Interview Episode: Chabad and Zionism with Yaakov Aharon & Shula Kirovsky
Special Guest: Yaakov Aharon
Yaakov Aharon is an anti-Zionist activist with the Tzedek Collective. Yaakov was raised in Bondi, Sydney as part of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, an Ultraorthodox Jewish sect. At ten years old, sheltered and with little-to-no prior contact with the outside world, Yaakov was on the streets evangelising both Chabad-Lubavitch Judaism and Kahanist Zionism – a long way from where he stands on these issues today.
Special Guest: Shula Kirovsky
Shula grew up in the Hasidic semi-sect (or sect) of Chabad. Born in Israel, her family moved to Russia when she was 5, then to Sydney when she was 14 years old. Today, Shula is involved with the Tzedek Collective, an anti-Zionist Jewish group located in Warrang/Sydney. Shula is committed now to seeing every person as a human first.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Yaakov Aharon and Shula Kirovsky’s lives in Sydney’s famous beach suburb of Bondi were lived largely separate from mainstream society, within the Chassidic sect of Chabad. Their families’ lifestyles were a world away from the fashionable bikini and boardshorts-wearing demographics usually associated with the area. Though Yaakov disconnected himself from the sect’s beliefs while he was still quite young, as a teenager he remained keen to join the Israel Defence Forces. Shula disengaged from her religious upbringing at the age of 19, when she was told it was time for her to get married.
Today, both Shula and Yaakov are involved with the Tzedek Collective, an anti-Zionist Jewish group currently attending Sydney’s pro-Palestine rallies every Sunday in Hyde Park and calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. For this episode, they share a selection of their experiences, including some of the things that changed their perspectives from the ideology they were brought up to believe in.
The Shock Doctrine — by Naomi Klein, Penguin Books, 2007