The Melbourne Moishe House has been accused of silencing community voices and setting exclusive and conservative limits on the boundaries of acceptable Jewishness.
‘Moishe House’ is an international organisation which sets up sharehouses for young Jews. Housemates have their rent subsidised and host weekly religious, cultural, social and political events aimed at Jews in their twenties. Moishe House Melbourne claims to be ‘an inclusive environment to foster a community for young adults right across the Jewish spectrum’.
Earlier this month the Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS), a long-standing progressive Jewish group in Melbourne, approached a representative of the Melbourne Moishe House and proposed jointly hosting a public screening of a film about Asylum Seekers in Tasmania.
The Moishe House representative informed the AJDS that it is global Moishe House policy not to associate with any group that supports the BDS movement in any way, including groups such as the AJDS that support simply not purchasing settlement products.
The consequence of this policy is that the Moishe House is banned from associating with people such as Amos Oz, Peter Beinart, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman and Avraham Burg all of whom have endorsed a boycott of Israeli settlements.
This policy aligns the Moishe House with a growing tendency in the US Jewish community to shut down and censor more liberal voices from playing a part in Jewish communal institutions. Jewish writers such as Judith Butler and David Harris-Gershon, and the band The Shondes, are the most recent people to be banned from Jewish organisations because of their support for particular peace movements.
AJDS executive member Jemima Light said “This form of exclusion will only further alienate younger Jews who are becoming increasingly distrustful of establishment organisations and their ultimately ineffective attempts to police the boundaries of acceptable Jewishness.”
 
For further comment contact:
Max Kaiser, AJDS Community Organiser  0423 234 069 / [email protected]
or
Dr Jordy Silverstein, AJDS executive member   [email protected]