In a joint statement, B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich and B’nai B’rith International executive vice-president Dan Mariaschin said the lack of outcry against the wave of terror was disturbing.
“If a rash of terror broke out in any other democratic nation, most of the international community would be appalled,” they said.
In April 2013, he was named Australia's first (and so far only) honorary citizen, after prolonged advocacy from members of the B'nai B'rith lodge. Advocacy efforts also produced several rounds of limited edition stamp sales, but the one set to be released in October is the first mass-distributed Wallenberg stamp in Australia.
Read more about his life and enduring legacy courtesy of The Australian Jewish News:
The 70c Wallenberg stamp will be available as a first-day cover and card, and will come in various groupings.
It is due to be issued on October 5. Israel, Argentina, Canada, Hungary, Sweden and the United States have already issued Wallenberg stamps.
A MASS-circulation Australian postage stamp honouring Raoul Wallenberg...is set to be issued next month, after a long personal campaign by Judi Schiff of Melbourne.
In 2010, Wallenberg appeared on a limited-edition stamp sheet issued in conjunction with Melbourne philately company Max Stern & Co, marking the 25th anniversary of B’nai B’rith’s Raoul Wallenberg Unit.
But Schiff campaigned for Wallenberg to be recognised on a standard Australian stamp, using online petitions platform Change.org, where she gathered more than 520 signatures. Her involvement with the B’nai B’rith Raoul Wallenberg Unit inspired her tireless drive for a Wallenberg stamp.
“I’m over the moon that this has finally happened after repeated submissions and requests over decades,” Schiff told The AJN, saying that for years she had been told it was Australia Post policy to only use Australians on stamps, with the exception of the Queen.
"Those who commit horrific acts of terrorism and those who sponsor such evil must be held accountable and this decision sends a very strong and timely message. In an era of rising terrorism, this brave verdict sets a legal and moral standard for the often onerous pursuit of justice against perpetrators.
"Moreover, this verdict is a symbolic victory for the families of those Americans killed by the PA and the PLO in the past, such as the U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel, Jr., who was taken hostage and shot by PLO militants in 1973."
B'nai B'rith Victoria, a territorial affiliate of B'nai B'rith Australia, is in the running for a prestigious municipal service award in the city of Glen Eira, according to Australian-New Zealand Jewish publication J-Wire.
The Victoria community service efforts focus on the health of the community, social justice, tolerance, human rights and anti-discrimination. Read more about the award and service efforts, below:
B’nai B’rith Victoria has been selected as one of two finalists in the Glen Eira Community Group of the Year Award 2015.
B’nai B’rith Victoria has over 500 volunteer members within its organisation – with the majority living in City of Glen Eira.
Several hundred members are active, committed, and work together to bring about a diverse range of interests, projects and activities. Projects not only engage citizens within the City of Glen Eira but also citizens from other local government areas.
Faye Dubrowin, President of B’nai B’rith Victoria said: "B'nai B’rith is thrilled and delighted. I never cease to be amazed at the commitment and determination of B’nai B’rith volunteers/members of all ages and are the strength and backbone of the organisation.
"As a finalist for this Award, recognition is given to their wonderful work and the very many great projects they provide to the community."
B'nai B'rith celebrated its 171st birthday on Oct. 13, reviewing its first 17 decades at the forefront of Jewish advocacy in the United States and around the world.
Here is an infographic detailing the major achievements in the organization's history:
In the face of rising global anti-Semitism, Australia's B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission has called on university leadership to police the rhetoric and demonstrations on campuses across the continent.
B'nai B'rith ADC Chairman Dr. Dvir Abramovich spoke with the The Herald Sun, highlights of which can be found below:
The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission’s chairman Dr Dvir Abramovich has called on universities across the country to “demand and enforce a policy of zero tolerance” towards anti-Semitic rhetoric and conduct.
He says it is on the rise and university leaders and staff must publicly condemn any acts of Jewish hatred.
“At a time when virulent anti-Semitism continues to be a serious problem on Australian campuses we call on the university leadership around the country to take immediate steps to address this troubling phenomenon head on, and to make it clear that there is no place for hate and racism on Australian campuses,” he said.
“In the short-term the most important thing is the strength of their response to individuals where they are implicated,” he said.
The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission has raised a number of concerns including: five Jewish students allegedly being refused entry to a Socialist Alternative discussion on Israel at Monash University; two Jewish students, one wearing a Kippa, allegedly being verbally abused and shoved at RMIT; and a motion by the Monash University Student Council accusing Israel of genocide.
