ADC Chairman Anton Block to address Gay & Lesbian community

June 30, 2011

Following the recent news that the Anti-Defamation Commission has included concerns about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues to its purview, ADC Chairman Anton Block is going to be talking on Melbourne’s gay and lesbian radio station JOY 94.9 about the news.

Anton Block

Anton Block

It’s rewarding to see such a high-profile member of Melbourne’s Jewish community, the previous president of  the Jewish Community Council of Victoria and former board member of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, beginning a conversation with the GLBT community.  I hope this is the first of many such conversations, from which increasingly positive outcomes will arise for the welfare of GLBT people in the Jewish community.

Tune in to Doug Pollard’s “Rainbow Report” from 12 noon to 1pm Friday July 1, 2011 on JOY 94.9FM in Melbourne or on the live stream on www.joy.org.au.  Participate in the discussion via SMS on 0427 JOY 949 (0427 569 949), by email to onair@joy.org.au or by Twitter to @rainbowreporter.

Find the link to the show here.


Jewish Broadcasting for the Community (JBC) calls for members

June 29, 2011

From: Yoram Regev <yoram dot regev at gmail dot com>
Date: 28 June 2011 19:35
Subject: JBC: Constitution and Membership Form
To: …, Paul Gardner <pgardner at bigpond dot net dot au>, …

Dear all,

Attached please find the revised JBC constitution and a membership application form.
Please forward the form to as many as you can so our membership starts to pick up. There is also a Friend category which is for supporters who are not members.
Should you have any questions please send them to either myself or Paul Gardner, our interim Chairman.
All application forms should be sent to me on this address (which appears on the form).

Thanks and regards,

Yoram Regev
JBC Interim Board member

Anti-Defamation Commission to deal with GLBT Issues

June 23, 2011

[SOURCE]

Last week I told you to stay tuned for some big news in the Jewish community.  Today I am revealing that news.

Up until April 2011 the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) had refused to speak out in any way on homophobic incidents in the Victorian Jewish community.  You can read my blogs on the topic here.

In a welcome move, the ADC board has unanimously, but without fanfare, passed a motion that has added “GLBT issues” to their purview:

A motion was unanimously passed at the April 13 ADC board meeting to include GLBT issues as part of the organisation’s overall agenda to stand up for human rights.

ADC chair Anton Block told the Star Observer the motion passed was more a “recognition” than a formal resolution.

“It wasn’t so much a resolution saying we’re now going to deal with GLBT issues,” Block said.

“It was a recognition that our mission extends to those issues, but primarily our purpose is to combat antisemitism and racism.

“Dealing with GLBT discrimination is part of, I suppose, our purpose of promoting human rights, speaking out against homophobia or vilification of members of the GLBT community.”

This is a significant move forward in acknowledging that there are serious issues that GLBT people face that have up until now been ignored by the Jewish community ‘hierarchy’.  However the language used by ADC Chairman Anton Block conveys more a tone of reticence than enthusiastic willingness.

Whilst this is definitely a step forward, even if it’s a small one, it is going to be of minimal benefit to anyone if the ADC continues to leave this change to their purview unannounced.  It must talk to the community and tell it that it’s going to be available to receive complaints against as yet unspecified forms of attacks against GLBT people in the Jewish community

The ADC must also make it clear the type of complaints it will handle, and those it won’t, and whether they’ll accept complaints about intolerance or hate-speak directed at GLBT people by non-GLBT people from within the Jewish community.  Further, it must also tell the community what it will do with these complaints.  They must action these complaints to no less a degree than complaints they receive about racism and anti-Semitism.

I am cautiously optimistic about this step forward.  Only time will tell if the ADC are serious are about combatting intolerance against GLBT people, or if this is more of the same lip-service that other sections of the Jewish community have artfully given us.

POSTSCRIPT

Anton Block is the Immediate Past President of the Jewish Community of Council of Victoria and is on the JCCV Executive.  During his term as JCCV President, Anton Block took no action to address any injustice against GLBT people in the community, or to break down any marginalisation or invisibility that GLBT faced within the Jewish community.  The current president of the JCCV, John Searle, was previously Chairman of the ADC .


What do organ donation and homosexuality have in common?

