Tracing its origins to the Jews who arrived in Australia aboard the First Fleet on 26 January 1788, the Australian Jewish community is unique among Diaspora communities. Australian Jewry has played a prominent and recognised part in Australia’s history and has made positive contributions, out of proportion to its numbers, to the development of Australian society.

For the Jewish community, Australia has indeed been the lucky country bestowing upon us the blessings of freedom and respect for human life and dignity. Quite simply we are at home here, something that sadly has not always been the Jewish experience in other parts of the world.

We celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of talented and hardworking individuals and groups from within the Australian Jewish community and are proud of the part they have played in the many cultural, sporting, scientific, political, social and economic achievements of this great diverse country. Not least among our number have been Jewish men and women, many of whom paid the ultimate price, who have served at home and abroad in times of war to defend Australia and the principles of freedom and justice which our country cherishes.

What follows is the current policy platform of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). These policies are derived from the beliefs and values of the Australian Jewish community, which we are confident enhance general Australian values of democracy and human rights; individual freedom and the rule of law; social justice and compassion; mutual understanding and respect; and a fair go for all.


1. Social Inclusion

This Council:
1.1 NOTES that it is the vision of the ECAJ to create and support a community in which all Australians, including all Jewish Australians:
(a) feel valued and their cultural differences are respected;
(b) have a fair opportunity to meet their material and other needs; and
(c) are equally empowered as citizens to participate in and contribute to all facets of life in the wider community;
1.2 NOTES that as Australians we take great pride in what we see as the uniquely Australian values of social egalitarianism, “mateship” and a “fair go”;
1.3 REAFFIRMS our profound commitment on behalf of the Australian Jewish community to the dignity of difference, gender equality, and a belief in the equality of humankind;
1.4 PROUDLY AFFIRMS our ongoing commitment to reconciliation with indigenous Australians, to a multiculturalism that draws people into, rather than separates them from, Australian life, and to an Australia that is inclusive for all Australians and respects gender equality;
1.5 ACKNOWLEDGES that in the Jewish community, social exclusion may result from a number of factors including: lack of educational or vocational opportunities; low levels of income; mental or physical illness or disability; immigration without social support; or sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics, and that such exclusion most often results in individuals being prevented through no fault of their own, from building a better future for themselves and their families;
1.6 NOTES that poverty amongst Australian Jews is no less prevalent than in other sectors of the Australian community and that aspects of inequality from which poverty stems and which require further investigation and support are:

  • Work opportunities particularly in the case of immigrants, families with young children, large families and religiously observant families and older people and people with a disability;
  • Access and Equity in the utilization of services – where members of the community do not have access to contacts, groups and opportunities which empower them to access the mainstream Jewish community and the wider society. This can arise from the inability to speak English, or lack of education and information, or lack of sufficient income to participate;
  • Social stigmas where individuals experience social exclusion from the community as a result of mental illness, disability, or sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics;
1.7 ACKNOWLEDGES that across Australia there are numerous Jewish organisations whose role is to assist members of the Jewish community to overcome social exclusion and ameliorate poverty. There are community services, aged care services, and disability services, and there are educational institutions and synagogues that, inter alia, contribute to this work;
1.8 RECOGNISES that the role of the ECAJ is to encourage organisations across Australia to: identify and rectify gaps in services that ought to be provided; encourage such organisations to seek opportunities to reach out to and provide services for those who are marginalised, and to engage Federal government departments to assist the community to ensure that the most comprehensive services are provided;
1.9 RECORDS its belief that the maximum benefit across Australia will only be achieved by the Jewish community working at both national and State levels;
1.10 SUPPORTS the development of projects, especially in smaller and regional communities, which bring hope encompassing a range of policy and program domains at many levels: education, training, employment, affordable childcare, assistance with housing, a range of disability and aged care services – support for care-givers; and above all – building up at community levels a network of supportive services, amenities and accessible transport facilities and social mentoring which reduce stigma and social exclusion from the networks and vibrant life of our community;
1.11 WELCOMES the efforts of the Federation of Jewish Aged and Community Service Organisations in assisting to achieve these objectives.

2. Racism in Australia

This Council:
2.1 DEPLORES all manifestations of racist action and speech, including antisemitism;
2.2 SUPPORTS the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission and other public programs to educate Australians regarding the irrationality and evil of racism;
2.3 CALLS ON leaders of all mainstream political parties to consistently articulate a vision of Australia which embraces cultural diversity and in which respect for the dignity and rights of each Australian is guaranteed;
2.4 CALLS ON all mainstream political parties to place racist divisive and extremist candidates in the last positions when allocating electoral preferences;
2.5 CALLS ON political, civil and religious leaders to play public, leadership roles in emphasizing the unacceptability of racism;
2.6 WELCOMES the appointment by the Australian Government of a Race Discrimination Commissioner within the Australian Human Rights Commission separate to other Commissioner roles.
2.7 WELCOMES and supports the adoption and implementation of the National Anti-Racism Strategy launched by the Australian Government in August 2012

3. Anti-Racism Legislation

This Council:
3.1 NOTES the activities of extremist organisations, the currency of certain racist myths, the proliferation of racist material on the internet and the tolerance given to racist commentary by some sections of the mainstream media;
3.2 NOTES the incidence of racial vilification and racially-motivated violence in Australia;
3.3 AFFIRMS that effective responses to racism include moral and political leadership from public figures, legislation to give victims of racism legal remedies, and on-going public education;
3.4 COMMENDS those public figures who have taken a leadership position against racism, including antisemitism;
3.5 CALLS ON the Federal Government to strengthen legislative measures to combat racial vilification in the public domain and especially on the internet and to provide more streamlined, expeditious and effective remedies to individuals and groups who are the targets of public acts of racial vilification.
3.6 NOTES that the provisions of Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act have served the community well and have assisted in publically exposing racist behaviour and in having such behaviour proscribed.
3.7 EXPRESSES CONCERN at proposals to amend those provisions in a manner that would reduce or remove important protections against racial vilification.
3.8 RESOLVES to renew the efforts of the ECAJ to explain its support for existing legislative protections against racial vilification and to advocate the retention and enhancement of the those protections.
3.9 OPPOSES any proposals for winding back the protections against offensive behaviour based on racial hatred presently provided under Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act, 1975 (Cth).
3.10 NOTES WITH DISAPPOINTMENT that current sections 80.2A and s.80.2B of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) are unworkable because:

a. the elements of the offences created by those sections have been formulated so restrictively that it is effectively impossible for a prosecutor to prove those elements to the criminal standard; and

b. the availability of defences under section 80.3 to charges under these sections is completely misconceived.

3.11 CALLS ON the Federal Government to pass legislation to create an indictable offence based on the following model:

§*** (1) A person who, otherwise than in private, intentionally or recklessly promotes or advocates the use or threatened use of violence against, or who harasses or intimidates (although no actually bodily harm is occasioned), another person or group of people because of, or by reference to, the actual or presumed:

(i) race, colour, descent or national, ethnic or ethno-religious origin; or

(ii) religious belief or affiliation; or

(iii) sexual orientation; or

(iv) HIV/AIDS status; or

(v) gender identity/expression; or

(vi) sex characteristics,

of the other person or of some or all of the members of the group, commits an indictable offence.

(2) “Harasses” includes making threats or engaging in serious and substantial verbal abuse.

4. Aboriginal Reconciliation

This Council:
4.1 RECOGNISES Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first Australians, with unique cultures, languages and spiritual relationships to the land and seas;
4.2 PURSUES a vision of an Australia that provides equal rights and life chances for all;
4.3 AFFIRMS the fundamental importance of reconciliation as the basis of an Australian Community which respects the diversity of values, cultures, ideas and the contribution of all people;
4.4 SUPPORTS Reconciliation Australia’s National Program of Action which encourages organisations and individuals to turn their good intentions into action;
4.5 AFFIRMS that the ECAJ will continue to develop and implement a Reconciliation Action Plan that includes actions, timeframes for implementation and performance measures;Areas for action may include the ECAJ using its networks to:

  • raise Community awareness and understanding of the historic, social and economic factors which contribute to the current levels of disadvantage confronting many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
  • influence governments and businesses to address the systemic issues that keep many Aboriginal and Strait Islander people and their communities in poor health and poverty.
  • support human rights based approaches to economic and social development programs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and
  • lead inter-faith alliances to develop and provide targeted financial and capacity building support to selected projects which strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations’ governance, management, service delivery and professional development.
4.6 ENCOURAGES the Jewish community in Australia to increase its knowledge and understanding of the identity and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and reflect this awareness in our social relationships and our support for their advancement;
4.7 CALLS UPON the governments, business and civil communities and people of Australia to take action to reduce the relative disadvantage many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may face by improving education, health, housing, employment, governance, social and communal relationships and law and justice;
4.8 CALLS ON Jewish organisations around Australia to speak out in favour of reconciliation, actively participate in the annual events, Week of Prayer for Reconciliation and National Reconciliation Week
4.9 NOTES that the Uluru Statement from the Heart (‘the Statement’) was made by Indigenous Australians directly to the Australian people as a whole, having been endorsed by a gathering of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders following a four-day First Nations National Constitutional Convention held at Uluru, which in turn followed a consultation process that was unprecedented in Australian history for its scale.
4.10 ENDORSES as just, reasonable and achievable the Statement’s call for:

  • a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the form of an advisory body on policy affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to be enshrined in the Australian constitution.
  • a Makarrata Commission to oversee agreement-making between the Australian government and Indigenous people.
  • a truth and reconciliation process to be facilitated by the Makarrata Commission.
4.11 AFFIRMS its belief that bringing the Statement’s vision to fruition is important to all Australians; for Indigenous Australians it would mean the vindication of the truth of their story and the beginning of justice; for all other Australians it would mean at long last addressing the most important item of unfinished business in our national history.
4.12 ACKNOWLEDGES that the First Nations of Australia, who have inhabited the Australian continent for more than 50,000 years, have endured much suffering since the advent of European settlement, yet they continue to show great dignity, patience, tenacity and generosity of spirit, appealing to all that is noble and decent in our society and inviting us to walk with them on the road to truth-telling and healing.
4.13 ACCEPTS the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and pledges to work with First Nations, Federal and State politicians, local and city authorities, religious, ethnic and civil society organisations, business leaders and our fellow citizens in moving together towards a shared future, which in every way lives up to our own robust, distinctively Australian, standards of fairness.

