1974-1982 in the AJN: ‘Chutzpah’ – the Australian Jewish gay men’s group

Aleph Melbourne research has unearthed a collection of clippings on Trove from Melbourne’s Australian Jewish News and Sydney’s Australian Jewish Times documenting the activities of Chutzpah, a national organisation for Jewish homosexual / gay men, between 1974 and 1982.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 29 Aug 1974; Page 20

‘HOMOSEXUAL’ JEWISH GROUP

A newly formed group, catering for Jewish homosexuals, intend to apply for membership of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

“Chutzpah”, which is dedicated to the “liberation of both homosexual and heterosexual Jews from the bonds of ignorance and apathy concerning homosexuals and homosexuality”, only recently came into existence and plans are already afoot to establish branches throughout Australia.

Chutzpah has the support of three of the most prominent Jewish activists or “gay lib” Dennis Altman, Martin Smith and David Wippup.

Altman, who is a lecturer in American Politics at Sydney University is best known for his book “Homosexuals; Oppression of Liberation.”

David Wippup contested the constituency of Lowe in the 1972 Federal elections as a candidate of the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP).

Martin Smith, who is the editor of the national magazine “Stallion” contested the electorate of Waverly in the last State elections.

The creation of the group follows similar moves by Jewish homosexuals in North America and England and “Chutzpah” has already made moves to link up with these groups.

“It is not enough for the rabbis to say the Torah condemns homosexuality”, a spokesman for Chutzpah said last week.

“God condemns sin, not sexuality.”

[ July 19 2021: It has been pointed out that the name “David Wippup” was a misprint and should have been “David Widdup” ]


The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne)  Fri 30 Aug 1974; Page 4 

Watchman’s In The News

Weekend paper announces the Australian Jewish Homosexual Group, and asks the Rabbis and E.C.A.J. for a study of homosexuals among Jews and Judaism.

Name of the organisation is CHUTZPAH.

And they intend to form branches of Chutzpah in every capital city.

Thought we’d had Chutzpah for years!


The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne) Fri 13 Sep 1974; Page 11 

Chutzpah on Board?

SYDNEY: A newly formed group, catering for Jewish homosexuals, intends to apply for membership of the N.S.W. Board of Deputies. Called “Chutzpah”, it is dedicated to the “liberation of both homosexual and heterosexual Jews from the bonds of ignorance and apathy”.

Creation of the group follows similar moves in North America and England, with whom Chutzpah plans links. A spokesman, claiming that it was not enough for rabbis to say the Torah condemns homosexuality, said, “God condemns sin not sexuality”.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney) Fri 27 Sep 1974; Page 23 

Advertising

GAY & JEWISH? CHUTZPAH

is the Jewish homosexual group which lends a friendly ear. Contact David Weiner, Wentworth Box 4, University of Sydney, NSW Phone 698-2831 (office hours).


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 3 Oct 1974; Page 3

BOARD’S REPLY TO ‘CHUTZPAH’

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has answered an application for membership by Chutzpah, the Jew ish homosexual group.

“Chutzpah” must satisfy the Board that they have at least 50 members, the minimum number of members allowable for any organisation intending to join the Board of Deputies.

Each of these members must be over 18 years of age and must have been a member of the group for at least six months.

Further, they have to prove to the Board that they are working for the good of the Jewish cause and send a copy of their constitution and a membership list.

Only if all these requirements are met will their membership application go before the executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies for a final decision.

“Chutzpah”, in the meantime, has plans to establish divisions in Melbourne, Perth, Canberra and Brisbane.

It has also made contact with Jewish student movements on university campuses in the hope that at the next annual conference of the Australian Union of Jewish Students, the subject of ‘gay rights’ will be debated.

Other subjects they hope to air are the problems of Jewish homosexuals and the attitude of Jewish lay and religious leaders to homsexuals and homosexuality.

Hopes are that the conference will pass a motion along the lines of the North American Student Network, who recently adopted a

resolution supporting gay rights legislation and censured the discrimination which has been traditionally directed against homosexuals, even within the Jewish community.


The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne)  Fri 18 Oct 1974; Page 25 

Sydney Scene

The N.S.W. Board of Deputies has stipulated its requirements for memberships to Chutzpah, the Jewish homosexual group.

Chutzpah must satisfy the board that they have at least 50 members; these must be aged over 18; and must have been a group member for at least six months.

The group also has to prove it is working for the good of the Jewish cause and send in copies of its constitution and membership lists.

Chutzpah plans to establish branches in Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, and Brisbane.

It has also contacted Jewish student organisations with the hope that “gay rights” will be debated at the next annual conference of the Australian Union of Jewish Students. 


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 14 Nov 1974; Page 17 

Youth Scene

“RABBIS SUPPORT GAY OPPRESSION”

“The rabbonim in Australia/ with the exception of Rabbi Uri Themal of Perth, have supported the continual oppression of homosexuals in our society by their silence and refusal to discuss the matter,” according to Martin Smith, who recently addressed a students meeting at Macquarie University.

The discussion, entitled, “Can one be both a practicing Jew and a practicing homosexual?” was arranged by the Hillel director, Ze’ev Dar.

Martin Smith, an organiser of Chutzpah, he was more concerned with reality than morality, the fact that there are Jewish homsexuals, than with disputing the point of whether or not they have the right to exist.

“Chutzpah, a group of homosexuals who identify themselves as Jews, meets regularly and is expanding in this country (there is now a branch of the organisation in each of Australia’s capital cities)” he said.

Over the last month he had been invited to speak to four Jewish groups on the subject of homosexuality and on each of these occasions, the speaking dates had been cancelled at the last minute, he said.

He pointed out that Jewish homsexuals have existed since the time of Abraham.

“As the minority faith Judaism is as valid a religious code and life style as the majority faith, Christianity, so too is homosexuality to heterosexuality and surely validity has nothing to do with numbers,” he said.

He challenged the rabbis to obey the edicts of the Old Testament and pass the death penalty on homsexuals in this State.

He said if the Beth Din would call members of Chutzpah before that religious court, they would attend and discuss the issue.

