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?