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community Archives - David Werdiger

Looking for justice in all the wrong places

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We have a criminal justice system, but how often and under what circumstances is it able to deliver just outcomes? To understand this, let’s first consider the  important features that make the system work: an independent judiciary, the assumption of innocence until proven guilty, that both sides of a case are heard, a trial before a jury of ones peers, and the due process surrounding all of this. These are the essential ingredients to reaching…

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After the Royal Commission – Stepping Back from the Precipice

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The Jewish community is reeling after the recent case study as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. From the perspective of an ‘insider’ who personally knows almost all of the people involved, it’s especially painful. I am related to victims, to people accused of abuse, and to people in senior positions in the community. That’s the way things work in close-knit communities: there are many overlapping and complex inter-relationships,…

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Of Dead Cricketers and Dead Shul-goers

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The national outpouring of grief following the tragic death of cricketer Phil Hughes after being struck by a cricket ball on the field has been quite overwhelming. Every day there have been several pages in the daily newspapers as cricketers around the country and the world deal with the tragedy. A huge campaign of people putting their cricket bats out as a public expression of grief – it was even featured on the Google search page,…

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Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

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After reading the responses to Rabbi Kennard’s original article (AJN, 31/1/2014), I felt he was deeply misunderstood. He pointed out the disproportionate number of Chabad Rabbis in Melbourne congregations, and bemoaned the lack of diversity, particularly the lack of home-grown non-Chabad Rabbis. Chabad has a strong history in Melbourne. From the pioneering Moshe Zalman Feiglin (my wife’s great-grandfather) who arrived just over 100 years ago, to the wave of immigrants post WW2 (which included my…

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