NEW Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president Daniel Aghion has pledged to revitalise the Jewish community after its year of grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, and after a shaky start to the year for the communal roof body.
The JCCV confirmed the Melbourne barrister as its new president in a unanimous vote of support at its executive meeting last week.
Aghion succeeds Frank Greenstein, who became interim JCCV president after Andre Oboler resigned from the role, departing on December 28 last year. Elected at the JCCV AGM on November 16, Oboler stepped down amid tensions with other members of the executive, particularly in relation to his call for greater financial oversight of the Community Security Group.
Aghion, who also serves as honorary secretary of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told The AJN this week, “COVID has been a difficult experience for so many of us. Our laws and traditions assume a community that can gather and share experiences together. I plan to lead the JCCV in doing what it can to help us restore the vibrancy that our community has been missing these last 12 months.”
Focused on the way forward, Aghion reflected, “The JCCV is the representative body of the Jewish community. In the next few months, I will be discussing with the executive and affiliates how the JCCV can best fulfil that role.”
Aghion’s first public appearance as JCCV president will be at next week’s JCCV Yom Hashoah commemoration on April 7.
Thanking Greenstein for his time at the helm, Aghion said he looks forward to working with him, with Doron Abramovici, who became vice-president after serving as interim vice-president under Greenstein, and with the executive team. “Strengthening relationships with our affiliates, discussing personally their challenges and working collaboratively to add value will be an immediate focus.”
Aghion observed that the pandemic has ushered in new ways of connecting, and said next week’s JCCV Yom Hashoah commemoration is a case in point.
Leading a distinguished career, Aghion received the Ron Merkel QC Award from the Victorian Bar, in tribute to his pro bono advice and advocacy on homelessness and elder law.
Welcoming Aghion to the presidency, JCCV executive director Judy Fetter stated, “Promoting Jewish life, developing a centre of advocacy, engaging in multicultural connections, and focusing on affiliates’ shared objectives are current areas of core importance … Moving forward in a sustained and impactful way will require an evaluation of all services.”