Media Centre
President's Report

President's Report

02 March 2015

Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Yeshiva Centre and the Chabad community generally has been in the spotlight at the Royal Commission, and the media coverage has continued, even though the Royal Commission has now finished hearings.

The JCCV was mentioned, in that Counsel assisting the Commission made the point on a number of occasions that the Yeshiva Centre is not an affiliate.

While Royal Commission has focused on The Yeshiva Centre, it is a reminder that our institutions generally must be vigilant in this area, and ensure that their governance structures, as well as policies and procedures are reviewed to ensure that they are robust, and the JCCV welcomes a number of initiatives in the Community which recognize these need.

The JCCV continues to provide training in the area of Child Protection Policies and Procedures.   The 2015 workshops commenced last week, with approximately 30 participants from a range of schools, youth groups and synagogues, and participants in last year’s workshops are continuing to meet to discuss the implementation of their policies.

Proposed changes to “Move on” Laws

The Victorian Government, acting in accordance with an election promise, has introduced a bill to change to change section 6 of the Summary Offices Act 1966.  The effect of the proposed changes is to limit the circumstances in which police will have the right to “move on” protestors to circumstances where there is, or is likely to be, a breach of the peace.  There is a concern that this will limit the powers of the police to respond to incidences such as BDS demonstrations.

Sam Tatarka (President of the Zionist Council of Victoria) and I met with the Attorney-General, Martin Pakula to raise the communities concerns.  The Attorney-General subsequently issued a statement which expressed his and the Government strong opposition to the BDS campaign.  However, the community remains concerned that the changes will lead to a repetition of the violence and intimidation previously seen during the campaign against retailers of Israeli products.

Security

The recent terrorist attack on a Synagogue in Copenhagen which saw the murder of a volunteer protector reminds us of the continuing threats to the Jewish Community around the world, including our own community.

YAP

The Youth Alcohol Project has commenced its 2015 program with the issue of a statement reminding community members of that Purim is a time for celebration, and calling on parents to take an active role in their children’s behavior.  The statement was distributed to the Jewish schools, and received wide coverage in the Jewish media.

Interfaith and Multicultural

Together with a number of executive members and other Jewish leaders, I attended the World Interfaith Harmony Week lunch at Queen’s Hall, Parliament House on 5 February.  It was a successful event, and an opportunity to meet representatives from a number of different faith groups.

I also attend the Jewish Christian Muslim Association Peak Bodies meeting.

Planning continues for the dinner with the Muslim community to be held on 22 March.

Affiliation Fees

As you will be aware, the JCCV Constitution provides that an affiliates membership can be terminated if it has been in arrears of Affiliation Fees for 18 months.  The Executive has now adopted a formal process for dealing with affiliates who are in substantial arrears.

Forthcoming events

  • Child Protection Workshop - 13 March
  • Annual Appeal - 13 March to 26 March
  • Jewish Muslim Dinner - 22 March
  • Politician’s Familiarisation Day - 26 March
  • Child Protection Workshop - 14 April
  • Yom Hashoah Commemoration, Robert Blackwood Hall - 15 April
  • Shoah Memorial Service, Melbourne General Cemetery - 19 April
  • Yom Hazikaron Commemoration, Robert Blackwood Hall - 21 April
  • Yom Ha’atzmaut Concert, Recital Centre - 22 April

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