Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mazel Tov and Happy Birthday to AJN Watch

AJN Watch was launched exactly a year ago today and all of us here are pretty chuffed that we are still around 12 months later.

While we realized that our potential audience - frum Jews upset by the AJN’s biased and misleading reporting - was limited, it seems that there is a large measure of interest in the wider community as well. We also know via feedback that our posts have become topics of conversation at many a Shabbos table and in Shuls.

Additionally other posts of interest usually get wider circulation and we notice a spike in the readership. Thus we are BH pleased and capable to carry on in both directions and will, with the help of Hashem, continue in our task.

During the year a number of you have - via private emails - queried how we are travelling and how many “hits” we are getting?

For those who enjoy figures here you have the report from “Statcounter.com” with details for the past year.
Over 40,000 visits and thousands of repeats. Not bad for a bunch of newbies...

The figures seem adequate (at least to us) and even more so as we notice that in the last 3 months numbers they have risen by approximately 50%.

And, by the way, this is post # 194. Giving us an average of almost 4 posts per week.

Have we achieved anything? An interesting question.

Probably depends on how you look at things. The AJN is still around – and we of course never expected otherwise.We understand that the Hamodia has swallowed a fair chunk of their readership. (In our view, with some better promotion, the Hamodia with its far superior coverage and content, could do even better.)

The Jewish News still employs that page "number 2" dreckerati reporter Adam Kamien, who, you may remember, in the early days threatened to come after us. (And has been afraid to mention our name since!)

On the other hand, the creation of this blog ensures that there now is a voice for observant Jews who  previously felt degraded and hurt by the reporting style and editorial positions taken by the secular-as-they- come Australian Jewish News.

Readers may have noted that not only Kamien but the AJN itself has banned any mention of our name in both their newspaper and their website. Any reference to AJN Watch in any letter or posted in their comments section is immediately deleted. Despite this many of our posts have been widely distributed by our readers and often forwarded to writers and reporters in the wider Australian and the international Jewish media. No doubt it could be awkward for the AJN – which regularly criticises other media for anti-Israel/anti-Jewish bias - to be shown up as doing the same to Orthodox Jews.

Obviously no reasonable fair-minded person, whether orthodox or not, indeed whether Jewish or not. could fail to be appalled by the “Charged” front page cover about Rabbi Engel of Adelaide. Exposing such iniquitous publishing standards and unconcealed prejudice may hopefully ensure that the publishers will think twice before repeating such blatant intolerant bias.

And of course the delicious upshot of that affair is that the editor responsible for the headline, Ashley Browne has meanwhile been thrown out of his job whilst Rabbi and Mrs Engel have been totally exonerated!
We are optimistic that Browne’s replacement has superior standards to his predecessor.

Our campaign against the AJN’s advertising and publicisingTreif establishments continues and we cannot let go. It is an utter disgrace that a so-called “Jewish” publication blatatnly promotes non-Kosher. The minimum that they must do is to adopt the UK Jewish newspaper system where every advertisement for a caterer or restaurant includes a symbol indicating whether it is Kosher or non-Kosher. Zeddy Lawrence, the current editor, hails from London and should know all about this. It is about time that he introduced at least this minimal change.

We have a lot more to say and no doubt will do so in later posts. Meanwhile “Happy Birthday to us” and we look forward to informing and entertaining you for another year.

Finally a vote of thanks to all who contributed 'guest posts'. These usually generated much comment (and often controversy). Please keep them coming. At the same time we extend an invitation to other budding writers to submit articles of interest.


  1. mazel tov. Love your blog

  2. Mazal tov. You are providing a great service for the community.

  3. If you were using the blog to monitor the AJN is one thing. But you are using it mostly to bash Yidden of other denominations such as Chabad, Mizrachi and the secular. This site is a disgrace.

  4. regular adelaide visitorTuesday, June 29, 2010 7:50:00 PM

    AJNW bashes Chabad Mizrachi?? Are you nuts?
    I have been following this blog for a long time and was actually convinced that it is run by a faction of Chabad.

    No one has stood up for Chabad rabbi Engel like ajnwatch did. No one. In fact the silence from chabad was very strange. The best advice they gave the rabbi was to get out of the country -quick.

