Friday, October 9, 2009

J-Wire or Gay-Wire ?

Is Henry Benjamin following the AJN - becoming obsessed with "gayness". Please Henry, most people don't give a Donald Duck about what this or any other person does in private. (Well, we sure hope that he only does it in private.)

J-Wire: Obama selects Jewish Gay Ambassador to NZOctober 9, 2009 by Henry Benjamin

A Jewish lawyer currently based in Shanghai has been selected by President Obama as the new U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.David Huebner is openly gay and is reported as being the general counsel for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Discrimination. If Huebner’s selection is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he will become the third gay ambassador in U.S. history and will mark another notch in Obama’s election promise belt.
AJNWatch comment: Tells us a lot about Obama's priorities. G-d help America.

Head of the New Zealand Jewish Council Stephen Goodman told J-Wire: “If his election is approved we welcome him to New Zealand. Auckland has an openly gay reform rabbi who is American and has a New Zealander as a partner.”
AJNWatch comment: Goodman seems mighty proud of his "openly gay reform rabbi".Looks like he has nothing much else to show off about.
But really, big deal. Australia can top that. Our Reform claim to fame is a halachically-non-Jewish "rabbi" - or more correctly - "rabbiette"/"rabbi-ess".

Some may recall an interview with her some years ago in The Australian, where she proudly proclaimed that her non-Jewish mother never bothered to go through the motions of conversion - not even the super-lite Reform version.
"...I am dealing with being one of the first women rabbis in Sydney,” explains Jacqueline Ninio, 39, associate rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Sydney, Australia; her father is Turkish-Egyptian, her mother is an Australian Jew-by-choice..."


  1. There are several things which once could say are offensive in your posting.

    It is your absolute hatred for those of us Jews who do not practice your version of the Jewish faith that I find very insulting. I am sure that Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio can defend herself but what relevance is it to anyone if her mother an Australian Jew by choice. You seem to rejoice in your disgust. How does that fit in with your faith? Her mother seeks to identify as one of the faith and that is sufficient. Many of us attend the Conservative and Progressive Jewish services as we find there is a greater degree of relevance and understanding where there is an equality in participation.

    For the most part I seek to avoid the orthodox jewish adherents. This simply comes from my business experiences with them. Not one of them I would have called honest nor trustworthy in any way compared to the non orthodox adherents. Though I was more than pleasantly surprised with the nice black frock coated gentleman who visited my mother to blow the shofar this Rosh Hashana . I hope that this man may restore my faith in the orthodox adherents.

    Perhaps you should also post on the number of Rabbis who have been convicted for sexual abuse and the attitude of the orthodox community of supporting the Rabbi as the “victim” and shunning the families who reported the sexual abuse. Perhaps the Christian clergy can teach our Rabbis a few lesson of how to bury your heads in the sand.

    Finally I have observed over a number of years the people who seem to appear anti gay and promote their dislike of homosexuality are in so many cases closet gays.

    I also realise that this post will probably be moderated ie banned.

  2. It says a lot about one's standard of Jewishness when they can so easily dismiss a claim that their rabbi isn't Jewish!

    Time to bring back the Rebbe's Giyur Kehalacha campaign.

  3. Reply to Peter Kolb:

    1) You complaint that stating facts is offensive, seems extraordinary - as no one recalls you being troubled over the decades that the Jewish News has been circulating “truth” about religious Jews, (eg, the recent front page poster “Charged” against a rabbi). Why indeed is it so? Are the feelings of Reform Jews worthy of more sensitivity than those of frum Jews?

    2) Rest assured that we have no “hatred” - not for Reform Jews and definitely not for Reform non-Jews – even if they are “rabbis”. Both fall into the category known as “tinokot shenishbu” (maybe one of your rabbis can explain), who deserve our compassion and understanding and not – G-d forbid - hatred.

    AJNWatch feels it has a duty and the opportunity to bring to the awareness of all Jews, that Halachically, Reform Judaism is a fraud and has no connection at all to authentic Torah miSinai Judaism. Our hope is that one or more unfortunate ill-advised misguided Jew(s) connected with any of the Temples, will, after reading our blog, at least ask a few questions, seek honest answers and hopefully find his/her path back to the Torah way.

    3) Get it into your head: “Jew by Choice” equals “Halachik non-Jew”. Period. Thus, from the POV of the Torah and the Shulchan Aruch, Ms Ninio is NOT Jewish. This is so even if she were the most knowledgeable and noble person on the planet. (Of course, like anyone else, she has the opportunity to become genuinely Jewish, That would entail her accepting and observing the Taryag Mitzvot and obviously abandoning any connection with the heretical Reform religion. Zehu!! But anything less that that simply won’t do it.)

