Aleph Melbourne & Dayenu stand up for LGBTIQ surrogacy in Israel

A Letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - LGBTQ-Jews

 

Benjamin Netanyahu
Office of the Prime Minister
Jerusalem, Israel
July 21, 2018

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We represent more than 20 LGBTQ-Jewish communities from across the world and writing to express our strong support for the Israeli LGBTQ community’s struggle and fight for equality.

The right to become a parent is a universal basic human right that should not be deprived to anyone, especially due to their sexual or gender identity. It is not just a liberal concept, but also a Jewish mandate to “be fruitful and multiply”. Israel’s latest legislation, which discriminates against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Queers by denying their right to parenthood, comes after several years where same-sex couples in Israel are facing inequality in parenthood rights and legal recognition.

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Israel and express our concerns over the recent trends happening to individuals and their equal rights.

We call on you to amend this discrimination and to truly promote equality for the LGBTQ community.

Sincerely,

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JCCV marks decade of “strong advocacy”

 

SUMMARY OF JCCV’S LGBTI INCLUSION ACTIVITIES

2009 – formation of the LGBT (at the time) Reference Group.

2011 – release of report into discrimination and vilification of LGBT Jews in Victoria.

2014 – JCCV supports and encourages affiliates to support No to Homophobia.

2014 – JCCV wins Hey Grant from the Victorian Government.

2015 – JCCV 1st ever LGBTI Symposium held with approximately 80 attendees with panels from the LGBTI Jewish spectrum. Attendees were cross-denominational.

2015 – Keshet Australia admitted to JCCV as an affiliate – the first Jewish LGBTI organisation affiliate.

2016 – Launched JCCV LGBTI service directory https://bit.ly/2mviycZ

2016 – Youth video winner announced form previous year’s completion.

2017 – Mental Health Forum in light of RCV’s statement to the government’s plebiscite

2017 – JCCV supports civil marriage equality with motion moved by National Council of Jewish Women and seconded by AUJS.

Doron Abramovici comment on JCCV LGBTI achievements - Jul 20 2018.png

“A decade of strong advocacy for LGBTI equality and inclusion! I am very proud to have volunteered for the JCCV for a decade and served on the board for almost 4 years. We have achieved great things together! #lgbti #lgbtiinclusion #mentalhealthmatters #socialinclusion #lgbtijews Big shout out to John Searle, Anton Block, Nina Bassat, Jennifer Huppert, Original Reference Group members Julie Leder, Nathan Rose, Andrew Rajcher, Sally Goldner, Immediate part Executive Director David Marlow and the community for welcoming change.” — Doron Abramovici

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Historic meeting between GLBT Jews and Jewish Community Council of Victoria – Dec 7 2009

MEDIA RELEASE
GAY & LESBIAN JEWS ENGAGE IN DIALOGUE WITH THE JEWISH COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF VICTORIA
December 7 2009

In an historic meeting on Thursday December 4 2009 at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre between the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) members of the Jewish community, discussions were had forging the way for increased inclusion, acceptance and visibility of GLBT Jews in the Jewish Community in Victoria.

In a letter to Aleph Melbourne, a social and support group for GLBT Jews, JCCV Executive Director Geoffrey Zygier wrote “The JCCV wants to get a better understanding of Gay Jews’ concerns” and added that “John [Searle] has made clear, under his presidency the JCCV has reaffirmed its opposition to vilification and affirmed its wish to [be] as inclusive as possible”. Zygier went on to add that “However the details of what form this might take have to be worked out; we’re still at the information-gathering stage.”

Aleph Melbourne co-ordinator Michael Barnett welcomed this opportunity for dialogue with the JCCV, particularly in light of recent incidents involving homophobic intolerance and hatred directed at GLBT Jews in Melbourne and in Israel.

Attending the meeting were gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews from a diverse range of religious and cultural backgrounds. A variety of issues were raised and discussed in a healthy and at times robust manner with the JCCV representatives. A seven-point list of suggestions (see attachment) of how the JCCV could increase the inclusion, acceptance and visibility of GLBT people in the Jewish community was presented at the meeting. In a positive step, JCCV President John Searle advised he would discuss the issues raised at the next Executive meeting of the JCCV in 2010 and report back as to how the organisation plans to approach the issue.

Whilst raising the issue of membership of the JCCV as a way for GLBT Jewish organisations to gain greater inclusion and visibility within the Jewish community, Barnett stated that this was not currently on the agenda and had not been since the JCCV rejected Aleph Melbourne’s initial membership application in 1999 due to the uncertain process by which the JCCV determines suitability of applicants.

Aleph Melbourne looks forward to further dialogue between the JCCV and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of the Jewish community in 2010 and waits for homophobic intolerance in the community and barriers to equality, inclusion, acceptance and visibility to be identified and eliminated.


For further comment contact Michael Barnett on 0417 595 541 or via contact@aleph.org.au.

20091203 Suggestions to JCCV for increased GLBT inclusion

 

20091117 Daniel Baker response_to_JCCV_invitation for discussion re GLBT inclusion
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Video: An Evening with Alon Amir – Melbourne – June 19 2018

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Aleph Melbourne documentary trailer

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Aleph Melbourne documentary screens alongside Disobedience at Geelong Pride Film Festival

 

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Danby – principled politician with genuine convictions?

Guest article by Gregory Storer.

