The Victorian Jewish Community and the Affordable Housing Crisis

By Marilyn Kraner, Individual & Family Support Manager


In 2017, the issue of social housing hit the mainstream. Described as an ‘affordable housing crisis’, the disturbing images of homeless people in the world’s most liveable city generated considerable media coverage and intense community discussion on how best to deal with the issue.

What had traditionally been seen as a welfare or fringe issue affecting others, but not us, was now being talked about as increasingly affecting the ‘average’ Victorian across all levels of the housing continuum; from supply to planning, private ownership to rental arrangements, and social and public housing.

So, what does the housing affordability crisis look like for Victorian Jewry?

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Why Do School Leavers Keep Making the Wrong Study and Career Choices?

By Simon Jedwab


People are asked to make career decisions at all stages of life. Whether it is to seek a promotion, apply for a new job, or embark on a career change, choices are made daily that shape the career paths of people. However, it is at school, particularly the later stages of secondary school, where young people are first asked to make important career decisions.

At secondary school, the key focus for career advisors and teachers is to help students make realistic choices about tertiary study and future careers based on enthusiasm and passion for a field of study and employment. If school leavers are entering tertiary courses linked to careers in fields they are passionate about, then why do so many young people drop out of tertiary courses or later regret their career choices? Continue reading

Supporting Mature-Age Job Seekers in the Jewish Community

By Simon Jedwab

 Job Searching

In recent times, Jewish Care’s Employment and Education Centre (EEC) has seen an influx of mature-age job seekers requesting support in finding employment. 34%, or 130, of the job seekers the EEC currently supports are aged over 50 years old.

Throughout the next decade, the proportion of the population engaged in employment compared to that supported by the welfare system is set to reduce remarkably. Economically, job seekers aged 50 years and over represent a particularly concerning demographic. Due to economic and demographic trends, it is becoming increasingly important that older Australians remain in the workforce for as long as they are willing and able, as people aged over 50 are increasingly without the financial security to retire. Due to this, people are often forced to retire later in life. In 2014, 71% of people interviewed in a study conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics intended to retire at 65, up from 48% ten years before, whilst 23% intended to retire at or above age 70, compared to only eight percent in 2004.

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Let’s Stamp Out Stigma

By Cassandra Barrett, Mental Health Promotion and Resource Officer.


Mental Health Week is something that should matter to all of us.

45% – nearly 1 in 2 Australians – will experience mental illness at some point in their lifetime. It’s a virtual certainty that every one of us will have a loved one – a partner, child, friend, colleague – who is affected by mental illness, whether we’re aware of it or not. And every one of us can play a role, no matter how small, in helping to create a society that’s more open and inclusive.

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Mental Health and the Jewish Community

By Marilyn Kraner

The text below is from a presentation given by Marilyn Kraner, Individual & Family Support Manager, at a recent forum hosted by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria. The forum was on mental health and social inclusion for the LGBTI community.


A question we often hear at Jewish Care is “What is different about mental health and the Jewish community?” The answer is both simple and complex.

The short answer is that in terms of prevalence, there is no reason to think that the Jewish community is any different to the mainstream population. We know that in any given year, 1 in 5 Australians will experience mental illness, and almost 1 in 2 will be affected at some point in their lifetime. A significant body of research shows that the prevalence of mental illness in minority groups or culturally and linguistically diverse communities mirrors that of the broader population; we can therefore assume that there is nothing particularly different or unusual about the rate of mental illness in the Jewish community.

The longer answer is that in terms of impact, there is a significant difference. While we know that stigma around mental ill health remains a problem in the broader Australian community, its impact in a close-knit community like ours is particularly challenging, for a number of different reasons.

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The Two of Us

By Cassie Barrett and Marilyn Kraner


On R U OK? Day we talk a lot about the importance of checking in with our loved ones, including our colleagues. But what actually happens if you say you’re not okay?

Mental Health Promotion Resource Officer

I first met Marilyn when I interviewed for this role. I was upfront about my mental health from the start – I mentioned it at the interview. I think being a mental health role made it a bit easier – you kind of assume there will be at least some level of understanding around mental health in this sector – but it was really her approachability that made it easy to talk about. Marilyn’s response at the time was something like “Do you have an idea of what style of management is most helpful for you?” – just really practical, sensible and open. Continue reading


By Mia Singer


The letter below was sent to Jewish Care by 9 year old Mia Singer. Mia recently donated her birthday money to Jewish Care, specifically to our Housing Services. We share this letter with you to show that making a positive impact on your community can begin at any age.

At my school our unit has been NEEDS and WANTS. We have been learning the differences between needs and wants and how needs can be met in different ways. Like for example, a need is something that you can’t live without where as, a want is something that you can live without. Like saying, compare a toy to clean air, clean water, shelter, food and so on. You can definitely live without a toy but you definitely can’t live without the other things.

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Being Present in the Moment to Care

By Bill Appleby, Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Care Victoria


We must care – it’s in our name and integral to our mission. We need to make sure we are always present in the moment to care. At the end of the day – it’s what we do!

At Jewish Care we are blessed with 870 committed staff and 500 volunteers who positively impact people’s lives. Our commitment to the community we serve is to purposefully live the values of family, kindness, charity and respect in all that we do.

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Young Boardroom Professionals – Yesod: A Pioneering Program

By Eyal Genende


We live in a rapidly changing world. As the digital revolution continues to unleash disruptive waves across the economy, a younger generation of digitally native professionals has valuable insight and perspective to offer at a board level. But how do we ensure these capable young professionals are prepared for the rigor and responsibility of board life?

Jewish Care Victoria examined this question through its inaugural next-gen board training program, aptly named ‘Yesod’, meaning ‘foundation’ in Hebrew. Together with nine other young professionals, I was given the chance to consider this and other governance issues. In the process we gained greater insight into the board management of Jewish Care, a not-for-profit organisation which supports more than 5,000 people annually in the Victorian Jewish community primarily through the provision of disability, aged care and other social services.

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Lack of Humanity

Lack of Humanity is the 4th video in our series ‘Rising From The Ashes’ where Holocaust survivors talk about the horrific and cold-blooded scenes they witnessed and experienced during the Holocaust.

How did their experiences influence their attitudes towards Germans? How do they feel about the world today?

As Henry Salter says in the opening scene, “If you didn’t go through, you couldn’t understand.”

We proudly publish this video a few days before Yom Hashoah (24 April 2017) so that we can ensure that we never forget.

**Jewish Care warns that this video contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some viewers**