4a. Honouring William Cooper

4a.1 RECALLS with gratitude and respect that on the 6th December 1938, several weeks after the campaign of anti-Jewish violence during Kristallnacht in Germany, William Cooper, the Secretary of the Australian Aborigines’ League and an elder of the Yorta Yorta people, headed a delegation of Aboriginal people to the German Consulate in Melbourne to deliver a petition which condemned the “cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi government of Germany.”

  1. the action taken by William Cooper and his supporters occurred at a time when Aboriginal people themselves were denied citizenship and other basic human rights in Australia and were frequently subjected to appalling physical, social and economic privations; and
  2. William Cooper was a fearless advocate for Aboriginal people in seeking direct representation in parliament, enfranchisement and land rights on their behalf;
4a.3 NOTES with pride and satisfaction that the memory of William Cooper has been honoured by the Jewish community in Australia in ceremonies with his descendants in Melbourne and Sydney.;

  1. the action taken by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Israel to commemorate the courage of William Cooper by displaying a plaque in a Memorial Garden in his honor; and
  2. the establishment by the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem of an academic chair (professorship) for the study of the Resistance during the Holocaust in tribute to William Cooper;
4a.5 CALLS UPON the Australian government as soon as possible to introduce a suitable form of national commemoration of the life and work of this great Australian.

5. Multiculturalism

This Council:
5.1 AFFIRMS its support for Australia’s policy of multiculturalism, which has served Australia well as a basis for the social harmony which for all Australians to enjoy;
5.2 Welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to multiculturalism as a policy which respects the right of all Australians to express their individual cultural identity, and to maintain and share their cultural heritage, within an overriding commitment to Australia and the basic values of Australian democracy and the rule of law;
5.3 COMMENDS the Government’s policy of ensuring access and equity in the provision of government services, including the provision of mechanisms to address the barriers faced by immigrants who are not yet familiar with Australian culture and language; and
5.4 WELCOMES the establishment of the Australian Multicultural Council as a body dedicated to articulating and promoting a distinctively Australian model of multiculturalism in accordance with clause 5.2.
5.5 CALLS ON the Federal Government to pass a national Multicultural Act which makes multicultural principles the policy of the nation, which binds the Crown and which requires all agencies and providers of Commonwealth Government services to report to Parliament annually how they are planning effectively for people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to report on progress on implementation of those plans.

6. On-Line Services and the Internet

This Council:
6.1 NOTES the value of the Internet in communicating information, knowledge and ideas but notes also that the Internet is increasingly being abused by individuals and organisations for the purpose of propagating racism including antisemitism;
6.2 RECOGNISES the complexities involved in any system of regulation of on-line services;
6.3 AFFIRMS the view that any communication by traditional means which is unlawful is and should be equally unlawful if it is effected through on-line services;
6.4 SUPPORTS moves to bring in a Code of Practice for Australian Internet Service Providers and other regulatory measures for the Internet based on the principles that:

  • Nothing that it is unlawful to print or broadcast should be able to escape legal prohibition merely because it is published or communicated through on-line services.
  • No person, entity or organisation should be punished for an act they could not reasonably know has been committed.
  • The right to freedom of speech must be respected, bearing in mind that in democratic societies this right (as with all other rights) is not unlimited and, for example, does not permit the commission or promotion of unlawful acts, or other behaviour harmful to the community or any section of the community.
  • Governments have a responsibility to counter the activities of those who harass and/or promote contempt and hatred for any section of the community.
  • In these respects, the Internet should not be regarded differently to other means by which speech and ideas are disseminated.

7. Refugees and Asylum Seekers

This Council:
7.1 NOTES with grave concern the increase in the number of people around the world who have been made refugees as a result of war and civil conflict;
7.2 RECOGNISES the difficulties faced by successive Australian Governments in balancing the Government’s obligations to its citizens to carry out proper screening (including health and security checks) on all potential new entrants to Australia, in particular unauthorised arrivals, and the Government’s humanitarian obligations under the International Convention on the Status of Refugees (1951) (the Refugee Convention) and the 1967 Protocol to the Refugee Convention, as well as under customary international law;
7.3 RECALLS WITH SHAME that especially prior to, but also during and immediately after, World War II many thousands of Jewish refugees attempting to flee persecution in Europe were denied entry into other countries or forced to engage “smugglers” to try to escape to freedom;
7.4 RECALLS that the Refugee Convention came into existence in belated recognition by the international community of the great wrong that had been done by ostensibly civilised nations in refusing to grant asylum to Jewish refugees fleeing from Europe prior to and during World War II, and as a principled and compassionate response to the moral imperative of assisting European Jews in seeking new homes after the Holocaust;
7.5 NOTES the important and positive contribution that Jewish and other refugees, from many countries, have made to Australian society and the development of Australia;
7.6 NOTES that in the past, after proper processing of their claims by Australian officials, the vast majority of those seeking asylum in Australia have been found to be genuine refugees who had fled their country of usual residence because of a well-founded fear of persecution;
7.7 NOTES:

  • that asylum seekers, whether they are unauthorised maritime arrivals, or people waiting in camps in Africa and Asia who have applied to come to Australia via the UNHCR, should be regarded as individual human beings who have hopes and aspirations and dreams and feel the same pain and suffer the same grief as each of us;
  • that the admission of asylum seekers is a humanitarian act, and successive Australian Governments (both Labor and Coalition) have accepted that this engages Australia’s international obligations;
  • the importance of dealing with policy concerning the admission of asylum seekers in a fair, humane and appropriate way preferably without partisanship; and
  • the regrettable absence, after many years of public debate and shifts in public opinion and government policy, of an overall policy that is widely accepted as the morally correct one.
7.8 ACCORDINGLY CALLS UPON the Australian Government:

  • to process applications by persons seeking asylum in Australia as expeditiously as possible and in a spirit of compassion, regardless of whether those applications are made through the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;
  • to work constructively with other governments and appropriate non-government organisations, to ameliorate the plight of refugees around the world and in Australia;
  • to encourage each of our regional neighbours not yet party to the Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol to become parties;
  • to implement in good faith and with humanity, Australia’s important legal and moral obligations with respect to refugees;
  • not to hold women and children asylum seekers in mandatory detention while their applications for recognition of their refugee status are processed; and
  • to desist from actions that are likely to result in persons who seek asylum in Australia being sent to countries which are not parties to the Refugee Convention;
  • to recognise that all asylum seekers are entitled to:
    • have their individual claims and circumstances assessed fairly and within a reasonable time;
    • not be subjected to unsafe or harsh conditions while that is occurring;
    • not be subject to non-reviewable detention or unsafe or harsh conditions while that is occurring; and
    • be effectively protected against refoulement.
7.9 URGES all Australians to engage in discussion of the issues in a considered and respectful manner and without resorting to pejorative generalisations, and preferably without partisanship.

8. Accommodation of Religious Practices

This Council:
8.1 NOTES decisions by a number of instrumentalities which recognise and support the right of all staff to meet their religious and ceremonial obligations, regardless of religious, ethnic or cultural background;
8.2 RECOGNISES the right of all Australians to observe religious and ceremonial obligations;
8.3 SUPPORTS the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission in enhancing religious freedom in Australia;
8.4 CALLS UPON government and employer organisations to respect and accommodate, as a matter of policy, the right of employees to meet the obligations of their faiths; and
8.5 CALLS UPON the Australian Government to make provision in Australia’s industrial relations legislation to ensure that religious and ceremonial obligations can be observed without attracting the threat of loss of employment.

9. National Framework of Human Rights

This Council:
9.1 NOTES the decision of the Australian Government to abandon the proposal to introduce an Australian Charter of Human Rights;
9.2 NOTES that the Australian Government has published a ‘National Framework of Human Rights’ which, among other things, proposes ‘harmonisation’ of State and Federal laws prohibiting racial and religious discrimination and vilification;
9.3 NOTES the significant differences that exist between Federal and State law on these issues and between the laws of the various States;
9.4 CAUTIONS the Australian Government against embracing any concept of ‘harmonisation’ that might result in the adoption of a ‘lowest common denominator’ legslative regime which would wind back hard-won legal protections that are now in place in some jurisdictions in Australia but not in others including, but not limited to, Western Australia’s criminal sanctions against racial intimidation and harassment.

