FEBRUARY 7 2021
ALEPH MELBOURNE WELCOMES VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT PROTECTIONS AGAINST CONVERSION PRACTICES
Aleph Melbourne welcomes the passage of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 and congratulates the Victorian Government for their unflinching support in this journey.
Many same-sex attracted and gender diverse Jews have been victims of disreputable people and organisations within and beyond the Jewish community who have performed destructive conversion practices, often with long-lasting negative or even fatal consequences.
This legislation sends a clear message that no longer is it acceptable or legal to tell someone they are broken because of their gender identity or sexual orientation and then attempt to make the person conform to an unnatural identity.
Knowing our state government, under the capable leadership of Premier Daniel Andrews, has taken this issue seriously proves it cares about the well-being of people with diverse sexual and gender identities.
Victoria has set a high bar on this important issue, and we hope that other states around Australia are motivated to tighten their laws similarly.
We acknowledge the tireless dedication of the Brave Network, SOGICE Survivors, Jewish Care, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Just Equal and Equality Australia, together with the many individuals and networks who have helped in bringing about this visionary change.
Michael Barnett – Co-convenor
Forum: Change and Suppression Practices in the Jewish Community
A forum for our community to learn about the LGBTQA+ Change and Suppression (Conversion) Practices Bill that is before Victorian parliament.
Date And Time:Wed, 20 January 2021
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM AEDT
About this Event
Jewish Care invites you to a unique community forum to discuss LGBTQA+ conversion practices (sometimes called ‘conversion therapy’) and the current Change and Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill.
The forum is being co-hosted with the Brave Network, a survivor support and advocacy group, and SOGICE Survivors, a national advocacy and research group, and supported by Courage to Care, a national upstander education initiative of B’nai B’rith. The forum will provide our community an opportunity to learn about conversion practices, hear global and local research about prevalence and harm, and the journey that led to the development of the Victorian bill. It will outline the contents of the bill, but more importantly how the community can show support to both survivors of conversion practices and this bill being passed into law.
The event’s panel will include:
- Rabbi Gersh Lazarow (he/him), Temple Beth Israel
- Samuel Murray (he/they), Jewish Care Executive and LGBTI+ Liaison Officer
- Patrick McIvor (he/him), Brave Network
- Nathan Despott (he/they), Brave Network and SOGICE Survivors
- Nicola Kolb (she/her), community member and survivor ally
- Jarod Rhine-Davis (he/him), 2020 B’nai B’rith Changemaker Leadership Award recipient
- Leah Boulton (she/her), Founder and Executive Officer, Pathways Melbourne. www.pathwaysmelbourne.org
- Dr Gávi Ansara (he/him), Clinical Psychotherapist, Clinical Family Therapist, and founder of Rosh Pinah, An Affirming Orthodox Jewish Network
Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email.
The Zoom link for the event will be sent shortly before the event.
The following statement has been provided by Jewish Care Victoria:
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 email@example.com
Jewish Care is a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation – proudly celebrating and warmly welcoming the rich diversity of our community as we strive to be inclusive for all.
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]
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 Lesbian and Gay Archives
Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation [Mar 20 2020]
Community Security Group (Victoria)
Information on COVID-19 for communal leaders
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
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]
Midsumma COVID-19 Updates
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.
Monday February 10 2020
MEDIA RELEASE: FAITH-BASED ORGANISATIONS DO NOT SUPPORT CURRENT RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION BILL
Leaders from Victoria’s most prominent faith-based and religious community service organisations have come together to urge the Federal Government not to implement the Religious Discrimination Bill as proposed.
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:
M: +61418 432 030
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.
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)
Aleph Melbourne, Australian Jewish Democratic Society, Habonim Dror, Jewish Care Victoria, Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria, Keshet Australia, National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (VIC), SKIF, Temple Beth Israel, and Zionist Federation of Australia.
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:
PHOTO GALLERY (31 high-res photos)
Credit to Michael Barnett
Note: photos will be available for a limited time