AFTER more than five years at the helm of the Victorian Jewish community’s roof body, David Marlow is calling it a day, citing frustration with a lack of funding for important projects as the reason he’s stepping down next month as executive director.
Marlow who took on the role in 2013, told The AJN the rising cost of critical communal security upgrades has diverted funding from other pressing work of the JCCV.
State government support for security infrastructure has been increasing, but the federal government needs to come to the party, he said.
Meanwhile, community donors are not focused on the JCCV, said Marlow, but prefer to donate either to security improvements or to their favourite affiliate organisation.
Roof bodies, he lamented, are “not sexy” as a funding target. Meanwhile, affiliation fees, which make up 15 per cent of the JCCV budget, “are down because affiliates are struggling to pay”.
A lack of money is keeping the JCCV from doing as much as it would like to in fields such as child protection, combating youth alcohol and drug abuse, and interfaith outreach, he said. And if done properly, JCCV advocacy to governments needs lots of research and meetings, all of it costly.
Marlow observed that the “dispersed market” of Victorian Jewish communal fundraising is problematic for the JCCV. While individual community organisations might be attracting more donor support under the Victorian system, “the JCCV would do better with the NSW model” where under the Jewish Communal Appeal, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies “gets a cheque” from its community.
Looking back on his time in the job, Marlow said highlights included rolling out the JCCV’s child protection program, its social inclusion initiative with the LGBTQI community through advocacy group Keshet, its campaign for the federal government to retain the 18C and 18D provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act, and outreach to other faith and cultural communities.
JCCV president Jennifer Huppert lauded Marlow’s “outstanding contribution during his term at the JCCV. His work in the interfaith and intercultural area has strengthened the standing of the Jewish community as a leading contributor to a harmonious, multicultural Victoria. David has also worked hard to address issues of major concern to the community including security, child protection and alcohol abuse”.