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Australia’s peak elected national Jewish roof body is urging all Jewish Australians to answer the question on the Census form that asks you to nominate your religion, if any, by inserting the word ‘Jewish’ or ‘Judaism’.
“This should be done for each member of the household when you complete the questionnaire on Census night on Tuesday 10 August 2021”, said Jillian Segal AO, the President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. “There is no box you can tick marked: ‘Judaism’ or ‘Jewish’. This makes it all the more important to tick the box marked ‘Other’ and insert the word ‘Jewish’ or ‘Judaism’ as the answer for each Jewish member of your household”.
Ms Segal added “Census data affects Government’s allocation of resources to assist the Australian community in a host of vital areas. The Jewish community also depends on the Census for accurate planning information for services in fields such as education, welfare and aged care.”
Noting that most people will complete the 2021 Census questionnaire online, Ms Segal also emphasised that it will still be possible to request and complete a paper form for those who wish to do so.
“Given our history, it is understandable that there are always sensitivities in the Jewish community about privacy, confidentiality and security when identifying oneself as Jewish to governments in any context”, Ms Segal said.
“However, the law imposes stiff penalties, including imprisonment, on any person, who divulges, directly or indirectly, any identifiable personal information collected in the Census.”
“The ECAJ believes it is very much in the interests of the Jewish community that the census questionnaire is completed with full accuracy, including the optional question on religion.”
“The Census will provide vital data for all Australians including the Jewish community. That information will help Jewish community bodies to represent the community’s needs to government more effectively and will help us to plan for the future and ensure appropriate provision of critical services and programs”, Ms Segal emphasised.
“I ask all Jewish Australians to complete the questionnaire with full and accurate details, including their religion.”