Anton Hermann: touching thoughts

July 9, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Child sex abuse advocate Manny Waks and Aleph Melbourne have been saddened by the tragic death of Anton Hermann in a cycling accident on the weekend.

Anton Hermann

Michael Barnett said on behalf of Aleph Anton was Vice President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV). In this capacity Anton was key in formulating the JCCV apology to Aleph Melbourne in April 2019 – an apology in response to the JCCV voting to reject Aleph’s membership to the JCCV 20 years earlier, in May 1999.

Aleph Melbourne is a social, support and advocacy group for same-sex attracted, trans and gender diverse, and intersex people (and allies) who have a Jewish heritage, living in Melbourne, Australia.

Anton was proactive in listening to the concerns of Aleph (including meeting with Aleph representatives Michael Barnett and Shaun Miller) and also reviewing the minutes of the JCCV meeting from May 1999 at which Aleph’s membership to the JCCV was rejected.

Anton came to understand the hateful and hurtful language of some delegates at the JCCV meeting of 20 years ago, and the long term negative impact this had on many LGBTIQ people in the Jewish community and also on their allies.

With conviction, compassion and consensus, Anton ensured that the JCCV apology was genuine, meaningful and unconditional.

This is just one of many actions of Anton’s that had a positive and uplifting social impact in relation to the Jewish community, the LGBTIQ community, and the broader community.

Anton’s untimely death is devastating to all who knew him and who were helped by him. We extend our sincere condolences to his family

Aleph will always remember his values and value his memory.

Manny Waks

Founder of the child sex abuse advocacy group Tzedek Manny Waks commented: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Australian Jewish community leader Anton Hermann. Anton was one of my pro bono legal advisers and on my Royal Commission legal team at Tzedek. In fact, Anton was one of the first in the Jewish community (and beyond) to address the issue of child protection. He was one of the good guys. Anton always gave me his full support and encouragement, including in those early days, when this wasn’t so popular.

I was fortunate to run into Anton on my last brief visit to Australia, just a few months ago, which brought back good memories. Unsurprisingly, it was at an event that was addressing another social injustice, regarding the LGBTIQ community. It was of little surprise to find Anton there, leading the charge.

With tears trickling down my face, I offer my sincere condolences to Anton’s family, friends and community. He was a terrific, unique person and leader. Words fail me.

May His Dear Soul Rest In Peace.”

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