Lions,foxes and lambs

Posted on ‍‍June 16, 2011 - 14 Sivan 5771 by Editor

Shalom and welcome to the tribe. Enjoy your visit. Better still become a member of the tribe and subscribe

Samuel Norich the publisher of the Jewish Forward magazine said in part recently about the success of the magazine

“…our unique role and value as the only truly independent Jewish newspaper in the United States, unaffiliated with any branch of Judaism, unbeholden to any religious or communal authority, and free from bias or conflicts of interest…appealing to Jews and to a broader community.”

Over 50 people attended a public meeting at Beth Weizman in Melbourne tonight. An initiative by the JCCV, in an effort to bring together all those that wanted to voice their  opinion on the future of Jewish radio broadcasting in Melbourne. I was hoping the above quote would be the theme behind most people’s attendance.

Chaired by John Searle, President of the JCCV, his opening remarks paid tribute to the Lion Fm volunteers and to the owner of the station Menachem Khoen for the hard work and passion that they  had done  in bringing a Jewish radio station to reality. The theme of the night was not meant to be about past errors or conspiracies but about how as a community it could move forward in reviving a lost opportunity. It was about stopping the vitriol being written in various media ,websites and even on  Lions own Facebook page.

Attending the meeting amongst others were representatives of the various groups that have formed over the last few months as alternatives to MJR in retaining the community broadcasting licence. Many from Lion FM were also there as well as various interested individuals including the editor Zeddy Lawrence of the AJN

The tone of the evening was for the most part hopeful, in that many expressed a desire  for unity and cohesion in approaching the next steps whatever they may be. It at times did become heated during references about attempts to have the station closed by individuals who were present at the meeting.

Menachem Khohen was given an opportunity to present his case. In a prepared speech, judging by the number of pages he had in his hand, he made it clear it  was not just about all being friends and having a group hug. As part of his speech, he advised that membership to Lion was open to everybody and that it would continue to seek ways in which to Broadcast. In essence join us or miss out.

It seemed that he had much more to say but others in audience bemoaned the fact that he had already spoken for an extraordinary amount of time and was addressing issues that should remain in the past. Asked by John Searle to end his speech quickly and allow others time to speak he attempted to continue. He resisted after two requests to sit down and unfortunately tempers frayed as he was forced to take his seat. It was not a great moment.

Most at the meeting were taken aback by the ferocity of the request. However the meeting did continue albeit now with some underlying tension and sporadic interjections.

By the final stages of the night , the  suggestion was made that the individuals who represented other groups should perhaps enter into a dialogue with MJR in an attempt to perhaps resolve whatever differences they had and create a unified group that could move forward for  securing another frequency and permanent licence.

It seems however that as it stands that although MJR is happy to accommodate a broader membership  any discussion of involvement in the management and ideology of the station is not on the table. This still may change, but in the short term at least the lion is not prepared to lie down with the yearling so the signs of redemption are still far away.

Lion FM continues to broadcast on the internet and is hopeful that radio transmission will return pending negotiations. Specifics as to how were not mentioned.




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