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President's Report

President's Report

07 March 2016

Meeting with Tim Smith MP

Tim Smith, the member for Kew, visited Beth Weizmann in order to meet with Jewish community leaders.  I met with him, and discussed issues of concern to the Jewish community, including the rise in anti-semitic incidents and security concerns.

Young Leaders Dinner

On 25 February JCCV joined with Zionism Victoria to host a dinner for some of the young leaders in the community, which included representatives from AUJS and youth movements.  This was an opportunity for some of the younger members of the community to share their hopes and aspirations for the year, as well as some of the issues facing them and their organisations.

Yom Hashoah

The community Yom Hashoah commemoration will be held on 7 May.  Due to falling numbers, a decision has been made not to hold ta Hazkara service at Carlton Cemetery this year.  This was a difficult decision but due to a variety of factors, including the advancing age of many survivors, attendance has been falling steadily over the past few years, and a decision has been made to concentrate efforts on the commemoration on Yom Hashoah, which once again will be held at Robert Blackwood Hall.

Interfaith and Multicultural Affairs

JCCV was a co-sponsor of the JCCV is a sponsor of the Interfaith Centre of Melbourne dinner, “I’ll Dine with You” in the City Square on 29 February. Approximately 200 people presenting many different faiths at a table stretching from one end of the City Square to the other.  David Marlow and I represented JCCV, and there were also representatives from AUJS and a number of other Jewish organisations.

David, Frances Prince and I attended the Jewish Christian Muslim Association’s peak bodies meeting on 8 February.  This was the first peak bodies meeting chaired by Rabbi Ralph Genende in his new role as President of the JCMA.  The peak bodies meetings, held 4 times a year, are an opportunity for the 3 sponsoring organisations, JCCV, the Victorian Council of Churches and the Islamic Council of Australia, to hear about the other organisations activities and exchange ideas.


The final LGBTI video is being launched at this evening’s plenum.  This is the culmination of a 12 month project, funded by a HEY (Health Equality Youth) Grant from the Youth Affairs Council.  Once again, I would like to thank the members of JADE, the young LGBTI committee, for the efforts they have put into the project.

Mental Health Project

I have previously reported that the JCCV is planning an event aimed at shedding light on some of the mental health issues facing members of the Jewish community.  Led by Rimma Sverdlin, the Mental Health Reference Group is progressing plans for a forum and art exhibition to be held in September 2016.


The YAP Committee held its first meeting for the year on 15 February.  In addition to the usual school based activities, the Committee is planning a drugs and alcohol forum, to be held on 11 April at Beth Weizmann.  A number of our affiliates have agreed to partner with JCCV for the forum.

Affiliates and professional development

One the community’s newest congregations, Blake Street Hebrew Congregation, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special Kiddush on 13 March, which David Marlow and I attended.

The Melbourne Jewish community’s oldest congregation, and oldest organisation, Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, and will be holding a number of events to mark this milestone.

Courage to Care, which is an initiative of B’nai B’rith launched its new interactive travelling exhibition on 28 February at the Ark Centre.  The new exhibition was launched by the Hon James Merlino, Minister for Education, ho announced that the Government has renewed its funding for a further 3 years.

Representatives of a number of affiliates participated in our first professional development session for 2016, which focused on governance for community organisations.

Forthcoming Events

  • 20 March – In One Voice
  • 7 April - Politicians & Councillors Jewish Community Familiarisation Day
  • 11 April - Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Forum
  • 13 April - Professional Development – GoodSystems demonstration
  • 2 May - Plenum to be held at St Kilda Hebrew Congregation – guest speaker, Rabbi James Kennard, Principal Mt Scopus Memorial College


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