Thursday, October 4, 2012

Emanuel: You don't have to be Jewish...

We are not quite sure why the AJN seems to be making such a fuss about the fact that a non-Jew - intermarried to a Jewish woman - has been appointed president of the Emanuel school. After all, the same mob even have a long-serving rabbi-ette who is non-Jewish. So what's the big deal?

So let's recap. Emanuel has a non-Jewish clergywoman, a non-Jewish principal and a non-Jewish school president.
Quote: "...McCorquodale’s religion is irrelevant.  “Emanuel School is committed to having the best people in the roles of principal and president and if they are Jewish, then they are Jewish, if they are not, then they are not.” ...
We look forward to a future Emanuel president and principal (and why not rabbi?) who is a Hindu or Muslim. Now THAT would show how truly egalitarian, unrestricted and classless our Reformers are!
But seriously, can anyone explain why not save the millions of dollars that schnorred annually to keep this (non-)Jewish school afloat, when they could just as easily enrol their kids in a classy local C. of E. school and offer an hour or two of the Emanuelese watered-down version of "Judaism"?
Go figure.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yamim Noraim theme: Chareidim are not all bad...

Forwarded by MMH:

I am sure that readers of the AJNWatch blog will be just as proud to see the following items as I was.

MJCF - a very well run Tzedaka organisation.

And a report in J-Wire about a fire on Erev Rosh Hashana "Adass territory":

A catastrophe was narrowly averted in Melbourne’s ultra-Orthodox community on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

Twenty-two firefighters battled a blaze in a house in Oak Grove, Ripponlea – opposite the Adass Israel synagogue – on Sunday morning around 09:20, according to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.At least four fire engines arrived within five minutes, according to the MFB, and brought the fire under control less than half an hour later.

“Fire damage was confined to the rear of the property with the remainder heavily smoke-logged and requiring extensive cleaning,” a MFB statement said. “A twin adjoining property that shared a common wall was not affected.”

A MFB spokesperson said it was thanks to the smoke alarm that the mother was alerted and was able to get her children out safely after a blaze started in the laundry and spread to the roof and the hallway.

Members of the ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel community rallied to help the family just hours before the New Year.Shlomo Boruch Abelesz, a longstanding leader of the Adass community, said he believed it was actually the home of Lubavitchers.“The good news is that the Adass community seems to have come to their aid with everything from lodging to food and clothes,” he said.

It is estimated that the repair bill will reach about $30,000, according to the fire brigade.

And a "Thank you" published via Galus Australis:
On behalf of The Jacobson and Cyrulnik families I would like to say an incredibly huge and endless thank you to the Adass community for all your incredible, and overwhelmingly kind help on erev yom tov when a fire was ablaze over our two adjoining homes.

I was personally brought to tears by the incredible, ceaseless display of unbelievable ahavas yisrael on erev yom tov: the offers of housing that sprung forth immediately, the offer and actual delivery of clothing for the children, the offer and delivery of a huge abundance of food, and the non-stop drop-offs from families of cakes and the like. The family that immediately took my children to their house and fed them and took care of them for hours while we quickly set up for yom tov after being outside for hours. You even went so far as to bathe one of my children and prepare them fully for yom tov, when you have your own large family to get ready. Truly I do not have the words to express the gratitude of the heart that prevails so deeply. Your abounding display of chesed is absolutely inspirational and overwhelming in its detailed consideration.

When I heard the blasts of the shofar on yom tov my heart was overwhelmed with emotions, especially evoked by your selfless complete mesiras nefesh in helping your fellow Jew at such a pressured hour. I wish I could thank each and every one of you who offered and gave kindness. You provided menuchas nefesh amidst the initial anguish, fright and worry, before we knew what had happened. We received non-stop words of encouragement and consolation, and you even asked what we needed from our houses, and convinced firemen and police etc to let us in for urgent things.
How could one repay you all for your abounding kindness? I can only ask Hash-m with all my heart that in the merit of all the kindness you offered, showed and did, that He may bless your community with kindness a trillion-fold, from now and forever. May He pour out an abundance of blessings with endless chayay, banay, mezonay revichay b’gashmius and ruchnius, always in peace and joy. May you all be blessed with long lives and a year of revealed overflowing blessings – beyond nature and beyond this world… into this world revealed!

