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Current Events

Mar
18
2010

Drama and Diversity in The Jewish Australian Blogosphere, and Shabbat Shalom

On Wednesday, I went for my regular dose of the YourJC blog and found that it had been suspended due to a breach of the Wordpress terms of service…. I had no idea what that meant, or what indeed those young  live-wires might have done in the few hours since I last visited.
All I knew [...]

Mar
10
2010

Part 3: Conclusion to the Common Characteristics shared byAnti-Zionists and The Israel-Right-or-Wrong Crowd

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Israel-Right-or-Wrong vs Anti-Zionsts

Before reading this the final installment of the series, I encourage readers to read the comments in the previous post. Many of the contentions of this series are amply demonstrated by some of  the commenters – exemplars of extremism.
Of particular note is a comment by “Michael.” He neglects to provide his full name; however, he [...]

Mar
7
2010

Series – Anti-Zionists and The Israel-Right-or-Wrong Crowd Have Much In Common: Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Israel-Right-or-Wrong vs Anti-Zionsts

What do the Israel-Right-or-Wrong crowd and anti-Zionists groups in Australia have in common?
Surprisingly, they share a number of traits and tendencies that leave sensible folk – Jews and non-Jews alike – bemused,  furious, or very, very bored.
This post begins a series examining the the similarities in these two groups:

Mar
4
2010

More Than Three Opinions: A Map of The Jewish Australian Blogosphere

“Two Jews, three opinions,” is a cliché. It’s also a gross understatement.
The ease with which a blog can be set up combined with my people’s natural tendency to debate anything, means that there is now a cornucopia of Jewish Australian opinion available online.
Left and right, centre and periphery, religious and secular, Zionist and anti-Zionist – [...]

Nov
25
2009

Sex, Denial, and Anarchy: The Event

Thanks to all those who attended, and particular thanks to the wonderful folk at Auburn Road Centre, who made it clear to those of us who are not members, that we were in a place that honours Judaism, the life of the mind, and the individual.
And boy do they know how to put on a [...]

Nov
16
2009

Interfaith: Time To Keep an Open Mind… Perhaps

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series interfaith conference

I hear the word, “Interfaith,” and I shudder a bit.
So do many of you from the various comments, emails, and Facebook messages I received after the last post.
Here is the general consensus from that correspondence: Interfaith is a pointless exercise that involves well-meaning types pretending their differences don’t exist, and basically doing not a whole [...]

Oct
7
2009

A Night at the Plenum

On Monday night, the JCCV held a plenum, preceded by an address from The Age Editor-in-Chief, Paul Ramadge, and it seemed prudent to attend.
Among certain expected elements, there were also a few surprises. The plenum itself was run with consummate efficiency by JCCV President, John Searle.
I’d been bracing myself for an excruciating, anarchic talkfest that [...]

Oct
5
2009

The New Direction

Not long after this blog began in May, a phenomenon emerged: some of the more interesting developments began to take place either via email, or offline altogether.

After having lived away from the community – both in Australia and overseas – for ten years, I began reconnecting with Jews from the various sub-communities, and from different generations.

This was both a refresher course (some things hadn’t changed) and a steep learning curve, as I navigated through the labyrinthine arcana of communal politics and caught up on developments among the younger generations.

Since returning from the hiatus and outing myself in early August, blog-related activity offline has become even more frenetic. Being “out” has given me the opportunity to meet numerous people, and some of the more inspiring and exciting developments seem to be coming from Generations X and Y.

May
24
2009

The New Week: Ideas from SJ Readers 2 – Jewish Priorities, the Media, Jewish Schools, and our Leadership

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Ideas from SJ Readers

While we strongly agree with Yoram on this, we do not agree with his extrapolation that we should not focus too much on the media, or get caught up in its “glamour.” Yoram believes that we are not in any danger of an imminent “pogrom,” and with this we would also agree.

…That does not mean that relations between our community and the Muslim community have not deteriorated considerably. There are many unpleasant actions and events that can take place before large scale violence occurs. It’s also important to remember that communal violence of any stripe never erupts without a long lead-up of perceived insults to honour. One of the hopes of The Sensible Jew is to catch the destructive tendencies of our leadership before any lasting and long term damage is done. Indeed, danger is not imminent, so we are blessed in that we have this opportunity, during a time of peaceful relations with other communities, to build networks and on-the-ground relationships that will prevent a slide into inter-communal animus.

May
24
2009

The New Week: Ideas from SJ Readers 1 – Yoram’s Report from Auburn Rd Shul

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Ideas from SJ Readers

Firstly, Yoram, of the Auburn Rd Shul, conducted a discussion among the Shul’s congregants regarding some of the themes raised on this blog. We thank him for doing that. For more information on that discussion, you can read Yoram’s comment here. The congregants, diverse in age and background seemed to agree that the community requires some form of leadership; however, Yoram contends that even though such a forum was effective at promoting discussion, the “Town Hall” style of meeting may not be best suited to establishing tangible changes.