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President's Report

President's Report

01 August 2016

Yom Ha’atzmaut Cocktail Reception
The Yom Ha’atzmaut Cocktail Reception held at The Windsor on 8 June was a great success.  The event, co-hosted by the Parliament of Victoria, JCCV and ZV, was well attended by members of parliament, the consular corps and community leaders, including leaders of other faith and cultural groups.  Both the Premier and Leader of the Opposition spoke passionately about their support for Israel.

Aftermath of the Orlando Shooting
In the wake of the massacre at the nightclub in Orlando, David Marlow organised a multi faith statement against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia which was signed by over 50 faith groups, including a number of Jewish groups.

Julie Leder, member of the Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria and the JCCV LGBTI Reference Group, and I participated in a multi faith service held at St Paul’s Cathedral, together with representatives from the US consulate, the Government, Opposition and Greens, representatives of various Christian denominations, the Hindu Council of Victoria and Iman Nur Wasame of the Marhaba Melbourne Muslim LGBTQI Support Group.

Meetings with Government
At the June Plenum I reported that we had met with a group of Liberal MP’s and candidates.  On 31 May the same group of MP’s and candidates returned to Beth Weizmann, this time accompanied by the Foreign Minister.  The Minister toured Beth Weizmann and the Lamm Family Library, meeting representatives of some of the tenants.

On 24 June, David Marlow, Ricky Pearl and I met with Ben Carroll MP, the Parliamentary Secretary for Justice and Josh Burns to discuss the community’s requests for financial assistance with provision of security.  Ben recognized the particular needs of the community, and is going to explore the possibility of further Government funding in this area.  As a first step, he is planning to visit a number of community buildings.

I had a very productive meeting with Rebecca McKenzie, CEO of Glen Eira City Council on 11 July.  Ms McKenzie has held the position for about 6 months.  Her previous role was at a regional Council, and she has not previously had much contact with the Jewish community.  She is keen foster the relationship between Council, the JCCV and the community generally.

Multicultural & Interfaith
A group of leaders from the Jewish community and the Christian community met at Beth Weizmann on 15 June to get to know each other while indulging in cheese cake and blintzes.  Rabbi Yaakov Glassman spoke about Shavuot and there was much discussion about similarities between the various faith traditions

19 July saw the first JCCV/ICV Iftar Dinner, held at the Catholic Leadership Centre.  The dinner was attended by 80 leaders from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities, who heard from Frank McGuire MP and David Southwick MP, as well as participants in the JCMA’s Joint Journey to Jerusalem, who spoke movingly about their experiences.  The evening was a great success.

The 12th annual Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner was hosted by the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of the Catholic Church at the Catholic Leadership Centre on 17 July.  About 90 people attended the dinner, which featured a Q & A session on the topic of Jewish and Catholic identity in the modern world.

Last week Frances Prince participated in a round table discussion with women theologians hosted by The Hon Linda Dessau at Government House.  The Governor was seeking insights into issues affecting social cohesion in the communities represented at the event.

Family Violence
David Marlow represented the JCCV on the organising committee for a Multifaith Forum on Family Violence which considered the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which was held on 11 July.  Frances Prince also attended the Forum, and the speakers included David Marlow and Debbie Wiener.

On 27 July about 25 community members attended an Active Bystander Training Workshop organized by JCCV, which was facilitated by Dr Ree Bodde and Think Prevent.

On 20 June JCCV held a joint event with The Jewish Taskforce against Family Violence.  Retired Judge Eugen Hyman spoke about his experiences in dealing with family violence in the Californian Court System.  It was interesting to hear how this important issue is dealt with in a different jurisdiction.

Youth Alcohol Project
The JCCV Project Officer, Anat Aloni, has taken over responsibility for delivery of the Youth Alcohol Project (YAP).  The YAP committee has met to discuss future activities, and the first parent’s session for the year has been held at Bailik College.  About 35 parents attended the session, presented by representatives from Victoria Police, Headspace, Hatzaloh and an emergency physician from The Alfred Hospital.  Sessions are scheduled for year 6 and 7 students at Bialik College, and parents and year 6 and 7 students at Mt Scopus Memorial College.

Community Events
The future of the Victorian Jewish Community was the topic of a number community events in the past few months.  I participated in the final session of this year’s Project Deborah program, which was a panel discussion chaired by Rebecca Forgasz, with Marlo Newton and Tracy Olcha.  I also addressed the JHC Social Club on the topic “The Victorian Jewish Community in the 21st Century”.  About 60 people attended, and there was a lively discussion on the issues of continuity, and the challenges facing the Community.

David and I attended a lunch at Jewish Care to hear the recipient of the JCV Monash University Avram Zeleznikow Russian Jewish Immigrants PhD Scholarship, Emmanuel Gruzman, speak about his planned research into the experiences of migrants from the FSU in Victoria.

Forthcoming Events

  • 18 August – Professional Development, Keeping your cool in the face of the Jewish Community, presented by Adam Slonim
  • 11 September – JCCV Mental Health Forum
  • 25 September – Babi Yar Commemoration, Jewish Holocaust Centre



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