The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) represents and advocates for the Jewish community of NSW. It is tasked with ensuring a safe and vibrant Jewish community by protecting its physical and political security.
The JBD engages with all levels of government, its agencies, the media, other NGOs and the education sector.
Our voluntary PUBLIC AFFAIRS INTERNSHIP is now open and receiving applications.
Don’t miss this opportunity to gain experience within a respected public affairs organisation. We are seeking a university-aged individual with an interest in at least one of the following: politics, media, Israel and Jewish affairs. Candidates should have a can-do attitude and be willing to attempt a range of diverse tasks.
See what other interns have said:
Tasks may include
- Event coordination
- Data entry and analysis
- Speech writing
- Input into political strategy
What you will gain
- An understanding of the Australian political landscape and how the different levels of government operate.
- Skills in research, writing and speaking.
- Access to exclusive events.
- Knowledge of the Jewish community and how it interacts with other communities.
- Technical skills in Microsoft Excel, Word and Outlook.
- One day per week (9am-5pm)
- Lasting 7 weeks commencing the week of 9 September and finishing 4 November.
Please email a cover letter and resume by COB Monday August 19 to:
Jewish Community Relationship Manager
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
Enquiries 9360 1600
Emeritus Professor Bettina Cass AO, Chair of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Taskforce on Child Protection and Chair of the ECAJ National Working Group on Child Protection, arranged and moderated a high-level panel of experts, including the NSW Children’s Guardian Janet Schorer, to discuss Child protection in the Jewish community: Awareness, Prevention, Redress at the July plenum.
Each panelist brought their expertise to the topic, covering: the legal framework, government assistance, child-safe standards, community training, the National Redress Scheme, reporting to police and ethical issues.
Jewish House CEO and National Mental Heath Commissioner Rabbi Mendel Kastel OAM gave a moving address, describing how he’s witnessed survivors of child abuse break down in tears when offending organisations provided an apology. He also urged Jewish community organisations to join the National Redress Scheme. Rabbi Kastel’s notes can be read [HERE].
Bettina Cass writes:
After the Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the introduction of the National Redress Scheme, the over-arching responsibilities to maintain child-safe spaces have changed and we must adapt to ensure that all of our organisations comply.
The strong message is that child protection is a communal responsibility, involving religious and lay leaders, teachers, parents and all who have any responsibility for children. The special panel of five distinguished experts covered the ways in which institutions can embed and ensure child-safe spaces, through well-understood, preventative child-centered practices.
The overarching message is that our community needs the information, confidence and resolve to respond effectively to the statutory requirements and ethical procedures essential for child safety. The morally compelling issue of signing on to the National Redress Scheme to ensure institutional apology, counselling and financial redress for past survivors of child sexual abuse was also well-covered.
The expert speakers were Janet Schorer, the NSW Children’s Guardian whose office has responsibility for all aspects of child protection; Julianna Demetrius, Assistant Ombudsman in the NSW Ombudsman’s Office, who is preparing on-line information for faith-based organisations on Child Protection; Deborah Blackman, Director of Educare, Protecting our Children Together who conducts regular training sessions for schools, synagogues and youth movements; Rabbi Mendel Kastel, CEO of Jewish House, who led Jewish House to be the first Jewish organisation in NSW to sign up to the National Redress Scheme; and Peter Wertheim, co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, who reported on Jewish community organisations’ responses to the National Redress Scheme.
Dr Michelle Meyer, CEO of Tzedek, Australia’s support and advocacy group for Jewish survivors of child sexual abuse, was invited to join the panel but was unable to be in Sydney. Her paper was tabled and referred to.
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies strongly encourages all community organisations and members to play an active role in reinforcing the Jewish community’s commitment to child protection, the establishment and maintenance of child-safe institutions and signing on to the National Redress Scheme.
On July 16 the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies plenum hosted a high-level panel at the Sydney Jewish Museum on the topic ‘Child protection in the Jewish community: Awareness, Prevention, Redress‘.
One of the panelists was Rabbi Mendel Kastel OAM, CEO of Jewish House and National Mental Health Commissioner. Below are the notes on which he based his address to the plenum.
Acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eorah nation its elders past present and emerging.
Thanks to Bettina and all on the panel.
I stand before you today as a Chabad rabbi who has served the Sydney Jewish community for more than 30 years.
As someone who has run many camps and youth programs within synagogues and other religious institutions and as a Jew in this wonderful community.
I stand here knowing that over the years there were children who were abused in our community – in synagogues, schools and youth programs.
I have in some cases reported cases to the police.
I have sat with victims/survivors who did not want to go to the police.
I have seen firsthand the devastation for the person who has been sexually abused.
Whether it’s the person who says I wake up every day and wish I was dead or supporting others to survive their pain.
Whether it is trying to help the person who turns to drugs to survive or the person who talks about the number of friends who have taken their lives because they could not cope – I have seen it all.
Some would ask does this really happen in our Jewish community, in our schools, synagogues and youth institutions.
The answer is unfortunately yes.
Today, standing in front of the formally elected members of our communal roof body I believe it is an appropriate time to say – I am deeply and sincerely sorry.
We let these children down.
It is our communal duty to commit to doing everything in our power to make sure that children are safe in our institutions and that those who have been abused are provided with appropriate redress which includes an apology, compensation and funding for their treatment.
While we could talk about what people thought 20-30 years ago on how to report etc. today there is no question.
If there is a suspicion of such a matter it must be immediately reported to the police and then guidance must be sought as to how to handle it within your institution.
