Australian Jewish organisations demand end to cruel treatment of ‘boat people’

Australian Jewish organisations demand end to cruel treatment of ‘boat people’ 

Seven years have now passed since the then Australian government announced that all people seeking asylum who arrived on unauthorised boats would be processed offshore and that none would ever be resettled in Australia, a policy that has been continued by all Australian governments since. 

A July 2020 report by the Refugee Council of Australia shows again the immense suffering thus caused for thousands of despairing men, women and children, including self-harm, 12 deaths offshore, by suicide or for want of medical care, and other deaths while in limbo in Australia. Despite the passage of seven long years and expenditure of $7.6 billions of taxpayers’ money, hundreds of people still remain trapped in Papua New Guinea or Nauru or, having been brought to Australia for proper medical care, are in detention and not receiving it. 

Only last century, thousands of Jews fleeing persecution in Europe were denied entry to other countries, or escaped only by recourse to ‘people smugglers’. As a result, all states, including Australia, now have obligations under the Refugee Convention of 1951, its 1967 Protocol, and international humanitarian law, to receive people who claim asylum because of well-founded fears of persecution and to process their claims expeditiously and compassionately. Australia has repeatedly breached those obligations and shamefully continues to do so in respect of the asylum seekers still in Papua New Guinea and Nauru or evacuated for medical reasons and detained in Australia. 

Together with many fellow Australians, we demand that our Government take immediate and effective action to resettle these people safely and give them some hope again in what remains of their interrupted and damaged lives. 

Signed as of 30 July 2020 

Aleph Melbourne | Ameinu Australia | Australian Jewish Democratic Society | Betar Australia | J-Greens (Vic) | Jewish Labour Bund Melbourne | Jewish Lesbian Group Victoria | Jews for Refugees (Australia) | Jews for Refugees (Sydney) | Jewish Voices for Peace & Justice (NSW) | Kehilat Koleinu | Habonim Dror Australia | Hashomer Hatzair Australia | Inner West Chavurah | Meretz Australia | Music for Refugees | NIF Australia | Progressive Judaism Victoria | SKIF

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Voice, Treaty, Truth – Jewish organisations reaffirm support for First Nations Australians

Voice, Treaty, Truth – Jewish organisations reaffirm support for First Nations Australians from the heart

We recognise the deep moral and political significance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in our own hearts.

Jews have also experienced the deep silence that follows atrocity and genocide, the experience of being abandoned by humanity, the struggle for recognition of confronting truths, and the tormenting powerlessness of not being heard.

In this year of 2020, which marks the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the British in Australia and dispossession of its original inhabitants, it is very important to recognise how much work and structural change is still needed to heal the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The health crisis this year in Australia is but one of many issues that highlight the continuing vulnerability and powerlessness of First Nations in their own country.

We reaffirm our full-hearted support for:

  • amendment of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act to enshrine a First Nations Voice in the Constitution;
  • establishment by legislation or letters patent of a Makarrata Commission to oversee a process of truth-telling about our history as a path to reconciliation between First Nations and other Australians and to oversee the making of agreements between First Nations and Federal and State governments.

Despite what has happened over the past 250 years, the First Nations of Australia have shown great dignity, patience, tenacity and generosity of spirit, inviting all Australians to walk with them to create a fuller expression of our shared nationhood.

We accept the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart with gratitude and pledge to work with First Nations, all Federal and State politicians, local and city authorities, religious, ethnic and civil society organisations, business leaders and our fellow citizens in moving together towards a better future.

All Australian Jewish organisations are invited to declare their support for this statement during 2020 and the following have done so as at 27 May 2020, the 53rd anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and three years after the release of the Uluru Statement from the Heart:

ALEPH Melbourne, Ameinu Australia, Australian Union of Jewish Students, Betar Australia, Emanuel Synagogue, Habonim Dror Australia, Hashomer Hatzair Australia, Inner West Chavura, Jewish Labour Bund, Jewish Voices for Peace & Justice (NSW), Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria, Jews for Refugees (Victoria), Kehilat Nitzan, Meretz Australia, Music for Refugees, Netzer Australia, NIF Australia, North Shore Temple Emanuel, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Progressive Judaism Victoria, SKIF, StandUp

View statement PDF here.

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Voice, Treaty, Truth – Jews support First Nations Australia

MEDIA COVERAGE

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.

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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?

Jewish Care Marches with Pride

Jewish Care Marches with Pride

06 February 2019

Jewish Care Victoria is proud to have walked in the 24th Annual Midsumma Pride March on Sunday 3 February.

Together with eight other Jewish community organisations, Jewish Care staff, volunteers, leaders and Board members, including Jewish Care CEO Bill Appleby and President Mike Debinski, marched under the ‘Jews of Pride’ banner.

Other groups and organisations marching under the same banner included AlephJewish Lesbian Group of VictoriaKeshetHashomer Hatzair AustraliaHabonim Dror MelbourneSKIFNetzer and Temple Beth Israel.

The Midsumma Pride March is part of the Midsumma Festival, a 22-day annual celebration of LGBTI+ arts, culture, and the diverse communities that exist within the larger LGBTI+ community.

Speaking of the importance of Jewish Care walking in the Midsumma Pride March, Jewish Care employee Doron Abramovici said, “Marching under the umbrella of ‘Jews of Pride’ showed a unity like I’ve never seen before in our community. Having the CEO and President of Victoria’s largest Jewish services provider march sends a powerful message to community members who identify as LGBTI+ and should not be understated.”

“As Jewish Care’s Pride banner said, there is strength in diversity,” said Jewish Care CEO, Bill Appleby. “We know that we, as a community, are at our strongest when we celebrate our differences and stand with each other.”

“Jewish Care values inclusion for all members of our community,” added Jewish Care President Mike Debinski. “Marching alongside LGBTI+ members of both the Jewish and wider communities, as well as other communal organisations, is one way we can outwardly express our commitment to supporting LGBTI+ people.”

Jewish Care Victoria is committed to developing and implementing inclusive practices for all members of the Victorian Jewish community. In addition, to participating in the Midsumma Pride March, Jewish Care continues to work towards achieving Rainbow Tick Accreditation in 2019.

To find out more about Jewish Care’s commitment to inclusive practice, contact rainbow@jewishcare.org.au.

Gallery of Pride

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