Hot Potatoes

Hot Potatoes

Hot Potatoes is a monthly (usually first Wednesday) forum devoted to spirited debate on issues relevant to the Jewish community.

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When Venue Description
February,2013

Wed, 6 February 2013
7:30PM
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The Inaugural Hot Potatoes Session

Wednesday 6 February

7.30pm starts

Entry fee: $10.00

RSVP: administrator [at] newtown [dot] shul [dot] org [dot] au

On Wednesday 6 February, Newtown Synagogue will be starting a monthly programme of talks, discussions and debates on hot, contentious Jewish topical issues.

We are calling it Hot Potatoes.

Our first Hot Potatoes topic will be presented by Simon Holloway on the issue of Haredim in Israeli society. It is one of the many emotionally charged issues in contemporary Israeli society, and as Israel goes into election mode, it is all the more critical to examine, discuss and debate this issue.

Join us for a night of lively discussion!

About the topic:

Among religious Jews in Israel, the Haredim only seem to make it into Israeli newspapers for unpleasant reasons. Whether they are insisting on segregated streets, burning Israeli flags, abusing women who are “improperly dressed” or meeting with Israel’s enemies, the extreme 1% is giving the rest a bad name. But who are these factionalists?

Simon Holloway will guide us through a brief history of Haredi Judaism in the State of Israel, with a focus on the events in today’s news cycle and the people behind them.

About the speaker:

Simon Holloway is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, where he is researching the early development of agricultural legislation in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

His other interests include rabbinic Judaism in Eastern Europe from the 17th-20th century and Haredi subcultures in the State of Israel. He teaches Jewish law, history and philosophy for Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education.

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March,2013

Wed, 6 March 2013
7:30PM
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The Peace Process: Why has it failed?

Join us and Dr Ron Weiser (AM) for the second session of Hot Potatoes @ Newtown Synagogue.

Entry fee: $10

RSVP: administrator [at] newtown [dot] shul [dot] org [dot] au

What are the real reasons that an agreement on the two-state solution has not been achieved?

What will it take to bring about the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Dr Ron Weiser (AM) is the Honourable Life President of the Zionist Council of NSW.  He has had a lifelong involvement in a leadership capacity in the Australian Zionist movement, and was responsible for introducing many initiatives in Australia, including Taglight (Birthright), MASA for longer term Israel programmes, teacher training programme for Jewish studies teachers, National Biennial Jewish Educators Conference, etc.  He has taught several adult education courses on contemporary Israeli politics in Shalom Institute.

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April,2013

Wed, 3 April 2013
7:30PM
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Newtown Synagogue Community Hall, 20 Georgina St, Newtown, NSW 2042
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HOT POTATOES @ Newtown Synagogue

 Jewish Australia: A demographic checkup

Join Dr Gary Eckstein, NSW Jewish Community’s honorary demographer for the third session of Hot Potatoes.

What is the demographic snapshot of the Jewish diaspora in:

Australia?  NSW? Inner – Western Sydney?

What demographic challenges do we face?

Wednesday 3 April 2013

7.30pm starts

Entry fee: $10

Dr. Eckstein is a professional demographic and statistical consultant with wide experience in health related activities. Most of his work is in consultation with the government sector. He holds a senior fellowship with the Centre for Health Service Development, University of Wollongong.  Dr. Eckstein has provided voluntary demographic services to the Sydney Jewish community for more than 30 years. He provides a report to the Jewish Communal Appeal following each 5 yearly census

Dr. Eckstein also provides Australian input to the School of Demography at the Hebrew University for the World Jewish Population fact sheet.

RSVP: hotpotatoes [at] newtown [dot] shul [dot] org [dot] au

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May,2013

Wed, 1 May 2013
7:30PM
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Newtown Community Hall, 18 Georgina Street Newtown NSW 2042
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Hot Potatoes is a monthly forum devoted to spirited debate on issues relevant to the Jewish community.

Join us and Rabbi Eli Cohen for the fourth session
of Hot Potatoes @ Newtown Synagogue

Wednesday 1st May 2013
7.30pm starts
Entry fee: $10

RSVP: administrator [at] newtown [dot] shul [dot] org [dot] au

 The “Christian Right” has emerged as the most enthusiastic supporters of Israel in the world. At the same time, all Evangelicals believe that it is their responsibility to bring all people, including Jews, to Christian faith. This presentation examines the many reasons that draw Evangelicals to Israel and the complex nature of their relationship with the Jewish community, specifically focusing on the issue of conversion.

Rabbi Eli Cohen is the director of Jews for Judaism Australia ( the only counter-missionary organisation in Australia)  as well as a consultant to Jews for Judaism International. He has studied at rabbinical colleges around the world, including the Rabbinical College of America and the Rabbinical College of Canada. He is also the Rabbi of the Newtown Synagogue in Sydney.

 

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June,2013

Wed, 5 June 2013
7:30PM
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Newtown Synagogue Community Hall, 20 Georgina St, Newtown, NSW 2042
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What makes a Diaspora?

Hot Potatoes@Newtown Synagogue

Dr Shahar Burla will discuss the history of the term “Diaspora” and the new trends in the Diaspora Studies.

He will try to answer the question: “what makes a group a Diaspora”?

He will then try to analyze the Australian Jewish Diaspora, based on the conclusion he extrapolates.

Dr Shahar Burla is currently a tutor and research assistant at the UNSW focusing on comparative multiculturalism and political structures of Australia, UK, Canada, India and Israel. He earned his MA from Hebrew University in 2005 and his Ph.D. in political science from Bar-Ilan University. His Ph.D. dissertation was on ‘Political Imagination in the Diaspora’. Winner of President’s Fellowship award in 2011 and the Menahem Begin Foundation award in 2006.

·         Entry fee: $10

·         RSVP: administrator [at] newtown [dot] shul [dot] org [dot] au

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August,2013

Wed, 7 August 2013
7:30PM
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Newtown Synagogue, 18 Georgina St, Newtown, NSW 2042
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HOT POTATOES @ Newtown Synagogue

Sydney Beit Din – Explained

Join us and Rabbi Yehoram Ulman from the Sydney Beit Din, for another session of Hot Potatoes @ Newtown Synagogue.

For the Sydney Jewish community, the Sydney Beit Din plays an integral part in our community lives, from kashrut, marriage, divorce, conversion to even business transactions. But how the Beit Din operates is often a mystery to us. How does our Beit Din work? What issues and challenges does it see for itself in the coming years? What issues and challenges do we believe it would engage with?

Rabbi UlmanRabbi UlmanRabbi Yehoram Ulman is a rabbi in the Sydney Beit Din. Educated in Moriah College and the Yeshiva Gedolah in Melbourne. Rabbi Ulman is active on behalf of the Beth Din in the Russian community. Rabbi Ulman has particular expertise in halachically acceptable fertility treatments and oversees the Beth Din’s highly successful IVF program.

HOT POTATOES
A monthly forum devoted to spirited debate on issues relevant to the Jewish community

Entry fee: $10
RSVP: hotpotatoes [at] newtown [dot] shul [dot] org [dot] au

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