    4) Your spiteful and malicious comments about orthodox Jews is a carbon-copy of the diatribes and invective made by anti-Semites over the centuries. Nice. Real nice. And you say that WE are offensive.
    But really? You have not had a single positive experience with orthodox Jews!? Amazing! Have you been reading the newspapers recently? Noticed the names of Jews being accused of some pretty large-scale white collar crime? Did you see a single orthodox Jew mentioned? We didn’t.

    5) Pray tell, how many orthodox rabbis in Australia have been convicted of sexual abuse? We have NEVER heard of a single case. Your attempt at vilification and smear are disgusting enough to reward you with a permanent editorial position at the AJN.

    BTW, all this nastiness erupted because we mentioned that your rabbi was not Jewish. In truth we revealed nothing. She is the one who has been telling this to interviewers.

    6) Re your anti-gay complaints: We have repeatedly stated that personally we have nothing against gays. It is the Torah that bans homosexuality – not a blog. Despite this, we wouldn’t have broached the subject had they (and the AJN) kept their unusual lifestyle to themselves – rather than screeching about it from the rooftops.

    7) You may have noticed – your comments were neither moderated nor banned!

  4. In response to your comments:
    1. How would you know what I feel about the truth about religious Jews? The sad fact is that some orthodox Rabbis have committed crimes. I don’t need to name them you are fully aware of who they are. I don’t think I have to ask my Rabbi whether the Halacha would also consider these to be “crimes”. I think theft is a crime. But perhaps you can elucidate this poor misguided person. For the record my mother was non-Jewish and my mother, brothers and I had converted in accordance with the Halacha. Subsequent family research I had discovered that my mother was halachically Jewish despite 4 generations of Christian upbringing on my mother’s family side and a few a ministers interspersed in the family. So I guess the conversion was not necessary. On a personal note would this fact make my mother more Jewish prior to the conversion than Jacqueline Ninio’s mother? I don’t think so. I don’t rejoice in any Jew orthodox or otherwise having their names printed on the front page of the AJN or any other paper with a headline “Charges against....” I would prefer the AJN to publish these items than the Jewish communities (I write that because you seem to make that distinction of orthodox and them) than bury our heads in the sands over issues that confront my community. Still if you don’t like the AJN and reading it then may I suggest start your own. It can’t be that hard after all.

    2. No hatred for Reform Jews? I well I must be misinterpreting and misreading your blog but I don’t see a lot of compassion and understanding on your part. My late father lost much of his faith during the Shoah and was what I call a typical “frum Caulfield” person. Shuls 3 times a year and hope to miss the boring sermon. It was my mother who kept kosher etc and saw we went to shul more regularly than that. However if I said I attend Shira Hadassa regularly as well as the conservative and reform shuls this would make me what in your opinion. To me I am happy to accept all Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionists as Jews and that includes those of either matrilineal or patrilineal descent. This may cause you to splutter but that’s my view. You won’t change your views and I won’t convince you of mine? Halacha can change and will change and has changed to meet the needs of our community.

  5. "Jews by choice equal Halachich non Jews"

    - Do you stone people for not keeping Shabbat?
    - Do you stone people for partaking in Homosexual activity?

    If your answers to the above questions are no. Then, you too are a Jew by choice as you pick and choose which laws to adhere to.

  6. I don't "screech" my lifestyle from the rooftops. But I find it regularly excoriated on your blog. The fact that you write under anonymity may make it hard to track you down, but I do assure you the vitriol that regularly flows publicly from this website represents a wilful and systemic breach of laws preventing the inciting of hatred and discrimination. You should tone your language down accordingly.

    Matthew Loader

  7. Matthew, you may not be a screecher, but your mates do a pretty good job at it. And what about their appaling 'parades'!

    Since when is honest and fair criticism considered to be 'inciting hatred' and discrimination?

  8. To anon of 10.27
    The answers to your questions are no.
    And had you been fortunate to study Torah and talmud you wouldn't ask such questions.
    For anyone to be 'stoned' he/she would have to go through a unusually lengthy process which if any single even minute condition is not met, ther eis no stoning.
    The Talmud states that a Beth Din that executed a single person once in 70 years - were considered to me "killers". So rest assured about that point

  9. Peter you ask "How would you know what I feel about the truth about religious Jews?"

    Here's how: "... I seek to avoid the orthodox jewish adherents. .. Not one of them I would have called honest nor trustworthy in any way.."

    As to your complaints about Orthdox rabbis,there are no doubt rotten apples everywhere. Just do a google search and you'll find just as many, if not more, scandals involving reform and consverative clergypeople.

    Of course your mother is more Jewish that Ninio! Not only did she convert halachically - but her maternal great-grandmother was a Jew.
    Ms Ninio cannot make neither of these claims.

    And repeat,no, there is no hatred for Reform Jews. Do you know how much money and effort is put in by orthodox Jews to reach out and help their Reform brethren. Is that hate?

