Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen – turning harmony into division

In just one week Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen’s steadfast desire to promote his bigoted, antiquated and intolerant views on homosexuality have successfully managed to cause the leadership of the Australian Jewish community and Monash University to distance themselves from him.


Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen had a goal of bringing harmony to this world:

Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen received a PhD in social philosophy from Monash University, Melbourne and rabbinic ordination in the Kollel Menachem Lubavitch, Melbourne, of which he was Programme Director, and from the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi S.Y. Cohen. He also founded the Institute for Judaism and Civilization in 1998, helping to bring together the two worlds of religious tradition and secular society in discussion and, ultimately, harmony.

He completely missed the mark in achieving harmony.  In fact he’s succeeded in creating more social division and unrest than he probably ever have imagined he was capable of.

In just one week Cowen’s intolerant and bigoted views on homosexuality have led him to be shunned by the leadership of the Australian Jewish community and have caused Monash University, his Alma Mater, to distance themselves from him.

Time to rethink your strategy Rabbi?

Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen – Monash University alumnus

The homophobic bigot Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen is an alumnus of Monash University.


Name:Shimon Cowen, PhD
Title:Director of the Institute for Judaism and Civilization
Position:Con Two-State Solution to the question “What are the solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Reasoning:“There is no legal principle which can accord ownership or statehood in the biblically defined land of Israel to a people other than the Jewish people. In this it differs from all other nations which by differing criteria could establish jurisdiction over territories. None of these formal or pragmatic rules apply to the Jewish people’s relationship to the land of Israel. For the land of Israel is different in its essence from every other land, and pertains by virtue of its essence to the Jewish people. It is a Jewish land.””The Arab-Israeli Conflict – Part II,” Journal of Judaism and Civilization, 1999
Theoretical Expertise Ranking: Experts
Members of Congress, Ambassadors, Counsul Generals, heads of government, heads of major government organizations, members of legislative bodies, and PhD’s with significant involvement in, or related to, the Palestinian – Israeli conflict. [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:– Director of the Institute for Judaism and Civilization, 1998 – present
– Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization, Monash University
– Programme Director, Kollel Menachem Lubavitch (Melbourne, Australia)
– Editor of three publications, the Journal of Judaism and CivilizationMonographs in Judaism and Civilization, and the Bulletin in the Noahide Laws
Education:– PhD, Social Philosophy, Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)
– Rabbinic ordination in the Kollel Menachem Lubavitch, Melbourne
Contact Info:Phone: 61-3-9527 5902 (Australia)
Fax: 61-3-9527 5902
E-Mail: admin@ijc.com.au
Website: www.ijc.com.au
Select Publications:– “The Noahide Laws, Israel and Peace,” Bulletin in the Noahide Laws, Mar. – Apr., 2009
– “Israel: State and Religion – Part I & II, a Discussion,” Journal of Judaism and Civilization, 1999
Other:None found
Quoted in:1. Is Judaism compatible with the concept of the separation of religion and state?

Monash University wants it both ways. Not good enough.

Monash University claims Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen is not an associate of the university, but rather, holds an adjunct/honorary role (unpaid). They want it both ways it would seem.

On Friday I got word from Monash University that Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen “is no longer an associate at Monash University”.  Today I see on Twitter that “he holds an adjunct/honorary role (unpaid) at the uni”.

Perhaps it’s a case of semantics, but it strikes me as a little odd that someone who is not an associate of the university can hold an adjunct/honorary role at the same time.


20120220 Monash University responds via Twitter to query re Dr Cowen in staff directory

What this effectively amounts to is that Monash University has not distanced themselves from this homophobe and is willing to bestow upon him an official Monash University email address, thereby continuing an association with him.  In doing so they potentially tarnish their reputation by affording him and his disreputable views some credibility.

Not good enough, Monash University.  If you want to look like you are distancing yourself from Cowen, it would be helpful to actually do so.