10. Persons Accused of International Crimes

This Council:
10.1 NOTES the affirmation by the Australian Government in 1987 that Australia must not serve as a haven for individuals who participated in crimes against humanity during the course of the Nazi Genocide;
10.2 RECOGNISES the difficulties encountered in the trials of alleged Nazi war criminals thus far conducted in Australia;
10.3 RECOGNISES that major legal and political obstacles needed to be overcome to establish extradition treaties with some of the countries which were the scene of the crimes of the Holocaust;
10.4 RECOGNISES that extradition of Nazi war criminals to the countries of their origin and where their crimes took place is not a substitute for effective Australian legislation but is a welcome complement to it;
10.5 SUPPORTS the process of developing extradition treaties between Australia and all countries in which individuals may have participated in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes prior to arriving in Australia; and
10.6 CALLS UPON the Australian Government to amend Australia’s citizenship laws so as to allow for individuals who were born outside Australia and who, at the time of entering Australia, concealed their involvement in genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity in any context, to have their Australian citizenship removed, regardless of the length of time they have held citizenship.

11. National Remembrance of Middle East Theatre in World War I

This Council:
11.1 HONOURS the war service of Australians of all generations, memorialised through public ceremonies and popular culture, which helped to shape Australia’s national character, and to define the values our nation cherishes.
11.2 NOTES that the First World War cost Australia more than any other war in terms of deaths and casualties. Of the 416,809 Australians who enlisted, approximately 60,000 were killed and 156,000 were wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner, out of a total population at that time of less than five million.
11.3 RECOGNISES that official commemorations of World War I in Australia have traditionally focused on the Gallipoli campaign, marked by Anzac Day on April 25, and on the main theatre of the War, which was the western front in Europe, marked by Remembrance Day on November 11.
11.4 FURTHER NOTES that the third theatre of operations in which Australians fought in World War I was the Middle East where:

(a) in contrast to the battles at Gallipoli and on the western front, the Australians fought a mobile war against the Ottoman Empire in conditions completely different from the mud and stagnation that featured in the other two theatres;
(b) the Australian light horsemen and their mounts had to survive extreme heat, harsh terrain, and water shortages;
(c) casualties were nevertheless comparatively light, with 1,394 Australians killed or wounded in three years of war.

11.5 RECOGNISES the vital contribution made by Australian forces to the Allied victories in the Middle East, especially at Beersheba on 31 October 1917, when some 800 bayonet-wielding Australian Light horsemen won immortal fame by charging across a 6 kilometre plain and over-running Turkish defences before entering the town.
11.6 REMEMBERS WITH GRATITUDE that the Allied victories in the Middle East gave further impetus to the national revival of the Jewish people, and that out of the defeated Ottoman Empire emerged the independent Arab States that lie to the east of the Mediterranean Sea and also, in 1948, a new Jewish commonwealth in the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, the first such polity to exist in more than 1800 years.
11.7 CALLS UPON THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT to recognise that the achievements of Australian troops in the Middle East theatre in World War I are as deserving of annual, public recognition as the achievements at Gallipoli and on the western front, and to designate one day each year on which Australian government and military dignitaries will attend a formal ceremony in Israel to honour the memory of Australian soldiers who served in the Middle East theatre between 1916 and 1918, and to commemorate their extraordinary achievements, for their sake and for our own self-understanding, and that of future generations of Australians.

11a. National Ceremonies

This Council:
11a.1 CALLS ON the local, State, Territory and Federal Governments and non-government organisations to recognise that national ceremonies, celebrations and memorials should be inclusive and not make use of religious words and symbols that may effectively exclude some Australian citizens.


12. Jewish Education

This Council:
12.1 NOTES with great pride, that Australia has a strong record for provision of day school education and that the Jewish Community maintains a number of independent day schools throughout the nation which are essential to Jewish learning and our community’s continuity;
12.2 STRESSES the importance of Jewish day schools and other Jewish education providers having high quality Jewish Studies and Hebrew curricula;
12.3 RECONFIRMS the responsibility of leaders of Australian Jewry to seek to ensure that no Jewish child is denied full-time Jewish education due to financial considerations; and the continued responsibility of leaders of Australian Jewry to support organisations that provide Jewish education of children who are outside of the Jewish day school system to ensure Jewish continuity for all;
12.4 NOTES with great pride, that Australia has a strong record for provision of day school education and that the Jewish Community maintains a number of independent day schools throughout the nation which are essential to Jewish learning and our community’s continuity;
12.5 NOTES that the provision of Jewish education to Jewish students who do not attend Jewish day schools, particularly through the Academy BJE and NSW Board of Progressive Jewish Education in New South Wales and the United Jewish Education Board in Victoria, is essential to ensuring Jewish learning and our community’s continuity for those outside of the Jewish day school movement and organisation;
12.6 CALLS ON all Jewish Day Schools and Boards of Jewish Education and Boards of Progressive Jewish Education to substantially increase the teaching of modern Israel and contemporary issues facing Israel and world and Australian Jewry in programs offered from Year 6 to Year 11;
12.7 RECORDS its appreciation to the Federal Government for its initiatives in granting funds to independent schools (including Jewish day schools) to assist them to meet their security costs and in granting tax deductibility for gifts to funds established by them to meet such costs.
12.8 EXPRESSES SUPPORT for the Zionist Federation of Australia Biennial Australian Jewish Educators’ Conference which plays host to several hundred teachers of Jewish Studies from most of Australia’s 18 Jewish day schools, informal Jewish educators from Zionist youth organisations and teachers from the supplemental Jewish school system, together with professional Jewish educators from New Zealand, Israel and elsewhere.

13. Communal Fundraising for Jewish Education

This Council:
13.1 CALLS ON Jewish communal and fund-raising organisations to explore additional methods of alleviating financial constraints affecting Jewish day school education and the ability of Jewish day schools to provide the highest quality Jewish education;
13.2 CALLS ON Jewish communal and fund-raising organisations to explore additional methods to ensure that these bodies are properly and adequately resourced, and to establish similar bodies and/or Jewish education providers in other States and Territories of Australia and in communities outside the major centres of Jewish life; and
13.3 CALLS ON Jewish communal and fund-raising organisations to invest in teachers and the teaching of Hebrew and Jewish studies and to see that investment as a critical contribution towards Jewish continuity in Australia.

14. Security funding

This Council:
14.1 AFFIRMS the continuing vital importance to the safety and security of schoolchildren in Jewish day schools in Australia of the Secure Schools program, and the need for a consistent and equitable national approach to the allocation of funds to Jewish Schools under that program;
14.2 NOTES with appreciation the Australian government’s decision to continue that program;
14.3 NOTES FURTHER with appreciation that the Australian Government has also established the Safer Communities Fund, which is to provide local councils and community organisations grants of up to $1 million to boost efforts to address crime and anti-social behaviour and protect organisations that may be facing security risks associated with racial or religious intolerance.
14.4 CALLS ON all organisations within the Australian Jewish community to work closely with the ECAJ and with their respective State Jewish communal roof bodies and CSGs to co-ordinate the Jewish community’s efforts to seek funding from the Safer Communities Fund.

15. Tertiary Jewish Education

This Council:
15.1 NOTES the development of Jewish tertiary education and encourages Jewish students, particularly day-school graduates, to take advantage of the learning opportunities at these institutions and welcomes all initiatives to fund academic positions and offer scholarships and financial support to enhance this development.

16. University Exchange Programs with Israel

This Council:
16.1 NOTES that some Australian Universities treat exchange programs with Israeli universities less favourably than exchange programs with other Western countries’ universities;
16.2 CALLS upon all Australian Universities to treat exchange programs with Israeli universities no less favourably than exchange programs with other Western countries’ universities.

17. Israel Experience Programs

This Council:
17.1 NOTES the importance of the relationship between Israel and Australian Jewry;
17.2 APPLAUDS the success of many Israel experience programs operated by Australian Jewish organisations in partnership with Israel and in particular Jewish day schools, AUJS, Zionist Federation of Australia and the Zionist youth groups;
17.3 RECOGNISES the central role of the Zionist Federation of Australia in promoting and facilitating such programs;
17.4 APPLAUDS the establishment of the Israel Experience Fund/birthright Program in Australia by the Zionist Federation of Australia with the support of the United Israel Appeal.

18. Demographic Data and Communal Planning

This Council:
18.1 NOTES the importance of the Jewish community basing its decisions and planning on the most reliable information available;
18.2 NOTES that the data available to the community from each Australian Bureau of Statistics Census is an important resource;
18.3 WELCOMES wholeheartedly the publication in September 2009 of the initial results of the Australian and New Zealand Jewish Population Survey undertaken by the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, with the support of a range of organisations in the Australian Jewish Community (the Gen08 survey) and warmly commends all those who conducted, supported and participated in the Survey, and also the second such survey conducted in 2017 (the Gen17 survey); and
18.4 CALLS FOR Jewish communal organisations to make full use of the Survey data in their future planning.

19. Government Measures to Combat Antisemitic Violence

This Council:
19.1 COMMMENDS the steps taken by Australian police forces to provide visible protection for Jewish communal gatherings;
19.2 NOTES the improvement in measures taken by law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute individuals responsible for arson attacks on synagogues, assaults and harassment;
19.3 NOTES that still too often the perpetrators of other acts of antisemitic violence against people and property remain unidentified and therefore remain at large;
19.4 CALLS ON state and federal law enforcement agencies to urgently upgrade their capacity to pursue and apprehend the perpetrators of acts of racist violence and vandalism and to fund both public and Jewish communal strategies to achieve those ends; and
19.5 RECORDS WITH APPRECIATION the Federal Government’s legislation in 2008 designed to alleviate the costly security burden borne by Jewish communities Australia-wide by enabling donations for the purpose of the provision of security to Jewish institutions to be tax deductible.

