Diverse voices, different opinions and an open forum for debate
The Australian Jewish Democratic Society is a progressive voice among Jews and a Jewish voice among progressives. Members of the AJDS organise and participate in fund raising, educational campaigns, film screenings, demonstrations and vigils in order to provide a platform for discussion and debate on issues affecting contemporary Jewish life.
Since 1984, AJDS members have spoken out about many issues in order to promote human rights and offer advocacy. These issues have included:
These issues are discussed and debated within the group, but most of our events are open to the public. We want to engage people from the Jewish community as well as the wider population, and collaborate with other organisations. Read some of our recent statements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you an anti-Zionist organisation?
A: No. Our members hold a range of views about Israel/Palestine. But we share a belief in the right of both Palestinians and Jews to self-determination, and the right of both Palestinians and Israeli Jews to a safer, more just, future, free of Occupation. We support activists from Israel and elsewhere, those who share our values. We encourage a critical, informed debate about where Zionism is today and how it affects Australian Jewish life and the Middle East. We also reject the notion that criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic but we’ll continue to address anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia in all their forms.
Q: What is your position on BDS?
A: Members of the AJDS support boycotting the Settlements, an end to the Occupation and a solution which respects the aspirations and security of both nations, as long as it is democratic and abides by International Human Rights conventions. However, we are not unanimous on the contentious issue of non-violent forms of resistance, including boycotts, divestment and sanctions. When the AJDS launched its boycott the settlements campaign, we also published the views of four of our members to reflect this plurality. You can read that post here.
Q: How do I get involved?
A: You can become a member, join our mailing list (at the bottom of this page), come to our events or contact us if you have specific ideas and interests. We are always trying to find creative and effective ways to work with people in our community.
Executive Committee Members