“Jews and homosexuals were the two groups most persecuted by Hitler in Nazi Germany ; millions of Jews and homosexuals died in the gas chambers of concentration camps and it is therefore singularly inapproprite and ironic that Orthodox Jewish rabbis should be in the forefront of the struggle against ending anti-gay discrimination,” he said.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 14 Nov 1974; Page 23 

Advertising

CHUTZPAH, the jewish homosexual group, meets for fellowship and discussion next on Wednesday, November 20. Further details from David Weiner, Wentworth Box 4, University of Sydney or phone David Ritchie on 698-2831.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 28 Nov 1974; Page 3 

DEPUTIES QUERY

“CHUTZPAH” HEAD

The credentials of leader and spokesman of “Chutzpah”, the Jewish homosexual group, were queried at the November meeting of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

Vice-president, Mr. G. Y. Falk and franchise deputy, Mr. Julius Nadel, alleged they had documents that Mr. Martin Smith, convenor of “Chutzpah” is not Jewish in spite of his statements to the contrary.

“Years ago I personally confronted Mr. Smith with his parents’ marriage and his birth certificate showing his religion as Church of England,” Mr. Falk said.

Mr. Nadel and Mr. Falk expressed concern over the community ’s acceptance of Mr. Smith.

Earlier Chutzpah inquired about affiliation to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, but took no further steps after receiving the information, Board president, Mr. Maurice Allen said.

Mr. Smith claims that, there are an estimated 1,500 Jewish homosexuals in Australia, many of them affiliated with Chutzpah.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 28 Nov 1974; Page 24 

Advertising

CHUTZPAH

The Jewish Homosexual group meets for fellowship and discussion next on Wednesday, December 11.

Further details from David Weiner, Box 4, Wentworth. 2006 or phone 827-2378


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 12 Dec 1974; Page 3 

CHUTZPAH ASKS BOARD DEBATE

Chutzpah, the Jewish homosexual group wants to discuss the affiliation of the organisation at the next meeting of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

Speaking on behalf of Chutzpah, Mr. Leon Prollius, said attacks on the group and Mr. Martin Smith at the November meeting of the Board are to be deplored.

“Sidestepping the issue of homosexual rights is un becoming of the Board and individual deputies, that, and not Martin Smith’s Jewishness is the question,” he wrote in a letter to the editor.

He said Chutzpah does not have a “leader”.

After their application to the Board of Deputies for affiliation they received back a list of requirements necessary, including their constitution being in existence for six months, at least 50 members and the list of their names.

He said the executive can comply with the first three but is reluctant to provide a membership list “for obvious reasons”.

“Would the Board like a member of Chutzpah, other than Martin Smith, to discuss Chutzpah and homosexual rights at the December meeting?” he asked.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 19 Dec 1974; Page 2 

TIMES TALK

CHUTZPAH, the Jewish Homosexual Group writing to the AJT firmly states that it does not have “spokesmen”, but “has spokespersons as the group is open to both gay women and gay men.” OK, but they addressed the letter “Dear Sir”, when they know that the AJT editor is Eve Symon!


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 19 Dec 1974; Page 20 

READER WRITES

RED HERRING

I usually refrain from engaging in pointless arguments or allowing non gays to use gay liberation as a means of making political capital, but I feel I should reply to the story in your publication of November 28 under the headline DEPUTIES QUERY “CHUTZPAH” HEAD.

If, as they say, Messrs Falk and Nadel have documents that prove I’m not Jewish then let them make such documents public. I don’t need to tell readers that the question “What is a Jew?” has never been answered so, if the aforementioned gentlemen do have such documents then apparently they’ve at last answered the question which has plagued our people since time immemorial.

Mr. Falk is quoted as saying that he personally confronted me with my parents’ marriage and my birth certificate showing my religion as Church of England. I deny that any such confrontation took place. I deny that I am or have ever been a member of the Church of England or any religious faith other than Judaism.

Unless I was born Jewish and my parents were married in a Jewish ceremony, without certain facts (e.g. my mother’s name before marriage), only obtainable from me, neither my birth certificate nor my parents’ marriage certificate would be able to be obtained from the appropriate authority.

I admit I did go to a Church of England school but then was that uncommon for us Jews before we created our own educational establishments? There are at least two men active in the Sydney Jewish community who were at school with me.

Mr. Falk apparently believes that being a Member of the Church of England per se ‘un Jewishes’ an individual and so, if that be the Case, then a lot of history books will have to be rewritten and the fact that the Church of Englander Benjamin Disraeli was a Jew removed from them.

Many members of the community will remember the 1966 controversy involving me when Mark Braham, writing in his column in the Australian Jewish Times, under the headline THE FUSS OVER MARTIN said that “some extremely embarrassing situations are going to arise, believe me, if there is to be a witch-hunt to decide who is a Jew in this community.” I agreed then and I agree even more so now.

I would like it to be known that if any individual, before a witness, states that I’m not a Jew that individual will have legal action taken against them for defamation of character and I’d remind such a person that they will be required in court to prove their claim, not I that I’m Jewish.

It is my belief that the deputies who attacked me at the November meeting of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies did so to create a red herring to avoid discussing the major issue which is the stand which the board should take on homosexual rights.

This week will see the formation of the WA division of Chutzpah giving us groups in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth with individual members belonging to the Jewish gay movement from Queensland, South Australia and Canberra.

As many of your readers will know, the Sydney bran ch of Chutzpah now has a member in Israel, having arrived there last month, to get gay lib going in that country.

After thousands of years of oppression, ostracism and ignoring our existence, Jewish homosexuals in this country, Israel, North America, Britain and New Zealand are uniting to challenge that anti-gay stance of many of our co religionists. We are no longer prepared to be treated as untouchables, as if we didn’t exist, or, as non-Jews.

Martin Smith, Chippendale


The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne) Fri 10 Jan 1975; Page 2 

SYDNEY DIARY

GAYS GAGGED

Chutzpah, the Jewish homosexual group, wants to discuss the affiliation of the organisation at the next meeting of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

Speaking on behalf of Chutzpah, Mr. Leon Prollius said attacks on the group at the November meeting of the Board are to be deplored.