20. Recording of Incidents of Antisemitic Violence, Vandalism and Harassment

This Council:
20.1 NOTES the importance to the Jewish community of the availability to its national leadership of accurate data concerning the nature and extent of antisemetic violence, vandalism, intimidation and harassment in Australia;
20.2 NOTES that the only communal bodies which are in a position to act on behalf of the entire Jewish community in each state and territory are the constituents of the ECAJ, which in Victoria is co-ordinated with the ADC;
20.3 STRESSES the importance of state constituents making known to the Jewish and wider communities their role in collating information relating to antisemitism;
20.4 REAFFIRMS that all community organisations should promptly forward reports of incidents of antisemitism to the Constituent bodies of the ECAJ.

21. Holocaust Denial

This Council:
21.1 NOTES that some individuals and organisations in Australia continue to propagate Holocaust Denial including as a means of attacking the Jewish Community;
21.2 NOTES the deception employed by Holocaust deniers in the way they present their hatred in quasi-academic guise;
21.3 NOTES THAT Holocaust Denial has been found by the Federal Court of Australia to constitute unlawful behaviour;
21.4 CALLS ON Jewish organisations to continue their policy of not engaging Holocaust deniers in any public debate which could give credence to Holocaust Denial but to clearly and publicly identify Holocaust deniers as people engaged in antisemitism and promotion of extremist ideologies

22. Relations with Other Ethnic, Religious, Ethno-Religious or Cultural Communities

This Council:
22.1 RECOGNISES the distinctive character of the Australian Jewish community as part of the Jewish people, with a shared history, tradition and linguistic and religious heritage, and as a vital and vibrant component of multicultural Australia;
22.2 RECOGNISES the pluralistic nature of Australian Jewry and the complex nature of the various ethnicities of Australian Jewry due to diverse language, cultural origin and national background;
22.3 ACKNOWLEDGES the right of any Jewish organisation to identify as an ethnic, religious, ethno-religious or cultural organisation through the choice of the membership of that organisation or through its specific aims, objectives and programs consistent with policies and programs of the government relating to ethnic affairs;
22.4 VALUES the friendly cooperation and cordial relationship between Australian Jewry and other ethnic, religious, ethno-religious and cultural groups and roof bodies within Australia;
22.5 ENCOURAGES close liaison between Jewish organisations, ethnic communities councils and other Australian groups in the pursuit of common policies in the best interests of the whole Australian community.

23. Interfaith Relations

This Council:
23.1 CONGRATULATES members of the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews, the Anglican Jewish Australian Dialogue, The National Dialogue of the Uniting Church in Australia/ECAJ and Australian Catholic Bishops Committee/ECAJ Annual Conversation on the conduct and outcome of their meetings;
23.2 APPLAUDS the development in Sydney of the Women’s Interfaith Network which now has four branches;
23.3 WELCOMES the development of multi-faith events and contacts between bodies representing many diverse faith groups;
23.4 APPLAUDS activities which improve the basis for dialogue between Jews and Christians;
23.5 AFFIRMS past efforts at improving Jewish-Muslim relations, particularly those which have recognised common concerns in areas such as religious liberty, racial tolerance and recognition of religious rights;
23.6 SUPPORTS dialogue and cooperation between Federal, State and Territory representatives of the Jewish community and all other Faith communities with a view to common action for communal tolerance and inter-community cooperation;
23.7 CALLS on all religious groups to respect the dignity and right of all people to maintain their own religious traditions;
23.8 APPLAUDS the work of APRO, The Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations;
23.3 SUPPORTS the expansion of the dialogue process to include other partner organisations representing religious communities.

24. SBS

The Council:
24.1 NOTES that, in the past, SBS Television and Radio have been a cause of concern to the Australian Jewish community with regard to the manifestation of anti-Israel bias in some of its news and current affairs programming and content and that common fairness standards have not been applied to material broadcast in languages other than English;
24.2 WELCOMES recent improvements in the quality and fairness of the news and current affairs programming and content of SBS Television and Radio with regard to Israel;
24.3 NOTES nevertheless the continuing absence of any independent complaints mechanism for SBS and the decision of SBS not to comply with the Australian Standard on Complaints Handling in issuing its 2006 revised Codes of Practice; and
24.4 CALLS ON the Federal Government to implement an immediate and effective review mechanism which at the very least will require SBS to comply with the Australian Standard on Complaints Handling and implement an independent complaint resolution tribunal.

25. Religious Broadcasting on the ABC

This Council:
25.1 RECALLS the importance for the ABC to maintain the resourcing of religious programming, so as to provide insights into religion and the place of religious movements in public life and to provide Australia with an informative and stimulating religious programming mix including in its move to successful digital growth, and to commit publicly to those objectives;
25.2 RECALLS that together with other faith communities, in February 2009, it expressed its concern at the reduction in religious programming on ABC Radio National;
25.3 NOTES that at that time, the Managing Director of the ABC said that the ABC had no plans to scrap the religion unit or to scrap specialisation in reporting, but that it proposed to continue to modify programmes, and that in addition to other programming slots, religion will feature in “Background Briefing” which will reach a broader audience and allow for in-depth reporting;
25.4 FURTHER NOTES the assurance that the effects of the religious programming decisions made in 2008 are being considered within the review of ABC radio currently underway. The appointment of a new head of radio in mid-2009 will be of significance to the review. The review will provide scope to better articulate questions on specialities, digital media and rural broadcasting;
25.5 CALLS UPON the Committee of Management to monitor progress in relation to these matters and report to the Council.
25.6 EXPRESSES its long-standing concern about anti-Israel bias exhibited by the ABC in some of its coverage of Israel and the Middle East;
25.7 NOTES that from time to time antisemitic posted comments and images appear on ABC’s Facebook pages and are not moderated at all or remain unmoderated for extended periods; and
25.8 CALLS UPON the ABC Board and Managing Director to take all necessary measures to ensure fair and accurate coverage of Israel and the Middle East, and to keep antisemitic content off the ABC’s Facebook pages.
25.9 CALLS UPON the Australian government to replace the ABC’s internal complaints unit, known as ‘ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs’, with an independent, external complaints unit.

26A. Mizrahi Jews in Australia

This Council:

RECOGNISES that Jews from Arab-majority countries and Iran (Mizrahi Jews) are an integral part of the Australian Jewish community, and that some of their families have had a continuous physical presence in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel since ancient times, thereby exemplifying the ancient and continuous connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, the Land of Israel and the modern State of Israel.

26A.2 RECORDS with great sadness that, in response to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the overwhelming majority of Jews then living in Arab-majority countries and Iran, numbering approximately 800,000 people, were expelled or otherwise uprooted from their homes, effectively terminating more than two millennia of continuous Jewish history in those countries.
26A.3 ENCOURAGES its affiliate and constituent organisations, together with the ECAJ, to hold commemorative events, including annual commemorations of the uprooting of Mizrahi Jews and to advocate for the recognition of their plight.
26A.4 STRONGLY ADVOCATES that additional efforts be undertaken so that the myriad Jewish histories, cultures and traditions of both Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish communities can be researched, taught and better understood in Jewish day schools, other Jewish educational institutions and within the Australian Jewish community.

27. Young Adults Representation

This Council:
27.1 RECOGNISES that the involvement of younger community members is of vital importance to the success of Jewish continuity;
27.2 NOTES with concern the lack of youth and young adult representation on some key communal bodies;
27.3 RESOLVES to prepare an action plan to develop strategies to encourage youth participation on communal bodies.

28. Jewish Burial Rights

This Council:
28.1 NOTES that it has received reports that cemetery authorities in a number of jurisdictions are reviewing policies on permanent tenure of graves;
28.2 NOTES Jewish law and tradition require burial in perpetuity;
28.3 NOTES that, according to halacha, a grave containing human remains is demarcated as the final resting place of the person concerned and the integrity of the grave must not be altered without explicit Rabbinic authority;
28.4 REAFFIRMS the need to maintain arrangements for Jewish burials in perpetuity and calls on cemetery authorities to respect this requirement; and
28.5 CALLS UPON State Governments to plan for the future burial needs of their Jewish citizens and ensure that sufficient land is allocated for Jewish communities to bury their dead in accordance with Jewish religious requirements.

29. Gett Refusal

This Council:
29.1 RECALLS the concern expressed by the ECAJ at the continued failure to alleviate the plight of victims of wilful Gett refusal;
29.2 APPLAUDS the efforts over some years by the Joint Task Force of the ECAJ and the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia to develop useful proposals;
29.3 NOTES that the British Parliament has now joined the legislatures of Canada, South Africa and New York in passing laws to provide remedies aimed at releasing those spouses who are “chained” by wilful Gett refusal;
29.4 URGES the Australian Government to legislate in the terms of the Report of The Family Law Council of Australia which recommends to the Attorney-General that the joint legislative proposal of the ECAJ and ORA should be enacted as Australian law;
29.5 WELCOMES initiatives by the rabbinate to draft a form of pre-nuptial agreement for Jewish couples that is enforceable under Australian law and encourages Jewish couples to sign such an agreement requiring compliance with Beth Din instructions relating to the granting of a Gett in the event of a civil dissolution of the marriage.

