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JCA Today

A Message From Our CEO

I have just returned from the Australian Jewish Funders Mission to Israel. These were two of the most emotionally challenging but uplifting weeks of my life. Whilst privileged to meet with and hear the stories of survival, courage and leadership from people at the Nova Music Festival and the kibbutzim, it was hard to comprehend the enormity of the massacre that occurred and how Hamas terrorists took pleasure in committing it. We know this will take the Jewish world years and years to recover from, if at all. The other overriding and consistent message from everyone who spoke to us, was that people will not fully begin to heal, rest or overcome their trauma until every hostage is returned. But even with all the underlying pain and challenge, the Israeli’s resilience breaks through in all discussions, and there is an aura of hope for the future.

One of the other key takeaways is how we as a diaspora community translate what has happened, including the global response – the rise in antisemitism – and the learnings for the next generation. They must continue to be educated about the dangers of what we face, how to combat those dangers and continue the advocacy work of those who have gone before them. A strong Israel needs a strong and committed diaspora. At JCA, we fund organisations including the Sydney Jewish Museum, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, AUJS NSW and ACT and the Fund for Jewish Higher Education – all of whom have programs dedicated to combatting the rise of antisemitism through education and building relationships. We can’t do this alone, and it’s never mattered more that we stand together, for our local Jewish community and Israel.

This newsletter highlights some of the outstanding people and their work in this space – everything counts when it comes to protecting our community.

I wish you all, Shabbat Shalom and, a good long weekend.

Alain Hasson
CEO

JCA Annual Event
You've Never Mattered More

We are proud to confirm that our 2024 JCA Major Campaign Event has now been sold out! 

If you would like to be added to our event waiting list please contact us at [email protected]

 

Monthly Mensch
Konrad Kwiet

Konrad Kwiet is a legend in our community and the longest-serving staff member at the Sydney Jewish Museum. As the Resident Historian, his service predates the Museum's opening 34 years ago.

Konrad was instrumental in creating the historical framework for the Museum during its inception: he was the critical eye that governed the historical accuracy and authenticity of the proposed exhibition content.

As the museum’s collection, professional team and body of knowledge have grown over the years, Konrad has continued to ensure authenticity and best practices in collecting, curating, and presenting the historical period of the Holocaust and its aftermath.

From 1987 to 1994, he was Chief Historian of the Special Investigations Unit investigating Nazi war criminals in Australia.

For years, Konrad has been committed to telling the story of the Holocaust, educating communities, and holding people accountable for their memory. We thank Konrad for his incredible contribution.

Nosh Nook 
Konrad's Berliner Bouletten

Ingredients

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 capsicum
  • 1 onion
  • European parsley finely chopped 
  • Olive oil 
  • 2tsp Mustard 
  • Salt & Pepper 
  • Garlic - 1 clove
Recipe:
  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix it well 
  2. Form medium size balls with the mixture 
  3. Fry the balls in a pan until brown 

Member Mention
Sydney Jewish Museum

New SJM Resource Explains Antisemitism for Teachers

Noting the rise in global antisemitism since 7 October, the Education Team at the Sydney Jewish Museum identified a need for further education on the topic. Responding to that need, they have developed a new resource to assist classroom teachers in explaining antisemitism. The resource, grounded in academic research, makes a comprehensive study of the history of antisemitism, beginning with its roots in ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Greco-Roman societies. It details the expulsions of Jews from Christian Europe and explains the links between medieval Jew hatred and the development of Nazi ideology. Additionally, the resource includes essential definitions, a comprehensive selection of antisemitic images from across the ages, and classroom resources for use in both primary and secondary schools.  

[The resource will be accessible from the website of the Sydney Jewish Museum.]

By Kate Green
Senior Educator

What Holocaust educators must do to combat modern antisemitism
Dr Avril Alba

Teachers need to focus more on the specifics of Jewish persecution and challenge students to question their assumptions about contemporary prejudice.

The global upsurge in antisemitic incidents and attacks post October 7 has understandably shaken Jews worldwide, including those who have sought to address antisemitism through Holocaust education. The question inevitably emerges: What good has it done to expose and teach about the crimes of the Nazis when antisemitic hate is still so clearly evident?

It goes without saying that no educative effort of this nature is a “silver bullet” and that it must be reinforced by other frameworks such as the rule of law, democratic processes and the defence of minority rights. But this position also dodges the fundamental charge:  if knowledge of past persecutions of Jews, particularly through a focus on its most horrific example, cannot stop continuing vilification – what can?

As someone who has spent most of her professional life in the fields of Holocaust history and education, the antisemitism evidenced in the past six months has prompted me to go back to the basics in terms of what we are seeking to achieve.

