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Our culture of silence must change

By Articles, Blog, Galus Australis, J-Wire, Jews Down Under, Times of Israel No Comments

We knew. We knew that Mendel* was an abusive husband and parent. His family lived a secluded and very private life, his children home schooled, and his wife barely went out. When they needed assistance from the community it was provided, but those helping were not allowed inside the house to bring food. When they did go in, they were shocked at the living conditions, which reflected far worse than poverty. But for a long…

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An Alternative to Beth Din

By Articles, Blog, Galus Australis No Comments

Some Australian Rabbis have been in the news a fair bit lately – and unfortunately for all the wrong reasons (although it must be said that popular media sources are hardly chasing puff pieces featuring Rabbis, unlike lehavdil Khalid Mishal). Whether it’s the role they have played in dealing with sexual abuse, or the descent into farce in a couple of current beis din cases, the common denominator is the erosion in the authority of and respect…

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A real Jewish Plot

By Articles, Blog, Galus Australis No Comments

Recent plans for a trip to Israel had me thinking about the route Australians have to travel to get there (or as I write this, here). The most common ways to travel are via Asia or via Europe, but unfortunately, no matter which way you go, it’s the long way. The Asia options are via Hong Kong, Bangkok (each connecting to El Al), or via Seoul. The table below compares the travel times for each…

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The Chanukah Tree

By Articles, Blog, Galus Australis, J-Wire, Times of Israel One Comment

The Menorah is one of the most enduring Jewish symbols we have – instantly recognizable, and adopted as part of the emblem of the state of Israel. The menorah lit in ancient times was symbolic of the Temple, and Judaism, being a source of light to the entire world. Facebook friends are posting many moving photos of Chanukah celebrated after WW2 and in other dark times – a much-needed source of light and inspiration.  Here’s…

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What the Jewish Community can learn from the AFL

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

The end of the chagim usually means one thing – a slide into that inexorable gap between the football season and the cricket season, known affectionately as the spring racing carnival. For those who are counting the sleeps until round 1, 2013, there is the trade period, punctuated this year by the introduction of free agency, and the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation (MHC) AFL post grand-final corporate lunch, featuring guest speaker Andrew Demetriou, CEO of the AFL. Demetriou’s job ranks quite…

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Support for Jewish Day Schools

By Articles, Blog, eJewishPhilanthropy, Galus Australis, J-Wire No Comments

Having published several articles related to the affordability of Jewish schools as well as the Free Jewish Education Movement, we know that there are many readers interested in options concerning ever-increasing school fees.  While many people would be aware of the internal fee assistance programs run by the individual schools, many may not be aware of the following external program, the Werdiger Family Jewish Education Assistance Grants. Galus Australis: Tell us a bit about the history of the grant scheme?…

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Engaging the Next Generation

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

The balanced scorecard is one of the better-known strategic performance management tools commonly used to monitor large corporations or organizations. It recognizes that profit is not the only way to measure success, and that only by measuring multiple items across different perspectives can the true performance be understood. The initial design of this methodology encouraged developing measures that gave answers to questions coming from four perspectives: Financial: “How do we look to shareholders?” Customer: “How do customers see us?”…

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Beyond Rabbi Groner

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

Rabbi YD Groner OBM was often described as “larger than life”. He was an imposing character: large in size, strong in voice, autocratic in nature. From his arrival in Melbourne in the 1950s, he worked tirelessly for the organization, and can take deserved credit for the strong positive influence Chabad had during the majority of his tenure as its leader. This Sunday, as the local Chabad community will mark his yahrzeit, many have mixed feelings. Despite…

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Moishe’s in da House!

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

The topic of next generation Jewish engagement continues to raise its head, following the important report last year arising from the Gen08 community survey, which gave some clear indications of some of the drivers of Jewish identity and continuity. The report pointed out that “the current mix of institutions will not satisfy future needs”. Elsewhere in the world, a rising generation of young adults are reshaping old ideas and building new institutions in the Jewish…

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Understanding Chabad and Messianism

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

As an active writer and blogger, I have often found myself in discussions about Chabad with people from outside the Chabad community. In addition, I recently had the opportunity to review some of the books and articles written on the issue of Chabad and Messianism. The material I read seeks to explore the Messianic fervour associated with Chabad, and to delve into the mind of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and speculate as to the Rebbe’s intent and sense…

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