Offering a different perspective
Kats told The AJN he is involved in endeavours such as the MAC because he is "interested in understanding people and their perspectives".
The newest Jewish representative on the Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC) of the City of Port Phillip is Alex Kats.
The MAC was initially formed in 2019, however it was re-formed in December 2022. Kats joined that month, replacing fellow Jewish representative Marilyn Kraner.
Kats was appointed to the committee alongside another Jewish representative, Naomi Sherborne, who has previously worked with Jewish Care. Josh Goodman, from the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, is also on the committee.
The MAC is designed to ensure all council activities are conducted within a multicultural framework.
Kats explained that by having Jewish representation on the committee it shows “that Jews are people like anyone else, and ensures that events within the City of Port Phillip take into account the Jewish view when necessary, both from a religious and cultural perspective”.
“The largest growing language group in Port Phillip is actually Spanish. And there is also a growing (though small in number) percentage of Indigenous people moving into the area. When council does something, these things need to be taken into account,” said Kats.
Kats told The AJN he is involved in endeavours such as the MAC because he is “interested in understanding people and their perspectives”.
“We all have differences – different religions, cultures, ethnicities, etc – but when we meet together, see each other as people and discuss things that are in common, then we can better understand the other, and see them as people, just with a differing perspective,” he said.
The most recent work of the MAC relates to the upcoming referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
Kats said, “We have been tasked with ensuring that people from multicultural backgrounds, including Jews and others from Soviet backgrounds, have an understanding of what it is and what they are asked to vote for.”