    And I can't recall any problem they have with Mizrachi either.

  5. What is observer talking about?? is he upset that this website wanted the jewish gay lobby to tone down their whining? Even the JCCV seemed to agree.

    Mizrachi chabad bashing? What are you talking about. I belong to a chabad shul and haven't heard this complaint before.

  6. happy birthday to you. I am a former australian living in israel and check up on you almost every day. I enjoy most posts and appreciate the attached photographs.

    Ko lechay! keep up teh good work. Australian datiim need a strong voice and at the moment - you are it!

  7. Thanks for showing us your reader numbers. Actually a lot more than I expected. Seems that you have touched a nerve in the community
    Here's wishing you an even better Year 2

  8. Over 40,000 views, WOW!

    definitely some strong interest here. Jewish News better not ignore this

  9. I agree with observer. Whenever this (obviously addass run) blog wants to have a go at another section of the community they do so using "guest posts". There is a lot of rechillus in here directed at all segments of the australian jewish community (outside addass).
    To make the AJN accountable is a good thing. But to use this blog to attack all others not like themselves gives this blog zero credibility. What a pity.
    What did it for me is when my son, who is learning in Yeshivah Gedolah in Melbourne wrote an excellent article in the kovetz chiddushim that they publish. No other melbourne learning institution publishes chiddushei torah as often and as on as many diverse topics as Yeshivah Gedolah. I highly doubt that anyone behind this blog read my sons article (or any other article for that matter). All they / he could do was trash the entire publication on this blog. This attitude is typical of Adass mentality / inferiority. After that I stopped reading this blog.

    So congratulations on your first year of rechillus. Probably the AJN stopped caring about this site because they realised its just a trash hate filled site. Also, its just a matter of time until everyone finds out who's behind it anyway. The truth always comes out in the end. If you don't have any yiras shomayim and have no concern for the consequences of your actions in the next world, at least give some thought as to how you will be regarded in this world once everyone finds out you are responsible for so much sinas chinom, rechillus and loshon horah.

  10. What's Sydneysider on about? What rechilus?
    Can someone post a link?
    I would've thought that a blog that was created to support a Chabad rabbi actually was praiseworthy.

  11. Sydneysider you sure sound overly sensitive. I re-read that post about the Kovetz and the comments there made plenty of sense. Instead of attacking you should try to explain to the writer.
    You write "This attitude is typical of Adass mentality / inferiority". Would you say that too is (to quote you) "sinas chinom, rechillus and loshon horah"

  12. This seems to be the offending article

    I went through it again today and in many ways agreed with the comments. Which is the article by your son? I will try and read it.

    I agree with ahavas yisroel that sydneysider is a bit sensitive.

    I remind him of something heard from rabbi Groner zt'l that we chabadniks must remember that af al pi shelo choto - yisroel hu

    Good Jews who keep mitzvos are also deserving of our love and care. This should be especially promoted in these 3 Weeks. Ahavas Chinom! Towards all Jews.

    I too wish to thank ajnwatch for their campaigning on behalf of my friend rabbi engel in adelaide

  13. I am surrounded by adass neigbours. we find them the most decent helpful and friendly people. I don't know what exeriences sydneysider had and how many addassniks he has there?

  14. So I had another look at what I had written way beack in February that so upset Sydneysider that he "insulted" me by saying I had an "Adass mentality"

    Let's go through some of it again mainly for the benefit of those who never read it in the first place and may believe all that Ss wrote.

    >>> Post by Melbourne Chabadnik:

    Yesterday (Shabbos) I davvened in a non-Chabad Shul, where I was shown the latest issue of the "Kovetz Heoros Hatmimim V'Anash" published by our Yeshiva Gedolah - copies of which had been dropped off there.

    One fellow there asked me about the
    "ק''ז שנה להולדת כ''ק אדמו''ר נשיא דורנו" line which appears on the "shaar". He could not understand why the editors allow themselves to make "choyzek" of the rebbe z'l. He asked me to show him another publication with this type of nonsense. <<<

    OK, Mr Sydneysider. What do you think of that comment? Isn't it degrading the rebbe by making his birthday into a topic that virtually ALL non-Chabad Jews will joke about? Why do we have to give them extra opportunities to do so?

