Displaying posts tagged with

“shul”

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
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
14
2009

An Interfaith Adventure: Evangelicals, Alcohol, and a Very Strange Night

Every so often, someone comes up with an idea so bizarre, it must have merit.
I have written before about my belief in the importance of grass roots inter-communal dialogue – the sort of interactions that do not take place in formal settings, in which difficult questions can be asked, and even occasionally answered.
So when a [...]

Aug
27
2009

In The AJN – The Community Survey; a Question; and Coming Next

Community Survey
Headed by Andrew Markus, the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash has recently completed a 45 page study on patterns in Australia’s Jewish community.
This week, The AJN published some of the results, and this post will examine some of the more interesting findings:
1) Religious affiliation – As expected, Orthodox Jews are in the [...]

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.

May
19
2009

Michael Fagenblat’s Presentation at the Seven Jewish Children Reading

Seven Jewish Children is not an anti-Semitic play. On the contrary, its challenging message deserves to be heard, especially by Jews, Israelis and Zionists. However in the context of a Nakba commemoration for Australian Friends of Palestine, the play risks degenerating from being challenging and useful to useless self-validation. Here, then, are seven responses to Seven Jewish Children in the context of a commemoration marking what Palestinians call the Nakba–the Catastrophe–of 1948.

May
12
2009

8 minutes of terror

The thing is, it’s so bad it’s funny.

And anyone who doesn’t already have a problem with Jews can see it. Anyone who does have a problem with Jews is not going to hear our venerable leader, Jeremy Jones of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, and think, “Gee… I’ve been wrong about you people all along!”

We’re talking about a an 8 minute play. It’s just another one of those cultural expressions of the evils of Israel (but not Jews – some of their best friends are Jews).

Some lady named, Caryl Churchill wrote it. Who? Let’s just say that if our resplendent leader, Mr. Jones had not screamed, “FIRE” yet again in the crowded theatre of multicultural discourse, we would never have heard of Caryl Churchill, and neither would you…