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President's Report

President's Report

05 August 2013

This week, I spent some time looking at the JCCV website. It was a rewarding experience.

The JCCV does a lot, but it was gratifying to see the range and scope of what it does, and how relevant it is to our community and I would like to draw your attention to some of the stories.

 

Jewish Organisations Join Forces to Prevent Child Abuse

is the lead story; a testament to the commitment and co-operation to be found in our community on this painful issue. “The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), in conjunction with the Australian Zionist Youth Council, Chabad Youth and Jewish Care, has joined forces to provide a free information session for community organisations to prevent and respond effectively to allegations of child abuse. The initiative, the latest step by the JCCV's Child Protection Reference Group, is designed to reach all Jewish organisations working with children, whether as core business or where incidental to their operations.  This includes schools, shules, sporting clubs, youth groups and cultural organisations.”

The story is accompanied by a photo of the dedicated and highly competent JCCV Child Protection Reference Group, consisting of Andrew Blode, Chair, former Chairman of the Australian Council for Children & Youth Organisations (ACCYO) and former Director of the Australian Childhood Foundation, Katherine Levi and Anton Hermann (the instigator for Working with Children Checks), both former CEO’s of ACCYO as well as professionals from Australian Jewish Psychologists, Jewish Care and the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence and JCCV representatives.

Child Protection Directory

Compiled by the JCCV Child Protection Reference Group, the Child Protection Directory is online at www.jccv.org.au and provides a summary of services available to parents, victims, carers and community workers. The Reference Group identified a need to provide a brief directory of services from both Jewish and non-Jewish providers as well as providing support to JCCV affiliate organisations.

Farewell To Yuval Rotem

a collaborative function organised by JCCV, ZCV, ZFA, AIJAC and ECAJ with co- co-sponsor organisations representing a cross section of the Victorian Jewish community, including COSV, PJV, VAJEX, JHC, ADC, Hadassah Australia, B'nai B’rith, ADC, NCJWA, UIA, WIZO, AICC

It was truly a communal farewell to Ambassador Yuval Rotem, Ambassador for the State of Israel to Australia and his wife Miri Rotem, enabling Victorian Jewry to say thank you and goodbye to an Ambassador who has not only gained our respect by his outstanding representation of his country, but has also endeared himself to all by his participation in our communal life and his warmth and his understanding of the community dynamic.

JCCV and Buddhist Friendship Dinner

which was attended by Executive members of the JCCV and of the Buddhist Council of Victoria, as well as Rabbis, Buddhist monks and nuns, Buddhist academics, and community leaders from both faiths.  The Buddhist guests represented three different Buddhist faiths from a number of different countries, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Tibet and Korea. A roundtable discussion, dealing with the teachings of each faith, was the highlight of the evening

Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Grahame Leonard AM praised the Jewish community as being seen by the VMC as a role model in community leadership.

JCCV & EIC Host Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner

This annual JCCV and Ecumenical Interfaith Commission (EIC) Friendship Dinner at the Adele Southwick Hall at St Kilda Shule had a record attendance of over 100.

An outstanding Q&A session featured three Catholic and three Jewish panellists: Emeritus Professor Louis Waller AM, retired Supreme Court Judge Hon Howard Nathan, Principal of Bialik College Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, Associate Professor Mary Coloe from the Yarra Theological Union, Deputy Leader of the Opposition James Merlino MP, and Christina Kennedy from Catholic Voices Australia. Questions from the audience and via Twitter were wide ranging, including the Pope and Jewish-Catholic relations, religion in schools, parole board decisions and sentencing, Jewish-Muslim relations, and addressing racial and religious vilification through legislation.

In line with its strategic plan to support affiliates, the JCCV offers to affiliate and Jewish communal organisations professional development and networking sessions, to link and share knowledge and resources, an example of which can be seen in the following story.

TAPPING INTO $10 BILLION DOLLARS OF PHILANTHROPY

which dealt with ‘how to win the most grants ever for your community organisation’.

Patrick Moriarty, Director of Training and Development at Our Community, presented the session and was a highly skilled facilitator and an expert on grants and the Jewish community. Joining him was Andrew Blode, CEO of the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation, who spoke about the Jewish Funders and how the participants could capitalise on funding opportunities. Jo Silver, organizer and project manager for the JCCV, puts the question: “Given $10 billion dollars of philanthropy and government grants are provided annually, can we afford not to make time to tap into this rich resource?” and the JCCV website sets out an invaluable summary of how this can best be done.

