Displaying posts tagged with

“Australia”

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.

Oct
5
2009

A Brief History of The Sensible Jew

This piece was originally published in The AJN in September.
In February, I received an email that had gone viral in Melbourne’s Jewish community. It claimed that owners of a Caulfield-area restaurant were anti-Semites and urged readers to boycott it. On the one hand, something in the email’s tone aroused my suspicion. On the other, I [...]

Sep
29
2009

In The New Year 2: Thoughts After Yom Kippur

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series In The New Year

One of my grandparents never set foot in a concentration camp.
All four went through the Holocaust and all four lost most of the people they ever knew; but one – my paternal grandmother – managed to spend the war in Poland without being captured by the Nazis.
All such stories are intricate, complicated tales of foresight, [...]

Sep
24
2009

How to Make Enemies and Repel People: Robert Goot and 60 Minutes

For those still defending our current leadership’s handling of public relations, please ask yourselves this question: if our leaders are so very effective, why does Israel continue to receive consistently unflattering press?
Indeed, problematic coverage, which used to be the preserve of the public broadcasters, has now bled into the mainstream.
The 60 Minutes segment, “Hate Thy [...]

Sep
24
2009

AJN – Loose Lips and the Holocaust

It’s the sort of article one has to read twice just to make sure it’s not a hallucination.
On page 3 of this week’s AJN we learn, yet again, how close we are to another Holocaust.
Or perhaps we learn that if you complain enough to the ABC, they’ll say only positive things about Jews.
Or that it’s [...]

Sep
22
2009

Stridency: The Enemy of Persuasion

After the pool closed at the end of summer, there wasn’t much to do on kibbutz.
During our year in Israel, on a youth movement leadership programme, my group and I spent half the time on an isolated socialist idyll that sustained itself by operating a large plastics factory.
When Autumn arrived, the recreation choices diminished to [...]

Sep
21
2009

In The New Year: Glimpses of the Future at Auburn Rd Shul

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series In The New Year

I have written previously about the crises facing our community – assimilation, disaffection, substance abuse, among many others.
But I had another fear: that generations X and Y are either not inclined or incapable of taking the reins from the baby boomer generation. I have worried that our community is becoming so atomised, and our young [...]

Sep
9
2009

Sandilands, The Holocaust, and our Leaders’ Response:The Smart, The Stupid, and The Very, Very Ugly

Kyle Sandilands is the product of a commercial media environment that has abandoned even the pretence of caring about public decency. Only the threat of advertising dollar withdrawal seems to have any power to influence his management.
The appalling treatment on air of a teenage rape victim should have been indication enough that this was a [...]

Sep
8
2009

AJN 3 – John Searle: A Very Bizarre Suggestion

John Searle’s commentary on the community survey (AJN 15) is a study in how to say as little as possible in 800 words. One brief section, however, demands attention.
Along with the expected motherhood statements that pepper his piece, Searle also indulges in frantic dissimulation.
To give the appearance of responsive governance, Searle concedes that certain areas [...]

Sep
6
2009

AJN 1 – Transforming Trauma: Congratulations Nomi Blum

Nomi Blum has won the B’nai  B’rith Bernard Lustig scholarship (AJN, page 12), which enabled her to take part in a Monash intensive course in South Africa and Rwanda to study apartheid and genocide.
In itself, winning this scholarship was a commendable achievement. What struck me as particularly interesting, was Blum’s personal path to this academic [...]