Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly: Rabbi Moshe Gutnick's letter, NSWKA's ad and the AJN's continuing promotion of non-Kosher products

We were mightily pleased to see a letter to the editor (published in both editions of the AJN *) from Rabbi Moshe Gutnick where he slams them for repeatedly offending observant readers with advertising of treif products. He makes the point that we have oft stated in this blog that no Muslim publication would ever advertise a product that is banned buy their religion,
So on behalf of AJNWatch and its readers we wish to publicly thank Reb Moshe with "a groyser Yasher Koach" for his unyielding and uncompromising public stance. We may be wrong, but to the best of our memories, this may be a first for one of our rabbis who is involved in Kashrut matters to so publicly criticise the newspaper. ילמדו וממנו his colleagues in Melbourne and elsewhere to come out and condemn the "organ of Australian Jewry" when they so disgracefully sell out our traditions and religion for a few dollars (actually a commodity which the publisher Robert Magid is not short of.)

We have long suggested that all Jews who are pained seeing Torah values being degraded and tread upon by the AJN should use whatever is in their power to express their disgust. Not only with letters to the editor, but to join the many who already  ban the paper from their homes. After all, why should their family members - especially the young and impressionable be exposed to a "Jewish" publication, advancing chazir treif establishments and products as well as immodest images and articles that border on (and often actual) apikorsut? Add to that the weekly Chazerai and dreckerati reporting on page 2 and one comes to the conclusion that this rag doesn't belong in any decent home - religious or not. 

Thus, seeing how money-hungry the AJN is, to place some pressure on the publishers, there should be - if not a total - then a partial boycott, on advertising therein.

To explain, we do understand that often when having to get a message across to the wider community, an ad in the Hamodia may not be enough. But why, for Heaven's sake, do our Shuls and especially Chabad organizations have to place such HUGE and expensive advertisements in the Jewish News? The message will get through just as well with a smaller insert.

(Talking of which, we must express our dismay at the organizers of the Daf Yomi Siyum for their full-page colour ad in last week's edition of this clearly anti-Torah newspaper. We suggest that they do a quick survey amongst those who are studying the daily Daf and  will realise that not even 10% ever read the AJN.)

Coming back to Rabbi Gutnick's letter, now imagine our shock, after feeling so chuffed at reading the rabbi's criticism, (and to be honest, somewhat surprised that the AJN allowed it through), when a few pages later we see a half-page ad, placed and paid for by non-other than Rabbi Moshe Gutnick's organisation - the NSW Kashrut Authority! (That at least explains why the AJN published his letter. They obviously take the view, "criticise us as much as you like - as long as you continue shovelling thousands of your dollars our way".) This ad is, by the way, is a repeat of the one that the AJN placed side by side with a Treif establishment just a few weeks ago.
 So Reb Moshe, if you are truly upset at the actions of the AJN, the first thing you should be doing is deeply cutting back on your spending with them. You and your fellow Rabbanim, Shuls, schools and Chabad Houses etc.

Here is another full-page ad in the same issue:
 Note the disclaimer at the top of the ad declaring that the "Challah" is not Kosher!

To paraphrase yourself; "Do you think a newspaper serving the Muslim community that advertised pork chops would be receiving paid advertisements from Imams, Mosques or Halal certification authorities?"

Think about it Rabbi. And then place this matter (including the Muslim example) on the agenda of the next meetings of ORA and RCNSW. (And contact your brother, who runs the Melbourne versions of KA and Rabbinical Council, to assist you in bringing an end to this terrible Chillul Hashem.)
As we see from the AJN's recent issue, (despite the fact that it is a plaything for the latest in the long line of Jewish tycoons - who eventually to toss it away after having their few years of fun), the moguls that run it aren't overly happy to keep dipping into their billions to prop it up. They too seem concerned about where the print media in this country is headed. One of the ways that they reassure and comfort themselves is that "only the print version can be read by observant Jews on Shabbat". Not that this stops them from offending and hurting the feelings of this sector of the community.
Robert Magid should watch out. If he wants to have something to handball sooner or later to the next Jewish moneybags he shouldn't be out their upsetting his readers. Remember, young people generally don't buy the AJN anyway, so they definitely have a problem coming. Meanwhile the religious and traditional community is growing in leaps and bounds - and they already have an alternative with the Hamodia  whose circulation continues to grow despite the hefty $6 cover price. Many still buy the AJN as well, but will the next generation be so tolerant to being spat in their faces? We doubt it.

 *Apropos the Letters pages, we notice that the AJN have adopted a new trend in saving money by having identical letters and even editorials in both editions - even when the material may be totally irrelevant in the other city. Eg, Rabbi Gutnick's letter was referring to a ad that only appeared in the Sydney version. What other money-saving ideas can we expect in the near future?


  1. Thanks. Nobody says it as good as ajnwatch!
    chazak ve'amatz.
    Mt message to rabbis gutnick, listen to the people at this blog. doing so will raise your stature amongst all frum Jews of all sectors.

  2. B'H
    Yes well the AJN will probably say to religious or observant readers, 'Over 85% of our readership is not religious so we are catering to a market and the tastes of the day.' Hence the lack of tznuit, treif ads etc etc and the strange birth and engagement notices or bar mitva announcements that show some interesting family arrangements. I don't buy the Jewish news except when I want a copy of a particular article.
    We live in a world that is corrupted morally, physically and politically. They cater to a market and if there are consumers out there that want the fare they dish up, they will dish up more of the same. We are dinosaurs quivering on the brink of the abyss. Where do we go from here? Who knows? This is when we need faith in Hashem and Torah...

  3. What's with your reference to "Robert Zablud"? You surely mean "Robert Magid", the owner of the AJN?

  4. Harry, you are correct. And we have corrected..

  5. Ilana, why waste your money. Ajnwatch has shown me how to get both editions of the paper (as well as hundreds of other publications free of charge.
    Go to this link:

  6. To the moderators, excellent post!
    Kol Mila basela.

    I know the brothers rabbi Gutnicks, well and I am sure that they will seriously consider your advice. After all, we, you and they are all on the same page here. While they may not say it in public, they fully agree that the Jewish News is a disgrace and a blot of authentic Jewish values and halevai we could either get rid of it or change its rotted core values.

    Pity that brother no. 3 (Yossel), never considered buying it and turning it into a true "Jewish" publication

  7. I think your headline needs some clarification. I would suggest that KA advertising in the paper is "ugly" while the AJN advertising treifos is "bad"
    My 2c worth.

  8. I wonder why the ad for the treifa challos had the disclaimer - maybe the AJN insisted on its insertion as a condition for accepting it to placate the inevitable backlash from frummies. It's only a pity that the disclaimer is so small that few would notice it.

  9. This is the first time I have seen the AJN add a 'treif' disclaimer.
    Will they be having this in all their non-kosher advertising?
    Halevai !


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