NCJWA Vic applauds the Israeli Justice Minister for promptly signing an extradition order to send Malka Leifer back to Australia to face 74 charges of sexual abuse.
Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said it was Israel's "moral duty" to allow for Leifer to stand trial in Australia after a years-long legal saga. The extradition order was signed one day after Israel's Supreme Court rejected Ms Leifer's final appeal.
Leifer's lawyers have indicated they will not be seeking a judicial review of the extradition order. Australia's Attorney General Christian Porter and Foreign Minister, Marise Payne said that the two countries will work together to organise Leifer's surrender to Australian authorities for her return to Melbourne which is "required within 60 days of the conclusion of all formal Israeli processes".
NCJWA Vic together with the Australian Jewish community at large, now awaits the forthcoming legal proceedings in Victoria and the delivery of justice.
NCJWA Vic is disappointed to learn that the only female member of the Mizrachi Executive has not been re-coopted to the Executive.
Mizrachi was one of the early signatories to our Gender Equality Pledge (the Pledge), which amongst its founding principles dictates that all members of our community are to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness. We lament the recent loss of the only woman from their Executive, which now comprises solely of men. The Mizrachi Executives’ conduct demonstrates disregard for its commitment to more equitable female participation and to actively pursue a culture of respect for women.
We call on Mizrachi and all Jewish communal organisations to increase the participation of women on their boards and take positive steps toward realising goals of more female voices around decision making tables, not less female voices. In a recent letter to the Mizrachi community, the Mizrachi Executive noted that its "gender balance is consistent with its obligations under the Gender Equality Pledge”. This position suggests a disregard for the spirit and intent of the Pledge. It is unclear how an Executive, which consists of men only, considers itself aligned with obligations to pursue more equitable female participation. We hope that during future elections and cooption processes, Mizrachi honours its pledge to increase female participation at all decision making levels of the organisation.
Through the #makespaceforher campaign, NCJWA Vic is dedicated to ensuring women’s voices and skills are elevated. We will continue working with pledge taking organisations, calling for transparency and accountability in honouring the pledge and providing education and resources that ensure all pledge takers adopt best practice in the pursuit of gender equality. Our society, our community and our organisations benefit when the aspirations and voices of women and girls are equally respected, valued and heard.
NCJWA Vic commends the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to extradite Malka Leifer to Australia to face 74 charges of sexual abuse.
This decision, to be enacted “without delay”, comes following years of hardship and heartbreak for the victims of her alleged abuse.
As highlighted by Judge Anat Alon in her decision, this case stands as a landmark - an important reminder that “anyone who seeks to escape himself... will not find a city of refuge in Israel”.
For years NCJWA Vic, together with the Australian Jewish community at large, has supported Dassi Erlich, Nicole Meyer and Elly Sapper in their brave and heroic acts. Their fight for justice reached the hearts and minds of the highest echelons of Australian and Israeli society.
Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof.
This week justice has been served.
The National Council of Jewish Women Vic mourns the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg z’l. Ginsburg, the first female Jewish member of the U.S. Supreme Court, died on one of the holiest days in Judaism, Erev Rosh Hashanah as many of her country’s nearly six million Jews welcomed the new year 5781, based on the Hebrew calendar. Those who die on the new year holiday are considered “tzadik,” a title given to the righteous and saintly. She was 87.
Ginsburg was raised in a secular household but explained in 2018 that her religious background influenced her life’s work: “I am a judge, born, raised and proud of being a Jew. The demand for justice, for peace and for enlightenment runs through the entirety of Jewish history and Jewish tradition.” Ginsburg was a great Justice, a woman of valour, and became something of a hero to liberal women for her decades-long battle in pursuit of women's rights and gender equality.
In 2017, Australia was ranked 35th on a global index measuring gender equality, slipping from a high point of 15th in 2006. While Australia scores very highly in the area of educational attainment, there is still a lot of progress to be made in the areas of economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment.
The work of the NCJWA Vic is not done, our campaign #makespaceforher is a step in the right direction to ensure women are equally represented. We remember and honour RBG’s legacy and will work to continue her life’s work as women, wives and mothers we remember her and the words of the Torah: "Justice, justice, shall you pursue."
