MEDIA RELEASE 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.
Aleph Melbourne welcomes the apology and thanks the JCCV Executive and those members of their council who turned up to vote in favour of the motion.
Whilst the JCCV Executive has always been supportive of Aleph Melbourne, the words of the apology and their actions have demonstrated they are committed to supporting the full and unconditional inclusion and acceptance of all same-sex attracted, trans and gender diverse, and intersex people in the Jewish community.
It was significant that this apology was issued alongside a discussion on anti-Semitism and racism. The JCCV have further demonstrated their integrity by acknowledging that hate from within the Jewish community is as unacceptable as hate directed toward it.
Aleph Melbourne acknowledges the involvement of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society in the formulation and passage of this apology and is grateful for their long-standing and ongoing support.
Aleph Melbourne believes this is the first apology ever from any Jewish community in relation to the mistreatment of LGBTIQ people.
The JCCV apology is attached below.
A photograph of the formal presentation of a framed copy of the apology is available below and online here: http://bit.ly/jccv-aleph-apology-photo; L to R: (JCCV reps) Anton Hermann, Doron Abramovici, Jennifer Huppert; (Aleph Melbourne reps) Michael Barnett, Shaun Miller, Colin Krycer. Photo by Gregory Storer.
Michael Barnett & Shaun Miller
For further information contact Michael Barnett on 0417-595-541 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Motion to JCCV Plenum – April 2019
To acknowledge the 20-year anniversary of Aleph Melbourne being denied membership of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria
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 a valid application for membership of the JCCV in January 1999
The Executive of the JCCV supported admission of Aleph Melbourne as a member
On 10 May 1999 the JCCV Plenum debated the motion and voted (39 votes in favour and 46 votes against) to deny the application for membership
In the course of the debate, homophobic views were expressed by some delegates which caused long-term harm to members of our LGBTIQ+ community
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.
We now recommit ourselves to welcoming and embracing LGBTIQ+ Jews in all our work, as part of our broader commitment to social inclusion for all members of the Jewish community of Victoria.
Through our genuine commitment to equality and diversity we seek to ensure that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.