The founder of the Australian branch of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Nomi Kaltmann, announced in August that she is running as an independent candidate in November’s state elections in Caulfield.
Kaltmann – who is a journalist, lawyer and mother of three – joins Labor candidate Lior Harel and current Liberal member David Southwick to round out the Jewish trio running for the Caulfield seat.
She said it “makes sense that the top three candidates reflect the demographics of the borough,” which is at least 30 percent Jewish.
“I think too often that party politics forgets that the main reason for running for parliament is to represent the people whose vote you are asking. So it’s important that I share a background with such a large sector of the district, but more importantly that I represent every single voter, regardless of their background,” she said.
Kaltmann said about politics: “I would like to see major changes in terms of integrity in politics. There have been countless scandals in both major parties and we need to strengthen IBAC: we need to eradicate corruption completely.”
When asked about Voices of Caulfield Chair Alex Fein, who has written comments on social media related to “apartheid” in Israel, Kaltmann said: “Alex is an experienced political strategist and she is one of many People I consult for my campaign.
“I am a very strong supporter of Israel and have always shown my support for Israel in my work. I accompanied a parliamentary delegation to Israel and I have several family members living in Israel, including three siblings.”
On climate change, Kaltmann said that both major parties “have failed to treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves” and that they have “given the green light to projects that would be catastrophic for our environment.”
Expanding on her political values, Kaltmann said, “Gender equality is key.”
“Women make up 50 percent of the population. So if Parliament is to be truly representative, we need more women there,” she said.
For Kaltmann, this includes upholding the right to safe and accessible abortion — something she explained “would be in jeopardy if religious fundamentalists in both parties gained prominence.”
“I am a proud Jew who believes there must be a separation between religion and state. Politics has nothing to do with medical decisions,” said Kaltmann.
She added, “I raise my hand to run: to make a difference now and to show younger generations that women can sit at the table.”
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