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President's Report

President's Report

12 October 2015

Royal Commission into Domestic Violence

On 2 September, Rabbi Ralph Genende and Rabbi Jonathan Keren Black and I represented the Jewish community at a Multifaith consultation organized by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.  Representatives from a number of faith groups shared their experiences of domestic violence as well as programs aimed at dealing with the issue.  There was a lively discussion regarding the issues, and it will be interested to read the Commission’s final report.

Before attending the consultation I met with Debbie Weiner from The Jewish Taskforce against Family Violence to discuss the Taskforce’s views on the issues confronting the Royal Commission.

Aboriginal Constitutional Recognition Forum

The Forum, held on 11 October, was a successful event, attended by approximately 80 people.  Chaired by John Searle, the speakers Shireen Morris (Constitutional Law Policy Advisor, Cape York Institute), Tim Goodwin (Barrister and Expert in Constitutional Law) and Leila Gurruwiwi (Educator and Media Personality) addressed the issues arising from the current Constitution, the process being undertaken in an effort to bring about reform, and the impact constitutional recognition could have on the lives of First Australians.

Child Protection

Katherine Levi will be holding a series of evening child protection training workshops.  The workshops have been organized at the request of Mizrachi, and will be at their premises.  Other organisations have been given the opportunity to participate, and at this stage St Kilda Shule has indicated that they will be attending.

There have recently been a number of developments in related areas.  Rabbi Telsner resigned from his position as Senior Rabbi at the Yeshiva Centre, and a former student who was sexually abused by the former principal at Adass Israel School has received a large damages payout.  The JCCV was asked to make statements about both of these issues, and I was interviewed by Stephanie Corsetti for ABC Radio in relation to Rabbi Telsner’s resignation.

Multicultural and Interfaith

The Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) held a Friendship Walk on 11 October.  Approximately 200 people walked from St Peter’s Eastern Hill Anglican Church to East Melbourne Shule and the Carlton Mosque.  The Minister for Mulitcultural Affairs, the Honorable Robin Scott, spoke at the commencement of the event, and representatives of the 3 faiths spoke at their respective places of worship.

Together with other members of the JCMA Board, Frances Prince met with the Minister for Education, James Merlino and the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs to discuss the JCMA’s educational program, as well as opportunities arising out of the introduction of “Learning about world views and religions” into the Victorian Curriculum.

During September, David Marlow and I met with the new Victorian Multicultural Commissioner, Helen Kapalos.  It was a wide ranging discussion regarding her approach to multiculturalism, and Government’s strategic direction in this area.

Mental Health Project

The JCCV has embarked on a Community Mental Health Project, aimed at increasing awareness of issues surrounding mental health in the Jewish Community.  Rimma Sverdlin will be steering the project, and we have established a Mental Health Advisory Group, comprising members of the JCCV executive, representatives of Jewish Care, and Mental Health Professionals to explore possible programs

The Advisory Group has held its first meeting, and I will updating Plenum on its activities in the future.


David Marlow and I met with Yossi Goldfarb and Marlo Newton to discuss the changes to SRI, and the new programs which UJEB is planning in the wake of these changes.

Community Events

Since the last Plenum I have attended 2 AUJS events, the inaugural Sir Zelman Cowan Oration, given by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Honorable Robert French AC, and the Cocktail Reception which was part of the AUJS Annual Assembly.  Both events were well attended, and demonstrate the dedication and talent of our Jewish student volunteers, which bodes well for the future of the Jewish community.

On 8 October I attended the opening of an exhibition of works by Yosl Bergner which has been jointly organized by Zionism Victoria and I Am Art Gallery entitled Oh Australia Oh Israel to mark the artists 95th birthday.

Last Shabbat Caulfield Hebrew Congregation held a Kiddush to mark the installation of its new President, Anthony Raitman, and Board.

Forthcoming Events

  • 16 November - Community Awards Evening
  • 23 November - JCCV AGM
  • 25 November - Victoria Police JCCV Dinner
  • 27 January 2016 - JCCV/Jewish Holocaust Centre UN Holocaust Memorial Commemoration


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