Since Hash-m blesses us mida kneged mida, I am left feeling immediately on Sunday, with such unbelievable ahavas chinam, we will surely see Moshiach this year. How could Hash-m not answer and send him this very year. Your acts of kindness no doubt have broken open the gates of shomoyim, and it certainly has to be a year of revealed miracles for all Am Yisrael immediately now! I can only say that certainly you have, so to speak, rebuilt Beis Hamikdash with your unbelievable and abounding kindness, which we are in awe of. All of Am Yisrael can learn what kindness with mesiras nefesh is from you.

I am in awe of the unbelievable Adass community’s tremendous boundless kindness and thankful to Hash-m from the depths of my heart for sending an immediate nechama. I am privileged to live by you, and have contact with you, and humbled beyond belief at your actual mesiras nefesh in kindness for your fellow Jews bli gavul, boundlessly, beyond all boundaries.
On behalf of our two families, thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish the heart could aptly transcribe what it feels to paper, and the soul what it senses. Meanwhile, please accept these words as a form of thank you from us, who are absolutely humbled and endlessly grateful for your unbelievable kindness.

Thank you, thank you,

With heartfelt eternal gratitude,

Gmar chasima tova in blessings beyond nature, and abundant revealed endless bountiful good in this world!

 Mrs Leah Jacobson on behalf of the Jacobson and Cyrulnik families

The story also made it to a USA Jewish newsblog:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ajax Football Club promotes Chillul Shabbos!

Guest post from "A Frum sports-lover"

So now it is not only the AJN that encourages and sponsors Chillul Shabbos but also the Ajax Football Club together with the help of a bunch of sponsors who shamelessly advertise a "Community Day" where boys and girls, young and old get together and desecrate the holy Shabbos.

This outrageous and disgraceful violation must be condemned by not only observant Jews but even those who may not label themselves as such - but hold dear the traditional way of life of our people.

And to my friend Sam Lipski, what were you thinking? You are, as we all know, a warm-hearted Jew who knows far more about genuine Yiddishkeit than most of the community. How could you in your role as head of the Pratt Foundation approve such a sponsorship? (And really, do you really think that you are doing any favours for the Neshama of the late Dick Pratt, by spending his money and using his name to promote Shabbos desecration!?  Avu iz dein seichel? Why not get the AJN to headline a report on this event with "Chillul Shabbat in memory of Dick Pratt"?)

And where are you, RCV, COSV and our choshuveh Rabbonim? I have yet to hear that any of you has publicly condemned this Chillul Shabbos bifresiya. With the Yamim Noraim upon us, you have opportunity to beמוחה  with a צעקה גדולה ומרה.

Please don't take this lightly. Remember what Chazal say: (שבת נד ב):
 מי שיש בידו למחות על אנשי בתו, ואינו מוחה – נתפס על אנשי ביתו; באנשי עירו, ואינו מוחה – נתפס על אנשי עירו; בכל העולם כולו, ואינו מוחה – נתפס על כל העולם כולו
And as most of the Australian Rabbinate identifies with Chabad, let me quote the Alteh Rebbe זצ''ל in his Tanya:  ! מי שיש בידו למחות ואינו מוחה נקרא רשע

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jerusalem rabbinate emulating Rabbi Meir Rabi?

Guest post by Kosherman:

Well, it seems that Rabbi Meir Rabi had the right idea when introducing cameras for 24/7 monitoring of some establishments that are under his supervision.

No less than the Rabbinate of the Jerusalem Religious Council will now also be installing these devices in eateries that they certify.