30. Shechita

This Council:
30.1 NOTES that the slaughtering of bovine and ovine animals according to methods authorised by halacha (shechita) has been an integral part of Jewish life for 3,000 years and that shechita has for centuries been accepted in civilised societies as a humane way of slaughtering such animals for consumption;
30.2 AFFIRMS the united view of Rabbinic authorities in Australia that according to halacha:

  1. the pre-slaughter stunning of animals renders such animals unfit for Kosher consumption; and
  2. the post-slaughter stunning of ovine animals renders such animals unfit for Kosher consumption;
30.3 FURTHER NOTES that Australian law has always permitted the slaughter of animals and poultry according to shechita and, in particular, has never required the pre-slaughter stunning of animals or the post-slaughter stunning of ovine animals;
30.4 WELCOME the decision of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council on 28 October 2011 to “continue discussions with the religious groups in order to settle an applicable risk management framework” without requiring existing laws and regulations permitting shechita to be changed and without accepting proposals to require the pre-slaughter stunning of animals or the post-slaughter stunning of ovine animals;
30.5 AFFIRMS the united view of Rabbinic authorities in Australia that according to halacha:

  1. the banning of shechita is historically associated with attempts to delegitimise Jewish religious practices and has long been a manifestation of antisemitism; and
  2. allowing recreational hunting in New Zealand, with animal death and injury in numbers far greater than are affected by shechita, is indicative of a double standard being applied to the Jewish community vis a vis animal welfare.
30.6 NOTES that Jewish communities around the world, including Australia and New Zealand, have committed themselves to cooperating with animal welfare officers to ensure that Kosher slaughter meets the highest industry standards and conforms to Jewish Law and that:

  1. The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act protects the rights of individuals to manifest their religion including the right to uphold traditional practices and adhere to religious dietary requirements.
  2. The New Zealand National Animal Welfare Advisory Council itself recommended that an existing exemption to allow for shechita be continued by the Minister for Agriculture.
  3. Jewish communities have lived and flourished in New Zealand for over 160 years.
  4. The ban on shechita causes real hardship to the Jewish community in New Zealand and threatens its long-term viability as a community.
30.7 CALLS UPON the New Zealand government to reverse its ban on shechitawith immediate effect and to commit itself to working with the Jewish community to ensure that Jews are able to practise their religion including local slaughter of livestock according to Kosher dietary requirements

31. Brit Milah

This Council:
31.1 NOTES with concern challenges to the practice of Brit Milah;
31.2 RECOGNISES that Brit Milah, according to halachic process, is an essential and definitive rite of Jewish identity;
31.3 AFFIRMS its commitment to protect the right of Jewish families to continue the observance of Brit Milah by competent Mohelim.

Section 3 - Israel and International Affairs

32. Israel

This Council:
32.1 APPLAUDS the efforts by successive Israeli governments to bring about a just and lasting peace and a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
32.2 SUPPORTS the principle of two-States for two peoples, as the only principle upon which a just and sustainable peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbours can be built and notes with appreciation that the Australian Government’s policy statements have consistently affirmed that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians can only be resolved through direct negotiations;
32.2A URGES Australia to join the US, Canada, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic, among other democratic nations which have announced their opposition to the Palestinian bid for recognition by the United Nations of a unilaterally declared Palestinian State, in voting against any such proposal in the General Assembly, rather than merely abstaining;
32.3 NOTES with appreciation that all major political parties in Australia:

  • (a) are committed to supporting an enduring and just two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders, internationally recognised and agreed by the parties, and reflecting the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to also live in peace and security within their own state; and
  • (b) have repeatedly condemned and called for an end to Palestinian terrorist attacks deliberately aimed at killing and maiming Israeli civilians and the continued smuggling of arms and munitions into Gaza;
32.4 APPLAUDS the support of successive Australian Governments for international calls for the Palestinian Authority to renounce and prevent violence and incitement against Israel and for Hamas to recognise Israel, to renounce and prevent violence and incitement against Israel and to affirm and implement all agreements with Israel that have been entered into by the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority;
32.5 REAFFIRMS Australian Jewry’s strong and unshakeable solidarity with Israel and her people;
32.6 DEPLORES and CONDEMNS unreservedly as antisemitic all attempts to demonise or delegitimise Israel as the State of the Jewish people by:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of Israel or its military forces standards of behaviour higher than those expected or demanded of any other democratic nation or its military forces.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.
  • Calling for discriminatory boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel.
32.7 STRONGLY URGES all Jews, individually as well as communally and institutionally, to visit Israel and schedule events in Israel.
Click here for
Australia and Israel: A Pictorial History

32A. Law of Return

This Council:
32A.1 NOTES that:

  • the State of Israel was established, with international endorsement, to give effect to the right of national self-determination of the Jewish people in its historic homeland;
  • the re-attainment of their sovereignty, statehood and political independence has unlocked the creative energies of the Jewish people, and given birth to a new flowering in Israel of Jewish civilisation in all its dimensions, spiritual, cultural and material;
  • mindful of the discrimination, oppression, persecution and genocide to which the Jewish people were subjected during the long centuries when they had no State of their own, the State of Israel has also served as a refuge for Jews who have been expelled or forced to flee from persecution in countries in many parts of the world including Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the former Soviet Union and Ukraine;
  • under Israel’s Law of Return, any person with at least one Jewish grandparent is eligible to make Aliyah, regardless of the stream of Judaism, if any, with which that person identifies or is affiliated, or through which that person, if a convert, may have converted to Judaism; and
  • the Law of Return is of vital interest to all Jews, no matter where in the world they may live;
32A.2 DEPLORES demands recently made by certain political and religious figures in Israel to disqualify persons who have converted to Judaism through the Progressive or Reform streams from being eligible to make Aliyah under the Law of Return.
32A.3 CONDEMNS those demands as:

  • a morally abhorrent abandonment of those living outside of Israel who have converted to Judaism through the Progressive or Reform streams, and who may find themselves persecuted as Jews; and
  • a betrayal of the principles and promise of Zionism.
32A.4 CALLS UPON the government of Israel to affirm, clearly and unambiguously, that the operation of the Law of Return shall not be altered in any such manner.

33. Opposition to Premature Recognition of a Palestinian State

This Council:
33.1 NOTES with concern calls from some former political leaders for Australia to recognise a Palestinian State, other than as an outcome of a comprehensive peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel.
33.2 REJECTS these calls as possibly well-intended but fundamentally misconceived.
33.3 REJECTS any attempts to pressure only one side of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, namely Israel, to make unilateral concessions, without demanding reciprocal initiatives from the Palestinians, and notes that this approach only serves to discourage both peoples from making the hard compromises that will be essential for a just and durable peace.
33.4 NOTES that, given the irreconcilable philosophical and political divisions between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which each controls different parts of the territory claimed by the Palestinians, there is currently no Palestinian entity which meets the essential legal and other criteria of a State.
33.5 NOTES the contrast between the legalistic approach purportedly adopted by advocates of recognition on one question, namely settlements, and their cavalier disregard for well-established legal principles on another, namely the creation of states and their recognition. The international rule of law must be supported as a general principle, not selectively.
33.6 NOTES accordingly that recognition of a State of Palestine, other than as an outcome of a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel would:

  • do nothing to resolve the core issues of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, in particular Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, security and water. The complex arrangements required to address these core issues will require co-operation between the parties via detailed agreements, not grandiloquent, symbolic statements of recognition by outside parties;
  • undermine the international rule of law and lay the foundations for opening a new phase of the Palestinians’ conflict with Israel, rather than for resolving the conflict. This would be contrary to the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.
33.7 CALLS UPON all Australian political parties to reaffirm their commitment to the achievement of a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the conflict based on the principle of two states for two peoples.

34. Jerusalem

This Council:
34.1 REAFFIRMS the centrality of Jerusalem historically, religiously and culturally to Jews and Judaism;
34.2 STRESSES the need for free access and worship for Jews at all religious sites, including The Temple Mount;
34.3 CALLS ON the Australian Government to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and to transfer the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

35. Ron Arad

This Council:
35.1 SHARES the heartfelt concerns of all Israelis about the fate of Israeli airman Ron Arad, who went missing in action in Lebanon in 1986;
35.2 CALLS UPON the Australian Government to continue to make representations to the United Nations and to all relevant Middle East states, and in particular Iran, Syria and Lebanon, urging them to seek and provide information concerning the fate of Ron Arad.

36. Terrorism

This Council:
36.1 JOINS in mourning the victims of terrorism in Israel and throughout the world, and extends condolences to the relatives and friends of those who have been murdered, and sympathy and best wishes for a full recovery to the injured;
36.2 SUPPORTS efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, including the enactment of effective anti-terrorism laws, the allocation of resources for the efficient investigation of terrorist crimes and the arrest and prosecution of terrorist suspects, and Australia’s participation in the international war against terrorism;
36.3 URGES the United Nations and all governments to take effective action against countries which serve as a haven and provide bases and support for terrorists;
36.4 NOTES the importance of legislation designed to counter terrorism and to provide security in a manner that properly recognises the required balance between civil liberties and law enforcement, and recognising that the great majority of Australian Muslims abhor terrorism;
36.5 CALLS ON the Federal Government to take effective measures and make appropriate arrangements where necessary with other governments, to prevent the transmission into or within Australia, by television or radio or through the internet, of material that promotes any form of terrorism, and applauds all efforts that help to ensure that the cohesion of Australia’s multicultural society is not prejudiced;
36.6 URGES the Australian and other governments to act against Palestinian and other anti-Israeli terrorist organisations such as Hamas, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad;
36.7 CALLS ON the Federal Government to make appropriate arrangements with other governments to develop more refined and effective norms of international law to deal with the problems posed by armed attacks carried out by non-State actors.
36.8 COMMENDS the decision of the Australian government to list Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organisation, in line with the practice of Australia’s closest allies.

