Block builds on ADC’s work

AS the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) prepares to relocate to Beth Weizmann, the B’nai B’rith subsidiary appointed a new-look board at its AGM on Sunday.

Combining new talent and plenty of experience, the board is being headed by former Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president Anton Block, who succeeded Tony Levy as chairman.

“The mission of the ADC is critical to our community. We are the organisation that fights anti-Semitism and racism, educates against hate and promotes good interfaith relations,” Block said in accepting the role. “Regrettably, this seemingly never-ending battle continues despite the goodwill and good intentions among many members of mainstream and ethnic communities across the Australian population.”

Block, the immediate past president of the JCCV, has lobbied heavily to implement a specific hate crimes unit within Victorian Police.

He spoke to the new board of the issues that face the Jewish community, and other minority and migrant groups.

“Our focus must be to rid society of incidents that contribute to an anti-social environment of fear, intimidation and violence and that create dangerous and ugly behavioural norms,” he said.

Dentist and past president of Kew Hebrew Congregation Dr Leon Goldberg will share the role of vice-chairman with University of Melbourne academic Dr Dvir Abramovich, who has served as vice-president of the JCCV, and currently holds executive positions with the Australian Friends of the Hebrew University, the JCCV and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. Both have served on the ADC board for a number of years. Barbara Wolfson has been appointed secretary and trio Bram Presser, Jeremy Samuel and state MLA Jennifer Huppert have been appointed ordinary members.

Professor Doug Kirsner and ADC board member Lesley Gaspar will serve as co-optees, while treasurer Joel Goldman will retain his role. JCCV president John Searle, B’nai B’rith president Jim Altman and ADC immediate past chairman, Levy, will continue to serve on the board.