“Sidestepping the issue of homosexual rights is unbecoming of the Board and individual deputies.”

He said Chutzpah does not have a “leader”.

After their application to the Board of Deputies for affiliation they received back a list of requirements. necessary, including their constitution being in existence for six months, at least 50 members and the list of their names.

He said the executive can comply with the first three but is reluctant to provide a membership list “for obvious reasons”.


The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne)  Fri 7 Feb 1975; Page 4

Watchman’s In The News

“Chutzpah” is the name of Jewish homosexual groups whose No. 1 newsletter appeared in December.

It says “Chutzpah has divisions in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth”

Trust it’s nothing painful or serious?


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 13 Feb 1975; Page 4 

Chutzpah wants to join Temple

Chutzpah, the Jewish homosexual movement has applied for formal membership of the Temple Emanuel, Woollahra and although they cannot join as a group, they are welcome to join as individuals.

In their January newsletter, Chutzpah said they have written to Rabbi Dr. R. Brasch, chief minister of the Temple, asking for his support to allow members of the group to join the congregation.

A formal application for membership by members of the group has been sent to the Temple’s Board of Management.

Rabbi Brasch replied that any Jew is welcome to join the congregation, regardless of their private life.

“A member’s private life has nothing to do with their membership of the Temple, we do not ask about an individual’s sex life,” Rabbi Brasch said last week.

“We are not here to condemn or judge and who are we to act as God?”, he required.

CAMPAIGN

However, he said Chutzpah could be using the application for membership as another step in their advertising campaign.

“A congregation is an assembly of individuals who gather to worship God and any Jewish person is more than welcome to join our Temple,” he concluded.

A spokesman for the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies denied that the Board had discussed Chutzpah’s membership application at their recent executive meeting as claimed by the group’s newsletter.

“We received a letter from the group and this was tabled but once again the Board reiterated that

Chutzpah, must comply to our constitution before their application for membership is considered,” the spokesman added.

The Board asks that any group wanting membership must have a written constitution, must have a membership of more than 50, each member being over 18 years old.

Finally each member must have been allied to the group for more than six months before the application was lodged and the body requiring membership must have objects in the best interest of the welfare of Jewry.

The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne)  Fri 9 May 1975; Page 4 

Watchman’s In The News

Chutzpah, the NSW branch of the Australian Jewish Homosexual movement, had important dates in March and April.

A Strudel and Coffee night and a Nosh and Natter function.

Cosy stuff.

Rabbi Dr. R. Brasch, of Temple Emanuel, Sydney, was asked if open homosexuals could join his congregation.

To which the learned minister replied:- “A member’s private life has nothing to do with their mem bership of the Temple, we do not ask about an individual’s sex life.”

Our latest info. is that Gay rights and their place in the Jewish community was on the agenda for the Australian Jewish Ministers Association conference in Sydney last weekend.

And in London, the Jewish Gay Group there recently held a Fancy Dress Party, with prizes for best costumes.

Men’s or women’s?


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 5 Jun 1975; Page 2 

READERS WRITE

CHUTZPAH “DISTURBED”

The national committee of Chutzpah, the Jewish homosexual movement in Australia, is disturbed at certain items which appeared in the AJT, 29/5/75.

Two matters on page 2, we found require comment: your editorial and the cartoon. The first we applaud, particularly your sentiment that, concerning the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, “if the Board wishes to gain the respect of the community, it should act and act now”, but the second, the cartoon, we found sexist, confirming the worst stereotype images of women possible, and contributing nothing to the serious debate of womens’ rights, in the Jewish community.

As homosexuals have been “silenced” by the Jewish community for thousands of year. Chutzpah is totally opposed to any action which stifles debate on any subject and so, for that reason, we can not (despite our inate support for Zionism per se) find any justificiation for the undemocratic actions of stopping. the two representatives of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) speaking in this country.

On page 3, under the headline ‘Freedom In Danger”, the president of the Zionist Federation of Australia (Mr Robert Zablud) is quoted as saying that “as a result of the violent demonstration at Macquarie University, free expression is being threatened in this country.” He’s right, but to say the violence was due to “PLO terrorists and their sympathisers” is untrue; Mr Zablud is either very naive or worse, very one eyed.

On page 7 there is a long story about the suggested “commission of inquiry” into the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, something we support wholeheartedly.

You quote the president of the Board (Mr Sid Muller) as saying: “It would be far more constructive if these separate groups, these rebels and dissenters could see their way clear to unify and use the not inconsiderable talents and resources of the board, collectively for the good of the whole community.”

A most laudable idea. But we’d remind Mr Muller that Chutzpah, as a group of “rebels and dissenters” has sought on several occasion to affiliate with the Board only to have almost insurmountable obstacles placed in our way or our letters ignored.

Despite, or perhaps because of such action as this against our movement Chutzpah now has groups in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, has been responsible for getting

Continued Page 24

“Chutzpah” complaint

(• From Page 2)

started gay liberation groups in Tel Aviv and Rehovot, and brought many Jews back to Judaism who had, for many years, felt alienated and alone.

What makes the actions of the Board towards Chutzpah both in comprehensible and unforgiveable is the story you carried on page 20 (Salvation Army Man Tells Of Holocaust) which clearly shows that the Board would prefer to have a talk from a Christian clergyman than from someone representing Chutzpah talking about the historic oppression of homosexuals, particularly homosexuals oppressed by the Jewish community.

Except for fringe groups, every denomination within the Christian Church has discussed at length and in depth, in this country, the subject of homosexuals and homosexuality, including the Catholic Church, with the majority coming out in favor of decriminalisation. It is to the shame (we believe) and indictment of the Jewish community generally, and the Board of Deputies in particular, that the matter has (along with Black Rights, Womens’ Rights, Penal Reform and other social justice questions) never been considered by the Board.

David Weiner Secretary to the national committee, CHUTZPAH/AUSTRALIA

• The GUPS representatives were not stopped from appearing at any meeting organised by the Australian Union of Students. Interjections, part and parcel of democratic society, were the only “weapon” used to encounter the GUPS visitors. (ED.)