37. Iran

This Council:
37.1 NOTES widespread reports of systematic human rights abuses by the Iranian regime in virtually every facet of Iran’s political, social and economic life, aimed particularly at minority religious and ethnic communities, but also at women, students and trade unionists, including government-sponsored extra-judicial killings, the trial and execution of minors and the use of horrific forms of torture against detainees;
37.2 REQUESTS the Australian Government to continue to investigate reports of this nature and continue to make representations in support of the victims at all appropriate forums;
37.3 SUPPORTS the international condemnation of President Ahmadinejad’s repeated statements calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and his antisemitic Holocaust-denial statements;
37.4 SUPPORTS the efforts of the Argentine government and Interpol to arrest and bring to trial the alleged perpetrators of the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994;
37.5 NOTES that:

  1. Iran became a non-nuclear weapon state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1970, and concluded a Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1974, under which Iran accepted safeguards (IAEA inspections) for the purpose of verifying that nuclear material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or to other nuclear explosive devices.
  2. In February 2006, the IAEA Board of Governors submitted a report to the UN Security Council on its difficulties with Iran and noted “Iran’s many failures and breaches of its obligations to comply with its NPT Safeguards Agreement ….”( IAEA Board of Governors Res. GOV/2006/14 (4 Feb. 2006));
  3. the UN Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in Resolution 1835, has expressed its serious concern that, “as confirmed by the reports of 23 May 2007 (GOV/2007/22), 30 August 2007 (GOV/2007/48), 15 November 2007 (GOV/2007/58) and 22 February 2008 (GOV/2008/4) of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has not established full and sustained suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities and heavy water-related projects as set out in resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), and 1747(2007), nor resumed its cooperation with the IAEA under the Additional Protocol to the NPT, nor taken the other steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors, nor complied with the provisions of Security Council resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) and which are essential to build confidence” and has imposed certain sanctions upon Iran which have failed to result in Iran complying with the aforementioned requirements;
  4. the Iranian regime has admitted to the existence of a formerly undisclosed nuclear enrichment facility in Qom, in clear violation of the current IAEA guidelines;
37.6 WELCOMES the Australian Government’s active support for the strongest possible additional measures being taken by the international community, including the imposition on Iran by Australia and other countries of severe autonomous sanctions directed at the Iranian regime, over and above the sanctions imposed by the UN, so as to ensure that Iran does not develop or gain access to nuclear weapons;.
37.7 URGES the Australian Government to continue to give a high strategic priority, in concert with other governments, to counter-acting the four-fold threat that the current Iranian regime poses to international peace and security, namely the nuclear threat, the threat of genocidal incitement, international state sponsored terrorism and the systematic and widespread violations of the human and civil rights of the Iranian people.

38. United Nations Human Rights Agenda

This Council:
38.1 CONDEMNS the way in which UN institutions and instruments have been manipulated to try to cast Israel as a pariah state;
38.2 CALLS upon the Australian Government to support the reforms of the UN advocated in resolutions 38.3 and 38.4 and to insist upon the UN following a Human Rights agenda that is genuinely focused upon the pursuit of Human Rights in accordance with the UN Charter;
38.3 CALLS for the abolition of the UN “Special Committees” on Palestinian issues, and “Palestinian Units” of the UN, the predominant purpose of which is to spread anti-Israel propaganda and whose activities degrade the ability of the United Nations to pursue its noble human rights objectives;
38.4 CALLS for the abolition by the United Nations General Assembly of the UN Human Rights Council and its replacement by a new human rights body, membership of which is restricted to those countries which at the time of their admission to membership have a democratic political system in which there is proven respect for the individual and human rights of its citizens and the rule of law;
38.5 CALLS upon the Australian government to support the reforms of the UN advocated in this resolution and to insist upon the UN following a human rights agenda that is genuinely focused upon the realization of human rights in accordance with the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.
38.6 COMMENDS the decision of the Australian government to list Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organisation, in line with the practice of Australia’s closest allies.

39. “Durban Process”

This Council:
39.1 NOTES that the UN World Conference Against Racism held in Durban in 2001 (Durban 1 Conference) was preceded by the NGO Forum which was marred by virulent antisemitic behaviour from representatives of a number of Non-Government Organisations and which was marked by abuse of process and outcomes prejudicial to genuine work to combat racism;
39.2 NOTES that the Durban I Government Conference produced outcome documents including the Declaration which singled out Israel for criticism (while naming no other countries) and introduced extraneous anti-Israel content under the pretext that Israel’s actions are racist, which anti-Israel content overshadowed and distorted the critically important professed agenda of the conference;
39.3 NOTES that the Durban Review Conference in Geneva in April 2009 and the UN’s 10th anniversary commemoration in New York in September 2011:

  1. reaffirmed without reservation the 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action, including the section titled “Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” which specifically states: “We are concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation” and falsely implies that Palestinians are victims of Israeli racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, or related intolerance;
  2. failed to address serious human rights abuses and genocide in various regions of the world; and
  3. omitted any criticism or mention of the Hamas Charter and, in particular, those of its provisions which incite hatred and genocide against Jews and affirm racist stereotypes about Jews as a people.

and further notes with appreciation that the Australian Government joined the governments of a number of other democratic countries in deciding not to attend the latter two events.

39.4 CONDEMNS the Durban process as irredeemably tainted with bias and racism against the Jewish people; and
39.5 URGES the Australian Government to join with the governments of other democratic countries in calling for the 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action to be fundamentally re-drafted so as to remedy the flaws enumerated in paragraph 39.3.

40. United Nations Bias

This Council:
40.1 NOTES with concern that on 24 November 2008 the then President of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, stated in the General Assembly:
“I spoke this morning about apartheid and how Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories appear so similar to the apartheid of an earlier era, a continent away. I believe it is very important that we in the United Nations use this term. We must not be afraid to call something what it is. It is the United Nations after all, that pass the International Convention against the Crime of Apartheid, making clear to all the world that such practices of official discrimination must be outlawed wherever they occur.
Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel.”
40.2 RECORDS that the accusations against Israel are scurrilous, false and without basis;
40.3 NOTES that on 29 November 2006, the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticised the UN Human Rights Council for its “disproportionate focus on violations by Israel” while neglecting other parts of the world such as Darfur, which had what he termed “graver” crises and that Annan reiterated this criticism in his formal address on 8 December 2006 (International Human Rights Day);
40.4 FURTHER NOTES the following additional statements made by past and present UN Secretaries-General condemning UN bias against Israel:

  • (a) On 20 June 2007, the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon criticised the Council in a statement that read: “The Secretary-General is disappointed at the Council’s decision to single out only one specific regional item given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.”
  • (b) On 23 April 2017, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted that “a modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist … [and that] Israel needs to be treated as any other state, with exactly the same rules.”
40.5 CONDEMNS the United Nations to the extent that it: applies different standards for Israel and the Jewish people than for other countries; utterly fails to mention let alone criticise, the campaign of terror waged against innocent civilians in Israel from the territories and from Gaza from which Israel has unilaterally withdrawn; continues with its one-sided obsession with Israel especially on the part of the UN Human Rights Council;
40.6 NOTES that these developments continue to give rise to grave concerns about the credibility and effectiveness of the United Nations among fair-minded people everywhere;
40.7 CALLS UPON the Australian Government to continue to work towards fair and equitable treatment of Israel in all UN forums.

41. Global Antisemitism

This Council:
41.1 EXPRESSES ALARM at the escalation in acts of antisemitism throughout the world such as racially motivated physical and verbal assaults against Jewish people, attacks upon Synagogues and other Jewish Institutions and businesses owned by Jews, and:

  • (a) CALLS UPON government and community leaders in the European Union and the media to show leadership by publicly denouncing as and when they occur, all manifestations of antisemitism falling within the working definition produced by the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and adopted by the UK All Part Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism;
  • (b) DENOUNCES the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez, for descending repeatedly into racist and bullying rhetoric against Venezuala’s Jewish citizens, which has resulted in a significant upsurge in racially motivated physical and verbal assaults against them and their communal institutions; and
  • (c) DEPLORES the proliferation of grossly antisemitic material within many of the States of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in the form of written publications, television and radio programs and internet material, and the promotion of such material by their governments through its inclusion in school curricula and its dissemination through government-controlled media.
41.2 NOTES that a significant number of incidents have been carried out by Islamist groups who support and engage in antisemitic violence;
41.3 NOTES that extremist left and right-wing organisations have encouraged their supporters to work together with extremist elements within Muslim and Arab communities;
41.4 CALLS ON the UN and all countries to take all necessary steps to ensure that those violent antisemitic incidents are not repeated and to protect Jewish citizens and communal property and to prevent other acts of anti-Jewish incitement;
41.5 CONDEMNS the prevalence of anti-Jewish rhetoric in sections of the mass-media which masquerades as political criticism of Israel.