As part of my work at Jewish house where we have seen and supported a number of survivors, I believe strongly that we as a community must show leadership and address these issues in our institutions and community.
I will highlight some of the work already done but there is much more to do.
We have facilitated the training rabbis with the NSW Ombudsman and Children’s Guardian, Cathy Kezelman, FACS.
We have advocated for synagogues and religious institutions to be included in the reportable conduct scheme and have been part of the reference group to help standardise best practice across all religious institutions with the ombudsman’s office.
We have worked with a number of camps and other organisations including Synagogues to implement and standardise procedures for reporting.
We have worked closely with the board of deputies and ECAJ to see that this is put on the agenda as well as working with Tzedek to share with them how to help the communities around Australia.
We have participated in a number of community forums and conferences to discuss child safety.
All of the above is important and is a good start, but we need to stay vigilant and ensure the safety of our children as our number one priority.
I think its important that organisation sign up or have a redress program in place.
We need to hold organisation to the highest standard and ask them if they have their policies in place and up to date, their Venue Audit and signage, latest training for their staff, appropriate communication with their members.
Together we will make sure our kids are safe and supported.
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies is the elected representative roof body and voice of the Jewish Community of NSW.
Our vision is to maintain and enhance a united NSW Jewish community, adequately resourced, enjoying physical and political security as part of a harmonious, inclusive, democratic Australian society.
We are currently recruiting for the new full-time role of Public Affairs Administration Assistant which provides admin support to the Public Affairs team. This includes ensuring the efficiency and reliability of the database as it relates to the membership of the JBD, Jewish community and sectors related to the work of the Public Affairs team.
- Provide administrative assistance to the Public Affairs team, including research and correspondence
- Assist with all NSW JBD events as required
- Assist with all aspects of monthly plenum meetings, including registration and attendance.
- Keep database up to date for relevant areas for the Public Affairs team
- Research and contact constituent and communal organisations to ensure that information in the database is up to date.
- Process membership forms, invoices, prepare mail-outs and prepare the logistics needed for the NSW JBD to run recruitment drives and follow up lapsed members. In addition the PA assistant will help with the logistics involved with JBD elections.
- Assist with intern recruitment and management
- Assist with the leadership course
- Ensure that meetings for the Public Affairs team and committee are set up and cleaned afterwards and assist with other needed logistics for these meetings.
Key Performance Indicators
Under the direction of the Public Affairs Manager:
- Maintain an up-to-date database of all members, Constituent and Communal Organisations.
- Membership processes are streamlined and membership numbers are increased.
- Correspondence is prepared in a timely and professional manner.
- Ensure daily office needs for the Public Affairs team are met.
Professional Experience and Qualifications
- Experience in the use of CRM/database systems,
- Strong experience in office systems.
- Knowledge of the NSW political landscape and the Jewish community
- Experience in a similar role.
Personal attributes for success in the role
- Ability to focus and complete tasks and projects within the agreed time-frame
- Proven ability to work well under pressure and problem-solve
- A high level of self-motivation, attention to detail and the ability to multi-task
- Communication and team skills
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to deal with the changing priorities of the Public Affairs team and CEO.
To apply, email your resume and and cover letter to Public Affairs Manager Byron Danby by July 31: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Anderson, Chief Executive Officer
Beverley McGarvey, Chief Content Officer
Dear Paul and Beverley
If one harboured any doubt about the inflammatory tone of Todd Sampson’s Body Hack program on Gaza on June 25, 2019, I invite you to read the brief selection of Facebook comments on the show’s Facebook page Todd Sampson’s Body Hack post 10:06pm June 25; (please see below).
The egregious lack of balance – despite Mr Sampson declaring during the program that he was “not taking sides” – has predictably led to an outpouring of hate mail against Israel, and by extension against the Jewish community, to the extent of members of the public drawing analogies between Israel and Nazi Germany. We understand the importance of ratings for a commercial network, but the lack of context or balance – or indeed, of journalistic or ethical responsibility – for what the network put to air on this occasion was appalling.
Mr Sampson lamented the lack of medical supplies and electricity experienced by Gaza’s major hospital; yet did not deem it relevant to mention that Hamas – which controls Gaza – has diverted untold millions of dollars of international aid building sophisticated tunnels to be used to abduct and murder Israelis. He depicted heartbreaking scenes of Palestinian children who had sustained injuries in the so-called peaceful protests at the Gaza-Israel fence; yet did not deem it relevant to ask any Palestinian parent why they would take children to what was – according to Mr Sampson’s own apt description – a war zone. The litany of such examples of his “taking sides” – to borrow his own expression – and of a consequent lack of context or balance is damning, flying in the face of his repeated expressions of grief and sorrow at Palestinian suffering, as against his fleeting and heavily qualified reference to Israeli civilian suffering.
The film has been screened, the damage has been done. The purpose of this letter is to respectfully urge you to be mindful on future such occasions of the imperative to ensure balance and context when depicting such fraught and complex situations. In fact, I wrote to Network Ten a fortnight before the program was screened to urge that the voice-over accompanying the footage be measured and balanced. Very unfortunately, the opposite occurred.
CEO, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
Child protection in community organisations is a collective responsibility.
Acting together with full knowledge and awareness, we must promote child safe cultures and best-practices.
After the Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the introduction of the National Redress Scheme, the over-arching responsibilities to maintain and sustain child safe spaces and practices in our community have changed and we must adapt.
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies is hosting a panel of experts on Tuesday July 16 at 7.30pm on Awareness, Prevention and Redress: Child protection in the Jewish Community. All deputies, Board members and community members are encouraged to hear from topic experts and take part in the Q&A discussion.