Individuals and families can find themselves in housing distress for many reasons. Sometimes what is required is assistance to navigate the housing system, financial assistance, an understanding of pathways to more affordable housing or housing itself. Jewish Care’s Housing Support team alongside other community services works with all members of the Jewish Community in the endeavour to find and sustain secure and affordable accommodation. Please contact Jewish Care’s Front Door on 8517 5999 if you are in need of support pertaining to housing distress or contact via firstname.lastname@example.org
Anglicare Victoria, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, Jewish Care Victoria, McAuley Community Services for Women, Sacred Heart Mission and Uniting Vic.Tas have today joined to voice their concerns about the latest draft of the Religious Discriminations Bill and its potential to allow people and organisations to use faith as a means to cause harm to clients, customers, staff and volunteers.
Although we come from different faiths, religions and cultures, we are united in our focus on community and social service.
We are proud of the work we do. We believe a divisive national conversation about whether people of faith should be able to discriminate against people of no, or different faiths, is not in the national interest. It is our view that religious freedom must be balanced against the rights of the people.
Religious organisations such as ours have demonstrated that it is possible to uphold the religious faith on which our work is founded – providing services to anyone who needs them – while at the same time respecting the diverse faith of our workforce, volunteers, clients and residents.
We are concerned that the legislation will have unintended consequences, where expressions of religious belief will be privileged above the rights and interests of other Australians in being free from discrimination.
The proposed Religious Discrimination Bill has the potential to create additional barriers for people in accessing medical services and housing, engaging in employment and participating in social and public life.
For people who are marginalised and experiencing social exclusion, and have a limited ability to self-advocate, this is likely to cause further harm and distress.
We do not support the Religious Discrimination Bill as it currently stands, as we do not believe it will benefit the Australian community.
We urge the Federal Government to legislate to protect religious freedom without removing protections from those who need it. Our laws should protect all of us, equally.
Quote attributable to CEO Anglicare Victoria, Paul McDonald
“As a faith-based organisation of significance, Anglicare Victoria rejects the current draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill because of the far reaching discrimination it now promotes.”
Quotes attributable to CEO Jewish Care Victoria, Bill Appleby
“As the CEO of an ethno-specific community service organisation, it fills me with an enormous sense of pride knowing that every day we have people from all corners of our global village providing much-needed supports and services to vulnerable people. We are committed to embracing the rich diversity of the community, and stand strongly against any law that allows individuals and groups to marginalise or diminish the value of others.”
“Jewish Care Victoria recognises that we, as a community, are at our strongest when we celebrate our differences and stand alongside each other, not when we exclude, discriminate, or isolate those that do not share our own lived experiences. Legislating the right to judge a person’s value based on their ability, religion, sexuality, gender expression, or marital status is not what civil societies are built upon.”
“We are humbled every single day with the opportunity to provide care and support to those that need it the most. Our staff do this inclusively, without judgment, and based only on the person’s needs – it is, in fact, the rich diversity within our organisation that allows us to meet such a wide range of needs. Whilst we firmly believe in the freedom of religion under law, we have equal belief in the law being equitable for all, and a person’s right to be free from those that seek to discriminate against them.”
Quotes attributable to CEO Sacred Heart Mission, Cathy Humphrey
“It is our view that the draft Religious Discrimination Bill will allow people and organisations to use faith as a means to cause harm, including excluding people from accessing essential services.”
“Sacred Heart Mission engages a diversity of people, staff and volunteers, to work across a wide range of services and in our opportunity shops. We do not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, disability, gender or sexual orientation. It is not our intention to do so, even in the event of a change in legislation.”
“Today we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that our services and workplaces are safe and welcoming for all people, regardless of their sexuality, gender orientation, marital status, ability or beliefs.”
Quote attributable to CEO Uniting Vic.Tas Bronwyn Pike
“There are no grounds on which religion can be a justification for saying or doing harmful things. This Bill goes too far and must be withdrawn.”
Quotes attributable to CEO Equality Australia, Anna Brown
“It is fantastic to see faith-based service providers playing an important leadership role in this campaign, calling for laws that protect all of us, equally.”
“The Government need to genuinely engage with the concerns raised, and draft a Bill that doesn’t give protections to one group of people at the expense of others.”
For more information or media enquiries, please contact:
A compilation of videos showcasing the “Jews of Pride” contingent at Pride March 2020.
The “Jews of Pride” contingent came to life again at the 25th Pride March, February 2, 2020.
Enjoy this compilation of clips taken from the day showcasing the diversity of Melbourne’s Jewish community, celebrating LGBTIQ+ people and our families.