42. Restitution

This Council:
42.1 APPLAUDS the efforts of the Claims Conference and the World Jewish Restitution Organisation and other organisations working for the rights of survivors, their heirs and the Jewish world in the areas of restitution and restoration of property and true recording of the history of the Holocaust;
42.2 REAFFIRMS the principle that negotiations for restitution should wherever possible include representatives of both resident communities and survivors who live outside those countries;
42.3 CALLS for the expedition of all outstanding claims with a minimum of administrative cost or delay, and for priority in the application of funds for the benefit of survivors and the heirs of victims;
42.4 CALLS for the abolition of all forms of means testing as a condition of eligibility for the payment to survivors of compensation for personal pain and suffering.

43. The Vatican

This Council:
43.1 RECOGNISES the importance of the work of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee and its joint declarations of November 4-7 2006 and November 2008.


This Council:
44.1 NOTES the contribution to international understanding and dialogue between peoples of the Asia Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogues in Indonesia in 2004, Philippines in 2006, New Zealand in 2007, Cambodia in 2008 and Australia in 2009;
44.2 NOTES the unique and vital role played by representatives of the ECAJ’s interfaith dialogues to this process and also to the inaugural Youth Interfaith Forum in Perth in 2007;
44.3 RECOGNISES the importance of members of Australia’s delegations being engaged with representative bodies and being able to keep the broader community informed of the outcomes of the APRID processes and to properly represent communities’ views;
44.4 URGES the Australian Government to include a representative from the ECAJ in all future Asia Pacific Interfaith Dialogues, as was the case until 2008.

44a. Roma People

This Council:
44a.1 DECLARES that as Jews, we cannot remain silent when people are discriminated against because they are members of a religious, racial, or national group;
44a.2 NOTES WITH CONCERN that whilst being one of Europe’s largest minorities, the Roma people continue to suffer discrimination in Europe, are often the victims of forced evictions, racist attacks and ill-treatment, have reduced rates of life expectancy and higher rates of infant mortality, and are often denied their rights to housing, employment, health care and education;
44a.3 CALLS UPON the Australian government to use its good offices with European governments to urge them to treat the Roma with humanity and with due consideration for their human rights.

44b. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

This Council:
44b.1 NOTES that:

  1. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an award-winning Bangladeshi journalist and editor of the Weekly Blitz newspaper in Bangladesh. Because of his beliefs in interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims and criticism of Islamist extremism, he is on trial in Bangladesh for sedition, an offense punishable by death;
  2. Mr Choudhury was arrested on 29 November 2003 at Zia International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on his way to board a flight bound for Tel Aviv, and was originally charged with a passport violation, a charge that was only subsequently elevated to sedition;
  3. While previously in detention Mr Choudhury was subjected to harsh interrogation techniques and received no treatment for a debilitating case of glaucoma;
  4. Mr Choudhury’s incarceration lasted for17 months without legal recourse and was only released on bail on 30 April 2005;
  5. Senior members of the Bangledeshi Government subsequently made continuous public promises that there was no substance to Mr Choudhury’s pending charges and that all charges would be dropped;
  6. On 6 July 2006, Mr Choudhury’s newspaper offices were bombed by an Islamic extremist organisation after Mr Choudhury and his staff published articles in support of the Ahmadiyya Muslim minority;
  7. Mr Choudhury received a tip about the bombing days before and reported it to police, who refused to take action;
  8. On 18 September 2006, a judge with alleged ties to an Islamic extremist party, Mohammed Momin Ullah, ruled that Mr Choudhury will stand trial for sedition. The judge made this ruling despite the Public Prosecutor’s testimony in court days before that the government did not have evidence and would not object to the charges being dropped;
  9. On October 5, 2006, Mr Choudhury was attacked at his newspaper offices by a large group of individuals, including prominent members of the ruling Bangladesh National Party. Police protection for Mr Choudhury was withdrawn just days before the attack. Mr Choudhury was called an ”agent of the Jews” and beaten badly. When Mr Choudhury reported the attack to the police, no action was taken
  10. On 15 February 2007, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution without opposition, calling for the Government of Bangladesh immediately to drop all pending charges against Mr Choudhury; return all of Mr Choudhury’s confiscated possessions; cease harassment and intimidation of Mr Choudhury; and take steps to protect Mr Choudhury and hold accountable those responsible for attacks against Mr Choudhury;
  11. On 18 March 2008, members of Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) abducted Mr Choudhury from his office at gun point. He was blind-folded and taken to an RAB office and released late at night. Written complaints were sent to the military-controlled interim government but no action has been taken by the Bangladesh authorities against the RAB members responsible;
  12. On 22 February 2009, armed thugs belonging to the ruling Bangladesh Awami League entered the office of Mr Choudhury, ransacked the entire office and physically assaulted him and other staff of the Weekly Blitz newspaper. Although a specific complaint was lodged with the police station on the day of the occurrence, no action has been taken by Bangladesh’s law enforcement agencies against the culprits;
  13. The capital charge against Mr Choudhury has not been withdrawn and he remains on trial for sedition.
44b.2 CALLS UPON the government of Bangladesh immediately and without further prevarication or delay to:

  1. drop all pending charges against Mr Choudhury;
  2. return all of Mr Choudhury’s confiscated possessions;
  3. cease all harassment and intimidation of Mr Choudhury; and
  4. take steps to protect Mr Choudhury from physical attacks and to hold accountable those responsible for previous attacks against Mr Choudhury
44b.3 CALLS UPON the Australian government to prevail upon the government of Bangladesh to take the measures enumerated in paragraph 2 immediately and without further prevarication or delay.

Section 4 - Holocaust Remembrance, Education and Research

45. National and State Education Curricula

This Council:
45.1 NOTES the development, by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), of a National Education Curriculum and the importance of the Australian Jewish community working with National and State educational authorities to ensure the accurate, dispassionate, academically rigorous and adequately-resourced teaching of topics relating to Jews and Judaism, ancient and modern Israel, the Holocaust, the Arab-Israel conflict and the contribution of Australian Jews to Australian society and culture.
45.2 CALLS on all State Departments of School Education to ensure that all students have a basic knowledge of the events of the Holocaust, in order to gain an understanding of the fragility of human civilization and the dangers of irrational hatred;
45.3 CALLS upon ACARA to include a unit of mandatory study addressing racism, racial hatred and genocide, and focusing on the facts and cause of the Holocaust, in the study of history for all high school students in Australia.

46. Holocaust Remembrance, Public Education and Research

This Council:
46.1 NOTES the importance of Holocaust memorialisation, public education about the Holocaust and on-going research into the Holocaust;
46.2 WELCOMES the establishment of annual Holocaust Memorial Day events by Constituents of the ECAJ, in conjunction with other community organisations, and the participation of the Australian Government in these events;
46.3 ENCOURAGES all major cities and State capitals to hold public remembrances of Kristallnacht and all Constituents of the ECAJ to prioritise the work of maximising public participation in Holocaust Remembrance and education; and
46.4 WELCOMES the range of research activities related to the Holocaust, Holocaust memorialisation, Holocaust Education and into Holocaust denial currently taking place in Australia and ENCOURAGES further support for research related to the Holocaust.

47. Inappropriate Holocaust and Nazi-related Rhetoric

This Council:
47.1 RECOGNISES that the Holocaust, the Nazi program of genocide, was a unique historical event;
47.2 NOTES that the Holocaust is generally recognised as the benchmark of the most extreme case of human evil;
47.3 DEPLORES the inappropriate use of analogies to the Nazi genocide and Nazi tyranny in Australian public debate.

48. International Engagement

This Council:
48.1 NOTES the global importance of Holocaust education and remembrance;
48.2 NOTES the importance of governments and civil society taking a stand against human rights abuses;
48.3 APPLAUDS the decision of the Swedish Government to host the international forum on Holocaust Education and Remembrance in January 2000; the Forum on Combating Intolerance in January 2001, the Forum on Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in April 2002 in Stockholm; and the International Forum on Genocide Prevention in 2004;
48.4 URGES the Australian government to implement relevant recommendations of the Stockholm Forums.
48.5 NOTES with appreciation the important work of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental body whose purpose is to place political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally.
48.6 ENDORSES and ADOPTS the Working Definition of Antisemitism which was unanimously adopted by IHRA member States at the Plenary session in May 2016 and which closely follows the 2005 EUMC working definition;
48.7 WELCOMES Australia’s participation in IHRA as a full member country, including the participation in the Australian delegation of experts from within and beyond the Australian Jewish community.
48.8 COMMENDS the Australian government for the statement made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism on 13 October 2021 that (i) the Australian government “pledges to embrace the definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance”; (ii) Australia has made this pledge “as a people and as a nation”; and (iii) “Antisemitism has no place in Australia. It has no place anywhere in the world”.
48.9 COMMENDS Labor’s endorsement of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism as confirmed by Federal Opposition leader Anthony Albanese during an online meeting with Australian Jewish community leaders organised and hosted by the ECAJ on 13 July 2021.
48.10 CALLS for the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism to be adopted and applied in Australia by the public and private sectors, including the University sector, civil society, school education systems and sporting organisations.

