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
The Council for the Order of Australia should hang its collective head in shame for honouring Margaret Court, a purveyor of bigotry.
JANUARY 26 2021
ALEPH MELBOURNE DISGUSTED BY
AUSTRALIA DAY HONOUR AWARDED TO MARGARET COURT
The Australia Day 2021 Honour bestowed to Margaret Court “for eminent service to tennis as an internationally acclaimed player and record-holding grand slam champion, and as a mentor of young sportspersons” flies in the face of good taste and decency.
As an organisation representing Jewish LGBTIQ+ people we have been doubly impacted by Margaret Court’s incessant demonisation, with her comparison of the work done to protect LGBTIQ+ children to what Adolf Hitler did, and her rabid transphobia and homophobia.
Margaret Court may be capable when it comes to mentoring in tennis, but as a community leader she is a danger to impressionable young people by telling those who are LGBTIQ+ that they are the work of the devil and making them feel bad about themselves.
The Council for the Order of Australia should hang its collective head in shame for honouring a purveyor of bigotry.
Michael Barnett – Co-convenor
Multicultural voices in support of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020
Wednesday 9 December 2020
Various multi-faith, multicultural LGBTQ+ and allied voices have written an open letter in support of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 currently before the Victorian Parliament.
The letter is signed by:
- Ghassan Kassisieh, Legal Director, Equality Australia and author of the ‘We’re Family Too’ report
- Dr Judy Tang, Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and ex-President of Australian LGBTIQ+ Multicultural Council
- Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Research lead and founding member of Australian LGBTIQ+ Multicultural Council (AGMC); Gender & Sexuality Studies, Deakin University
- Cedric Yin-Cheng, Chief Executive Officer, Australia & New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance Inc (ANTRA)
- Abanob Saad, Conversion Practice Survivor and Founder, Queer Middle-Eastern and African Christians in Australia (QMEACA)
- Benjamin Oh and Molina Asthana, Co-Convenors, Asian Australian Alliance (AAA)
- Budi Sudarto, Director, Ananda Training & Consultancy and Member of Queer Muslims in Australia
- Ken Dumandan, President, Acceptance Melbourne LGBTIQ+ Catholics
- Dr Reem Sweid, Founder and former President of Muslim Collective; Faculty Member, Alfred Deakin Research Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University
- Nathan Despott, Brave Network
- Michael Barnett, Co-convenor, Aleph Melbourne
- Bhante Akāliko Bhikkhu, Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community
0418 432 030
Aleph Melbourne launches its 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide
5 OCTOBER 2020
ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2020 LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE
Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide. The Voters Guide is designed to inform voters living in councils with high Jewish populations how to best identify candidates for the 2020 Local Council Elections who have pledged to support and promote the efforts of local governments to foster a culture that is inclusive, responsive and accessible to LGBTIQA+ Victorians.
Links to the Aleph Melbourne 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide:
- Rainbow Tick accreditation for council-run services.
- the establishment or continuation of an LGBTIQA+ advisory committee to council.
- the development and implementation of a LGBTIQA+ action plan for council.
- flying the rainbow flag from council buildings on LGBTIQA+ awareness days.
- marching in Pride March or participating in Midsumma or local pride events.
Our guide contains the names of those candidates who have responded to the Rainbow Votes pledge in full, in part, or as a refusal. The guide will be reviewed and updated periodically.
We encourage voters to locate their voting ward, review their candidates’ levels of support for LGBTIQ issues and vote in a manner that prioritises LGBTIQ equality.
We also encourage voters to contact candidates directly if they require additional information not included in the Voters Guide.
The Aleph Melbourne 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide follows on from our 2013 Voters Guide to Marriage Equality in Jewish Melbourne, 2016 Voters Guide to Marriage Equality in Jewish Melbourne, 2018 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality and 2019 Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Aleph Melbourne commends Caulfield Hebrew Congregation on significant LGBTIQ+ diversity reform
July 12 2020
Aleph Melbourne commends the board of Caulfield Hebrew Congregation (CHC) for taking an unequivocal stance against all intolerance of LGBTIQ+ people, and accepts a sincere apology from the board for recent comments made on social media by a CHC Vice President.*
By committing to undertake diversity training, and by accepting that intolerance and vilification directed at LGBTIQ+ people is unacceptable, the CHC board sends a strong message to trans and gender diverse, same-sex attracted, and intersex people in the Jewish community that they are valued, important and worthy.
