Thursday, December 17, 2009



“It is time that the COSV raised its profile and took its rightful place in the Community as a strong and effective
voice of modern Orthodox Judaism” stated incoming President Paul Korbl, elected at the Annual General Meeting held last Monday evening at Kew Hebrew Congregation.
“The Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria, Paul noted in his acceptance address,does some very good work in the Community much of which goes unnoticed and is taken for granted including management and supervision of the Melbourne Eruv, funding the operation of the Melbourne Beth Din, running subsidised Hebrew Reading Programs, the annual Scholar in Residence Program, and the hosting of Communal Prayer events commemorating Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim”.
Paul noted that Melbourne can now boast supporting over 40 mainstream and satellite
Synagogues and looks forward to the challenge of providing the necessary facilities and infrastructure required by the Orthodox Community in the forthcoming year..... The meeting also heard from guest speaker Mr Philip Chester, President of the Zionist
Federation of Australia who spoke about the issues currently facing Israel and the need for Shules to support Israel by encouraging visits.....

First of all, a word of thanks AJNWatch for establishing this new forum which allows us to comments on happenings in our city. I don’t know where else I could or would have felt comfortable writing these words. Aside from that, it is good to read a local critical POV on what goes on in our shtetteleh.

Paul Korbl is a good bloke – but absolutely full of it. The COSV is an organization that has done very little to improve matters for synagogues or orthodox Judaism. Very little. As for innovation…nix, zilch, nada.

Let’s have a look at Paul’s claims – one-by-one…

Eruv? It was established by the Mizrachi, who would have been quite happy to have continued managing it (and the kudos). The mashgichim are mostly from Beth Hatalmud and Adass – neither members of the COSV. The senior rav hamachshir is Rabbi Beck – whose shul is a non-member.

Beth Din? It was there before COSV took it over who actually couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. And as with the Eruv, Rabbi Sholem Gutnick and Caulfield Shul would’ve had no problem to continue operating it. Gutnick too, could’ve appointed the very same rabbis that COSV did (including his nephew and other Chabadniks). Besides possibly some transparency into its affairs - nothing earth-shattering deserving loud cheers.

Hebrew Reading Programs and Scholar in Residence? Really BIG deal, No? Paul, why not check out even the tiniest Chabad House in town? They do all this with at least as much success as the COSV without the need for ‘raised profiling’. And not only Chabad, but most of the new “shteebels” and outreach groups that we now have, engage in this activity in far bigger numbers.

Communal Prayer for YH and YY? These events are Mizrachi Shul stuff and always were. Nearly all attendees have Mizrachi or Mizrachi-like allegiances. Why do you think it was and is usually held in Mizrachi? Because no one else is interested! The so-called “mainstream Orthodox” shuls of your membership have enough trouble shlepping in the punters on a regular Shabos and Yom Tov. While the ‘frum’ ones are not interested. That leaves only Mizrachi and that is why it stays in Mizrachi – with or without “COSV hosting”.

Talking of which, maybe you don’t know, but your predecessor sure did, that these recently (post-Israel independence) invented celebrations were not approved nor accepted by the Lubavitcher rebbe zt’l and his Chassidim. (Let alone the rest of the Charedi/Chassidic world). So the question is, should a Orthodox Synagogue Council which aims to represent the entire community, be hosting this? Debatable. I personally don’t think so. But you do, and see that you also claim to be the “voice of MODERN Orthodox Judaism”. Is that what COSV was under the Trebish regime? I can’t recall.
But having giveng yourself the MO tag, don’t be surprised when true Chabad shuls as well as the entire spectrum of Charedi communities in Melbourne will continue to shun your organization.

Seeing that you Paul are all revved up to and demanding to have your voice heard, why not take over one of the campaigns of our host - AJN Watch. (I am sure that they won’t mind.)
Get stuck into the Jewish News. Never have I heard (at least since the retirement of Rabbi Zaichyk) the COSV or any of your members Shuls or their rabbis publicly speaking about the continuous advertising of Treif establishments and products. Even Chometz on Pesach. Shouldn’t it be the COSV who is campaigning hard against this? (Yes, I realise that the RCV too should be doing their part, but just because they fail doesn’t mean that you too should be sitting there quietly accepting the status-quo. Raise your profile? Sure. You can do that by raising your voice.

I look forward following the achievements of the Korbl regime.


  1. Melbourne could quite easily dispense with the COSV.
    It is now 5 years since they have 'taken over the Melbourne Beth Din' and there is still no sign of a Beth Din for monetary matters or dispute resolution.
    The Melbourne Beth din needs to 'trade up a notch or two' and the COSv is not the organization to see this happen.
    The Eruv? Up and running and surely does not need the COSV. It was the Mizrachi who instigated it, and Rav Beck is the Rav Hamachshir.
    Have a look at the COSV website- absolutely no original content . We , the members of the Orthodox Synagouges of Victoria pay a yearly fee for plagiarism. They just seek any article with Jewish content and haphazardly slap it on their website.
    Let some other party oversee the Eruv. Form another organization to develop the Melbourne Beth Din.

  2. Ther COSV on their website claimed to have established a subcommittee to survey the price of kosher food. Has anyone ever seen any data from this sub committee?

  3. Speaking of Kosher food, why is it that Coles and safeway have hundreds of weekly specials on products in every category except Kosher. Why?

    (Coles had 4-6 items on special around yom tov time and recently cut prices on Yumi products for a few days. But Kosher specials are rare as hens teeth.)

    COSV, do something. Speak to the supermarkets on our behalf.
    The Aussie dollar has improved by 50% this year. Has anyone noticed a drop in the price of imported products?

  4. There were some specials on offer last week for those in the know at very low prices. as i understand a group of adassniks planned to import a few containerloads of products with the result being that a number of producers and importers drastically dropped their prices for a day allowing for a big shop up pre holidays. this idea should be taken up by all groups that have large families yeshiva, kollel, heichal etc all it needs are some dedicated volunteers to move things along.

  5. This commentary is so full of loshon hora about so many segments of the melbourne kehillah that I gave up reading it half way. AJNWatch - surely you have a chiyuv not to publish such muck raking?!

    Yours sincerely,
    A Sydneysider

  6. What are you referring to?
    While we do gently criticise where necessary, we try to steer away from LH.

    What part of this post do you consider LH?

  7. The comment in the second para about Paul Korbl is rude and full of loshon hara


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