Section 5 - Social Issues

49. Climate Change

This Council:
49.1 NOTES that there is scientific consensus that climate change poses a major challenge facing Australia and the world.  The threat to all human life, through the increasing frequency and magnitude of such extreme weather events as bushfires, drought, water shortages and record temperatures, is increasing;
49.2 NOTES that the protection of the environment and conservation of its resources for the benefit of future generations are well-established principles of Jewish teaching and halacha;
49.3 APPLAUDS the action of governments, leading business, religious and civil society organisations, in addressing the issue of climate change as a priority issue for our time;
49.4 DECLARES its support for laws and policies with appropriate milestones designed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, or earlier where necessary:

See e.g.,

49.5 CALLS ON its constituents, its affiliates and Australian Jewish organisations to:

  • stay informed on climate change issues: – see e.g., and;
  • educate members using clear and compelling educational resources, informed by Jewish teachings, about taking action on climate change and to demonstrate environmental responsibility;
  • take all appropriate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with their own activities; and
  • continue to work with other faith and cultural communities towards taking action on climate change and to demonstrate environmental responsibility.

50. Stem Cell Research

This Council:
50.1 NOTES that leading Rabbinic authorities have given their support to the use of existing embryos for stem cell research, mindful that Jewish law concerns itself that such embryos are only appropriately obtained;
50.2 NOTES that stem cell research offers great hope to many sufferers and contains the potential to rectify painful, debilitating and life shortening genetic conditions;
50.3 SUPPORTS properly conducted research into the saving of life as a part of our human mandate to act in the image of God, to heal and to be merciful;
50.4 CALLS ON all ECAJ Constituents, Affiliates and Observer Organisations to encourage Australian Jews to publicly support the opportunities which stem cell research provides as reinforcing and not diminishing the sanctity of life.

51. Organ Donation

This Council:
51.1 NOTES that lives can be saved by encouraging organ donation from Jews to the general population by educating our community about the different halachic and medical issues concerning organ donation;
51.2 SUPPORTS Medicare Australia changing donor registry forms so that members of the clergy can be involved in the decision-making process if members of the donor family so wish;
51.3 ENCOURAGES Australian Jews to learn about organ donation from both a medical and a halachic perspective, and to commit to organ donation processes subject to appropriate safeguards.

52. Child Sexual Abuse

This Council:
52.1 NOTES the gravity of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented to the Governor-General on 15 December 2017;
51.2 EXPRESSES deepest sympathy with all survivors of child sexual abuse and profound sorrow at the pain and ongoing hardship they have suffered, and extends the same sentiments to the family and friends of survivors who have suffered in any way for supporting them;
52.3 RECOGNISES that child sexual abuse has occurred within some Jewish institutions;
52.4 RECOGNISES FURTHER that in some instances individuals in positions of leadership and trust within those institutions failed to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities and in doing so, acted unlawfully and unethically, and failed the children who had suffered the abuse and exacerbated their suffering, and brought shame to our community;
52.5 NOTES the halachic rule that the civil law of the land is binding (dina d’malkhuta dina) and supports fully the statements by Jewish religious and representative rabbinical bodies that “there is a religious obligation to inform the relevant authorities of all information known concerning possible harmful criminal conduct, especially conduct as serious as child sexual abuse, and to co-operate with the authorities in every way to bring the perpetrators to justice”;
52.6 AFFIRMS that the principle of mesirah, which precludes the reporting of fellow Jews to the secular authorities, was historically applied in places where Jews were subjected to institutional persecution and racism and could not receive just treatment by the civil authorities, and has no relevance or admissibility whatsoever in Australia, as has been stated by multiple Australian rabbinical sources;
52.7 CONDEMNS any concealment of, or failure to report, allegations of child sexual abuse and any instances of intimidation or retribution against children who have suffered sexual abuse or their families or other supporters, noting that all such conduct is unlawful, disgraceful and contrary to Jewish ethics and law, and serves to deepen the suffering of survivors and their families;
52.8 AFFIRMS the imperative of protecting children from harm, which is a core Jewish value, and calls on all organisations in the Jewish community to adopt and actively implement a policy of zero tolerance towards child sexual abuse, and to promote clear leadership and transparent governance to combat the secrecy on which abuse thrives;
52.9 CALLS ON Jewish community organisations which have the care of children to adopt and implement appropriate standards of child protection if they have not already done so, and to work together with other Jewish organisations under the auspices of the Jewish community State roof bodies and the ECAJ to develop a best practice model of Jewish Professional Standards on Child Protection;
52.10 AFFIRMS that leaders of Jewish organisations must take a preventative, proactive and participatory approach to child safety issues, so that the safety and wellbeing of children in each of their organisations is a paramount consideration when developing activities, policies and management practices;
52.11 URGES the Australian Government and Jewish communal bodies to continue to extend whatever support may be necessary to survivors of child sexual abuse in their pursuit of justice and redress.

53. Extradition of Malka Leifer to Australia

This Council:
53.1 NOTES that Malka Leifer, the former headmistress of the Adass Israel school in Melbourne, has been charged with 74 counts relating to child sexual abuse of children in her care and continues to evade extradition from Israel to Australia to face these charges;
53.2 EXPRESSES solidarity with all who may have suffered by reason of the conduct of Malka Leifer and praises the courageous activism of Dassi Erlich and others on behalf of all survivors of child sexual abuse;
53.3 NOTES the support given to Dassi Erlich and others by this Council and other Jewish organisations, Members of the Australian parliament and Members of the Israeli Knesset in seeking the extradition of Malka Leifer; and
53.4 CALLS FOR the extradition of Malka Leifer to Australia without delay.

54. Counteracting Hatred and Discrimination Against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Persons

This Council:
54.1 RECOGNISES that the Australian Jewish community is part of the Jewish people worldwide, with a shared history, culture and religious tradition and is at the same time diverse and pluralistic, with its members holding different views on a range of issues;
54.2 CALLS FOR mutual respect for the human dignity of all members of the community, despite any strongly held differences; recognition that disagreement is possible in ways that do not vilify other persons or their views; and avoidance of any public or private conduct that incites hatred, ridicule or contempt of another person or class of persons on the ground of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, or sex characteristics; and, in accordance with the foregoing principles;
54.3 OPPOSES any form of hatred of any person on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, or sex characteristics;
54.4 ACKNOWLEDGES that there is still much work to be done to remove intolerance of and unlawful discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in the Jewish community and the wider Australian community, and to provide adequate services and support for them and their families; and
54.5 CALLS ON persons and organisations in the Jewish community to support that work both in our community and in the wider Australian community.

55. Same Sex Civil marriage



This Council:
55.1 NOTES the high response rate to the survey on same sex marriage conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2017, participation in which was entirely voluntary;
55.2 NOTES FURTHER that there was a strong majority in favour of same sex marriage being recognised in Australia’s civil law;
55.3 RECOGNISES that the survey did not relate in any way to religious marriages;
55.4 COMMENDS the Federal government, the Federal Opposition and other parties and independents for acting promptly to enact an amendment to the civil law definition of marriage in the Marriage Act in order to give effect to the clear result of the survey.
55.5 CALLS ON the federal government to:

  • (a) ensure that members of the clergy will continue to have the right to refuse to perform or participate in any marriage ceremony at their discretion, as is provided for at present under section 47 of the Marriage Act;
  • (b) ensure that religious institutions and religious schools will continue to have the same rights they currently enjoy under the law to practice, teach and preach their religious beliefs, including their beliefs about the institution of marriage being between a man and a woman; and
  • (c) ensure that parents and legal guardians will continue to have the same freedoms they currently enjoy to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
55.6 REJECTS any proposal that would permit businesses to refuse to provide goods, services and facilities on the basis that these are to be used in connection with a same-sex marriage ceremony; and
55.7 AFFIRMS that in matters of ordinary trade and commerce, as distinct from matters of religious practice and belief, all people are entitled to be protected from adverse discriminatory treatment on the basis of their race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, sex characteristics, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.
55.8 That the ECAJ encourages each of its constituent organisations to align the formulation of its policies concerning the foregoing matters with those of the ECAJ, and that affiliate organisations which have adopted policies concerning such matters be encouraged to do likewise.

56. People With Disabilities and Their Carers

This Council:
56.1 NOTES the active role undertaken by the Australian Human Rights Commission in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and their carers;
56.2 WELCOMES the efforts of the Australian Government to develop a national disability insurance scheme;
56.3 NOTES that through Jewish Care and other Jewish community organisations, support for people with disabilities and their carers is a major Jewish community priority;
56.4 RESOLVES to support all efforts to achieve a sustainable and effective national disability insurance scheme;
56.5 COMMENDS the work of the AUstralian Human Rights Commission in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and their carers; and
56.6 CALLS ON the entire Australian community to extend the fullest respect and dignity for people with disabilities and their carers.

57. Gender equality in communal life

This Council:
57.1 RECOGNISES that all members of our Jewish community are entitled to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness and to have equal opportunities, representation and rights to participate in communal life;
57.2 AFFIRMS that there is absolutely no place in communal life for sexual harassment or any form of bullying, including gender-based bullying;
57.3 ACKNOWLEDGES that the ECAJ requires an appropriate mix of expertise, experience and gender representation to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to meet its responsibilities and objectives;
57.4 AFFIRMS that women must be given the same rights and opportunities enjoyed by men to be elected to positions of communal leadership and, once elected, to participate in communal decision making;
57.5 COMMITS to embracing a culture of respect for women, and policies to promote gender equality in matters such as board composition and recruitment, and representation on panels, events, conferences and workshops; and
57.6 CALLS ON its constituent bodies to adopt gender equality principles and policies and pursue the goal of elevating women’s participation and voice within our community as an important step towards achieving gender equality.