JCCV training councils how to work effectively with Jewish community

July 7, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has been training staff at Glen Eira, Port Phillip and Stonnington councils to help them work more closely and effectively with Jewish residents.

Presenter Gary Samowitz, City of Stonnington’s James Rouse in the City of Stonnington Council Chambers.

Census data shows that three-quarters of Victoria’s Jewish community live in the three neighbouring municipalities.

“With councils providing essential services for seniors, families, youth and people with disabilities, as well as recreation and cultural programs, it is important that staff working in council areas with large Jewish populations have a greater understanding of our community,” Judy Fetter, JCCV CEO, said.

Last month, the JCCV delivered its first Jewish Immersion Day program with City of Stonnington staff at Malvern Town Hall.

“This was an important engagement with senior Stonnington staff,” Joshua Goodman, JCCV Project Officer, said. “Many of the participants had not formally interacted with Jewish organisations before.”

The program, presented by community experts Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann, Gary Samowitz and Shelley Cohney, as well as JCCV staff, introduced the demography, socio-economic and community structures in Victoria’s Jewish community, including an in-depth look at the Stonnington area. The group also took a tour of the ARK Centre and learnt about the Jewish calendar and lifecycle.

The JCCV has run similar Jewish Immersion Days for Glen Eira City Council and the City of Port Phillip and has additional programs scheduled for the second half of 2022.

Last month, the JCCV also hosted anti-racism and bystander training for team leaders at the City of Port Phillip. Facilitated by Courage to Care, the group explored the dynamics of being othered, the experience of being discriminated against, and the tools and potential impact of intervention.

This training was the third engagement between JCCV and City of Port Phillip in as many months.

“As a roof body for the community, one of our core objectives is to ensure that the community can feel secure and supported,” Goodman said. “Establishing and maintaining meaningful, collaborative relationships with the public servants that work for our local councils will result in improved engagement and offering services that suit the needs of our community.”

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