To read the full article click here

This article was first published online in Plus 61 J on 23 January 2024

Dr Avril Alba is Associate Professor in Holocaust Studies and Jewish Civilisation in Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies (HBJS) at the University of Sydney. HBJS is supported by the Fund for Jewish Higher Education (FJHE). She teaches and researches in the broad areas of Holocaust and modern Jewish history with a focus on Jewish and Holocaust museums. Her monograph, The Holocaust Memorial Museum: Sacred Secular Space, was published in 2015. From 2002 to 2011 Avril was the Education Director at the Sydney Jewish Museum, where she also served as the Project Director/Curator for the permanent exhibitions ‘Culture and Continuity’ (2009), ‘The Holocaust’ (2017), and ‘The Holocaust and Human Rights’(2018). She is currently working on an ARC Discovery project, ‘The Memory of the Holocaust in Australia’ and an ARC Linkage Project ‘Evaluating the Impact of Holocaust Museum Education’.

AUJS
A Month on Campus with Dani Tischmann (Co-President of AUJS NSW)

This month, we celebrated Purim with close to 500 Jewish university students, and it would be a lie to say I didn’t tear up a few times on the night seeing the young Jewish community come together.

I think a lot of similarities can be drawn from the story of Purim and what Jewish students face on campus. Like Esther, Jewish students are being placed in a position of standing up against antisemitism. We knew that this year was going to be hard for Jewish students at university since antisemitism has always found space on campuses, but thanks to support from JCA, AUJS provides Jewish students with a platform to combat it.

AUJS NSW has introduced a new program, “Being Jewish On Campus”, an interactive seminar where we prepare students for what life will be like on campus for them. We discuss what to do if you see or experience antisemitism, how to respond and what is worth the student’s energy. We all know that feeling when you hear something, and you think to yourself, something about that doesn’t feel kosher. When you are 18, and you have never experienced antisemitism before, it can be incredibly daunting and isolating, so this program is all about equipping students and empowering them to feel strong and capable.

We are also working closely with each campus to discuss what can be done by the universities to make sure Jewish students are safe on campus. Our campus leaders meet with university administrators and vice chancellors regularly to discuss what’s been happening and what needs to be done to support their Jewish cohort. Thankfully, the university administration has been open to these talks, and our leaders are working hard to conduct meetings and develop strategies that can implemented. Our leaders are discussing with campuses to create AUJS rooms where members can come and relax in a private space that can be the meeting point for young Jewish students.

We are providing Jewish students with all the tools to report incidents and empowering them to be resilient and stay strong in the face of adversity. Thankfully, this year AUJS NSW is being run by 36 incredible leaders who may be young but are incredibly smart, passionate, and determined Jewish students finding ways to create a safe space for the community.

Whilst it does seem like a double-edged sword, the prouder we are, the louder the antisemitism gets, and we tend to spark the flame of antisemitism that bubbles on campus, still, being there we can extinguish it and ensure unis are held accountable and ensure it is a safe space for Jewish students on campus.

I’m proud to say that AUJS is doing all we can to combat antisemitism and bring the community together to celebrate chagim like Purim.

 

Danielle Tischmann is the current co-president of AUJS NSW. She is currently studying a combined degree of Communication and Law at UTS and graduated from Moriah College in 2017. Danielle is incredibly passionate about bringing the community together, empowering young Jewish students and making sure they are safe on campus.

 

AUJS Political Training Seminar 

Last week, AUJS hosted the 26th Political Training Seminar in Canberra, and it was arguably one of the most successful PTS programs ever run. More than 50 participants headed to Canberra to meet with political leaders in our nation’s capital. There were more than 25 speakers on the schedule, including prominent figures such as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton, and Speaker of the House Milton Dick. The speaker took the AUJS group through his office and even told the students of his own transformative experience on an AUJS trip to Israel during his time at university. Sign-ups for this year’s program were also unprecedented, with nearly 90 students applying.

Reflecting on her experience at PTS, Aylia Hill from NSW shared, "PTS was an incredible experience and invaluable opportunity. There’s no other context where young students would get anywhere near this type of access to high-ranking politicians, or the opportunity to ask them questions that truly mattered to us. The other students on the trip were also amazing, and I know I’ll stay connected to as many of them as possible!"

AUJS Hubs in NSW/ACT are located at: 

  1. The University of Sydney
  2. The University of New South Wales
  3. The University of Technology
  4. Macquarie University
  5. The University of Wollongong
  6. The Australian National University

For anyone interested in getting involved – AUJS can be contacted here.

If your current campus doesn’t have an AUJS Hub, all students can become a member here and receive personalised letters to request their religious observance and be awarded special consideration by the university when a Jewish holiday falls on a due date or an exam. 

 

Coming Up In Community
Events & Activities

B'nai B'rith

Quilting for Hope Flyer - BOOK HERE

BJE NSW

NEW LOCATION: The BJE Hub


Enrolments are now open for the BJE Hub in Randwick - opening May 7th!

