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Something New; Project Zug; From Jewish Care

November 4, 2015 – 10:46 am2 Comments
picture courtesy growingself.com

picture courtesy growingself.com

By Alex Fein:

Hi all.

I’m back, taking over from Bracha, for another tour of duty as editor at this Melbourne Jewish institution.

Over the years, Galus has provided its readers with news, debate, and stories about Jewish people and places. Founded by Anthony Frosh and Rachel Sacks Davis in 2009, Galus has proved itself  a precious resource. It has published stories and profiles that would never have otherwise reached Melbourne Jewry.

I want this tradition to continue, but I’m thinking there are exciting possibilities for new endeavours.

So I want to share some thoughts with you, see what you think, get your suggestions and reshape Galus in the image that serves you best.

What do you want to read/see?

What is missing from community media and how can Galus help fill that gap?

Some possibilities I’ve been running by people include:
– having Galus serve as a kind of grass-roots community ombudsman. Basically, if you feel there’s something really problematic in the workings of a Jewish institution or within the Jewish leadership, come to Galus to share your concerns, and possibly crowd-source a solution.

– Galus can serve other crowd-sourcing purposes as well. There is such a wealth of knowledge and ideas in this community. There’s a lot of energy. Why not use Galus as a place to break out of your social media echo-chamber, brain storm, and reach out to other Jews who can give you advice or offer help with your project or enterprise.

– Galus can help you avoid reinventing the wheel. If you have an idea, run it through Galus to see if anyone’s already up to what you want to be doing. Use Galus to pitch, to collaborate, and to streamline your information gathering.

– Galus should always be a repository for stories. You should always feel like there’s a place for your long form thoughts and opinion pieces.

– But Galus can also be nimble. We can also publish shorter pieces that profile you, share your stories in novel ways, and delight the community with the amazing and ordinary things you get up to.

More than anything, I think it’s time for a change in tone.

Sure, there are going to be difficult conversations that we’ll need to have. Our community, institutions, and leaders aren’t perfect and there needs to be a space where legitimate grievances can be discussed. That includes mistakes that I as Galus editor make, by the way. You should always feel free to give me a hard time if I’m getting something wrong.

That said, I think there’s a danger in letting gratuitous negativity define our conversations. And we stand to gain so much if we’re a bit generous with each other.

So unless there’s something going wrong that needs to be fixed, I reckon we should retreat from unnecessary negativity. I really want to be able to tell anyone who opens themselves up to us and tells us their story that I will make sure that nasty comments simply won’t get through moderation – that Galus will protect them.

What do you think?

What are your suggestions?


So… Project Zug: it’s a tool for Jewish learning that has the potential to be pretty amazing.

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Here are some details that the team behind the initiative has provided us:

Choose your own learning partner, or be matched with someone in Israel, the US, or around the world!

Use the code: GalusAustralia to get 50% off your registration.

With Project Zug courses you can:

  • Explore Psalms

  • Discuss Peoplehood

  • Study philosophy

  • Take a Food Tour of the Talmud

  • Contemplate Mindfulness

  • Think about Money and Prosperity  and much more…

Choose from one of 17 courses on a wide range of topics, and levels. Courses run for 12-weeks and are designed to be studied in a 45 min weekly havruta. Each course is a combination of videos and downloadable source sheets to be studied together.

Registration is open now for our next round of learning which will start on November 15th.

Learning with Project Zug can help you:

  • Build a real relationship with someone someone new

  • Engage with diverse and high quality Jewish educational content at all levels

  • Stay connected with a friend or family member from afar


And Jewish Care…. They’re a really interesting organisation that’s constantly exploring avenues for engaging and serving the community.

They’ll be celebrating Mitzvah Day on Sunday 15 November 2015 at 10:00am – 1:30pm at Montefiore Homes, 619 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

The free event will include gift packing for Chanukah, ‘Symbols of our Community’ art project, creation of a Sensory Garden, dance performances, a BBQ lunch and a concert by the TBI Choir.

For more information, contact Jewish Care.

And their recent awards night featured Berry Liberman of Small Giants and Dumbo Feather who gave the keynote address; and Josh Piterman – currently starring in Cats – performed live. You can read about the night here.

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  • Jonny says:

    Great to see you back swinging and inspiring Alex!!

  • Letters in the Age says:

    Welcome back Alex….!

    Love to see more gen y Heebs featured as well.

    I’ve seen some pretty impressive work out there at Universities and around the traps .

    Keep up the great work as always

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