“All students have the right to express their lawful and reasonable views without fear or favour. However, freedom of lawful expression does not include the right to harass, vilify, threaten or intimidate others. Such behaviour has no place on a university campus.’’
While a truce may have halted the conflict in Gaza, the cultural conflict continues in much of the world, as Jewish communities have been subject to increased anti-Semitism since the war began.
In Australia, several threatening incidences toward Jewish children, particularly a bomb threat at a Jewish school, has the continent's 110,000-member Jewish population on edge.
The story was covered in Haaretz, quoting Dr. Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission. A sampling of the story can be found below:
Prof. Danny Ben-Moshe, another Melbourne-based academic who analyzes anti-Semitism, agreed there had been a shift within Australian Jewry but stopped short of describing it as “seismic.”
“The collective well-being of Australian Jewry has been adversely affected,” Ben-Moshe told Haaretz. “Jews are neither as free nor as safe as they were prior to this war.”
More than 200 Jewish pupils were evacuated for several hours while the bomb squad sent a remote-controlled robot to an abandoned car outside the school after community security officials had called police.
In the wake of the incident on Jewish pupils on a school bus in Sydney, Dr. Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, wrote earlier this month: “There are alarming developments and chilling signs that are making the Jewish community here less comfortable, less confident and very worried that the flames of anti-Semitism are burning more furiously at home.”
The B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) in Australia, condemned in the strongest possible terms the statement appearing on the Australian Jewish Democratic Society's website last week.
The ADC was joined in its condemnation by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), and the stance was covered by J-Wire, a website devoted to Jewish news in Australia, New Zealand and the global community.
Read an excerpt of the article below:
Both organisations sharply criticised the total lack of balance and disregard for facts in the statement that paints a simplistic and one-sided picture of what is an extremely complex situation. The ADC and JCCV also denounced the AJDS’ analysis of cause and effect that bears no relationship to the facts on the ground.
Chairman of the ADC Dr. Dvir Abramovich and President of the JCCV Nina Bassat issued the following statement:
“All people of goodwill are deeply saddened by the loss of life on both sides of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, but the progress towards peace can only be hindered by statements which totally lack balance, such as that of the AJDS.
"Sadly, the now common reckless and eager rush to condemn Israel is represented by the skewed and outrageous statement of the AJDS, which zealously attacks and accuses the IDF of a massacre without any facts or evidence. It is a pity that the ADJS keeps choosing to engage in a relentless campaign of propaganda in their continuous bashing of Israel."
What is as disturbing as the absence of substantiated data is the inflammatory and pejorative language used in the statement.
Given the world-wide conflation between anti-Israel feelings and anti- Semitism, highly emotive words such as perpetrated and massacre are calculated to arouse anger against not only Israel, but the Jewish community in Australia and are a willful disregard that language such as this destroys the harmonious nature of our multicultural society.
Months later, we’re still talking about our visit to Australia and New Zealand.
I was deeply impressed by the dedication of B’nai B’rith leadership at every stop. I listened to the reports made at the Convention, about projects that are meant to serve both the Jewish community and beyond.
I was particularly impressed – and noted this in my speeches and presentations -with the Courage to Care program. With the number of survivors and eyewitnesses to Hitler’s brutality now sadly ebbing, the need to “educate and remember” is an obligation of history we must assume with increasing urgency.
I was tremendously moved by hearing the testimonies of the school teachers who were able to spend some time at Yad Vashem, trips underwritten through the generosity of Courage to Care, as well as the descriptions of programs for school groups geared to hearing from survivors themselves or from videos that have been made in which they tell their stories.
I was encouraged to learn of plans to grow the program; indeed, I took back materials with me to Washington to see if BBI can’t engage in a similar program here in the States.
Michal and I came away from our visit with a deep appreciation of the vitality of the Jewish communities in both countries, and especially by the special brand of dedication that our B’nai B’rith brothers and sisters bring to their important work.
The well-known secret to our success over these many years (BBI is entering its 171st year) is the hard work and the caring of our many volunteers. BBANZ is carrying on that tradition into the 21st century.
Yes, the years on the calendar have changed, but the imperative to reach out to our fellow Jews and the broader community is the same as when we were founded in 1843, and when the first lodge was founded in Australia in 1944.
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