The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne)  Fri 11 Jul 1975; Page 4

TOP LEVEL WATCHMAN’S IN THE NEWS

Chutzpah, the Australian Jewish Homosexual Movement, in its June newsletter tackles a Jewish News writer for being a ‘gay basher’.  Then they add comment about ‘fiddling’ with the truth.  REALLY!


The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne)  Fri 18 Jul 1975; Page 4 

WATCHMAN’S IN THE NEWS

Bit disturbing reading about those super spies preferring men, instead of being womanising heroes.

But then we’ve always thought that some of those secret service antics were a bit . . . queer.

Which brings us to the Rabbinical rejection of homosexuality.

Won’t exactly set alight members of Chutzpah, the Australian Jewish Gay movement.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 27 May 1976; Page 6 

GAY PRAYERS SOON IN SYDNEY

Sydney’s first Gay Congregation may begin functioning in the near future if the efforts of a small group of Jewish homosexuals succeed.

Their spokesman, a recent immigrant from the United States, last week claimed about 25 people have already indicated their interest in joining the group.

He emphasised that the new congregation has no connections with Chutzpah, a Jewish Gay Liberation group which was active in Sydney some time ago.

“Chutzpah was concerned only with the social aspect of the life of Jewish homosexuals, we are now introducing the religious connections” he said.

Asked why homosexuals should seek an alternative to membership of existing synagogues, the spokesman claimed ordinary shules do not cater for the special needs of gay people.

“We do not want to adhere to any set format.”

The young American now organising the Gay Congregation in Sydney was actively involved in a similar experiment in New York.

“The first gay religious group in that city was for med in 1972 and has been functioning successfully ever since.

“We were offered recognition by the Reform authorities, but many of our members were of Conservative and Orthodox persuasion and the offer was declined,” he claimed.

The New York group is said to include many “straight” people making up about 25 percent of the membership.

Similar “open door” policy is planned for Sydney and activities are expected to consist of weekly services and other gatherings with a religious orientation.

Get-togethers are to be held at premises in Oxford Street, Paddington, and the founders hope to gauge whether there is a future for the project by the response within the community during the next few weeks.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 1 Jul 1976; Page 24 

AMERICAN MEETING FOR GAY HEBREW ALLIANCE

Claims were made this week that the International Gay Hebrew Alliance (IGHA) has been invited to attend the World Jewish Congress (WJC) in 1977.

Mr Martin Smith, national convenor of Chutzpah, the Australian Jewish Gay Movement, said representation at the WJC is only one of many matters to be discussed at a meeting he will attend in the United States in August.

He plans to be present at what he claimed will be the inaugural meeting of the IGHA in Washington, DC.

Mr Smith expects representatives of some 17 Jewish gay groups from the US, Canada, Israel, England and Australia to attend the meeting.

Following the conference Mr Smith says he will be undertaking a lecture tour of North America, including addresses to gay groups, Jaycee and Rotary gatherings, as well as homosexual and “straight” congregations and synagogues.

He also expects to deliver addresses on several university campuses.

Mr Smith will be accompanied on his tour by photographer Mr Peter Gregory.

After their visit to the States they plan to meet with various groups in England, France, Italy, Israel and South-East Asia, prior to returning to Australia.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney) Thu 25 Sep 1980; Page 23

GAY JEWS

Dinner to decide
the future of the gay
Jewish social
group.
Saturday, Sept. 27
at 7pm
For details phone
Kim 399-6856 A.H.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney) Thu 13 Nov 1980; Page 47

CHUTZPAH

Gay Jewish
Social Group

• Sunday, Nov. 23, 1980
PICNIC at 11.30am
• Friday, Dec. 5, 1980
CANDLE PARTY at 8.30pm
to celebrate CHANUKAH

For details phone:
Kim 399-6856
Warren 439-2256
or write to P.O. Box 5074,
Sydney, N.S.W., 2001.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney) Thu 22 Oct 1981; Page 27

CHUTZPAH

Gay Jewish, Social
Group celebrate the
Festival of First
Fruits.
Friday, October 23.
Phone Kim 399-6856
Warren 439-2256.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 8 Jul 1982; Page 22 

Quiz “spoof” opens JFU 1982 program

Sydney Jewish students open the annual Jewish Free University (JFU) at the Hakoah Club on Saturday with their own version of a popular television quiz show.

Under the banner “Family Broiges” the program is a take-off from the daily Channel 9 “Family Feud” show.

Family teams will compete against each other for prizes.

Organisers suggest that teams do not have to be related.

But they want the four-member teams to be dressed appropriately for the age of the contestant they are playing.

This will add to the off-beat flavor of the contest, which the students are not expected to take too seriously.

The serious part of the eight-week JFU program starts on Monday, July 12.

The program is divided into four units on a variety of Jewish topics.

JFU is sponsored by the Hakoah Club under the patronage of the NSW Hillel Foundation.

The first unit “Too many Cooks . . . Diversity in Israel” gets underway on July 12.

This will feature a 50-minute documentary on “Israel — The Promised Land” by James Cameron.

The film provides a stimulating glimpse of Israel on a number of contemporary issues.

Unit II, called “Lies My Father Told Me”, starts on Wednesday, July 14 with a panel discussion on “Can Jews Be Gay?”

Speakers are Kim Gottlieb, of Chutzpah, an organisation for Gay Jews, Marian Apple, wife of Great Synagogue’s Rabbi Raymond Apple, and Rabbi Brian Fox, of Temple Emanuel Woollahra.

Speakers will examine Jewish ethics on the subject of homosexuality.

JFU aims to provide an open forum for community education directed towards students, youth and the general community.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 29 Jul 1982; Page 22 

Gay Jews resent attitude of community

The conservative values of the Sydney Jewish community make homosexuals feel oppressed, Kim Gotlieb, organiser of “Chutzpah”, a Jewish Gay Liberation group, said recently.

Mr Gotlieb was a member of a three-speaker panel on the topic, “Can Jews Be Gay?”, for the Jewish Free University (JFU) in the Hakoah Club last Wednesday-week.

