What is the JCCWA and why is it important?
The JCCWA is the united voice of the WA Jewish community. It is the umbrella organisation that represents all Jewish community organisations and all Jews to the wider Western Australian community. The President is in effect the secular leader and spokesperson for the entire WA Jewish community.
The JCCWA carries out the following roles:
- It represents the community in its relations with the WA state government and other institutions with an authority that separate bodies or individuals do not possess.
- It maintains a watch on any potential WA government legislation that could adversely impact the Jewish community and/or considers its effects on the Jewish community.
- It takes responsibility for the security of the Jewish community via its oversight of the Community Services Group.
- It takes responsibility to protect and promote the welfare and project a positive image of the WA Jewish community, to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination, to defend, promote and advocate for the State of Israel, via its public relations activity and public relations spokespersons.
- It is the body under whose auspices the two major annual Jewish commemorations are conducted, the Jewish ANZAC Day Service and Yom Hashoah.
- It maintains and expands contact and cooperation with other faiths and ethnic groups in WA to further harmonious and productive relationships.
- It discusses matters of mutual concern with Jewish organisations and formulates policy that reflects the Jewish position on matters of general WA community importance.
- Internally, it provides a means by which the organisations of the Jewish community can communicate and cooperate with each other on matters of mutual interest and benefit.
It is important for all organisations to be members because:
Although each community organisation operates for its members’ benefit the community’s strength and effectiveness lies in being a united force. The existence of the JCCWA enables the Jewish community to be taken seriously as a cohesive group which benefits the entire Jewish community.
Without the JCCWA the status and position of the Jewish community would be diminished amongst the general WA community and would reduce the influence that our community can bring to bear in any situation where our voice needs to be heard.
The president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Jillian Segal,
The president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Jillian Segal, has praised the volunteers of the Community Security Groups around Australia for their contributions through lockdown. In a statement Jillian Segal said:
“The Jewish community across Australia has made extraordinary efforts over the last 18 months to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Jewish institutions, families, ordinary individuals and, most especially, the elderly and vulnerable.
We recognise with deep appreciation the contributions of many organisations and people to this work, but none have surpassed the dedication of the professional staff and volunteers of the CSGs.
Under the most challenging of circumstances, they have spared no effort and devoted countless hours to keep the Jewish community safe in the face of both old and new sources of threats to our physical security. They have met new and difficult problems with complete professionalism.
In addition to protecting our shules, the Day Schools, and other communal institutions, they have gone even further and adapted their operations to enable them to contribute to the support of those who have been the most severely affected by the pandemic and by government-mandated restrictions on movement and contact.
More recently all the CSGs and their governing bodies have come together with the ECAJ to establish the National Council for Jewish Community Security to work towards a unified approach to communal security and the management of crises by Jewish communities across Australia.
As Australia looks to emerge from the pandemic, this is an opportune moment to take stock and thank the CSGs for all they have done to fulfil their mission of protecting Jewish life and the Jewish way of life.
On behalf of all of us at the ECAJ, and each of the State and Territory roof bodies of the Jewish community throughout Australia which make up the ECAJ, as well as those entrusted with the governance of the CSGs, we extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of the CSG professionals and volunteers for their extraordinary work over the last 18 months.
The whole community owes them a debt of gratitude. Their conduct exemplifies the Australian Jewish community at its finest, mobilising its talent and resources with unity of purpose and great skill for the common good.”