20% of Sydney Jewish community below poverty line

October 10, 2011 by  
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Ahead of  Anti-Poverty Week, the leader of Sydney’s Jewish Community says that 20% live below the poverty line.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies will mark Anti-Poverty week with an Anti-Poverty Panel at the Board Plenum on 18 October. Anti-Poverty week is recognised across the whole Australian community from 16-22 October.

Yair Miller

Board President Yair Miller said: “It is a little known fact that around 20% of the Jewish Community in NSW actually lives below the poverty line. This is a very sad and important fact and one we as a community need to pay close attention to.”

There will be a Panel discussing poverty, disadvantage and vulnerability and the implications for anti-poverty policies and programs in the NSW Jewish community at the October Plenum.

The purpose is to mark Anti-Poverty Week for the Jewish community and to highlight the causes and experiences of poverty and vulnerability in the Jewish Community, and the necessity for anti-poverty policies, commitments and programs.  The Panel speakers will focus on the types and causes of poverty and disadvantage in the Jewish Community, strategies for addressing it and making people in the community more aware. Speakers will also outline what their organisation is doing to tackle disadvantage and vulnerability, and to heighten awareness.

.The Panel speakers will be:

1. Bettina Cass, Chair of the NSW JBD Social Justice committee,

2. Rabbi Mendel Kastel, CEO of Jewish House

3. Clair Vernon CEO of JewishCare

Plenum members will be invited to consider how the community might be made more aware of poverty and disadvantage among our families, children, young people and older people.  Plenum members will also be invited to consider effective and equitable programs to address poverty in our community.


2 Responses to “20% of Sydney Jewish community below poverty line”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    There are times when certain “pearls of wisdom” make me spew. One of them is “Better late than never”. Bettina Cass has been occupying the Social Justice Chair at the Board for some four years. Until last night the C/ttee has been skillfully avoiding the issue of Jewish poverty while concentrating on matters so foreign to the Jewish concerns that made “irrelevance” a compliment. Due to the preaviling political correctness I shall not mention the issues, FACT is that ignoring the communal obvious for so long makes one ( maximum two people I know on the Board ) wonder if this “shift” in emphasis carries any worth at all.
    While a deputy I argued persistently that the almost complete avoidance of the relatively new Russian Jewish contingent among us proves a type of elitism quite characteristic to local older Australian Jewry toward the non English-cultured new arrivals quite contrary to the great efforts made by the same community in freeing the Soviet Jewish refuseniks of the 1980s.
    It must be said, consequently, that the poverty in question is to be found prevalently among the older Russian Jews, fairly numerous in Sydney. The same Board has been remiss in approaching the Russian segment of our community for decades now, something it has been remineded on numerous occasions with, obvious, no effect both in terms of memebership and general concerns.
    Rabbi Mendel Kastell’s efforts,however, have been known and must be considered as the most laudable attitude by one of the most conscientious figure in our community.
    Needless (!) to add that after some seven years at the helm of the Board, Yair Miller has acquired the tallent of making a “suitable” speech. He may be surprised that one person paid attention to it and that had to be me…..

  2. sonia says:

    I dare say that there would be a similar percentage of poor Jews here in Melbourne, particularly if rent money has to be found out of the meagre pension.

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