EARLIER this Year the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) delivered its first Jewish Immersion Day program in person since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Immersion Day program was co-hosted by the City of Port Phillip’s community building team. This is the first time that the JCCV has collaborated with the City of Port Phillip in what the JCCV believes is the beginning of a productive relationship.
“It was a really happy and meaningful morning,” said JCCV project officer of community engagement Joshua Goodman.
“On the one hand, both the participants and the speakers were excited to be in a room together. On the other hand, our line-up of speakers and the rich content they covered matched perfectly that enthusiasm.”
The program featured an historical, religious and socio-economic breakdown of Melbourne’s Jewish community, an explainer of Jewish traditions and practice and a crash course of the Jewish history of Port Phillip and Melbourne.
Rabbi Yaakov Glasman then gave participants a tour of St Kilda Shule before they were taken on a guided tour of the Jewish Museum of Australia by Charlotte Eizenberg.
James Seow, a member of the City of Port Phillip’s multicultural advisory committee, said, “It helps community leaders get a more intimate understanding of intercultural and interfaith issues, and the diverse lifestyles and beliefs of the Jewish community.”
Seow is a senior adviser of multicultural communities engagement at the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
Goodman said, “A lot of coordination between community members has gone into the program. We want to hit the important syllabus points that allow people to better understand and work with members of the Jewish community, but this leaves cracks to be filled with nuanced insights about identity and experiences of antisemitism. In that sense, it is truly an immersive experience.”
Goodman said he is buoyed by the positive feedback from participants.
“New groups have almost fallen out of this one event, which is exactly what we want to see,” he said.
After months of uncertainty surrounding face-to-face events, the JCCV is looking forward to a busy and engaging 2022.
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