Here is the article published on the Jerusalem Kosher News website confirming this development. It adds that the "superfrum" (my description) Badatz Edah Hacharedis also has cameras in certain cases.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

RCV - on Shuls and alcohol

We'd like to take some credit for this most recent statement by the RCV - which follows on to our recent post:

However we notice that they haven't considered Kashrut matters - something raised by readers of this blog.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

AJN = Al Jazeera Network

"AJN" no longer stands davka for "Australian Jewish News". The Arab news network Al Jazeera has also adopted the same acronym.

There may indeed be some amongst us who will debate which of the two is better/worse...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Look who's catering for the Charedim now! JPost publication supervised by Chassidic Rebbe!

?מלאך רע בעל כורחו יענה אמן

Despite the fact that Chareidm in Israel may have worse enemies than the Jerusalem Post, no one would claim that it was ever a friend of the "frum" community. Thus we were more than surprised to learn that they have just launched a weekly magazine "Kosher English" aimed at Israeli Charedim.

Who could've ever imagined that the Jerusalem Post would one day proudly announce that it is launching a publication davka for Charedim, edited by a religious woman heading a team made up entirely of Charedim?

But wait, there's more. The magazine will enjoy 'complete independence' and will be supervised by a spiritual committee headed by the Admor of Boston, Rabbi Meir Horowitz!

(Yossi Aron, the AJN's 'religion reporter', eat your heart out...)

The Jerusalem Post Group has launched a new weekly magazine for harediKosher English.

Written in easy English, it is designed for haredi readers to learn and improve their English-language skills.

The magazine, whose first edition was published on July 5, contains a mix of Israeli and international news stories as well as special articles for the ultra-Orthodox community, including profiles of religious personalities.

In addition, it features instructional items about using English at work and pieces on Jewish communities across the world, as well as word games and a family section.

Next to each article is a dictionary box with translations into Hebrew of difficult words, along with information on how to pronounce them.

The weekly features articles on three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

The editor of the paper is Tami Kalish and her entire team is haredi.

All content in Kosher English is under the supervision of a religious committee, led by a prominent rabbi and Jewish educators.

“The idea was to create a newspaper for haredim in easy English,” Kalish said. “The challenge is not only to keep to the principles of Halacha such as modesty and avoid lashon hara (slanderous talk), but also to strengthen faith in Hashem and learn English at the same time.”

“One example of this in Kosher English is a serialized story in easy English based on the bestseller by Rabbi Aharon Margalit, As Long As I Live, which describes the difficulties and suffering in his life that he managed to overcome thanks to his strong faith,” she said.

Kalish stressed that the magazine is not affiliated with any political party or religious stream, which makes it accessible to the whole haredi world.

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO of The Jerusalem Post, said that the magazine is perfect for haredim wishing to read and learn in English in an easy and kosher way.

The Jerusalem Post has extensive experience in teaching and improving English skills among diverse populations in Israel,” Hasin-Hochman said.

“When the haredi community turned to us, we decided to invest our knowledge and reputation in this unique target audience.

“The whole magazine staff is haredi. They enjoy complete independence and are supervised by a spiritual committee headed by the Admor [Rebbe] of Boston, Rabbi Meir Horowitz, who is based in Jerusalem.”

Hasin-Hochman noted that the advertising agency selected for the new weekly magazine is the well-know haredi agency, Gal-Oren, which is currently engaged in a campaign to introduce the product to its haredi market.

“We are pleased to be a part of another innovative move in the haredi community,” said Oren Elimelech, CEO of Gal-Oren. “We look forward to a successful venture.”

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Note AJN: He's a lawyer not a garbage collector

Note to AJN writers and proofreaders (if they  indeed employ any):
QC is the acronym for "Queen's Counsel" - not "Queen's Council".
(Councils are in charge of garbage collection...)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

And another "What the...": "Shikkering in our Shuls"

Seems that the Shuls can't get the crowds in by offering Tefilah or Torah Shiurim, so what do they do? Hope to attract them 'spiritually'.

Do low rating churches (lehavdil) do this kind of thing?
How low have we sunk?
And what next?

We hate to think...

What the...? Jewish News sponsoring betting?

Anyone else stunned to see the following ad in the AJN?