Compilation: SKIF shows who can dance (0:22) Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC) (2:09) Queer South Asian dancers (2:17) The truck starts and a proud Jewish mum rushes out (2:25) Ute-cam: Music, meet contingent. Let the fun begin! (2:57) Quick dance routine in street (7:32) Street dancing and the contingent (7:37) SKIF & Habo dance (12:56) Rounding final corner out of Fitzroy Street (13:47)
MEDIA RELEASE FEBRUARY 3 2020 “Jews of Pride” huge success at 25th Pride March
Returning for the third year in a row, the award-winning Jews of Pride contingent brought song, dance and festivity to the streets of St Kilda, as part of the 25th annual Pride March, on Sunday February 2 2020.
Fielding it’s largest contingent ever, over 140 people came together representing ten organisations from the Jewish community proudly made their way along Fitzroy Street, to the tunes of traditional and Israeli music pumping from a brightly decorated sound truck, in support of LGBTIQ+ people and families.
Lead organisers Colin Krycer and Michael Barnett, having spent months planning the contingent, were overjoyed that a greater breadth of organisations from the Jewish community joined participated. First time attendees included the National Council of Jewish Women VIC headed up by President Miriam Bass, Zionist Federation of Australia headed up by CEO Ginette Searle, and Australian Jewish Democratic Society headed up by David Zyngier.
Contingent stalwarts included SKIF, Habonim Dror, Temple Beth Israel, Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria, Aleph Melbourne and Keshet Australia.
Jewish Care, returning for their second year, added two brightly decorated minibuses to the contingent, allowing an inclusive opportunity for those who could not walk along the parade route.
The weather was magnificent, breaking the trend of searingly hot days in recent years, and escaping flooding downpours the day prior, with blue skies and warmth adding to the joy of the event. Onlookers were thrilled with the Jews of Pride, many offering Mazal Tovs and L’chaims.
Although there has been a strong Jewish presence in Pride March for all of its 25 year history, this year’s Jews of Pride contingent saw more community leaders, community organisations, families and supporters standing up for the inclusion, celebration, acceptance, visibility and respect of same-sex attracted, trans and gender diverse, and intersex people, and rainbow families.
Jews of Pride will return in 2021, bigger, better and more beautifully Jewish.
Further comment available: Michael Barnett email@example.com 0417-595-541 Pronouns: he/him/his Colin Krycer firstname.lastname@example.org 0411-441-691 Pronouns: he/him/his
JCCV working to improve inclusion and reduce mental health tragedies for our LGBTI community members
Last night, about 40 community members, organizational leaders, mental health experts and service providers, including at least seven Orthodox Rabbis, attended a very informative and moving Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) LGBTI Mental Health Forum.
The Forum heard from speakers and panelists from SANE Australia, Headspace, Jewish Care Victoria, Keshet Australia, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria and Hatzolah. Community members and professionals also shared relevant anecdotes and personal stories.
JCCV President, Jennifer Huppert stated, “It is most important at this time while the community is enduring a divisive and emotionally damaging same sex marriage debate, that we focus on respect, inclusion and avoiding creative havoc with the mental health of vulnerable members of our community, in particular our LGBTI youth.”
Apart from sharing the terrible statistics for mental health problems and suicide rates for the LGBTI community, and especially our youth, speakers described many of the problems faced:
Lack of support
Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
Isolation and alienation
Loss of family and community connections
Which all can lead to self-harm, depression, and worse.
Young LGBTI youth face a FIVE times higher risk of suicide compared to non-LGBTI youth.
Rabbi Daniel Rabin, President of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria spoke about inclusion and the need for Rabbis and other community leaders to be welcoming.
Rabbi Rabin stated, “We are all members of the community, like letters in a Torah scroll. If one is missing, the whole is invalidated.”
“As one of my LGBTI congregants with young children said to me, ‘What make me comfortable to attend the Synagogue and its activities is because I don’t feel judged when I participate”
Speakers spoke about the importance of family and community support, and issues of coming out.
Medical practitioner and mental health advocate Dr Dov Degen stated, “I hope for a future where we won’t have to come out as gay or straight. We will just be able to say, “I am me”, and that will be enough.”
Orthodox Psychologist Zipporah Oliver OAM aligned the discussion with Orthodox Jewish values and said that we should remember to focus on: – Saving a life and minimizing harm – Loving a fellow Jew – Chessed – Kindness
The panel of speakers highlighted steps that families and community leaders needed to take to improve mental health outcomes and prevent serious damage, included: – Be welcoming: – Accept difference – Support the vulnerable and those struggling – Refer to appropriate service providers – Don’t be judgemental – Provide an inclusive environment – Must name and address mental health problems – Must have the conversations – Must be careful in your language and display understanding and empathy.