Australia

Sydney Greens in Israel boycott defeat

By Dan Goldberg, April 28, 2011

An Australian local council abandoned its controversial bid to boycott Israel following intense pressure from Jewish groups, politicians and the media.

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Australia's oldest Jew on life at 109

February 24, 2011

Australia's oldest Jew, who lived half her life in England and made hats for the Royal Family, will celebrate her 110th birthday next weekend.

But Mary Rothstein's actual birth date is unconfirmed; she doesn't have a birth certificate because her family escaped Russia for London soon after she was born in 1901.

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iPhone app helps remember the dead

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2011

An Australian woman has developed an iPhone application to help mourners observe the Yahrzeits (anniversaries of the death) of their loved ones.

Gila Rakusin-Frankel came up with the idea for the iYahrzeit after she marked four years since the death of her brother Arie. Now available to download, the technology automatically reminds people of when an anniversary falls.

It also converts dates from the Hebrew calendar and comes with an English translation of the Mourner’s kaddish.

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Cyclone hits Australia's Jewish suburbs

By Dan Goldberg, February 10, 2011

Flash flooding triggered by a category five cyclone wreaked havoc on Melbourne's Jewish community last weekend.

Wild waters ripped through several suburbs heavily populated by the city's 50,000-strong Jewish community last Friday night, flooding at least four synagogues, two Jewish schools, a kosher café, the headquarters of the Australian Jewish News and the National Council of Jewish Women.

The Sephardi Synagogue was closed on Shabbat because the men's section was flooded, while other shuls suffered damage to halls, foyers and administrative areas.

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Aussie poker playing grandpa wins millions

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

A Jewish grandfather from Australia celebrated winning £1.2 million in an international poker competition by eating some fruit and going back to work.

David Gorr, who is 68 and has five grandchildren, took the top prize at the Crown Aussie Millions Main Event tournament on Sunday.

The computer-analyst from Melbourne even went straight back to work after his win. His prize, for which he beat 721 other players, also included a diamond-studded gold bracelet and a trophy.

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Dudi Sela upbeat despite Australian Open defeat

By James Masters, January 20, 2011

Dudi Sela insists he can break into the world's top 50 – despite crashing out of the Australian Open in the first round.

The Israeli number one was beaten in straight sets by Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro after failing to convert a set point in the opener.

But Sela says his level of performance against the former US Open champion has given him plenty of optimism for the year ahead.

"I hope I can break into the top 50 but it's not easy because there are a lot of good players," said Sela.

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Day we discovered who our friends were

January 20, 2011

The beautiful parkland opposite my house had disappeared. I watched as the swings and slides of the playground vanished beneath murky brown waves. The rooftops of houses on the other side of the park soon vanished too. Within hours it was difficult to see where they had been.

A torrent of rusty-coloured water was right on my doorstep. Pieces of furniture, children's bicycles, rubbish bins and the occasional car floated past my front lawn.

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'I have never experienced a disaster like this one'

By Dan Goldberg, January 20, 2011

Esther Oliver's house backs on to a creek in Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city and the capital of the beleaguered state of Queensland. Last Wednesday, Ms Oliver, a former teacher at a Jewish school in Melbourne who sits on the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, looked on anxiously as the flood waters began inching towards her house. When it started flooding her garden, she began to panic.

"I was watching it coming. It was seeping. I fully expected it to flood the house. I expected snakes. I was scared."

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Australian Open is a win-win

By Simon Griver, January 13, 2011

Shahar Peer will achieve her dream of a top 10 ranking after the Australian Open, providing she can avoid a disastrous early exit in the first grand slam tournament of the year.

The Israeli was boosted earlier this week when she rose to a career high ranking of 12, the highest placing ever of any Israeli tennis player.

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Australia hit by worst floods since Noah

By Dan Goldberg, January 13, 2011

At least a dozen Jewish families in north-eastern Australia have been evacuated from their homes as a "flood of biblical proportions" ripped through Queensland this week, killing at least 12 people.

More than 50 people are still missing and one Jewish man remains unaccounted for near the rural town of Toowoomba, which was flattened on Monday by what police described as an "inland instant tsunami".

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