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President's Report

President's Report

06 May 2013

Yom Hashoah Commemorations

The Yom Hashoah Commemoration at Robert Blackwood Hall was extremely well-received by a cross-sections of the community, with particular praise for the professionalism of the script, the production and the choice of theme of the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The Hazkara at Carlton Cemetery had an attendance of approximately 70 people with testimony from Richard Rozen and participation from AUJS and AZYC, which was very much appreciated by all attending.

Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut

We congratulate the whole ZCV team on their organisation of a moving Yom Hazikaron event and a highly professional Yom Ha’atzmaut concert, as well as a successful family day at Beth Weizmann.

JCCV participated in the family day with a bubble stall and it was an excellent opportunity to meet members of the community.

Kynnections

The first of the Round Table discussions in developing leadership among Jewish, Christian and African-Muslim youth took place on 17 April 2013 at Mt. Scopus and was extremely successful. Three more such discussions are to take place, at different schools. This is an initiative with which JCCV has been involved since its inception and one which it is hoped will have long range outcomes.

Council of Presidents Meeting

The meeting was well attended, with more than 24 participants. There were three excellent presentations:

Simon Glynn - security update

Andrew Blode – Child Protection Policy

Ian Jones – Affiliation fee restructure

All presentations were concise, articulate and informative and resulted in lively discussion.

As anticipated, the affiliation fee issue was strongly argued and the Presidents have requested more information, which we have undertaken to provide.

Signing of the London Declaration on Antisemitism and Raoul Wallenberg

The Australian Government has signed the London Declaration on Antisemitism, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard making a very strong statement condemning Antisemitism.

Raoul Wallenberg will be made an Honorary Australian citizen at a ceremony in Canberra on Monday, May 6 at which copy certificates honouring Wallenberg’s citizenship will be provided to the Jewish Holocaust Centre and to the Sydney Jewish Museum. This recognition has been warmly welcomed by the community and particularly by members of our community who have worked tirelessly over many decades to ensure that Wallenberg’s work and memory are appropriately recognized.

AJDS

The BDS campaign of AJDS has aroused a great deal of controversy and much online activity. It is a matter to which we have given much thought and about which we have held many discussions. The AJDS Executive has requested a meeting with the JCCV Executive, but we have so far been unable to agree on a suitable date. It is proposed to fully discuss this matter at the June Plenum.

Victorian Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other non-Government Organisations

David Marlow and I gave evidence at the Inquiry. The questions were wide-ranging and focused on what outcomes we have achieved to date and what we are planning to do.

We spoke about (inter alia):

  • the work of the Child Protection Reference Group;
  • the need to introduce policies and procedures and to have these audited;
  • the need for education in a number of areas: of children, of parents and of those who are dealing with children, at whatever level;
  • the imperative of creating a culture and environment within the community in which children will not only be protected, but will also feel safe to speak and know that they will be heard and assisted

Motions before the Plenum

It has been brought to our attention that the motions on the agenda regarding the ‘No to Homophobia’ campaign and Child Protection are actually recommendations to our affiliates and not motions to be voted upon and I propose to treat those matters at the Plenum accordingly.

Interfaith and Multicultural Events

On Sunday 2 June 2013, also with some funding from the VMC, JCCV will hold its annual dinner with the Jewish/Catholic dinner at the Adele Southwick Hall.  This event is always well-attended and provides musical entertainment, as well as interesting speakers.

On Sunday 2 June 2013, with the support and funding of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), JCCV and the Islamic Council of Victoria are jointly hosting a comedy debate at Swanston Hall at the Melbourne Town Hall.  The topic will be "Sport is Not a Religion" and the debate will be umpired by Father Bob Maguire and panellists include Bram Presser, Mohammed El-leissey, Steve Bedwell  and Dr Nasya Bahfen.

June Plenum

The next Plenum, on 3 June 2013 will be at the Jewish Museum of Australia

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