    While you personally may well be esconced in some Chabad shul or Minyabe where you dont meet other types of Jews, I, due to family and business situations, often daven in different shuls. And let assure you that "celebrating the rebbe's 107th birthday" is not a good look.

    I further wrote:
    >>..that while virtually all Jewry agrees that the rebbe was one of the outstanding Gedolim of the past generations, such childish and naarish things only serve to detract from and harm the reputation of such a great person.<<

    And I stand by that statement - as well as the following:

    >>>..that creating such harm to the reputation of their rebbe or manhig wouldn't be tolerated in any other sector of Klal Yisroel.<<<

    >>>I can only repeat what Emmanuel wrote recently: "Be'oifen hamiskabel". That is what should be guiding all of us. Saying, doing or publishing things that make a joke of Lubavitch and/or the Rebbe must be dealt with immediately and the perpetuators stopped.Chas vesholom that we become the laughing stock of Klall Yisroel!<<

    Do you, Sydneysider, disagree with this? If so, please let us know why?

    >> The rebbe's Yiddish Sicha - which no doubt is of the highest quality - is unfortunately incomprehensibe to most of us - being in Yiddish.<<

    Was I being too "adass-ish" writing that? Actually in Adass most can and do read Yiddish. And for your information, nearly every Torah publication by Chabad is distributed in considerable numbers in that shul. And many actually read them.

    >>> We have many local Anash who are talmidei chachomim. Why aren't they invited to contribute?<<

    What was wrong with that statement?

    I repeat:
    >>I am personally a strong and long-time supporter of the YG with warm connections to many there. Thus I hope that my words will be taken as constructive criticism rather than negative kvetching. <<

    Obviously my kavana was not acceptable to at least one reader here. But I repeat, I meant no bad. A little self criticism doesn't harm.

    By the way, the latest Tammuz edition of the Kovetz seems of a far superior standard - for which I congratulate the publishers. (Who knows, maybe my earlier comments were considered and taken on board. If so thanks for listening.)

  15. I can't believe Sydneysiders complaint. I davven at both Yeshiva and OD and have rarely seen anyone pick up a copy of the kovetz and look into it.

    So here we have someone - whether really a chabadnik or actually and addasnik (who cares?) who has looked into the kovetz and he gets blatsed for rechilus and who knows what!

    You should be happy that someone learns teh torah in that brochure and takes the time to advise and criticise on improving it.

    As we know good publicity - bad publicity - as long as we get some extra exposure - it's great.

    So don't be a silly sydneyer and be happy that there are people who look into your son's publication.

  16. Sydneysider which article was written b y your son? I'd love to read it. And did he put something in teh latest issue as well?

    I would be very proud if my son had some of his chidushei torah published

  17. nigeria is correct. as long as the kovetz is looked into it has achieved part of its purpose. positive criticism is a good thing.

  18. For those of us who are not Jewish but interested in Jewish issues, maybe you could have a snippet of special anniversaries or the lives of someone who has left their mark in history.
    Such as Janus Korczak. If I hadn't picked up the book of his life in an opporunity shop I would never of known of this wonderful man.
    Just a thought.

  19. It's great to see non-Jews enjoying our blog.
    The aims here are not really in that direction. See the "about me" info on this page.

    But please stay with us and you may find items of interest.

  20. Interesting comment by Newington. I hope you realise that Janusz Korczak - hero that he was - was fairly assimilated, and certainly not religious, and would probably not have been well regarded by most writers to this blog.

  21. "Melbourne Chabadnik", what exactly is your objection to the line that you quoted? How exactly do you think it "makes choyzek of the Rebbe"? Why is it, except hostility to the Rebbe and to Chabad, that makes you think that celebrating the Rebbe's birthday is "not a good look"? Either you've got an inferiority complex a kilometre deep, or you're lying about being a Chabadnik.

    And what kind of Chabadnik is not ashamed to admit that his Yiddish isn't good enough to learn a sicha of the Rebbe? Instead of complaining that the sicha wasn't translated for your benefit, you should improve your Yiddish; perhaps you can recruit the help of some Adassnik friends.


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