June 20, 2011

[SOURCE] [PDF]

On May 23 2011 the Jewish Community Council of Victoria made a submission to the Victorian Government on the topic of organ donation.  In this submission I found a particularly profound statement by the JCCV President, John Searle:

Also note, the Jewish community is very diverse and ranges in its religious views from ultra-orthodox to secular

This was written in the context of how the issue of organ donation might be treated by different sections of the Jewish community.  The more Orthodox members of the community will have a different approach to organ donation than the Progressives, who may have a different approach to the non-religious or secularists.

Do you see where I’m going with this?  Read on.

The JCCV has stated openly to the government that there are a diverse variety of Jews in the community that it claims it is the voice for, and that in writing the submission, it has made it clear that there is no one position on organ donation in the Jewish community.  I’d agree with that.

Now let’s play a game.  I like to call it “swapsies”.  It’s where you swap some words in a sentence for some other words and see how the changed text reads.  Here’s the revised wording I’d like to propose:

After an extensive community consultation, we have provided a summary below in response to “other matters that should be considered in relation to mechanisms to increase acceptance of homosexuality in Victoria.” Please note that Halacha or Halachic refers to Jewish law and the way Jews live their lives, be it from a religious or traditional perspective. Also note, the Jewish community is very diverse and ranges in its religious views from ultra-orthodox to secular.

This new statement is as equally valid as the one that the JCCV submitted to the Victorian Government.  However it’s not one that the JCCV has yet made, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be, at an appropriate juncture.  Thing is, I was told in person by John Searle in late 2009 that there is only a single Jewish approach to homosexuality.  I challenged him on this outrageous and false statement, one that I’ll go as far as to call a blatant and outright lie, stating to him that there are a range of Jewish views on homosexuality.  That was the point where Searle then sent me this letter telling me he couldn’t work with me because apparently I was being obstructionist.  Me.  Obstructionist.  Ha.  Only to his ego and career prospects.

Thanks to John Searle we now know there’s more than one Jewish perspective on organ donation.  In fact he’s told us there’s a whole range of opinions on the issue in the very diverse Jewish community that the JCCV claims to speak on behalf of.  Funnily enough, I know there’s also a range of opinions on the issue of homosexuality in the same very diverse community that the JCCV claims to speak on behalf of, yet John Searle won’t admit this.

Searle and his JCCV have never once mentioned that the Progressive Jewish community are completely accepting of homosexuality.  So accepting are the Progressives of homosexuality that they’ve recently endorsed their support for legislative change allowing same-sex couples to get married.  But we won’t hear a word of this from the JCCV.  It’s shtumville there.

That looks and smells like the usual JCCV double standards to me.  But that’s not a surprise, because the JCCV is full of smelly double standards.


Stay tuned.

June 15, 2011

In a casual conversation I had today with someone involved in a key organisation in Melbourne’s Jewish community, I heard something amazing, although to the person I was talking to it seemed fairly matter-of-fact.  What I heard has the potential to improve the way GLBT people are treated in the community and I believe it has huge ramifications.  I will disclose more information about this over the coming days, so stay tuned.


Orthodox rabbis champion homosexual acceptance and same-sex marriage

June 14, 2011

[SOURCE]

Our friends over at AJN Watch have published a delightfully accepting and heart-warming piece about homosexuality and marriage equality.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Please thank them for their care and concern.

PS.  If the link above is broken, try this backup PDF version.


Men on Men Art Competition 2011 at the Laird Hotel

June 10, 2011

This year’s “Men on Men” Art Competition at the Laird Hotel in Melbourne is well worth the visit.  You’ll find a really wide range of art styles and techniques on display, and an equally diverse range of masculinity being portrayed.  There’s definitely an abundance of talent on offer.

I was particularly taken by the larger-than-life scruffy lad overlooking the pool table (and a veritable steal for only $600).  Oh, and there’s an extremely clever entry that takes you on quite a journey around Melbourne’s metropolitan rail network (the ticket for this will cost you $450).  No guarantees you’ll still have your virginity after you’ve gone that route.

My entry into the competition this year is of a very handsome, somewhat scruffy, bearish guy.  You’ll find him well hung in the games room, over the pinball machines.  If you can’t get there, stay tuned and I’ll post my entry here after the competition closes.

Men on Men Art Competition 2011

Men on Men Art Competition 2011

Come take a look at the art, on display until June 29 at the Laird Hotel, 149 Gipps Street Abbotsford.  (Note, the Laird is generally a men-only venue, but gladly welcomes women to view the exhibition from 2-5pm on Saturday June 11.)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,504 other followers

%d bloggers like this: