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Developing Communities at Jewish – African ‘Jeffersonian’ Dinner

Developing Communities at Jewish – African ‘Jeffersonian’ Dinner

14 November 2016

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) held a Jewish - African 'Jeffersonian' Dinner in partnership with Africa Media Australia (AMA) and the African Professionals Association at the Adele Southwick Centre at St Kilda Hebrew Congregation on Sunday night – a gathering with the purpose of providing an open forum for sharing ideas and discussion on topics of importance to the two communities.

JCCV President Jennifer Huppert and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott opened the event in front of 65 guests, who represented a variety of Jewish communal organisations and Australian African communities from over a dozen countries.

Ms Huppert stated, “This is a great opportunity for our communities to come together, make connections and share ideas around the topics on the agenda for the evening - community development, entrepreneurship & career development and diaspora engagement.  Our communities have a lot in common, including the refugee experience, confronting racism as a minority and issues around integration.  Key messages that come out of the discussions centred around the need to build trust within your community, the importance of youth and a focus on women.”

Clyde Sharady, the AMA partner in the event, outlined challenges facing the African community, the diversity in the community and the need for strong, united and effective community leadership.

Keynote speakers included past JCCV President Nina Bassat AM, past Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission Chair John Searle, Young AICC leader Alon Cassuto and from the African community Prof Andre Renzaho, Africa Day Chair Steve Rametse and Barry Moustapha.  Others who made a major contribution in discussions were Dr Mimmie Claudine Watts, Rysia Rosen, Abeselom Nega, David Southwick MP and Dr Berhan Ahmed.

Steve Rametse informed guests about the recently developed African Australian Leadership Forum, and summarised its priorities for implementation, including social inclusion, employment, child protection, youth empowerment and combating racism.

Alon Cassuto described the new Young AICC ‘Iftiin’ Somali Graduate Mentoring program, which was launched the previous Tuesday at State Parliament, and emanated from the inaugural JCCV African Dinner in May.  He encouraged participants at the dinner to ensure follow-up and ongoing dialogue so that concrete outcomes like the mentoring program could be developed.

Photo: Prof Andre Renzaho, Dr Mimmie Claudine Watts, Clyde Sharady, Sam Almaliki, David Southwick MP, Minister Robin Scott, Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp, Jennifer Huppert and Grahame Leonard AM

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