Who is on the JCCV GLBT Reference Group?

May 3, 2010

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has delighted itself in setting up a reference group to look into issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people in the Jewish Community.  It was first announced here by the JCCV on December 24 2009.

The question has been asked of me who is on this reference group.  Indeed, a good question.  I understand this is the current make-up of the group

  1. John Searle
    JCCV President
    Heterosexual (married / parent)
    Orthodox Jewish
  2. Anton Block
    Immediate past JCCV president
    Heterosexual (married / parent)
    Orthodox Jewish
  3. Dr Ruth Kweitel
    Registered psychologist (area of specialty is gambling)
    Heterosexual  (married / parent)
    Jewish (likely orthodox)
  4. Daniel Leighton
    Formerly with Jewish care
    Heterosexual (married / parent)
    Jewish
  5. Sally Goldner
    Transgender rights activist
    Representing GLBT community (person 1 of 3)
    Jewish background
  6. Nathan Rose
    Representing GLBT community (person 2 of 3)
    Jewish
  7. <Person 7>
    Representing GLBT community (person 3 of 3)
    Jewish

Pretty much all the people are either with or sympathetic to the JCCV.  The JCCV reps are both orthodox.  There are no representatives from the sizable Progressive Jewish community.  There appear to be no professionals on the reference group with a background in mental health or depression relating to sexual orientation or gender identity.  Lots of Yes people.  No surprises.

As the make-up of this reference group becomes clearer I’ll post further updates.  Stay tuned.


30/04/2012: As of October 31 2011 when the JCCV released their GLBT Reference Group report into vilification and discrimination, it was apparent that Julie Leder and Doron Abramovici were also on the reference group.


Doctor Ruth Kweitel – keeping an open-mind, the JCCV way

May 2, 2010

Hi Ruth,

I question your level of dedication to removing vilification and discrimination of gay people from what you have written in this email.  Until I contacted John Searle in July 2009 he had never once made a single attempt to contact me on any GLBT related matter.  In fact he had never once made a public reference to any GLBT matter until I walked into his life.  You should also realise that Anton Block, also on the JCCV GLBT Reference Group, was president of the JCCV for 3 years prior to John Searle and not once during his term did he make a single effort to address any discrimination against GLBT people in the Jewish community.  In addition, he never once made contact with any GLBT organisation in the Jewish community.  If you believe that Searle and Block are driven by a genuine desire to make the entire Jewish community understand that homosexuality is normal and acceptable you must be off in fairy land.

Of course you are not interested in politics or hidden agendas but unknowingly you are taking guidance from one of the most political and agenda-driven individuals in the Jewish community.  Unknowingly you have found yourself in the middle of what might be the hottest political situations in the Jewish community.  I will keep the spotlight focussed on your reference group Ruth, rest assured of that.

As for appropriate channels, I consider a discussion between you and me on a private basis as appropriate.  You need to work through your issues so that you can see that this is a reasonable request.

I would appreciate you reconsider your hostile stance on this matter.  It is not very becoming.

Regards,
Michael.

From: Ruth Kweitel <Ruth.Kweitel@med.monash.edu.au>
Date: 2 May 2010 09:36
Subject: Re: Discussion re GLBT issues
To: Michael Barnett <mikeybear69@gmail.com>
Cc: nicky.jacobs@education.monash.edu.au, jsearle@vicbar.com.au

Hi Michael,
I joined the GLBT committee because I feel strongly about vilification
and discimination of gay people and this was an opportunity for me to
help do something about it. I am not interested in politics or hidden
agendas which seemed apparent from the inflammatory and vindictive
emails you sent around, in particular naming JCCV Chair, John Searle.
I see my role as a GLBT committee member and am happy to discuss your
concerns but only through the appropriate channels i.e. the GLBT
committee. Obviously there is something going on between yourself and
John Searle, which I have no interest in, and I suggest you resolve
this so we can all work together for the common goal. Until this is
achieved, I see no point to us engaging in discourse and would
appreciate you cease your contact with me.

Regards,

Ruth

Dr.Ruth Kweitel, Psychologist.

From: Michael Barnett <mikeybear69@gmail.com>
Date: Friday, April 30, 2010 1:51 am
Subject: Re: Discussion re GLBT issues
To: Ruth Kweitel <ruth.kweitel@med.monash.edu.au>

Hi Ruth,

I haven’t yet heard back from you directly, but I understand from a message Nicky Jacobs sent me that you are uncomfortable in wanting to talk to me.

There are a lot of assumptions being made about me by a lot of people in the community and you clearly have only heard one side of “the story”.  I trust as a professional psychologist you are not going to start taking sides on this matter, especially without even having spoken directly with me.

My initial invitation stands.

Regards,
Michael.

From: Michael Barnett <mikeybear69@gmail.com>
Date: Friday, April 19, 2010 12:42 pm
Subject: Re: Discussion re GLBT issues
To: Ruth Kweitel <ruth.kweitel@med.monash.edu.au>

Hi Ruth,

I understand you’re involved with the JCCV GLBT Reference Group from having been in contact with Nicky Jacobs.

I would like to meet you and have a chat about a some concerns of mine behind the formation of the group and general issues in the Jewish community regarding homosexuality etc.

I have been involved with running Aleph Melbourne since 1997 and have over 13 years of relevant experience dealing with both the Jewish and GLBT communities.

My contact number is 0417 595 541.

I will make time to fit in with your availability.

Regards,
Michael.


%d bloggers like this: