editor of Melbourne’s Caulfield Chabad “Lamplighter” Mendy Rimler has chosen to plaster the cover of his September 30 2022 Yom Kippur edition with a 15-year-old piece of homophobic claptrap by Rabbi Yossy Goldman.

The most challenging arena of human conduct, the one that really tests the mettle of our morality, is not how we behave in the synagogue but how we behave in our bedrooms. […] In a world of ever-changing, relative morality where gay marriages and Euthanasia have become acceptable, the Torah does indeed seem rather antiquated. […] So we read that adultery was forbidden in Moses’ day and it still is in ours. So is incest. But it wouldn’t shock me at all if the same forces motivating for new sexual freedoms soon began campaigning for incestuous relationships to become legal. And why not? If it’s all about consenting adults, why deny siblings? Given the slippery slope of our moral mountains, nothing is unthinkable any more.

Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Hardly fresh “news”, this opinion piece about sexual immorality runs the tired slippery-slope trope of “if gays can get married people will want to marry their siblings next”. This conveniently overlooks the slippery slope starting with heterosexual marriage, not gay marriage. One could easily argue that if heterosexual people want the right to get married, those in other consenting relationships might want the same legal protections as well. As for marrying one’s sibling, perhaps a wild fantasy of Goldman’s, but I don’t see anyone lobbying for such a reform.

Rimler and Caulfield Chabad should take a more responsible approach to the content they run in their Lamplighter and avoid stigmatising vulnerable minorities. Doing so feeds into the alarming rates of self-harm and suicide for people who are forced to hide or feel bad about same-sex attraction.

Unless Rimler and Caulfield Chabad want to publish material shaming the private sex lives of their heterosexual congregants, dwelling on their various peccadillos and fetishes, it would serve them well to stay clear of material that obsesses on the private sex lives of same-sex attracted people.

Gay and bisexual people are easy targets for the likes of Rimler, Goldman and their Chabad masters. My best advice for them, if they can’t find it within themselves to say anything positive about LGBTIQ+ people, is to say nothing at all. We are human, we have feelings, and we hurt when people abuse us.

Rimler, Goldman and Chabad don’t need a lesson on how it feels to be targets of hate. They ought think twice before publishing intolerant content in the name of their religious values.

Lamplighter-2022-09-30

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“Activist for Life and Enlightenment” by Geoff Allshorn

Geoff Allshorn writes about the life of Holocaust Survivor and humanist Halina Strnad:

“As a cultural Jew and Holocaust survivor, she wrote to a Jewish community newspaper some decades ago calling for the inclusion of an LGBT Jewish group within formal Jewish community networks; one of her last attempts at activism came early this year when she offered to participate (as a longtime supporter and ally of LGBT rights) within a Rainbow Humanist group marching in Melbourne’s Pride March – an offer which sadly was ultimately unable to be taken up due to understandable caution over public transmission concerns regarding COVID in crowded spaces.”

AJN June 11 1999 Letters Halina Strnad
Australian Jewish News
June 11 1999 page 16

I WRITE to express my dismay at the JCCV’s decision to reject the Aleph gay group as an affiliate member.

As a consequence of prejudice and intolerance, Jews, gypsies and homosexuals were persecuted and, during the Holocaust, slaughtered wholesale.

Deemed ‘undesirable elements’ and separated only by barbed wire in extermination camps, these groups of people were brutally eliminated because in some ways they were not quite like the majority.

As a former undesirable Jewish ‘element’ but a survivor, I hoped that more than any other attitude, tolerance would be imprinted on the collective Jewish psyche.

Halina Strnad
Box Hill South

ajn-19990611-p16-Letters

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Extra Queer @ JIFF 2022

Jewish International Film Festival 2022
October 24 – December 7, 2022

JIFF is back again! Aleph Melbourne showcases the queer sessions.
Full programme here. Tickets on sale at jiff.com.au.

Concerned Citizen

Ben thinks of himself as a liberal and enlightened gay man, living in the perfect apartment with his boyfriend Raz. All that’s missing to complete the picture is a baby, which the couple are trying to make a reality. Meanwhile Ben decides to improve his up-and-coming neighbourhood in gritty south Tel-Aviv by planting a new tree on his street. But his good deed soon triggers a sequence of events that leads to the brutal police arrest of an Eritrean immigrant.

America

Eli is an Israeli swimming coach living in the US. When he receives news of his father’s death, Eli reluctantly travels to Tel Aviv for the first time in 10 years to deal with the estate. On his short trip he decides to visit his childhood friend, Yotam. Yotam is running a small and beautiful flower shop in Jaffa, together with his fiancée Iris, a talented florist. When Eli comes to visit the two, he will set in motion a series of events that will affect everyone’s lives. Winner of Best Actress Prize at the 2022 Jerusalem Film Festival, the film offers a psychologically complex and thought-provoking story about relationships with a strong sensual through-line that keeps viewers guessing.

The Therapy 

A bold documentary which reveals conversion therapy from within for the first time. Director Zvi Landsman is given unprecedented access to conversion therapy sessions, following the journeys of Lev; a 54-year-old divorced Orthodox Jew who hopes to be remarried to a woman, and Ben; a 23-year-old social work student who is seven years into therapy and starts to doubt the practice. 

jiff-2022-2-program

Aleph Melbourne hosts ultra-Orthodox Rabbi | AJN

‘A STRONG ALLY TO LGBTIQ+ PEOPLE’

Aleph Melbourne hosts ultra-Orthodox Rabbi

He maintains his religious practices while simultaneously attending Pride Parades and protest rallies for queer rights and inclusion.