The next two Professional development Sessions are on policy and practice to keep our children safe on 20 August 2013 and media releases that get attention on 14 November 2013

Fifth Israeli Presidential Conference

Whilst on a family visit to Israel, I attended the Israeli Presidential Conference “Tomorrow”, held in Jerusalem. The Conference attracted 5000 attendees, and the large numbers created a critical mass and vibrancy. The quality of most of the speakers was outstanding and the program covered a wide variety of topics – politics in all its permutations, the economy, media, political Islam, Israeli society, technology, Judaism and women’s equality, shaping the future, the future of the 20% of Diaspora Jewry, to mention just some. Some of the keynote speakers were President Shimon Peres, Bill Clinton, Professor Stanley Fisher, Professor Larry Summers, Ronnie Chan, Yair Lapid, Professor Daniel Kahneman, David Axelrod, Tony Blair, Ms Ayan Hirsi-Ali, Ambassador Dore Gold and Itamar Rabinovich.

Meeting with Hon. Bruce Atkinson MLC

The Friends of Palestine Exhibition, which was intended to mark “Arab Contributions to Victoria”, was launched at Parliament House on 12 June 2013, the day after the Yom Ha’atzmaut cocktail party, and contained material that was offensive, and more importantly, inaccurate. The exhibition was approved by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Ken Smith MP.

At the request of Marsha Thomson MP, David Southwick MP and Martin Foley MP, a meeting was arranged for myself, Sam Tatarka and the three above-named members, with the Hon Bruce Atkinson, MLC, President of the Legislative Council. It was a productive meeting, at which Bruce Atkinson acknowledged that much of the contents of the exhibition did not conform to the stated aims of the exhibition, and undertook to ensure that in future, greater oversight would be given to exhibitions and their contents.

Shloshim for Abram Zeleznikow  ז״ל

A dignified Shloshim Service was conducted by the JCCV on 23 July 2013 to pay tribute to   Abram Zeleznikow. The speakers addressed Abram’s multi-faceted and wide-ranging contribution to our community and his strength, conviction and compassion in an evening which enabled us to express our condolences to the family and our respect  to Abram’s memory. It was an event that showed the ability of our community to bring together widely diverging groups in a spirit of which Abram Zeleznikow would have approved.

Representation

 

  • Ramadan Iftar Dinner for Members of State Parliament and Community Leaders
  • Kynnections
    I continue to be on the Kynnections Steering Committee, representing the Jewish community. This leadership program for African-Muslim, Jewish, and Christian young people (16-18) has completed its first four Roundtable discussions and the input of the Jewish community and the participation of students from Jewish day schools has been greatly commended and appreciated. The project has received additional funding from the Federal Government and will now continue in 2014.
  • AIJAC meeting with the Hon. Brendan O’Connor MP
    speaking on “Federal Labor: the challenges ahead” and Professor Tim McCormack on “The Findings of the Turkel Commission of Enquiry”
  • Spirit of Australia Foundation 2013 Monash Commemorative Service

 

Council of Presidents

Due to many people being out of Melbourne in July, the date of the next Council of Presidents meeting has been changed to 19 August 2013. On the agenda are a number of important items, including the setting of Affiliation fees for 2014, amendments to the JCCV Constitution and what action should be taken in respect of affiliates who fail to pay affiliation fees over a protracted period. The representation of your organisation at Council of Presidents meetings is critical to the formulation of JCCV policy, so we would ask as many affiliate Presidents as possible to attend.

Youth Alcohol Project (YAP)

Debbie Zauder has completed a YAP evaluation which the Executive had requested. YAP is clearly seen as making a valuable contribution to dealing with the complex problem of alcohol abuse in our community. The 2013 program is continuing, with a recent session at Bialik College attracting over 200 parents and students from whom we have had an extremely positive feedback.

No to Homophobia Campaign

On the recommendation of the JCCV GLBTI Group, which continues to meet on a regular basis, JCCV signed up to the No to Homophobia campaign.

To date, 19 Jewish community organisations mainly made up of affiliates have also joined the campaign and their names and the JCCV message will be listed on the website www.notohomophobia.com.au

The GLBTI Group regards this as a very positive and quantifiable response from the community.

Communal Appeal Calendar

The Communal Appeal Calendar for 2014 is being finalised. Although problems still remain, the participating organisations have decided that the process is worth continuing and I thank them for their support. JCCV is mindful of the financial constraints being experienced by many organisations and in light of this the Appeal Allocation fee has been greatly reduced.

The organisations which are part of the Appeal Allocation Period are as follows:

 

  • Jewish Community Council of Victoria
  • Maccabi Victoria
  • Jewish Holocaust Centre
  • Emmy Monash Aged Care
  • Lamm Jewish Library of Australia
  • Community Security Group
  • B’nai Brith Anti Defamation Commission
  • Magen David Adom
  • JNF Australia – Victorian Division

 

 

Next Plenum meeting

7 October 2013 at NCJWA (Victoria), 131-133 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield

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