Dear Mr Jankelowitz

January 21, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
Read on for article

A Melbourne grandfather was shocked by the recent story of Sydney’s Moriah College’s refusing a graduate’s child because the child’s grandmother had been converted to Judaism at the pluralistic Emanuel Synagogue…he shares a letter he penned to the school’s president, Stephen Jankelowitz.

David Wolff’s letter….

“Dear Mr Jankelowitz,

I appreciate the opportunity of writing to you as  President of the Moriah College School Council.

My name is David Wolff.

I am 75 years old.

I have been happily married for 52 years.

I have two children Alex (49) and Tania (47).

I have three grandchildren… Max (13), Avi (12) and Sophia (11).

I have lived all my life in Melbourne.

I am a child of German Jewish refugees that found haven In Melbourne in late 1938.

I was the 31st student enrolment in Mt. Scopus in 1949.

I attended Mt. Scopus for twelve years.

Likewise, Alex and Tania attended Scopus for twelve years.

My three grandchildren have, and still attend  Bialik College and King David School in Melbourne.

Tania was school captain in her graduating 1988 year.

They recently had a 30-year class reunion.

Josh Frydenberg attended together with 80-odd others.

All three Jewish Day Schools named above are open to all applicants without discrimination in respect of race or religion.

Both my children would have been denied enrolment by Moriah.

Both are top lawyers and worthwhile members of both the Jewish and general community.

We scream as Jews against discrimination…yet the practice is embraced by your school.

Shame, particularly as your school goes to the Jewish community for appeal funds.

I read with dismay in the Australian Jewish News the Moriah college report involving the rejection of a child of a previous school captain..on the basis that the child did not qualify as Jewish due to Halachic law.

I have fought all my life against anti-Semitism.

I support the Anti-Defamation Commission.

I am a volunteer with Community Service Group with the object of  protection of Jewish life.

For the last few years, I have stood guard in front of Jewish schools and synagogues.

I do not differentiate between Orthodox, Conservative or Progressive.

I am angry and disappointed with Moriah College.

I am ashamed of hypocrisy being practised and imbued as “values”.

I am equally ashamed at the recent rabbinical boycott of rabbis attending a memorial service for Jeremy Spinak.”

David Wolff, Melbourne.

He received this reply from Stephen Jankelowitz:

Thank you for taking the time to respond.  We understand that you feel very passionately about this subject and we thank you for providing your views on the ethos of the College, which we respect.

 

Comments

3 Responses to “Dear Mr Jankelowitz”
  1. Peter Strasser says:

    It is disappointing that apart from acknowledging Mr Wolff’s letter, the President failed to respond at all to the critical issues raised in the letter. His silence can only fairly be interpreted as acquiescence
    in all the assertions by David Wolff against the discriminatory
    position of the College.

  2. Malvina Malinek says:

    I think that discrimination on the basis of determination by a school on ‘who is a Jew’ could contravene the racial discrimination laws. Would the Jewish community, its JBOD, THE MORIAH SCHOOL BOARD, as well the Beth Din once more want to be hauled in front of the High Court once more?

  3. HOWARD JOFFE says:

    Discrimination in any form is abhorrent

    Jews who have suffered the fate of hatred and bias because of our religious beliefs ought be the last to discriminate.

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