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President's Report

President's Report

04 May 2015

Yom Hashoah

The Yom Hashoah commemoration at Robert Blackwood Hall was well attended, and all feedback has been very positive. In particular, the inclusion of young candle lighters was a welcome innovation. My thanks go to the organising committee, who put in many hours of hard work.

The Hazkara service at Melbourne General Assembly was very moving, but apart from participants and dignitaries, approximately 25 community members attended.

Meetings with Government

There have been a number of meetings with representatives of the State Government since we last met.

On 30 April, together with Dan Goodhart (CSG), Sam Tatarka and Jane Rapke, (ZCV), and Dvir Abramovich (ADC), David Marlow and I met with the Premier, the Honorable Daniel Andrews, to discuss issues of concern to the Jewish community. Topics discussed included the rise in anti-semitism and the Government’s approach to enhancing social cohesion and combatting violent extremism. The Premier acknowledged the particular threats facing the Jewish community.

We have also had meetings with Robin Scott, the Minister for Multicultural Affairs (11 March), and James Merlino, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education (11 March). One of the topics discussed with the Minster for Education is the access of UJEB to Government Schools, which continues to be a concern. I also wrote to the Minister for Education in response to the comments made by the Principal of the Al Taqwa School, and David Marlow has had a number of follow up conversations with the office of the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

As usual, JCCV was a sponsor of this year’s Yom Hazikaron Tekes at the Robert Blackwood Hall. I represented JCCV as one of the readers.

I also attended the ZCV Yom Ha’atzmaut concert at The Melbourne Recital Centre, and the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation Yom Ha’atzmaut breakfast at Crown. Both events were very successful.

Once again JCCV had a table at the ZCV Yom Ha’atzmaut Family Festival at Beth Weizmann. Thank you to the staff for attending, and to those executive members who assisted them.

Anzac Day

There have been a number of communal events to mark the centenary of ANZAC day, and to remember the approximately 2,000 Jewish soldiers who enlisted the Australian army, and the 200 who lost their lives, as well as the women who volunteered as nurses. David and Bram represented JCCV at the annual VAJEX service on Sunday 26 April, and I attended the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation commemoration held on Thursday 23 April. It was a very moving service, which included a number of students from regional secondary schools who entered an essay competition held by MHC. My congratulations to the organising committee, led by Dr Margot Sims.

Response to Reclaim Australia Rallies

You will have seen the statement published by the JCCV in response to the Reclaim Australia Rallies, and the statements which appeared on the Australian Jewish Communal Lobby Facebook page. Minister Scott referred to the JCCV’s comments in a statement he made to the Victorian Parliament.

Politician’s Familiarisation Day

The Politician’s Familiarisation Day, held on 25 March, was attended by 14 members of parliament, from the ALP, Liberal Party and Greens. The morning began at Jewish Care, and included visits to the Jewish Museum, St Kilda Synagogue and the Jewish Holocaust Centre, finishing with a lunch at Beth Weizmann attended by a number of community leaders. Thanks go to the organisations which hosted the MP’s, as well as those who attended the lunch.

Jewish Muslim Friendship Dinner

The Jewish Muslim Friendship Dinner was held on 22 March. It was a great success, attended by approximately 70 people, including both the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and the Opposition Spokesperson. The dinner afforded a great opportunity for members of the 2 communities to get to know each other over a meal, and was a great success.

Child Protection

After guiding the activities of the Reference Group since its inception, Andrew Blode has decided to step down as its Chair, although he has offered to continue his involvement with the JCCV’s work in this area. We appreciates the time and efforts he has put to ensure that our community is aware of, and properly addresses, the issues surrounding child protection.

The executive has been considering the JCCV’s future activities in the area of Child Protection, and the role it can play moving forward. The last of the planned 2015 JCCV Child Protection Training Workshops will be held in June, and the Child Protection Reference Group will be wound up when the Workshop has been completed.

GLBTI

The GLBTI Reference Group met to commence planning for the project which is to be funded by the HEY Grant. Activities will include a community engagement symposium, to be held on 23 August, and a number of videos, to be made by young members of the community.

YAP

Yap has launched its Facebook page, which I hope you will all “like. Debbie Zauder has also organized the printing and distribution of postcards with messages regarding alcohol abuse. The first of a series of sessions with parents will be held this week.

In One Voice

JCCV had a table at the In One Voice festival. The festival was well attended and it was a good opportunity increase awareness of the JCCV. Thank you to those volunteered to staff the table.

Forthcoming events

  • Child Protection Workshop - 19 May at Beth Weizmann
  • Jewish Christian Muslim Association Social Cohesion Symposium – 31 May at Richmond Town Hall

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