Time: Is open 3.30pm – 5.30pm Tuesdays.

*Has a bus to transport your child after school to the BJE HUB.
*Dynamic engaging teachers.
*Draws from several schools in the area creating new social connections.
*Will have Government Subsidies.
*Includes a healthy, kosher Afternoon Tea.

ENROL HERE: bje.org.au/thehub

 

The BJE Holiday Hub: K-6 Students

If you are you looking for a meaningful, fun and educational experience for your child in the first week of the School Holidays? We have the perfect opportunity!
Run by experienced, dynamic teachers and fun-loving engaging Youth Leaders, the BJE Holiday Hub program offers social connections, exciting activities and will keep your kids out of your hair for three full days.

Dates: Monday 15th - Wednesday 17th April 2024
Time: 9am - 4pm
Price: $97 per day 
Location: Randwick Location 

Enrolments now open - click here

 

Wolper

Friends of Wolper Movie Night 'Back to Black'

 

The extraordinary story of Amy Winehouse’s early rise to fame from her early days in Camden through to the making of her ground breaking album, Back to Black.
Wednesday 17th April 6.15pm at Randwick Ritz
BOOK NOW!

Maccabi NSW

Maccabi All Abilities in collaboration with One & All Social Soccer/BB
Book here

Senior Walkie-Talkie with Lynda Ben Menashe: 10th April
Book here
Mega Camp for YK-Y2: April 17-19th
Book here

Sydney Jewish Museum

SJM Kids (16-21 April)

Join us for April school holiday fun, as the Sydney Jewish Museum turns into an immersive space of play for children of all ages. Our latest holiday programs will explore the sights and sounds of ancient Egypt, and the Jewish story of Passover. From building a mini pyramid to creating a musical instrument or even crafting your own amulet, our unique children’s programs, led by expert educators, offer kids a chance to explore artefacts in the Museum collection in a meaningful and age-appropriate way.

Whether your child is discovering a new culture or celebrating their own heritage, we welcome families of all faiths and backgrounds. learn more here.

Musical Portraits series

Immerse yourself in a series of live musical performances at the Sydney Jewish Museum. The Museum will come alive with enchanting musical portraits of Jewish people and culture, through a line-up of diverse and internationally acclaimed artists. Audiences will be transported across the globe and through time during these evocative performances, each illuminating a different element of Judaism and Jewish life.

A ticket to events within this series includes complimentary refreshments, as well as a pass to explore the Museum and all our exhibitions from 6pm, before the show starts at 7pm. Full details of the 2024 program can be found here.

CSG
Antisemitism Report

In a soon to be published ‘Analysis of reported antisemitic incidents in Australia in 2023’ the key findings include:

  • CSG defines an antisemitic incident as any malicious act aimed at Jewish people, organisations or property, where there is evidence that the act has antisemitic motivation or content, or that the victim was targeted because they are or are believed to be Jewish.
  • CSG recorded 830 antisemitic incidents in Australia in 2023. This represents an 88% increase in antisemitic incidents compared to the 442 incidents recorded in 2022.
  • This is the highest number of antisemitic incidents reported to and recorded by CSG in a calendar year.
  • This increase is attributable to a surge in antisemitic incidents related to the ongoing Israel-Hamas War. Our Community has been subjected to unprecedented levels of vilification, including serious and unprovoked assaults; a riot outside a Synagogue; hate speech during anti-Israel protests; death threats sent to prominent Jewish figures; and several hoax bomb threat campaigns.
  • The single highest category of antisemitic incident reported was abusive behaviour at 644, followed by 84 antisemitic threats, 44 incidents of damage and desecration of Jewish property, 36 antisemitic assaults, 20 incidents of antisemitic literature, and 2 acts of extreme violence.
  • NSW experienced the highest reported number of antisemitic incidents at 408 (49%).
  • There remains significant under-reporting of antisemitic incidents to CSG and law enforcement in Australia, similar to other forms of hate crime. As a result, the true number of antisemitic incidents is likely to be much higher than recorded in the report. As such, the figures should be understood as indicative of trends as apposed to nominal values.
  • CSG NSW encourages our community to report incidents via our website (www.csgnsw.org.au/report), via our 1300 number (1300 000 CSG) or via the CSG Alert or Alert Assist app.

The full report will be published shortly on www.csgnsw.org.au

 

Responding To Antisemitism
Reporting & Resources

Jewish Board of Deputies
To report an antisemitic incident click here
To report a school-related incident click here

JewishCare NSW
The events in Israel are highly distressing, if you require professional support please call JewishCare on 1300 133 660 from 9am-5pm

AUJS
To report an antisemitic incident on campus click here

Job Opportunities in our community

Communal Calendar 
April

Download this months calendar

We have gathered together some of the exciting activities and events taking place in our community in the coming month. 

Thank you for your support