Other speakers represented two points of the spectrum: Marian Apple, wife of Great Synagogue’s Rabbi Raymond Apple, who gave the Orthodox viewpoint on homosexuality and Rabbi Brian Fox of Temple Emanuel, Woollahra, who presented the Liberal view.

“Gay Jews do not want to be accepted into the community by pretending they are ‘straight’,” Mr Gotlieb said.

“We want acceptance for what we are and freedom to celebrate it.”

Mrs Apple and Rabbi Fox said gays should not form their own houses of worship.

They should be integrated into the community by means of greater participation in established synagogues and communal organisations.

Homosexuals will be accepted into either Orthodox or Liberal congregations because they are Jews, Mrs Apple said.

Jews come to synagogue to pray and all else should be forgotten, especially one’s sexual preference.

According to Mr Gotlieb, however, synagogues are established on a premise of certain rules and laws which abhor homosexuality.

Gay Jews, by virtue of what they practice, are in direct opposition to the principles laid down by the community, he said.

“It is important for gay Jews to feel valid members of a congregation, to be able to sit among other Jews and pray.

“But because gay Jews do not adhere to the social norms they remain on the outside, never fully being accepted or integrated,” Mr Gotlieb said.

“How can we be integral members of a community when everything we stand for is regarded as an abomination?”

OPPRESSIVE NATURE

The oppressive nature of the community’s accepted mores towards gays can be compared with the persecution of Soviet Jewry, Jews who wish to retain their religious beliefs even though they are forbidden by the State.

It is hard for gay Jews to feel part of a congregation because they cannot openly celebrate their homosexuality.

For this reason several gay-lesbian synagogues have been established in the USA.

At present there is no recognised gay synagogue in Sydney.

“We remain alienated from the community and self-reliant for support,” Kim said.

“If we attend established synagogues we are only accepted on the basis of a pretend heterosexuality and not in terms of our real selves,” he said.

If we are to be members of a congregation we want our true selves to be recognised and accepted, not the mask the community would like us to assume, he said.

The Jewish community neither discriminates nor punishes homosexuals, Mrs Apple said.

“To be gay is punishment enough. Even in moral judgment, the deed is regarded as criminal and not the individual,” Mrs Apple said.

“I think Sydney congregants are big enough to accept homosexuality.

“Judaism has certain rules, however, concerning marriage,” she said.

“There is no way an Orthodox rabbi would write a marriage deed for two men or two women because this would be as good as recognising homosexuality as an acceptable practice.

“The Jewish community will accept gays, but it is often they who feel unaccepted, social misfits,” Mrs Apple said.

PAST AND PRESENT

Orthodoxy makes an assumption about the past and present in its laws pertaining to homosexuality, Rabbi Fox said.

Science says there is no such thing as “normal”.

“Who says that a husband and wife and 2.3 children makes a relationship perfect or better than a relationship between two males or two females?

“I would be prepared to perform a wedding between homosexuals, but there would be problems for me to consider, such as publicity, communal attitudes and how the non-Jewish community perceives the Sydney Jewish community,” he said.

“I believe two males or two females can say something positive about relationships, in some cases much more than a man-woman relationship, if two real souls are going together.

“Homosexuals may be able to teach heterosexuals about relationships,” he said.

“When the Orthodox value implies ‘family’ it assumes that every male is fit to be a ‘father’ and every woman a ‘mother’, when both roles may be totally inappropriate for the individual,” Rabbi Fox said.

“Many people are not equipped emotionally or psychologically for these roles in life.

“To say that status is punishment enough does not produce a community of difference.

“The Sydney Jewish community wreaks hurtful attitudes within this kind of social framework,” Rabbi Fox said.

We live in a society which breeds racism and antiSemitism so what gives us the right to point the finger at people and persecute them because they are different. Many homosexuals desperately want to feel authentic Jews, Rabbi Fox said.

REGULAR MEETINGS

“Chutzpah” is a social Jewish gay-lesbian group which was formed two years ago in Sydney.

It has a membership of about 25 people.

It holds regular monthly meetings to celebrate Jewish festivals, as well as theatre parties and picnics.

It is largely a support group for gay Jews, to create a feeling of belonging.

Chutzpah is a member of the World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Jewish organisations, Kim added.

• Kim Gotlieb


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney) Thu 29 Jul 1982; Page 23

CHUTZPAH

GAY JEWISH
SOCIAL GROUP
meeting
Friday, August 6,
at 7.45pm
at TEMPLE EMANUEL
7 Ocean Street, Woollahra.
Followed by an Oneg Shabbat
Enquiries: Kim Gotlieb 399-6856
Warren Abeshouse 439-2256


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney)  Thu 5 Aug 1982; Page 3

Rabbi disassociates from Chutzpah ad.

Chief minister of Temple Emanuel, Woollahra, Rabbi Brian Fox, has disassociated himself and his congregation from an advertised meeting by “Chutzpah”, the gay Jewish social group.

In a statement issued last Thursday, Rabbi Fox said he was “shocked at the false statement in the advertisement placed by Chutzpah”.

“While every Jew is welcome at services at the Temple it is simply untrue for Chutzpah to advertise a ‘meeting at the Temple at 7.45pm on August 6 followed by an Oneg Shabbat’.

“No such meeting will take place, but services start at 8pm and are always followed by an Oneg Shabbat,” Rabbi Fox said.

Rabbi Fox said that at a recent debate he held with Marion Apple at the Jewish Free University, both he and Mrs Apple had said that homosexuals would be welcome to worship as part of the congregation at both the Temple and the Great Synagogue.


The Australian Jewish Times (Sydney) Thu 5 Aug 1982; Page 23

APOLOGY

CHUTZPAH Gay Jewish Group
apologises for any
embarrassment caused to
Rabbi Fox and Temple Emanuel
regarding any misunderstanding
created by the notice in Aust.
Jewish Times (July 29, 1982).


The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne)  Fri 6 Aug 1982; Page 4

‘Watchman’ In The News

Here’s an odd Jewish line: “The conservative values of the Sydney Jewish community make homosexuals feel op pressed,” Kim Gottlieb, organiser of “Chutzpah” a Jewish Gay Liberation group said in Sydney. Mr. Gottlieb was member of a panel on the topic “Can Jews be Gay?”


