Media Centre
President's Report

President's Report

02 May 2016

Meeting with Premier Daniel Andrews

On 20 April the Premier Daniel Andrews, as well as Federal MP’s Michael Danby & Mark Dreyfus visited Beth Weizmann to announce that if a Federal Labor Government is elected, it will match the State Governments funding commitment of $500,000 for the security upgrade of Beth Weizmann.

Following the announcement, David and I, together with Sharene Hambur, Jayne Rapke and Dvir Abramovich, had a meeting with the Premier to discuss issues of concern to the Jewish Community, including anti-semitism and security issues.  We also discussed some of the good news stories in the communities, including the focus on social inclusion.  The Premier announced that the State Government will provide financial support for the Yom Ha’atzmaut Cocktail Party, which this year will be held on 8 June at The Windsor.

Pesach Lunch at Parliament House

The Pesach lunch for politicians held at Parliament House on 24 March was a great success.  Organised with the assistance of Marsha Thomson and David Southwick, co-chairs of Parliamentary Friends of Israel, the lunch was attended by 30 members of Parliament, from both the ALP and Liberal Party, as well as representatives of the Greens and DLP.  Rabbi Gersh Lazerow spoke about both Purim and Pesach, including an explanation of the symbolism of the items on the Seder Plate.

Politicians Immersion Day

The Annual JCCV Politicians’ Immersion Day was held on 7 April.  A group of 11 State and Local Politicians, political advisers and policy officers from the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria visited Jewish Care, the Jewish Museum, The Jewish Holocaust Centre the Lamm Library and Beth Weizmann.  The day ended with a Model Shabbat, led by Rabbi Genende, and lunch with a variety of community leaders.  As always, the Immersion Day provided an opportunity for participants to learn about our diverse community, some of our traditions and history, as well as the issues facing the community today.


Following its launch at the March Plenum by Robin Scott, the LGBTI video has had a great response both within and outside the Jewish community.  Congratulations go to the members of JADE for their work on the production of the video.  It dovetails nicely with the launch of the State Government’s new multicultural policy, with its focus on LGBTI issues within the CALD communities.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

On 12 April I participated in a Multicultural Form held by the Royal Commission.  It was an interesting event.  One of the Commissioner’s gave an overview of some of the more general issues arising from the hearings to date, which was followed by comments/discussion with the attendees, including representatives from Tzedek and the Australian Jewish Psychologist Association.

The JCCV has also made a further submission to the Royal Commission, focusing on some of the issues raised on the Commission’s Consolation Paper into “Best practice principles in responding to complaints of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts”.

Parliamentary Inquiry into the Partial Suspension of Sanctions against Iran

The JCCV made a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Partial Suspension of Sanctions against Iran. A copy is attached.

YAP – Drug & Alcohol Forum

The Drug and Alcohol Forum held on 11 April was successful.  Presenters, Dr Stefan Gruenert, CEO of Odyssey House, Nathan Kotler, Psychologist and Family Therapist, and Dr Robert Gocentas, Emergency Physician at the Alfred Emergency and Trauma Centre, gave interesting presentations, which were followed by a lively discussion.  Some of the topics raised at the Forum will inform the work of YAP in this area.

Unfortunately Debbie Zauder has resigned as the YAP project officer.   Debbie has been at the helm of YAP for a number of years, and is responsible for development a number of initiatives, including the Facebook page, and postcards.  David has commenced the search for a replacement.

J-Air Forum

Yesterday I participated in a forum on J-Air entitled Melbourne Jewry 2050.  Hosted by Gary Max, the other participants were Rabbi James Kennard and AUJS President Michael Fisher.  It was an interesting exploration of some of the challenges facing the Melbourne Jewish Community.

Community Events

On 17 March I represented JCCV at both the launch of Jewish Care’s Coppel & Pierkarski Family Respite Centre in Glen Eira Road, and the evening held by The King David School to mark the near completion of its new Secondary Campus in Orrong Road.

JCCV had a table at the In One Voice Festival, staffed by David Marlow and a number of executive members, and I represented JCCV at the official opening.  The organisers of the event are to be congratulated for what was a very successful day.

David Marlow represented the JCCV at the presentation of the Henry Slawik Award by The Australian Society of Polish Jews and Their Descendants Inc to Christopher Lancucki AM on 29 March.

Yesterday David Marlow and I represented the JCCV at the VAJEX Anzac Commemoration at Glen Eira Town Hall.  David also attended the Anzac Commemoration at Caulfield Hospital.


  • 5 May – Yom Hashoah Commemoration, Robert Blackwood Hall
  • 8 May – Jewish African Dinner
  • 10 May – Yom Hazikaron Commemoration, Robert Blackwood Hall
  • 11 May – Yom Ha’atzmaut
  • 22 May – Joint Even with NCJWA Vic – Elana Sztokman speaking on Gender in Pop Culture, Blake Street Hebrew Congregation



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