VICTORIAN Jewish leaders have raised the need to address homophobia and promote LGBTI inclusion as a major issue for the state’s Jewish community.

Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president Nina Bassat raised the issue at the Victorian Parliament’s annual Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) lunch for parliamentarians and Jewish community leaders on Friday.

Bassat discussed the council’s participation in the No to Homophobia campaign, and the ongoing work of its reference group on LGBTI issues.

“(The organisation) is seeking ways to best move towards positive inclusion within the community of our GLBTI members,” she said.

The JCCV has become increasingly active on LGBTI issues in recent years following criticism of its silence on homophobia within the community.

Co-convener of Jewish youth support and social group Aleph, Michael Barnett, praised the JCCV’s inclusion of homophobia at the parliamentary lunch.

“It’s important to hear the JCCV raising issues surrounding homophobia in front of parliamentarians at their Jewish New Year lunch, as it helps raise awareness of the much needed work to be performed to overcome this type of discrimination and intolerance,” he told the Star Observer.

“The JCCV has been breaking ground in this area, from the perspective of a faith community, and they are showing it is possible to combat stereotypes, taboos and ill-informed, entrenched attitudes.”

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)


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