We acknowledge CHC Rabbi Ralph Genende for his decade-plus leadership in being a proponent for the acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people.
Now with Caulfield Hebrew Congregation sending a clear message that Orthodox Judaism can embrace LGBTIQ+ diversity, Aleph Melbourne calls on all Orthodox synagogues in Melbourne and across Australia to stand in solidarity on this important stance.
Michael Barnett (pronouns: he/him/his)
May 21 2020
Response to attack on Cranbourne Golf Club
Aleph Melbourne is disturbed by the news of a pointless and senseless act of cowardly vandalism at Melbourne’s Cranbourne Golf Club.
The antisemitic and homophobic graffiti demonstrates profound immaturity and insensitivity by the perperator/s.
As a support group for LGBTIQ+ Jews we feel the pain doubly. We are targeted for being Jewish. We are targeted for our sexual orientation.
What makes this type of vandalism especially pernicious is that it was laced with hate. It wasn’t an ordinary case of self-expression on a fence or wall, but rather, a calculated and targeted act of intolerance designed to hurt people.
We hope that the perpetrator/s are brought to justice. More than that, we hope that they come to understand the nature of their crime and make amends for their actions.
Michael Barnett (pronouns: he/him/his)
Co-convenor – Aleph Melbourne
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
SUNDAY JANUARY 12 2020
JEWS OF PRIDE RETURNS TO PRIDE MARCH IN 2020
The biggest ever Jews of Pride contingent will come together on Sunday February 2 at the 2020 Midsumma Pride March in Melbourne.
Over ten supportive groups from the Melbourne Jewish community will comprise Jews of Pride as we proudly stand up for and celebrate equality for all LGBTIQ+ people.
In 2018 Jews of Pride was awarded the “Most Fabulous” group in Pride March: https://aleph.org.au/2018/02/18/jewish-contingent-awarded-most-fabulous-in-2018-midsumma-pride-march
Last year the collective energy of 100 people created an unsurpassed Jewish presence in Pride March: https://aleph.org.au/2019/02/06/jews-of-pride-at-midsumma-pride-march-2019
This year, after months of planning, Jews of Pride returns with renewed enthusiasm, a fantastic fresh look, a bigger sound system and refreshed playlist, and our largest ever number of groups from the Jewish community. Participating organisations include:
- Aleph Melbourne
- Australian Jewish Democratic Society
- Habonim Dror
- Jewish Care Victoria
- Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria
- National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (Vic)
- Temple Beth Israel
- Zionist Federation of Australia
- and more!
We invite the entire Jewish community to join Jews of Pride and celebrate Jewish trans and gender diverse, intersex, same-sex attracted people, rainbow families and allies, in the most fabulous, dynamic and festive contingent, as we pump out upbeat music and dance our way along Fitzroy Street.
Be part of the fun and meet us at the marshalling area, corner of Lakeside Drive and Fitzroy Street between 10 and 10:30 am for the 11am march start. Jews of Pride is in Wave G, position 16.
Jews of Pride Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1361418940707508
March order: https://www.midsumma.org.au/info/midsumma-pride-march-2020-marching-order
Enquiries: Michael Barnett | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0417-595-541
Aleph Melbourne acknowledges Victorian birth certificate reforms
August 28 2019
On August 27 2019 the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill
2019 (VIC) passed in the Victorian State Parliament.
In essence this legislative reform will allow transgender and gender diverse Victorians to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without having to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
This simple reform will make a huge difference to the lives of those people who are currently unable to easily align their birth certificate with their affirmed gender.
The Jewish community, along with other communities across the state, will benefit from this reform, as its trans and gender diverse people can start living fuller, more meaningful lives, participating in activities that other people take for granted.
Aleph Melbourne commends these reforms, but also notes they are substandard to the recent Tasmanian reforms that made gender optional on birth certificates.
More information: Ygender: Birth Certificate Reform 2019
Aleph Melbourne Contact: Michael Barnett / email@example.com / 0417-595-541
About Aleph Melbourne: Aleph Melbourne is a social, support and advocacy group for same-sex attracted, trans and gender diverse, and intersex people (and allies) who have a Jewish heritage, living in Melbourne, Australia.