ECAJ submission: Inquiry into matters relating to extremist movements and radicalism in Australia

Executive Council of Australian Jewry – SubmissionInquiry into matters relating to extremist movements and radicalism in Australia


Recommendation 6
6.1 Adapt school curricula across the disciplines from years K-12 to include:

  • in primary school, the development of a respectful understanding and de-stigmatising of difference (eg race, religion, disability)
  • from Year 7 in high school, addressing specific forms of racism and bigotry eg anti-Jewish, anti-Indigenous, anti-Muslim, anti-Asian, anti-LGBTIQ; and teaching students to self-reflect about their own prejudices
  • from Year 10, focusing on the destructive effects of racism and bigotry both in Australia and in other parts of the world, both historically and in contemporary society
  • in Years 11-12, reinforcing those themes in more depth in optional subjects.

20210212-ECAJ-Submission-Inquiry-into-matters-relating-to-extremist-movements-and-radicalism-in-Australia

[PDF]

Jewish community submissions to Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections

Aleph Melbourne, together with other Jewish Community organisations, have provided submissions to the Victorian Government Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections.

Details of the inquiry, along with links to the submissions, are presented here.


Terms of Reference

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.

Terms of Reference – Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections


Submissions

The following submissions have been accepted by the Committee:

# 26. Jewish Community Council of Victoria
# 38. Online Hate Prevention Institute [supplementary submission]
# 55. Australian Jewish Association [supplementary submission]
# 57. Union for Progressive Judaism
# 58. Aleph Melbourne [supplementary submission]


Hearings and Transcripts

 Past Hearings:

Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Meeting room G.1, 55 St Andrews Place, East Melbourne

TimeWitnessTranscript
12:45pmJewish Community Council of Victoria
Jennifer Huppert, President
 Transcript

Wednesday, 27 May 2020
Meeting room G.6, 55 St Andrews Place, East Melbourne and via videoconference

TimeWitnessTranscript
1:30pmAustalian Jewish Association
Dr David Adler, President
Ted Lapkin, Executive Director
 Transcript

Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Meeting room G.6, 55 St Andrews Place, East Melbourne and via videoconference

TimeWitnessTranscript
11:20amUnion for Progressive JudaismTranscript

Tuesday, 25 June 2020
Meeting room G.6, 55 St Andrews Place, East Melbourne and via videoconference

TimeWitnessTranscript
12:50pmExecutive Council of Australian JewryTranscript

JCCV policy changes strengthen support for LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV

JCCV

At their 2019 Annual General Meeting the Jewish Community Council of Victoria passed an amendment to their Policy Platform, in response to feedback from Aleph Melbourne and others, strengthening support for a range of groups including LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV.

The relevant changes, as detailed in the Agenda of the AGM, are outlined here:

14. Amendment to the JCCV Policy Platform 

Proposed Resolution: 
That Paragraph 3.7.4 of the JCCV Policy Platform be amended as shown in mark up: 

Respect
3.7.4 
CALLS FOR abstention from any public or private conduct that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, revulsion, vilification or severe ridicule of, another person or group on the ground of their identity (including race, religion, colour, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, sex characteristics, HIV/AIDS status, descent or and national, ethnic or ethno-religious origin) or the lawfully held views or personal medical decisions of that other person or group. 

Note: the marked-up changes appear to have inadvertently removed the characteristic “gender”. Aleph Melbourne has raised this concern to the attention of the JCCV.

This amendment significantly builds on the ground-breaking 2010 reform where the JCCV added “sexual orientation” to their Policy Platform, and follows on from the (previously passed) changes the Executive Council of Australian Jewry made to their Policy Platform.


20191118-JCCV-AGM-Agenda

ECAJ policy changes strengthen support for LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV

In December 2019 the Executive Council of Australian Jewry effected a range of changes to their Policies, in response to feedback from Aleph Melbourne, strengthening support for LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV.

The relevant changes are outlined here.

1. Social Inclusion

BEFORE

1.5 ACKNOWLEDGES that in the Jewish community, social exclusion may result from a number of factors including: lack of educational or vocational opportunities; low levels of income; mental or physical illness or disability; or immigration without social support, and that such exclusion most often results in individuals being prevented through no fault of their own, from building a better future for themselves and their families;

1.6 NOTES that poverty amongst Australian Jews is no less prevalent than in other sectors of the Australian community and that aspects of inequality from which poverty stems and which require further investigation and support are:
Work opportunities particularly in the case of immigrants, families with young children, large families and religiously observant families and older people and people with a disability;
Access and Equity in the utilization of services – where members of the community do not have access to contacts, groups and opportunities which empower them to access the mainstream Jewish community and the wider society. This can arise from the inability to speak English, or lack of education and information, or lack of sufficient income to participate;
Social stigmas where individuals experience social exclusion from the community as a result of mental illness, disability, or choice of lifestyle;

AFTER

1.5 ACKNOWLEDGES that in the Jewish community, social exclusion may result from a number of factors including: lack of educational or vocational opportunities; low levels of income; mental or physical illness or disability; immigration without social support; or sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics, and that such exclusion most often results in individuals being prevented through no fault of their own, from building a better future for themselves and their families;

1.6 NOTES that poverty amongst Australian Jews is no less prevalent than in other sectors of the Australian community and that aspects of inequality from which poverty stems and which require further investigation and support are:
Work opportunities particularly in the case of immigrants, families with young children, large families and religiously observant families and older people and people with a disability;
Access and Equity in the utilization of services – where members of the community do not have access to contacts, groups and opportunities which empower them to access the mainstream Jewish community and the wider society. This can arise from the inability to speak English, or lack of education and information, or lack of sufficient income to participate;
Social stigmas where individuals experience social exclusion from the community as a result of mental illness, disability, or sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics;

3. Anti-Racism Legislation

BEFORE

3.11 CALLS ON the Federal Government to pass legislation to create an indictable offence based on the following model:
§*** (1) A person who, otherwise than in private, intentionally or recklessly promotes or advocates the use or threatened use of violence against, or who harasses or intimidates (although no actually bodily harm is occasioned), another person or group of people because of, or by reference to, the actual or presumed:
(i) race, colour, descent or national, ethnic or ethno-religious origin; or
(ii) religious belief or affiliation; or
(iii) homosexuality; or
(iv) HIV/AIDS infection; or
(v) transgender identity,
of the other person or of some or all of the members of the group, commits an indictable offence.