By MIA GARDINER
September 12, 2022, 7:35 pm 

From left: Rabbi Mike Moskowitz and Michael Barnett. Photo: Gregory Storer.

The Victorian Pride Centre on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, provided the perfect location to hear New York’s ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Mike Moskowitz discuss how Judaism can provide a welcoming and inclusive place for people of all genders and sexual orientations, free from judgement and discrimination.

On his tour of Australia and New Zealand last month, the US based rabbi made time in his schedule to address an intimate gathering, as guest of Aleph Melbourne and the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council.

Talking about how having a transgender family member challenged and changed his worldview, Rabbi Moskowitz spoke about how he devotes much of his time to making Judaism a safer and more welcoming place for LGBTIQ+ Jews, free from judgement and hostility.

Rabbi Moskowitz told those gathered that he maintains his religious practices while simultaneously attending Pride Parades and protest rallies for queer rights and inclusion.

He also stressed that the fundamental understanding that a person cannot change their sexual orientation or gender identity is of particular importance to him, and shared that he actively combats damaging practices that seek to change or convert LGBTIQ+ people to being heterosexual and/or cisgender.

Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett said, “It was a total joy meeting Rabbi Moskowitz. His passion for LGBTIQ+ people and issues rivals that of any ally I have ever met and sets a very high bar when it comes to advocacy and inclusion.”

He also told The AJN that “Many of those in attendance spoke of how they found it unexpectedly refreshing to meet an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who was proud to be a strong ally to LGBTIQ+ people and advocate for our full inclusion in the Jewish community.”

Barnett added, “What I took from meeting Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is that being decent to LGBTIQ+ people and other vulnerable minorities takes minimal effort, and goes a long way to mend the harms that ill-informed rabbis and others perpetrate in the name of their faith.”


Australian Jewish News – September 2 2022 – Melbourne edition

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Video: A conversation with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz

Aleph Melbourne and the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council hosted a conversation with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz at the Victorian Pride Centre on Sunday August 14, 2022.

AJN What’s On column August 12 2022

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is the Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue. He is a deeply traditional and radically progressive advocate for trans rights and a vocal ally for LGBTQ inclusivity. Rabbi Moskowitz received three Ultra-Orthodox ordinations while learning in the Mir in Jerusalem and in Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ.

www.rabbimikemoskowitz.com

The Queer sessions at Limmud Oz Melbourne 2022

Melbourne hosts Limmud Oz on September 3 and 4 2022.

This year’s packed programme includes two queer-themed sessions, both on Sunday September 4.

Sunday September 4 • 10:00am – 10:50am • Ruben Shimonov

Sephardic, Mizrahi and LGBTQ+: Lifting our stories out of the margins

How have LGBTQ+ experiences been represented in Sephardic-Mizrahi cultures? What are challenges that Sephardic-Mizrahi Queer Jews have faced in finding spaces that fully embrace their identities? We’ll explore these questions and then focus on the creation of a grassroots movement that has provided a vibrant and much-needed community at the intersection of LGBTQ+ and Sephardic-Mizrahi life. 

Sunday September 4 • 12:00pm – 12:50pm • Shoshana Gottlieb

All about Chava: The representation of queer Jewish women in film and television

Let’s examine the ways in which television and film represent (or misrepresent) the Jewish/queer experience and how this may impact our lives and identities.

Check out the full programme here.

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz – powerful LGBTIQ+ ally

AJN What's On column: Rabbi Mike Moskowitz
AJN What’s On: Conversation with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz
L-R: Alexander Teh (AGMC), Susie & Dudi Danziger, Michael Barnett (Aleph Melbourne), Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, Colin Krycer (Aleph Melbourne)
L-R: Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, Michael Barnett (Aleph Melbourne)

Aleph Melbourne launches 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide

Aleph Melbourne launches its 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide

MEDIA RELEASE
16 MAY 2022

ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2022 FEDERAL ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE

Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide.  The Voters Guide is designed to inform voters living in voting divisions with high Jewish populations how to best identify candidates for the 2022 Federal Election who have comprehensively demonstrated or pledged support for LGBTIQA+ equality.

Links to the Aleph Melbourne 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide:

The Voters Guide is based on our three question survey asking:

  1. Do you support preventing all discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people (including school settings, sports settings and religious settings)?
  2. Do support preventing coercive surgeries and other non-consensual medical interventions for children born with variations in sex characteristics?
  3. Do you support ensuring access to gender affirmation treatment for trans and gender diverse people through Medicare?

Where a candidate did not respond to our survey we attempted to infer responses from their campaign or party policies.

Our guide contains the names of all candidates in the Federal divisions of Goldstein, Higgins, Hotham, Kooyong, Macnamara and Menzies.

We encourage voters to locate their voting division, review their candidates’ levels of support for LGBTIQ+ issues and vote in a manner that prioritises LGBTIQ+ equality.

We also encourage voters to contact candidates directly if they require additional information not included in the Voters Guide.

The Aleph Melbourne 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide is the sixth in our series of election guides since 2013. Our previous guides:

ENDS

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Michael Barnett
0417-595-541
contact@aleph.org.au

Zoe Daniel meets Jews of Pride team at In One Voice 2022