World-first gender equality research that has been recently released is showing that companies with more female leaders tend to outperform and those with fewer women underperform. The study is based on 6 years of Australian companies' gender reporting to the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency (created by the Gillard Government in 2012).
"The study is a world first because of the causal role it identifies between greater gender diversity and business success. While other studies have concluded that such a connection is likely, the data provided by the WGEA allowed real case studies and leadership appointments to be tracked over a number of years to establish direct proof of the link."
Read more here:
#genderequality #makespaceforher #ncjwavic
NCJWA Vic is delighted to congratulate all those Australians who were honoured in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours and in particular to those men and women in our community who were celebrated with an award. We congratulate the Victorian Jewish women: Naomi Milgrom AC, Tottie Goldsmith OAM, Helen Mahemoff OAM, Sue Morgan OAM, Natalie King OAM and Etkaterina Danova OAM. We would also like to mention the two other Jewish women honoured, both from NSW, Bess Rosen OAM and Emily Matters AM.
At the national level, 41% of honourees were women while in Victoria, women made up 49% of honourees. However, of the 29 people from across the Australian Jewish community (reported in the AJN) who received an honour, only 8 were women. In Victoria, 40% of Jewish honourees were women including one of only 2 Jewish recipients recognised as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).
We still have a way to go before men’s and women’s contributions are celebrated equally. It’s time for the Jewish community across Australia to nominate more exceptional women so that they can be acknowledged for their achievements through the highest level of public recognition; an Australian honour.
The National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (Vic) welcomes the Israeli District Court’s momentous decision this week that Malka Leifer is mentally fit to face extradition proceedings. Leifer has been charged in Victoria with 74 counts of child abuse.
Leifer, the former principal of Melbourne’s Adass Israel school, fled to Israel in 2008 after allegations were made against her. Protracted legal proceedings and evasion of an extradition hearing based on Leifer’s mental state has so far denied her accusers access to justice and closure of their painful experiences.
This decision marks an important milestone in the case against Leifer. We hope that the judicial proceedings against her continue without any further unnecessary delays. NCJWA Vic has proudly supported Dassi Erlich in her campaign to #bringleiferback and urge that Leifer be extradited to Australia to face the charges against her as a matter of urgency.
The National Council of Jewish Women Australia (Victoria) celebrates the Victorian government’s initiative to make its public sector accountable on gender equality.
The Gender Equality Bill introduced into Victorian Parliament this week, is the first attempt to enshrine gender equality into Australian law. When enacted, 300 employers and 380,000 employees will be affected. The Victorian public service, local councils, universities, TAFEs, Victoria Police, Court Services Victoria and the Office of Public Prosecutions will all have to become more gender equal through targets, action plans and reporting.
Given the 14.1% gender pay gap, that women are doing 63% of the state’s unpaid work and that one in two mothers reported experiencing workplace discrimination as a result of pregnancy, parental leave or on return to work, the case for action is acutely clear. The legislation is aimed at closing the gender pay gap, removing barriers to progression for women and reducing the risk of "retirement poverty" for women, while boosting opportunities for men to work flexibly.
We applaud the Victorian Government’s bold initiative which aims to address the structural and systemic issues that perpetuate gender inequality. The Bill demonstrates a commitment to ensuring the public sector takes proactive steps to promote and realise gender equality.
We stand with the Victorian Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams who said “We’re making history and making gender equality a non-negotiable by law because it’s 2019 and women and girls deserve every opportunity to succeed”.
The National Council of Jewish Women Australia (Victoria) is an organisation committed to advancing the status of all women and girls. We champion gender equality through advocacy and activism, such as our #MakeSpaceForHer campaign. We are currently trying to achieve gender equality in Jewish communal leadership and representation.
We believe that the Victorian government’s gender equality strategy and in particular its Gender Equality Bill is an important step to ensure sustained and measurable action and cultural change.
National Council of Jewish Women Australia (Victoria)
Thank you Paul Hamer MP for supporting NCJWA VIC Gender Equality Pledge #MakeSpaceForHer
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