AFTER

3.11 CALLS ON the Federal Government to pass legislation to create an indictable offence based on the following model:
§*** (1) A person who, otherwise than in private, intentionally or recklessly promotes or advocates the use or threatened use of violence against, or who harasses or intimidates (although no actually bodily harm is occasioned), another person or group of people because of, or by reference to, the actual or presumed:
(i) race, colour, descent or national, ethnic or ethno-religious origin; or
(ii) religious belief or affiliation; or
(iii) sexual orientation; or
(iv) HIV/AIDS status; or
(v) gender identity/expression; or
(vi) sex characteristics,

of the other person or of some or all of the members of the group, commits an indictable offence.

54. Counteracting Hatred and Discrimination Against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Persons

BEFORE

54.2 CALLS FOR mutual respect for the human dignity of all members of the community, despite any strongly held differences; recognition that disagreement is possible in ways that do not vilify other persons or their views; and avoidance of any public or private conduct that incites hatred, ridicule or contempt of another person or class of persons on the ground of their sexual orientation or gender identity; and, in accordance with the foregoing principles;

54.3 OPPOSES any form of hatred of any person on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;

54.4 ACKNOWLEDGES that there is still much work to be done to remove intolerance of and unlawful discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in the Jewish community and the wider Australian community, and to provide adequate services and support for them and their families; and

AFTER

54.2 CALLS FOR mutual respect for the human dignity of all members of the community, despite any strongly held differences; recognition that disagreement is possible in ways that do not vilify other persons or their views; and avoidance of any public or private conduct that incites hatred, ridicule or contempt of another person or class of persons on the ground of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, or sex characteristics; and, in accordance with the foregoing principles;

54.3 OPPOSES any form of hatred of any person on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, or sex characteristics;

54.4 ACKNOWLEDGES that there is still much work to be done to remove intolerance of and unlawful discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in the Jewish community and the wider Australian community, and to provide adequate services and support for them and their families; and

55. Same Sex Civil marriage

BEFORE

55.7 AFFIRMS that in matters of ordinary trade and commerce, as distinct from matters of religious practice and belief, all people are entitled to be protected from adverse discriminatory treatment on the basis of their race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.

AFTER

55.7 AFFIRMS that in matters of ordinary trade and commerce, as distinct from matters of religious practice and belief, all people are entitled to be protected from adverse discriminatory treatment on the basis of their race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, sex characteristics, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.

55.8 That the ECAJ encourages each of its constituent organisations to align the formulation of its policies concerning the foregoing matters with those of the ECAJ, and that affiliate organisations which have adopted policies concerning such matters be encouraged to do likewise.

Australian LGBTIQ+ and Jewish communities respond to COVID-19

A collection of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic from the Australian LGBTIQ+ and Jewish communities.

Responses to COVID-19 from the Australian LGBTIQ+ and Jewish communities

Thorne Harbour Health (Victoria)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update and advice for people living with HIV [Feb 28 2020]
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) [Mar 12 2020]
Update on COVID-19 for PLHIV [Mar 16 2020]
Sex, Intimacy and Coronavirus [Mar 17 2020]
Thorne Harbour Health: Snap Lockdown [May 28 2021]
COVID-19
COVID-19: Services Update
COVID-19 & Face Masks

ACON (New South Wales)
COVID-19 and Our Communities
ACON Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement [Mar 15 2020]
Trans and Gender Diverse People and COVID-19 [Mar 18 2020]
ACON COVID-19 Update: Casual Sex and Social Distancing [Mar 20 2020]
ACON COVID-19 Update: Changes to ACON services, programs and events [Mar 23 2020]
Sex in the Era of COVID-19 [Mar 24 2020]
ACON COVID-19 Update: Changes to ACON Regional Services [Mar 26 2020]
ACON COVID-19 Update: Changes to ACON Head Office Opening Hours [Apr 3 2020]
Dealing with stress and anxiety during COVID-19 [Apr 3 2020]
ACON Publishes Online COVID-19 Clearinghouse for LGBTQ Communities in NSW [Apr 8 2020]
WATCH: LGBTQ Online Forum – COVID-19 & Our Communities [Apr 8 2020]
Support For Harmful Drug and Alcohol Use Available During Coronavirus (COVID-19) [Apr 9 2020]
ACON and Positive Life NSW statement on media report on spitting, Coronavirus and people living with HIV [Apr 22 2020]
ACON COVID-19 Update: Visiting other people at home, physical distancing & casual sex [Apr 28 2020]
Forum To Explore Impact of COVID-19 on Trans and Gender Diverse Communities [May 5 2020]
Virtual Forum to Explore Impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQ People in Regional NSW [May 7 2020]
COVID-19 Update: Easing of Restrictions, Physical Distancing and Casual Sex [Jun 12 2020]
COVID-19 Update: Casual Sex and Sex On Premises Venues [Jul 10 2020]
ACON Face Masks to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 [Aug 31 2020]

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations / National LGBTI Health Alliance
LGBTI people, health and COVID-19 [Mar 17 2020]
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Hub

Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives
Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation [Mar 20 2020]

Community Security Group (Victoria)
Information on COVID-19 for communal leaders

Equality Australia
COVID-19 and Australian LGBTIQ+ Communities [Apr 16 2020]

Executive Council of Australian Jewry
ECAJ Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic [Mar 12 2020]
Community response to Coronavirus [Mar 17 2020]
Australian Jewish community management of COVID-19 pandemic – National Bulletin #1 [Mar 20 2020]
COVID-19: ABC’s Dr Norman Swan with a special message for the Australian Jewish community [Mar 23 2020]
What coronavirus means for our school-kids, seders, and saftas [Mar 24 2020]
Australian Jewish community management of COVID-19 pandemic – National Bulletin #2 [Mar 27 2020]
Coping with isolation, fear and anxiety in a time of Coronavirus [Mar 29 2020]
NSW Jewish community opens Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to support community during coronavirus pandemic [Mar 31 2020]
Australian Jewish community management of COVID-19 pandemic – National Bulletin #3 [Apr 3 2020]
Australian Jewish community management of COVID-19 pandemic – National Bulletin #4 [Aug 28 2020]

Hares & Hyenas Bookshop (Victoria)
UPDATE FOR CUSTOMERS & SUPPORTERS [Mar 19 2020]

Intersex Human Rights Australia
Intersex people and COVID-19 [Apr 12 2020]

Jewish Care (NSW)
JCA Announces COVID‐19 Jewish Emergency Relief Fund [Apr 2 2020]

Jewish Care Victoria
COVID-19 Helpline
Jewish Care Victoria Response to Stage 3 Restrictions [Jul 8 2020]

Jewish Community Council of Victoria
Information for Victorian Jewish Communal Leaders on Coronavirus (COVID-19) [Mar 17 2020]
Information for Victorian Jewish Communal Leaders on Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATE 2 [Mar 18 2020]

Leo Baeck Centre (Victoria)
LBC Weekly Update 11 March 2020

Living Positive Victoria
Coronavirus update and advice for HIV positive Australians [Feb 28 2020]
COVID-19 Update for People Living with HIV [Mar 17 2020]
COVID-19 is changing the way we interact with you [Mar 25 2020]
Looking after your mental health during COVID-19 [Apr 15 2020]
Casual sex in the time of COVID-19 [Apr 21 2020]
Living through a new pandemic [Jul 27 2020]
COVID-19 Update [May 31 2021]

Midsumma Festival
Midsumma COVID-19 Updates

Minus18 (Victoria)
COVID-19 UPDATE FROM MINUS18 [Mar 20 2020]

New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies
NSW Jewish Community Response to COVID-19 [Mar 18 2020]
COVID-19 pandemic: Message from Board of Deputies President Lesli Berger [Mar 26 2020]

Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand
Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand Statement on Coronavirus COVID-19 [c Mar 12 2020]

Temple Beth Israel (Victoria)
COVID-19 update [Mar 18 2020]

Union for Progressive Judaism
Union for Progressive Judaism Statement on Coronavirus [c Mar 12 2020]


This page will be updated as further information comes to hand.
We invite readers to contact us with relevant community information.

Beyond politics – a Jewish call for serious climate action

Aleph Melbourne is a signatory to this statement because as an organisation that cares about the well-being of individuals and families, we understand that we must also care about our environment and all life on the planet if we wish to live safely and harmoniously.

Beyond-Politics-a-Jewish-call-for-serious-climate-action

ajn-20200207-p7-Call-for-climate-action

EXTRA MEDIA COVERAGE
THE BIG SMOKE: Beyond politics: A jewish call for serious climate action
PLUS61J: Australian Jewish advocacy groups urge government to ramp up climate strategy
ARRCC: BEYOND POLITICS – A JEWISH CALL FOR SERIOUS CLIMATE ACTION
ABC RN Religion & Ethics Report: Feb 12 (17:14-17:26)
PLUS61J: Why is ECAJ so reluctant to speak out on climate action?

16-yr-old brutally stabbed by his own brother | J-Wire

16-yr-old brutally stabbed by his own brother

July 28, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk

The Jewish LGBTIQ+ community in Australia has responded with “shock and revulsion” to news of a brutal attack against a 16-year-old youth at a LGBTIQ+ youth hostel in Tel Aviv on Friday. 

Tel Aviv stabbing scene Pic: Twitter

According to reports, a teenager was seriously wounded just outside the hostel when he was stabbed in the chest and leg, apparently for religious reasons, by his own brother.

The incident comes within days of the 10th anniversary of the murder of a 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl and the injuring of at least fifteen others, most of them minors, at the “Bar-Noar” LGBTIQ+ youth centre in Tel Aviv on 1 August 2009.   It is also five years since 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade.

Commenting on the latest incident, Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett said, “The attack on a resident at an LGBTIQ+ youth emergency centre is a chilling reminder of how much harder we need to work to break down the intolerance and ignorance that exists in many communities”.

“The 2009 attack in Tel Aviv was the catalyst for a remarkable transformation in the Jewish community in Australia, and as a result our community has come to value the importance of including and embracing its LGBTIQ+ people” Barnett said.  “We are a better, stronger and more cohesive community as a result, although we also know there is much more work to do.  Beliefs and attitudes that incite hate and violence are never acceptable, and we must call them out in all their forms.  Our thoughts are with the injured boy and wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

Co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim, described Friday’s stabbing as “extremely disturbing”.

“Israel has made great strides in recent years in encouraging respect for and acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people, and it is light years ahead of neighbouring countries”’ Wertheim said. “But there is still a long way to go. In Israel, as elsewhere, LGBTIQ+ people still face all too frequent acts of violence motivated by hatred in a social climate that is inflamed by bigoted statements from people in positions of authority.  We hope the young man who was attacked makes a full and speedy recovery and that his ordeal serves to spur political and religious leaders to greater efforts to stamp out anti-LGBTIQ+ violence, and the hatred that gives rise to it.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Resolution on Brunei

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Resolution on Brunei passed at Plenum April 16 2019

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Resolution on Brunei passed at Plenum on April 16 2019.

RESOLUTION

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies:

  1. Reaffirms its policy and that of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ):
  • calling for respect for the sanctity of the lives and dignity of all people; and
  • opposing any public or private conduct that incites hatred, ridicule or contempt of another person or class of persons on the ground of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  1. Joins with the ECAJ and:
  • deplores the recent criminalisation of same-sex relationships between consenting adults under Brunei’s Syariah Penal Code, with punishments ranging from whipping and imprisonment through to death by stoning;
  • condemns the government of Brunei for introducing a law that mandates the brutal repression, persecution and death of LGBTIQ people;
  • commends Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong, among others, for publicly expressing to the government of Brunei their strong opposition to the new law; and
  • calls on the Australian government to make known its opposition to the legally-sanctioned persecution and vilification of LGBTIQ people to the governments of all countries in which such persecution and vilification occurs.