  10. Veteran communal observerSunday, October 18, 2009 9:28:00 PM

    I am aghast at the hypocrisy of Peter Kolb in decrying the criticsm of his anti-orthodox views as "offensive" and "insulting".

    This from a man who brazenly states:
    "For the most part I seek to avoid the orthodox jewish adherents. This simply comes from my business experiences with them. Not one of them I would have called honest nor trustworthy in any way compared to the non orthodox adherents."

    Wow! Am I mistaken in concluding that usupported, bigotted, balatant stereo-typing worthy of Der Sturmer back in Nazi Germany?

    And there's more:

    Peter Kolb then goes on to say:

    "Perhaps you should also post on the number of Rabbis who have been convicted for sexual abuse and the attitude of the orthodox community of supporting the Rabbi as the “victim” and shunning the families who reported the sexual abuse. Perhaps the Christian clergy can teach our Rabbis a few lesson of how to bury your heads in the sand."

    Perhaps it is Mr Kolb who would like to post references to back-up his claim regarding Orthodox Rabbis here in Australia who have been convicted of sexual abuse.

    On the ohter hand, the case was well publicised a number of years back regarding a Reform Rabbi in Sydney who openly admitted, in a letter of resignation to his Board of Mangement, that he had taken advantage of a woman congregant who came to him for counselling anb had commenced an ongoing affair with her - a married woman. And what about the response of the Board who refused his offer of resignation, despite the blatant breach of trust? Similar facts were well documented earlier about the antics of a Reform Rabbi in Western Asutralia. Yet another Reform Rabbi in Melbourne deserted his wife and children to become a fully practicing Christian.

    These are not mere allegations but matters of fact openly witnessed by the Reform communities that these "rabbis" served.

    Methinks that it is very much the kettle calling the pot black when outrageous allegations are made about the Orthodox Rabbinate by Mr Kolb.

  11. In response to veteran
    AJN watch is far more concerned about how AJN views the orthodox community.
    I can only speak of my business experiences which were not pleasant. I wish it were otherwise as well. But saying that this is blatant stereo-typing worthy of Der Sturmer back in Nazi Germany sort of proves my point. Criticism can be harsh.

    I have no respect for any member of the clergy who sexually abuses children. I don’t care if you are reform orthodox or Martian that behaviour is unacceptable. Perhaps I can refer to the principal of an Adass college in Melbourne who left Australia in very suspicious circumstances after allegation of improper conduct with some of her female students. The Adass community in allowing her to leave before these allegations were tested is nothing short of disgraceful.

    Reform rabbis like Orthodox rabbi have committed adultery. All of them behaving improperly. There is a difference between sexual abuse of children and adultery. I don’t think I need to explain to you the differences.
    Once again both reform and orthodox rabbis have in recent times converted to Christianity. I have no respect for Vallins. He more than let his family down but also the Jewish community. He was a trophy.
    My kettle isn’t black but polished. It is the orthodox community led by their rabbis which have the problem

  12. Veteran communal observerTuesday, October 20, 2009 12:35:00 AM

    Come now Mr Kolb.

    You have raised one (as yet unproven) allegation against a school principal - not a rabbi - to back your sweeping claims that Orthodox Rabbis have been guilty of sexual abuse here in Australia.

    You have further attempted to make light of inexcusable behaviour by your reform rabbis by trying to distinguish between one form of abuse and another. While there may indeed be degrees of severity of abuse does that excuse ANY form of abuse and breach of trust?

    You have further continued to make sweeping unsupported allegations about orthodox rabbis also commiting adultery and converting to Christianity in the face of absolute and undisputed fact about such antics committed solely by reform rabbis here in Australia.

    It appears obvious from the facts that the reform community and their rabbis have much more to answer to than the orthodox community and their rabbis.

    A little less hypocrisy and unsupported allegation Mr Kolb may elevate this disussion to a level worthy of being continued.

    Meantime all there is left to say is - no Mr Kolb, your kettle is certainly not polished. It is tarnished and blackened by your persistance in promoting unsupported sweeping allegations in order to excuse your own bigatory and bias.

  13. Peter, the Adass community, like the police, had no way to stop that principal leaving the country. There were never any charges laid against her. The entire story was made up of allegations by people who had no proof or evidence of anything.
    That affair was indeed reported by the Jewish News in a most despicable way and they did their best to drag it out for a month. They didn't give a damn about the additional harm and pain that they caused to the alleged victims and their families.

  14. Its one of two things...either you have stopped reading the AJN and set up your own paper or you have just become so lazy.

    In the AJN 23 October page 2 there was a short article on Out 2009 top 100 GLTB. Looks like Mrs rebbitzen Gurfinkel and others were asleep.

  15. More likely they have stopped reading Kamien's garbage.


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