JCCV marks decade of “strong advocacy”


SUMMARY OF JCCV’S LGBTI INCLUSION ACTIVITIES

2009 – formation of the LGBT (at the time) Reference Group.

2011 – release of report into discrimination and vilification of LGBT Jews in Victoria.

2014 – JCCV supports and encourages affiliates to support No to Homophobia.

2014 – JCCV wins Hey Grant from the Victorian Government.

2015 – JCCV 1st ever LGBTI Symposium held with approximately 80 attendees with panels from the LGBTI Jewish spectrum. Attendees were cross-denominational.

2015 – Keshet Australia admitted to JCCV as an affiliate – the first Jewish LGBTI organisation affiliate.

2016 – Launched JCCV LGBTI service directory https://bit.ly/2mviycZ

2016 – Youth video winner announced form previous year’s completion.

2017 – Mental Health Forum in light of RCV’s statement to the government’s plebiscite

2017 – JCCV supports civil marriage equality with motion moved by National Council of Jewish Women and seconded by AUJS.


Doron Abramovici comment on JCCV LGBTI achievements - Jul 20 2018.png


“A decade of strong advocacy for LGBTI equality and inclusion! I am very proud to have volunteered for the JCCV for a decade and served on the board for almost 4 years. We have achieved great things together! #lgbti #lgbtiinclusion #mentalhealthmatters #socialinclusion #lgbtijews Big shout out to John Searle, Anton Block, Nina Bassat, Jennifer Huppert, Original Reference Group members Julie Leder, Nathan Rose, Andrew Rajcher, Sally Goldner, Immediate part Executive Director David Marlow and the community for welcoming change.” — Doron Abramovici


Rabbi Is Out Of Line & Out Of Touch With The Community | JCCV

Rabbi Is Out Of Line & Out Of Touch With The Community

16 February 2015

Jewish Community Council of VictoriaMuch of the evidence presented at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over the past two weeks has been seriously disturbing, appalling and distressing. One of the lows was the statement made by Rabbi Zvi Telsner, a senior rabbi in the Yeshivah community, that homosexuals can be ‘cured’.

This is repulsive, ignorant and insulting, demonstrating a serious departure from the views of the mainstream Jewish community.

Rabbi Telsner also linked paedophilia and homosexuality in his testimony. Any such linking is disturbing and indeed toxic. Those comments are poisonous to people of diverse sexual preference, their families and friends.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) signed up to the ‘No To Homophobia’ campaign in 2013, the first and possibly only faith community to do so and we urged our affiliates to do likewise.  26 Jewish community organisations have also signed up to the campaign, including the Australian Union of Jewish students (AUJS), Progressive Judaism Victoria, Jewish Care, Jewish Aid, the Jewish Holocaust Centre and the Jewish Museum. Obviously Rabbi Telsner, whose organisation is not affiliated to JCCV, did not sign up.

View Related Article in “Star Observer”

Jewish community group makes landmark anti-homophobia message | Star Observer

Jewish community group makes landmark anti-homophobia message


Benjamin Riley Benjamin Riley — February 27, 2014
David Marlow JCCV

A RECENT statement from a leading Melbourne-based Jewish group that said homophobia was unacceptable has been hailed as a turning point for the Victorian Jewish community’s relationship with its LGBTI members.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has been ramping up its LGBTI-related activities over the past few years, including signing up to the No To Homophobia campaign and convincing over 25 of its member organisations in the Jewish community to do the same. Previous public statements by the JCCV have linked prejudice to negative mental heath outcomes for LGBTI people and said it was “okay to be gay”.

Executive director David Marlow responded to calls by the co-convenor of LGBTI Jewish organisation Aleph Melbourne Michael Barnett to clarify the JCCV’s position on homophobia.

“Homophobia, lack of acceptance and intolerance of homosexuality causes serious stress, anxiety and serious mental health issues and (is) not acceptable. All people should be welcomed and respected as valuable members of society and the community,” Marlow said.

