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Jewish Community discusses concerns with Multicultural Affairs Minister

Jewish Community discusses concerns with Multicultural Affairs Minister

22 September 2011

Representatives from the Jewish community together with Member for Caulfield David Southwick met with the Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship on Wednesday. The Hon Nicholas Kotsiras requested the meeting with the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) to learn about matters of concern to the community.

ADC Chairman Anton Block, JCCV Vice President Nina Bassat and RCV President Rabbi Yaakov Glasman welcomed the opportunity to make the Minister aware of current issues facing the Jewish community, including white supremacy activity in Victoria, ritual slaughter, sexual abuse allegations, and anti-Semitism that is coming out of the BDS movement and being felt particularly on university campuses.

“The Minister was clearly disturbed to learn that Jewish Victorians are being targeted in this way and was keen to ensure his colleagues responsible for police and tertiary education were made aware of these problems,” said Mr Block.

He also expressed his pleasure at the Minister’s support for the ADC’s Multifaith Future Leaders Program.

Nina Bassat, Vice-President of the JCCV, said: “It was encouraging to see that the Minister had both an understanding and a full appreciation of the complexity of issues that our community faces. There are a number of matters which we will now be able follow up for the benefit of the community.”

Rabbi Glasman explained to the Minister the Jewish stance against cruelty to animals and debunked many of the myths surrounding ritual slaughter. He also informed the Minister of the work the RCV had done in producing guidelines for engagement with other faith communities.

The meeting concluded with Rabbi Glasman blowing the shofar for participants, including an exceptionally long and impressive tekiah gedolah.

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