And this from the website of that outfit:

So what's going on? And what next for the "voice of Australian Jewry"?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is the Jewish News being honest with circulation figures?

Maybe we are missing something here, but as we read it, the Sydney edition of the AJN claiming that the ENTIRE Jewish community in that city reads this newspaper (100% reach in the Jewish community each week"). What an amazing and brave or rather foolhardy statement.

Media experts that we spoke to suggested that they risk being charged with false advertising.

We aren't quite sure where to find their latest circulation figures (or if the AJN even bothers to get audited these days), but we did find this thanks to Google:
showing us that in December 2010 their circulation was 3897 - and going south. It wouldn't be unreasonable to presume that two and half years later that figure would be closer to 3500 - if not less.

Now lets's have a look at the same AJN (from the edition 2 weeks ago) where they reported the results of the latest census which showed that the Jewish population of NSW - mostly in Sydney - was 39731.
So the AJN wants us to believe that each copy of their newspaper is actually read by 10 people!

We wonder how well that would go down with the ACCC and their views on "Misleading & deceptive conduct" and false advertising.

One often wonders when seeing non-Jewish advertisers spending big dollars with the AJN, what circulation figures they have been sold. A previous editor of the newspaper admitted publicly that "the Jewish News isn’t a newspaper based on circulation".
Looks like the current powers that be have gone back to making unbelievable circulation claims.

Let's hope it doesn't get them into an embarrassing public mess.

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?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Discriminating rabbiettes - how unprogressive!

So the reform progressives are not treating their rabbi-ettes equally to their male colleagues. What a shocker!

More here.

Hopefully the local ones get better treatment or someone may dob them in to the Equal Opportunities Board (or whatever that outfit is called these days).

Meanwhile doing some quick research into the topic of rabbiesses (as a sort of a follow-up to our recent dissertation on the local variety, we were  more than excited to read about the appointment of the first black female Reform clergywoman. (Also here)

And while we were wondering how much her pay packet was compared (even) to white Reform clergywomen, weread that she has since been fired! (Not chalilah vechas because she was black. Of course not. The excuse given was that she wasn't a "good fit".  Yeah, sure.  We believe that - even if you don't.)
Here's a link to the "Rosh Pina Project" site for their view on this sacking.

Maybe next time they should try a  Vietnamese or Red Indian lady. That may fit them better. Even smarter would be employing a Chinese reverend who could also prepare some great Chinese recipes to be served after the Friday evening services. That could increase crowds and membership enabling them to pay her a decent wage.

Finally, should any of our "temples" be seeking a truly interesting female character to pastor their needs, why not give this tatooed lady a chance to show her wares?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Rebbe says: "You need a rebbe"


This past Shabbos, amongst the half-a-dozen Chabad publications found in Shuls was this one - a relatively new project trying to teach Chabadniks some basic Yiddish, by translating the rebbe's Sichos in a (grade 3-4 level) user-friendly form. As someone who speaks, loves and reads Yiddish, I applaud them for this most belated undertaking - after decades of almost 'criminal' neglect for the language of the Chabad (and all other) rebbes.

But what amazed me was the front cover of this "Extended (I think they meant 'expanded") ג' תמוז Edition" where in large font we are told about "THE NEED FOR A REBBE".

Are the publishers hinting something here? Is there something happening in the Chabad world to seriously consider the possibility of appointing a new rebbe? Every single one of my Chabad friends dismisses such a possibility, but then most of them are not too high up in the organisation to really know about such matters. But if such a move is  completely out of the question, how does that jell with the rebbe's view that there is a need for a rebbe?

I know for a fact the your blog is very well read amongst Chabadniks in Sydney and Melbourne as well as overseas. So maybe one of them could advise us if my speculation has any merit.

And thank you AJN WATCH for a most interesting and relevant website (despite the fact that I may sometimes disagree with your viewpoint).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Missing comments

It seems that a few recent comments sent to AJNWatch have disappeared before we had a chance to moderate them.

If yours is one of those - please resend and accept our apologies.