Barnett told the Star Observer the statement is more significant than other LGBTI-related comments by the JCCV, arguing that calling homophobia “unacceptable” allowed the community to hold the council and its member organisations to account.

The JCCV represents a broad cross-section of Victoria’s Jewish community, including many Orthodox Jewish organisations with prevalent homophobic views.

Barnett believed such an explicit stand against homophobia was significant as the JCCV represented a broad Jewish community.

Speaking to the Star Observer Marlow agreed, and also believed the JCCV was one of the first representative organisations from any major religion in Australia to take a stand against homophobia.

Marlow said while the anti-homophobia initiatives have enjoyed broad support from JCCV members, there was some resistance.

“There have been some on the more Orthodox side who have not been as welcoming but there are certainly Orthodox synagogues and some Orthodox rabbis who are very welcoming, and some who are not,” Marlow explained.

“You can have your position from a religious standpoint, but from the point of view of how you deal with people and how you accept people and how you treat people — that’s the angle we’re trying to take.”

Marlow didn’t disagree with Barnett’s claim the wording of his most recent statement was significant, but said the JCCV was committed to education as a way to hold some member organisations to account for harmful homophobic views.

“We have a diversity of views on a range of issues from all our affiliate members… If we kicked an organisation out because we disagree with them, that doesn’t change them or fix anything,” he said.

Marlow said he expected the gradual shift in social attitudes around LGBTI people would continue to be reflected in the views of the JCCV’s member organisations.

Jewish Council says it is Okay to be Gay | Star Observer

Jewish Council says it is Okay to be Gay

By on November 6, 2013

gay_jewish

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has made a significant step towards equality by publicly acknowledging for the first time “it’s okay to be gay”.

Following the JCCV’s release of a statement in support of the No To Homophobia campaign, co-convener of LGBTI Jewish organisation Aleph Melbourne Michael Barnett criticised the JCCV’s failure to publicly affirm gay people in society.

The JCCV responded with the comment: “It’s okay to be gay.”

A follow up statement confirmed the organisation’s position.

“The JCCV joined the No To Homophobia campaign because members of the GLBTI community experience harassment and abuse. This is not ok,” it stated.

“That’s why we joined the campaign, started the reference group—to acknowledge that it’s ok to be gay and to help with reducing mental wellbeing issues and harassment.”

Barnett praised the response, saying it is particularly significant given a majority of the JCCV’s constituent organisations are from the conservative, often anti-gay Orthodox Jewish community.

Barnett called on the JCCV to take further steps in support of the LGBTI community, by working with Jewish organisations like Aleph on strategies to address high rates of suicide, mental health issues and self-harm amongst young LGBTI people.

“A good way to do get this message out to the community is to make it a condition of JCCV membership that affiliate organisations implement such strategies in their organisations,” Barnett said.


Note: the background to this story can be found here.

GLBTI Statement from Nina Bassat AM | JCCV

GLBTI Statement from Nina Bassat AM

24 April 2013

“The mark of an enlightened society is the ability to allow all its members to live in a cultural climate free from any form of harassment or discrimination. The “No to Homophobia” campaign, by promoting an environment of respect and inclusiveness, seeks to ensure that the GLBTI members of our community can do so.”

Nina Bassat AM

JCCV- organisational partner in the “No to Homophobia Campaign

Media Release: JCCV tackles homophobia but must prove it is serious

Aleph Melbourne Media Release
March 28 2013
“JCCV tackles homophobia, but must prove it is serious”

Aleph Melbourne congratulates the Jewish Community Council of Victoria for aligning themselves with the No To Homophobia1 campaign, as announced2 in this week’s Australian Jewish News.

The No To Homophobia campaign aims to challenge all forms of harassment and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people.  With the JCCV signing up for these values it paves the way for greater acceptance and inclusion of GLBTIQ people in the Jewish community and will work to reduce the extreme marginalisation and intolerance that GLBTIQ people face at the Orthodox end of the religious spectrum.

