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Galus Exclusive: What The Hell Is Danby Doing? Breaking News: Meir Rabi Condemns RCV; A New Beth Din & More

August 27, 2013 – 12:01 pm26 Comments

From Yaron Gottlieb and the editor.

galus exclusive and breaking2

Today, we have an exclusive from Yaron Gottlieb, breaking news from Meir Rabi, and other important news from around the community:


Yaron Gottlieb has discovered something quite bizarre about Michael Danby’s preferences:

In a Galus exclusive, Yaron writes:
“When it comes to preferences, Michael Danby claims that he is guided by principle. But there are two elements that clearly show this is not the case.

1. It seems that Danby has issued two “how to vote” cards. My best guess is that one is for Jews in Caulfield (or a certain type of Jew) that they receive in the mail, and one is for the rest of the electorate that they receive at the polling booth.

What does it say about Danby, who claims that his preferences are based on conscience? Which conscience exactly?

The reason I believe that there is a special “how to vote” card for Jews is because the one I received in the mail was accompanied by a letter describing all the wonderful things Danby had done for the Jewish community. On that card, Family First was put in second place and the Sex Party was put last. On the “how to vote cards” at the polling booths, those parties’ positions were reversed.

It seems Danby believes that people who care about the Jewish community are more likely to be sympathetic to Danby if his second preference is a homophobic, ultra-conservative party that doesn’t believe in human induced global warming and wants to take indigenous affairs back to the 1960s. What does this say about Danby’s view of us?

2. On both how to vote cards, Rise Up Australia, a racist, Islamophobic, and homophobic party, is put above both Liberals and Greens. Danby claims he is putting Greens last (below even the Liberals) out of principle. His principles don’t seem to extend to condemning racist and homophobic parties.

Danby claims to support GLBT rights and to be opposed to racism of all kinds. How are these the actions of a conviction politician?”


In breaking news: the dispute between Meir Rabi‘s kashrut authority and the RCV heats up with serious accusations being leveled at the Rabbinate. [we have placed certain sections in bold]

Kalman Gradstein of the It’s Kosher authority writes to the RCV:

“Please advise the President and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) of the following,

We are surprised and disappointed that the (RCV) would act on advice received from one of our competitors (The K.A.of NSW&NZ) now, for something that has been on our website for the last 3 years without prior consultation with us and followed by a media release that we believe showed little respect for the principles of natural justice and halachic legitimacy.

In addition, we believe it is highly suspicious and potentially nepotistic that the RCV chose to hurriedly make this announcement in the same week that one of our long-term kosher certified company’s ‘Lord of the Fries’ opened its newest store in the Sydney CBD (K.A. of NSW&NZ Turf) which initiated some 30 metre long queues of Jewish and Non-Jewish patronage, not to mention an avalanche of comments and opinions of varying shades and colours on the ‘Facebook Page’ of The K.A.of NSW&NZ.

To date, no authenticated correspondence has been received by us from the Israeli Rabbinate and until we are notified by them directly, we continue to believe that the product kosher certified by us and approved by them in 2010 is valid.

We cannot accept ‘cut and paste/photo-shopped’ copies of alleged correspondence provided by one of our competitor, the K.A. of NSW&NZ as evidence of any wrong doing and are surprised at the lack of due diligence applied to this matter by the RCV and suggest that the motives of the K.A. of NSW&NZ are commercially based.

We intend to publish this travesty of natural and Halalchic justice as perpetrated by the RCV to as broad a constituency as possible this afternoon.

We look forward to your response.”


Meanwhile, the RCV issued the following release regarding the establishment of a new Beth Din: [bold is ours]

“The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) took a major step forward last week, with unanimous agreement to establish a new Beth Din (Rabbinical Court) for Civil and Commercial disputes.

Members at a Special General Meeting approved the establishment of a Trust to be called “Badatz Melbourne” which will govern the new Melbourne Beth Din for Civil and Commercial Disputes. A set of policies and procedures has been developed in conjunction with senior lawyers, and local and international Dayanim.”


In secular communal news, the JCCV has been organising programmes for youth alcohol awareness and child protection.

JCCV Executive Director, David Marlow describes a recent forum on protecting children from abuse that featured representatives from such diverse groups as Addass and Tzedek:

“The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) organised a forum on policies and procedures for community organisations to protect children from sexual abuse, which was hosted by Jewish Care.

The forum was ground breaking because of the breadth of organisations that attended with over 40 people from over 20 Jewish community organisations, including seven shules and five schools.  The range of organisations who participated was diverse, including Jewish Care, Adass Israel, Tzedek, Jewish Aid, the King David School and the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence.

The keynote speaker was Dr Joe Tucci, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Childhood Foundation who spoke about why child abuse is sometimes not reported, the framework to prevent abuse and the four factors that made organisations vulnerable to abuse:

  • Lack of awareness

  • Lack of knowledge

  • Lack of procedures and systems

  • Lack of confidence to put procedures in place

Dr Tucci led the participants through a number of real life scenarios, some volunteered from the forum participants, to highlight the risks and issues to be managed.  He said that an organisation must be committed and have the resolve to enforce the policies and procedures developed.

Chairman of the JCCV Child Protection Reference Group, Andrew Blode said that it was not a just a need to develop a policy. Organisations needed to build awareness and develop a culture of child protection.

Rabbi Moshe Kahn, Director of Chabad Youth spoke about Chabad Youth’s significant progress in implementing policies and procedures to protect children, its zero tolerance for breaching of policy and their work in achieving accreditation.

Speaking after the forum, Nina Bassat, President of the JCCV said, “Two Jewish youth organisations are leading the way in achieving accreditation in this area, Chabad Youth and the Zionist Youth Council.  Both should be applauded for their leadership and commitment”


Debbie Zauder writes about the JCCV’s Youth Alcohol Programme:
“’I learnt a lot tonight about what alcohol can do to me, my body, especially my brain this is not the way I want to have fun with my friends.’

This was the comment from a Bialik College student after a Year 6 and 7 YAP session at the school, which was attended by over 200 parents and students.

Guest speakers included Kirsten Cleland, Manager of Headspace, Michelle Kornberg, a Family Educator and Counsellor, Danny Elbaum, Operations Manager Chevra Hatzolah. The main message of the evening was that “It’s OK to say no!” Kornberg explained “when a parent says no to their child, whether it is related to alcohol or any other issue, it must mean no and no is not may be. Furthermore, youth should not feel pressure from their peers to drink; youth have the power and the right to say no too.”

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria continues to address the problem of alcohol abuse, and in particular, the problem of underage drinking. An Evaluation Report by Debbie Zauder, the Project Manager, underlines that the JCCV Youth Alcohol Project’s (YAP) has created awareness on the issue of alcohol misuse within the Jewish community and that parents and students find the program extremely valuable.

YAP aims to educate students and their parents about the short and long term effects of alcohol, the legal aspects relating to the supply of alcohol to minors and offers strategies for managing peer pressure in relation to alcohol…

Since YAP’s inception in 2010, over 2000 Jewish families have participated in a YAP session. YAP has developed and orchestrated a diverse number of events and activities in school and community settings, raised awareness of the issue of youth and alcohol, produced and disseminated resources, publications and a JCCV youth and alcohol policy.”

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