Michael Danby MP has let us all know, well before the next election, that he won’t be standing again.Michael Danby MP

The member for Melbourne Ports has been in the seat since 1998.  That’s twenty years.

While Danby may have enjoyed the support of his Jewish constituency, that can’t be said about other demographics within his electorate.

Letters of congratulations and thanks have been pouring in for him.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry issued a glowing summary of Danby’s retirement, saying that it is sad news.  They talk about him being a ‘fearless champion for the arts and for many human rights causes, most especially those which have not been fashionable or popular, or which have attracted the ire of powerful interests.’

They then give two examples, Danby meeting with the Dalai Lama and his ‘passionate advocacy for Israel’.

Danby’s record isn’t so wonderful when it comes to human rights.  Despite his electorate being in the heart of a diverse area with not only a large Jewish population, but also a GLBTIQ cohort, he had to be dragged kicking and screaming into a supportive role for his ‘gay community’.

When the horrid knife attack at the Jewish Pride March of 2015 happened, the best he could do was like a tweet from Aleph Melbourne.

Michael Danby Twitter favourite re Jerusalem attackIt was a pretty simple ask. However, Danby has always kept his support for all things Jewish separate from his support for the GLBTIQ community.

When it came to the election in 2010 where I stood against him in Melbourne Ports, it soon became apparent that he didn’t want to muddy the waters.  He never addressed Jewish concerns or GLBITQ issues in the one media release. He ensured that his advertising was separate and had different messages for different audiences.  Which in itself may not be a big issue, except that he failed to represent the views of organisations such as Aleph, barely even acknowledging their existence. His main bragging point to the Jewish voters was how much he and the then-Labor Government had spent in the community; he called it “The golden era of Labor and Jewish Schools”.  Never once did he mention anything about gay rights or all the work he purported to do for the GLBTIQ community.

It’s also worth recalling his response to the horrific shooting of two young people in a gay community centre in Tel Aviv in 2009.  He didn’t have one.

When he was busy crowing about how he managed to change moderation policies on crickey.com.au and newmatilda.com.au, which he described as the “Dark and Ugly Recesses of the Internet” he simply ignored a local orthodox Jewish blog that was blatantly homophobic.  He took issue with Crikey and New Matilda for posting comments regarding the holocaust and talks about the anti-Semitism on their sites. He used his position to persuade them to make the changes. However, he couldn’t bring himself to address that hate blog from his own community that was almost daily pumping out the hate towards the GLBTIQ community.

The whole lack of support can be summed up with his approach to marriage equality.  So while he had been busily chasing the ‘gay vote’ for years in his electorate, he didn’t support equality at all in the parliament, despite claiming he was supportive.  I asked him during a candidates debate and he said that the Labor party would address the matter in the next parliament. He never did. When it did come to a vote, he abstained, he left the floor of the house.  He never attended one marriage equality rally to show support. He barely acknowledged the Pride March that went past his office every year.

So, while everyone is saying how much he’ll be missed and what a great supporter of the community he has been, just remember, the man played politics with the lives of those he was supposed to be representing.

He sought the vote of the gay and the Jewish community, but made sure that he never mention it to either community.

He went out of his way to call out human rights transgressions, but never once publicly supported Aleph in their attempts to raise sexuality and gender identity issues in his electorate.

He really hasn’t been a hero of Melbourne Ports.

Even in departing, he can’t even muster a few gay people to stand with him in front of his Yes window like he did on other occasions.

Danby office rainbow yesDanby office Hands off our ABCDanby office team

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Education watchdog rebukes school that redacted history textbooks to remove gay Holocaust victims | PinkNews

Education watchdog rebukes school that redacted history textbooks to remove gay Holocaust victims

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Photos from Alon Amir’s visit to Melbourne

View the photo gallery here.

Aleph Melbourne, together with the Embassy of Israel, hosted a Q&A evening with Israeli Eurovision expert Alon Amir.

Posted by Aleph Melbourne on Wednesday, 20 June 2018

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A Night With Alon Amir (Israel’s Eurovision Expert)

Eurovision Fans !

Here is your only opportunity to get all the behind-the-scenes gossip at Eurovision. Aleph Melbourne, together with the Embassy of Israel, presents Alon Amir, the Israeli author of the book “Three Minutes of Eternity” this Tuesday 19 June for an exclusive up close Q&A with the world’s leading Eurovision expert. Ask him anything you always wanted to know about Eurovision.

Alon Amir took part in many Eurovision competitions. He served as the Head of the Press for the Israeli delegation (2009, 2012, 2013, and 2016) as well as for the Slovak (2011) and Belarussian delegations (2005). In addition, he served as an international juror numerous times in national finals in Sweden, Malta, Estonia, Bulgaria, Norway and Finland.

Alon has worked with some of the leading singers and performers in Israel, helping them to build a career and an audience. He created several TV segments with his twin brother on Israeli TV and has written for several newspapers and leading web sites. He also has had his own radio show (despite his voice).

Bookings are essential for his only Melbourne appearance.

Date: Tuesday 19th June

Time: Arrive 7:00pm for a 7:30pm sharp start

Venue: Nature Boy, 486 Neerim Rd, Murrumbeena

Getting there: Train to Murrumbeena Station / street parking available

Cost: There is no charge for this event but you must book in advance to secure your seat

Drinks will be available at bar price.

TICKETS
Book via Eventbrite
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Alon Amir

Embassy of Israel logo

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