As the only organisation representing the combined interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Melbourne’s Jewish community, Aleph Melbourne all too frequently sees the effects of intolerance of sexual orientation and gender identity, especially when it emanates from within the Jewish community.

A recent example of homophobia in the Victorian Jewish community is when Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen3 called for the defunding of the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria program and published his beliefs that homosexual people should undergo sexual reorientation therapy to make them heterosexual.

Another example of homophobia in the Victorian Jewish community is the Rabbinical Council of Victoria writing a submission4 to the Australian Senate opposing changes to the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to obtain civil marriages.

Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett asks of JCCV President Nina Bassat “Signing up to the No To Homophobia campaign is definitely a step in the right direction, but how is the JCCV going to counter homophobic attitudes from the intolerant sections of the Jewish community, especially when it comes to equal recognition of our relationships under Civil law and other forms of legalised intolerance such as that where Jewish organisations are allowed to discriminate against LGBTI people, especially when they are Jewish.  It’s simply not enough for the JCCV just to ask their membership to also sign up.  That is not affirmative action.”

Barnett states “The JCCV must show that joining No To Homophobia is a sincere attitude change and not just window-dressing.  The lives of vulnerable same-sex attracted and gender diverse youth are at stake here and there is no room for hollow platitudes.”

Aleph Melbourne looks forward to the seeing the JCCV bring along its constituents in this new chapter and the accompanying benefits to the community that this entails, in particular building stronger and more inclusive families and reducing the rate of youth suicide, self-harm and mental health issues.

Aleph Melbourne also looks forward to the JCCV taking proactive initiatives to counter homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in all Jewish schools by recommending they all join the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria5.  There is also ample scope for the JCCV to work with Jewish sporting organisations to reduce homophobic intolerance and promote positive role models in those spaces.

Contact Michael Barnett on 0417-595-541 for further comment.

ENDS

  1. http://www.notohomophobia.com.au
  2. http://aleph.org.au/2013/03/28/jccv-says-no-to-homophobia-ajn
  3. http://wp.me/pEkF5-pH
  4. http://bit.ly/jewishsenatesubmissions
  5. http://safeschoolscoalitionvictoria.org.au

JCCV says no to homophobia | AJN

See also:
Media Release: JCCV tackles homophobia but must prove it is serious
No To Homophobia


Friday, March 29, 2013
The Australian  Jewish News
Page 7

JCCV says no to homophobia

PHOEBE ROTH

THE Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) will join the “No to Homophobia” campaign and is asking its affiliate organisations to sign up too.

The “No to Homophobia” initiative aims to challenge all forms of harassment and discrimination faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) people.

The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic harassment in Victoria – and beyond – by empowering people who identify as GLBTIQ as well as the broader community to respond and speak out against this harassment.

According to JCCV president Nina Bassat, the campaign promotes respect between people and healthy relationships, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identification.

Bassat acknowledged the emotional turmoil members of the GLBTIQ community can face, whether it be at school, in the workplace or in the wider community.

“No-one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity;’ she said. “The mental wellbeing issues in relation to bullying, depression and lack of self-esteem can be catastrophic.’

By Jewish organisations joining the campaign, the JCCV not only anticipates a greater level of understanding and awareness within the Jewish community, but also an education with respect to what constitutes homophobic, biphobic and transphobic harassment. For instance, phrases such as “That’s so gay’.

Sally Goldner, a spokesperson for Transgender Victoria and a member of the JCCV’s GLBTIQ reference group, said as a transgender person she has been received fairly well by the Jewish community, and feels this move can only make people more tolerant.
“This is an amazing step forward that pushes diversity higher. It’s sensational,’ she told The AJN.

The JCCV will officially request that its affiliates become part of this campaign at their next plenum meeting in May.